Have you explored your spiritual genealogy?

The enterprise of following one’s family tree or family history back to our ancestors has become increasingly popular in recent times. The interest in such activity comes from a desire and sense that we can learn more about ourselves from our ancestral origins.

But there is an even more effective method of exploration by which we can find out the most precise details about ourselves and the true origins of those important details. It requires making a spiritual genealogy.

How does one chart a spiritual genealogy? Its simple. It only requires our sincerity. We simply observe our thoughts, feelings and actions and track them back to their true origins. Since the human mind represents the operation of our spirit, by following the genealogy of our thoughts we can find out where we are really coming from.

What is the ancestry of an idea? All ideas have their origins in some type of love. There are two major but opposing qualities of love, which are the origins of all our thinking—love of self and love of others.

Two people can have a similar idea and urge to give money to the poor and needy, yet these individuals performing the exact same act of charity can have entirely different spiritual genealogies. The origin of one’s generous giving can be based on reputation, self-gratification and self-promotion, while another’s can be based on a sincere and humble love of other people. One form of generosity has its origins in hell, the other in heaven.

Because of this radical difference and its spiritual ramifications, a person cannot ever hope to explore the true spiritual origins of their life without utmost sincerity. Otherwise we will create a false chart and account of the descent of our personal ideas back to their proper progenitor.

Of course, the practice of exploring one’s spiritual genealogy simply amounts to one practicing his or her religion and following God’s tenets. Whether we care about such things or not God is continuously following each of our thoughts, feelings and actions back to their origins.

It should be obvious why.

What is less obvious is that when in Genesis 24:24 Rebekah states. “I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son that Milcah bore to Nahor,” she is symbolically referring to a spiritual genealogy that has its origins in a sincere quality of loving God’s truth.

Care to share your thoughts?

Website: http://www.staircasepress.com

About thegodguy

EDWARD F. SYLVIA, M.T.S. Philosopher/Theologian Edward F. Sylvia attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his Master of Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and a Certificate of Swedenborgian Studies from the Swedenborgian House of Studies. He is a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (C.T.N.S.) and the Swedenborg Scientific Association (S.S.A.). Award-winning author of "Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden" and "Proving God," which fulfills a continuing vision that God’s fingerprints of love can be found everywhere in the manifest universe. His most recent book, "Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links" is an edgy collection of anti-intuitive essays for personal transformation that challenges and inspires. He has been a student of the ideas of both Emanuel Swedenborg and George I. Gurdjieff for over thirty years. Read more about TheGodGuy, his books and his ideas at http://www.staircasepress.com
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2 Responses to Have you explored your spiritual genealogy?

  1. SWword says:

    Hi GoodGuy,

    Yes, interesting illustration you give. To plot our our spiritual genealogy, “We simply observe our thoughts, feelings and actions and track them back to their true origins.” Sincerely. 🙂

    I would change the comment about love of self, a bit. Since we are to love others “as we love ourselves,” I think a mature person needs to develop a proper love for self as a beautiful, worthy part of God’s creation. But, not a part that is more important than any other part. I know Swedenborg may not express it that way…

    God bless,

  2. thegodguy says:

    Dear SWword,

    Yes, Swedenborg uses the term “self-love” differently than it is used today -such as “self-respect” or “self-esteem.” Rather, he uses the term to describe individuals who put themselves before and above others – which breeds spiritual hatred towards others.

    While on earth we indeed are asked to love others as ourselves, angelic beings go further and love others more than themselves. I appreciate your thoughtful comments!

    Spiritually yours,

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