The Angel and the Spirit

Once upon a time there was an angel whose job it was to greet new spirits arriving from the planet earth. Besides welcoming new citizens into the spiritual world, it was the angel’s responsibility to provide each newcomer with the proper directions for getting to heaven amidst all the wrong paths that lead people to find the place of their deepest wishes and their heart’s content.

On this particular day the angel greeted a newly-arrived spirit and informed him that he was now in another world.

“How can that be?” replied the stunned spirit. “This looks just like planet earth. I see sky, clouds, mountains and trees.”

The angel then furled his eyebrows as if concentrating on something. Suddenly a beautiful tree appeared before the novice spirit. It bloomed with wonderfully colored flowers and was dripping with luscious fruit.

The newcomer went over to the tree to examine the fruit more closely. “Gee, I have never seen fruit like this before,” said the spirit.

“Trees just don’t spontaneously appear in the physical world, a world that you no longer inhabit. And you won’t find fruit like this on planet earth either,” said the smiling angel.

“Wow, there is life after death!” blurted the excited visitor.

“Yes, in this world the qualities of your heart and mind present themselves in the forms of trees here. The fruit of this tree represents the quality of my heart. When individuals partake of this fruit they get a taste of what’s in my heart. That is how angels share their love with others and help God provide spiritual nourishment to all those in heaven,” explained the angel.

The new spirit picked one of the fruits off the tree and took a bite. “Yuck!” said the spirit as he spit out the fruit. “This is way, way too sweet. I can’t stand it.”

The angel now became alarmed by the spirit’s negative reaction since the fruit merely reflected the sweetness of the angel’s love. So the angel began to probe the spirit to find out the true quality of his heart.

“What kind of life did you live on earth?” asked the angel.

“I was a Christian. And, I received Jesus into my heart. By believing in Jesus, my sins have been wiped away,” said the spirit with full confidence.

“If your sins were removed why did you keep cheating on your wife and continue to scheme against your coworkers?” questioned the angel attempting to look even deeper into the spirit’s heart.

“Huh…er…I, um, well… it is not for me to remove my sins,” said the spirit, who obviously was caught off guard by this question. But he quickly regained his composure, stating that, “It is Jesus’ job to do all that for me. By believing in Jesus the Lord will go to the Father and argue my case. That is how I will have my sins removed,” said the spirit.

“Where did you hear that?” inquired the angel.

“In Church.”

“But you kept on living in a non-Christian way. Didn’t your church teach you God’s commandments? When were your sins supposed to be removed, while you continued doing them?” came the angel’s scrutinizing question.

“It… it is a mystery of faith. But I am confident that my sins have been wiped clean,” said the spirit with a bit of a nervous laugh. “Now can you show me the way to heaven?”

The angel lifted his arm and pointed. “This is the path to follow to reach the gates of heaven.”

The spirit looked down the path and saw that it was lined with similar trees to the one whose fruit almost made him vomit. So he began to look around at the other paths that were available to him. Suddenly, one of the paths seemed clearer and looked the most suitable for him.

“Ah, this is the path I want to take – it speaks to my heart.” With that said the new spirit headed off into the direction his heart set its sights on.

“Don’t go there!” shouted the angel. “The path to heaven is the path of those who have changed their hearts!”

The spirit yelled back at the angel saying. “I think I’d know hell if I saw it. I’ll just stay clear of it.” But ignoring the angel the spirit walked straight into the flames of hell. And the spirit kept on walking because this spiritual fire was nothing more than the flames of all his burning desires and could not recognize its dangers.

In the spiritual world we become who we really are.

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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
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