The Descent and Ascent of Process

If we contemplate for a moment about the actions of our lives, we will discover that there is both a “downward” and “upward” trajectory (involution and evolution) within the fullness of a completed task.

A conscious human action starts from some intention, passion, or disposition of the will. From the endeavor of the will, causal process descends into forms of thought that allow us to intellectually see how to reach our goal. The goal is finally reached when this process, started in the will, descends into the actions of the physical body.

Science calls this top-down causation. However, what is not taken into account is that when a goal is reached the process turns back “upwards” through the human psyche to its primal soil or causal principle. This can be verified through direct human experience if we are observant and mindful.

The will starts from a recognition that a certain goal is a delightful pursuit and harmonious to its values. The will then adapts the ideas of the mind to match its disposition. In other words, all thoughts and ideas are mental forms (embodiment) of the will’s desires. Bodily action is the full outward manifestation of the will and thought within time and space. But once a goal has been achieved through the physical body, its success is verified higher up by the human intellect then rises to the delight in the will where the whole process started.

What materialistic science needs to understand is that first principles return to first principles. Causal process descends from a non-physical and non-local beginning through discrete (non-continuous) steps and returns back up through those same steps to a non-physical dimension. (Some forward thinking physicists acknowledge that the mind operates outside of time and space).

According to scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg, this down-and-up causal trajectory is a mirror image of God’s purposeful action within the scheme of creation and evolution. Creation begins from a non-physical realm (God’s heaven) and descends, through increasing lawful constraints into inert matter. Evolution starts from inert matter and ascends through more complex life forms with increased intelligence and consciousness—until we get to the human race, which has the God-given capacity to return to heaven.

This universal patterning principle is what gives process coherence, order, and allows the universe to be self-consistent. It would take a book to explore this subject more deeply, so I have done just that. The book is Proving God and will be available in Spring 2010.

To find out if such a book would interest you, take a peek at:

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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