Does God purposely deceive us?

You bet He does! But it is for our own good.

If humans could see that God’s life flows into us and affects our hearts to do good, they would vigorously rebel. So God is very careful to allow the human race to believe and sense that life and goodness of heart issues forth from themselves.

This divine deception preserves our free will, which is essential to spiritual salvation. However, this state, in and of itself, is a form of trance since individuals are unable to perceive reality as it truly is.

Ever since the “Fall of man,” which began with God putting Adam into a deep sleep, the human race has been allowed to gain a strong sense of selfhood and ontological autonomy. So, the very concept that all life and goodness comes only from God is viewed as anti-intuitive. Again, the Lord God has permitted this outcome so that humankind would retain the free will necessary to make better life-choices and to prefer God’s tenets (as opposed to self-rule) later in life.

God allowed this condition to occur in order to allow humans the chance to eventually rise above our biological selves. I have been mocked for my suggestion that God hypnotized the human race in order to later de-hypnotize them. But the term hypnosis fits well with the higher or spiritual meaning behind the Genesis story of Adam being put into a deep sleep (“hypno” means sleep). This “deep sleep” was a diminished state of human cognitive function. Let me quote theologian Emanuel Swedenborg concerning this important topic:

He who is being regenerated believes at first that the good which he thinks and does is from himself, and that he also merits something, for he does not yet know, and if he knows he does not comprehend, that good can flow in from some other source, nor that it can be otherwise than that he should be recompensed, because he does it from himself.

Swedenborg claimed that humans originally had access to a higher mind and cognitive level by which they had direct experience of God’s love and spiritual energy flowing into and maintaining their very lives. However, human self-love and self-judgment became so attractive over time that God was forced to disconnect them from higher mind so that they could delude themselves from their misguided “bliss.” Without such a divine strategy humans would have lost their free will and the chance for eventually turning things around. Back to Swedenborg and the rest of his challenging quote:

Unless at first he believed this, he would never do any good. But by this means he is initiated not only into the affection of doing what is good, but also into knowledges concerning good and also concerning merit; and when in this manner he has been led into the affection of doing what is good, he then begins to think differently, namely that good flows in from the Lord . . . (Arcana Coelestia, Vol. V, n. 4145)

The idea that an individual begins to think differently represents enlightenment, or augmentation of one’s cognitive function. Since trance involves a diminished cognitive state, the process of spiritual evolution necessitates people “snapping out of it” and “waking up.”

The world needs a bold new church that is willing to greet its parishioners with a slap on the face from a cold wet rag!  Unfortunately, most people go to church to feel good about themselves and find validation from others. We are all accomplished hypnotists.

http://www.provinggod.com

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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 http://www.staircasepress.com
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37 Responses to Does God purposely deceive us?

  1. Sue says:

    I think He also deceives us about free will. People use ‘free will’ to explain why hell is permanent. But maybe God is simply deceiving us. Swedenborg was totally sincere, I’d bet the farm on that, but we don’t know if God told him EVERYTHING.

  2. thegodguy says:

    Dear Sue,

    God obviously could not tell Swedenborg everything and Swedenborg himself states that he was not allowed to share everything he learned from the spiritual world.

    As far as the issue of hell being permanent, remember that the doors to heaven are ALWAYS open to anyone. We must fully grasp what keeps people from entering!

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  3. Glenn Schoen says:

    Here’s the way I figure it — there are three basic ways to remove a bandage: 1) peel it off; 2) yank it off; and, 3) soak it til the adhesive loosens to the point it floats off.

    My guess is that the Lord has at least a few other means up His Sleeve — especially for those who’d rather that their bandages not be removed.

    The Mummy, for example, requires special consideration. Even when dehypnotized, his gaze is blocked by layers of gauze. And if you thought peeling an onion will make you cry, oh boy.

    Anyway, “The Lord regenerates a man from Divine Mercy. This is done from his infancy down to the last of his life in the world, and afterward to eternity. Thus it is from Divine Mercy that the Lord withdraws a man from evils and falsities, and leads him to the truths of faith and goods of love, and afterward keeps him in these. And after this, in Divine Mercy He raises him to Himself in heaven, and makes him happy…

    “Consequently those who do not suffer themselves to be regenerated, thus who do not suffer themselves to be withheld from evils and falsities, remove and cast away from themselves these mercies of the Lord. Therefore it is the man who is in fault if he cannot be saved.”

    That sounds to me like a pretty good definition of “regeneration”, to be withheld from evils and falsities. Or, since evil is contrary to good, and falsity contrary to truth, regeneration is being withheld from contra-goods and contra-truths.

    Is it a painful process? Depends upon the person. Some will want to hold on to their contraband for dear life, simple as that. And for these, the going probably will be kind of rough.

    But if they really want to hold on to it, they can. Laws of permission, and all of that.

    Of course, there is also “where a tree falls, there it lies.” There is that too.

    As there is this interesting observation — upright trees have a hard time lying.

    Perhaps that’s why Swedenborg, for all that he straightforwardly said about the permanency of hell, also obliquely acknowledged, “There is such an equilibrium of all things in the other life that evil punishes itself, and unless it could be taken away by means of punishment, those in whom it exists could not but be kept in some hell to eternity.”

  4. thegodguy says:

    Dear Glenn,

    Thank you for contributing to this discussion. To be held from evils and falsity one must recognize them in oneself (increased awareness). Furthermore, one must realize that evils and falsities come from hell (true revelation).

    In the same way a hypnotist can plant an idea inside a person’s head the hells are continuously endeavoring to seduce men and women, and continually inspiring evil. But since the human race no longer possesses the higher cognitive function to perceive that all life flows in, they believe that they think and will of themselves, instead of perceiving how the case really is, and are thus susceptible to suggestibility from hell and appropriate hell’s evil and falsity.

    To believe that all good and truth are from the Lord puts one in a more “awakened” state by which a person becomes willing to suffer oneself to be led by the Lord. The “appearance” that what one thinks and wills from oneself is a diminished mental state not unlike trance. To come out of this trance-like or illusory state requires humility and making oneself “least.”

    My usage of the word “hypnotism” is to describe humankind’s current predicament within a more modern framework. My upcoming book describes the physiology of the human brain and species of blood circulations that provide the mechanism for hypnosis to occur.

    In terms of the eternity of hell, we must also consider the differences in a spirit’s bio-structure – which is the perfect embodiment of the qualities of an individual’s heart and mind – and whether these qualities can be changed after the death of the physical body (which served as a foundation).

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  5. Glenn Schoen says:

    It’s nice to see you take off your Ron Popeil mask.

    But there is something odd about what you say. Not that it isn’t true — it is. And not that is inaccurate in some way — it is not.

    What is odd, or perhaps incongruent is a better way to put it, is the withholding from your readers (as of date and time of this attempted comment) of the two DP quotes (one DP 145 and one from DP 146) — earlier presented under Spiritual Astronomy — which reveal in simple, clear and precise terms just how one may go about putting into effect that knowledge gained via a recognition that all good is from heaven and all evil is from hell, and that whatever one does is from either one or the other.

    It isn’t enough to know — one must also utilize what one knows.

    And those two quotes serve as a succinct, hands-on practical guide as to how to make use of that knowledge in a competent way, and what ensues from its sincere use.

    Anyone can do it!

    Or, to be more precise, everyone has the ability to do it. Whether they will do it (or whether they’ll will to do it) is another story.

    I realize that you can’t possibly cover here on your blog everything covered there in your book. Still, approving those two quotes for your readers takes but a moment or two. And doing so will not detract from your book, will not “spill the beans” nor will it “let the cat out of the bag”.

    Rather, it’ll whet the appetite of your readers.

    Not only do people like handy tips — when given handy tips, people tend to come back for more.

  6. Glenn Schoen says:

    In fact, you could use well it to your advantage — by showing how that laggard domain of human knowledge, science, is finally catching up, at least in one small way, with basics truths delineated by Swedenborg centuries earlier. CBT, or “cognitive based therapy” employs the very principles — though under the guise of a different “more modern” language — and at least with regard to helping people deal with “obsessions” — as revealed in those two DP quotes.

  7. thegodguy says:

    Dear Glenn,

    Thank you for the advice. Spoken like a true Swedenborgian.

    In past blog posts I have indeed touched on the issue of how one’s love (spiritual aim) disposes a person’s knowledge into the coherent structure of a belief system. The degree to which one’s inner world of ideas is organized (either from self-love or from divine principles) determines how one’s knowledge is utilized.

    However, many times I have to go where my reader’s comments take me, and, I am always trying fresh approaches to make my arguments (which is why some of my statements may seem incongruent to your Swedenborgian sensibilities).

    The two DP quotes you speak of are not simple “handy tips” because they present ideas that our inherently foreign to the average person’s natural state – that in spiritual growth we essentially have to go up against ourselves! So I treat such Swedenborgian concepts as challenging and novel to my readers. Therefore, I purposely write my posts as a challenge to their current worldviews. After all, the Lord’s Second Coming is a grand “shake-up” to the status quo.

    For those of my readers who don’t know, “DP” are the initials for Swedenborg’s great theological work entitled “Divine Providence.”

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  8. Roger says:

    My (amateur) reading of Swedenborg is that we are inspired by God, by the angels, spirits and demons. This is to say that there is an influx of influence on our thoughts. Sort of like the psychological influence which people close to us have. This is is not the same as asserting that all my thoughts originate elsewhere and that I am a passive receptacle. I interact with the influences from the spiritual world to create my thoughts and choices. Otherwise, there is no personal cognition and free will. I think you are saying the same thing, but I am not sure.

    Regarding God hypnotizing humans – this is also asserted in the Eastern concept of “Maya” (search the Wikipedia). However, this is not the same as outright deception. Look at it this way – we’re limited beings and we’ll never become infinite no matter what the spiritual heights we attain. God cannot create another God just as God cannot create a square circle – a logical impossibility. Since God cannot create another God, He has to create finite beings to share his joy (“Enter into the joy of the Lord”). But the fact of our finitude dictates that God will allow some things to be open to our cognition, and some to be closed. And that our cognition will expand with our growth. Now, one way that some things can be “partially closed” to us is by our perceiving them approximately and with less accuracy (“For we now see through a glass darkly”). Just as Newtonian physics is a gross approximation (but not totally false) of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and/or Quantum Mechanics. One can also say that the classical Christian doctrine of atonement is a simplification of Swedenborg’s explanation. Following this line of logic, God allows us to think that all of our good originates within ourselves rather than having been inspired by God and accepted by us. This is an approximation or simplification of the truth until we get “de-hypnotized” enough to give credit where it is due.

    Roger

  9. thegodguy says:

    Dear Roger,

    To the extent that each of our thoughts and feelings flow in from hell we live as passive slaves. Swedenborg is serious when he states that if we were disconnected from the influence of spirits we would drop dead on the spot.

    God does not deceive us but allows us to be deceived (and certainly witholds info until we are ready for it). God permitted that Adam be put into a deep sleep. Yes, this is similar to the concept of “Maya” because the physical world is merely an appearance of a deeper truth being expressed within the deeper dynamics of the spiritual world. That the serpent was made to crawl on the ground is symbolic for the human intellect becoming immersed in Maya, that is, in the appearances of the physical world.

    Spiritual growth is not the “enhancement of a positive state.” It is tough to swallow the idea that the human will is corrupt and that God has to fashion a new will in us. This is different then suggesting that some things are simply closed off to us because we are finite beings. We have forced God’s hand in allowing us to be disconnected from seeing reality. “Eve” is passionately sought after by much of the human race. She is the love of self and the source of self-deception.

    Our hypnosis is real and I spend a whole chapter on it in my upcoming book “Proving God.”

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  10. Glenn Schoen says:

    …many times I have to go where my reader’s comments take me[.]

    In other words, you suffer yourself to be led where your reader’s comments take you. You do it, so either it isn’t “painful”, or the “pain” is subordinate to some larger purpose.

    I purposely write my posts as a challenge to their current worldviews.

    So why not let them know that going up against themselves is not anywhere near as difficult as they think it is, nor anywhere near as difficult as you continual say that it is?

    You want people to labor under the mistaken characterization that not only is it as difficult as they think it is, it is even more difficult than that.

    And, so, practical help is dismissed as being too esoteric for your readers, or is simply withheld from them on the grounds that — as you have repeatedly said — they are too “cognitively impaired” to understand.

    In fact, you have them so being so “cognitively impaired” that practical guides are deemed by you to be beyond their ken, whereas quantum physics is not.

  11. Roger says:

    “It is tough to swallow the idea that the human will is corrupt and that God has to fashion a new will in us.”

    Corrupt, yes. Not totally corrupt, though. That would be the Calvinistic doctrine of total depravity which neither the Catholic Church nor the Swedenborgian groups espouse. I have, in my 51 years, not met anyone with a totally corrupt will.

    Roger

  12. thegodguy says:

    Dear Roger,

    If you were to meet me you would think differently. At least I admit to having a totally corrupt will (and being a slug).

    You are missing the point. All good (and life) comes from the Lord God. It is the Lord who fights for us and keeps evil at bay. Swedenborg makes the amazing statement that if the Lord let His guard down the angels of the highest heaven would rush headlong into hell!

    You have merely met people who are under the Lord’s protection. Swedenborg also described incidents where people in the spiritual world were “lowered” into their evils, so that they could see that their own will was indeed corrupt. Swedenborg stated that one’s evils are never demolished but removed to a safe distance.

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  13. thegodguy says:

    Dear Glenn,

    Replying to your last comment (above Roger’s) I would have to say you are showing signs of being in a trance-state.

    It is not that people can’t comprehend Swedenborg, the problem is that they will not believe him. How did you miss that?

    The simplicity or difficulty of going against oneself is moot if a person sees no reason to do so in the first place. That is the initial condition a person is faced with – to break out of the spell of one’s false image and derivative worldview.

    “Handy tips” are for those who already grasp the perils of their situation.

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  14. Sue says:

    Great discussion – you have really intelligent readers. Isn’t tomorrow the big dzy when your book comes out? You are probably excited? nervous? I think it’s an auspicious time for publication – right in the beginning of spring – the richest time of year. New ideas ready to sprout.

    As far as hell goes: Glenn’s first comment is interesting because he almost has Swedenborg admitting that hell isn’t permanent. Sounds like ‘evil contains its own punishment therefore justice can work out a solution – an ontological solution – so that the offender eventually becomes free.’ Of course, the offender by then has reinforced his habit of thinking wrongly. It probably continues … but it wouldn’t have to if the sinner wakes up and repents.

    So, now you have a new controversy going about whether the will is totally corrupt or partially corrupt when it is in mankind’s hands. I vote for ‘paritally’ because I think Roger is right about Swedenborgians and Catholics not seeing man as totally evil to begin with. I remember noticing a difference when my child came home years ago from Baptist Awanas and informed me that we are all dirty rags until Jesus washes us clean. That was news to me.

  15. thegodguy says:

    Dear Sue,

    Swedenborg insisted that God seeks to replace our old will with a new one. I have never come across a statement by him that humans have a “partially” corrupt will.

    I am just the messenger.

    See my new blog entitled “Is it easy to get to heaven?” It might clarify some issues.

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  16. Glenn Schoen says:

    I have never come across a statement by him that humans have a “partially” corrupt will.

    And you have also never come across him taking to task those who insist that it is “totally” corrupt?

    My my. You really should familiarize yourself with Swedenborg.

    The “total” corruption view was one of the errors he sought to correct.

  17. thegodguy says:

    Dear Glenn,

    Here is something I have read:

    “Man at birth is inclined to evils of every kind; and from his inclination he lusts after them, and as far as he is at liberty, he even commits them; for by birth he lusts to rule over others, and to possess their goods.” True Christian Religion, n. 612)

    I am having difficulty determining from this statement how much of a person’s will (from birth) is corrupt and how much is good. And, if the angels of the highest heaven would rush towards hell without the Lord’s perpetual protection why wouldn’t the part of their will that you say is good be enough to protect them from such a fall?

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  18. Glenn Schoen says:

    And, if the angels of the highest heaven would rush towards hell without the Lord’s perpetual protection why wouldn’t the part of their will that you say is good be enough to protect them from such a fall?

    Your question is misleading — it assumes things which haven’t been established.

    1. We haven’t been talking about angels of the highest heaven, but about human beings.

    2. No one has said that the will isn’t corrupt, or that it isn’t mostly corrupt, only that it isn’t totally corrupt.

    3. Lastly, no one has said that the not-totally-corrupt will is sufficient unto itself to protect one from a fall.

    Would you care to rephrase your question, this time, a) without assuming as true things no one has said; and, b) without assuming the existence of positions no one has taken?

  19. thegodguy says:

    Dear Glenn,

    I have mentioned angels of the highest heaven in previous blogs. If such evolved souls are in danger of hell’s influence (except by the Lord’s constant protection) how is a human being to embrace anything of goodness in one’s own will. Nothing misleading about that!

    ALL GOOD COMES FROM GOD! Any good which comes into the human heart comes from heaven. The human will emanates not one trace of good from itself!

    During early childhood the Lord instills “remains” within the unconscious mind. These remains are activated when one is being spiritually regenerated. These remains serve as a matrix for a new will to emerge. If there were a trace of goodness in the human will God could build from that and would not need to secretly inject these outside influences deep into the human psyche.

    Humans don’t even have life from themselves – zero percentage!

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  20. Sue says:

    Even slugs are not totally ‘corrupt’. They are used medicinally in some countries to coat the stomach lining against ulcers. They eat dead leaves and fungus and all kinds of stuff and frogs eat them …. so they are useful, don’t sell yourself short as a slug.

    Off the subject a little, but I’ve been thinking more about hell – you use it to mean evils that need resisting. As when the higher angels, you say, go down to discern the worst hells. But sometimes I use it to mean a state of utter hopelessness, sadness and misery. I just realized those are two different definitions. Maybe that’s why we differ on the permanence.

  21. thegodguy says:

    Dear Sue,

    Great observation. You have provided an answer to Glenn’s rejection that the human will is totally corrupt. It would seem obvious that if the human will was totally corrupt God’s heavenly influx would have nothing good to flow into. However, God’s love is able to flow into an evil will because He can turn it into something that helps promote His eternal ends. That an evil will can be used to promote God’s eternal ends does not however raise the status of the evil will.

    That a slug can be turned into a medicine happens in spite of a snail living like a snail. The snail is used for a good end but the snail couldn’t care less.

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  22. Sue says:

    Well, maybe I don’t get your point here exactly. Wouldn’t it be that since you call yourself a slug and yet you do obviously “care” therefore your will is not totally evil and never was? God is not just using you to do good. He is also making your will good. And He didn’t start from scratch – you already had potential.

  23. thegodguy says:

    Dear Sue,

    Please read my newest post “God’s love needs to be fixed!” It explains why the will a person is born with is totally evil – yet why God’s influence can still flow in. If there was some good in my native will God could build on that – but God builds on “remains” which he instills deep within our unconscious mind.

    But thanks for suggesting that I am not totally evil – unfortunately I do not believe you. All good belongs to the Lord. I am simply borrowing a smidgen of it.

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

    • PTM says:

      For those in Christ both wills (corrupt and new) co-exist within the soul. From what I understand our native and totally corrupted will grows more and more quiescent as the new will forms or grows up to overrule it. In that case “I” no longer need to identify myself as total slug; in truth I’m partial slug and partial new creature in changing proportions.

  24. thegodguy says:

    Dear PTM,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with my readers. According to the Christian theology of Emanuel Swedeborg (who’s ideas I follow) true goodness comes only from the Lord God of heaven and earth. He claimed that the angels of the highest heaven would never claim any part of goodness as their own. So even the most highly evolved (and humble) spiritual beings never lose sight of their “slugness.”

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

    • PTM says:

      Dear GodGuy,
      I should have ended my post with “all thanks and praise be to God”. Maybe then you wouldn’t have gotten the idea that I meant any of the goodness is my own. Indeed, I believe all goodness comes only from the Lord, while every bit of slugness is my own. But if the goodness of God is at work making “me” a new creature, who then should I continue to say that “I” am? The slug or the new creature? Is it losing sight of my slugness to identify myself a “new creation” by the goodness of God? Or is it losing sight of the new creation to continue to identify “myself” only as slug. By which identity can I be most humble but also rejoice?

  25. thegodguy says:

    Dear PTM,

    We are doctrinally in agreement. You can identify yourself with anything you want. However, acknowledging my own “slugness” keeps me on my spiritual toes and vigilant. As far as I am concerned I can still blow it here on earth, therefore, I will always look upon my spiritual status and “new creation” with suspicion. I simply don’t take anything for granted. Works for me.

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

    • PTM says:

      Dear GodGuy,
      I appreciate your reasoning why slug ID works best for you. Whatever works is good of course. But doesn’t identifying exclusively with slugness keep your focus always on your weakness and inability of self? But I suspect, thanks be to God, that’s not all there is in you anymore.

      It’s true the slug in me will always blow it, here on earth and always, but if the new creature exists in me also, even in minute proportion, then I dare not say “I” can still blow it for fear that I include Him. While I know apart from Him I can do nothing good, I also know I’m not alone in this soul any longer. I need to be careful who I say that I am then, and if I need to choose, will identify by faith in whom I am becoming rather than who I am apart from God.

      While not excluding awareness of my ever present slugness, acknowledging first the “new creature” keeps my faith and focus set on the power of God at hand to transform me. Therefore, it accomplishes two things together, which is why the “new creature” ID works best for me. And like you, I take nothing for granted except what’s granted by my faith in whom I trust in.

      I do appreciate your blog. Thank you!

  26. thegodguy says:

    Dear PTM,

    My “slugness” and focus on my weaknesses and inability of self has yielded this blog, a Master’s Degree in Theology and two books. God has no power to transform us without our becoming well acquainted with our slugness. In other words, we must not only accept the generic possibility that we are slugs but verify it AND identify the PRECISE things in our behavior that keep us being slugs. God will only remove the slug traits we recognize in ourselves and ask for His divine help to remove. How else would God take us seriously?

    I am glad that you like this blog. And I am even more grateful that you are willing to explore this most important topic!

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

    • PTM says:

      Dear GodGuy,
      Correct me if I got it wrong, but am I hearing you say that as a slug, with a corrupted will, you were still able to recognize specific traits of your own slugness, identify with them and cry out to God for His help? And that it yielded those wonderful things for you? If so, your slug must be at least part good then, because I don’t think mine can do any of this. Mine is useless, completely unsalvageable, full of emnity against God, hopeless even to judge itself; I don’t think it will ever repent.

      And is God even reforming slugs who repent by focusing on their weaknesses causing them to yield up better things, or is he raising up a an entirely new creature armed with new truths to judge slugs correctly, resist them, fight hard to overrule them and replace them?

      Who repents? Who cries out to God for help? Who yields up the good things?…. “I” the slug or “I” the new creature?

      I’m thankful to know you also recognize this is an important subject to understand correctly.

  27. thegodguy says:

    Dear PTM,

    I indeed will correct you. Recognizing that I am a “slug” with a corrupted will does not mean that the slug in me is partly good. It means that the slug can separate its intellect from its corrupted will. According to Emanuel Swedenborg, God designed the human psyche so that the intellect (human discernment) could function separately from and rise “above” the worldly compulsions of the will. However, knowing something is wrong doesn’t always act as a deterrent (which proves that human free will and judgement are distinct functions).

    But the new will which is needed to fight the slug will (and cries out) comes from the Lord alone. In fact, it is the slug in each of us that convinces us to perceive that life originates in us and not from the Lord God. That we think our thoughts and feelings originate from us instead of some other deeper realm is an illusion stemming from our slugness. This slug perception is important to God because without it we lose our free will and sense of subjective experience.

    Also, according to Swedenborg, our slugness is never totally removed from the “new creature.” It is only removed to a distance where it is less harmful. Even the angels of the highest heaven are in a constant effort to place negative tendencies further and further from their lives – thus making their “new creature” increasingly NEWER to eternity!

    I value my slugness. Where else am I going to find a wealth of material to work from. Besides, the more one (with the Lord’s help) succeeds in becoming a “new creature” the more subtle the slug becomes. The difference between the angels which occupy different levels of heaven is the degree to which they have done battle with their slugness and CONTINUE to do battle with it.

    I have no doctrinal problem with taking your position except that the notion of becoming a “new creature” can be misinterpreted to suggest there is a finality to spiritual evolution. I personally believe that I will be a work in progress throughout eternity (since I can never reach God’s Infinite perfection).

    You are starting to sound like a minister – who’s job it is to always stress the positive and to stir a congregation to “rejoice.” Are you? My job is much different!

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

    • PTM says:

      Dear GodGuy,
      Even if the slug has this capability of separating its intellect from its corrupted will, what would make a slug want to do such a thing? Wouldn’t it need some good will even for that, but it has none, right?

      I propose to you then, it is the new creature God created capable of separating its intellect from its corrupted will, and not the slug at all. In the slug both understanding and will are fallen and corrupted. Therefore I don’t think God is building upon the slug foundation at all, he is building on a new foundation, which is Christ, the new creation in us.

      That’s why I don’t value my slug or give it any credit for yielding me anything good and don’t even feel right identifying “myself” with it anymore, even though I know, like you do, the slug remains with me in some proportion throughout eternity. All good comes to me from the Lord alone.

      Focusing on the new creation affords me opportunity to give credit (not to mention glory) to whom the credit is due.

      I have never been a minister but maybe there is a minister somewhere in me. My job is to exhalt the Lord above the slug, it’s just part of my new ID. What’s your job GodGuy?

  28. thegodguy says:

    Dear PTM,

    I have never said that the Lord builds a good will from the slug. The slug serves as the opposition and “denying” force and therefore sets up the parameters of our spiritual growth. All success requires some challenge to determine the quality of the victory.

    The Lord God actually builds up a new will from pleasant experiences of childhood which are stored in the unconscious mind (and called “remains”). God’s “moving across the waters” when the “earth was a void” then “creating light” in Genesis refers to activating this new spiritual will so that it moves from the unconscious to the conscious mind within the person. As we examine our slugness and resist its influences (by following the Lord God’s tenets) the new will and new spiritual creature evolves in us. If you are unfamiliar with Swedenborg’s theology it would take a book to explain this process. But you’re in luck! My new book “Proving God” is now available on Amazon.com.

    We are both exalting the Lord above the slug. (You couldn’t possibly have missed my earlier statements that the Lord God’s help is to be sought after for our new creation.) My focus on the importance of slugness is because relatively few individuals make the effort to self-examine themselves and their inner motives. It is an unflattering procedure!

    I am confident that you are making sincere efforts at becoming a new creature. So we really shouldn’t have any arguments.

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

    • PTM says:

      Dear GodGuy,
      Yes, we are in agreement that the slug is the “denying” force :)

      I understand “remains” are substance of the seed that becomes the new creature. Which is yet another reason why for anyone already in Christ, exclusive identification as ‘slug’ does not make sense to me. I was a total slug too but only UNTIL Christ, because after I was “born again”, I received a NEW NAME. Would the Lord be pleased if I decline my new identity because my old name (slug) sounded more humble to the world? I don’t think so!

      If I continue to call and represent myself as slug, I will tend to talk like a slug and see from a slug’s perspective; that only means my eyes are not on Christ since I’m facing backwards in my walk. Yet we are supposed to be like the Lord’s Ambassadors, how is that? But Paul taught in 2Cor 5:16 ….from now on we regard no one according to the flesh….therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

      I agree we need to examine ourselves and resist evils GodGuy but we only can do so as new creatures, and if your new creature remains always suspect, how do you do this? It doesn’t make sense to me, but I appreciate your good intentions which I know is to emphasize the necessity of examining ourselves and resisting evils, even while exalting the Lord above the slug, it’s just not coming out like that I think. Thanks for clarifying for me.

      Your book sounds great GodGuy, but first I’ll need to decide whether to read a book written by a slug. (wink!)

  29. thegodguy says:

    Dear PTM,

    I consider us now to be eternal friends. Feel free to comment on any other blog post topic. I welcome your thinking!

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

    • PTM says:

      Dear GodGuy,
      I’m blessed to be considered your eternal friend! As the Lord sends you out to minister, go then in Jesus name! We know the world waits in eager expectation for sons of God (not slugs) to be revealed. There are saviors, even now, being released upon the earth, and every one of them is coming in His name alone. That’s how I know there will be no slugs in the New Church.

      Every spirit that confesses Jesus comes in the flesh is from God.

      I’m looking forward to reading your book :)

  30. thegodguy says:

    Dear PTM,

    Let me know what you think of the book. It will challenge your neurons! :-)

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

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