Enlightenment comes from Goodness!

The title for this blog site is “Love is the Ultimate Science.” This may seem anti-intuitive to a culture that believes enlightenment is an intellectual pursuit whereby an individual seeks out and fills his or her memory banks with increasing bits of knowledge and data.

But let us explore this pursuit more deeply.

The search for knowledge starts as basic human curiosity in childhood. But this inborn curiosity is driven by one’s affection (love) to know things. According to scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg, it is affection that draws information from the external world and into the mind.

Humans do this better than any other species on earth. In fact, this is the evolutionary niche that the human species has carved out for itself. Whereas other animal species graze or hunt for food, humans graze and hunt for knowledge. Humans even metabolize information.

This metabolism of information becomes operative when the love of knowing is dialed up into a love of understanding what we know. Information just doesn’t sit in our memory like undigested food in our stomachs—it can be broken down and reconstituted into more abstract and creative ideas.

If we seek further enlightenment, this will be activated by a love of reasoning about what we understand. This cognitive process is no longer satisfied with mere information or even imaginative creativity, but with the discernment of truth.

The discernment of truth and reasoning can then be upgraded to the cognitive function of wisdom when we use truth to reveal the essence of goodness. Wisdom is the love of doing what is good.

The cognitive functions of memory information (knowing), understanding what we know, reasoning about what we understand, and wisdom or the cognition of goodness from the things we hold as truth, are all activated by a distinct quality of love. Love focuses our attention and organizes the information in our minds into real coherent structure. This mental structure is our worldview and belief system (including our faith).

That is why the Lord God’s two greatest commandments deal with the issue of love and goodness. True religion takes account of the lawful steps, science and process of the human mind acquiring true enlightenment—a process that seeks goodness and empathy as its ultimate goal.



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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13 Responses to Enlightenment comes from Goodness!

  1. contoveros says:

    When you use the term, “true religion,” I hope you’re leaving room for those of us who may see themselves as spiritual, but not religious.

    I could dig it that way!

    michael j
    Conshohocken, PA USA

  2. thegodguy says:

    Dear Michael,

    Thanks for the response!

    The term “true religion” is synonymous with “true spirituality” (not with “organized” or “traditional religion”). God is concerned with the quality of our hearts – not on where we spend our Sunday mornings!

    So you can dig it!!!

    Spiritually yours,

  3. sks says:

    Right on! That’s a fabulous explanation, GodGuy. I loved this post, but the brief exchange here in the comments above is the essence of everything. By the way, Proving God is finally available on Amazon today!

  4. thegodguy says:

    Dear sks,

    Thanks for your words of support. And thanks for the heads-up concerning my books being officially available on Amazon!

    Spiritually yours,

  5. contoveros says:

    I just put in a request for our local Conshohocken, PA library to order the book. Next, I’ll stop in Philadelphia to request a library to order it there also.


    Now all I have to do is investigate this Swedenborg fellow.

    michael j

  6. thegodguy says:

    Dear Michael,

    Thank you for ordering the book! I have studied Swedenborg’s theology (and science) for over 35 years. His insights seem inexhaustible!

    FYI – You live close to a major Swedenborgian center – the town of Bryn Athyn.

    Spiritually yours,

  7. Roger says:

    I just ordered my personal copy too. It was discounted at Amazon.com. There were only two copies left – with more to come. I am glad I grabbed one.


  8. thegodguy says:

    Dear Roger,

    Thanks for the order! The book will challenge and stretch your mind!

    Spiritually yours,

  9. Mitch E. says:

    Dear Godguy,

    This is a question I’ve been pondering to no avail lately. I feel as if the answer is either so obvious its unrecognizable or it is unanswerable. In heaven, is happiness a feeling or is it an acknowledgement of truth and creation and being? On earth people describe “feeling” happy, do you think true happiness is more a state of mind or a feeling? Maybe this question is hard to follow so I appreciate the effort. Thanks ahead of time for your reply.


  10. thegodguy says:

    Dear Mitch,

    The only true happiness is eternal happiness. It comes from our relationship with God and others. It comes from participating in a scheme that is always greater than ourselves. Happiness is a way of life. Happiness is a choice. Obtaining happiness is even our cosmic duty.

    Happiness is a derivative of spiritual love. We have to promote and experience happiness in others in order to feel happiness in ourselves. To achieve true happiness we often have to sacrifice our individually flawed notions of self-importance.

    Ask yourself what makes you happy and measure that against the most noble ideas you currently entertain in your mind.

    The answers provided above may provide the answer to your question or not. The problem is that the answer to happiness is not in some verbal formulation because it is experiential and dependent upon individual efforts.

    We could certainly both probe this topic further. We will both find happiness in sharing ideas.

    Spiritually yours,

  11. thegodguy says:

    Dear Mitch,

    Not knowing your background makes it difficult to address your question. However, since you have given the topic of “happiness” much thought perhaps I can offer some further, “multi-leveled” info.

    Happiness of the body is pleasure.

    Happiness of the intellect is joy and delight.

    Happiness of the heart is goodness.

    Happiness of the soul is heaven.

    Spiritually yours,

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