The Naturalist And The Angel

Once upon a time there was a naturalist named Nicole. She not only studied the ecosystem and the wonderful relationships of the various animal species, she made spectacular documentary films about nature as well. On this particular day she was scouting an area to determine whether it would be a good spot for her film crew.

She was standing at the top of a canyon and observing the river below through her binoculars. This, she thought, would be an excellent place to observe the fauna of the area.

Suddenly Nicole heard a voice calling her name just behind her.  She turned around expecting to see someone from the video production company, but to her surprise it was a humanlike creature glowing from an interior light. “Who are you?” asked the startled biologist.

“I am an angel,” replied the glowing stranger. “It has pleased the Lord God to send me to you so that I can help you augment your powers of observation.”

“I can see everything quite well enough with these high-powered binoculars, thank you,” replied the cautious and suspicious scientist. She noticed that the sun had not yet risen high enough to possibly cause her brain to overheat and become delusional. Such an illusory image could not be expected to expound new knowledge.  So, collecting herself, she decided to see whether this apparent apparition could teach her something about the biosphere that she didn’t know, then dismiss it.

“Okay,” she said. “Teach me something about nature that might make my documentary more spectacular and unique.”

“Look up there,” said the angel as he pointed his arm to a particular spot in the sky.

Nicole raised her binoculars and scanned the sky until she spotted something large flying above them. As she focused her binoculars she could see that it was a Bald Eagle. Just then, the eagle made a dive for the river below where it had formed a lake. He swooped up a fish.

Nicole then turned to the glowing figure behind her and said, “I’ve seen this scenario played out dozens of times. Give me something different—some new discovery.

“I have. You have just seen the process of human mental growth played out by the world of nature. These secret processes cannot be observed with binoculars but with a special spiritual awareness, which is infinitely more sharp-sighted. Let me share with you my observations of the same event,” said the angel with a warm smile.

“When we angels are exposed to natural, and worldly phenomena, our minds immediately distill this information into its psycho-spiritual equivalent. In other words, we extract a higher, spiritual meaning from all that takes place in the physical theater of nature,” explained the heavenly tutor.

The angel paused, then turned his gaze inwards as he continued his discourse. “For example, the river below symbolizes information streaming into our minds. The lake it flows into and creates reminds us of our mental function of memory, which is where this stream of knowledge collects and gathers. Fish symbolize the various feelings that find their life among the various ideas and data of our memory in its more active form, called the imagination. But wisdom is more than mere memory data or imagination. It is the digestion, reconstitution and arranging of these ideas into a higher order structure with greater intelligence. Wisdom represents greater foresight and a wider view of a situation—just as a flying eagle has, relative to a fish in the water. When you observed that eagle catching a fish you observed a perfect analog of how wisdom sustains itself from valuable information in the memory. This information is transformed into a “higher” organizational structure in the same way an eagle eats and digests a fish.”

“Are you saying that physical nature and everything in puts the human mind and all its complexity on display?” asked the wide-eyed biologist.

The angel stepped closer and starred deeply into Nicole’s eyes and said, “Yes!”

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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