Spiritual Identity Theft

I am seeing more and more articles and news stories on the growing problem of identity theft. Few things seem more insidious than some stranger having access to your personhood. However, one form of identity theft that is even more insidious quickly comes to mind.

Spiritual identity theft!

Unlike, suffering the headaches of having your savings ravaged and getting a bad credit score, spiritual identity theft does not show up in your financial statements. And its effect follows you beyond the grave—creating eternal hardship.

According to the visionary insights of scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg, the thoughts and intentions of angels and other individuals living in the Spiritual World flow down into the minds and hearts of men and women living on earth. In other words, our worldviews, tastes, interests, and lifestyles are the outer manifestation of some influence and principle we’ve adopted, originating from another realm.

Swedenborg observed that individuals become greatly offended by this fact because it threatens a person’s own and cherished image of oneself. While angels seek to gently bend a person’s compulsions and negative leanings (so that one’s free will is not threatened), those in hell secretly conspire to trick you into thinking that all thoughts and feelings issuing from your brain are yours. If you do not challenge these impulses from spiritual principles (God’s tenets) and instead succumb to them, you indeed take possession and responsibility for the resulting manifestations and behavior.

Swedenborg observed how this spiritual identity theft works. Hellish individuals can easily implant an evil thought within a person’s weakness for—and proclivity towards—egoism and self-love. Those in hell seek out these proclivities in the human heart and are specialists at keeping these compulsions from reaching the rational powers of discernment in the human intellect. Instead, they cleverly keep the human mind fully occupied, that is, only in the awareness of the pleasure that the compulsion promises.

The problem with spiritual identity theft is that most people in the world know little about the reality of—and relationships we form—with spirits in the afterlife. Both worldly and spiritual forms of identity theft require vigilance. One requires vigilance of personal information and financial transactions. The other requires vigilance over one’s character.

On a positive note, Swedenborg claimed that the Lord God was making information about the spiritual world available to terrestrial men and women.


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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4 Responses to Spiritual Identity Theft

  1. Roger says:

    Dear Edward,

    So are there five classes of mental activity: self-originated, induced by angels/good spirits, influenced by by angels/good spirits, induced by devils/bad spirits, influenced by by devils/bad spirits. Correct?

    Or is there nothing in our minds/spirits that is self-originated? Some Swedenborgians seem to think so, and I disagree. The universe is far too complex for a simple model such as: “Either an angel or a devil caused this thought/action.”


  2. thegodguy says:

    Hello Roger!

    I agree with you concerning the matter of complexity (non-reductionism). We humans are finite beings with finite thoughts. Finite things cannot exist or originate except from things less finite (more complex, universal and expanded) until we find their ultimate (a priori) source in an Infinite God. (If God turned His attention from us we would become mere “froth” in an instant.)

    Every angel or devil gets their thoughts from the spiritual society that they belong to and these societies have communication with others – each receiving God’s influx according to their loves and usefulness. If our thoughts and actions were caused by a single spiritual being regeneration would be much easier. Instead, when we enter into combat with “devils” we have to take on ALL of the hells. That is why we need the Lord’s help (because He conquered and subjugated the hells when He was in the world!

    Spiritually yours,

  3. Sue says:

    Thoughts don’t originate in our brain, then, but they are captured by our brain and used? I think the Eastern religions must also say something like this, because they always want people to watch their thoughts. ‘Observe your thoughts’. As if we will find out something interesting about our thoughts if we observe them. Maybe that is the interesting thing: our thoughts come from outside of ourselves.

  4. thegodguy says:

    Dear Sue,

    As you have no doubt read from Swedenborg, as to our spirit and soul, we are already dwelling in some spiritual society in the other world. Also, thought is spiritual speech.

    Have you ever been shocked by a thought and asked yourself “where the heck did that come from?” Thoughts and affections do come from outside us.

    Spiritually yours,

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