Warning: This blog post represents an advanced distillation of Swedenborg’s theology by which one can find rational evidence that God’s providential activity in the universe and a final scientific theory of causal process are actually identical.
Scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg disclosed that God’s Holy Word contains three distinct levels of meaning—a literal (natural) level, a higher spiritual level (which addresses human salvation), and a highest or celestial level (which addresses the Lord’s Glorification when in the world).
Those of the Swedenborgian Church are well acquainted with these discrete levels of communication by which the Lord reveals deeper truths concerning Himself, as well as, the orderly process by which He leads the human race towards obtaining the heavenly kingdom and eternal happiness. These deeper levels are addressed in Swedenborg’s amazing 12-volume work entitled the Arcana Coelestia (Heavenly Secrets).
Within Swedenborg’s multi-leveled exegesis (exposition) of the Holy Word one can actually tease out a theistic model of science that embraces both top-down causality and a theory of universal process with real explanatory and predictive powers.
Physicists know that all things in nature can be submitted to spectral analysis. What they have yet to discover is that all holistic, coherent and organized process follow the same series of patterns based on octaves. These universal patterning principles have emerged out of the living Word of God, which contains these same rules of order within the layered architecture of its narratives.
Here is an example of a holy octave (Divine order) represented in Genesis, chapter 39: 1- 23 (and hinted at by Swedenborg).
(First Stage) Potiphar takes Joseph down to Egypt. He observes that God is with Joseph and that everything he does prospers.
(Second Stage) Potiphar, Pharaoh’s chamberlain, seeing that Joseph is blessed, gives him rule over his house.
(Third Stage) Potiphar’s wife tempts Joseph. He resists.
(Fourth Stage) Potiphar’s wife keeps up the pressure. Joseph continues to resist the intensified temptation.
(Fifth Stage) Potiphar’s wife grabs Josephs outer garment when they are alone. Joseph flees, leaving the empty garment in her hand.
(Sixth Stage) Potiphar’s wife makes up a lie to the other members of the household and cries out that Joseph had made advances towards her and that she had his garment as proof.
(Seventh Stage) Potiphar’s wife saves the garment for her husband’s return.
(Eighth Stage – Full Octave) Potiphar returns. His wife shows him the garment and kindles his anger. Potiphar then takes Joseph to another place—prison, yet he still prospers. Evidence that this scenario represents a repeating octave is the return of Potiphar to the story and again taking Joseph somewhere and he continues to prosper. The first stage therefore returns full-circle to a corresponding but new situation—just like one octave leads to another and a new orderly process begins (thus it is both explanatory and predictive—the two major elements in the formulation of a plausible scientific theory).
This biblical story represents a comprehensive whole whereby all the different stages and trajectories (successive order) produce unity through common equilibrium (simultaneous order). This circular pattern becomes even clearer to human comprehension when the higher spiritual and celestial levels of meaning are addressed and applied to the biblical narrative. Instead of describing physical events, the biblical narrative now “jumps” to a higher octave describing changes of mental states. It was through these higher meanings that Swedenborg was able to grasp and recognize the orderly series, by which all the biblical narratives unfolded themselves into holistic systems.
Each stage of the biblical story shown above represents a lawful transition by which a trajectory finds its gravitational equilibrium. This necessitates that all the stages of a story (on all three levels) advance with mathematical precision in order to bring the full series into a common equilibrium (comprehensive whole) and set up a corresponding beginning for a new series to unfold. In other words, God’s Holy Word contains the secret to the big mystery of gravitational order—how the universe generates coherent structure instantaneously (self-organization) through the dynamics of gravitating systems.
Gravitational order gets its marching orders from Divine order.
I offer this information to show how far human academia, even today, falls short of the knowledge of angels. Thankfully, the Lord God is now providing the means by which humankind can gain access to this sacred and potent knowledge.