Can the mind “taste” an idea?

Once when I was overhearing some teenagers interacting, I was alerted to a particular use of language. One teenager was showing off something to the others when I heard one of the group say “sweet.”

The word “sweet” was obviously used to communicate “delight” – even for an inedible object. We all instinctively grasp the notion that an object, situation or idea can reach the taste buds of the mind. Jackie Gleason made the phrase “How sweet it is” famous – and he wasn’t talking about sugar. Some ideas can also be called unappetizing and bitter.

This made me wonder why it was so easy for people to use metaphor or analogy for making certain physical qualities represent mental qualities, yet not suspect that this same dynamic can be applied with precision to all the objects and processes found in the natural world (including bio-complexity).

According to scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg, everything in nature can express some real quality of the human heart and mind. He called this “sameness” between things of different (distinct) levels of reality the science of correspondences. (Contemporary science cannot explain how such coincidences can possibly exist between these quite distinct worlds.)

But there is much more.

Swedenborg would later discover that this same dynamic of correspondences was used within the sacred narratives of Holy Scripture! Therefore, the biblical phrase “land flowing with milk and honey” symbolized a place in the human heart and mind where God’s teachings would provide special nourishment and delight. When you think about it, the human spirit would not find proper nourishment and delight in any other way than from God’s guiding teachings.

Swedenborg’s vast interpretations of Holy Scripture were designed to make the most spiritual nourishment possible, readily obtainable, for our mental rumination and digestion.

In the same way food from nature is broken down into its essential elements and metabolized by the physical body, Holy Scripture was written from God’s divine foresight to be metabolized further by the human spirit. Many of the world’s problems have resulted from the inability of the human race to digest the Lord God’s words beyond their literal or natural meaning. This is like having a meal remain undigested in the stomach—which causes more harm than good.

It is God’s wish that we can satisfy the heavenly appetite of our souls. The plan to do so is currently being implemented!

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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1 Response to Can the mind “taste” an idea?

  1. Roger says:

    Dear Edward,
    Well said – this is also evident in the Christian ritual of the Eucharist. The bread and wine symbolize the body and blood of the Lord, who is also the primal Word or self-expression. Also Psalm 34:8: “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! “. Also Deuteronomy 8:3: “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.” When we feed the poor in our midst, we are literally pouring out Divine love in our environment just a a mother’s breasts feed the infant not only with milk but with elemental, primal Love. John 4:8: “God is Love”. Roger

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