Will God do anything to hurt you?

Yes. God will “do” things that cause us misery.

First of all if we each lived in a perfect world, where all our personal desires were met, there would be no need for seeking a nobler spiritual life. There would be no motivation to change anything. Therefore, the Lord God allows things to go wrong in our lives and allows our plans to be frustrated.

According to scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg, God also allows us to live in a state of illusion. Swedenborg’s visionary insights revealed that God alone is LIFE and that we humans are organic forms created to receive that life. But if we could perceive that our thoughts and feelings flow into us rather than emerge out from us we would rebel against everything and feel that we were being deprived of our subjective lives and free will.

As we become more spiritual, we become accustomed to this idea that true wisdom and life comes from God and not from ourselves. In fact, becoming more spiritual requires having one’s balloons popped, and a “raining on our parade.”

And even after we make a conscious effort to become more spiritual, this decision only increases the bad news. Mercifully, the Lord God only permits this challenging process to take place in those prepared for sincere reflection and introspection.

The problem is, we are each born with a focus on worldly things and our egoistic nature. This orientation must be challenged in order for anyone to evolve into a spiritual being and acquire angelic innocence. Heavenly love is pure innocence. (This is why we can’t wake up one day and just decide to be a good person without taking a personal inventory.)

Swedenborg claimed that when the Lord is focusing on a particular individual’s salvation that person becomes more aware of his or her own negative traits and hurtful motives and must resist them. During these “inner trials,” such a person feels that God has turned away (just as Jesus felt on the Cross when He thought, from His corporeal human nature, that Jehovah God had forsaken Him). But it is precisely God’s closeness at these times that agitates and “puts on the heat” to our secret ignoble leanings—in order to bring them to the surface where they can be seen and dealt with.

True spiritual growth requires a purging process. Everything else is nonsense and fluff.

Religions will not unite simply over love—because they will argue over the correctness of their belief systems. Therefore, the unifying factor or universal theology will only emerge through the acknowledgment that everyone’s belief systems must all take part in promoting this purging process—which involves similar sacred steps. (For instance, all references to “warfare” in religious texts represent a symbolic language for the “inner war” of resisting our compulsions—our true spiritual enemy.) These sacred steps will also uncover the man-made (artificial) nonsense that has been interjected into everyone’s legitimate religious traditions over time.

Spiritual Love is the outcome and goal of this purging process.


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 Will God do anything to hurt you?

  1. Roger says:

    Dear Edward,

    You mention, “legitimate religious traditions”. All religious traditions definitely have legitimacy, but some are more legitimate than others. For instance, while I have derived benefit from studying Judaism and Buddhism, I can unequivocally state that Christianity is more legitimate than these traditions. And not all Christian traditions are equal. The New Church is the crown of Christian churches.

    The only religions paths that have no legitimacy are those that promote violence e.g. the militant strains of Jihadi Islam. By the same token, Inquisitorial Catholicism did not have legitimacy while people were tortured under the Church’s tutelage. That is why the term “Great Whore of Babylon” in Swedenborg applied to the Inquisitorial church. Catholicism before and after the Inquisition is a legitimate religious tradition, as are the peaceful variants of Islam – certainly the Sufi tradition. Dr. Mehmet Oz is a follower of the Sufi tradition and is a Swedenborgian.


  2. thegodguy says:

    Dear Roger,

    The purpose of legitimate Religion is to create a heaven from the human race. We must each decide which doctrines will most likely help us succeed in becoming angels – not just later but right now.

    Heaven is not someplace you go to. It is something you become. So, what are we becoming?

    Spiritually yours,

  3. keith says:

    Just a note that I am going through some of this right now, for last 3 months actually. Extreme pain, I guess what is called vastation, having a Loss that I don’t need to go into here, that appears [to me of course] to be unneccessary suffering, is now revealing other things. Fortunately the pain is now lessening and I am getting some spiritual internal relief. One thing (besides having gods & a someone that I adore who take up my attention and therefore ‘love’ above God) that is being revealed is that I don’t really believe God is on my side so to speak, He is not trustworthy, He’d rather purge me than nurture me, all sorts of things that bring up Rebellion and Pity. I’m seeing that I have perceptions in me that Lord is my adversary, is hostile & uncaring, a taskmaster and not Loving.

    Point being, it was a comfort to read that Lord cannot even do this level of cultivation — I have felt plowed up! — without a person’s spirit, in a general way, wishing to Cooperate and go deeper into Lord. You said:
    “Mercifully, the Lord God only permits this challenging process to take place in those prepared for sincere reflection and introspection.”

    I’m thinking this may explain why some in my circle — not only me — are more in pain than others more often; it may not be from making bad decisions although sometimes it is. It can be that the very willingness to be a disciple, to die to self in a general way, results in Particulars happening which cause Loss, Fear, Rebellion and so many other negative energies. These purgings, or vastation I suppose, cannot even happen to the person who is controlling his/her life as much as ‘humanly’ possible.

    No, they look at the spiritual person and say ‘that person has a lot of problems’. But what they don’t see is when we break through to the other side, receive the Grace, Accept, cease combat, surrender, yield, cooperate, become more loving, stop trying to control people-places-and-things, become more helpful to others while still in our own pain, these sorts of internal benefits.

    I guess I’m writing as if I were journaling here, letting this be a catharsis board. I hope it is helpful to another reader who feels a lot of dross being melted away to leave behind just a little gold.


  4. thegodguy says:

    Dear Keith,

    You seem to be realistically engaged in the process of spiritual regeneration. Swedenborg admits that if we were to know what the Lord God had planned for us we would violently rebel. Step back and observe your life as an objective onlooker – then the bad things that happen to you will loose their power. Pray to God for the courage to reveal to you your most hidden inclinations. That is your way out!

    Swedenborg himself was taken behind the “wood shed” before his eyes were opened to the spiritual world!

    Spiritually yours,

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