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.