I predict the return of Victory Gardens

The future will most likely bring us a scarcity of food. Large food companies will not be able to meet the increasing population demands, increasing fuel costs, or even deliver food that offers proper nutritional value. In order to maintain their excessive profitability—through increasing the economies of scale—the modern food industry must make food more “artificial” and unnatural. Such strategies include vulnerable long-range delivery systems, additives, fillers, growth hormones, insecticides, antibiotics and the destruction of our precious soil.

We need to reverse some of these “dead end” trends.

Not only is there a need to bring back the small family farmer but also the backyard and community gardener. Towns and small communities must take steps to ensure that its concerned citizens can design sustainable food and water systems into their local community economies.

If our lawmakers can’t resist the large financial donations of mega-food corporations, Mother Nature will simply force the issue.  Already she is sending too little rain in some places and too much in others. Living in a rural community, myself, that has received plenty of rain, I can personally vouch that there will be smaller harvests this year.

(The only good thing that the housing bubble burst brought is that fewer homes are being built on America’s valuable and fertile agricultural soil. It seems that “quick cash” always trumps wise land usage.)

The problem has a spiritual origin (and cannot be solved with carbon credits). All these worldly ills are reflections of human character and the degenerating trajectory of the quality of the human soul. The erosion of our soil and destruction of the earth’s natural riches reflects the diminishing quality of the human soul or spiritual ecosystem. Yes, our inclinations, beliefs and decisions shape our “inner” landscapes—the features of which reveal who we really are.

Healthy thoughts and feelings are disappearing in the human psyche just as plant and animal species are becoming extinct over the terrestrial globe. A new spirituality and worldview is needed.

This new spirituality will be eco-friendly in two worlds—to life on earth and to angelic life in heaven. We are not only responsible for the planet earth but also the quality of our inner reality (our hearts and minds). In both realms we will reap what we sow!

My first book Sermon From The Compost Pile addressed all these issues and is receiving renewed interest. So my book distributor is making this original publication available again to the public.

If you are interested check out: http://www.innergardening.net

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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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13 Responses to I predict the return of Victory Gardens

  1. Roger says:

    I’ve always wondered – if things are getting worse externally and internally, then what meaning does the Second Coming of 6-19-1770 have? Aren’t things supposed to take an upward trajectory rather than a downward one? Jews and Christians have always believed that the post-apocalyptic era (Book of Daniel for Jews and Christians and the Book of Revelation for Christians) would be one of peace, beauty and justice. Maybe things are getting better, or the seeds of betterment are sprouting and growing in new modes of consciousness and relationship with God, others and the environment. If so, then your pessimistic note should be balanced by a message of hope that mankind will survive this ecological cusp and move into a time of peace and justice, just as the other truly advanced civilizations in the physical universe might have done.

    Roger

  2. thegodguy says:

    Dear Roger,

    My post is no more pessimistic than telling people that unflattering self-discoveries await them before the heavenly kingdom can be obtained. “Hope” is no replacement for action. The only person we have the power to change is ourselves. But if you insist on an optimistic message, remember that everything is under the management of the Lord’s Divine Providence. Life and redemption is a real challenge for the entire human race! Swedenborgians are not immune to the influences of hell – in fact, they are put into an intensified position to resist hell’s influences!

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  3. Roger says:

    Dear Edward,

    Here’s an optimistic line: “Some people, because of their lifestyle, are endangering , their own character and therefore their salvation. But they are NOT endangering the planet or the march of this planet’s humanity toward a near-Utopia on this planet in this dimension.”

    Please tell me if this is what you mean by, “everything is under the management of the Lord’s Divine Providence.”

    Roger

  4. thegodguy says:

    Dear Roger,

    No individual or groups of individuals can put a stop to the “march” or spiritual trajectory established within the narratives of God’s Holy Word. While the phrase “Thy will be done” is an optimistic promise, and, Revelation ends on a positive note, each person must sincerely find their place within the conflicts and battles depicted by Sacred Scripture. We each must earn the right to be optimistic.

    Your words “Some people” makes me uneasy.

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  5. Glenn says:

    GG,

    “Hope” is no replacement for action.

    And the belittlement of hope is not an acceptable form of action (especially in your case (since you hypocritically hope for something good to come of this action)).

    In one discussion of prayer, your S-guru (rather than your G-guru) says that, Regarded in itself prayer is talking to God and at the same time some inner view of the things that are being prayed for… If [a person’s] prayer springs from love and faith, and if they are wholly celestial and spiritual things about which and for which he prays, something like a revelation is present within his prayer which manifests itself in the affection of the one praying in the form of hope, comfort, or some inward joy. AC 2535

    Your rejection of hope, then, is a rejection of what possibly may be a manifestation of something like revelation. And if you’re going to reject possible manifestations of things like revelation, you may as well quit beating around the bush, cease being the kind of wishy-washy wimp you so detest, get straight to the point, and reject revelation itself (which is something your G-guru would highly approve of).

    In addressing Isaiah 51:5, your S-guru states that, The phrase ‘in Me they will hope and await My arm’ is used because they are people who are living uprightly (AC 1158.4).

    It is thus clear that your S-guru, in acknowledging that there are people who live uprightly, agrees with Roger’s optimistic implication, namely, that “Not all people, because of their lifestyle, are endangering their own character and therefore their salvation.”

    But your S-guru also seems to agree with you

    …for he states in DP 321.3 that, Something further is to be said about those who await influx. They receive none[.] (In the interest of neither detracting from nor sullying your S-guru’s apparent agreement with you, his qualification immediately following, except for a few who desire it with the whole heart, will not be mentioned (ahem).)

    …and he further states in TCR 331.3 that, A man ought to purify himself from evils and not expect the Lord to do this for him. Otherwise he would be like a servant with face and clothes covered with soot and filth, who should go to his master and say, “My lord, wash me.” Would not his master say to him, “You foolish servant, what do you mean? See, there are water, soap, and a towel; have you not hands of your own and power to use them? Wash yourself.” And the Lord God will surely say, “You have from me the means of purification, and also the will and the power. Therefore use these my gifts and endowments as your own, and you will be purified;” and so on. That the external man must be cleansed, but by means of the internal, is taught by the Lord throughout the twenty-third chapter of Matthew.

    I would, however, caution you against feeling hopeful over the fact that your S-guru seems to agree with you. It could be that he’s just setting you up, in a mischievous way, for the experience of that abhorrent, loathsome and odious experience you deem to be so worthy of your constant, continual and unmitigated repugnance.

    For if you use the gifts and endowments as your own, and willingly suffer yourself to undergo the trials and tribulations of temptations, you could not but help to experience that vacation from your comfort zone known more formally known as vastation. And this would place you in close contact with those regarding whom your S-guru has the following to say,

    There are some who are vastated freely and willingly and so get rid of the false assumptions they have brought with them from the world… Throughout their stay on the lower earth the Lord maintains them in the hope of being set free and in the thought of the end in view, namely that in this way they may be corrected and be prepared to receive heavenly happiness. AC 1107

    Again with the hope!

    Carla said, “Tell it,” and you responded, “I need only show the lumps on my head and the beating my soul is going through!” One can only imagine that your non-hypocritical consistency has you bereft of hope that the beating will ever stop, or that some ultimate good may ensue therefrom. Meaning that contra what was said just above, you possibly have no close contact with those spoken of in AC 1107–further meaning that the Lord from heaven possibly does not maintain you in hope.

    May the beating from above continue to induce that sense of hopelessness which makes for a happy slug,
    Glenn

    o The human mind is like soil, in which spiritual and natural truths are implanted like seeds and may be endlessly multiplied. TCR 350 (Ager)

    o The human mind is like soil which is such as it is made by cultivation. HH 356 (Ager)

    o The human mind is like soil whose quality depends on the way it is tilled. HH 356 (Dole)

  6. thegodguy says:

    Welcome back Glenn!

    Surely you don’t prefer “hope” and inaction. What the heck. My experience is that people don’t use “hope” for the right things – like for revelation and INTENSIFIED regeneration. Rather, people hope that their loved ones get cured of their ills, that they grow the biggest tomatoes on the block and for God to remove all suffering (without our action). The “lumps on my head” come from my hoping and praying that the Lord takes me behind the woodshed. That I am not afraid to look at my character flaws means that regeneration and vastation is alive and well in my daily life. BTW, since we last spoke my book “Proving God” has won three awards and I was invited to speak at Bryn Athyn!

    P.S. See today’s blog post “Dudley discovers a three-tiered church.”

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  7. Glenn says:

    GG,

    Thank you for the welcome back. Won’t be staying long, though, just passing by.

    Your keen desire that the Lord should take you behind the woodshed reminds me of an old joke: “What did the sadist do to the masochist? Nothing”.

    But the Lord is not a sadist, so there must be another explanation for the lack of fulfillment of your fervent desire.

    o The words ‘truth that has been acquired by the self’ describe that which a person believes to be the truth–even though it is not the truth–because he has drawn it from preconceptions adopted by the self… If this truth is disposed of after full contemplation of it, there is no punishment of death, that is, no damnation, because it is not a spiritual Divine truth. But if it is disposed of before full contemplation, there is damnation, for it is a casting aside of the truth of faith itself. What has become part of anyone’s faith, even though not the truth, must not be cast aside without full contemplation of it. If it is cast aside before this the tender beginnings of spiritual life in the person are rooted out. For this reason also the Lord never breaks this kind of truth with a person, but so far as is possible He bends it. AC 9039

    Two points are worth repeating: 1) a falsity can be a truth of faith; and, 2) it’s premature yanking (i.e., removal) can do spiritual harm to it’s holder.

    So, perhaps it is good that no one as yet has been able to disentangle the commingling in your mind of the distinctions between hope, the misuse of hope, and the experience of hope that is not also a misuse of hope.

    (Speaking of ‘yanking’, as a payer is one who pays and a payee is one who is paid, so a yanker is one who yanks and a yankee is one who is yanked. Your fear of people with rifles thus seems to be justified (for if your Southern readers should cotton to your view of them as yankees, some of them may decide to, well, rebel).)

    BTW, since we last spoke my book “Proving God” has won three awards and I was invited to speak at Bryn Athyn!

    Wonderful! I hope your book is as proud of its accomplishment as you are!

    Glenn

    P.S. See today’s blog post “Dudley discovers a three-tiered church.”

    I wonder if Dudley notices the sign posted next to the door:

    o When anyone is offered a glimpse of the contents of his proprium he is horrified at himself and wishes to run as though from the devil. AC 154

    When I first encountered this, it provided me with comfort, hope and encouragement. Yes, comfort, hope and encouragement. I had been close to giving up, believing the fright and revulsion to be a clear-cut warning, “Don’t go there.” Sort of like the body instinctively rejecting food-stuff that is harmful or revolting. But that little quote served as an explanation. “Aha. So that’s why.” I saw then that it is natural, normal, to be expected, and par for the course. So I continued. But judiciously. And with an enhanced kinesthetic awareness (so to speak). One may be an excellent hunter, and able to bag a ferocious tiger. But only fools and the naive would attempt to do so without due caution or adequate preparation.

    Btw, I notice your writing has improved in my absence. Since speech is the articulation of thought, and thoughts are the forms affections take… Well, anyway, though correlation is not cause, no reason to mess with something good.

    Ciao

  8. thegodguy says:

    Dear Glenn,

    Certainly one would not go after a tiger without proper preparation. Similarly, one would not seek out his or her character flaws with the proper preparation. My point is that churches are stepping back from this responsibility and concentrating on “goodness” – as though one can simply attach this quality to oneself without a drop sweat.

    However, even to belong to a true spiritual church still requires that even the “doing of good” is continuously purified (AC 6427). The way in which even goodness is purified is through combats and spiritual temptations – which cannot be effected without pain (this is not sadism). In other words, before an individual can pass on to a new and more exalted state he or she must suffer spiritual grief which is psycho-spiritual devastation and desolation. My use of the word “woodshed” was a metaphor for this process (which I would hope a true-blooded Swedenborgian could pickup on).

    Some people can bear these unflattering self-discoveries more than others and they become suspicious of those rushing towards ministries-of-comfort. “Dudley” represents someone willing to suffer the truth more than what is experienced by the status quo – one who is willing to “go there.” Comfort always comes after a spiritual challenge, not before it. The higher meaning of the Seven Day Creation Story in Genesis only speaks of “rest” as a very great accomplishment (one which Swedenborg claims barely anyone on earth reaches).

    “Hope is no replacement for action” because it tends to remove one from responsibility. Therefore we must not only hope for salvation but hope and pray for the strength to enter into the challenges of God’s eternal plan!

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  9. Glenn says:

    “Hope is no replacement for action” because it tends to remove one from responsibility.

    If you want something, you have to work for it. No kiddin’. The hassles, irritations and annoyances, and whatever pain and suffering may be involved, are simply part of the price to be paid for getting what you want. This is so basic and axiomatic, so woven into the fabric of our society (at least the one I grew up in), I guess I just don’t get what it is you’re driving at by turning things inside-out and focusing on the hassles, irritations, annoyances, pains and sufferings.

    o It is reason’s very enjoyment to envision with love the effect in thought, not after it is attained but before it is, not in the present but as future. So man has what is called hope, which rises and declines in the reason as he beholds or awaits the event. DP 178

    I don’t know anyone who would, so to speak, sit home hoping a company would call and say, “You’re hired!” I do know people who hope to receive a call saying, “You’re hired!” But they do so only after doing what they can to make it possible that such a call might be received. The people who do what it takes to get what they are want, whether it be something natural or something spiritual, are too busy doing what it takes to be going on about all the hassles, irritations, annoyances, and pains and sufferings involved. Sometimes they’ll blow off steam if it piles on too much, but that’s to be expected. They’re simply letting off steam so they can get back to doing what it takes.

  10. thegodguy says:

    Dear Glenn,

    Huh?

    Why do you think God’s Holy Word is so full of conflicts and battles? These are conflicts that we must each pass through on the way to spiritual regeneration. I think you are assuming too much – in spite of the fact that the human race is born into evils of every kind.

    A person just doesn’t start being “good” to initiate change.

    I would not waste my time stating the obvious. People are anesthetized and fail to see most of their inner contradictions. Reading Swedenborg or going to church does not remedy the situation.

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  11. thegodguy says:

    Dear Glenn,

    Huh?

    Why do you think God’s Holy Word is so full of conflicts and battles? These are conflicts that we must each pass through on the way to spiritual regeneration. I think you are assuming too much – in spite of the fact that the human race is born into evils of every kind.

    A person just doesn’t start being “good” to initiate change.

    I would not waste my time stating the obvious. People are anesthetized and fail to see most of their inner contradictions. Reading Swedenborg or going to church does not remedy the situation.

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  12. Glenn says:

    Why do you think your S-guru stated–incorrectly in your opinion, no doubt–that a person ought to compel himself to do what is good and speak what is true, and that a person is thus gifted by the Lord with a heavenly Own?

    There is much to choose from to emphasize, granted, and there certainly isn’t anything wrong with emphasizing the repentance and reformation which precedes regeneration. Not in the least; it is a good thing to emphasize.

    But, quite honestly, your method of emphasis comes across in such a way that one cannot help but to wonder why you don’t want people to endeavor to do good, and why you are against institutions encouraging people to engage in uses beneficial to society, communities and the neighbor.

    It also sounds like you’re the one who is in a trance, and have been hypnotized into tearing down some important aspects in order to elevate another important aspect.

  13. thegodguy says:

    Dear Glenn,

    Well, it looks like we have come full circle – from debating about the distinct functions of the human intellect (remember the “Rope and the Ladder”?) to hypnosis and trance. Both subjects are highly related because distinct mental functions can be disconnected resulting in different species of trance. Swedenborgians have problems with this “humbling” topic because they have not yet connected their theological doctrines with the appropriate psycho-organic consequences. If you re-read Chapter 13 in my award-winning book “Proving God” you will have the background information necessary for us to have a serious conversation on all these important matters. Anyway, thanks for dropping by. Good luck and God bless!

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

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