Knowledge, Understanding and Wisdom

Only relatively recently has cognitive science begun to suspect the importance of human feeling, emotion and affection (love) as the primal mover of the human intellect.

However, scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg made this discovery centuries ago. That is why I believe his insightful ideas will become more important to future   research in neuroscience and to forming a comprehensive multi-level cognitive theory that is broad enough to include a person-level framework.

“Love” is the key dynamic to formulating such a complex model.

Swedenborg showed how the three cognitive functions of knowledge, understanding and wisdom offer perfect illustrations, not only to the importance of love in human learning but that reaching higher levels of mind requires tapping into higher levels of the heart!

For instance, as children, we are first inspired to fill our memory-function with data from a love of acquiring knowledge. (Curiosity is nothing other than an appetite or affection, which are derivatives of love.) As we get older a new level of love can be activated—the love of understanding what we know.

Finally, when we mature into adults, we can obtain a new level of reasoning through a love to become wise. This noble level comes from a passion to recognize universal truths from the things we know and understand and to adopt these truths as principles to live by.

According to Swedenborg, true religion is the Lord God’s divine strategy to elevate the human mind and heart towards reaching wisdom.

Having knowledge—or even understanding knowledge—does not lead to goodness. That is the main problem with our contemporary world, despite its increased knowledge of the world and technological advances. Most knowledge and discovery isn’t leading to wisdom because it isn’t being driven by the love of goodness and spiritual innocence.

The world is in desperate need of men and women who are striving to become angels—not just those with smarts.

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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