There are two basic trajectories of God’s action in the world. One involves involution, that is, the descent of God’s creative action into matter. The other trajectory involves an ascent from inert matter back towards God. The first, outer trajectory (entropy), is the creation of the physical world. The second, or inner trajectory, is called evolution (reverse entropy), which leads to greater complexity, and the emergence of intelligence and consciousness.
Any direction back towards the Creator requires greater complexity because God is infinite and the source of all complexity. More importantly, it also requires free will.
The movement back towards creative first principles (spiritual love), must be made by a complex creature that has the intellectual freedom and consciousness to choose spiritual love over material (worldly) and selfish loves. The Lord God’s ultimate cosmic plan is for humanity to assist in this grand scheme to make love reciprocal and reach its fullness.
As strange as it might first seem, this conscious choice towards spiritual elevation actually requires individuals to go against the top-down flow of God’s influx into the world!
Scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg confirmed this seemingly anti-intuitive premise. He discovered that God’s perpetual influence of spiritual love and truth “down-shifts” into human minds where it finally terminates into merely natural, corporeal/sensual thoughts and feelings. (AC 7506)
Through spiritual instruction and an individual’s conscious choice, a person’s mind can be elevated above the material things of the world by adopting heavenly principles to live by. Swedenborg described that by choosing more noble principles of love, one could open up higher levels of cognition. His investigations revealed to him that the architecture of human brain and mind is multi-leveled. In order to reach and activate the next higher mental level, one must choose a nobler principle of love in life.
But this means going against God’s natural cosmic stream and allowing its course to puddle-up further “upstream.”
When a person adopts a higher principle of love into his or her life, God’s influx is given a higher plane in the human mind to settle in and help transform that person into a new being. Ultimately, a person can become an actual unit of heaven (an angel) by this method.
If a man or woman makes no effort in this area, then God’s descending influx or influence actually works against a person—since the person allows this influence to be continually directed only outward and downwards—into a life fully absorbed in the material things of the natural world with its vanities and allurements.
This is why it is easier to go downhill than uphill. The “downward” direction only requires inertia, while the other, takes real personal effort.