Was Jesus disrespectful to His mother?

Who could believe, when gazing upon the touching and tender scene at the manger in Bethlehem, that the little baby Jesus would grow up and call His mother, “woman” in front of other people?

This is a slap in the face to the sacred institution of motherhood. Or was it something else—something deeper?

Only scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg offers any rational explanation for this seemingly rude behavior.

The reason he gives is that the Lord God was born into the world with two missions. One mission was visible—to challenge the false worldviews of humanity prevalent at that time and spread new teachings for living properly. The other mission was completely invisible to the eyes of terrestrial humans. This second, or hidden mission required conquering all the nasty influences coming from hell and putting its evil citizenry in their place.

If this divine order were not induced upon the hells, mankind (including the angels of heaven) would have been overrun by evil forces—and the possibility of human salvation would have been thwarted forever.

To prevent this from happening, the Lord had to engage the hells in spiritual combat where the “weapons” used were forged from principles of either truth or falsity. But since God is infinite, and those in hell were finite beings, there was no medium at hand to provide the appropriate battlefield—God was beyond any attack.

This is why God came into the world and took on a human body. Having a finite human body (but an infinite and divine soul), the Lord provided a battlefield for such internal combat to take place.

His mother Mary was used for this great cosmic purpose. She not only provided God with a body of human flesh, but all the frailties and compulsions that come along with human flesh. Few of us take this into account. The hells now had flawed human inherent traits in which to pitch their tents and encampments.

As the Lord engaged in battle and was finally victorious over everything the hells could throw at Him, He put off all the inherited human traits received from His mother until He was no longer her son—even technically. That is why The Lord eventually called His terrestrial mother simply “woman.” Through this spiritual combat, taking place beyond the observation of worldly men, the Lord accomplished His Glorification—which involved making his human divine, and therefore, successfully uniting His human to His divine infinite spirit.

We have to go through a similar process ourselves to gain the kingdom of heaven. This is what happens when the birth of Christ takes place in our hearts and not just in some manger.

Will religion ever transcend the literal story of Christmas? This is where the real spirit of Christmas can be found! Not only has Christmas become more commercial, its deeper meaning and relevancy has gone flat!



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
This entry was posted in god, Inner growth, Life after death, Reality, religion, spirituality, unity and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Was Jesus disrespectful to His mother?

  1. Kay Hauck says:

    A wonderful Christmas message, and a light into great darkness. It seems to me, though, that the all-too-human weaknesses Jesus inherited from Mary were not just of the natural body, but also of the mind. Glorification involved letting the hells tempt Jesus’ merely natural thoughts and feelings, the tendencies inherited through Mary. But these merely natural tendencies were confronted over and over with the Divine truths that had been abandoned by the church.

    • thegodguy says:

      Dear Kay,

      We are in full agreement. Thank you for contributing to this topic!

      Spiritually yours,

    • Lee says:

      Dear Kay,
      Yes, I have come to believe that Jesus (the Lord) inherited from Mary not only a finite human body, but also a finite human mind. How else could there be a battlefield on which the *spiritual* battles of the Lord’s glorification could take place? Our present-day knowledge of genetics, and the nearly equal genetic contribution of father and mother, gives us a better basis for understanding what the Lord inherited from his mother than did the science of Swedenborg’s day, with its Aristotle-derived idea that the soul comes from the father and the body from the mother. All of this gets a bit technical, but I think you know what I am referring to.

      • thegodguy says:

        Dear Kay and Lee,

        Yes, this is a very technical topic. It has to do with understanding the differences between “active” and “passive” principles in the universe (which is considered not to be politically correct to the post-modern mind). Also, I am one of only a handful of Swedenborgians who believe that Swedenborg’s science was not a product of his times – but was the Lord’s providence in leading him to spiritual truths. Please read my book “Proving God” which addresses some of the more technical aspects of this discussion.

        Spiritually yours,

      • Lee says:

        Ah, the so-called “Beekman heresy”! 😉 That’s the idea that Swedenborg’s science was also divinely inspired, put forward by a charismatic woman named Lillian G. Beekman who walked the halls of Bryn Athyn around the turn of century (from the 1800s to the 1900s).

        My view is that Swedenborg’s science represented the best that his era had to offer, uplifted with a spiritual perspective.

        However, I do believe that some of his scientific ideas were ultimately a product of his times, and have since been surpassed by a better understanding of how the physical universe works. That includes his views on genetics. Mendel was not yet born when Swedenborg died, and the discovery of genes, chromosomes, and DNA was far in the future.

        Swedenborg was also generally Cartesian in his scientific theories. Unfortunately for him, subsequent science belonged to Newton, not Descartes. Newton’s laws still rule science in ordinary scales of time and space, while Descartes’ theories have been relegated to the periphery. This causes some problems for present-day readers of Swedenborg who read his writings through the usual Newtonian scientific lens, and scratch their heads at the unfamiliar Cartesian scientific underpinnings present in Swedenborg’s works.

        I believe that if we take the best that modern science has to offer and look at it from the same spiritual perspective from which Swedenborg viewed the best science of his day, we come up with an even more amazing picture of the harmony of the physical and spiritual worlds. Isn’t that something of what you did in “Proving God”?

        In reading Swedenborg, as in reading any revelation of divine truth, it is necessary to distinguish the human vessel from the divine content. Today our “vessels” of science have advanced since Swedenborg’s day. But the same divine content fills them even better, because they are better vessels than Swedenborg had access to.

        I expect that future science will reveal even more harmony between science and spirit.

  2. Domenic says:

    very well put, for jesus said he who loves mother or father more then me is not worthy of me.

    • thegodguy says:

      Yes indeed, the Lord becomes our “spiritual” parent when we decide to live a heavenly life. We are born to become angels!

      Spiritually yours,

  3. thegodguy says:

    Dear Lee,

    I have not read Lillian Beekman’s writings. But you have picked an area of Swedenborgianism in which we have much, much disagreement. Have you read my book “Proving God”? It won three awards. But more important than that I explain why Swedenborg’s scientific ideas, including the “mathematical philosophy of universals”, the “Circle of Life”, the “intuition of ends”, and the “subordination and coordination of all things according to successive and simultaneous order”, are far beyond the physical (dead) theories of relativity and quantum mechanics. This too, involves lots of technical discussion. But keep this in mind – it was Swedenborg’s scientific search that logically and rationally brought him to the idea of “correspondences”. Today’s scientists feel that metaphor is sloppy science and they would not even suspect that metaphor could fall into the rigorous category of an internally consistent, universal and scientific model of reality based on theological and heavenly symbolism.

    As a social addendum, I have heard rumors that Ms. Beekman was not treated fairly by her male counterparts.

    Spiritually yours,

    • thegodguy says:

      I forgot to add Swedenborg’s “Doctrine of Forms” which is the only model I know of that lawfully explains how physical, mental, spiritual and divine forms “geometrically” remove (or add) constraints on their action. Today’s scientists have no model for pre-space (pre-Planck) realities and have no way of imagining measurement and dynamical magnitudes without the idea of spacetime. Here is where Swedenborg blew the door off of scientific thinking! 🙂

    • Lee says:

      Dear Edward,

      I have not yet read “Proving God.” I should probably stop saying anything about it until I have. 😉

      The scientific ideas of Swedenborg that you mention are indeed some of the areas where he has pressed ahead of present-day science, I believe. Not surprisingly, they are areas where he has gone to over-arching principles of order and design.

      It is more in the area of what might be called “gross science”–the way things physically work–that our science has, I believe, greatly surpassed the science of Swedenborg’s day. In other words, I believe that the most outward vessels of science that we have today form better containers for the deeper principles of order and design where Swedenborg still shines compared to today’s largely material-based science.

      About Beekman, I’ve read some of her stuff, but it was a long time ago. She was heavily published in “The New Philosophy” magazine during her stint in Bryn Athyn. Apparently she held some academics and leaders in Bryn Athyn under her charismatic sway, but eventually she was rejected by that conservative community, and if I’m not mistaken, went on to become a Catholic nun. However, this sketchy biographical information is being dredged up from my memory of conversations that took place decades ago.


      • thegodguy says:

        Dear Lee,

        The “science of Swedenborg’s day” is not the same as “Swedenborg’s science.” Swedenborg himself claims that he had to create all new doctrines to help him along his great intellectual quest. For some reason, Swedenborgian scholars have overlooked these special scientific doctrines – many of which are carried over into his theological works. I suspect that Swedenborg is still talking over many of our heads! Enjoy the book!

        Spiritually yours,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s