God’s biggest obstacle in saving the human race is our strong belief that there is no other source of delight and happiness other than from love of self and love of the world. Since such a belief or worldview is terrestrial and not spiritual, such delights are based on illusion.
Therefore, the Lord God tactfully allows people to experience dis-illusion in worldly matters for their own eternal good. We think we know what is best for ourselves and this illusion stands in the way of our spiritual rebirth.
(I personally have observed strange outcomes in my life whereby worldly success seemed very close, then slipped through my fingers!)
Scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg made the claim that the way toward salvation was counterintuitive to what the human heart and mind believes or initially wants. As a result we see non-reality (dreaming) as reality.
Swedenborg points out this huge discrepancy between human discernment and divine wisdom in the biblical narrative of the sons of Israel escaping Egypt with God’s help and moving through a wilderness to obtain their freedom and ultimate joy. Swedenborg interpreted this famous biblical story from a depth that is foreign to the human habitual and self-deluded mind. He claimed that the stories in God’s Holy Word are a divine allegory and contain deeper revelations about the human predicament.
Symbolically speaking, being led out of Egypt represents escaping the tyranny of flawed and worldly belief systems (false gods). The wilderness represents moving into a strange new stage of thoughts and feelings that remain undeveloped, uncultured and uneducated. This leads to personal discomfort and a lack of confidence.
This is why, not long after their escape, the Israelites became disillusioned. On a spiritual level, this disillusionment represents a clinging to former ideals and the delights that they were leaving behind but which still offered them comfort. God was trying to lead them to a new paradigm that challenged these old beliefs. This biblical story illustrates the great difficulty in people changing from a worldly mindset to a spiritual one—the delights between the two are completely different. In fact, when a person is introduced to the true idea of heavenly delight, which far exceeds worldly delight, its existence brings about amazement.
So different are worldly and heavenly delights that in the original tongue, the word “manna” meant “what?” (Arcana Coelestia n 8462). This surprising “bread” from heaven actually signified spiritual food—the good of love digested from God’s truth and precepts.
Selfless love, without any consideration for recompense or the expectation of worldly success is the way towards genuine inner peace and is what feeds us during our spiritual journey. This journey is not from one place to another but from one mental state to another. The Lord God wants to completely refurbish our hearts and minds for the benefit of creating a heavenly society.
Heaven is not a place you go to. It is something that you become.
So the next time you find disappointment and disillusionment in the world, ask yourself what the source of this feeling is. Are you simply frustrated by things that only affect your external life?
Thy will be done—not “my” will!