Love, harmony and digestion

They say, “You are what you eat,” which means, you are what you desire (because we eat what we hunger for).  Desires are derivatives of love.

This notion may seem mundane at first but scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg took this idea much further by suggesting that we are what we digest. After all, we are obviously not what we eliminate through our bladder and large intestine.

We all possess different blood chemistries. Why? Swedenborg claimed that our loves, affections and desires determine what our digestive systems metabolize (and becomes a part of us). In other words, the blood demands those substances, which bring its chemistry into perfect harmony with our passions. (This is why we use such hematologic phrases as “bad blood” or “cold-blooded” or “red-blooded” to describe a person’s inner character.) Such bio-agreeability is necessary for anything to enter into and maintain the fabric of our life. Foodstuffs and substances, which do not resonate with (correspond to) our passions are rejected and jettisoned. No two people share the exact kinds of love or leanings. Our subjective and personal love is how we form our individuality.

Love is more than a romantic term—it is life itself.

Neuro-scientifically speaking, Swedenborg claimed that the involuntary part of the human mind and nervous system brings the corporeal or bodily machine into compliance (correspondence) with the various psycho-states of the human voluntary mind and its animus (affection).

Swedenborg also included the substances that our lungs and skin pores bring in from the circumfluent atmosphere as a second kind of food. We each take in different cosmic substances from the air, according to our subjective likes and dislikes (Again, derivatives of love).

Finally, Swedenborg added that sensory impressions (information) streaming into our five senses from the outside world are a third kind of food. It is well known that information and knowledge is “brain food” and that we each seek the information that we most value (love) but we rarely contemplate how these inputs of data affect the inner bio-fabric and quality of our spirits.

We form our deepest inner life and spiritual bodies (which survive physical death) from what we love. That is why love is the ultimate science!

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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2 Responses to Love, harmony and digestion

  1. Peter Guillame says:

    Do our spiritual bodies evolve beyond death? Swedenborg says that they grow younger, that is, more beautiful and powerful. But that is a natural concomitant of on-going evolution.

    What I do not accept in Swedenborg is that he says about hellish beings not being able to evolve into heaven in the afterlife. It it can happen on the physical plane, it can happen in the spiritual world. What are remain s for? Even Hitler was in the image of God (fundamentally, but not in his works) as were his victims. I envision, thousands of years down the road, Hitler seeking their forgiveness and their forgiving him!


    • thegodguy says:

      Dear Peter,

      Many Swedenborgians are choosing to believe that hell is not an eternal consequence (probably because it does not seem to correlate with a loving God or to human ideas about justice). I do not favor this post-modern opinion. Freedom (to love or hate) is strongly protected by the Lord God.

      While “remains” serve to counter evil influences they are not fully activated until one goes through self-examination and “fiery” temptations. You are wrong to downplay the necessity of the physical plane. Such a process (spiritual regeneration) has to at least begin on earth when we have a physical body and reach maturity (children who die are spared). Without the physical body (and its leanings) we have no “fixed” foundation on which to build our subjective preferences. The Lord God created spacetime so that spiritual values could become fixed in our innermost bio-fabric. (If this were not the case than the planet earth serves no useful purpose and God should have simply kept creation only on the spiritual plane.)

      Those souls existing in hell do not seek forgiveness – because they have made evil their very life and pleasure. If this evil were removed they would be destroyed. It is through the Lord’s mercy that limits are put on the evil acts that those in hell are allowed to commit. Consider this, the evil do not suffer for not being in heaven but for not being able to engage in all their hateful schemes. Self-love and its delights are more deeply ingrained than most people are aware of.

      Those in hell absolutely hate God and all their thoughts verify their warped world views. On countless occasions Swedenborg witnessed evil individuals showing a perfect understanding and intellectual grasp of God’s truths – yet they always gravitated back to their chosen delights.

      A careful reading of the writings will show that Swedenborg does not support your opinion and why. You are, however, in freedom to disagree with him.

      This topic takes a book (or at least a chapter) to fully explain.

      Spiritually yours,

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