Two big reasons why I embrace the spiritual ideas of Emanuel Swedenborg and George Gurdjieff

The first and simplest reason is that after attending the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan for four years I formed a working appreciation of creative and abstract thought—I had developed a natural fondness for symbolic thought. Both Emanuel Swedenborg and George Gurdjieff promoted this kind of elevated thinking—especially in the context of understanding spiritual/cosmic truths and our unique responsibility in God’s created universe.

My second reason was less self-flattering.

I had married early—before finishing my college education and divorced after a couple of years. I began my career as a copywriter in advertising industry. Living as a single man caused me to notice ignoble patterns in my life, which I could not deny or defend. I would meet new girlfriends, and while each new relationship started off with intense love and hope, they all ended three to six months later with great hatred for the other person.

How could there be such a drastic turnaround? And why was each outcome with the women in my life so devastatingly predictable?

I began to suspect that there was something very flawed that was built into my very fiber and behavior. It was during this period of my becoming suspicious of my “inner quality” that I was introduced to the ideas of Emanuel Swedenborg and George Gurdjieff. They both made it clear in their extensive publications that my suspicions were true and why I was in this bad position. They pulled no punches.

In a nutshell, I had no legitimate idea of what actual spiritual growth was all about. It was made clear to me that I wouldn’t find lasting love from meeting and changing to different girlfriends. I had to change myself. This change required that I become a more truly spiritual man. Ouch!

Emanuel Swedenborg and George Gurdjieff offered me the most effective ideas for self-vigilance and observing my ignoble habits. Until you notice your negative manifestations, you cannot challenge or change their hold on you. The problem is that we humans become so identified with our faults that they become invisible to us and we develop into our own worst enemy.

True spiritual growth is all about conquering oneself. Thanks to Swedenborg and Gurdjieff, I have made this inner battle within my heart and mind my ultimate “Apocalypse.” As a result, I can say with a true sense of accomplishment that I have now been successfully re-married for over 36 years. And, I am still learning to become a better husband! Ouch, ouch!

My latest book attempts to share these ideas (often stinging) with others who sense something isn’t quite right with their own lives and that real happiness keeps eluding them. I wrote this book with weighty credentials—as a truly flawed man (yes, that is my author photo shown above).

If you would like to become more acquainted with my findings, click the Swedenborg & Gurdjieff link above, or visit:

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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