There is a saying that if one person can accomplish something, others can accomplish it. Swedenborg accomplished many things in life. He was a great scientist of his time and later became perhaps the greatest theologian of all time.
I have studied Swedenborg’s writings (both scientific and theological) for almost 40 years and the more I learn, the more, uneasy I get. I am no longer consoled by the fact that the Lord loves me. I have become more concerned about how well I can reciprocate that love and move beyond my habitual self.
Because Swedenborg discussed the reality of angels and insisted that all angels were spiritually evolved humans from this earth (and from other planets throughout the universe) I was given a rare glimpse of my own highest potentials. Unfortunately, I also felt uncomfortable when I applied this measurement to my current state of affairs. (You have to be hypnotized not to take this discrepancy into account.) For instance, when one reads Swedenborg’s multi-level interpretation of the Bible narratives in his 12-volume Arcana Coelestia (Secrets of Heaven) one becomes quite cognizant of at how low a level one’s worldly brain usually operates.
Swedenborg actually offers us a real taste of angelic wisdom. He insisted that because all humans are—inwardly—spirits, they had this same wisdom lying dormant within the deeper structures of the human brain and mind. So this means we have all been given a certain responsibility for the God-given gift of life.
To gain access to this connate angelic wisdom one must adopt a higher (and more inclusive) principle of love into one’s life activities. Then, for the purpose of spiritual sincerity and integrity, one must next be put to the test. Swedenborg claimed that it is not enough just to admit that one isn’t perfect or has flaws, but that the process of spiritual transformation (regeneration) requires identifying specific ignoble traits, deciding you no longer want these character flaws in your life and praying to God to help you resist and remove them.
Most people lack the heart to develop such precision in this unflattering undertaking.
We all decide how far we want to get into the weeds, and which exit we want to get off on from the challenging path of reaching our highest spiritual potentials. The more intense our self-examinatio,n the further along the path we travel and the closer we get to God.
Personally, I feel more rotten as a person than I did forty years ago. But that is because I am allowing the Lord God to dig out of me more and more disturbing self-discoveries. On the positive side, I am becoming more humble and my actions are more innocent.
My conscience gnaws at me when I lower my goals in this process. And I am appalled when I see people going to church merely to find external affirmation, self-esteem and self-worth from others because they inwardly sense a certain failure to become fully engaged in the serious process and demands of spiritual regeneration.
Any church or faith-system that finds its future in question has too many of its member-followers getting off at the early exits (and therefore, unable to provide potent evidence as to the full power of their beliefs)!