You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink it.

Almost everyone in America has heard this phrase. And, almost everyone sees it as representing wise advice, highly relevant to human life. In other words, its message is not literal (with only horse owners in mind) but rather, is a metaphor dealing with the idiosyncrasies of the human psyche.

Comprehended on a more elevated level, the phrase can be translated as “you can lead the mind to good ideas, but you can’t make someone understand and incorporate those ideas into their own actions.”

On an even higher, more theological level, the phrase can be translated as, “you can lead someone to God’s Truth, but you can’t make that person embrace and live according to those principles and values.

This situation with words—and their having deeper meaning—presents us with a great mystery.

Current science has no explanation as to why visible and physical things can represent and give greater clarity to invisible qualities of mental and spiritual processes. It is as though the human mind and spirit operates just like the visible universe operates.

According to scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg, all things—whether physical, mental or spiritual—follow the same rules and laws of order. They correspond! Ancient cultures incorporated this multi-leveled dynamic of correspondence in all their storytelling, which is the origin of myth, legend and allegory.

Writing on this rarefied level requires an elevated mental ability, yet no one can perfect this abstract style better than the Lord God. As evidence of this Divine talent, Swedenborg provided many volumes of books, which explain how this multi-leveled form of communication is used throughout God’s Holy Word (making its seemingly far-fetched stories even more relevant to human life and salvation).

The post-modern inclination to dismiss the authority and inerrancy of Holy Scripture is based on individuals not being introduced to these unique ideas.

This revived knowledge will lead to the next great religion on earth. As of this moment, a relatively small number of people are being led to this rarefied spiritual water. How about you?

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 You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink it.

  1. I like what you say here. I find that the more I listen and am open to the world around me, the more that God seems to be right there in each little fiber of it.

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