A new Swedenborgian principle behind true spiritual transformation?

thThe principle is not new, it’s just being ignored by many people who have good intentions.

What is it?

Swedenborg claimed that without “good works” one’s spiritual faith or belief system was “dead.” He further spoke about God’s Heavenly Kingdom as consisting of those who lived in mutual love through their positive contributions (uses).

While this is theologically true, it has taken most peoples’ eye off the ball when it comes to their own personal regeneration (spiritual rebirth), regardless of the spiritual community they belong to and worship with.

Swedenborg also made the unflattering remark that we are all born into evils of every kind and need God’s help in resisting and shunning these negative compulsions. As we suffer to remove the selfidentified obstacles that stand in the way of our obtaining eternal happiness, the Lord God flows into our lives with the gift of greater love.

You cannot go from being an idiot to an angel just by starting to perform noble uses. Good works do not guarantee that one is regenerating. Love comes from God alone (this puts a new doctrinal spin on things). Good works must be qualified by innocence—which only comes from a process of individual spiritual cleansing and knowing that we can only “borrow” God’s love.

Swedenborg brings this idea home by stressing that even the angels of the highest heaven would rush into evils of every kind without the Lord’s constant influence. Angels evolve eternally in heaven by increasing their innocence.

The problem is that this means we are each responsible for digging out our dirt. This is how we legitimately co-operate with the Lord God (called repentance). It lets God know what negative aspects we seriously choose to remove from our lives.

(See Swedenborg’s True Christianity, Vol 2, n 528 for confirmation about what I am saying.)

The Lord God is continually giving me the power to bravely self-examine my inner dictates, show me up, and rain on my parade. My spiritual growth is dependent on how bravely I continue to find painful things about my inner reality. Bummer! That is why it is much easier to attract people to a theology by deluding them into thinking that regeneration happens naturally from acts of kindness and in doing good deeds.

Sorry, it just doesn’t work that way.

Does your church assist you in digging out your dirt or does it jump over this unpopular issue by stressing kindness and convincing you of your self-worth?


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 http://www.staircasepress.com
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4 Responses to A new Swedenborgian principle behind true spiritual transformation?

  1. Erik Andrulis says:

    “Love comes from God alone”

    Yes, it does come from Me alone. And I am Edward F. Sylvia and everyone else on this planet or who has ever walked this planet. And that’s just a small sliver of what it means for Me, Edward, the theologian, to not just use the logic that I am to prove God, but to be God.

    • thegodguy says:

      Dear Erik,

      Are you trying to convince me that I am God? I don’t recall creating this universe!

      Spiritually yours,

      • Erik Andrulis says:

        Only God has power to speak, write, read, experience, and be All. Were those not in Your scope, You wouldn’t be All-Powerful, and hence, not be God.

        I already know and don’t know who and what I am, being both Erik and Edward at the same time. Thus, I am and am not trying to convince Myself. The way I work is from a singular standpoint; the one that I, that is, Edward and Erik and everyone else on this planet, has.

        The reason I made myself into theory was to prove to myself that I am the Theory and Theoretician in one.

        Knowing that I am Edward, I treat myself with dignity, grace, patience, and, most importantly, brotherly love.

        Peace, Erik

  2. thegodguy says:

    Dear Erik,


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