The Lord God lowered me into my evils, then introduced me to Swedenborg

nickGod gave me just enough rope in my early life to let me hang myself. As a younger man I enjoyed good looks, a good job and great freedom to act like a self-centered asshole. I lived my asshole-ness to the hilt!

For instance, I averaged about four months per girlfriend and each of these relationships ended as a complete disaster. Eventually my life began to spin so out of control that I couldn’t blame others or help but notice that I was full of horrible personal flaws (not just having “bad days” or expressing bad judgments in life, but being a personal pal to all the devil’s crew).

Thankfully, God allowed this to happen to me for my own good. Because next, and at the lowest point of my life God led me to discover the self-challenging theology of Emanuel Swedenborg. I have been fighting with my personal demons ever since—and the battle only seems to be increasing in intensity as I learn more details about Swedenborg’s purifying doctrines and continue to accept my heavenly duty.

I have tried to honestly share what I have learned from this inner spiritual combat through the writing of many of my blog posts and my published books. Although I share this info from the principle of neighborly love, this endeavor presents me with a big marketing challenge. People want to have their self-images tickled, believing that such positive experiences with others are an extension of God’s love and the divine desire to bestow eternal happiness upon us all.

My articles and books tend to treat such notions as pure bull-crap.

Swedenborg describes the innermost communication of the events in the narratives of Holy Scripture as actually representing the Lord God’s doing battle with all the evil and falsities from hell and glorifying (unifying victory) both His humanness and divinity. Taking up one’s “cross” means that we also must each take part in this uncomfortable purifying process (called regeneration) by exploring and resisting the negative compulsions of our own character. (They are indeed there if we are not afraid to look.)

I find this endeavor seriously lacking in many individuals’ approach to their worshipping and adoring God (because they get pissed off at me). I certainly don’t find self-examination a major strategy for building church community. Since most people seek to do good straight away (for immediate affirmation), and sidestep the personal task of challenging and uprooting their shadowy side (with God’s help—in order to make room for sincere goodness and innocence to flow in from heaven) I find myself involved with a religion that is alien and peculiar to most others.

Swedenborg was very specific in saying that humans were born into evils of every kind and that only God is good. Of all the possible discoveries to be made in the world, this is the one I have had the best success at verifying to myself!

http://www.staircasepress.com

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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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6 Responses to The Lord God lowered me into my evils, then introduced me to Swedenborg

  1. Max Becker says:

    Only they that have ears to hear will hear. Pearls thrown before swine are trampled. Keep the faith.

  2. Great job, Ed. Your blog cuts to the chase and reveals what true spirituality is all about. I appreciate both your sincerity and your ability to present complex ideas in well-written, incisive prose. Your writing is the real deal. Much appreciated. I, too, know what it means when Swedenborg says that the Lord is constantly saving us from flinging ourselves into the lowest hell. It is a tough message–hard for the ego to hear–but true.

    • thegodguy says:

      Thank you Ray!

      I think the “New Church” needs to stress the unflattering process of regeneration a lot more. Instead, too many worshippers are jumping the gun in trying to be good before doing some inner cleansing. I have taken some heat for my views but your support is a big value to me and much appreciated!

      Spiritually yours,
      TheGodGuy

      • Ray Silverman says:

        You are undoubtedly familiar with the teaching, “Man fancies himself to be a bird of paradise, unaware that he is a fly on a dunghill.”

        Recently, a friend told me that he was the biggest fly on the dunghill. I said, “You may be the biggest fly, but I’ve got the biggest dunghill!”

        With all best wishes, Ray

  3. thegodguy says:

    Thanks for the amusing teaching, Ray.

    Self-love is so clever that it can even use forms of humility as a tool to boost its status. 😉

    Ed

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