I was introduced to the ideas of George Gurdjieff and Emanuel Swedenborg on the very same day. This allowed me to gain potent material for weighing and verifying their two systems of spiritual transformation.
I have become alarmed that many contemporary Swedenborgians are drifting away from the true dynamics of spiritual change. Swedenborg does indeed stress love and usefulness to society as heavenly duties but he also gives an account of our true situation—that we terrestrial humans have an insane heart and that we must gain a new heart from God.
In the same way that the Lord was scourged and suffered crucifixion, we too, must put ourselves in a similar negative position. This is done (spiritually) by searching out our own character flaws and praying to the Lord for the power to resist such negative influences. (This is the real meaning behind “carrying one’s cross.”)
In other words, spiritual combat is a fight against ourselves. (Walt Kelly’s cartoon character Pogo knew this when he said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”)
In my opinion, Gurdjieff does not let anyone off the hook on this matter. If I had not studied and understood what he was communicating I would have overlooked what Swedenborg was saying in his work True Christianity (Vol. 2, chapters 7 – 10).
You see, genuine spiritual love can only be obtained through innocence. And innocence can only be obtained by sincere self-examination. And self-examination can only be obtained by waking up. And finally, being inwardly awake can only be obtained when we become de-hypnotized. Otherwise, our love will always be spoiled and worldly.
I cover these important issues in my books Proving God and Swedenborg & Gurdjieff.