Swedenborg sensed that he was a ratfink

449px-emanuel_swedenborg_mariatorget_stockholm_2005-06-29-wikipediaSwedenborg lived a most useful and charitable life. Anyone would judge by his scientific achievements and his faith in God that he was a good man for society. The point I wish to make here is that good deeds and good works—while better than faith alone—was not enough to help him form an intimate and spiritual partnership with the Lord God.

This is why during Swedenborg’s transition from a scientist to theologian, the Lord had asked him whether he had a “bill of health”—not whether he was generous and helpful to society.

As a result, Swedenborg was given a deep look at himself through unflattering dreams and making real efforts at purifying his heart (to improve his spiritual health). During this time he also made the uncomfortable discovery that if his brilliant scientific writings did not lead to greater reputation and worldly status, it would take the fire out of his heart. Self-centeredness was in control of his cockpit This rare insight informed him that he had to change this dynamic within himself.

He suffered through many horrific inner challenges, but he also felt these inner purges were the most important things he could do on earth. (I believe these spiritual combats were his greatest achievements.)

You see, acts of love and kindness, do not gain spiritual life (vivification) until we remove the inner dirt from our lives. This is one of the most misunderstood concepts concerning spiritual growth.

Only God loves. If we choose, we can become receptacles of that love.

When we discover, resist and reject our inner demons, more of God’s genuine heavenly love can flow into our lives. Anyone can act with worldly kindness—including those with hidden agendas and bright smiles.

What we seek is not simply goodness in our lives but goodness of innocence. Only the Lord God can give us that innocence.

Does your religion or philosophic worldview encourage this personal battle and inner purging within your self?


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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2 Responses to Swedenborg sensed that he was a ratfink

  1. R says:

    What human can attain to this?
    Swedenborgism isn’t for the fallible, the weak. It’s for the spiritually strong, the Pharasies in the temple who thank God for their virtues. Me, I just ask God to be merciful to me, a sinner.

    • thegodguy says:

      Swedenborg discovered that one had to identify one’s sins before the Lord God, not just confess that one was a sinner in general. (That would be too easy.) Only such a precise confession allows the Lord to know which flaws you want to remove from your life. How else can one be serious about inner change?

      There is no such thing as human virtues. Only the Lord is virtuous.

      Spiritually yours,

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