When does the Lord God start protecting one’s “remains”?

boyThere is a spiritual function which is only discussed in the theological writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.

Apparently, everyone during the innocence of their childhood has genuine feelings of love stored (and protected) deeply within their psyches. These noble feelings serve God’s purpose of providing a matrix, or plane, for spiritual growth to occur when we reach maturity.

Swedenborg calls this matrix of innocence one’s “REMAINS.”

But how do these influences of heavenly innocence get stored more deeply into our psyches, where they can better be protected from life’s vanities and allurements?

It happens quite naturally when we each learn pretense (from the adult world). This fabricated mind causes an extra (and lower) level of mental activity to cover over one’s remains—creating an inner and outer person. An infant or young child does not have this division or split in the mind. (A child is who he or she really is, until they learn how to deceive others and hide personal agendas from the world.)

The problem (and terror) is that through habit and living in the physical world of adults, we have learned to accept this lower, corporeal consciousness as our real consciousness and selves—further forcing our remains to operate within a subconscious part of the mind, where it pretty much stays out of our reach. (Swedenborg calls this subconscious the interior natural mind and makes it clear that genuine spiritual growth only happens from this special matrix.)

The only way for an individual to bring these heavenly forms of innocence back up to the surface is to have the data in the external corporeal memory (worldly mind) make contact with this buried consciousness (called remains). This contact is equivalent to someone comparing what they know from the world with how they choose to act in life.

Simply put, this contact comes from sincere self-examination.

Any conflict from this “conjunction” between one’s deeper spiritual affections in his or her remains with their outer memory-knowledges leads to spiritual combat. This inner battle is experienced as temptation in the individual.

As a person succeeds in putting more “weight” on the inner influences coming from the remains, the more innocence takes part in that person’s outer activities. Without this psychic battle, “good deeds” and friendship can be feigned by the ego, and innocence is suffocated.

The angels of heaven have all won this inner battle and thus, innocence reigns in all their charitable actions. Otherwise, goodness stays only as an outer mechanical action.


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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