Changing one’s smile, wardrobe, hairstyle or the books one reads doesn’t cut it. These are merely external modifications and don’t go deep enough to effect a change in the quality of one’s spirit.
The problem is that we are conditioned to underestimate how rotten our spirits (passions and intentions) have become. However, one extraordinary test for confirming this rottenness in our lives is if anyone or any group of people causes a feeling of indignation in us.
Theologian Emanuel Swedenborg claimed that all personal evil bubbles up from a principle of self-love. And indignation certainly comes from a feeling of superiority.
True religion was meant as a means for identifying such behavioral flaws in our lives and then removing them (causing our old self to “die” and a new one to emerge). But instead, many faith systems are giving us more reasons for feeling indignant toward others.
This kind of rottenness, if kept unchecked in one’s inner spirit, will go with us into the spiritual world.