Theistic Psychology: 
The Scientific Knowledge of God
Extracted from the
Correspondential Sense of Sacred Scripture

by Dr. Leon James
Professor of Psychology
University of Hawaii
Published on the Web in 2004
Last update: 2006

For Permissions Note and Conditions of Use see Volume 18

Topical Index to Sections, Subject Index, Selections, and Reading List in Volume 18

See also Lectures Notes on Mental Anatomy in Theistic Psychology

 

This is Volume 15

Universal Sacred Scripture

(this is version 13c)

15.0    Sacred Scripture -- The Sole Source of Scientific Knowledge About God
            15.0.1    Scientific Revelations in the Old Testament Sacred Scripture
                            15.0.1.1    The Scientific Meaning of Genesis
                            15.0.1.2    The Scientific Meaning of Psalms
            15.0.2    Scientific Revelations in the New Testament Sacred Scripture
                            15.0.2.1    The Scientific Meaning of the Parables of Jesus
                            15.0.2.2    The Scientific Meaning of the Book of Revelation (Apocalypse)
                            15.0.2.3    The Scientific Meaning of the Lord's Prayer
            15.0.3    Scientific Revelations in the Writings Sacred Scripture

            15.0.4    Ancient Forms of Sacred Scripture and Their Derivatives
                        15.0.4.1   The Most Ancient Word and the Celestial Race Before the Fall
                        15.0.4.2   Correspondences From The Ancient Word and the Spiritual Race
                        15.0.4.3    Egyptian Hieroglyphics As Correspondences 
                        15.0.4.4    Hindu Sacred Scriptures on the Nature of God
                                            15.0.4.4.1    The Trinity of God
                        15.0.4.5    Buddhism as a Religion -- the Buddha and the Dharma
                        15.0.4.6    The I Ching System of Discrete Degrees
                        15.0.4.7   Greek Mythology As Symbolism For Mental States
                        15.0.4.8    The Hierarchical Order of Creation in the Kabala

                        15.0.4.9    The Correspondences in Yoga
                       15.0.4.10    Zoroastrian Sacred Scripture
                       15.0.4.11    The Correspondential Sense of (Bahai) Baha'i Sacred Scripture   

15.1    Faith and Charity

15.2    Charity or the Love of Being Useful

15.3    Consciousness Raising and Enlightenment

15.4    Miracles and Prophesies

        15.4.1    Visions of Heaven

15.5     Persuasive and Blind Faith

15.6     Rational Faith and Rational Love

15.7    Fundamentalism and External Worship

15.8    Rational Spirituality and Internal Worship

15.9     Resurrection and Resuscitation of the Dead

15.10     Children in Heaven

15.11     Marriage in Heaven

15.12     The Clergy, Sacraments, and the Priesthood


15.0    Sacred Scripture -- The Sole Source of Scientific Knowledge About God

There are two different approaches to knowing God that have been practiced by humanity over the generations. In theistic psychology these two spiritual disciplines are called sensuous spirituality and rational spirituality (see Section xx).

The discipline of sensuous spirituality involves experiencing the "divine" through various methods -- meditation, yoga, fasting, trance, self-flagellation, sexual abstinence, visions, animal sacrifices, making miracles happen, hearing living voices, ingesting psychotropic chemicals, and others. These methods involve the idea that the "divine" can be experienced by human beings. In theistic psychology this is known as the philosophy of nonduality (see Section xx). Non-duality is the opposite of dualism (see Section xx). Nonduality asserts that God and human beings are of one continuous substance, which implies that we can climb high enough to actually realize that all along we were God.

In contrast, rational spirituality is the spiritual discipline of getting closer to God through Sacred Scripture. In theistic psychology it is known that the spiritual mind in which our heaven of eternity lies, is formed by the spiritual-rational and celestial-rational correspondences of Divine Speech hidden within Sacred Scripture. This makes sense when you consider the fact that God is Divine Love (or Good) covered over with Divine Truth (or Rationality) (see Section xx). Good can only conjoin with its own truth (see Section xx). The higher the level of Divine truth that we can consciously understand rationally, the closer we come to God's Divine Truth and Rationality. Truth is the spiritual-rational and celestial-rational substance that forms the rationality in the mind of every human being (see Section xx).

Rational spirituality is the discipline of extracting the rational doctrine of truth from Sacred Scripture using the method of correspondences that is revealed in Sacred Scripture, and then applying this doctrine of truth to one's daily willing, thinking, and doing (see Section xx).

It is not yet known in our modern times that the heaven of our eternity is located within spiritual-rational and celestial-rational correspondences of Sacred Scripture. When we understand and love these rational correspondences of Divine Speech, which means living and thinking according to them, then we are preparing our spiritual mind to be a conjugial heaven in which we know God directly and receive from Him all that we are willing and able to take in terms of human potential and happiness.

It is clear that knowledge about eternity and God is not possible to be discovered through the sensations from our physical body and the reasoning power of our natural mind. The proof of this is that traditional science, with its amazing history of inventions and explanations, knows zero about eternity and God, so that all it can do is to deny that such things exist or are part of scientific reality. Another proof is that the enormous scholarship and effort invested over the centuries in the literature on religion, God, and spirituality, has brought zero knowledge about God and eternity, and only wild speculations and disagreements among them.

All this proves that scientific and scholarly knowledge of God cannot be discovered and invented, but only received from God through the correspondences of Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture -- not the literal sense of Sacred Scripture (which is sectarian religion), but the revealed correspondential sense that lies hidden within (see Section xx). The diagram below portrays the distinct difference between religion and theistic psychology, even though they are both closely related to Sacred Scripture.

Sacred Scripture is the expression of Divine Speech in a natural language, transformed through the laws of correspondences that God used to create the layers of mind and existence (see Section xx).

Although the sentences of Sacred Scripture are written out by a an individual in a particular language and culture, they are not the individual's own sentences, but sentences that have been transformed by correspondences as Divine Speech descends into that individual's mind from its unconscious spiritual level to its conscious natural level (see Section xx). First, Divine Speech enters the celestial-rational mind of the individual. This is unconscious while we are still connected to the physical world. Second, Divine Speech descends into the spiritual-rational layer of the individual's mind, which is also unconscious until our resuscitation (see Section xx). Third, Divine Speech descends by correspondential meaning into the natural mind of the individual, where it becomes conscious and the person is able to write it down. The "prophet" or "revelator" does not himself know what layers of correspondential meanings lie hidden with the sentences they write down. They and others are only aware of the literal meaning.

The descent of Divine Speech through the layers of the human mind takes place by correspondences (see Section xx). Those who are conscious in their celestial-rational mind after their resuscitation (see Section xx), are conscious of Divine Speech in terms of celestial-rational correspondences (see Section xx). These celestial-rational meanings or truths give human beings the highest possible consciousness, knowledge, worship, and love of God.

Those who, after resuscitation, are conscious in their spiritual-rational mind, are conscious of Divine Speech in terms of spiritual-rational correspondences (see Section xx). These meanings of Sacred Scripture give human beings the next lowest possible consciousness, knowledge, worship, and love of God. Those who are conscious in their natural mind, namely, us while we are still connected to earth, are conscious of Divine Speech in terms of natural correspondences of Divine Speech (see Section xx). These natural meanings of Sacred Scripture give human beings the next lowest possible consciousness, knowledge, worship, and love of God.

We are connected to earth by the laws of correspondences which functionally link together our mental body in eternity and our physical body in time-space. Our conscious natural mind is capable of entering virtually, as a training ground, into the various layers of worship and love of God. We begin with natural worship and love of God which is based on our ethnic membership in a particular religion and our historical ties to the literal meaning of Sacred Scripture recognized in that religion. If we do not try to live by the truths of Sacred Scripture as we understand them, then we are not preparing ourselves adequately for immortality in eternity (see Section xx). Instead of being or existing in a heaven within our spiritual-rational mind, our consciousness then sinks into the bottom of our natural mind, which is called the corporeal-sensuous mind, as opposed to the natural-rational mind (see Section xx).

At this level of feeling and thinking, the correspondences of Sacred Scripture cannot be comprehended rationally. All truth of Sacred Scripture is inverted and perverted through irrational thoughts and feelings, which taken together as a whole, are called the human hells in the mind (see Section xx). It is our choice, but the choice is to be made prior to death, while we still can reform our character from inherited hellish traits to freely acquired heavenly traits (see Section xx).

To the extent that we try to live by the truths of Sacred Scripture that we understand, to that extent God can elevate our consciousness from the natural-sensuous thinking and feeling, to the natural-rational thinking and feeling (see Section xx). When God thus elevates and enlightens our understanding of Him, we become capable of a higher spiritual-rational worship and love of God, as a result of which God can further elevate our consciousness from natural-rational, to spiritual-rational, and finally to celestial-rational meanings of Sacred Scripture.

 This process of elevation of the individual by God takes place through

(1) the individual's rational study and understanding of Sacred Scripture as Divine Truth, and
(2) in proportion to the individual's efforts at applying this understanding to one's daily willing, thinking, and doing.

Knowledge of Divine truth cannot change our hellish character, but can only give us an understanding of how God's truth is to dictate our willing, thinking, and doing. Conjunction with God occurs afterward, and only to the extent that we are willing to give up our hellish and selfish enjoyments, and replace them with heavenly and altruistic enjoyments. In proportion as we do this, to that extent we are conjoined to God in rational understanding, worship, and love. Conjunction with God gives us an eternal conjugial heaven with a maximum of human love, altruism, enjoyment, and happiness (in the affective organ), along with their consequent rationality, wisdom. intelligence, knowledge, and inventiveness (in the cognitive organ).

We vary in sincerity and consistency. We must be willing to undergo the temptations that God puts in our way in our mind. This requires spiritual combat. Our understanding of Divine truth from Sacred Scripture provides the weapons for the combat against our hellish enjoyments (see Section xx). Once we engage in combat, as if of our own, then God immediately manages the victory for us. We can have no victory if we believe that we are fighting our evils with our own power and intelligence. God can provide victory only if we acknowledge in our mind and understand rationally, that by ourselves we have zero power since God is omnipotent and has all the power.

Under some conditions we fall into the persuasion that to fight our temptations as if on our own, would be to think that the power to fight is ours -- which is a hellish thought against the reality of truth. As a result of this kind of thinking, we fall into a passive mode and wait for God to liberate us in our trial. But this strategy cannot work and it prevents character reformation. In that case God cannot bring spiritual temptations for us to fight, but only natural temptations (see Sections xx). Natural temptations build our external personality, appearance, and overt conduct. This is necessary for acquiring morality according to one's conscience. But the inner character cannot be altered by natural temptations. It requires spiritual temptations. God brings spiritual temptations to our mind to the extent of our rational understanding of truth from Sacred Scripture (see Section xx).

Without the truth of Sacred Scripture in our rational understanding, God cannot bring spiritual temptations to our mind, and as a result, we cannot be regenerated. We die in the character that we inherited, which is a hell (see Section xx). Only the truth of Sacred Scripture, applied to spiritual temptations, can give us the new heavenly character we need to live in the heavens of our eternity (see Section xx). God can bring spiritual temptations to us only when we have acquired as-of self, truths from Sacred Scripture in our mind. These truths in our mind must be present before God can bring spiritual temptations to us, and thus regenerate us (see Section xx).

Hence it is necessary for us to have in our understanding Divine rational truth in order for us to be prepared for heaven by temptations through regeneration or daily efforts at character reformation. The higher the rationality in our understanding of truth from Sacred Scripture,  the more we can be regenerated by God to higher and higher heavenly potentials, in proportion to our daily efforts in applying the truth to our daily willing, thinking, and doing.

It makes sense therefore to think that God has provided a method by which we can acquire higher and higher meanings, or more and more rational meanings, so that we can apply it to our daily willing and thinking, and thereby become celestial beings in our heavenly eternity (see Section xx).

The diagram above shows that theistic psychology, and theistic science generally, is the scientific knowledge that is extracted from Sacred Scripture, when we apply the method of correspondences with enlightenment (see Section xx). There are two ideas to understand here: correspondences and enlightenment.

When Divine Speech, or Divine Truth, descends by correspondences through the layers of the human mind, we are conscious of it differently at each successive layer. That is, Divine Speech forms our consciousness at each level of the mind, through meanings of Sacred Scripture.

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

AC 5614. Surely we had now returned these two times. [Genesis 43:10]
That this signifies that there would have been spiritual life both exterior and interior, is evident from the signification of "going," as being to live (of which above, n. 5605); and therefore "returning" is living therefrom, for they went thither to procure corn, and by "corn" is signified the good of truth from which is spiritual life; and from the signification of "these two times," which, as it relates to life, denotes life exterior and interior, for by the "produce" they got the first time was signified life that is exterior or in the natural, for the reason that they were without an intermediate (as explained in the preceding chapter); while by the "corn" they get this time is signified interior life, because they were now with Benjamin, who is the intermediate, as explained in this and in the following chapter.

Hence it is that by "surely we had now returned these two times," is signified spiritual life both exterior and interior.

[2] That this is the signification cannot but seem strange, especially to one who knows nothing about what is spiritual; for it seems as if "returning these two times" has nothing in common with the spiritual life that is signified; but still this is the internal sense of the words. If you will believe it, the interior thought itself of the man who is in good apprehends this, because this thought is in the internal sense, although while in the body the man is deeply ignorant of it; for unknown to him the internal sense, that is, the spiritual sense, which is of the interior thought, falls into material and sensuous ideas that partake of time and space and of such things as are in the world, and therefore it does not appear that his interior thought is of such a nature; for his interior thought is like that of the angels, his spirit being in company with them.

[3] That the thought of the man who is in good is according to the internal sense, may be seen from the fact that when after death he comes into heaven, he at once without any information is in the internal sense, and this could not be unless as to his interior thought he had been in this sense while in the world. The reason of his being in this internal sense is that there is a correspondence between spiritual and natural things so complete that there is not the smallest thing that has not its correspondence; and therefore because the interior or rational mind of the man who is in good is in the spiritual world, and his exterior or natural mind in the natural world, it must needs be that both minds think (the interior mind spiritually, and the exterior naturally), and that the spiritual falls into the natural, and they act as a one by correspondence.

[4] That man's interior mind, the ideas of thought of which are called intellectual and are said to be immaterial, does not think from the words of any language, nor consequently from natural forms, can be seen by him who is able to reflect on these things, for he can think in a moment what he can scarcely utter in an hour, and he does so by universals which comprise in them very many particulars. These ideas of thought are spiritual, and when the Word is being read are no other than as the internal sense is; although the man does not know this, because as before said these spiritual ideas, by influx into what is natural, present natural ideas, so that the spiritual ideas do not appear; insomuch that unless he has been instructed the man believes that there is no spiritual unless it is like the natural, and even that he does not think otherwise in spirit than as he speaks in the body. In such a manner does the natural cast a shade over the spiritual. (AC 5614)

In order to understand rationally what is Divine Speech and how it manages our thoughts and the universe, we need to remember the idea of "substantive dualism" in the positive bias (see Section xx). The word "substantive" in the mental world of eternity corresponds to the word "material" in the physical world of time. The physical sun in time-space provides all the matter needed on the planets -- air, earth, minerals, plant protein, brain tissue, electricity -- it all comes originally from a piece of the sun. All planets in a solar system are offshoots of the star that cool down and become planets. Hence everything on a planet comes from the sun. These things are so in the physical world because they are correspondences or effects produced by things in the mental world to which they correspond by creation and since creation (see Section xx).

The mental things to which they correspond include the Spiritual Sun, which corresponds to the physical sun, that is, to each star and to their totality of endless stars with endless planets. The material light with its heat that streams from the physical sun crosses instantly the space between it and the planets, and activates the things on the planet. This is so because substantive light with its heat streams out from the Spiritual Sun and crosses instantly the mental world of humanity tat God created in eternity. In other words, God created a dual universe, one materila in time-space, the other substantive in eternity. What is not known generally is that the substantive world of eternity is the mental world of the human race.

In order to create the human race, God had to create a mental world in  eternity and a physical world in time. The mental world of eternity is known as the afterlife. What is not known that human beings are born simultaneously in both universes. The material body in time-space, which is temporary, and the substantive body in eternity. The substantive body is also known as the spiritual body or the mental body. The shape and form of the physical body is caused by the shape and form of the spiritual body to which it corresponds in every part and detail. When the physical body "dies", we continue life in our spiritual body, with the only difference, that now we are no longer aware of the physical world. Since we are born into eternity, we are immortal.

The reason this must be so is because our consciousness, our sensations, our thoughts, and our feelings are not made of material things from the physical sun, as our brain is. Our brain and physical body is material and temporary, but our mental life in the spiritual body is eternal. Hence it is that our personality or self, as we know ourselves, is immortal. Whatever is constructed out of substances from the Spiritual Sun,  must necessarily be immortal or eternal. Our mental life is constructed out of the light and heat from the Spiritual Sun that streams into the mental world of the human race. Every spiritual body, containing our mental organs of willing (affective), thinking (cognitive), and sensing-moving (sensorimotor) is constructed, then activated, by the spiritual light streaming into the cognitive organ, and the spiritual heat streaming into the affective organ (see diagrams in Section xx).

So with that explanation as a background context, you can understand rationally how Divine Speech manages both universes. First the universes are constructed out of the substances of spiritual light and heat which stream out in infinite variety and quantity form the Spiritual Sun. Divine Speech is nothing else than this stream of spiritual light and heat creating the two universes and continuing to create them and manage them by a continuous and endless stream of spiritual light and heat.

The inmost structural framework of any created thing in the two universes is therefore this spiritual light and heat that streams out in infinite variety. Then, in successive discrete layers, this stream of substantive light and heat creates the mental world out of rational ether, with succeeding mental layers that become more and more specialized or limited in property. The upper layers of the mental world are called heavenly experiences, the middle layers are called natural experiences, and the lowest layers are called hellish experiences. Your experience as an individual is determined by which layer your consciousness is bottoming out. You can be in heavenly layers today and in hellish layers tomorrow, and then again in heavenly layers sometimes later.

While we are connected to a physical body, we can alternate across all the layers. This is because we need training and preparation for conscious life in eternity. During this training period we accumulate experiences, traits, habits, and above all, loves. Every love we accumulate is immortal and stays in our mental world forever. Hence it becomes extremely critical for us to manage our loves. We inherit strong tendencies to love and enjoy hellish traits. Unless we learn to detach ourselves from these inherited loves, they remain attached to us in our mental world. After we are resuscitated, a few hours following our "death", we have various experiences that force us to look at all our loves, both heavenly and hellish. Then after exploring them, we are forced to select what we are willing to give up. This is called the vastation (see Section xx).

If we are unwilling to give up even one of our hellish loves, then all our heavenly loves and traits are put to sleep biologically, and rendered inoperative. This is called "damnation" or "second death." Your personality in hell, that is, when all your heavenly traits are removed, is crude, gross, beastly, evil, infernal, monstrous, irrational, delusional, constantly enraged, stupid, and with the deepest hatred for God, innocence, infants, and conjugial marriage. Further, Swedenborg reports that our mental states in hell do not allow any sexuality that can satisfy us, but only compulsions and fetishes that are inherently acerbating and tormenting our mind endlessly.

Bit if we are willing to give up all hellish loves, then they are biologically put to sleep, rendered inoperative. This allows our consciousness to rise to our heavenly loves, and to remain in them forever (see Section xx). Your heavenly personality is celestial, conjugial, rational, wise, intelligent, peaceful, and loving God, innocence, infants, and conjugial marriage. Further, Swedenborg reports that our mental states in heaven allow true human sexuality that can satisfy us with joy and conjugial bliss that is inherently expanding and enriching our mind endlessly.

Throughout the generations of communities over the millennia, God has provided information on the two universes, how He manages them, and how we are to prepare for our immortal life in eternity. This information is obtained from the correspondential sense of Sacred Scripture, which has been provided in some form in every culture.

Divine Speech issuing from the Spiritual Sun and spreading into the two universes, becomes conscious to human beings through the meanings of Sacred Scripture, and these meanings are different throughout the layers of the mind. Sacred Scripture exists in every layer of the mind so that people who live in that layer can have conscious access to Divine Speech. After you are resuscitated you will be able to see copies of Sacred Scripture. Swedenborg saw these on a regular basis and reports that a very intense light shines forth from the book, and this is on account of the Spiritual Sun which is in its inmost layer of meaning (see Section).

Divine Speech comes to us as meaning. This meaning is our consciousness itself. The mental world of the human race is constructed out of meaning or rational ether. There is only one mental world of eternity, just as there is only physical world of space. Every spiritual body is in this one mental world. So the source of your sensations, thoughts, and feelings is the same as the source of my sensations, thoughts, and feelings. This is true for every individual and the entire human race (see Vertical Community, Section xx).

The meaning of Sacred Scripture in the highest layer of our mental world is at the level of consciousness called celestial-rational. Anyone whose loves are heavenly, and has given up loves that are hellish, resides and exists in this celestial mental layer of the human race. Sacred Scripture is available at any layer to allow us to climb up in consciousness to the celestial-rational meanings and thinking. At this level of existence we are Angels of great power and knowledge, existing in conjugial bliss that increases to eternity (see Section xx).

The next layer of consciousness is to think in terms of spiritual-rational correspondences of Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture. In a lower layer we can exist in spiritual-natural correspondences of Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture. Below that we can exist in the natural correspondences of Divine Speech in Sacred Scripture. This is the level the people are typically conscious of. They read Sacred Scripture in a natural language and they see that it contains information about God's interactions with certain people at certain times. All religions are based on this natural interpretation of their Sacred Scripture.

This is why there needs to be as many religions as there are groupings of cultures, and each religion must have its own original revelation or Sacred Scripture, given to a prophet by God. This is done with people who are willing to be the trustworthy guardians and protectors of that Sacred Scripture. In other words these people were "chosen" by God because He could activate their loves as loyal keepers of the sacred text. You can see how important it was for the text to be preserved exactly as dictated by God through the prophet's mind. The text starts as celestial-rational ideas of God's words, then changes to spiritual ideas of God's words, then to natural ideas of God's words. That's when the prophet becomes conscious of the words and writes them down.

You can see that it's not possible for the prophet to know or express God's words in either celestial or spiritual meanings. The prophet thinks and writes in a natural language, not spiritual, not celestial. So the text of God's words in a natural language looks like....what? Well, we know this from the Sacred Scripture familiar to us from our socialization or education. God talks about His relationship to a particular people and tells stories about their lives on earth. God also talks about commandments were must do. Also, that He loves us and provides for us. And also, that if we love Him, He can reward us with heaven. But if we oppose Him, we will suffer the torments of hell.

What do you think? Is this all? Is it all that God is talking about to human beings? No insights? No solved puzzles? No description of the afterlife? Of the future? Of how God manages it all? Why isn't God talking about that? Wouldn't it be more believable if God talked about these higher things instead of ordinary things that ordinary people and children can understand?

The answer is that these higher things are the very things God is talking to us about, but by the time it gets translated from celestial, to spiritual, to natural, what's left are the things understood by ordinary people and children. God also provides a way for people who want more. He makes sure that all sacred text written out by a prophet is sequenced and selected so that the inner and inmost layers of meaning in it, are maintained.

The result is that all Sacred Scripture serves two purposes. One for letting ordinary people and children know that there is God, that He loves them, that He wants to take them to heaven, but that they must cooperate by following the commandments in the sacred text. The second source of Sacred Scripture is for scientists, scholars, and students who want to climb up the layers of meaning hidden with. Every single word of Sacred Scripture is sacred, holy, and Divine, and every sequence of words is Divine Truth. This fact cannot be known or understood unless one knows that there are layers of Divine meaning hidden within, and to some extent, what they are (celestial, spiritual, natural, see Section xx).

People entrusted with the sacred task of being keepers and protectors of some Sacred Scripture ought to be honored for their efforts over the centuries and generations. Even if they do not accept the ideas of theistic psychology, that there are hidden layers of meaning, they still are ready to defend and protect the text itself. With this they are performing a universal service for all humanity, past, present and future. Every Sacred Scripture represents a unique link God has created between Him and humanity. Through this link flows a never ending and continuous stream of consciousness raising meanings that equip us with heavenly truths that we can use to empower our heavenly loves to defeat the hellish ones.

So the purpose of all Sacred Scripture is to give human beings heavenly truths that we can use to defeat our hellish loves and their falsities. Without these truths, we are pulled down inexorably into the psychobiology of existence in eternal hell.

All this has been arranged by God as a method for our spiritual growth, which is achieved by climbing up the layers of meaning hidden in Sacred Scripture. All Sacred Scripture at any particular layer of the mental world, contains all the layers that are above it. Hence whatever layer people are at in their thinking and feeling, they can use their Sacred Scripture to climb up to the celestial-rational level of thinking and loving. The climbing of meaning in all Sacred Scripture is different outwardly between different sacred texts, but the same inwardly in all of them.

This is because there is only one God and He manages every person regardless of their culture, beliefs or knowledge. Theistic psychology is the knowledge we acquire through which we can make this climb successful with any Sacred Scripture. Success is guaranteed because it is prescribed by God in the hidden layers of meaning of Sacred Scripture.

God's meanings or Divine Rationality is adapted or accommodated to the individual's mind by means of the layers of meanings that there are in correspondences. The change in meaning of Sacred Scripture across the layers of the human mental world, is managed by God through successive levels of correspondences to His Divine Speech or Rational Ideas. God wants us to know what these correspondences are that He uses to manage the created universe through Divine Speech or truth (see Section xx). God has therefore revealed through Sacred Scripture what these correspondences are. But subsequently these correspondences were corrupted and used for magic so that God managed to have them forgotten until this desire to corrupt correspondences died out. God then gave new sacred text in which he revealed once more what correspondences are (see Section xx). Illustrations and demonstrations will be given in the following Sections (see also Section xx). The new revelations about correspondences in the Writings Sacred Scripture given through Swedenborg in the 18th century, now provides modern science access to this powerful knowledge.

One must therefore study and understand the laws of correspondences by which Divine Speech becomes Sacred Scripture at various levels of human thinking and feeling. These laws are Divine and cannot be discovered. We must not invent them or construct them from human intelligence. In the Writings Sacred Scripture, God has revealed to the modern scientific mind what these correspondences are. The same correspondences apply to all Sacred Scripture since there is only one Divine Speech that filters through the various natural language versions of Sacred Scripture in all the genuine religions that God has created on this earth.

But note this important phenomenon:

You can read a dictionary of correspondences (see Section xx) and try to understand the spiritual meaning of natural expressions in Sacred Scripture -- but this will only allow you to perceive the natural meaning of these correspondences. For instance we can read in the dictionary of correspondences that when Sacred Scripture mentions "water" in some sense (rain, ocean, river, flood, fountain) it is actually discussing cognitive operations in the natural layer of our mind, which involves meanings paraphrased from the literal sense of the sacred text. When the sacred text contrasts "water" with "wine" in some way, it is referring to cognitive operations in the spiritual layer of our mind, which involves meanings we derive by correspondences of the literal text of Sacred Scripture.

Spiritual meanings of God and eternity (wine) and natural meanings of God and eternity (water) are at different layers of understanding or consciousness in our mind. The sacred text is striving to bring our focus on its spiritual meanings because these are the meanings that raise our consciousness above the natural world. These spiritual meanings are needed for our preparation for eternity. This is why theistic psychology can be so beneficial to all humanity.

Theistic psychology is the scientific knowledge that we accumulate through the method of correspondences with enlightenment. The reason we say "with enlightenment" is that all spiritual meanings must be perceived by enlightenment from God. God constantly and ceaselessly works in our individual mind to enlighten it with spiritual light from the Spiritual Sun. This results in the elevation of our consciousness from the natural world to the spiritual world of eternity.

You can see the result of this effort as you read throughout the 18 volumes of this work. If your purpose for studying theistic psychology is to acquire correspondential truths from Sacred Scripture ("wine"), with a view to applying them to your daily willing, thinking, and doing, then God will enlighten you, raise your consciousness to the highest levels, and empower you with wisdom and conjugial love (see Section xx). If your purpose is not that of applying the knowledge to your character reformation, then it is impossible for God to enlighten you and to raise your consciousness. This is because enlightenment is the process of using spiritual truths to fight our hellish enjoyments (temptations, see Section xx).

The following diagram depicts the evolutionary steps of humankind on this earth created by Divine Speech exteriorized as Sacred Scripture. It presents a historical sequence extracted from the Writings Sacred Scripture.

The above diagram presents evolution in a successive order (see Section xx). The diagram below presents it in simultaneous order. It shows that what has been produced by successive steps in development exists in real time in simultaneous order. That is, what was first is now inmost, and what was last is now outmost.

See also the following diagram which explains the relationship between successive and simultaneous order.

God creates all things by means of truth within which is good (see Section xx). These two substances are living and infinite as they are part of God's own infinite substance. It follows therefore that the inmost framework of an object is the substance of good and truth arranged in a particular and unique order to produce existence of that object. Divine truth within which is good is therefore the basic infrastructure upon which all creation rests, and from which all objects get their unique form and properties. Remember that God is omnipresent. Now you can begin to see how that is scientifically true.

God is omnipresent not in space but apart from space (see Section xx). The words "apart" and "within" are used in theistic psychology to refer to the discrete layers of all created objects. God is present in every object, molecule, or property, in a discrete degree "apart" or "within" the object itself. Since good and truth are substances in God and of God, they remain of God when they are "apart" or "within" any object. Hence it is that God is omnipresent -- through his own substance that lies within every object, maintaining it in existence, thus giving it subsistence (see Section xx).

It is the same whether you say truth within which is good, or whether you say Divine Truth within which is Divine Good, and also, whether you say Divine Speech within which is Divine Love. Hence you can see that we can also say that God creates and maintains all things in existence through Divine Speech. As Divine Speech descends from God it first enters into the mental world of the human race (see Section xx). From the top layer called celestial mind, it then descends or exteriorizes into the next layer  called the spiritual mind, then the rational mind, then the natural mind, then the physical body and the rest of the physical world of matter in time space. This is at the bottom or the most exterior level of existence.

Divine Speech enters each layer of creation by the power of correspondences that is built into good and truth. In other words, the substances of good and truth can exist at different spiritual distance from that which first proceeds from the Divine Human through the Spiritual Sun (see Section xx). The celestial arrangement of good and truth is as perfect an image and likeness of God's mind as is possible to achieve for created and finite human beings. The Sacred Scripture that exists in the celestial layer of the mental world was seen by Swedenborg, and may be seen by all whose consciousness rests on celestial-rational correspondences of Divine Speech (see Section xx).

Swedenborg was able to compare the written version of the Old and New Testament Sacred Scriptures across the four layers of the human mind: celestial or third heaven, spiritual or second heaven, interior-natural or first heaven (spiritual-natural), and finally exterior-natural, which is the version that is known here on earth in a natural language and script.

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

AC 3737. Such an order has been instituted by the Lord that higher things inflow into lower ones, and therein present an image of themselves in general, and consequently are together therein in a certain general form, and thus are in order from the Highest, that is, from the Lord; from this it is that the proximate image of the Lord is the inmost heaven, which is the heaven of innocence and peace, where those who are celestial dwell; which heaven, because nearest to the Lord, is called His "likeness." The next heaven, namely, that which succeeds and is in a lower degree, is an "image" of the Lord, because in this heaven, as in something general, there are simultaneously presented the things which are in the higher heaven. The ultimate heaven, which succeeds this again, is similarly circumstanced, for the particulars and singulars of the heaven next higher inflow into this heaven, and are therein presented in general, and in a correspondent form.

[2] The case is similar with man, for he has been created and formed to be an image of the three heavens. In man that which is inmost inflows in like manner into that which is lower; and this in like manner into that which is lowest or last. The natural and corporeal consists of such an influx and concourse into those things which are beneath, and finally into those which are last. In this way there is a connection of the last or ultimate things with the first, without which connection that which is last in order would not subsist a single moment. Thus it is manifest what is meant by higher things being in the ultimate of order as in their house. Whether we speak of things higher and lower, or interior and exterior, it is the same; for to man's view things interior appear as higher; and for this reason man places heaven on high, when yet it is in what is internal. (AC 3737)

It is revealed in Sacred Scripture that the physical world is created for the sake of our physical body which allows us to develop a natural mind that contains an operational affective organ for feelings, a cognitive organ operating our thoughts, and a sensorimotor organ that acts as an intermediary between the interior mental and the exterior mental (see Section xx). The question immediately arises as to why there is evil in the human mind and things in the world that are noxious to the life and happiness of human beings. Evil in the mind, like selfishness and cruelty, and noxious things in the world, like poisons and draughts, were not present with the earliest generations that lived on this earth. They were "celestial" people, peace loving and in mutual respect and love to each other (see Section xx). Their natural mind grew and was formed into a natural heaven that corresponded to their spiritual and celestial mind or heaven. Earth was then a paradise in outward form. When the inhabitants reached their third decade of life they were regenerated sufficiently so that they could transition from their natural mind to their spiritual mind in eternity.

Swedenborg interviewed some of them  in their celestial heavens and they appeared to him to live in an heavenly paradise similar in appearance to what they had on earth many thousands of years ago, by earth time. They were not at all conscious of time and appeared in age to be around 20. They lived as conjugial couples in eternal bliss. They possessed, worshipped, and cherished God as the Divine Human, whom they could not see or talk to directly until after the Incarnation Event. They were able to talk to the Divine Human through an intermediary celestial person who was then put into a trance like mental state, speaking only what God spoke through the intermediary person (see Section xx). They had with them the Sacred Scripture of the Most Ancient Church called the Most Ancient Word (see Section xx). Their religions were celestial rational, as the diagram above shows. Their Oral Sacred Scripture was the source of all their knowledge about God and reality. When they left their physical body they were resuscitated directly into the heaven of their celestial mind. Hell did not yet exist in the human mind.

But subsequent generations did not do as well. They started exploring what it would feel like to disobey their conscience and their teachers from heaven who communicated with them. God allowed this to occur and provided for it as well, always moderating their tendency to precipitate themselves into greater and greater profanation of the truth of their Oral Sacred Scripture which they had in their understanding and memory. When these people were resuscitated they were unable to raise their consciousness and life to the level of their heavens. Their feelings and emotions could not stand the obedient, altruistic, and virtuous spheres of their heavens. Hence God provided for them a portion of the mental world where a sphere of hell can exist and support their life of evil loves, delusional beliefs, and bestial lifestyle. After this, all people who were born on this earth inherited this hell in their mind. Life on earth then became a struggle to regenerate, to alter fundamentally one's inherited character traits, from a love of hellish traits, to a love of heavenly traits (see Section xx).

You can see therefore that the generations that were born after the human hells had been created are different from the generations that were before. The earliest generations, called the celestial human race, does not have a hell in their affective organ of the natural mind. Subsequent generations, called the spiritual race, were born with hell in their mind. This essential anatomical difference in mental structure necessitates the separation in spiritual geography, of the two races, celestial and spiritual. The people of the celestial race that live in the hells are separated from the rest of the celestial race that does not have a hell in the mind.

The spiritual race has therefore a different evolutionary history. The early generations of the spiritual race, called the Ancient Church, derived their rationality and knowledge from the Ancient Sacred Scripture which they had with them. This was the first time that a written Sacred Scripture became available to the human race. Their religions were spiritual-rational, as shown in the diagram above. Swedenborg was able to read this version in the spiritual world as it is still with the people in heaven who had received it while on earth. A few passages from this Ancient  Word are quoted in the Old Testament Sacred Scripture (see Section xx). This is an indication that the evolution of Sacred Scriptures on this earth took place not by replacement of each other but by incorporation. The later version always incorporates the earlier version, making it a basis for itself, and then expanding on it by new revelations that take the human race further in its evolution, that is, in its relationship to God.

The spiritual-rational religions also evolved in the course of time until the original understanding was gradually lost. Subsequent versions of Sacred Scripture were given which incorporated the previous versions, and took them to new revelations and new relationships to God. First among these natural-rational religions was the Old Testament Sacred Scripture, then the New Testament Sacred Scripture, then the Qu'ran Sacred Scripture.

The next evolutionary step came when the human race was brought to modern times and science and a new ability to understand Sacred Scripture rationally. The Writings Sacred Scripture were given in the 18th century as a spiritual-rational revelation in modern scientific terms, and they incorporate, confirm, and strengthen the Divine truths that have been revealed in all of Sacred Scripture until then, but now, in a scientific way which was not possible before. This has given birth to theistic psychology, which may be called a celestial-rational science.

It is clear therefore that Sacred Scripture plays a principal and essential role in the evolution of the human race both on earth and in eternity.

This presentation continues in Section 1.1.4.3.2 Extracting the Content of Divine Speech Through Correspondences and related Sections. (see Section xx).

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

SS 1. Doctrine of Holy Scripture  THE HOLY SCRIPTURE OR WORD IS DIVINE TRUTH

It is in everybody's mouth that the Word is from God, is Divinely inspired, and is therefore holy; and yet hitherto no one has known wherein it is Divine. For in the letter the Word appears like a common writing, in a style that is strange, and neither so sublime nor so brilliant as apparently are the writings of the day. For this reason a man who worships nature as God, or in preference to God, and who consequently thinks from himself and what is proper to himself, and not from heaven from the Lord, may easily fall into error in respect to the Word, and into contempt for it, and while reading it may say to himself, What is this? What is that? Can this be Divine? Could God, whose wisdom is infinite, speak in this manner? Wherein consists its holiness, and whence comes its holiness, except from religious feeling and its consequent persuasion?

SS 2. But he who thinks in this way does not consider that Jehovah Himself, the God of heaven and earth, spoke the Word through Moses and the prophets, and that it must therefore be Divine truth itself, for what Jehovah Himself speaks can be nothing else. Nor does he consider that the Lord, who is the same as Jehovah, spoke the Word that is in the Gospels, much of it with His own mouth, and the rest from the spirit of His mouth, which is the Holy Spirit. This is why, as He Himself says, there is Life in His words, that He is the Light which enlightens, and that He is the Truth.*

[2] That the words which the Lord Himself spoke in the Gospels are Life, is declared in John:
The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life (John 6:63).

Jesus said to the woman at Jacob's well, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give Me to drink, thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water. Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into eternal life (John 4:6, 10, 14).

"Jacob's well" signifies the Word, as also in Deut. 33:28, for which reason the Lord sat there and conversed with the woman. And "water" signifies the truth that is in the Word.

[3] Again in John:

If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water (John 7:37-38).
Peter said unto Jesus, Thou hast the words of eternal life (John 6:68).
And therefore the Lord says in Mark:
Heaven and earth shall pass away; but My words shall not pass away (Mark 13:31).
The reason the Lord's words are "Life" is that He Himself is the "Life" and the "Truth," as He teaches in John:
I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word; in Him was life; and the life was the light of men (John 1:1, 4.)

"The Word" here means the Lord as to Divine truth, in which alone there is life and there is light.

[4] It is on this account that the Word, which is from the Lord and which is the Lord, is called

A fountain of living waters (Jer. 2:13; 17:13; 31:9).
A fountain of salvation (Isa. 12:3).
A fountain (Zech. 13:1).
A river of the water of life (Rev. 22:1).

And it is said that

The Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters (Rev. 7:17).
Besides other passages where the Word is called the "sanctuary" and the "Tabernacle" in which the Lord dwells with man.

(SS 1)

SS 3. But the natural man cannot be persuaded by these considerations to believe that the Word is Divine truth itself wherein are Divine wisdom and Divine life; for he judges it by its style, and in this they do not appear. Yet the style of the Word is the Divine style itself, with which no other style, however sublime and excellent it may seem, is at all to be compared; for every other style is as darkness is to light. The style of the Word is such that there is holiness in every sentence, and in every word, and in some places in even the very letters. This is why the Word conjoins man with the Lord, and opens heaven. From the Lord proceed two things: Divine love, and Divine wisdom (or, what is the same, Divine good, and Divine truth, for Divine good is of His Divine love, and Divine truth is of His Divine wisdom), and in its essence the Word is both of these; and as it conjoins man with the Lord, and opens heaven, it follows that the man who reads it from the Lord, and not from himself alone, is filled by it with the good of love and the truths of wisdom; his will with the good of love, and his understanding with the truths of wisdom. In this way man has life by means of the Word. (SS 3)

SS 4. Therefore in order to remove all doubt as to such being the character of the Word, the Lord has revealed to me the Word's internal sense. In its essence this sense is spiritual, and in relation to the external sense, which is natural, is as soul is to body. This sense is the spirit which gives life to the letter; it can therefore bear witness to the divinity and holiness of the Word, and convince even the natural man, if he is willing to be convinced. (SS 4)

SS 6. From the Lord proceed the CELESTIAL, the SPIRITUAL, and the NATURAL, one after another. That is called the celestial which proceeds from His Divine love, and is Divine good; that is called the SPIRITUAL which proceeds from His Divine wisdom, and is Divine truth; the NATURAL is from both, being their complex in the ultimate. The angels of the Lord's celestial kingdom, of whom is composed the third or highest heaven, are in that Divine which proceeds from the Lord that is called the celestial, for they are in the good of love from the Lord. The angels of the Lord's spiritual kingdom, of whom is composed the second or middle heaven, are in that Divine which proceeds from the Lord that is called the spiritual, for they are in truths of wisdom from the Lord.* But the men of the church on earth are in the Divine Natural, which also proceeds from the Lord.

From this it follows that the Divine in proceeding from the Lord to its ultimates descends through three degrees, and is named the celestial, the spiritual, and the natural. The Divine which comes down from the Lord to men descends through these three degrees; and when it has come down, it holds these three degrees contained within it. Such is everything Divine, so that when it is in its ultimate degree it is in its fullness. Such is the Word; in its ultimate sense it is natural, in its interior sense it is spiritual, and in its inmost sense it is celestial; and in each sense it is Divine. That such is the nature of the Word does not appear in the sense of the letter, which sense is natural, for the reason that hitherto the man of this world has known nothing about the heavens; and consequently has not known what the spiritual is, nor what the celestial is, nor therefore the distinction between them and the natural. (SS 6)

SS 8. As therefore the Word interiorly is spiritual and celestial, it is written exclusively by correspondences. And what is thus written is in its ultimate sense written in a style such as is that of the Prophets and Evangelists, which, although it may appear common, yet conceals within it Divine and all angelic wisdom. (SS 8)

SS 9. ii. The spiritual sense is in all things of the Word, and in every single particular of it. This cannot be better seen than by examples, such as the following. John says in Revelation:

I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse, and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns, and He had a name written that no man knew but He Himself, and He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood, and His name is called the Word of God. And His armies in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. And I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried with a loud voice, Come and gather yourselves together to the great supper, that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, and small and great (Rev. 19:11-18).

What these things signify cannot be known except from the spiritual sense of the Word, and no one can know the spiritual sense except from a knowledge of correspondences, for all the above words are correspondences, and not one word there is without meaning. The knowledge of correspondences teaches what is signified by the white horse, what by Him who sat thereon, what by His eyes that were as a flame of fire, what by the crowns that were upon His head, what by His vesture dipped in blood, what by the white linen in which they were clothed who were of His army in heaven, what by the angel standing in the sun, what by the great supper to which they should come and gather themselves, and what by the flesh of kings, and captains, and others, which they should eat.

The signification of each of these things in the spiritual sense may be seen in White Horse, where they are explained, so that it is unnecessary to explain them further here. In that little work it has been shown that the Lord in respect to the Word is here described; and that by His eyes which were as a flame of fire, and by the crowns that were upon His head, and by the name that no one knew but He Himself, is meant the spiritual sense of the Word, and that no one can know it but the Lord Himself and he to whom He wills to reveal it; and also that by His vesture dipped in blood is meant the natural sense of the Word, which is the sense of its letter, to which violence has been done. That it is the Word which is thus described is very evident, for it is said "His name is called the Word of God"; and that it is the Lord who is meant is equally clear, for it is said that the name of Him who sat on the white horse was written, King of kings and Lord of lords. That at the end of the church the spiritual sense of the Word is to be opened is signified not only by what is said of the white horse and of Him who sat thereon, but also by the great supper to which the angel standing in the sun invited all to come, and to eat the flesh of kings and of captains, of mighty men, of horses, and of them that sat on them, and of all both free and bond. All these expressions would be empty words and devoid of spirit and life, unless there were what is spiritual within them, like soul in body. (SS 9)

SS 12.  In Revelation, chapter 6, it is said:

That when the Lamb opened the first seal of the book, there went forth a white horse, and that he who sat thereon had a bow, and to him was given a crown; that when He opened the second seal there went forth a red horse, and that to him who sat thereon was given a great sword; that when He opened the third seal there went forth a black horse, and that he who sat thereon had a pair of balances in his hand; and that when He opened the fourth seal there went forth a pale horse, and that the name of him who sat thereon was death (Rev. 6:1-8).

What these things signify can be unfolded solely by means of the spiritual sense; and it is completely unfolded when it is known what is signified by the opening of the seals, by a horse, and by the other things mentioned. By them are described the successive states of the church, from its beginning to its end, in respect to its understanding of the Word. The "opening of the seals of the book by the Lamb" signifies the manifestation by the Lord of those states of the church. A "horse" signifies the understanding of the Word; the "white horse," the understanding of truth from the Word in the first state of the church; the "bow" of him who sat upon that horse, the doctrine of charity and faith fighting against falsities; the "crown," eternal life, the prize of victory. The "red horse" signifies the understanding of the Word destroyed in respect to good, in the second state of the church; the "great sword," falsity fighting against truth. The "black horse" signifies the understanding of the Word destroyed in respect to truth, in the third state of the church; the "pair of balances," the estimation of truth so small that there was scarcely any. The "pale horse" signifies the understanding of the Word annihilated by evils of life and the derivative falsities, in the fourth or last state of the church; and "death" signifies eternal condemnation.

It is not apparent in the sense of the letter or natural sense that such is the signification of these things in the spiritual sense, so that unless the spiritual sense were at some time opened, the Word as to this and all other things in Revelation would be so completely closed that at last no one would know wherein its Divine holiness lies. It is equally so in respect to what is signified by the "four horses" and the "four chariots" that came forth from between two mountains of brass (Zech. 6:1-8). (SS 12)

SS 15. In order that it may be seen that without the spiritual sense the prophetical parts of the Word of the Old Testament are in many passages not intelligible, I will adduce a few, such as the following in Isaiah:

Then shall Jehovah stir up a scourge against Asshur, according to the smiting of Midian at the rock of Oreb, and his rod shall be upon the sea, which he shall lift up in the way of Egypt. And it shall come to pass in that day that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck. He shall come against Aiath; he shall pass to Migron; against Michmash he shall command his arms; they shall pass over Mebara; Gebah shall be a lodging to us; Ramah shall tremble; Gibeah of Saul shall flee. Wail with thy voice O daughter of Gallim; hearken O Laish, O wretched Anathoth. Madmenah shall be a wanderer; the inhabitants of Gebim shall gather themselves together. Is there as yet a day to stand in Nob? The mountain of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem, shall shake her hand. Jehovah shall cut off the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by a magnificent one (Isa. 10:26-32, 34).

Here we meet with mere names, from which nothing can be drawn except by the aid of the spiritual sense, in which all the names in the Word signify things of heaven and the church. From this sense it is gathered that these words signify that the whole church has been devastated by memory-knowledges [scientifica]* perverting all truth, and confirming falsity.
[2] In another place in the same prophet:

In that day the envy of Ephraim shall depart, and the enemies of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not straiten Ephraim; but they shall fly upon the shoulder of the Philistines toward the sea, together shall they spoil the sons of the east, Edom and Moab shall be the putting forth of their hand. Jehovah shall utter a curse against the tongue of the Egyptian sea, and with the vehemence of His spirit He shall shake His hand over the river, and shall smite it into seven streams, so that He shall make a way [to pass over it] with shoes. Then shall there be a path for the remnant of his people, which remnant shall be from Asshur (Isa. 11:13-16).

Here also no one would see anything Divine except one who knows what is signified by the several names; and yet the subject treated of is the Lord's advent, and what shall then come to pass, as is plainly evident from verses 1 to 10. Who, therefore, without the aid of the spiritual sense, would see that by these things in their order is signified that they who are in falsities from ignorance, yet have not suffered themselves to be led astray by evils, will come to the Lord, and that the church will then understand the Word; and that falsities will then no longer harm them?

[3] The case is the same where there are not names, as in Ezekiel:

Thus saith the Lord Jehovih, Son of man, say unto the bird of every wing, and to every wild beast of the field, Assemble yourselves and come, gather yourselves from round about to My sacrifice which I sacrifice for you, a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh and drink blood; ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth; ye shall eat fat to satiety, and drink blood to drunkenness, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you. Ye shall be sated at my table with the horse and the chariot, with the mighty man, and with every man of war. Thus will I set my glory among the nations (Ezek. 39:17-21).

One who does not know from the spiritual sense what is signified by a sacrifice, by flesh and blood, by a horse, a chariot, a mighty man, and a man of war, would suppose that such things were to be eaten and drunk. But the spiritual sense teaches that to "eat the flesh and drink the blood of the sacrifice which the Lord Jehovih will offer upon the mountains of Israel" signifies to appropriate to one's self Divine good and Divine truth from the Word; for the subject treated of is the calling together of all to the Lord's kingdom, and, specifically, the setting up anew of the church by the Lord among the nations. Who cannot see that by "flesh" is not here meant flesh, nor blood by "blood"? As that people should drink blood to drunkenness, and that they should be sated with horse, chariot, mighty man, and every man of war. So in a thousand other passages in the prophets.

SS 16. Without the spiritual sense no one would know why the prophet Jeremiah was commanded

To buy himself a girdle, and put it on his loins; and not to draw it through the waters, but to hide it in a hole of the rock by Euphrates (Jer. 13:1-7).

 Or why the prophet Isaiah was commanded

To loose the sackcloth from off his loins, and put the shoe from off his foot, and go naked and barefoot three years (Isa. 20:2-3).

Or why the prophet Ezekiel was commanded

To pass a razor upon his head and upon his beard, and afterwards to divide the hairs, and burn a third part in the midst of the city, smite a third part with the sword, scatter a third part in the wind, and bind a few of them in his skirts, and at last throw them into the midst of the fire (Ezek. 5:1-4).

Or why the same prophet was commanded

To lie upon his left side three hundred and ninety days, and upon his right side forty days, and to make himself a cake of wheat, and barley, and millet, and spelt, with the dung of an ox, and eat it; and in the meantime to raise a rampart and a mound against Jerusalem, and besiege it (Ezek. 4:1-15).

Or why the prophet Hosea was twice commanded

To take to himself a harlot to wife (Hos. 1:2-9; 3:2-3).

And many like things. Moreover, without the spiritual sense who would know what is signified by all the things pertaining to the Tabernacle, such as the ark, the mercy-seat, cherubim, lampstand, altar of incense, the bread of faces on the table, and its veils and curtains? Who without the spiritual sense would know what is signified by Aaron's garments of holiness, by his coat, cloak, ephod, urim and thummim, miter, and other things? Who without the spiritual sense would know what is signified by all the things enjoined concerning the burnt-offerings, sacrifices, meat-offerings, and drink-offerings, and also concerning the Sabbaths and feasts? The truth is that not the least thing was commanded concerning them that did not signify something of the Lord, heaven, and the church. From these few examples it may be clearly seen that there is a spiritual sense in all things of the Word and in every particular of it. (SS 16)

SS 17. That the Lord when in the world spoke by correspondences, thus that He spoke spiritually while He spoke naturally, is evident from His parables, in each and every word of which there is a spiritual sense. Take for example the parable of the ten virgins:

The kingdom of the heavens is like unto ten virgins, who took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom; five of them were wise, and five were foolish; they that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil, but the wise took oil in their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried they all slumbered and slept; and at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins awaked, and trimmed their lamps; and the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil, for our lamps are gone out; but the wise answered, saying, Not so, lest there be not enough for us and you; but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went away to buy, the bridegroom came, and they that were ready went in with him to the wedding, and the door was shut. Afterwards came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, lord, open to us; but he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not (Matt. 25:1-12).

[2] That there is a spiritual sense in each and every one of these things, and a consequent Divine holiness, can be seen by him only who knows that a spiritual sense exists, and what is its nature. In the spiritual sense, the "kingdom of God" means heaven and the church; the "bridegroom," the Lord; the "wedding," the marriage of the Lord with heaven and the church by means of the good of love and of faith. "Virgins" signify those who are of the church; "ten," all; "five," some; "lamps," the truths of faith; "oil," the good of love; to "sleep," and to "awake," the life of man in this world which is natural life, and his life after death which is spiritual; to "buy," to procure for themselves; to "go to them that sell and buy oil," to procure for themselves the good of love from others after death; and as this can then be no longer procured, although they came with their lamps and the oil they had bought to the door where the wedding was, yet the bridegroom said to them "I know you not." The reason is that after his life in this world a man remains such as he had lived in this world.

[3] From all this it is evident that the Lord spoke exclusively by correspondences, and this because He spoke from the Divine that was in Him, and was His. That the "bridegroom" signifies the Lord; the "kingdom of the heavens," the church; a "wedding," the marriage of the Lord with the church by means of the good of love and of faith; "ten," all; "five," some; to "sleep," a natural state; to "buy," to procure for one's self; a "door," entrance into heaven; and "not to know them," when spoken by the Lord, not to be in His love, is evident from many passages in the prophetic Word where these expressions have a like signification. It is because "virgins" signify those who are of the church that the virgin and daughter of Zion, of Jerusalem, of Judah, and of Israel are so often mentioned in the prophetic Word. And it is because "oil" signifies the good of love that all the holy things of the Israelitish church were anointed with oil. It is the same with all the other parables, and with all the words the Lord spoke, and that were written in the Gospels. This is why the Lord says that

His words are spirit and are life (John 6:63).

[4] It is the same with all the Lord's miracles, which were Divine because they signified the various states of those with whom the church was to be set up anew by the Lord. Thus when the blind received sight, it signified that they who had been in ignorance of truth should receive intelligence; when the deaf received hearing, it signified that they who had previously heard nothing about the Lord and the Word should hearken and obey; when the dead were raised, it signified that they who otherwise would spiritually perish would become living; and so on. This is meant by the Lord's reply to the disciples of John, who sent them to ask whether He was the one that should come:

Tell John the things which ye do hear and see: the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead rise again, and the poor hear the gospel (Matt. 11:3-5).

Moreover, all the miracles related in the Word contain in them such things as belong to the Lord, to heaven, and to the church. This makes these miracles Divine, and distinguishes them from those which are not Divine. These few examples are given in order to illustrate what the spiritual sense is, and to show that it is in all things of the Word and in every particular of it. (SS 17)

SS 18. iii. From the spiritual sense it is that the Word is Divinely inspired, and is holy in every word. It is said in the church that the Word is holy, and this because Jehovah God spoke it; but as its holiness is not apparent from the letter alone, he who on this account once doubts its holiness, afterwards confirms his doubt when reading the Word by many things in it, for he then thinks, Can this be holy; can this be Divine? Therefore lest such a thought should flow in with many, and should afterwards prevail, and thereby the conjunction of the Lord with the church, in which is the Word, should perish, it has now pleased the Lord to reveal the spiritual sense, in order that it may be known where in the Word this holiness lies hid.

[2] This again may be illustrated by examples. The Word treats sometimes of Egypt, sometimes of Asshur, sometimes of Edom, of Moab, of the sons of Ammon, of Tyre and Sidon, of Gog; and one who does not know that these names signify things of heaven and the church may be led into the error that the Word treats much of nations and peoples, and but little of heaven and the church; thus much of earthly, and little of heavenly things. But when he knows what is signified by them, or by their names, he can come out of error into truth.

[3] And so when he sees in the Word such frequent mention of gardens, groves, and forests, and also of the trees in them, as the olive, vine, cedar, poplar, oak; and also such frequent mention of the lamb, sheep, goat, calf, ox; and likewise of mountains, hills, valleys, and the fountains, rivers, and waters in them, and many like things, one who knows nothing about the spiritual sense of the Word must believe that these things only are meant. For he is not aware that a garden, grove, and forest, mean wisdom, intelligence, and knowledge; that an olive, vine, cedar, poplar, and oak, mean the celestial, spiritual, rational, natural, and sensuous good and truth of the church; that a lamb, sheep, goat, calf, and ox mean innocence, charity, and natural affection; that mountains, hills, and valleys, mean higher, lower, and lowest things of the church; that Egypt signifies memory-knowledge,* Asshur reason, Edom the natural, Moab the adulteration of good, the sons of Ammon the adulteration of truth, Tyre and Sidon the knowledges of truth and good, and Gog external worship without internal. But when a man knows these things he is able to consider that the Word treats solely of heavenly things, and that these earthly things are merely the subjects [subjecta] in which the heavenly things are.

[4] But let this also be illustrated by an example from the Word. We read in David:

The voice of Jehovah is upon the waters; the God of glory maketh it to thunder; Jehovah is upon the great waters. The voice of Jehovah breaketh the cedars; yea, Jehovah breaketh in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. He maketh them also to skip like a calf, Lebanon and Sirion like a son of unicorns. The voice of Jehovah cutteth out as a flame of fire. The voice of Jehovah maketh the wilderness to tremble; it maketh the wilderness of Kadesh to tremble. The voice of Jehovah maketh the hinds to be in travail, and layeth bare the forests; but in his temple everyone saith, Glory (Ps. 29:3-9).

He who is not aware that everything here, even as to every single word, is Divinely holy, may, if a merely natural man, say to himself, What is this - that Jehovah sitteth upon the waters, that by His voice He breaketh the cedars, maketh them skip like a calf, and Lebanon like a son of unicorns, and maketh the hinds to be in travail, and so on? For he knows not that in the spiritual sense the power of Divine truth, or of the Word, is described by these things.

[5] In this sense, the "voice of Jehovah," here called "thunder" means the Divine truth or Word in its power. The "great waters," upon which Jehovah sits, mean the truths of the Word. The "cedars," and "Lebanon," which He "breaks," and "breaks in pieces" mean the false things of the rational man. The "calf," and a "son of unicorns" mean the false things of the natural and of the sensuous man. The "flame of fire" means the affection of what is false. The "wilderness," and the "wilderness of Kadesh" mean the church in which there is not anything true and good. The "hinds" which the voice of Jehovah causes to be in travail, mean the nations who are in natural good. And the "forests" which He lays bare, mean the knowledges [scientiae et cognitiones]* which the Word opens to them. Therefore these words follow: "In his temple everyone saith, Glory," which mean that there are Divine truths in each and every thing of the Word. For the "temple" signifies the Lord, and therefore the Word, and also heaven and the church; and "glory" signifies Divine truth. From all this it is evident that there is not a word in this passage that is not descriptive of the Divine power of the Word against falsities of every kind in natural men, and of the Divine power in reforming the nations. (SS 18)


SS 25. The reason why the spiritual sense of the Word has been at this day disclosed by the Lord is that the doctrine of genuine truth has now been revealed; and this doctrine, and no other, is in accord with the spiritual sense of the Word. This sense, moreover, is signified by the appearing of the Lord in the clouds of heaven with glory and power (Matt. 24:30, 31); which chapter treats of the consummation of the age, by which is meant the last time of the church. The opening of the Word as to its spiritual sense was also promised in Revelation. It is there meant by the "white horse," and by the "great supper" to which all are invited (Rev. 19:11-18). That for a long time the spiritual sense will not be recognized, and that this is entirely owing to those who are in falsities of doctrine, especially concerning the Lord, and who therefore do not admit truths, is meant in Revelation by the "beast," and by the "kings of the earth," who should make war with him that sat upon the white horse (19:19). By the "beast" are meant the Papists, as in chapter 17:3; and by the "kings of the earth" are meant the Reformed who are in false things of doctrine. (SS 25)

SS 26. v. Henceforth the spiritual sense of the Word will be imparted solely to him who from the Lord is in genuine truths. The reason of this is that no one can see the spiritual sense except from the Lord alone, nor unless from Him he is in genuine truths. For the spiritual sense of the Word treats solely of the Lord and His kingdom; and this is the sense in which are His angels in heaven, for it is His Divine truth there. To this sense a man can do violence if he has a knowledge of correspondences, and wishes by means of it and from self-intelligence to investigate the spiritual sense of the Word. For through some correspondences with which he is acquainted he may pervert the meaning of it, and may even force it to confirm what is false, and this would be doing violence to Divine truth, and also to heaven. And therefore if anyone purposes to open that sense from himself and not from the Lord, heaven is closed; and then the man either sees nothing, or else becomes spiritually insane.

[2] Another reason is that the Lord teaches everyone by means of the Word, and He teaches from those truths which the man already has, and not without a medium does He pour new truths in, so that unless man is in Divine truths, or if he is only in a few truths and at the same time in falsities, he may from these falsify the truths, as it is well known is done by every heretic in regard to the Word's sense of the letter. Therefore in order to prevent anybody from entering into the spiritual sense of the Word, or from perverting the genuine truth that belongs to that sense, guards have been set by the Lord, which in the Word are meant by the cherubim.

[3] That guards have been set has been represented to me in the following manner:

It was granted me to see great purses, having the appearance of sacks, in which silver was stored up in great abundance. As the purses were open, it seemed as if anyone might take out, and even pillage, the silver therein deposited; but near those purses sat two angels as guards. The place where the purses were laid appeared like a manger in a stable. In an adjoining apartment were seen modest maidens together with a chaste wife, and near that apartment stood two little children, and it was said that they were to be sported with, not in childish fashion, but wisely. After this there appeared a harlot, and a horse lying dead.

[4] On seeing these things I was instructed that by them was represented the sense of the letter of the Word, in which is the spiritual sense. The large purses full of silver, signified knowledges of truth in great abundance. Their being open and yet guarded by angels, signified that everyone may get knowledges of truth from the Word, but that care is taken lest anyone should falsify the spiritual sense, in which are pure truths. The manger in a stable in which the purses lay, signified spiritual instruction for the understanding - a manger signifies this because the horse that feeds from it signifies the understanding.

[5] The modest maidens seen in the adjoining apartment, signified affections of truth; and the chaste wife, the conjunction of good and truth. The little children signified the innocence of wisdom therein; they were angels from the third heaven, who all appear like little children. The harlot, together with the dead horse, signified the falsification of the Word by many of this day, whereby all understanding of truth perishes. The harlot signified falsification; and the dead horse, no understanding of truth. (SS 26)


SS 35. It has been shown in Doctrine of the Lord (n. 28) that the prophets of the Old Testament represented the Lord in respect to the Word, and thereby signified the doctrine of the church from the Word, and that for this reason they were called "sons of man." From this it follows that by means of the various things they suffered and endured, they represented the violence done by the Jews to the sense of the letter of the Word. Thus:

The prophet Isaiah was commanded to put off the sackcloth from off his loins, and to put off his shoe from off his foot, and to go naked and barefoot three years (Isa. 20:2-3).

And so

The prophet Ezekiel was commanded to pass a barber's razor upon his head and upon his beard, and to burn a third part in the midst of the city, to smite a third part with the sword, and to scatter a third part in the wind, and to wrap a few of the hairs in his skirts, and at last to cast them into the midst of the fire and burn them (Ezek. 5:1-4).

[2] As the "prophets" represented the Word, and consequently signified the doctrine of the church from the Word, as said above, and as the "head" signifies wisdom from the Word, therefore the "hair" and "beard" signify the ultimate of truth. By reason of this signification, it was a mark of deep mourning, and also a great disgrace, for anyone to make himself bald, or to be seen bald. For this and no other reason it was that the prophet shaved off the hair of his head and his beard, that so he might represent the state of the Jewish Church in respect to the Word. For this and no other reason was it that

The forty-two children who called Elisha bald were torn to pieces by two she-bears (2 Kings 2:23-24).

For as before said a "prophet" represented the Word, and "baldness" signified the Word without its ultimate sense.

[3] It will be seen in the next chapter (n. 49) that the "Nazirites" represented the Lord in respect to the Word in its ultimates; and therefore it was an ordinance for them that they should let their hair grow, and shave off none of it. Moreover the term "Nazirite" in the Hebrew tongue means the hair of the head.

It was also an ordinance for the high priest that he should not shave his head (Lev. 21:10).
Likewise for the head of a household (Lev. 21:5).

[4] This was why baldness was to them a great disgrace, as is evident from the following passages:

On all heads baldness, and every beard shaven (Isa. 15:2; Jer. 48:37).
Shame upon all faces, and baldness upon all heads (Ezek. 7:18).
Every head made bald, and every shoulder plucked (Ezek. 29:18).
I will cause sackcloth to come up upon all loins, and baldness upon every head (Amos 8:10).
Put on baldness, and shave thee on account of the sons of thy delights, and enlarge thy baldness, for they are gone into exile from thee (Micah 1:16).

To "put on baldness" and to "enlarge" it here signifies to falsify the truths of the Word in its ultimates, for when these are falsified (as was done by the Jews) the whole Word is destroyed; for the ultimates of the Word are its props and supports; indeed, each word is a prop and a support to its celestial and spiritual truths. As the "hair" signifies truth in the ultimates, in the spiritual world all who despise the Word, and falsify its sense of the letter, appear bald; whereas they who honor and love it appear with becoming hair. On this subject see also below (n. 49). (SS 35)

SS 38. There are in heaven and in this world a successive order and a simultaneous order. In successive order one thing succeeds and follows another from highest to lowest; but in simultaneous order one thing is next to another from inmost to outmost. Successive order is like a column with successive parts from the top to the bottom; but simultaneous order is like a connected structure with successive circumferences from center to surface. It shall now be told how successive order becomes simultaneous order in the ultimate. It is in this way: The highest things of successive order become the inmost ones of simultaneous order, and the lowest things of successive order become the outermost ones of simultaneous order. Comparatively speaking it is as if the column of successive parts were to sink down and become a connected body in a plane.

[2] Thus is the simultaneous formed from the successive, and this in all things both in general and in particular of the natural world, and also of the spiritual world; for everywhere there is a first, a middle, and an ultimate, and the first aims at and goes through the middle to its ultimate. Apply this to the Word. The celestial, the spiritual, and the natural proceed from the Lord in successive order, and in the ultimate are in simultaneous order; and it is in this way that the celestial and spiritual senses of the Word are simultaneous in its natural sense. When this is comprehended, it may be seen how the natural sense of the Word, which is the sense of the letter, is the basis, containant, and support of its spiritual and celestial senses; and how in the sense of the letter of the Word Divine good and Divine truth are in their fullness, in their holiness, and in their power. (SS 38)

SS 40. The truths of the sense of the letter of the Word are in part not naked truths, but appearances of truth, and are as it were likenesses and comparisons taken from things such as exist in nature, and thus accommodated and adapted to the apprehension of the simple and of little children. But being correspondences they are receptacles and abodes of genuine truth; and are like enclosing and containing vessels, as a crystal cup encloses noble wine, and as a silver plate holds palatable food. They are also like garments which clothe, as swathings do an infant, and a pretty dress a maiden. They are also like the memory-knowledges [scientifica] of the natural man which contain within them perceptions and affections of truth of the spiritual man. The naked truths themselves which are enclosed, held, clothed, and contained, are in the spiritual sense of the Word; and the naked goods are in its celestial sense.

[2] But let this be illustrated from the Word. Jesus said:

Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, because ye cleanse the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup and of the platter, that the outside thereof may be clean also (Matt. 23:25-26).

The Lord here spoke by means of ultimate things which are containants, and said "cup and platter"; and "cup" means wine, and "wine" the truth of the Word; and "platter" means food, and "food" the good of the Word. To "cleanse the inside of the cup and platter" means to purify by means of the Word the interior things which belong to will and thought and thus to love and faith. "That the outside may be clean also" means that in this way, exterior things, which are the actions and the conversation, will have been made pure, for these derive their essence from the interior things.

[3] Again, Jesus said:

There was a certain rich man, who was clothed in crimson and fine linen, and living in mirth and splendor every day; and there was a certain poor man, named Lazarus, who was laid at his porch, full of sores (Luke 16:19-20).

Here also the Lord spoke by means of natural things that were correspondences, and contained spiritual things. The "rich man" means the Jewish nation, which is called "rich" because it possessed the Word, in which are spiritual riches. The "crimson and fine linen" with which he was clothed signify the good and truth of the Word; "crimson" its good, and "fine linen" its truth. To "live in mirth and splendor every day" signifies the delight they had in possessing and reading the Word. The "poor man Lazarus" means the Gentiles who had not the Word; and that these were despised and scorned by the Jews, is meant by Lazarus lying at the rich man's porch full of sores.

[4] The reason the Gentiles are meant by "Lazarus" is that the Gentiles were beloved by the Lord, as
Lazarus, who was raised from the dead was beloved by the Lord (John 11:3, 5, 36), and is called His friend (John 11:11), and reclined with the Lord at table (John 12:2).

From the two foregoing passages it is evident that the truths and goods of the sense of the letter of the Word are as vessels and as garments for the naked truth and good that lie hidden in its spiritual and celestial senses. (SS 40)



SS 50. V.  THE DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH IS TO BE DRAWN FROM THE SENSE FO THE LETTER OF TH WORD, AND IS TO BE CONFIRMED THEREBY

It has been shown in the preceding chapter that the Word in the sense of the letter is in its fullness, in its holiness, and in its power; and as the Lord is the Word (for He is the all of the Word), it follows that He is most of all present in the sense of the letter, and that from it He teaches and enlightens man. But these things shall be set forth in the following order:
i. The Word cannot be understood without doctrine.
ii. Doctrine must be drawn from the sense of the letter of the Word.
iii. But the Divine truth which must be of doctrine appears to none but those who are in enlightenment from the Lord. (SS 50)



SS 51. i. The Word cannot be understood without doctrine. This is because the Word in the sense of the letter consists exclusively of correspondences, to the end that things spiritual and celestial may be simultaneous or together therein, and that every word may be their container and support. For this reason, in some places in the sense of the letter the truths are not naked, but clothed, and are then called appearances of truth. Many truths also are accommodated to the capacity of simple folk, who do not uplift their thoughts above such things as they see before their eyes. There are also some things that appear like contradictions, although the Word when viewed in its own light contains no contradiction. And again in certain passages in the Prophets, names of persons and places are gathered together from which, in the letter, no sense can be elicited, as in those passages adduced above (n. 15). Such being the Word in the sense of the letter, it is evident that it cannot be understood without doctrine.

[2] But to illustrate this by examples. It is said,

That Jehovah repents (Exod. 32:12, 14; Jonah 3:9; 4:2);

And also

That Jehovah does not repent (Num. 23:19; 1 Sam. 15:29).

Without doctrine these passages cannot be reconciled. It is said

That Jehovah visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons to the third and fourth generation (Num. 14:18);

And it is also said that

The father shall not die for the son, nor the son for the father, but everyone for his own sin (Deut. 24:16).

Interpreted by doctrine these passages are not discordant, but are in agreement.

[3] Jesus says,

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; for everyone that asketh shall receive, and he that seeketh shall find, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened (Matt. 7:7-8; 21:21-22).

Without doctrine it might be believed that everyone will receive what he asks for; but from doctrine it is believed that whatever a man asks not from himself but from the Lord is given; for this also is what the Lord says,

If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you (John 15:7).

[4] The Lord says,

Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of God (Luke 6:20).
Without doctrine it may be thought that heaven is for the poor and not for the rich, but doctrine teaches that the poor in spirit are meant, for the Lord says,
Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:3).

[5] The Lord says,

Judge not, that ye be not judged; for with what judgment ye judge ye shall be judged (Matt. 7:1-2; Luke 6:37).

Without doctrine this might be cited to confirm the notion that it is not to be said of what is evil that it is evil, thus that an evil person is not to be judged to be evil; yet according to doctrine it is lawful to judge, but justly; for the Lord says,

Judge righteous judgment (John 7:24).

[6] Jesus says,

Be not ye called Teacher, for One is your Teacher, even the Christ. And call no man your father on the earth; for One is your Father in the heavens. Neither be ye called masters; for One is your Master, the Christ (Matt. 23:8-10).

Without doctrine it would seem that it is not lawful to call any person teacher, father, or master; but from doctrine it is known that in the natural sense it is lawful to do this, but not in the spiritual sense.

[7] Jesus said to His disciples,

When the Son of man shall sit upon the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matt. 19:28).

From these words it may be inferred that the Lord's disciples will sit in judgment, when yet they can judge no one. Doctrine therefore must reveal this secret by explaining that the Lord alone, who is omniscient and knows the hearts of all, will sit in judgment, and is able to judge; and that His twelve disciples mean the church as to all the truths and goods it possesses from the Lord through the Word; from which doctrine concludes that these truths will judge everyone, according to the Lord's words in John 3:17-18; 12:47-48.

[8] He who reads the Word without doctrine does not see the consistency of what is said in the prophets about the Jewish nation and Jerusalem - that the church with that nation, and its seat in that city, will remain to eternity; as in the following passages:

Jehovah will visit his flock the house of Judah, and will make them as a horse of glory in war; from him shall come forth the corner stone, from him the nail, and from him the bow of war (Zech. 10:3-4, 6-7).

Behold I come, that I may dwell in the midst of thee. And Jehovah shall make Judah an inheritance, and shall again choose Jerusalem (Zech. 2:10, 12).
It shall come to pass in that day that the mountains shall drop new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and Judah shall be to eternity, and Jerusalem from generation to generation (Joel 3:18-20).

Behold, the days come in which I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and in which I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah; and this shall be the covenant, I will put My law in their inward parts, and will write it upon their heart and I will be their God, and they shall be My people (Jer. 31:27, 31, 33).

In that day ten men shall take hold, out of all the languages of the nations, of the skirt of a man that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you (Zech. 8:23)

So in other places, as Isa. 44:21, 24, 26; 49:22, 23; 65:9; 66:20, 22; Jer. 3:18; 23:5; 50:19, 20; Nahum 1:15; Mal. 3:4.
 

In these passages the Lord's advent is treated of, and that this [establishment of the Jews] will then come to pass.

[9] But the contrary is declared in many other places, of which this passage only shall be adduced:
I will hide My face from them, I will see what their latter end shall be, for they are a generation of perversions, sons in whom is no faithfulness. I said, I will cast them into outermost corners, I will make the remembrance of them to cease from man, for they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there understanding in them; their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah; their grapes are grapes of gall; their clusters are of bitternesses; their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps. Is not this hidden with Me, sealed up among My treasures? To Me belongeth vengeance and retribution (Deut. 32:20-35).

It is of that same nation that these things are said. And things of the same purport are said elsewhere,
As in Isa. 3:1-2, 8; 5:3, 6; Deut. 9:5-6; Matt. 12:39; 23:27-28; John 8:44;
and in Jeremiah and Ezekiel throughout.

These passages which seem contradictory will however from doctrine be seen to accord, for this teaches that in the Word "Israel" and "Judah" do not mean Israel and Judah, but the church in both senses, in one that it is devastated, in the other that it is to be set up anew by the Lord.
Other things like these exist in the Word, from which it plainly appears that the Word cannot be understood without doctrine.

SS 52. From all this it is evident that they who read the Word without doctrine, or who do not acquire for themselves doctrine from the Word, are in obscurity as to every truth, and that their minds are wavering and uncertain, prone to errors, and pliant to heresies, which they also embrace wherever inclination or authority favors, and their reputation is not endangered. For the Word is to them like a lampstand without a lamp, and in their gloom they seem to see many things, and yet see scarcely anything, for doctrine alone is a lamp. I have seen such persons examined by angels, and found to be able to confirm from the Word whatever they please, and it was also found that they confirm what is of their own love and of the love of those whom they favor. And I have seen them stripped of their garments, a sign that they were devoid of truths; for in the spiritual world garments are truths. (SS 52)

SS 54. That by means of doctrine the Word not only becomes intelligible, but also as it were shines with light, is because without doctrine it is not understood, and is like a lampstand without a lamp, as has been shown above. By means of doctrine therefore the Word is understood, and is like a lampstand with a lighted lamp. The man then sees more things than he had seen before, and also understands those things which before he had not understood. Dark and contradictory things he either does not see and passes over, or sees and interprets them so that they agree with the doctrine. The experience of the Christian world attests that the Word is seen from doctrine, and is also interpreted according to it. All the Reformed see and interpret the Word from and according to their own doctrine; so do the Papists from and according to theirs, and even the Jews do so from and according to theirs; thus from a false doctrine all see falsities, and from a true doctrine truths. It is evident therefore that true doctrine is like a lamp in the dark, and a guidepost on the way. But doctrine is not only to be drawn from the sense of the letter of the Word, but must also be confirmed thereby; for if not so confirmed the truth of doctrine appears as if only man's intelligence were in it, and not the Lord's Divine wisdom; and so the doctrine would be like a house in the air, and not on the earth, and would lack a foundation. (SS 54)

SS 56. It might be believed that the doctrine of genuine truth could be procured by means of the spiritual sense of the Word which is furnished through a knowledge of correspondences. But doctrine is not procured by means of that sense, but is only lighted up and corroborated. For as said before (n. 26), no one comes into the spiritual sense of the Word by means of correspondences unless he is first in genuine truths from doctrine. If a man is not first in genuine truths he may falsify the Word by means of some correspondences with which he is acquainted, by connecting them together and interpreting them so as to confirm that which cleaves to his mind from some principle previously received. Moreover the spiritual sense of the Word is not given anyone except by the Lord alone, and it is guarded by Him as heaven is guarded, for heaven is in it. It is better therefore for man to study the Word in the sense of the letter; from this alone is doctrine furnished. (SS 56)

SS 57.  iii. The genuine truth which must be of doctrine appears in the sense of the letter to none but those who are in enlightenment from the Lord. Enlightenment is from the Lord alone, and exists with those who love truths because they are truths and make them of use for life. With others there is no enlightenment in the Word. The reason why enlightenment is from the Lord alone is that the Lord is in all things of the Word. The reason why enlightenment exists with those who love truths because they are truths and make them of use for life is that such are in the Lord and the Lord in them. For the Lord is His own Divine truth, and when this is loved because it is Divine truth (and it is loved when it is made of use), the Lord is in it with the man. This the Lord teaches in John:

In that day ye shall know that ye are in Me and I in you. He that hath My commandments, and doeth them, he loveth Me, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him; and I will come unto him, and make My abode with him (John 14:20-21, 23).

And in Matthew:

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God (Matt. 5:8).

These are they who are in enlightenment when they are reading the Word, and to whom the Word shines and is translucent. (SS 57)

SS 60. The contrary takes place with those who read the Word from the doctrine of a false religion, and still more with those who confirm that doctrine from the Word, having in view their own glory or this world's riches. With them the truth of the Word is as it were in the shade of night, and what is false is as in the light of day. They read what is true, but do not see it; and if they see the shadow of it they falsify it. These are they of whom the Lord says that:

They have eyes, but see not; and ears, but do not understand (Matt. 13:13).

For nothing else blinds a man except his own and the confirmation of what is false. Man's own is the love of self and the derivative conceit of self-intelligence; and the confirmation of what is false is thick darkness counterfeiting the light. The light of such men is merely natural, and their sight is like that of one who sees phantoms in the gloom. (SS 60)

SS 62.  VI  BY MEANS OF THE SENSE OF THE LETTER OF THE WORD THERE IS CONJUNCTION WITH THE LORD AND ASSOCIATION WITH THE ANGELS

The reason why there is conjunction with the Lord by means of the Word is that the Word treats solely of him, and the Lord is consequently its all in all and is called the Word, as has been shown in Doctrine of the Lord. The reason why the conjunction is in the sense of the letter is that in this sense the Word is in its fullness, its holiness, and its power, as has been shown above in its proper chapter. The conjunction is not apparent to the man, but is in the affection of truth, and in his perception of it, thus is in the man's love for and faith in Divine truth. (SS 62)

SS 63. The reason why there is association with the angels of heaven by means of the sense of the letter is that the spiritual sense and celestial sense are in it, and the angels are in these senses, the angels of the spiritual kingdom being in the Word's spiritual sense, and those of the celestial kingdom in its celestial sense. These senses are evolved from the Word's natural sense which is the sense of the letter while a true man is in it. The evolution is instantaneous; consequently so is the association. (SS 63)

SS 64. It has been made plain to me by much experience that the spiritual angels are in the spiritual sense of the Word, and the celestial angels in its celestial sense. While reading the Word in its sense of the letter it has been given me to perceive that communication was effected with the heavens, now with this society of them, now with that, and that what I understood according to the natural sense, the spiritual angels understood according to the spiritual sense, and the celestial angels according to the celestial sense, and this in an instant. As I have perceived this communication many thousands of times, there remains with me no doubt about it. Moreover there are spirits beneath the heavens who abuse this communication; they recite some sayings from the sense of the letter, and immediately observe and take note of the society with which communication is effected. This I have frequently seen and heard. From these things it has been given me to know by actual experience that the Word in respect to its sense of the letter is the Divine medium of conjunction with the Lord and with heaven. (Concerning this conjunction by the Word see also what is said in Heaven and Hell, n. 303-310.) (SS 64)

SS 67. We may now illustrate by an example how from the natural sense in which is the Word with men, the spiritual angels draw forth their own sense, and the celestial angels theirs. Take as an example five commandments of the Decalogue: Honor thy father and thy mother. By "father and mother" a man understands his father and mother on earth, and all who stand in their place, and by to "honor" he understands to hold in honor and obey them. But a spiritual angel understands the Lord by "father," and the church by "mother," and by to "honor" he understands to love. And a celestial angel understands the Lord's Divine love by "father," and His Divine wisdom by "mother," and by to "honor" to do what is good from him.

[2] Thou shalt not steal. By to "steal" a man understands to steal, defraud, or under any pretext take from his neighbor his goods. A spiritual angel understands to deprive others of their truths of faith and goods of charity by means of falsities and evils. And a celestial angel understands to attribute to himself what is the Lord's, and to claim for himself His righteousness and merit.

[3] Thou shalt not commit adultery. By "committing adultery" a man understands to commit adultery and fornication, to do obscene things, speak lascivious words, and harbor filthy thoughts. A spiritual angel understands to adulterate the goods of the Word, and falsify its truths. And a celestial angel understands to deny the Lord's Divinity and to profane the Word.

[4] Thou shalt not kill. By "killing," a man understands also bearing hatred, and desiring revenge even to the death. A spiritual angel understands to act as a devil and destroy men's souls. And a celestial angel understands to bear hatred against the Lord, and against what is His.

[5] Thou shalt not bear false witness. By "bearing false witness" a man understands also to lie and defame. A spiritual angel understands to say and persuade that what is false is true and what is evil good, and the reverse. And a celestial angel understands to blaspheme the Lord and the Word.

[6] From these examples it may be seen how the spiritual and celestial of the Word are evolved and drawn out from the natural sense in which they are. Wonderful to say, the angels draw out their senses without knowing what the man is thinking about, and yet the thoughts of the angels and of the men make a one by means of correspondences, like end, cause, and effect. Moreover ends actually are in the celestial kingdom, causes in the spiritual kingdom, and effects in the natural kingdom. This conjunction by means of correspondences is such from creation. This then is the source of man's association with angels by means of the Word. (SS 67)

SS 71. As regards the Word in heaven, it is written in a spiritual style, which differs entirely from a natural style. The spiritual style consists solely of letters, each of which contains a meaning, and there are points above the letters which exalt the meaning. With the angels of the spiritual kingdom the letters resemble printed letters in our world; and with the angels of the celestial kingdom the letters (each of which also contains a complete meaning) resemble the ancient Hebrew letters, curved in various ways, and with marks above and within.

Such being the style of their writing, there are no names of persons and places in their Word such as there are in ours, but instead of the names there are the things which they signify. Thus instead of Moses there is the historical Word, instead of Elijah, the prophetical Word; instead of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Lord as to His Divinity and Divine Human; instead of Aaron, the priestly office; instead of David, the kingly office, each of the Lord; instead of the names of the twelve sons of Jacob, or of the tribes of Israel, various things of heaven and the church; and like things instead of the names of the Lord's twelve disciples; instead of Zion and Jerusalem, the church in respect to the Word and doctrine from the Word; instead of the land of Canaan, the church itself; instead of the cities therein on this side and beyond Jordan, various things of the church and of its doctrine; and so with all the other names.

It is the same with the numbers; neither do these appear in the Word that is in heaven, but instead of them the things to which the numbers that are in our Word correspond. It is evident from these examples that the Word in heaven is a Word that corresponds to our Word, and thus that the two are a one, for correspondences make a one. (SS 71)

SS 72. It is a wonderful thing that the Word in the heavens is so written that the simple understand it in simplicity, and the wise in wisdom, for there are many points and marks over the letters, which as has been said exalt the meaning, and to these the simple do not attend, nor are they even aware of them; whereas the wise pay attention to them, each one according to his wisdom, even to the highest wisdom. In every larger society of heaven, a copy of the Word, written by angels inspired by the Lord, is kept in its sanctuary, lest being elsewhere it should be altered in some point. In respect to the fact that the simple understand it in simplicity and the wise in wisdom, our Word is indeed like that in heaven, but this is effected in a different way. (SS 72)

SS 77. The Word is the Word according to the understanding of it in a man, that is, as it is understood. If it is not understood, the Word is indeed called the Word, but it is not the Word with the man. The Word is the truth according to the understanding of it, for it may not be the truth, because it may be falsified. The Word is spirit and life according to the understanding of it, for its letter if not understood is dead. And as a man has truth and life according to his understanding of the Word, so has he faith and love according thereto, for truth is of faith, and love is of life. Now as the church exists by means of faith and love, and according to them, it follows that the church is the church through the understanding of the Word and according thereto; a noble church if in genuine truths, an ignoble church if not in genuine truths, and a destroyed church if in falsified truths. (SS 77)

SS 78. Further, it is through the Word that the Lord is present with a man and is conjoined with him, for the Lord is the Word, and as it were speaks with the man in it. The Lord is also Divine truth itself, as likewise is the Word. From this it is evident that the Lord is present with a man and is at the same time conjoined with him, according to his understanding of the Word, for according to this the man has truth and the derivative faith, and also love and the derivative life. The Lord is indeed present with a man through the reading of the Word, but he is conjoined with him through the understanding of truth from the Word, and according thereto; and in proportion as the Lord has been conjoined with a man, in the same proportion the church is in him. The church is within man; the church that is outside of him is the church with a number of men who have the church within them. This is meant by the Lord's words to the Pharisees who asked when the kingdom of God would come:

The kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21).
Here the "kingdom of God" means the Lord, and from him, the church.

(SS 78)

SS 84. Readers of the Word who pay attention to the matter can see that there are pairs of expressions in it that appear like repetitions of the same thing, such as "brother" [and "companion," "poor"] and "needy," "waste" and "solitude," "vacuity" and "emptiness," "foe" and "enemy," "sin" and "iniquity," "anger" and "wrath," "nation" and "people," "joy" and "gladness," "mourning" and "weeping," "righteousness" and "judgment," etc. These expressions appear synonymous but are not so, for "brother," "poor," "waste," ["vacuity,"] "foe," "sin," "anger," "nation," "joy," "mourning," and "righteousness" are predicated of good, and in the opposite sense of evil; whereas "companion," "needy," "solitude," "emptiness," "enemy," "iniquity," "wrath," "people," "gladness," "weeping," and "judgment" are predicated of truth, and in the opposite sense of falsity.

And yet it seems to a reader who is not acquainted with this secret, that "poor" and "needy," "waste" and "solitude," "vacuity" and " emptiness," "foe" and "enemy," are one and the same thing; and in like manner "sin" and "iniquity," "anger" and "wrath," "nation" and "people," "joy" and "gladness," "mourning" and "weeping," "righteousness" and "judgment"; and yet they are not one thing, but become one thing by conjunction. Many things are also joined together in the Word, such as "fire" and "flame," "gold" and "silver," "brass" and "iron," "wood" and "stone," "bread" and "water," "bread" and "wine," "bright crimson" and "fine linen," etc., which is done because "fire," "gold," "brass," "wood," "bread," and "bright crimson" signify good; and "flame," "silver," "iron," "stone," "water," "wine," and "fine-linen" signify truth.

And in the same way it is said that men are to "love God with all the heart and with all the soul"; and that God will "create in a man a new heart and a new spirit"; for "heart" is predicated of the good of love, and "soul" of the truth from that good. There are also words that are used alone, or without a mate, because they partake of both good and truth. But these and many other things are not apparent except to the angels, and to those also who while in the natural sense are also in the spiritual sense. (SS 84)

SS 90. As the subject here treated of is the Divinity and holiness of the Word, to what has already been said we may add something worthy of mention. A small piece of paper marked with Hebrew letters, but written as the ancients wrote them, was once sent me from heaven. In those times some of the letters that now are partly formed with straight lines were curved, and had little horns that turned upward. The angels who were then with me said that they themselves discerned complete meanings from the very letters, and that they knew them especially from the curvings of the lines and of the points of each letter. And they explained what the letters meant when taken each by itself and what when taken together; and said that the H that was added to the names of Abram and Sarai means what is infinite and eternal. They also explained in my presence from the letters or syllables alone the meaning of the Word in Psalm 32:2, showing that the sum of their meaning is that the Lord is merciful even to those who do evil.

[2] They informed me that the writing in the third heaven consists of curved letters that are bent in various ways, and that each letter possesses a complete meaning; that the vowels there indicate a sound that corresponds to the affection, and that in that heaven they cannot utter the vowels i and e, but instead of them y and eu, but that they do use the vowels a, o, and u, because they give a full sound.* Further: that they do not pronounce any consonants as hard, but soft, and that it is from this that certain Hebrew letters have a dot in the center as a sign that they are to be pronounced as [hard, and are without this dot when] soft; and they said that hardness in pronouncing the letters is in use in the spiritual heaven because there they are in truths, and truth admits of what is hard, but not good, in which are the angels of the celestial kingdom or third heaven. They also said that these angels possess the Word written with curved letters that have significant points and little horns. This shows what is meant by the words of the Lord:

One jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled (Matt. 5:18);
It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail (Luke 16:17).

(SS 90)

SS 97. Be it known moreover that the literal sense of the Word is a guard to the genuine truths that lie hidden within. It is a guard in this respect, that it can be turned this way or that, and explained according to the way it is taken, yet without injury or violence to its internal. It does no harm for the sense of the letter to be understood in one way by one person and in a different way by another; but it does harm for the Divine truths that lie hidden within to be perverted, because this inflicts violence on the Word. The sense of the letter is a guard against this, and the guard is effectual in the case of those who are in falsities from their religion, but do not confirm those falsities, for these persons do the Word no violence.

[2] This guard is signified by cherubs, and in the Word is described by them. This is signified by the cherubs that were stationed at the entrance of the garden of Eden after Adam and his wife had been cast out, of which we read as follows:
When Jehovah God had driven out the man, He made to dwell at the east of the garden of Eden the cherubim, and the flame of a sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life (Gen. 3:24).
The "cherubim" signify a guard; the "way of the tree of life" signifies the access to the Lord which men have by means of the Word; the "flame of a sword that turned every way" signifies Divine truth in ultimates, this being like the Word in the sense of the letter, which can be so turned.

[3] The same is meant by the cherubs of gold that were placed upon the two ends of the mercy seat that was upon the ark in the Tabernacle (Exod. 25:18-21).  As this was signified by cherubs, the Lord spoke with Moses from between them (Exod. 25:22; 37:9; Num. 7:89). That the Lord does not speak to man except in what is full, and that the Word in the sense of the letter is Divine truth in fullness, may be seen above (n. 37-49). So therefore did the Lord speak to Moses from between the cherubs. In nowise different was the signification of  the cherubs on the curtains of the Tabernacle, and on the veil (Exod. 26:1, 31), for the curtains and veils of the Tabernacle represented the ultimate things of heaven and the church, and therefore of the Word, as may be seen above (n. 46). Nor in anywise different was the signification of the cherubs in the midst of the temple in Jerusalem (1 Kings 6:23-28). The cherubs carved on the walls and doors of the temple (1 Kings 6:29, 32, 35). Or the cherubs in the new temple (Ezek. 41:18-20); as also may be seen above (n. 47).

[4] As cherubs signified a guard that the Lord, heaven, and Divine truth such as is within the Word be not approached immediately, but mediately through ultimate things, it is said of the king of Tyre,

Thou sealest up the measure, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty; thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering; thou, O cherub, art the outspreading of that which covereth; I have destroyed thee, O covering cherub, in the midst of the stones of fire (Ezek. 28:12-14, 16).

"Tyre" signifies the church in respect to the knowledges of truth and good, and therefore its "king" signifies the Word, in which and from which are these knowledges. It is evident that the Word in its ultimate, which is the sense of the letter, is here signified by that king, and also that a guard is signified by a "cherub," for it is said, "thou sealest up the measure; every precious stone was thy covering"; and "thou, O cherub, art the outspreading of that which covereth"; and also "O covering cherub."

That the "precious stones" mentioned in this passage mean truths of the literal sense of the Word may be seen above (n. 45). As "cherubs" signify what is ultimate of Divine truth as a guard, it is said in David:

Jehovah bowed the heavens also and came down; and He rode upon a cherub (Ps. 18:9-10)O Shepherd of Israel, Thou that sittest upon the cherubim, shine forth (Ps. 80:1).
Jehovah sitteth upon the cherubim (Ps. 99:1).

To "ride upon cherubs" and to "sit upon them" means upon the ultimate sense of the Word.

[5] Divine truth in the Word, and the quality of it, are described by the cherubs in the first, ninth, and tenth chapters of Ezekiel; but as no one can know what is signified by the several particulars of the description of them, except one to whom the spiritual sense has been opened, it has been disclosed to me what in brief is signified by all the things said about the cherubs in the first chapter of Ezekiel, which are as follows:

The external Divine sphere of the Word is described (Ezek. 1:4);
It is represented as a man (Ezek. 1:5);
And conjoined with spiritual and celestial things (Ezek. 1:6);
The natural of the Word, its quality (Ezek. 1:7);
The spiritual and the celestial of the Word conjoined with its natural, their quality (Ezek. 1:8-9);
The Divine love of the good and truth celestial, spiritual, and natural therein, severally and also together (Ezek. 1:10-11);
They all look to the one thing (Ezek. 1:12);
The sphere of the Word from the Lord's Divine good and Divine truth, from which the Word is alive (Ezek. 1:13-14);
The doctrine of good and truth in the Word and from the Word (Ezek. 1:15-21);
The Divine of the Lord above the Word and in it (Ezek. 1:22-23);
And from it (Ezek. 1:24-25);
The Lord is above the heavens (Ezek. 1:26);
And Divine love and Divine wisdom are His (Ezek. 1:27-28).

These summaries have been compared with the Word in heaven, and are in conformity with it. (SS 97)

SS 101. XII  BEFORE THE WORD THAT IS NOW IN THE WORLD THERE WAS A WORD WHICH IS LOST

From what is related in the books of Moses it is evident that worship by means of sacrifices was known, and that men prophesied from the mouth of Jehovah, before the Word was given to the Israelitish nation through Moses and the prophets. That worship by means of sacrifices was known is evident from these facts:

The sons of Israel were commanded to overturn the altars of the nations, break in pieces their images, and cut down their groves (Exod. 34:13; Deut. 7:5; 12:3).

In Shittim Israel began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab; they called the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods; and Israel joined himself especially to Baal-peor, and on that account the anger of Jehovah was kindled against Israel (Num. 25:1-3).

Balaam, who was from Syria, caused altars to be built, and sacrificed oxen and sheep (Num. 22:40; 23:1, 2, 14, 29, 30).
[2] That men prophesied from the mouth of Jehovah, is evident from the prophecies of Balaam (Num. 23:7-10, 18-24; 24:3-9, 16-24).
He also prophesied concerning the Lord that a star should arise out of Jacob, and a scepter out of Israel (Num. 24:17).
And he prophesied from the mouth of Jehovah (Num. 22:13, 18; 23:3, 5, 8, 16, 26; 24:1, 13).

From these facts it is evident that there existed among the nations a Divine worship similar to that instituted through Moses among the Israelitish nation.

[3] That it existed even before the time of Abram is in some measure apparent from the words in Moses (Deut. 32:7, 8), but more evidently from what is said of Melchizedek king of Salem:
That he brought forth bread and wine, and blessed Abram, and that Abram gave him tithes of all (Gen. 14:18-20);
and that Melchizedek represented the Lord, for he is called
Priest of God Most High (Gen. 14:18);

and it is said in David concerning the Lord:

Thou art a priest to eternity, after the manner of Melchizedek (Ps. 110:4).

Hence it was that Melchizedek brought forth bread and wine as holy things of the church, even as they are holy things in the sacrament of the supper; and that Melchizedek could bless Abram, and that Abram gave him tithes of all. (SS 101)

SS 102. I have been told by angels of heaven that there was among the ancients a Word written entirely by correspondences, but that it had been lost, and they said that it is still preserved, and is in use in that heaven where those ancient people dwell who had possessed it in this world. The ancients who still use that Word in heaven came partly from the land of Canaan and the neighboring countries, such as Syria, Mesopotamia, Arabia, Chaldea, Assyria, and Egypt, and also from Sidon, Tyre, and Nineveh. The inhabitants of all these kingdoms were in representative worship, and consequently in the knowledge of correspondences.

The wisdom of that time was derived from this knowledge, and by its means they had an interior perception, and a communication with the heavens. Those who had an interior acquaintance with the correspondences of that Word were called wise and intelligent, and later, diviners and magi. But as that Word was full of correspondences which only in a remote way signified celestial and spiritual things, and consequently began to be falsified by many, of the Lord's Divine Providence it disappeared in course of time, and at length was utterly lost, and another Word, written by correspondences less remote than the other, was given by means of prophets among the sons of Israel. Yet many names of places in the land of Canaan and in the surrounding countries were retained in this Word with significations like those they had in the Ancient Word. It was for this reason that Abram was commanded to go into that land, and that his descendants, from Jacob, were brought into it. (SS 102)

SS 103. That there was a Word among the ancients is evident from Moses, who mentions it, and who took some things from it (Num. 21:14, 15, 27-30); the historical parts of that Word being called Wars of Jehovah, and its prophetical parts Enunciations. From the historical parts of that Word Moses took the following:

Wherefore it is said in the book of the Wars of Jehovah, At Vaheb in Suphah, and the rivers of Arnon; and the watercourse of the rivers that inclineth toward the dwelling of Ar, and betaketh itself to the border of Moab (Num. 21:14, 15).

In that Word, as in ours, the "Wars of Jehovah" meant and described the Lord's combats with hell and his victories over it at the time when He should come into the world. The same combats are meant, and are described, in many passages of the historical parts of our Word, such as the wars of Joshua with the nations of the land of Canaan, and those of the judges and kings of Israel.

[2] From the prophetical parts of that Word Moses took the following:

Wherefore the Enunciators say, Come ye to Heshbon, let the city of Sihon be built and strengthened; for a fire is gone out of Heshbon, a flame from the city of Sihon, it hath devoured Ar of Moab, the possessors of the high places of Arnon. Woe to thee, Moab! Thou hast perished, O people of Chemosh: he hath given his sons as fugitives, and his daughters into captivity unto Sihon king of the Amorites. With darts have we destroyed them. Heshbon hath perished even unto Dibon, and we have laid waste even unto Nophah, which reacheth unto Medeba (Num. 21:27-30).

The translators say "They that speak in Proverbs," but the rendering should be "Enunciators," or "Prophetic Enunciations," as is evident from the meaning of the word m'shalim in the Hebrew tongue, which is not merely proverbs, but also prophetic enunciations, as in Num. 23:7, 18; 24:3, 15, where it is said that Balaam uttered "his enunciation" which was prophetic, and which also was about the Lord. His enunciation is called mashal, in the singular. Consider also that the things taken from them by Moses are not proverbs, but prophecies.

[3] That the Ancient Word, like ours, was Divine or Divinely inspired, is evident from Jeremiah, where almost the same words occur:

A fire is gone forth out of Heshbon, and a flame from the midst of Sihon, that hath devoured the corner of Moab, and the crown of the head of the sons of clamor. Woe unto thee, O Moab! The people of Chemosh is undone, for thy sons have been carried off into captivity, and thy daughters into captivity (Jer. 48:45-46).

Besides these books, a prophetic book of the Ancient Word called the Book of Jashar, or the Book of the Upright, is mentioned by David and by Joshua. By David:

David lamented over Saul and over Jonathan, and wrote, To teach the sons of Judah the bow. Behold it is written in the Book of Jashar (2 Sam. 1:17, 18).

And by Joshua:

Joshua said, Sun, be silent in Gibeon, and thou, moon, in the valley of Ajalon. Is not this written in the Book of Jashar? (Josh. 10:12, 13).

Furthermore: I have been told that the first seven chapters of Genesis appear in that Ancient Word complete to the slightest expression. (SS 103)
 

SS 104. XIII  THE PEOPLE OUTSIDE THE CHURCH WHO ARE NOT IN POSSESSION OF THE WORD HAVE LIGHT BY ITS MEANS

There can be no conjunction with heaven unless somewhere on earth there is a church where the Word is, and where by it the Lord is known; for the Lord is the God of heaven and earth, and apart from Him there is no salvation. It is sufficient that there be a church where the Word is, even if it consists of comparatively few, for even in that case the Lord is present by its means in the whole world, for by its means heaven is conjoined with the human race. That there is conjunction by means of the Word may be seen above (n. 62-69). (SS 104)

SS 113. It has been given me to know by much experience that by means of the Word man has communication with heaven. While I read the Word through from the first chapter of Isaiah to the last of Malachi, and the Psalms of David, I was permitted clearly to perceive that each verse communicated with some society of heaven, and thus the whole Word with the universal heaven. (SS 113)

SS 114.  XIV  WITHOUT THE WORD NO ONE WOULD HAVE A KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, OF HEAVEN AND HELL, OF A LIFE AFTER DEATH, AND STILL LESS OF THE LORD

This follows as a general conclusion from what has been already said and shown; as that the Word is Divine truth itself (n. 1-4); that it is a medium of conjunction with the angels of heaven (n. 62-69); that everywhere in it there is a marriage of the Lord and the church, and a consequent marriage of good and truth (n. 80-89); that the quality of the church is such as is its understanding of the Word (n. 76-79); that the Word exists in the heavens also, and the angels have their wisdom from it (n. 70-75); that the nations and peoples outside the church also have spiritual light by means of the Word (n. 104-113); and much more besides. From all this it can be concluded that without the Word no one would possess spiritual intelligence, which consists in having knowledge of a God, of heaven and hell, and of a life after death; nor would know anything whatever about the Lord, about faith in him and love to him, nor anything about redemption, by means of which nevertheless comes salvation. As the Lord also says to His disciples:

Without Me ye can do nothing (John 15:5);
and John:
A man can receive nothing except it be given him from heaven (John 3:27).

(SS 114)

SS 115. But as there are those who maintain, and have confirmed themselves in the opinion, that without a Word it is possible for a man to know of the existence of God, and of heaven and hell, and of all the other things taught by the Word, and as they thereby weaken the authority and holiness of the Word, if not with the lips, yet in the heart, therefore it is not practicable to deal with them from the Word, but only from rational light, for they do not believe in the Word, but in themselves. Investigate the matter from rational light, and you will find that in man there are two faculties of life called the understanding and the will, and that the understanding is subject to the will, but not the will to the understanding, for the understanding merely teaches and shows the way. Make further investigation, and you will find that man's will is what is his own [proprium], and that this, regarded in itself, is nothing but evil, and that from this springs what is false in the understanding.

[2] Having discovered these facts you will see that from himself a man does not desire to understand anything but that which comes from the own of his will, and also that it is not possible for him to do so unless there is some other source from which he may know it. From the own of his will a man does not desire to understand anything except that which relates to himself and to the world; everything above this is to him in thick darkness. So that when he sees the sun, the moon, the stars, and chances to think about their origin, how is it possible for him to think otherwise than that they exist of themselves? Can he raise his thoughts higher than do many of the learned in the world who acknowledge only nature, in spite of the fact that from the Word they know of the creation of all things by God? What then would these same have thought if they had known nothing from the Word?

[3] Do you believe that the wise men of old, Aristotle, Cicero, Seneca, and others, who wrote about God and the immortality of the soul, got this from themselves [proprio]? Not so, but from others who had it by tradition from those who first knew it from the [Ancient] Word. Neither do the writers on natural theology get any such matters from themselves. They merely confirm by rational arguments what they have already become acquainted with from the church in which is the Word; and there may be some among them who confirm without believing it. (SS 115)

SS 117. That from the most ancient times there has been religion, and that everywhere the inhabitants of the world have had knowledge of God, and have known something about a life after death, has not originated in themselves or their own penetration, but from the Ancient Word (spoken of above, n. 101-103), and, at a later period, from the Israelitish Word. From these two Words the things of religion have spread into the Indies and their islands, and through Egypt and Ethiopia into the kingdoms of Africa, and from the maritime parts of Asia into Greece, and from thence into Italy. But as the Word could not be written in any other way than by means of representatives, which are such things in this world as correspond to heavenly things, and therefore signify them, the things of religion among many of the nations were turned into idolatry, and in Greece into fables, and the Divine attributes and predicates into so many gods, over whom they set one supreme, whom they called "Jove"* from "Jehovah." It is known that they had knowledge of paradise, of the flood, of the sacred fire, and of the four ages, from the first or golden age to the last or iron age, by which are meant the four states of the church (as in Daniel 2:31-35). It is also known that the Mohammedan religion, which came later and destroyed the former religions of many nations, was taken from the Word of both Testaments. (SS 117)

SS 118. Lastly, I will state of what character those become after death who ascribe all things to their own intelligence, and little or nothing to the Word. They first become as if inebriated, then as if silly, and finally stupid, and they sit in darkness. Of such insanity, therefore, let all beware. (SS 118)

AC 1408. These and the things which follow occurred historically as they are written; but the historicals are representatives and all the words are significative. The case is the same with all the historicals of the Word, not only with those in the books of Moses, but also with those in the books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings. In all these, nothing is apparent but mere history; but although it is history in the sense of the letter, still in the internal sense there are arcana of heaven, which lie stored up and hidden there, and which can never be seen so long as the mind, together with the eye, is kept in the historicals; nor are they revealed until the mind is removed from the sense of the letter.

The Word of the Lord is like a body that contains within it a living soul; the things belonging to the soul do not appear while the mind is so fixed in corporeal things that it scarcely believes that there is a soul, still less that it will live after death; but as soon as the mind withdraws from corporeal things, those which are of the soul and life become manifest. And this also is the reason, not only why corporeal things must die before man can be born anew, or be regenerated, but also why the body itself must die so that he may come into heaven and see heavenly things.

[2] Such also is the case with the Word of the Lord: its corporeal things are those which are of the sense of the letter; and when the mind is kept in these, the internal things are not seen at all; but when the former are as it were dead, then for the first time are the latter presented to view. But still the things of the sense of the letter are similar to those which are with man while in the body, to wit, to the knowledges of the memory that come from the things of sense, and which are general vessels that contain interior or internal things within them.

It may be known from this that the vessels are one thing, and the essentials contained in the vessels another. The vessels are natural; the essentials contained in the vessels are spiritual and celestial. So likewise the historicals of the Word, and all the expressions in the Word, are general, natural, and indeed material vessels, in which are things spiritual and celestial; and these in no wise come into view except by the internal sense.

[3] This will be evident to everyone from the mere fact that many things in the Word are said according to appearances, and indeed according to the fallacies of the senses, as that the Lord is angry, that He punishes, curses, kills, and many other such things; when yet in the internal sense they mean quite the contrary, namely, that the Lord is in no wise angry and punishes, still less does He curse and kill. And yet to those who from simplicity of heart believe the Word as they apprehend it in the letter, no harm is done while they live in charity. The reason is that the Word teaches nothing else than that everyone should live in charity with his neighbor, and love the Lord above all things. They who do this have in themselves the internal things; and therefore with them the fallacies taken from the sense of the letter are easily dispelled. (AC 1408)

AC 10582. That I will put thee in a cleft of the rock. That this signifies the obscurity and falsity of faith such as is with those who are in external things without what is internal, is evident from the signification of "a cleft of the rock," as being what is obscure and false of faith; for by "rock" is signified faith (as just above, n. 10580); and by a "cleft," its obscurity and also its falsity (of which below). It is said "such as is with those who are in external things without what is internal," because with such all the truth which is of faith is in obscurity, and is also attended with falsity. For such of them as believe the Word, believe it everywhere according to the letter, and not according to its interior meaning; and those who so believe cannot be in any light, for light from heaven flows in through the internal into the external.

Moreover, what they believe without light from heaven appears as truth, but nevertheless with them it is falsity, for they have a material and earthly idea about truth, and not at the same time a spiritual and heavenly idea, and every material and earthly idea abounds in fallacies unless there is in it light from heaven. For example: as James and John had an earthly idea about the Lord's kingdom, they asked that they might sit the one on His right hand and the other on the left in His kingdom; but Jesus said: Ye know not what ye ask. Ye know that the princes of the nations lord it over them. Not so shall it be among you; but whosoever would become great among you must be your minister; and whosoever would be first must be your servant (Matt. 20:21, 22, 25-27).

[2] People of this character, like the men of those days, do not know what the heavenly kingdom is, nor what the glory there is, not what love is, nor even what faith is; in general, not what good is; for they base their judgment on bodily and earthly things, and call good all the delight of the body and its senses; and eminence over others they call glory; the love of the world and the love of self they call heavenly love; and memory-knowledge made persuasive they call faith. When they think about God, they think materially, and therefore either deny God and regard nature as God; or else they worship idols, or dead men. From this it is evident how obscure is faith, and also how false it is, with those who are in merely external things.

 [3] In such obscurity and falsity of faith are those who believe the Word solely as to the sense of its letter, without doctrine made from it by one who is enlightened. They who read the Word without doctrine are like those who walk in darkness without a lamp. Such are all merely sensuous men. That such is the Jewish nation is evident, for they explain all things of the Word according to the sense of the letter, because they are in external things separate from what is internal. In the other life such people do not dwell upon the rocks; but either in caves there, or in clefts of the rocks.

[4] That a "cleft of the rock" denotes what is obscure and false of faith, is evident also from other passages in the Word, as in Isaiah: In that day Jehovah shall hiss for the fly that is in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria. And they shall come, and shall rest all of them in the rivers of desolations, and in the clefts of the rocks (Isa. 7:18, 19). in this passage is described the coming of the Lord and the state of the church at that time, that there would be desolation of all things that belong to spiritual truth and good. For by these words is signified that the man of the church would then have receded from internal things, and would have become altogether external, thus merely sensuous.

To become sensuous is not to apprehend and believe anything but what the external senses assert. "The fly in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt" denotes the falsity of the wholly external or merely sensuous man; "the bee in the land of Assyria" denotes the falsity of reasoning therefrom; "the rivers of desolations" denote the truths of doctrine altogether desolated; and "the clefts of the rocks" denote the falsities of faith thence derived. Who would divine that these words signify such things which, unless disclosed by the internal sense, would be completely hidden?

 [5] Again: In that day a man shall cast away the idols which they had made for themselves to bow down to, to the moles and to the bats; to enter into the clefts of the rocks, and into the fissures of the ragged rocks (Isa. 2:20, 21); "to bow down to the moles and to the bats" denotes to worship such things as are in thick darkness and in the shade of night, that is, external things without anything internal; "to enter into the clefts of the rocks, and into the fissures of the ragged rocks," denotes into the obscurities and darknesses of faith, thus into falsities.

[6] In Jeremiah: I will bring back the sons of Israel upon their land; and send unto many fishers, who shall fish them; and unto hunters, who shall hunt them from upon every mountain, upon every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks (Jer. 16:15, 16). The restoration of the church is here treated of, which is signified by "bringing back the sons of Israel upon their land;" "to fish them" denotes to instruct in the external things of the church; "to hunt them" denotes to instruct in the internal things thereof; they who are "upon mountain and upon hill" denote those who are in love and in charity; those in "the holes of the rocks" denote those who are in faith not yet enlightened, thus who are in what is obscure of faith.

[7] Again: I have made thee smallest among the nations; the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest in the holes of the rock holding the height of the hill (Jer. 49:15, 16). The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rocks, in the height of thy seat; who saith in his heart, Who shall pull me down to the earth? Though thou exalt thee as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, from thence I will pull thee down (Obad. 3, 4). "To dwell in the holes of the rock" denotes in falsities of faith.

The subject here treated of is those who exalt themselves above others, believing that they are more learned than all others, when yet they are in falsities, and even cannot see truths. In the other life such persons dwell in the holes of rocks, and sometimes they project themselves upon the rocks; but they are cast down therefrom into their holes, and into the caves which are beneath the rocks. This is meant by "holding the height of the hill," and "exalting thyself as an eagle," and "setting the nest among the stars," and yet being "pulled down."

From all this it can now be seen that by "putting Moses in a cleft of the rock" is signified such obscurity and falsity of faith as is with those who are in external things without what is internal; for by Moses is here meant the people, because he here bears relation to their head (see n. 10556). (AC 10582)

AC 2395. For we will destroy this place. That this signifies that the state of evil in which they were would condemn them, is evident from the meaning of "destroying," when predicated of the Lord, as being in the internal significance to perish by evil, that is, to be condemned; and also from the signification of "this place," as being a state of evil (n. 2393).

It is frequently said in the Word that Jehovah "destroys;" but in the internal sense it is meant that man destroys himself; for Jehovah or the Lord destroys no one. But as from the fact of His seeing and regulating all things in both general and particular it appears as if the destruction came from Jehovah or the Lord, it is so expressed in many places in the Word, to the end that men may thereby be kept in a most general idea that all things are under the Lord's eyes, and all things under His auspices; for if at first they are kept in this idea, they can afterwards be easily instructed. For the explications of the Word as to the internal sense are nothing but particulars that elucidate a general idea.

[2] Another reason why it is so expressed is that they who are in no love are kept in fear, and thereby stand in awe of the Lord, and flee to Him for the sake of deliverance. This shows that it does no harm to believe the sense of the letter, even though the internal sense teaches something else, provided that it is done from a simple heart. But these things will be treated of more fully in what follows, at verse 24 (n. 2447), where it is said that Jehovah caused it to rain brimstone and fire upon Sodom and Gomorrah. The angels, being in the internal sense, are so far from thinking that Jehovah destroys anyone that they cannot endure even the idea of such a thing; and therefore when these and other such things are read in the Word by man, the sense of the letter is cast away as it were to the back, and at last passes into this: that evil itself is what destroys man, and that the Lord destroys no one (as may be seen from the example given above in n. 1875). (AC 2395)

AR 911. [verse 18] 'And the construction of the wall was of jasper' signifies that every Divine Truth of the Word in the sense of the letter with the men of that Church is transparent by virtue of the Divine Truth in the correspondential sense. By 'the wall' is signified the Word in the sense of the letter (n. 898). By 'the construction' is signified everything of it, because everything of it is in the construction. By 'jasper' is signified much the same as by 'a precious stone' on the whole, and by 'a precious stone' when said of the Word is signified the Divine Truth of the Word in the sense of the letter transparent by virtue of the Divine Truth in the correspondential sense (n. 231, 540, 726, 823). That much the same is signified by 'jasper' may be seen above (n. 897).

The reason why it is transparent is because Divine Truth in the sense of the letter is in natural light and Divine Truth in the correspondential sense is in spiritual light, and therefore when spiritual light inflows into the natural light with a man who is reading the Word, he is enlightened and sees the truths there, for the objects of spiritual light are truths. Indeed the Word in the sense of the letter is such that the more a man is enlightened by means of an influx of the light of heaven the more he sees truths by virtue of their connection and resultant form, and the more he so sees them the more interiorly is his rational opened, for the rational is the very receptacle of the light of heaven. (AR 911)

AC 1408. These and the things which follow occurred historically as they are written; but the historicals are representatives and all the words are significative. The case is the same with all the historicals of the Word, not only with those in the books of Moses, but also with those in the books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings. In all these, nothing is apparent but mere history; but although it is history in the sense of the letter, still in the internal sense there are arcana of heaven, which lie stored up and hidden there, and which can never be seen so long as the mind, together with the eye, is kept in the historicals; nor are they revealed until the mind is removed from the sense of the letter.

The Word of the Lord is like a body that contains within it a living soul; the things belonging to the soul do not appear while the mind is so fixed in corporeal things that it scarcely believes that there is a soul, still less that it will live after death; but as soon as the mind withdraws from corporeal things, those which are of the soul and life become manifest. And this also is the reason, not only why corporeal things must die before man can be born anew, or be regenerated, but also why the body itself must die so that he may come into heaven and see heavenly things.

[2] Such also is the case with the Word of the Lord: its corporeal things are those which are of the sense of the letter; and when the mind is kept in these, the internal things are not seen at all; but when the former are as it were dead, then for the first time are the latter presented to view. But still the things of the sense of the letter are similar to those which are with man while in the body, to wit, to the knowledges of the memory that come from the things of sense, and which are general vessels that contain interior or internal things within them. It may be known from this that the vessels are one thing, and the essentials contained in the vessels another. The vessels are natural; the essentials contained in the vessels are spiritual and celestial. So likewise the historicals of the Word, and all the expressions in the Word, are general, natural, and indeed material vessels, in which are things spiritual and celestial; and these in no wise come into view except by the internal sense.

[3] This will be evident to everyone from the mere fact that many things in the Word are said according to appearances, and indeed according to the fallacies of the senses, as that the Lord is angry, that He punishes, curses, kills, and many other such things; when yet in the internal sense they mean quite the contrary, namely, that the Lord is in no wise angry and punishes, still less does He curse and kill. And yet to those who from simplicity of heart believe the Word as they apprehend it in the letter, no harm is done while they live in charity. The reason is that the Word teaches nothing else than that everyone should live in charity with his neighbor, and love the Lord above all things. They who do this have in themselves the internal things; and therefore with them the fallacies taken from the sense of the letter are easily dispelled. (AC 1408)

AC 715. As the most ancient people knew, and when they were in self-humiliation acknowledged, that they were nothing but beasts and wild beasts, and were men solely by virtue of what they had from the Lord, therefore whatever pertained to themselves they not only likened to but called beasts and birds; things of the will they compared to beasts, and called beasts; and things of the understanding they compared to and called birds. But they distinguished between good affections and evil affections. Good affections they compared to lambs, sheep, kids, she-goats, he-goats, rams, heifers, oxen-for the reason that they were good and gentle, and serviceable to life, since they could be eaten, and their skins and wool could furnish clothing. These are the principal clean beasts. But those which are evil and fierce, and not serviceable to life, are unclean beasts. (AC 715)

 

            15.0.1    Scientific Revelations in the Old Testament Sacred Scripture

 

15.0.1.1    The Scientific Meaning of Genesis

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AC 4585. And they journeyed from Bethel, and there was still a tract of land to come to Ephrath. That this signifies that now was the spiritual of the celestial, is evident from the signification of "journeying from Bethel" as being what is continuous of the advancement of the Divine from the Divine natural (that "journeying" denotes what is continuous may be seen above, n. 4554, here in the supreme sense what is continuous of the advancement of the Divine, and that "Bethel" is the Divine natural, n. 4559, 4560); from the signification of a "tract of land in coming," as being what is intermediate (of which in what follows); and from the signification of "Ephrath," as being the spiritual of the celestial in a former state (of which below where Bethlehem is treated of, which is the spiritual of the celestial in a new state), hence it is said, "Ephrath, this is Bethlehem" (verse 19).

[2] In these verses the subject treated of is the advancement of the Lord's Divine toward interior things, for when the Lord made His Human Divine He advanced in a like order to that in which He makes man new by regeneration, namely, from what is external to interior things, thus from the truth which is in the ultimate of order to a good which is interior, and is called spiritual good, and from this to celestial good. But these things cannot fall into the understanding of anyone unless it is known what the external man and the internal man are, and that the former is distinct from the latter, although while man is living in the body they appear as one; also unless it is known that the natural constitutes the external man, and the rational the internal; and further, unless it is known what the spiritual is and what the celestial.

[3] These things have indeed already been occasionally unfolded, nevertheless they who have previously had no idea about them in consequence of having no desire to know the things of eternal life, find it impossible to have any such idea. Such people say, "What is the internal man? Is it possible that it can be distinct from the external? What is the natural, and the rational? Are they not one? Moreover, What is the spiritual, and the celestial? Is not this a new distinction? We have heard of the spiritual, but that the celestial is something else we have not heard." The case however is thus: They who have not previously acquired any idea on these subjects, for the reason that the cares of the world and of the body have possession of all their thought and take away all desire of knowing anything else; or because they deem it sufficient to know their doctrinal tenets as they are commonly known, and that it is of no consequence to have any further thought about the matter, saying, "We see the world, but the other life we do not see, perhaps it exists and perhaps not"-much persons put away all these subjects, for even at the first look they at heart reject them.

[4] Nevertheless as they are such things as are contained in the internal sense of the Word, and these cannot be explained without adequate terms, and we have no terms more adequate for expressing exterior things than the term natural, for interior things than the term rational, for those things which are of truth the term spiritual, and those which are of good the term celestial, it is absolutely necessary to make use of these terms, for without terms adapted to the subject nothing can be described. In order therefore that those who desire to know may receive some idea of what the spiritual of the celestial is which Benjamin represents and which "Bethlehem" signifies, I will briefly explain it. In the supreme sense the subject that has been treated of is the glorification of the Lord's natural, and in the relative sense the regeneration of man as to his natural. That Jacob represented the man of the church as to his external, and Israel as to his internal, thus Jacob as to his exterior natural, and Israel as to his interior natural, has been shown above (n. 4286); for the spiritual man is from the natural, and the celestial man is from the rational. It has also been shown that the Lord's glorification advanced from external things to more interior things, in like manner as the regeneration of man advances, and that for the sake of this representation Jacob was called "Israel."

[5] But a further advance toward more interior things is now treated of, namely, toward the rational, for as just said, the rational constitutes the internal man. The intermediate between the internal of the natural and the external of the rational is what is meant by the spiritual of the celestial, which is signified by "Ephrath" and "Bethlehem," and is represented by Benjamin. This intermediate derives somewhat from the internal of the natural which is "Israel," and from the external of the rational which is "Joseph;" for that which is intermediate derives something from each extreme, otherwise it could not serve as an intermediate. In order that anyone from being spiritual may become celestial, he must needs advance through this intermediate, for to climb up to higher things without an intermediate is not possible.

[6] And therefore the nature of the advance through this intermediate is here described by Jacob's coming to Ephrath, and by Rachel's bringing forth Benjamin there. Hence it is evident that by their journeying from Bethel, and by there being yet a tract of land to come to Ephrath, is signified what is continuous of the advancement of the Lord's Divine from the Divine natural to the spiritual of the celestial which is signified by "Ephrath" and "Bethlehem," and is represented by Benjamin. The spiritual of the celestial is the intermediate that is spoken of, being called "spiritual" from the spiritual man, which viewed in itself is the interior of the natural man, and "celestial" from the celestial man, which viewed in itself is the rational man. "Joseph" is the exterior rational man, and therefore the celestial of the spiritual from the rational is predicated of him. (AC 4585)

AC 4586. And Rachel brought forth, and suffered hard things in her bringing forth. That this signifies the temptations of interior truth, is evident from the signification of "bringing forth," as being the coming forth of the spiritual things which are of truth and of the celestial things which are of good, for in the internal sense "to bring forth" denotes the things of the spiritual birth (see n. 1145, 1255, 2584, 3860, 3868, 3905, 3915, 3919, 4070); from the representation of Rachel, as being the affection of interior truth (see n. 3758, 3782, 3793, 3819); and from the signification of "suffering hard things," as being to undergo temptations, for when "to suffer hard things" is predicated of truths and goods, or of spiritual things and celestial things, it cannot mean anything else, because no one can attain to these except by means of temptations, for then interior goods and truths fight with the evils and falsities from what is hereditary and what is actual, the man being kept by the Lord from within in goods and truths, and being assaulted by the evils and falsities which burst forth from what is hereditary, and which are present from what is actual, that is, by the spirits and genii who are in these evils and falsities and are with the man. Hence come temptations, whereby not only are evils and falsities, when overcome, cast out and removed, but also goods and truths are confirmed.

These are the things which are signified by Rachel's bringing forth, and by her suffering hard things in her bringing forth. (AC 4586)

See much more on the correspondential sense of all the books of the Old Testament Sacred Scripture at the Bible Meanings Info site:     http://www.biblemeanings.info/Bible/genesis.html

Note that what we call correspondential sense in theistic psychology, is  called "spiritual sense" or "interior sense" in the Writings Sacred Scripture.

 

15.0.1.2    The Scientific Meaning of Psalms

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See Bible Meanings Info site at:     http://www.biblemeanings.info/Bible/psalms.html 

 

           
            15.0.2    Scientific Revelations in the New Testament Sacred Scripture
   

The Old Testament Sacred Scripture and the New Testament Sacred Scripture were written a thousand years apart, and yet they are continuous with each other, both in the literal (religious) sense and in the correspondential (scientific) sense. The continuity is evident in many places where it is foretold in the Old Testament Sacred Scripture that God will be incarnated on this earth. One of the most direct statements is found in the Old Testament Book of the Prophet Isaiah, Chapter 9, verse 6, quoted below.

Quoting from http://bible.cc

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6) [Old Testament Sacred Scripture]

Commentary: Wesley's Notes

For - Having spoken of the glorious light, and joy, and victory of God's people, he now proceeds to shew the ground of it.
Us - Unto us Jews, of whom Christ was born, and to whom he was primarily sent.
A child - The Messiah by the consent of interpreters, not only Christian, but Jewish: for so the ancient Hebrew doctors understood the place, and particularly the Chaldee paraphrast; although the latter Jews, out of opposition to Christ, wrest it to Hezekiah. Which extravagant conceit, as it hath no foundation in this or any other text of scripture, so it is fully confuted by the following titles, which are such as cannot without blasphemy and nonsense be ascribed to Hezekiah, nor indeed to any mere mortal man, as we shall see.
Is born - Or, shall be born, as the prophets generally speak.
The government - Of God's people, to whom he is given.
Shoulders - Upon him, or in his hands. He mentions shoulders, because great burdens are commonly laid upon men's shoulders.
His name - This is not to be taken for a description of his name, but of his glorious nature and qualities.
Wonderful counselor - And so Christ is, because he hath been the counselor of his church in all ages, and the author and giver of all those excellent counsels delivered not only by the apostles, but also by the prophets, and hath gathered and enlarged, and preserved his church, by admirable counsels and methods of his providence, and, in a word, hath in him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, Col 2:3.
Mighty God - This title can agree to no man but Christ, who was God as well as man, to whom the title of God or Jehovah is given, both in the Old and New Testament. And it is a true observation, that this Hebrew word El is never used in the singular number, of any creature, but only of the almighty God.
The father - The father of eternity. Who, though as man he was then unborn, yet was and is from everlasting to everlasting.

Commentary: Matthew Henry

The Syrians and Assyrians first ravaged the countries here mentioned, and that region was first favoured by the preaching of Christ. Those that want the gospel, walk in darkness, and in the utmost danger. But when the gospel comes to any place, to any soul, light comes. Let us earnestly pray that it may shine into our hearts, and make us wise unto salvation. The gospel brings joy with it. Those who would have joy, must expect to go through hard work, as the husbandman, before he has the joy of harvest; and hard conflict, as the soldier, before he divides the spoil. The Jews were delivered from the yoke of many oppressors; this was a shadow of the believer's deliverance from the yoke of Satan. The cleansing the souls of believers from the power and pollution of sin, would be by the influence of the Holy Spirit, as purifying fire. These great things for the church, shall be done by the Messiah, Emmanuel.

The Child is born; it was certain; and the church, before Christ came in the flesh, benefitted by his undertaking. It is a prophecy of him and of his kingdom, which those that waited for the Consolation of Israel read with pleasure.
This Child was born for the benefit of us men, of us sinners, of all believers, from the beginning to the end of the world.
Justly is he called Wonderful, for he is both God and man. His love is the wonder of angels and glorified saints.
He is the Counselor, for he knew the counsels of God from eternity; and he gives counsel to men, in which he consults our welfare.
He is the Wonderful Counselor; none teaches like him.
He is God, the mighty One. Such is the work of the Mediator, that no less power than that of the mighty God could bring it to pass.
He is God, one with the Father.
As the Prince of Peace, he reconciles us to God; he is the Giver of peace in the heart and conscience; and when his kingdom is fully established, men shall learn war no more.
The government shall be upon him; he shall bear the burden of it. Glorious things are spoken of Christ's government. There is no end to the increase of its peace, for the happiness of its subjects shall last for ever.

The exact agreement of this prophecy with the doctrine of the New Testament, shows that Jewish prophets and Christian teachers had the same view of the person and salvation of the Messiah. To what earthly king or kingdom can these words apply? Give then, O Lord, to thy people to know thee by every endearing name, and in every glorious character. Give increase of grace in every heart of thy redeemed upon earth.

From http://bible.cc

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Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

TCR 82. (1) Jehovah God descended and assumed a Human that He might redeem men and save them.

In the Christian churches at this day it is believed that God the Creator of the universe begat a Son from eternity, and that this Son descended and assumed a Human in order to redeem and save men. But this is an error, and of itself falls to the ground as soon as it is considered that God is one, and that it is worse than incredible in the sight of reason to say that the one God begat a Son from eternity, and that God the Father, together with the Son and Holy Spirit, each one of whom singly is God, is one God. This incredible notion is wholly dissipated, like a falling star in midair, when it is shown from the Word that Jehovah God Himself descended and became Man and also Redeemer.

[2] The first statement, that it was Jehovah God Himself who descended and became Man, is made clear in the following passages:

Behold, a virgin shall conceive and shall bear a Son, who shall be called God-with-us (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:22, 23).

Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, God, Mighty, Father of Eternity, the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6).

It shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him that He may deliver us; this is Jehovah; we have waited for Him; let us exult and be glad in His salvation (Isa. 25:9).

The voice of one crying in the desert, Prepare ye the way of Jehovah; make level in the wilderness a highway for our God, and all flesh shall see it together (Isa. 40:3, 5).

Behold, the Lord Jehovah cometh in strength, and His arm shall rule for Him behold, His reward is with Him. He shall feed His flock like a shepherd (Isa. 40:10, 11).

Jehovah said, Sing for joy and be glad, O daughter of Zion; for lo, I come to dwell in the midst of thee. Then many nations shall cleave to Jehovah in that day (Zech. 2:10, 11).

I, Jehovah, have called thee in righteousness, and I will give thee for a covenant of the people. I am Jehovah; this is My name; My glory will I not give to another (Isa. 42:6-8).

Behold, the days come, that I will raise up unto David a righteous Branch and He shall reign as King, and He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth, and this is His name, Jehovah our righteousness (Jer. 23:5, 6; 33:15, 16).

See also the places where the Lord's coming is called "the day of Jehovah" (as in Isa. 13:6, 9, 13, 22; Ezek. 31:15; Joel 1:15; 2:1, 2, 11; 3:1, 14, 18; Amos 5:13, 18, 20; Zeph. 1:7-18; Zech. 14:1, 4-21; and elsewhere).

[3] That it was Jehovah Himself who descended and assumed the Human is especially evident in Luke, where it is said:

Mary said to the angel, How shall this come to pass, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing that is born of thee shall be called the Son of God (Luke 1:34, 35).

And in Matthew:

The angel said to Joseph, the bridegroom of Mary, in a dream, that that which was begotten in her was of the Holy Spirit. And Joseph knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son, and he called His name Jesus (Matt. 1:20, 25).

It will be shown in the third chapter of this work that the Divine that goes forth from Jehovah God is what is meant by the Holy Spirit. Who does not know that the offspring has its soul and life from the father, and that the body is from the soul? Can anything, then, be more plainly declared than that the Lord had His soul and life from Jehovah God; and as the Divine cannot be divided, that the very Divine of the Father was His soul and life? This is why the Lord so often called Jehovah God His Father, and why Jehovah God called Him His Son. Can there be anything, then, more absurd than to say that the soul of the Lord was from His mother Mary? as is at this day dreamed by both the Roman Catholics and the Reformed, they not having yet been awakened by the Word. (TCR 82)

AC 10819. As the Father is in the Lord, and the Father and the Lord are one, and as He must be believed in, and whoso believeth in Him hath eternal life, it is evident that the Lord is God. That the Lord is God is taught everywhere in the Word, as in these passages:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father (John 1:1, 3, 14).

Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called God, Hero, the Father of Eternity, the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6).

A virgin shall conceive, and bring forth, and His name shall be called God with us (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:23).

Behold the days come when I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, who shall reign as king, and shall prosper; and this is His name whereby they shall call Him, JEHOVAH OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (Jer. 23:5-6; 33:15-16).

(AC 10819)

 

       

For more extensive information on the topic of this Section, please consult the Bible Meanings Info site at:  http://www.biblemeanings.info/index.htm

 

15.0.2.1    The Scientific Meaning of the Parables of Jesus

The New Testament Sacred Scripture validates the Old Testament Sacred Scripture by incorporating it into itself. The New Testament Sacred Scripture reveals that the Old Testament Sacred Scripture has a correspondential sense whose topic is the repeated announcement of the Divine incarnation of God as a human born on earth (see Section xx). For instances there are numerous Divine laws given in the Old Testament Sacred Scripture regarding animal sacrifices and how they were to be performed. The New Testament Sacred Scripture reveals that the purpose of these animal sacrifices was to serve as a symbolic representative in worship of the Divine Incarnation process. Centuries later, the Writings Sacred Scripture reveals that the entire Old Testament Sacred Scripture possess two levels of meaning, one visible, the other hidden. All Sacred Scripture contains these two senses because Sacred Scripture is Divine Speech expressed in natural correspondences. This visible, literal, historical sense of all Sacred Scripture serves the very basis and foundation for religion (see Section xx).

The visible sense of all Sacred Scripture is necessarily immersed in a culture and time. It has an historical and ethnic social context and identifies God by a particular Name, as specified in the Sacred Scripture given through their prophet from God. This knowledge had been revealed to the earliest generations on this earth who possessed the Oral Sacred Scripture from direct perception through the spiritual mind which was then still conscious to the human race on earth (see Section xx). Subsequently this knowledge of correspondences in Sacred Scripture was lost. The Writings Sacred Scripture reveal that God kept the knowledge hidden until the 18th century when the modern mind evolved enough in scientific rationality to understand theistic psychology. The Writings Sacred Scripture were recognized by a few readers immediately upon Swedenborg's publication of the last volume of the Writings in 1771 (see Section xx). The first groups of Christians calling themselves as the New Church religion based on the Writings Sacred Scripture occurred in 1787 in England and the United States (see Section xx).

When you examine the Old Testament Sacred Scripture, the New Testament Sacred Scripture, and the Writings Sacred Scripture it becomes fully evident that they are connected at both levels -- connected historically at the visible literal level of meaning, and connected universally by the hidden correspondential or scientific level of meaning. Since correspondences are now revealed in the Writings Sacred Scripture any one can demonstrate this scientific continuity between the these three collections of Sacred Scripture. They were given to different cultures and times separated by thousands of years. The dozens of authors involved in their writing were unrelated to each other and themselves had no idea at all that what they were writing down under Divine dictation contained a hidden correspondential meaning. Hence the rational and scientific continuity of the subject matter and topics in these collections of Sacred Scripture can only be considered of a Divine authorship, and not merely human.

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

SE 672. About the heavens

I was told that before the coming of the Lord into the world, there had been no other heaven than the inward one.* For as yet no one on this earth could understand the very inward, much less the innermost matters; and because higher knowledge must precede, therefore no other heaven could come into being at that time. The inward heaven* is such that something earthly is joined to their spiritual part. Consequently, when angels formerly spoke with people on earth, and through the prophets, the Word had to come down directly into earthly forms. This resulted in the prophetical style that the Lord also chose to use in part. For otherwise they would not have been able to understand inward, much less very inward, spiritual matters. For this reason also the Lord spoke in parables.

About this subject I spoke with those in heaven, who seemed to me to affirm them, that is, that there had been this kind of a heaven for the sake of the inhabitants of this earth, but that a very inward and innermost heaven had nevertheless existed from others in the universe. * See 262 and footnote 3. (SE 672)

The New Testament Sacred Scripture for the first time two thousand years ago, has revealed to humankind that God speaks in correspondences in Sacred Scripture. Further, it reveals numerous details about what these Divine correspondences are. The most direct instances are the many parables of Jesus that are given there and explained as to what their spiritual lesson is. The Writings Sacred Scripture go over these revelations in the New Testament Sacred Scripture and amplify upon them, demonstrating with multiple instances what the correspondences are in all of the Old and New Testament Sacred Scriptures.

The following is a selection from The Parables of Jesus Christ Explained by The Rev. J. Clowes (1851) who was a New Church minister in England.

From http://www.biblemeanings.info/Parables/Clowes/Parables_of_Jesus.htm
(see there the interpretation of other parables as well)

THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER.

And he spate many things to them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; and when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way-side, and the birds came and devoured them up: some fell upon, stony places, where they had not much earth; and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no depth of earth; and when the sun was up, they were scorched; and, because they had no root, they withered away: and some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up and choked them: but others fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundred-fold, some sixty-fold, some thirty-fold. Who has ears to hear, let him hear. The Sower is the Son of Man, or Jesus Christ, in His Divine Humanity. He is called the Sower, because the seed sown is the Eternal Truth, or the Word of God, and all Truth, properly so called, is from Jesus Christ, who on that account calls Himself the Truth. (Matt. 13:3-10)

By sowing, when spoken of Jesus Christ, is to be understood the insemination and implantation of His Divine Truth, or Word, in the understandings and lives of men; this is effected by man's hearing, or reading, the Word of God, by his meditating on what he hears or reads, but, above all, by the application of what he hears, or reads, to the purpose of reforming his life, by separating from himself all evil ends and purposes, and by loving, thinking, and doing those good things which the Word of God teaches to be good.

Mankind, then, differ in the way of receiving and admitting the Eternal Truth, and this difference is described in the parable to be four-fold, which four-fold reception is distinguished in the parable, first by some seed falling by the way-side; secondly, by some falling upon stony places, where they have not much earth; thirdly, by some falling among thorns; and, lastly, by some falling into good ground.

The first distinction, described by some seed falling by the way-side, includes all those who receive the Word of God, or the Eternal Truth, without affection.

Every one receives the Word of God without affection who hears it, and reads it, and yet is not interested in what he hears and reads, having his affections immersed merely in the things of time and of sense, without any elevation to the great things of Eternity.

The second distinction, described by the seeds which fell upon stony places, where they have not much earth, includes all those who hear, or read, the Word of God, and imbibe its truth, yet not from a genuine affection for that truth, but from some external affection which regards only the gain and glory of this world: thus they love the truth, not for its own sake, but for the sake of their own temporal interests, which they think to advance and secure by means of the knowledge of truth.

The third distinction, described by the seeds which fell among thorns, includes all those who hear, or read, the Word of God, without any desire to remove the cravings of evil, and who thus are desirous to become intelligent in heavenly knowledge, but not for the purpose of purifying and reforming their own hearts and lives in the sight of God.

The last distinction, described by the seeds which fell into good ground, includes all those who receive the Word of God, and its Eternal Truths, with a genuine and devout affection, at the same time applying them to the purposes for which they are given, namely, the purification, reformation, and regeneration of their hearts and lives in the sight of God.

Let us now consider the effects of these different receptions of the Word of God in the minds of men.

The first effect is described in these words. The birds came and devoured them up.

By the birds, in this passage, are to be understood all false persuasions of doctrine and of life, which always occupy the minds of those who are destitute of affection for the Eternal Truth; and by devouring up the seeds of truth is to be understood, that where the Word of God is received without affection it cannot produce its proper fruits, because it is liable to be perverted and destroyed by false persuasions, which occupy the natural mind of every man before he admits with affection the light of the Eternal Word.

The next effect of a wrong reception of the Word of God, is described in these words, Forthwith they sprung up, because they had no depth of earth; and when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

This is to denote, that where the Eternal Truth is received from an affection not genuine, that is to say, from an affection grounded in worldly gain or glory, in that mind an appearance is presented of the growth of truth, but then it is a growth in the memory and understanding only, and not in the will, or love; therefore, it is said, because they have no depth of earth, for the earth, in this case, relates to the will, or love, and its depth has relation to the inmost principle of each.

The sun, as applied in the Holy Scriptures, is used both in a good and bad sense, according to the subject treated of; and in a good sense, it relates to the Lord Himself, and to the Divine Love and Wisdom which proceed from Him; but in a bad sense, it is applied to denote the destructive principle of self-love, when it is exalted in the human mind above the love of God and Heaven. By the seeds being scorched, then, is to be understood, that where the truth is not received with a genuine affection, or for its own sake, in that mind it is withered and destroyed by the influence of self-love, which will not allow it to take its proper root, and bear its proper fruits; therefore, it is added, because they had no root, they withered away, to teach the important lesson, that where self-love is predominant it is impossible that the Eternal Truth should gain a place in the natural mind of man, so as to produce all its blessed and saving effects.

The third effect of a wrong reception of the Word of God, is described in these words. The thorns sprung up and choked them.

By the thorns are to be understood the cravings of evil, which Jesus Christ, in his explanation of the parable, calls the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, by which are meant, all those anxieties, concerns, and affections of the merely external man, who prevail over the better desires of the internal man; and by choking the seed of truth, is to be understood, all that suffocation of the pure knowledge of God, and of His Holy Word, which must of necessity take place in that mind, where the appetites of the body, and the cravings of animal life, are suffered to exalt themselves above the higher interests to man's spiritual and eternal life; therefore it is added, by Jesus Christ, that such a mind becomes unfruitful, because the fruitfulness of heavenly truth can only be found in its effects upon the natural man, by purifying his ends of life, and forming him to every good thought, word, and work; in case, therefore, that the operation of heavenly truth is resisted by the natural mind, it is impossible there can be any fruitfulness of truth in the natural man.

The fourth effect resulting from the reception of the Eternal Truth is described in these words, It brought forth fruit, some an hundred-fold, some sixty-fold, some thirty-fold.

By fruit is to be understood, all the good of love and charity, that is to say, of love towards God, and charity towards our neighbour; and by bringing forth this fruit is to be understood, that this good of love and charity manifests itself in the natural man in all good thoughts, words, and works, of a holy and useful life, agreeably to those words of Jesus Christ, where He says, Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven: (Matt. 5:16). and in another place, If you know these things, happy are you if you do them (John 13:17). It is, therefore, said in the parable, that other seed fell into good ground, to denote that the reception of truth, in this case, was an interior reception, or, a reception in the inner man; that is to say, in the will, or love, as well as in the understanding and memory. Therefore, Jesus Christ, in explaining this reception of the Eternal Truth, says, He that receives seed into good ground is he that hears the Word and understands it, to instruct us, that a right and profitable reception of the Eternal Truth is a reception both in the will, signified by hearing, and in the intellect, signified by understanding; and to instruct us yet further, that all fruitfulness of the Holy Word is the result of this two-fold reception, or what may be properly called the heavenly marriage of good and truth, and not from the single reception of either of those principles separate from the other.

The distinctions expressed in the parable by hundred-fold, sixty-fold, and thirty-fold, are intended to express the different degrees of fruitfulness of the Eternal Truth in human minds, which will ever depend upon the degree in which good and truth are united, or in which the will and understanding are conjointly affected. As, therefore, in some cases, this conjunction may be less perfect than in others, in like manner it is to be supposed, that the fruitfulness will vary, and this agreeably to the distinctions here mentioned of an hundred-fold, sixty-fold, and thirty-fold.

Jesus Christ concludes this parable by saying, He that has ears to hear, let him hear; teaching us by these words, that He intended his instruction only for those who were in a disposition to receive it, and not for those who were in no disposition. For by those who have ears to hear He meant to describe all sincere and upright minds, which are desirous, both' to receive and profit by the lessons of the Eternal Wisdom, therefore He says of these, let them hear, in other words, let them understand and receive, because to them it is given, to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, inasmuch as they are in a right state of mind to profit, by those mysteries: whereas, to others it is not given, since others are not in a state to profit by them, and, therefore, if such mysteries were made known to them, they would but profane and defile them, and thus increase their condemnation, agreeably to those words of Jesus Christ, This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil (John 3:19).

The general instruction then to be derived from this parable is, that men ought to be very careful in hearing, or reading, the Word of God, to note the affection from which they hear and read, and to see that this affection be pure and genuine, resulting from the love of truth, for its own sake, and not for any earthly ends of temporal gain and glory. We learn, yet further, from this parable, that the Eternal Truth can never produce its full fruitfulness in the mind and life of man until it operates conjointly on his will and understanding, that is to say, on his love and thought; but that when it is attended with this double operation, it forms in man the true heavenly marriage, by virtue whereof he has eternal conjunction with Jesus Christ and His kingdom, and through that conjunction is formed to every good thought, word, and work.

From http://www.biblemeanings.info/Parables/Clowes/Parables_of_Jesus.htm
(see there the correspondential meaning of other parables as well)

Now we can look at some additional revelations that are useful for the study of theistic psychology because they show the empirical observations one can make about correspondences. Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

SE 4372. THAT THOUGHTS FALL INTO REPRESENTATIVES, LIKE THE PARABLES OF THE LORD. While collecting seeds, I perceived from angelic spirits that their thoughts were upon the last times when the good seed should be separated from the bad, and in like manner in other things; so that what the Lord spoke by parables are such things as good spirits represent to themselves, especially while the man who lives in charity thinks concerning any kind of seed, without reflection upon celestial things; and so in regard to everything else. - 1749, August 24. (SE 4372)

SE 3356. THAT THE THOUGHTS AND SPEECH OP ANGELS, ALSO OF ANGELIC SPIRITS, FALL INTO PARABLES. When I wrote concerning those things which [are] in No. 1577, that the thoughts of angelic spirits and angels are like parables, certain spirits doubted, because the idea of a parable is not understood by them; wherefore, angels and angelic spirits tested the matter, whether their ideas fell into parables, and it was confirmed by them, that they do not fail other than into parables, for parables contain generals. - 1748, September 26. (SE 3356)

Life 2. That works are what make a man of the church, and that he is saved according to them, is also taught by the Lord in the parables, many of which imply that those who do what is good are accepted, and that those who do what is evil are rejected. As in the parable

Of the husbandmen in the vineyard (Matt. 21:33-44);
Of the fig-tree that did not yield fruit (Luke 13:6-9);
Of the talents, and the pounds, with which they were to trade (Matt. 25:14-31; Luke 19:13-25);
Of the Samaritan who bound up the wounds of him that was wounded by robbers (Luke 10:30-37);
Of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31);
Of the ten virgins (Matt. 25:1-12).

(Doctrine of Life 2)

AE 193 [10] That the knowledges of truth and good from the Word will be taken away from those who have not acquired spiritual life for themselves, is also meant in the Lord's parables respecting the talents and pounds given to the servants that they might trade and make gain, and respecting the servant who traded not and gained nothing, of whom it is written in the parables:

Unto him who hid his talent in the earth his lord said, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou oughtest to have put my silver to the bankers, in order that at my coming I might have received mine own with interest. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him that hath the ten talents. For unto everyone that hath shall be given, that he may have abundance; but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye out the unprofitable servant into outer darkness (Matt. 25:14-30).

And in another place:

He came who had received the one pound, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I kept laid up in a napkin. The lord said, Wherefore gavest not thou my money into the bank, that coming I might have regained mine own with interest. And He said, Take from him the pound, and give to him that hath ten pounds. I say unto you, To everyone that hath shall be given; but from him that hath not, even than which he hath shall be taken away from him (Luke 19:13-26).

Here "talents," "pounds," and "money," signify the knowledges of truth and good from the Word; "to trade," "to make gain," "to put it to the bankers," or "in the bank," signifies to acquire for oneself thereby spiritual life and intelligence; "hiding these in the earth" or "in a napkin" signifies in the memory of the natural man only; of such it is therefore said that from them should be taken away that which they have, according to what has been explained in the beginning of this article.

[11] This takes place with all in the other life who have acquired for themselves knowledges from the Word, and have not committed them to the life, but only to the memory. He who has knowledges from the Word in the memory only, even if they were thousands, if he has not committed them to the life, remains natural as before. Committing knowledges from the Word to the life is thinking from them, when one, left to himself, thinks from his spirit, and also wing them and doing them; for this is loving truths because they are truths; and those who do this are those who become spiritual by means of knowledges from the Word. (AE 193)

AC 9803. From this it is evident that to be intelligent and wise does not consist in understanding and being wise about many things of the world; but in understanding and willing the things of heaven. For there are those who understand and are wise about many things of the world, and yet do not believe or will the things of heaven; thus are insane. These are they of whom the Lord says:

I speak by parables; because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand (Matt. 13:13).
The world cannot receive the Spirit of truth, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him (John 14:17). (AC 9803)

(AC 9803)

AC 7984. [4] This state is what is meant by a "full state," and is signified by "thirty." It is described by the Lord in the parables of the talents in Matt. 25:14-30, and of the pounds in Luke 19:12-27, and finally in these words:

To everyone that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance, but from him that hath not, even that which he hath shall be taken away from him (Matt. 25:29).
He said unto them that stood by, Take away from him the pound, and give it to him who hath the ten pounds: they said to him, Lord, he hath ten pounds. I say to you, that unto everyone that hath shall be given; but from him that hath not even that which he hath shall be taken from him (Luke 19:24-26).

That everyone's measure is filled, the Lord also teaches in another place in Luke:

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, shall they give into your bosom (Luke 6:38).

From all this it is now evident what is meant by a full state. (AC 7984)

AC 4637. It is quite clear that all the details, every single one, mentioned by the Lord in His parables are representative of and mean the spiritual and celestial attributes of His kingdom, and in the highest sense Divine attributes in Himself. Consequently anyone who does not know this cannot make anything else out of the Lord's parables than ordinary comparisons which hold nothing deeper within them, as with this particular parable concerning the ten virgins. He makes nothing more out of it if he does not know what 'virgins' means in the internal sense, and also what ten, five, lamps, vessels, oil, those who sell, a wedding feast, and every other detail mean. And the same is true with all other parables. As has been stated, the details mentioned by the Lord in them look, in the outward form they take, like ordinary comparisons, but in their internal form their nature is such that they fill the whole of heaven. This is because the internal sense is contained within every detail, and that sense is such that its spiritual and celestial content spreads like light and flame throughout the heavens in all directions. That sense is utterly superior to the sense of the letter, flowing from every phrase and every word, indeed from every tiny letter. But what is embodied in the internal sense of this particular parable may be seen from what follows below. (AC 4637)

AC 3898. What these words embody no one can know except from the teaching of the internal sense - such as the prediction that false Christs will arise who will show great signs and wonders; the command that they should not go out if they were told that Christ was in the wilderness, and that they should not believe it if they were told that He was in the inner rooms; the declaration that the coming of the Son of Man will be like lightning which comes from the east and is seen as far as the west; and also the comment that where the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together. These various statements - like those that come before and those that follow them in this chapter - do not seem, in the sense of the letter, to have any connection with one another. But in the internal sense there is a most wonderful flow of ideas, and this starts to be seen when one understands what is meant by 'false Christs', by 'greet signs and wonders', by 'the wilderness' and 'the inner rooms', also by 'the coming of the Son of Man', and lastly by 'the carcass' and 'the eagles'.

[2] The Lord's reason for speaking in this manner was that people should not understand the Word in case they profaned it; for once the Church had been destroyed, as it had been at that time among the Jews, people would have profaned the Word if they had understood it. This was also why the Lord spoke in parables, as He himself teaches in Matthew 13:13-15; Mark 4:11, 12; Luke 8:10. For the Word cannot be profaned by those who have no knowledge of its mysteries, only by those who do, see 301-303, 593, 1008, 1010, 1059, 1327, 1328, 2051, 3398, 3402; and more so by those who consider themselves learned than by those who consider themselves unlearned.

[3] But the reason why the interior contents of the Word are being disclosed at the present time is that the Church today has been so much vastated, that is, is so devoid of faith and love, that although people know and understand they still do not acknowledge, let alone believe, see 3398, 3399 - with the exception of a few who lead a good life and are called the elect. Among these few who are now able to be taught the new Church is to be established. But where those few are the Lord alone knows. Few of these will be inside the Church. In the past it has been the gentiles among whom new Churches have been established, see 2986. (AC 3898)

AC 217. That the "vine" is used in the Word to signify spiritual good, and the "fig-tree" natural good, is at this day utterly unknown, because the internal sense of the Word has been lost; nevertheless, wherever these expressions occur, they signify or involve this meaning; as also in what the Lord spoke in parables concerning a "vineyard" and a "fig-tree;" as in Matthew:

Jesus seeing a fig-tree in the way, came to it, but found nothing thereon save leaves only, and He said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward forever; and presently the fig-tree withered away (Matt. 21:19),

by which is meant, that no good, not even natural good, was to be found upon the earth. Similar is the meaning of the "vine" and "fig-tree" in Jeremiah:

Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? Nay, they were not at all ashamed, and they knew not how to blush; therefore I will surely gather them, saith Jehovah; there shall be no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig-tree, and the leaf hath fallen (Jer. 8:12-13),

by which is signified that all good, both spiritual and natural, had perished, since they were so depraved as to have lost even the sense of shame, like those at the present day who are in evil, and who, so far from blushing for their wickedness, make it their boast. In Hosea:

I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the first-ripe in the fig-tree in the beginning (Hos. 9:10)

And in Joel:

Be not afraid, ye beasts of My fields, for the tree shall bear its fruit, the fig-tree and the vine shall yield their strength (Joel 2:22).

The "vine" here denotes spiritual good, and the "fig-tree" natural good.  (AC 217)

 

 

15.0.2.2    The Scientific Meaning of the Book of Revelation (Apocalypse)
                           

 

 

15.0.2.3    The Scientific Meaning of the Lord's Prayer

 

15.0.3    Scientific Revelations in the Writings Sacred Scripture

(See Section xx)

 

15.0.4    Ancient Forms of Sacred Scripture and Their Derivatives

 

 

From: www.truthbook.com/worldreligioustexts.htm
 

World Religious Texts

•     Baha'i Faith Texts – Gleanings, from the Writings of Baha'u'lah

Golden Rule: Lay not on any soul a load that you would not wish to be laid upon you, and desire not for anyone the things you would not desire for yourself.
Download ASCII Text of 'Gleanings' – (201k zipped)

•     Buddhist Text – The Dhammapada

Golden Rule: Treat not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.
— The Buddha, Udana-Varga 5.18

Download ASCII Text of The Dhammapada – (54k zipped)

•     Chinese Classics – Confucian Analects   •   Doctrine of the Mean   •   The Great Learning

Golden Rule: One word which sums up the basis of all good conduct . . . loving kindness. Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself.
— Confucius, Analects 15.23

Download ASCII Chinese Classics Texts – (109k zipped)

•     Christian Texts – The Apocrypha   •   The Old Testament   •   The New Testament

Golden Rule: In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.
— Jesus, Matthew 7:12

Download ASCII Christian Texts – (1781k zipped)

The Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ
A downloadable copy of The Book of Mormon may be purchased here.

•     Hindu Texts – Bhagavad Gita   •   Upanishads

Golden Rule: This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you.
— Mahabharata 5:1517

Download ASCII Hindu Texts – (294k zipped)

•     Islamic Texts – The Qur'an

Golden Rule: Not one of you truly believes until you wish for others what you wish for yourself.
— The Prophet Muhammad, Hadith

Download ASCII Text of The Qur'an – (320k zipped)

•     Jainism –

Golden Rule: One should treat all creatures in the world as one would like to be treated.
— Mahavira, Sutrakritanga

•     Judaic Texts – Torah (The Law)   •   Nevi'im (The Prophets)   •   Ketuvim (The Writings)

Golden Rule: What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. This is the whole Torah; all the rest is commentary.
— Hillel, Talmud, Shabbath 31a

Download ASCII Judaic Texts – (1091k zipped)

•     Sikhism –

Golden Rule: I am a stranger to no one; and no one is a stranger to me. Indeed, I am a friend to all.
— Guru Granth Sahib, pg. 1299

•     The Texts of Taoism – Tao Te Ching

Golden Rule: Regard your neighbor's gain as your own gain and your neighbor's loss as your own loss.
— T'ai Shang Kan Ying P'ien, 213-218

Download ASCII Text of Tao Te Ching – (81k zipped)

•     Zoroastrianism

Golden Rule: Do not do unto others whatever is injurious to yourself.
— Shayast-na-Shayast 13.29

 


           
15.0.4.1    The Most Ancient Word and the Celestial Race Before the Fall

 

AC 125. Verse 16. And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden, eating thou mayest eat.

To "eat of every tree" is to know from perception what is good and true; for, as before observed, a "tree" signifies perception. The men of the Most Ancient Church had the knowledges of true faith by means of revelations, for they conversed with the Lord and with angels, and were also instructed by visions and dreams, which were most delightful and paradisal to them. They had from the Lord continual perception, so that when they reflected on what was treasured up in the memory they instantly perceived whether it was true and good, insomuch that when anything false presented itself, they not only avoided it but even regarded it with horror: such also is the state of the angels. In place of this perception of the Most Ancient Church, however, there afterwards succeeded the knowledge [cognitio] of what is true and good from what had been previously revealed, and afterwards from what was revealed in the Word. (AC 125)

AC 607. But the character of this church will be described hereafter. That an idea of it may be presented here, it shall be briefly said that the Most Ancient Church was celestial, as already shown, but this church became spiritual. The Most Ancient Church had a perception of good and truth; this, or the Ancient Church, had not perception, but in its place another kind of dictate, which may be called conscience.

[2] But what is as yet unknown in the world, and is perhaps difficult to believe, is that the men of the Most Ancient Church had internal respiration, and only tacit external respiration. Thus they spoke not so much by words, as afterwards and as at this day, but by ideas, as angels do; and these they could express by innumerable changes of the looks and face, especially of the lips. In the lips there are countless series of muscular fibers which at this day are not set free, but being free with the men of that time, they could so present, signify, and represent ideas by them as to express in a minute's time what at this day it would require an hour to say by articulate sounds and words, and they could do this more fully and clearly to the apprehension and understanding of those present than is possible by words, or series of words in combination. This may perhaps seem incredible, but yet it is true. And there are many others, not of this earth, who have spoken and at this day speak in a similar manner; concerning whom, of the Lord's Divine mercy hereafter.

[3] It has been given me to know the nature of that internal respiration, and how in process of time it was changed. As these most ancient people had a respiration such as the angels have, who breathe in a similar manner, they were in profound ideas of thought, and were able to have such perception as cannot be described; and even if it could be described such as it really was, it would not be believed, because it would not be comprehended. But in their posterity this internal respiration little by little came to an end; and with those who were possessed with dreadful persuasions and phantasies, it became such that they could no longer present any idea of thought except the most debased, the effect of which was that they could not survive, and therefore all became extinct. (AC 607)

AC 608. When internal respiration ceased, external respiration gradually succeeded, almost like that of the present day; and with external respiration a language of words, or of articulate sound into which the ideas of thought were determined. Thus the state of man was entirely changed, and became such that he could no longer have similar perception, but instead of perception another kind of dictate which may be called conscience, for it was like conscience, though a kind of intermediate between perception and the conscience known to some at this day. And when such determination of the ideas of thought took place, that is to say, into spoken words, they could no longer be instructed, like the most ancient man, through the internal man, but through the external. And therefore in place of the revelations of the Most Ancient Church, doctrinal things succeeded, which could first be received by the external senses, and from them material ideas of the memory could be formed, and from these, ideas of thought, by which and according to which they were instructed. Hence it was that this church which followed possessed an entirely different genius from that of the Most Ancient Church, and if the Lord had not brought the human race into this genius, or into this state, no man could have been saved. (AC 608)

AC 609. As the state of the man of this church which is called "Noah" was altogether changed from that of the man of the Most Ancient Church, he could no longer-as said before-be informed and enlightened in the same way as the most ancient man; for his internals were closed, so that he no longer had communication with heaven, except such as was unconscious. Nor, for the same reason, could he be instructed except as before said by the external way of sense or of the senses. On this account, of the Lord's providence, doctrinal matters of faith, with some of the revelations to the Most Ancient Church, were preserved for the use of this posterity. These doctrinal things were first, collected by "Cain" and were stored up that they might not be lost; and therefore it is said of Cain that a "mark was set upon him, lest anyone should slay him" (concerning which see what was said at that place, Gen. 4:15). These doctrinal matters were afterwards reduced into doctrine by "Enoch;" but because this doctrine was of use to no one at that time, but was for posterity, it is said that "God took him." (See also Gen. 5:24.) These doctrinal matters of faith are what were preserved by the Lord for the use of this posterity or church; for it was foreseen by the Lord that perception would be lost, and therefore it was provided that these doctrinal things should remain. (AC 609)

The Numbers quoted above explain the essential difference between the celestial and spiritual races of humanity as they occurred in human history and in the evolution of human consciousness. This evolution is accomplished through the daily perfection of the Grand Human, that is, the race's mental states called heaven (see Section xx). When we are in that mental state we are called angels to eternity. In other words, we migrate in our spiritual geography between the first and second death (see Section xx). If we are willing, we are given to ascend in consciousness from being spiritual to being celestial. When we are in spiritual mental states our thoughts and interests revolve around the topic of what is truth, how can truth be formed into doctrine, and how can genuine doctrine lead to charity and uses. When we are in celestial mental states our thoughts and interests revolve around the topic of what is loving God and neighbor, how love gives perception of all truth, and how charity and uses precede doctrine.

The spiritual states are less interior, the celestial states more interior, and the difference is not directly comparable, so superior is the interiorness of the celestial states of feeling and thinking. The only relationship possible between celestial and spiritual states is that of correspondence, like the correspondence between cause and effect.



              
15.0.4.2    Correspondences From The Ancient Word and the Spiritual Race

 



              
15.0.4.3    Egyptian Hieroglyphics As Correspondences 

Based on Odhner's study of Swedenborg's evidence:

Odhner, C.Th. (1914) Correspondences of Egypt: A Study In the Theology of the Ancient Church. (The Academy Book Room Bryn Athyn. Pa.). Available online:  www.humanorganic.org/HO/CTOdhner/Egypt.shtml



              
15.0.4.4    Hindu Sacred Scriptures on the Nature of God

(See also Section 10.10 on Yoga, Bhagavad Gita, and the Upanishads.)

The Sacred Scriptures collected under the religion of Hinduism are fully theistic in the sense that this is defined in theistic psychology. It acknowledges the reality of monotheism, of God's omnipotence, of sin, regeneration, holy scripture, Divine inspiration, heaven, and hell. The correspondential sense of Hindu Sacred Scripture has not yet been examined in any detail. The following are selections from the literal sense of Hindu Sacred Scriptures and commentaries.

From a Web site Essentials of the Upanishads: www.dvaita.org/shaastra/upanishad.html

Central Theme

This Upanishad which is in the form of a dialogue between Chaturmukha Brahma and Sadashiva, and brings out the sarva-prerakatva (controller of all others), sarvottamatva (superiority over all else) and sakalyena avedyatva (Unknowable in its entirety) of the Supreme Person.

Who Directs Us?

The Upanishad asks three questions at the outset:

  1. Who directs the mind towards its good or bad objects?
  2. Who directs Mukhya PraaNa to discharge his duties?
  3. Who directs the senses -- eye, ear, etc., towards the respective objects?

All these questions have but a single answer. He who gives the power of seeing to the eye, hearing to the ear, thinking to the mind and power to move to PraaNa directs their respective activities. He is evidently the Supreme God. Those who realise that He is the director of the mind, senses and even of Mukhya PraaNa, will attain liberation. This takes us to the question of the nature of God.

The Supreme Is Infinite And Therefore Cannot Be Fully Comprehended

God is beyond the reach of the senses, beyond words and even beyond the mind. Being Infinite, He cannot be brought within the compass of limited knowledge. One cannot know how He directs the senses, mind, etc. However, He does not remain altogether unknown, but is not completely known because of His infinite nature. He is unique, distinct from and Superior to all known things manifest or unmanifest. He cannot be known through speech, mind, eyes, etc., but knows all that is known through these and regulates them. He is immanent in all the jiiva-s and directs them, but He is not identical to them.

Those who think that they know Him fully do not really know Him, as they have not comprehended His Infinite nature. On the other hand, those who think that they do not know Him fully, know Him, as they have realised His Infinite nature. The knowledge of God to the best of one's ability is adequate for one's salvation. The presence of God as the Inner resident and controller of all is brought out by an interesting story of ahaMkaarakhaNDana (humbling the pride) of Agni, Nasikya Vayu and Indra in this Upanishad.

Tapas, Dama And Karma -- Means Of Spiritual Progress

The Upanishad concludes its teaching by stating that tapas (penance), dama (subduing the senses) and karma (prescribed action) are the means to obtain spiritual knowledge. The Vedas, Vedangas and Mimamsa constitute the source Literature of philosophical inquiry.

The exposition of the sarva-prerakatva and the sarvottamatva of the Supreme Lord is the key note of this Upanishad.

(...)

Delineation Of A Supreme Lord Is The Central Theme

The central theme of Upanishads is Monotheism or the delineation of a Supreme Being as the cardinal principle of the universe. This is designated as Brahman, Atman, Akshara, Akaasha, PraaNa, etc. In the Upanishads, Akaasha and PraaNa can also mean the element Akaasha, the deity Vayu etc. The meaning applicable in a particular text has to be derived with the help of attributes mentioned therein. The Supreme Principle is described as the Creator, Sustainer, Regulator, Destroyer, Enlightener and Liberator of all. It is also the one and only Independent Principle upon which all other entities are dependent. It is Immanent and Transcendent. It admits of contradictory features of everyday experience being present in it simultaneously -- aNu (atomic) and mahat.h (infinite), etc.

Being Infinite in all respects, it cannot be comprehended by anyone completely. It has no drawbacks or blemishes of any kind. It directs all and is not directed or constrained by anyone. It is absolutely independent in its very nature and essence, functions and comprehension and innate unlimited bliss, none of which need any element external to it for its completeness. All others derive their limited qualities and capacities from it. It is thus described as Sat, Chit and Ananda in its essential nature. The features of the Supreme Lord are described almost in all the Upanishads. PraaNa occupies an important place in the Upanishads next only to the Supreme being. The Chhaandogya and ShaTprashna Upanishads, in particular, bring out the role of PraaNa, who is His chief aide and is superior to all other deities.

He is however eternally and completely subservient to Lord Vishnu, the Supreme being. Upanishads clearly distinguish between the Supreme Being and other souls. Their basic differences which are in their essential nature itself are contrasted in several texts. The metaphor of the two birds, one reaping the fruits of its past deeds and the other not doing so is found more than once. The Causus-belli of the Upanishads -- to enable the souls to attain liberation by the grace of God, would be totally incongruent and lost, if they have no locus standi in their essential nature as distinct fron the world and the Lord. Upanishads are also clear about the reality of the external world (other than the souls) and state it clearly more than once. prakrti or primordial Nature is the material cause of the world, while God is the efficient cause. The text eka vij~nAnena sarvavij~nAna does not support the Vivarta theory of Advaita, which reduces the external world to an unreal state in essence.

A number of upaasana-s are described. The importance of shravana, manana etc. Is stressed. The need of vairaagya (detachment from material entities), bhakti (devotion towards the Lord), etc., for the aspirant in his efforts to achieve salvation is delineated. The doctrine of prasaada (God's grace) is mentioned more than once. Eschatology is described through texts explaining devaayaNa and pitraayaNa. Thus all that is necessary to pursue the spiritual path is covered in the Upanishads. With a view to give a more detailed picture of the contents of each of these Upanishads, a summary of the subjects dealt with along with essential points in each is now given under separate headings.

From a Web site Essentials of the Upanishads: www.dvaita.org/shaastra/upanishad.html

Quoting from The Rig-Veda - Book 1

HYMN XXV. Varuna.

HYMN XXV. Varuna.

I WHATEVER law of thine, O God, O Varuna, as we are men,

Day after day we violate.
2 give us not as a prey to death, to be destroyed by thee in wrath,

To thy fierce anger when displeased.
3 To gain thy mercy, Varuna, with hymns we bind thy heart, as binds

The charioteer his tethered horse.
4 They flee from me dispirited, bent only on obtaining wealths

As to their nests the birds of air.
5 When shall we bring, to be appeased, the Hero, Lord of warrior might,

Him, the far-seeing Varuna?
6 This, this with joy they both accept in common: never do they fail

The ever-faithful worshipper.
7 He knows the path of birds that fly through heaven, and, Sovran of the sea,

He knows the ships that are thereon.
8 True to his holy law, he knows the twelve moons with their progeny:

He knows the moon of later birth.
9 He knows the pathway of the wind, the spreading, high, and mighty wind

He knows the Gods who dwell above.
10 Varuna, true to holy law, sits down among his people; he,

Most wise, sits there to govern. all.
11 From thence percerving he beholds all wondrous things, both what hath been,

And what hereafter will be done.
12 May that Aditya, very -wise, make fair paths for us all our days:

May lie prolong our lives for us.
13 Varuna, wearing golden mail, hath clad him in a shining robe.

His spies are seated found about.
14 The God whom enemies threaten not, nor those who tyrannize o'er men,

Nor those whose minds are bent on wrong.
15 He who gives glory to mankind, not glory that is incomplete,

To our own bodies giving it.
16 Yearning for the wide-seeing One, my thoughts move onward unto him,

As kine unto their pastures move.
17 Once more together let us speak, because my meath is brought: priest-like

Thou eatest what is dear to thee.
18 Now saw I him whom all may see, I saw his car above the earth:

He hath accepted these my songs.
19 Varuna, hear this call of mine: be gracious unto us this day

Longing for help I cried to thee.
20 Thou, O wise God, art Lord of all, thou art the King of earth and heaven

Hear, as thou goest on thy way.
21 Release us from the upper bond, untie the bond between, and loose

The bonds below, that I may live.

 From:
http://www.hinduwebsite.com/sacredscripts/hinduism/rigveda/rigveda1_3.asp

========================

From:
http://www.hinduwebsite.com/hinduism/hinduscriptures.asp

Hinduwebsite.com

by Jayaram V

Hindu scriptures can be grouped into the following categories:

The Shruti literature consisting of the Vedas The Smriti literature consisting of the Dharma shastras or the law books. The Itihasas comprising of the two epics The Puranas consisting of the ancient lore The Agamas dealing with the mechanics of ritual worship The Darsanas dealing with the various schools of philosophical thought. The popular literature rendered in the native languages. The Vedas:

The Vedas are part of the Shruti literature. Shruti means that which is heard. The Vedas are considered to be divine in origin and not man made. No one truly knows how old they are. Some of the Rigvedic verses were perhaps composed in the early phases of human civilization. For centuries they were passed down from one generation to another through oral tradition. They were probably rendered into written form during the epic period, around 1500 BC.

The Vedas are eternal (nitya) and out of this world (apauruseya). Hindus believe that God brings the Vedas into this world at the beginning of every cycle of creation for the welfare of the mankind and withdraws them again at the end of it. The Vedas are revealed to the mankind through rishis (rsi) or great seers. The rsis were considered to be the mind born children of Brahma, who were created solely for the purpose of introducing the Vedas to the mankind. The word rsi means he who had seen (drs) the Truth.

The Mystery of the Vedas : The Vedas are considered to be very holy, Brahman Himself in the form of words and sounds. Beneath the layers of poetic imagery, colorful visions and seemingly superstitious ritual prayers practices, The Vedas said to contain profound secrets of the worlds, their origins and knowledge of the spiritual realms into which man can ascend by the exercise of his will and transformation of his consciousness. They speak not just of various gods and divine powers of the external world for the purpose of bringing down rains, drive away of the scourge or assuage our fear of storms and tempests, but of various divinities and spiritual entities that exist in our psychic awareness and arise and awake as we progress through various stages of spiritual advancement in our quest for Self Realization.

Although on the surface, the Vedic hymns appear to be mere ritualistic invocations addressed to various gods and goddesses, in reality they are addressed to acknowledge the arrival or descent of specific forces or energies of the higher worlds into our individual consciousness or to invoke their presence. Unfortunately we are no more conversant with the hidden meaning, although we have some vague idea about it, because of the revelations of Sri Aurobindo, in his famous work, the Secret of the Vedas.( To know more about Sri Aurobindo please to the section on Masters).

For centuries the Vedas were kept as a closely guarded secret by the Brahmin Caste and taught only to a select few. (Something like the Microsoft not wanting to share its programming secrets with others!). While this might have enabled the Vedas to survive the ravages of time in their most unadulterated form, and enabled the priestly order to maintain their sway, it also contributed to the decline of the Vedic religion and the conversion of many lower caste people into other religions and sectarian movements. It was after the arrival of the Europeans to the Indian subcontinent that an organized and sincere effort was made to introduce the Vedas to the academic circles of the West in the form of translations and commentaries.

From:
http://www.hinduwebsite.com/hinduism/hinduscriptures.asp

========================

 15.0.4.4.1  The Trinity of God 

I present a correspondential analysis of concepts from Hindu Sacred Scriptures. These particular quotes by an interpreter are not directly from Sacred Scriptures but they use concepts from the Hindu Sacred Scriptures. Hence these concepts have a correspondential sense that can be analyzed.

From:
http://www.hinduwebsite.com/trinity.asp

The Trinity of Gods   by Jayaram V

In Hinduism we come across three principal gods called the Hindu trinity. They are Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Siva. Lord Brahma is the creator, Lord Vishnu the preserver and Lord Siva the destroyer. They represent many things at many levels.

Correspondential Analysis of Concepts:

Lord Brahma is the creator
        = God as He is in Himself, infinite, unknowable, indescribable ("Father")

Lord Vishnu the preserver
        = God as He appears outside of Himself in His creation ("Son", "Divine Human")

Lord Siva the destroyer
        = God as He manages the universe and the mind ("Holy Spirit", "Divine Providence")

+++

Goddess Saraswathi is the consort of Lord Brahma, Lakshmi and goddess earth of Lord Vishnu and Parvathi and Ganga of Lord Siva. Symbolically the three gods represent various things at various levels some of which are described below:

Correspondential Analysis of Concepts:

Goddess Saraswathi is the consort of Lord Brahma
        = Divine Love in infinite variety in God as He is in Himself

Lakshmi and goddess earth of Lord Vishnu
         = Divine Truth in infinite variety in God as He is outside of Himself in creation

Parvathi and Ganga of Lord Siva
         = the marriage of Divine Love and Divine Truth in God as He is in all created things 

+++

1. On the Physical plane, Brahma is the psychic element, Vishnu the mental element and Siva the physical element.

2. On the mental plane, Brahma is the intuitive and creative thought, Vishnu is buddhi or intelligence and Siva stands for emotions and feelings.

3. On the earthly plane, Brahma is the sky, Vishnu is the Sun and Siva is the moon.

Correspondential Analysis of Concepts:

On the Physical (Psychic) plane
        = the celestial level of the mind

Brahma
        = the affective organ of the will ("psychic" and "heart")

Vishnu
        = the cognitive organ of the understanding ("mental" and "mind")

Siva
        = the sensorimotor organ of action ("physical" and "corporeal")

On the mental plane
        = the spiritual level of the mind

Brahma
        = the affective organ of the will ("intuitive and creative")

Vishnu
        = the cognitive organ of the understanding ("intelligence")

Siva
        = the sensorimotor organ of action ("emotions and feelings")

On the earthly plane
        = the natural level of the mind

Brahma
        = the affective organ of the will ("sky")

Vishnu
        = the cognitive organ of the understanding ("sun"")

Siva
        = the sensorimotor organ of action ("moon")

+++

4. In the life of an individual, they represent the three phases of life. Brahma represent the first phase, the phase of celibacy and studentship (brahmacharya) where knowledge or study is the main pursuit of the individual. Knowledge (goddess Saraswathi) is his constant companion during this phase.

Correspondential Analysis of Concepts:

the three phases of life
        = all the stages of spiritual development or character regeneration in adult life

Brahma represent the first phase, the phase of celibacy and studentship (brahmacharya) where knowledge or study is the main pursuit of the individual.
        = the stage of mental reformation of the understanding during which one acquires spiritual truths from Sacred Scripture, and this requires the desire to know God ("celibacy") and the commitment to the study and doctrinal interpretation of Sacred Scripture as God's Word or Divine Speech ("studentship") 

Knowledge (goddess Saraswathi) is his constant companion during this phase.
        = the affection or love for acquiring the truths of Sacred Scripture

+++

Lord Vishnu represents the second phase, that is the phase of the householder and adulthood during which the individual fulfills his religious and family obligations, helps the poor and the needy and works for the preservation of his family and community. During this phase wealth (goddess Lakshmi) is his constant companion without which he cannot perform his responsibilities well.

Correspondential Analysis of Concepts:

Lord Vishnu represents the second phase, that is the phase of the householder and adulthood during which the individual fulfills his religious and family obligations, helps the poor and the needy and works for the preservation of his family and community.
        = the stage of character reformation of the will when we reach adulthood ("householder") during which we struggle against our inherited traits ("family obligations"), struggle to avoid hurting others for selfish reasons ("helps the poor and the needy"), and compel ourselves to become a sincere and useful citizen ("works for the preservation of his family and community").

During this phase wealth (goddess Lakshmi) is his constant companion without which he cannot perform his responsibilities well.
        = character regeneration requires submission to and guidance of spiritual doctrine from Sacred Scripture

+++

Lord Siva represents the old age, or the third phase called Vanaprasthashrama (life of renunciation) during which he renounces his worldly life, goes to a forest and spends his life there along with his wife. Like Lord Siva he leads a homeless life with meager belongings and without any attachment in pursuit of true knowledge.

Correspondential Analysis of Concepts:

Lord Siva represents the old age, or the third phase called Vanaprasthashrama (life of renunciation)
        = the stage of advanced regeneration ("old age") during which we are fully committed to living according to the spiritual doctrine in our mind from Sacred Scripture ("life of renunciation")

during which he renounces his worldly life
        = in advanced stages of regeneration of character we are focused on doing only that which is useful to others as well as to oneself, not merely what is useful and convenient to self ("renounces worldly life")

goes to a forest and spends his life there along with his wife.
        = during this stage of spiritual development we immerse ourselves in a life of good ("wife") according to spiritual truths from Sacred Scripture ("goes to a forest")

Like Lord Siva he leads a homeless life with meager belongings and without any attachment
        = in this final stage of spiritual development we rely totally on the work of Divine Providence in our mind ("Lord Siva"), rejecting anything that is based on our own self-intelligence ("leads a homeless life") or our own power ("with meager belongings"), rejecting all loves and enjoyments belonging to our inherited character ("without any attachment")

in pursuit of true knowledge.
        = the spiritual phase of advanced regeneration of character consists in relying exclusively on spiritual truths from Sacred Scripture, and from no other source, whether self or others

+++

In the final phase called sanyasasrama dharma, he becomes Iswara himself ! During this phase he renounces life altogether and tries to attain liberation from this mortal world. He destroys all his previous attachments and desires and engages himself in deep meditation, leading the life of a true renunciate along with his wife who as his consort becomes the Universal Mother. Thus the three phases of life represented by the trinity ends in One representing the fact that they are one and the same Iswara.

Correspondential Analysis of Concepts:

In the final phase called sanyasasrama dharma, he becomes Iswara himself ! During this phase he renounces life altogether and tries to attain liberation from this mortal world.
        = in the advanced stage of character regeneration based on spiritual doctrine from Sacred Scripture ("sanyasasrama dharma") we take on God's Proprium or Character ("Iswara himself") as a result of which we no longer pursue any of our inherited ego traits ("renounces life altogether"). This state gives us celestial peace in the stream of Divine Providence, no longer tempted by the corporeal enjoyments and needs of our inherited ego ("liberation from this mortal world").

He destroys all his previous attachments and desires and engages himself in deep meditation, leading the life of a true renunciate
        = in this regenerated state we no longer struggle ("leading the life of a true renunciate") to overcome our inherited enjoyments and needs ("destroys all his previous attachments and desires"), and all our willing and thinking in daily activities is consciously motivated by our knowledge and understanding of spiritual good and truth ("engages himself in deep meditation")

along with his wife who as his consort becomes the Universal Mother.
        = the state of liberation and enlightenment is the state of conjugial love or marriage unity between husband and wife, who then form a single unit or spiritual mind ("Universal Mother")

Thus the three phases of life represented by the trinity ends in One representing the fact that they are one and the same Iswara.
        = All the phases of spiritual regeneration of our character lead us to the celestial state of eternity in which husband and wife as one human unit constitute the Divine Proprium in whom there is the Trinity of God (see above).

See also:

By former theistic psychology student Ami Lyons -- his two articles here:

Hinduism and Theistic Psychology
www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic/lyons-hinduism.htm

The Beginnings of Correspondences
www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/theistic/lyons-correspondences.htm

 

15.0.4.5    Buddhism as a Religion -- the Buddha and the Dharma

The following essay should be read in its entirety. I quote here only a few highlights which allow us to examine its essential relationship to theistic psychology. Some overlapping concepts include:

From:  Buddhism As A Religion

By Ven Dr.K.Sri Dhammananda Maha Nayaka Thero
http://home2.pacific.net.sg/~bvs/religion1.htm

(...)

The Buddha's message as a religious way of life: "Keeping away from ail evil deeds, cultivation or life by doing good deeds and purification of mind from mental impurities."

For our purposes, religion may be defined in a very broad sense as a body of moral and philosophical teachings and the acceptance with confidence of such teachings In this sense. Buddhism is a religion. (...)

There was no reason at all for the Buddha to introduce another religion because at that time 2000 years ago there were already 62 religious cults in India alone Since the existing religions during his time could not provide the answers to his questions he decided not to use the ingredients or concepts of these religions, but to introduce what he himself had realized. What was the religious thinking in India at the time? 'God created everybody: god is responsible for everything; god will reward: god can forgive all our sins: and god is responsible for our lives after our death: god will send us to heaven or he will send us to hell'

These are the basic ingredients of al religions even today. At the same time there were certain other religions also in India which taught that it was necessary for believers to torture their physical bodies, thinking that they could wash away ail their sins during their lifetimes so they could go to heaven after death. Another religious group encouraged religious rites and rituals and ceremonies and animal sacrifices to please their gods. This group believed that through these practices they could go to heaven. Some others again introduced prayer and worship and asked forgiveness for the sins committed. The Buddha did not recognize the efficacy of all these practices. (...)

The world is indebted to the Buddha for the rise of rationalism as a protest against the superstitions of religion. It is he who emancipated man from the thralldom of the priests. It is he who first showed the way to free man from the coils of hypocrisy and religious dictatorship.

During the Buddha's time no religious practice was considered higher than the rites rituals and sacrifice of living beings to the gods: but to the Buddha, no practice could be more humiliating or degrading to man. A sacrifice is nothing more than bribery: and salvation won by bribery and corruption is not a salvation which any self respecting man would care to get. (...)

The Buddha used the word dharma to describe his entire teaching. Dharma means that which holds up, upholds, supports. The Buddha taught the dharma to help us escape the suffering caused by existence and to prevent us from degrading human dignity and descending into lower states such as hell, animal, the spirit or ghost or devil realms. The Dharma introduced by the Buddha holds and supports us and frees us from the misery of these realms. It also means that if we follow the methods he advocates we will never get into such unfortunate circumstances as being born blind, crippled, deaf, dumb or rrad. So in the Buddha's usage dharma is the advice given to support us in our struggle to be free from suffering and also to upgrade human values. Western philosophers describe Buddhism as a noble way of life or as a religion of freedom and reason' .

The Dharma is not an extraordinary law created by or given by anyone Our body itself is Dharma. Our mind itself is Dharma; the whole universe is Dharma. By understanding the nature of the physical body and the nature of the mind and worldly conditions we realize the Dharma The Buddha taught us to understand the nature of our existence rationally in a realistic way. It concerns the life, here and now, of each sentient being and thus interrelatedly of all existence. Usually when people talk about religion they ask, "What Is your faith?" They use the word "faith." The Buddha was not interested in the development of "faith" in an absolute sense, although it can be useful in the preliminary stages of one's religious development.

The danger of relying on faith alone without analytical knowledge is that it can make us into religious fanatics. Those who allow faith to crystallize in their minds cannot see other peoples' point of view because they have already established in their minds that what they believe is alone the truth. The Buddha insisted that one must not accept even his own Teachings on the basis of faith alone. One must gain knowledge and then develop understanding through study, discussion, meditation and finally contemplation. Knowledge is one thing, understanding a another. If there is understanding one can adjust one's life according to changing circumstances based on the knowledge one has. We may have met learned people who know many things but are not realistic because their egoism their selfishness, their anger, their hatred do not allow them to gain unbiased mental attitudes and peace of mind. When it is necessary to compromise we must know how to compromise. When it is necessary to tolerate, we must know how to tolerate. When it is necessary to stand firm we must stand firm, with dignity. (...)

The word karma (or kamma) It simply means action. If a person commits a bad karma it will be impossible for that person to escape from its bad effect. Somehow or other he or she must face the consequences that will follow. According to ancient belief there is a god to operate the effect of this karma. God punishes according to one's bad karma. God rewards according to own good karma. The Buddha did not accept this belief. He said there is no being or force which handles the operation of the effects of karma. Karma itself will yield the result as a neutral operation of the law of cause and effect. He said we can avoid and, in some cases, even overcome the effect of karma if we act wisely.

He said we must never surrender ourselves fantastically thinking that since we have done bad action there can be no more hope. Other religions teach that god can negate the effect of karma through forgiveness if the followers worship and pray and sacrifice. But the Buddha teaches that we have to effect our salvation by our own effort and mental purity. "The Buddha can tell you what to do but he can not do the work for you." You have to do the work of salvation yourself The Buddha has clearly stated that no one can do any thing for another for salvation except show the way. Therefore we must not depend on god and not even depend on the Buddha. We must know what are the qualifies, duties, and responsibilities of being a human being. He said that if we have committed certain bad karma, we should not waste precious energy by being frustrated or disappointed in our effort to put it right.

The first thing to do is to firmly resolve to stop repeating such bad karma by realizing the harm it can do. The second thing is to cultivate more and more good karma. Thirdly we must fry to reduce evil thought, selfishness, hatred, anger, jealousy, grudges, and ill-will. In this way we can reduce the bad effect of the bad karma that we commit. This is the Buddha method for overcoming the bad effects. He did not say we must pray to and worship him and that he would forgive all our sins.

Purify and impurity of our mind depend on ourselves. Neither god, Buddha, nor human being can pollute or purify one's mind, I cannot create impurity in your mind. I cannot purify your mind. But by taking my word or my action you create either purity or impurity within yourself. Outsiders cannot do anything for your mind if your mind is strong enough to resist it. That is why knowledge and understanding are important.

The Buddha taught that what man needs for his happiness is not a religion or a mass of theories but an understanding of the cosmic nature of the universe and its complete operation according to the laws of cause and effect. Until this fact is fully understood, man's understanding of life and existence will remain imperfect and faulty. (...)

The Buddha never claimed to have created the Dharma. What he discovered was the universal truth of the real nature or existence. In fact some religious terms were already well known in India at that time. But the Buddha's uniqueness is that he took existing concepts and gave them very refined meanings and much deeper significance. For example. before the Buddha's time. "Nirvana" (or Nibbana) simply meant peace or extinction. But he gave it entirely new dimensions of meaning NI means "no" and VANA means "craving": No more craving no more attachment and no more selfishness.

We cannot experience Nirvana because we have craving, attachment and selfishness. When we get rid of these defilement we can experience Nirvanic bliss It is difficult to experience true bliss because we have emotions and we crave for sensual gratification. So long as we live this world of sensual pleasures we will never experience true happiness. Of course it is true that we experience some kind of happiness in life but it cannot be termed "happiness" in the absolute sense of the word because it is not permanent. We cannot gain bliss by harboring anger or hatred, selfishness or delusion. Occasionally, we do experience certain degrees of emotional satisfaction. But the nature of this happiness is lust like lightning, it is fleeting. It appears on a moment and disappears the next. True bliss is not like this. If there is true bliss we will experience a permanent sense of calmness, satisfaction and tranquility. So the real purpose of our lives should be to purify our clouded, deluded, misled minds and free ourselves from worries and disturbances. So long as we spend our time constantly solving problems, always looking over our shoulders, always wondering what to do next, we can never be at peace.

Develop the Mind

The Buddha's advice is that we should be free from these distractions if we want to experience bliss This release must however be obtained by our own effort and come from within ourselves. We cannot gain salvation from a god or the Buddha or from heaven. We cannot get ultimate freedom through external agents. Supernatural beings cannot help us to gain wisdom and final liberation no matter how much we worship them or praise them through penances, charms, mantras, incantations and invocations and animal sacrifices. 'We are the results of what we were and we will be the results of what we are."

Actions condition our happiness or unhappiness and finally secure our salvation. Salvation or deliverance is an individual affair. Just as each human being has to eat drink and digest and sleep for himself. All karmic actions are maintained as part of our mental formations and remain there submerged. We remain oblivious of these past actions because the other mental activities cloud the mind which therefore cannot recall actions in the past. When we develop our minds through meditation we arrest the distractions provided by the five senses. When the mind is clear it reduces anxiety, craving, anger, jealousy and delusion. (...)

The Buddha advised his followers to cultivate and develop the latent power within them and showed them how to make the best use of their willpower and intelligence without being slaves to an unknown being to find eternal happiness. Without blaming anybody else Buddhism also teaches that man is responsible for his own action. Man should face the facts of life, and shoulder the responsibilities of life by fulfilling his duties and obligations to himself as well as to others.

His pain and pleasure are created by himself and he has the ability to get rid of his sufferings and maintain peace and happiness by understanding his weaknesses and using his own effort to overcome them. Man's untrained mind is responsible for all the troubles, calamities, disturbances, unfavorable circumstances and even the changes of elements and matter Conversely man's mind can change unfortunate situations in the world and also can make it a peaceful, prosperous and happy place for all to live. This can be done only through the purification of mental energy. (...)

According to the Buddha a beautiful thought and word which is not followed by corresponding action is like a bright flower that has no scent and will bear no fruit.

The eight fold path introduced by the Buddha is a planned course of inward culture and progress. By merely resorting to external worship, ceremonies and prayers, one can never make progress in righteousness and inner development. Mere prayer for salvation, the Buddha says, is like "asking the farther bank or a river to come over so that one may get to the other side without personal effort."

Many religions claim that messages were revealed to mankind by a god. However some rationalists ask, if there is only one god, and he had given his message for the benefit of all mankind, why are there so many different beliefs in the world?

If the message was meant for the whole of the human race what was the difficulty for god to announce his message publicly so that there would be no room for doubt or misinterpretation?

Everybody would accept the message and there would be no religious friction and the whole world could just follow the one message of the god. (...)

The Buddha on the other hand never claimed anything like receiving knowledge from outside sources. Throughout his ministry he always asserted that his listeners were free to question him and challenge his teachings so that they could personally hear the truth. He said. "Come and see" (Ehipassiku). He did not say "Come and believe." Whenever he spoke anything, it was because he had personally tested the validity of the saying for himself as an ordinary human being. He claimed no divinity. He understood everything because he knew how he had to suffer during so many previous births for all the bad deeds he had committed through ignorance. He had learned the hard way. He advised his followers through his own experience. He had done tremendous service to mankind by practicing and observing the great (perfection) PARAMIS over countless lifetimes and finally experienced the supreme bliss. We have to ask ourselves which is more reliable, the testimony of one who speaks from personal experience or that of one who claims to have heard it from someone else who is always invisible. (...)

When we are young we must consider that although we are young, in time we will grow old. When we are healthy we must think that in time we can fall sick. Health is not permanent. When we prepare ourselves wisely for decay, ageing, sickness and finally death, it will not be nearly as difficult to bear. Understanding that these are worldly conditions which everyone has to face, we can bear any suffering with fortitude. This is the strength, the 'refuge' that the Buddha promises. There are those who grumble and cry when misfortune hits them. This is nothing but lack of understanding. Moaning about it will not make the suffering go away. To avoid the pain that misfortune can bring we must strengthen our minds through understanding.

There is nothing or nobody who has come into existence who can escape the natural process of "coming to an end." There has to be an end. Otherwise things cannot exist. We need not be afraid of this perfectly natural phenomenon. We can all consider that even at death it is not the end of life but only the beginning of another. We know with the poet Wordsworth that. "The soul that rises with us, our life's star, has elsewhere had its setting, cometh from afar." When we disappear from this world physically, the life appears elsewhere -- so why worry? Aren't we simply getting a new passport in our journey through Samsara? (...)

It is very unfortunate that in many existing religions the followers are not encouraged to respect the leaders of another religion. They are warned that if they do so they would be committing a sin and even worse, they would go to hell for it.

The Buddha clearly tells us that we must respect those who are worthy of respect. Although we may not agree with certain religious points of view they hold, if they are sincere in their efforts to serve humanity and uplift it, we must respect them for it. There are noble people in every religion.

The Buddha did not advise his disciples to go and convert people who would otherwise go to hell. Rather he advised them to show the world what is right and what is wrong and to be good and to do good, to encourage men to come and see for themselves the truth that he taught.

He and his followers do not condemn the followers of other religionists as "sinners" who are doomed to spend an eternity in hell. According to Buddhists, even those who have no "religion" but who live in dignity, with compassion and goodwill can "go to heaven", that is, experience happiness.

When we are happy and contented we are in "heaven." When we suffer physically or mentally we are in "hell." There is no need to wait to die to experience either of these states.

Buddism is unique because we can talk about this "religion" even without any reference to heaven or hell. I am sure that others cannot talk about religion in this way.

The Buddha's message of goodwill and understanding to all beings is a universal message. The world today needs this noble message more than ever before in the history of humankind.

Buddhism as a religion is the unique exposition of the absolute truth which will show man how to live in peace and harmony with his fellow beings.

 


From: http://www.sundaytimes.lk/080518/Plus/plus000016.html
Face of compassion that inspires billions
By Upali Salgado
The central figure in the story of Buddhism is Sakyamuni Gotama Buddha (also known as Gauthama Buddha). Gotama Buddha was born 2,552 years ago at Lumbini, in Nepal. He belonged to the Sakya clan, and Gotama was the family name. He was a prince, having at birth 32 unusual signs on his body, which, according to the royal court seers, indicated he would be either a Chakravarthi (Universal Monarch) or a religious leader.
The Buddha’s noble philosophy, or dharma, is followed by more than three billion people across Asia. The Buddha was an extraordinary man, a “Maha Purisha”. As a human being, he had no connections with the creator God or any other supernatural being. An extraordinary man (“Accariya Manussa”), he was beyond the human state inwardly, though living an admirable life outwardly.
What exactly those 32 principal marks represented remains uncertain, but scholars agree they are marks of royalty and great leadership, something the Buddha acquired from previous lives in samsara. Buddhists of the Mahayana school believe he was of divine character and was superhuman. The Maha Purisha concept originated with Vedantic thought in North India, and was later applied to heroes in Indian epics.
Gotama Buddha said human suffering in its many forms could end without an external agency. He said that only through self-realisation and an awakening to truth can one achieve personal liberation. The ills of life that haunt man can be conquered by following the dharma. The path to achieving that goal is by understanding and accepting the Four Noble Truths (relating to suffering or dukkha) and the Noble Eightfold Path.
The Buddha’s teachings are better appreciated when one understands the concept of dependent origination and the doctrines of kamma and rebirth. Annata (no-soul concept) and anicca (impermanence of life) are two other fundamental aspects of Buddha doctrine. These teachings are fundamentally different from those of theistic religions, which believe in a powerful creator or God who guides the destiny of man.
The Buddha said:
“One thing only do I teach, the cause of suffering, the way to end suffering. Just as the sea water has one taste, so is my teaching, which deals with suffering and its cessation.” (Majjima Nikaya)
Again, it is said:
“By oneself indeed is evil done,
By oneself is one defined,
By oneself is evil avoided,
By oneself is indeed one purified,
Purity and impurity depend on oneself,
No one can purify another.”
(Dhiga Nikaya)
This question is often asked: What is the difference between a Buddha and an Arahant (one who is pure and free of passion and has shed the fetters of renewed existence). It is said that after the Buddha preached his first sermon, his ascetic friends Assaji, Kondanja, Baddiya, Vappa and Mahanama met the Buddha on a Poson Full Moon day at Saranath, and that all became Arahants, including the Buddha. The only difference was that the Buddha was the “Path Finder”, showing the Arahants the way. Consequently, the Buddha came to be variously described as The Enlightened One, The Perfect One, The Exalted One, Shanthi Raja, Bodhi Raja and Tatagata (he who has seen things as they are). The Mahayana scholars referred to him as The Caravan Leader. He is often referred to as The Great Master.

The article below is from: http://www.dailynews.lk/2008/05/20/fea03.asp

The Buddhist concept of Rebirth

Regarding the Question of Survival after death human thinking has in general followed one of two philosophical currants. Annihilationism and externalism (In Buddhism Uccheda - Vada and sassata-vada respectively)

The first holds that after death or desolation of the physical body the personality ceases to exist: It is equivalent to Materialism. The second maintains that the individual personality persists after death in a recognizable form, as an entity variously named the ‘soul’ ‘spirit’ or ‘self’ this belief in some form or another is the basis of all theistic religion.

Ancient Egyptian belief that it continued to inhabit the Mummified body Christian belief in a resurrection of the body - or alternatively the spiritualistic idea that it continued its conscious existence on a spiritual plane.

In all of them a common factor is the belief in immortality of the individual his preservation of the same identity throughout all eternity. Vedantic Hinduism offers a modification of this theory in the doctrine of a final absorption of the individual Atman in the Brahman. (The vedantic Atman). Buddhism rejects both of these opposing views. The first was stigmatized by the Buddha as being erroneous and harmful.

If there were no continuity of like in any shape after death there would be no moral law of kamma and vipaka (actions and results) operating in the universe. All life would be meaningless and there would certainly be no objet in practicing self restraint or endeavoring to free oneself of the craving which brings suffering in its train.

The Buddhas entire doctrine of Nibbana the path to it and the reason for following that path would be redundant if death were followed by complete extinction. Rebirth in Buddhist perspective is very important for us to understand.

In Buddhism the sentiment being is a psycho-physical complex made up of five aggregates: Material form, sensation, perception, mental formations, and consciousness.

These constitute the total personality, or Nama-rupa (literally nama-and form).

The division of Material and psychical corresponds in a sense to the Western Concept of flesh and the spirit, but in Buddhism if does a dichotomy: the four immaterial aggregates depend upon and are conditioned by the existence of a body and the nature, of their functioning is determined by the sensory apparatus of that body.

Likewise, in the process of its arising and formation of the body is conditioned by the mind. The two aspects of personality are therefore interrelated and interdependent. How this comes about can be understood by viewing their relationship in terms of a cyclic process: it cannot be said that mind precedes body, or that body precedes mind. Let me describe the nature and functioning what Buddha disclose.

Material form (Rupa)

This is simply physical body equipped with sensory organs appropriate to it comes into being through the genetic process. Its nature quality of its sensory apparatus being determined by the Kamma of a being who has lived previously.

Sensation (vedana)

This is the feeling that arises through contact between the organs of sense and objects which produce sensory stimulation, the fields of sense perception are six visual auditory olfactory gustatory tactile and Mental mind is included as one of the senses - for two reasons:

It depends upon a physical organ (the base of consciousness) and it correlates and organizes all the information received thorough the other senses while at the same time having a sensory activity of its own.

Perception, (Sanna)

The conscious awareness of sensation, this is made a distinct aggregate because quality of perception varies with different organisms and even between individuals of the same organic composition: ie what is perceived as pleasant by one may be unpleasant to another, these distinctions depend upon the predictions or aversions produced by the past kamma.

Mental Formation (Sankaahara)

This is the most difficult of the terms to define in brief. It includes memory habit formations set up in the past and most important of all the capacity for volition.

In a sense equivalent to ‘character’ although the Mental formations as the term implies are largely conditioned by the nature of past activities they are yet capable of producing willed action within a more or less limited field of choice, power to act according to decision among the Mental Formations. This production of kamma with its good or bad results (vipaka) is the most decisive feature of personality.

Consciousness (vinnana)

The Stream of conscious existence fed and supported by the other aggregates consciousness is not an entity: if consists of an endless series of point moments of awareness which arise and pass away with inconceivable rapidity.

As each point moment passes away it is followed immediately by its Successor. It is this way that the world line of identity maintained.

In Buddhism then, personality is seen as a series of events, it is a process in time put it more simply, man of seventy may remember his boyhood and enough of what has happened to him in the time between to be able to say he is the same person as the boy he remembers, having been. But he is the same person only in a conventional sense.

Actually there is no single time of his psycho-physical complex that is the same as it was when he was a boy. What actually exists it can only be said the man of seventy belongs to the same line of casual continuity as did the boy that he remembers having been he is the end product of an infinite series of connecting states of being or rather of coming to-be which make up his individual world line.

The pali word used in Buddhism to denote the process simply means arising in Pali (Uppado) there is nothing but a continuous arising way of cause and this arising by way of cause denotes not only the arising of a new mind body complex at birth as the result of kamma of one that has existed before it also stands for the arising of the point moment of consciousness as they succeed one another in the causal continue of one lifetime.

Each point moment of consciousness is a little birth and little death it continues all the time. It is for this reason that Buddhism defines all existence as Annicca, dukkha, Anatta, imperment subjecting to suffering and void of self.

The life stream may be likened to a current of electricity for its flow in the generation of unites of energy from moment to moment the sustaining factor in this continual. generation of psychic energy is desire or craving (Tanha) clinging to the elements of existence (upadana) this is the process Gauthama Sammasambuddha discovered 2,600 years ago at Buddha-Gaya inherent in all human life, explain to the world as a peerless teacher of Gods and men.

Today signifies birth, enlightenment and parinirwana of Gauthama Buddha though 2552 years have gone by He is the only guide who can take us from jungle of ignorance to everlasting peace of mind, His doctrine is “Ehipakkshiko” come and see it for yourself.

The above article is from  http://www.dailynews.lk/2008/05/20/fea03.asp

See also:  Suzuki, D. T. (1996). Swedenborg: Buddha of the North. West Chester: Swedenborg Foundation.

See also: "Swedenborg: Buddha of the North By D. T. Suzuki" Reviewed by Barbara Darling-Smith. Philosophy East and West Vol. 49, No. 2 (April 1999) pp. 231-235. Online at: ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-PHIL/ew94208.htm         

See also 7.0.5.1 The Law of Karma of Good and Evil as described in the Writings Sacred Scripture.


 

15.0.4.6   The I Ching System of Discrete Degrees

 



           
15.0.4.7    Greek Mythology As Symbolism For Mental States

 



              
15.0.4.8    The Hierarchical Order of Creation in the Kabala

See: Jewish perspective:

Steinsaltz, Adin. Rabbi. (2003). Opening the Tanya. Discovering the Moral and Mystical Teachings of a Classic Work of Kabbalah.  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

See: Christian perspective:

To Embrace Hebrew Roots: Part VIII  Literal Kabbalah: Gematria & Numerology
http://www.seekgod.ca/print/hrpr/printliteralkab.htm

 

15.0.4.9    The Correspondences in Yoga

 

Quoting from a Web site www.hinduism.co.za/rajayoga.htm

Raja Yoga
From The Mahabharata
Santi Parva, Section CCCXVII
Translated by Sri Kisari Mohan Ganguli

(Sankhya and Yoga compared)

Addressing King Janaka

Yajnavalkya said:

Listen now to me as I truly discourse on the science of the Yogis as heard and seen by me, O best of kings! There is no knowledge that can compare with that of the Sankhyas. There is no puissance that compares with that of Yoga. These two ordain the same practices, and both are regarded as capable of leading to Emancipation. Those men that are not blest with intelligence regard the Sankhya and the Yoga systems to be different from each other. We, however, O king, look upon them as one and the same, according to the conclusion to which we have arrived (after study and reflection). That which the Yogis have in view is the very same which the Sankhyas also have in view. He who sees both the Sankhya and the Yoga systems to be one and the same is to be regarded as truly conversant with the topics or principles that ordain the universe. Know, O king, that the vital breaths and the senses are the chief means for practising Yoga. By only regulating those breaths and the senses, Yogis wander everywhere at their will.

[Note: By the word ‘Rudra’ is meant ‘Prana’ and the other breaths. The commentator explains that the etymology in Sanskrit is :Utkramana Kale Dehinam Rodyanti iti Rudrah Pranah. By regulating the vital breaths and the senses, Yogis attain to Yoga puissance and succeed in roving wherever they please in their Linga-sarira or subtle bodies.]

When the gross body is destroyed, Yogis endued with subtle bodies possessed of the eight Yoga attributes of Anima, Laghima, Prapti, etc., wander over the universe, enjoying (in that body) all kinds of felicities, O sinless one. The wise have, in the scriptures, spoken of Yoga as conferring eight kinds of puissance. They have spoken of Yoga as possessed of eight limbs.

[Note: The eight limbs of Yoga are Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dhyana, Dharana, Tarka, Samadhi, with the two additional ones of Yama and Niyama]

Indeed, O king, they have not spoken of any other kind of Yoga. It has been said that the practices of Yogis excellent as these are (for their results) are of two kinds. Those two kinds, according to the indications occurring in the scriptures, are practices endued with attributes and those freed from attributes. The concentration of the mind on the sixteen objects named, with simultaneous regulation of the breath, O king, is one kind. The concentration of the mind in such a way as to destroy all difference between the contemplator, the object contemplated, and the act of contemplation along with subjugation of the senses, is of another kind. The first kind of Yoga is said to be that possessed of attributes; the second kind is said to be that freed from attributes.

[Note: In the first line of 9 the word ‘Pranayama’ is used to mean regulation of the vital breaths. In the second line, the same word implies the ‘Ayamah’ or ‘Nigraha’ of the senses with the mind. By Dharana is meant the fixing of the mind, one after another, on the sixteen things named in treatises on Yoga. By ‘Ekagrata’ of the mind is meant that concentration in which there is no longer any consciousness of difference between, ‘Dyatri’, ‘Dhyeya, and ‘Dhyana’.]

Then again, regulation of the breath is Yoga with attributes. In Yoga without attributes, the mind, freed from its functions, should be fixed. Only the regulation of the breath which is said to be endued with attributes should, in the first instance, be practised, for, O ruler of Mithila, if the breath (that is inhaled and suspended) be exhaled without mentally reflecting the while upon a definite image (furnished by a limited Mantra), the wind in the neophyte’s system will increase to his great injury.

[Note: It is difficult for those who do not practise Pranayama to understand this fully. The fact is, Saguna Pranayama , when the breath is inhaled, the inhalation is measured by the time taken up in mentally reciting a well-known Mantra. So when inhaled breath is suspended, the suspension is measured by the time taken in mentally reciting a particular Mantra. When therefore, the suspended breath should be exhaled, it should be done by similarly measuring the time of exhaling. For beginners, this Saguna Pranayama is recommended. Of course only exhalation has been spoken of but it applies equally to inhalation and suspension. These three processes, in Yoga language, are Puraka, Kumbhaka, and Rechaka.]

In the first Yama of the night, twelve ways of holding the breath are recommended. After sleep, in the last Yama of the night, other twelve ways of doing the same have been laid down. Without doubt, one endued with tranquillity, of subdued senses, living in retirement, rejoicing in one’s own self, and fully conversant with the import of the scriptures, should (regulating one’s breath in these four and twenty ways) fix one’s soul (on the Supreme Soul).

[Note: ‘Ekantasilin’ means a Sannyasin. Atmarama is one who takes pleasure in one’s soul instead of in spouses and children.]

Dispelling the five faults of the five senses, viz., (withdrawing them from their objects of) sound, form, touch, taste and scent, and dispelling those conditions called Pratibha and Apavarga, O ruler of the Mithilas, all the senses should be fixed upon the mind. The mind should then be fixed on Consciousness, O king, Consciousness should next be fixed on intelligence or Buddhi, and Buddhi should then be fixed on Prakriti. Thus merging these one after another, Yogis contemplate the Supreme Soul which is One, which is freed from Rajas, which is stainless, which is Immutable and Infinite and Pure and without defect, who is Eternal Purusha, who is unchangeable, who is indivisible, who is without decay and death, who is everlasting, who transcends diminution, and which is Immutable Brahma.

Listen now, O monarch, to the indications of one that is in Yoga. All the indications of cheerful contentment are his who is slumbering in contentment are seen in the person, that is in Samadhi. The person in Samadhi, the wise say, looks like the fixed and upward flame of a lamp that is full of oil and that burns in a breezeless spot. He is like a rock which is incapable of being moved in the slightest degree by ever a heavy downpour from the clouds. He is incapable of being moved by the din of conches and drums, or by songs or the sound of hundreds of musical instruments beat or blown together. Even this is the indication of one in Samadhi. As a man of cool courage and determination, while ascending a flight of steps with a vessel full of oil in his hands, does not spill even a drop of the liquid if frightened and threatened by persons armed with weapons even so the Yogi, when his mind has been concentrated and when he beholds the Supreme Soul in Samadhi, does not, in consequence of the entire stoppage of the functions of his senses at such a time, move in the slightest degree. Even these should be known to be the indication of the Yogi while he is in Samadhi. While in Samadhi, the Yogi beholds Brahman which is Supreme and Immutable and which is situated like a blazing Effulgence in the midst of thick Darkness. It is by this means that he attains, after many years, to Emancipation after casting off this inanimate body. Even this is what the eternal Sruti declares. This is called the Yoga of the Yogis. What else is it? Knowing it, they that are endued with wisdom regard themselves as crowned with success.

from a Web site www.hinduism.co.za/rajayoga.htm 
 

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture on the spiritual significance of breath and respiration, and on the difference between external and internal respiration:

SE 3121. CONCERNING GENERAL RESPIRATION.
A general indulation of heaven was perceived, and I was told that it is the respiration of heaven, whereby [comes] the respiration of men and of many things. It corresponded to my respiration about as 3 to 1: for such respiration goes out [abit] into endeavor [conatum], from which all things respire. (SE 3121)

SE 3464. I was afterwards remitted into the company of those of this character, from whence respiration flowed in, that I might know their quality; the respiration was then separated from the pectoral region, and removed to the abdominal about the naval, nor did it extend itself any further; and this signifies a life separated from good and truth. There were then shown to me certain species of respirations, concerning which much conversation also was had, as, for instance, that there is conjoined with the usual respirations an external one, which is common to the world of spirits; then an internal with an insensible external, which is sufficiently good; then an internal without an external, which is better; and finally an insensible one that was to me scarcely perceptible, which is angelic. But these in general; there are still other genera, and an indefinite number of species, pertaining to different regions of the body and the determinations thence, concerning which, by the favor of the Lord, I shall speak elsewhere.

I was first accustomed thus to respire in my early childhood, when saying my morning and evening prayers, and occasionally afterwards, when exploring the harmonies of the lungs and heart, and especially when deeply engaged in writing the works that have been published. For a course of years I continually observed that there was a tacit respiration, scarcely perceptible, concerning which it was subsequently given me to reflect, and then to write. I was thus during many years, from the period of childhood, introduced into such respirations, especially by means of absorbing speculations, in which the breathing seems to become quiescent, as otherwise the intense study of truth is scarcely possible. Afterwards, when heaven was opened to me, and I was enabled to converse with spirits, I sometimes scarcely breathed by inspiration at all for the space of a short hour, and merely drew in enough of air to keep up the process of thinking.

Thus I was introduced by the Lord into interior respirations. I have also again and again observed, that when I was passing into a state of sleep, my respiration was almost taken away, so that I would awake and catch my breath. When I observe nothing of the kind, I continue to write and think, and am not aware of my respiration being arrested, unless I reflect upon it. This I may say has happened in instances innumerable. Nor was I at such times able to observe the various changes, because I did not reflect upon them. The design of all this was, that every kind of state, every kind of sphere, and every kind of society, particularly the more interior, might find in my own a fit respiration, which should come into play without any reflection on my part, and that thus a medium of interaction might be afforded with spirits and angels. (SE 3164)

HH 449. As to the senses of the body I was brought into a state of insensibility, thus nearly into the state of the dying, but with the interior life and thought remaining unimpaired, in order that I might perceive and retain in the memory the things that happened to me, and that happen to those who are resuscitated from the dead. I perceived that the respiration of the body was almost wholly taken away; but the interior respiration of the spirit went on in connection with a slight and tacit respiration of the body. Then at first a communication of the pulse of the heart with the celestial kingdom was established, because that kingdom corresponds to the heart in man.# Angels from that kingdom were seen, some at a distance, and two sitting near my head. Thus all my own affection was taken away although thought and perception continued.

[2] I was in this state for some hours. Then the spirits who were around me withdrew, supposing that I was dead; and an aromatic odour like that of an embalmed body was perceived, for when the celestial angels are present everything pertaining to the corpse is perceived as aromatic, and when spirits perceive this they cannot approach; and in this way evil spirits are kept away from man's spirit when he is being introduced into eternal life. The angels seated at my head were silent, merely sharing their thoughts with mine; and when their thoughts are received, the angels know that the spirit of man is in a state in which it can be drawn forth from the body. This sharing of their thoughts was effected by looking into my face, for in this way in heaven thoughts are shared.

[3] As thought and perception remained with me, that I might know and remember how resuscitation is effected, I perceived that the angels first tried to ascertain what my thought was, whether it was like the thought of those who are dying, which is usually about eternal life; also that they wished to keep my mind in that thought. Afterwards, I was told that the spirit of man is held in its last thought when the body expires, until it returns to the thoughts that are from its general or ruling affection in the world. Especially was I permitted to see and feel that there was a pulling and drawing forth, as it were, of the interiors of my mind, thus of my spirit, from the body; and I was told that this is from the Lord, and that the resurrection is thus effected.

# The heart corresponds to the Lord's celestial kingdom, the lungs to His spiritual kingdom (n. 3635, 3886, 3887). (HH 449)

SE 605. There is also a collective breathing, about which I was able to observe the following, namely, that I was then somehow taking part in a collective breathing that was easy and spontaneous; and indeed, that the collective breathing of heaven related to my own breathing as three to one, as did my heartbeat also. Nevertheless, because of the collective respiration, all can breathe in accordance with this rule, that the contiguous collective breathing turns into something continuous, so that from that continuum, all have their own breathings, of every variety.
1748, 30 January. (SE 605)

SE 1614. Another common operation or action of theirs was into the respiration of the lungs, to the left, which was such that if described it could scarcely be perceived, for there was a gentle leading of my respiration from the interior, so that I had no need of anything like voluntary effort in inhaling or expelling my breath; this was governed by heaven from the interior, so that not so much the substances as the animations of the lungs, from which arises their motion, [were controlled by it.] Thus the influence was in the interior [pulmonary] fibers that are not visible to the eye, for the animation was perceived to be ruled by heaven, without voluntary action on my part, so that I had no need to draw my breath or spirit, but it was drawn by heaven. The forces employed in this animation, as evinced by the intervals [between the pulsations], were such as seemed habitual to me. (SE 1614)

SE 1615. The third common action of heaven was in the systole and diastole of the heart, which was manifestly perceived, but was gentler or softer than at other times. Its pulsations were like the animations [of the lungs] in softness, and within them, but the times regular like those of the heart, being about one- third, yet such that they terminated in the pulmonic movements, and thus in a certain manner governed them. The times of the pulmonic respiration were common to them and to the heart, as composed of those of the heart; the terminations of the heart's times closed in the pulmonic beats, and were related to each other somewhat like the motions of the angelic gyres, concerning which elsewhere. But how it is precisely that the pulmonic motions commenced I could not perceive; but how [the influx] insinuated itself into the lungs at the end of every animation, I could in a measure observe. The heart, therefore, represents the celestial, the lungs the spiritual; the analogy lies in the manner in which the celestial inflows into the spiritual. The pulsations of the heart, which were soft and regular, were so observable that I could count them one by one. (SE 1615)

AC 3884. As in the world it is quite unknown that there is a correspondence of heaven or the Grand Man with all things of man, and that man comes forth and subsists therefrom, so that what is said on the subject may seem paradoxical and incredible, I may here relate the things that experience has enabled me to know with certainty. Once, when the interior heaven was opened to me, and I was conversing with the angels there, I was permitted to observe the following phenomena. Be it known that although I was in heaven, I was nevertheless not out of myself, but in the body, for heaven is within man, wherever he may be, so that when it pleases the Lord, a man may be in heaven and yet not be withdrawn from the body.

In this way it was given me to perceive the general workings of heaven as plainly as an object is perceived by any of the senses. Four workings or operations were then perceived by me. The first was into the brain at the left temple, and was a general operation as regards the organs of reason; for the left side of the brain corresponds to rational or intellectual things, but the right to the affections or things of the will.

[2] The second general operation that I perceived was into the respiration of the lungs, and it led my respiration gently, but from within, so that I had no need to draw breath or respire by any exertion of my will. The very respiration of heaven was at the time plainly perceived by me. It is internal, and for this reason is imperceptible to man; but by a wonderful correspondence it inflows into man's respiration, which is external, or of the body; and if man were deprived of this influx, he would instantly fall down dead.

[3] The third operation that I perceived was into the systole and diastole of the heart, which had then more of softness with me than I had ever experienced at any other time. The intervals of the pulse were regular, being about three within each period of respiration; yet such as to terminate in and thus direct the things belonging to the lungs. How at the close of each respiration the alternations of the heart insinuated themselves into those of the lungs, I was in some measure enabled to observe. The alternations of the pulse were so observable that I was able to count them; they were distinct and soft.
 

[4] The fourth general operation was into the kidneys, which also it was given me to perceive, but obscurely. From these things it was made manifest that heaven or the Grand Man has cardiac pulses, and that it has respirations; and that the cardiac pulses of heaven or the Grand Man have a correspondence with the heart and with its systolic and diastolic motions; and that the respirations of heaven or the Grand Man have a correspondence with the lungs and their respirations; but that they are both unobservable to man, being imperceptible, because internal. (AC 3884)

AC 1879. On one occasion while in bed I was told that evil spirits were conspiring against me with the intention of suffocating me, but as I was safe and felt secure under the Lord's keeping, I disregarded the threats and went to sleep. But awaking in the middle of the night, I felt that I was not breathing of myself, but from heaven, for there was nothing of my own respiration, as I plainly perceived. It was then said that the band of conspirators was present, and that it was composed of those who hold in hatred the interior things of the Word (that is, the very truths of faith, for these are the interiors of the Word), and who thus hate them because they are contrary to their fallacies, persuasions, and cupidities, which the sense of the letter might be brought to support.

[2] After their attempt had failed, their leaders tried to enter into the viscera of my body, and to penetrate even to the heart, and to this also they were admitted. This was all the time perceived by manifest sensation, for one to whom the interiors of the spirit are opened, gets at the same time a sensible perception of such things. But I was then introduced into a kind of celestial state, which was that I made no effort to repel these visitors, still less to avenge the injury. They then said that there was peace; but soon they were as if deprived of rationality, breathing out vengeance, and striving to carry out their purpose, but in vain. They afterwards dispersed of themselves. (AC 1879)

CL 171. (xiii) A wife is linked to her husband by the sphere of life which issues from her love for him.

From each individual there comes, or rather pours forth, a spiritual sphere due to the affections of his love; this surrounds him and enters into the natural sphere coming from the body, and they are linked together. It is commonly known in the world that there is a natural sphere continuously emanating from the body, not only from human beings, but also from animals, and indeed from trees, fruits, flowers, and also from metals. It is much the same in the spiritual world; but there the spheres which emanate from objects are spiritual. The spheres emanating from spirits and angels are more deeply spiritual, because they possess affections of love, and so inward perceptions and thoughts. This is the origin of every kind of sympathy or antipathy, and it is what links everything or holds it apart. Presence or absence in that world depends upon these spheres, for what is of the same nature and concordant causes presence and linking, but what is of different nature and discordant causes separation and absence. These spheres therefore are what create distance there.

Certain people are also aware of the effects produced by these spiritual spheres in the natural world. The mutual inclination of married couples towards each other are from no other origin. Spheres of unanimity and concord unite, those of opposition and discord separate; for concordant spheres are pleasant and welcome, opposing and discordant ones unpleasant and unwelcome.

[2] I have heard from angels, who are able to perceive the spheres clearly, that there is not a single internal or external part of a person which is not renewing itself. It does this by dissolving and being replaced, and this is the source of the sphere which continually pours forth. They said that this sphere is packed closely around the person to the back and to the front, thinly at the back, but densely at the front. The sphere coming from the chest is linked with respiration. That is why a married couple who differ in disposition and disagree in their affections lie in bed turned away from each other, back to back. Conversely, those who agree in disposition and affections turn towards each other.

[3] They also said that since the spheres come from every part of the person and extend to some distance around him, they not only link or separate the couple from without, but also from within. This, they said, is the origin of all the differences and varieties in conjugial love. They ended by saying that the sphere of love coming from a wife who is tenderly loved is perceived in heaven as a sweet fragrance, notably more pleasant than that perceived in the world by a newly wed bridegroom in the first days after his wedding. These facts make plain the truth of the assertion that a wife is linked to her husband by the sphere of life which comes from her love for him. (CL 171)

 

   15.0.4.10    Zoroastrian Sacred Scripture

 

VISPERAD 3 - BEGINNING OF THE HAOMA OFFERING; ROLL-CALL OF THE PRIEST.

1. (The Zaotar speaks.) (I call for) the Havanan, and would have him here. (The Ratu answers.) I will come (and fulfill his duties). (The Zaotar speaks.) I would have the Atarevakhsha here. (The Ratu answers.) I will come (and fulfill the services which fall to his charge). (The Zaotar.) I would have the Frabaretar. (The Ratu.) I will come (and fulfill the services which fall to his charge). (The Zaotar.) I would have the Aberet present. (The Ratu.) I will come (for him). (The Zaotar.) I would have the Asnatar. (The Ratu.) I will come (and do the duties which he serves). (The Zaotar.) I would have the Raethwishkar to be here. (The Ratu.) I will come (for him). (The Zaotar.) I would have the Sraoshavareza present, the wisest one, the most correct and veracious in his speech (The Ratu.) I will come.

2. (The Zaotar.) I would have the Fire-priest to be here, and the warrior, and the thrifty tiller of the earth, and the house-lord, and the lords of the Vis and the Zantu.

3. And I summon the youth of holy thoughts, words and works, and of good conscience; (yea), the youth of good speech, given (in marriage) to his kin. And I summon the province-ranger, and the itinerant of many arts, and the house-mistress.

4. And I summon the woman advanced in her holy thoughts, and words, and deeds, and well subordinated, whose ruler is her lord, the holy one, who is (as) the bounteous Armaiti; (yea), I summon even Thy wives, O Ahura ! And I summon likewise the holy man advanced in his good thoughts, and words, and deeds, who is learned in pious lore, and innocent of the Kayadha, and by whose deeds the settlements are furthered in the righteous order.

5. Yea, we summon you, whoever you may be, if only chiefs of the Mazdayasnians; and we summon the Bounteous Immortals, and the pious Saoshyants (the prophets for our help), the most correct and truthful in their speech, the most zealous, the most glorious in their thoughts, the greatest ones, and the powerful; and we summon the Fire-priests, and the warriors, and the diligent husbandman of the Mazdayasnian faith.

6. (The Zaotar.) As an Ahu to be (revered and) chosen, the Atarevakhsha (announcing) speaks forth to me. (The Ratu [?].) So let the Ratu from his righteousness, holy and learned, speak forth. (The Ratu.) As an Ahu to be (revered and) chosen, the Zaotar (announcing) speaks forth to me. (The Zaotar.) So let the Ratu from (his) righteousness, holy and learned, speak forth. (The Ratu.) Thou art the announcer for us, O Fire-priest! [(Pazand.) It is the Zaotar (who is meant).] (The Zaotar.) I will come as this Zaotar, and recite the Staota Yesnya with memorized intoning, chanting, and praise.

VISPERAD 4.

1. (Yea,) we sacrifice to the thoughts of the mind, and to the good wisdom, and to the good and blessed sanctity, and to the good religious knowledge, and to good health (of soul and body). [At their (several) seasons, and with the presence of seasonable circumstances, they are hymned.]

2. Confession is to be made for the Kine; we, Zarathushtrian Mazdayasnians, celebrate at the sacrificial time for the Myazda-offering, at the time for the Ratufriti, the prayer for blessings, for the sacrificial worship, homage, propitiation, and praise of the entire creation of the holy (and the clean).

VISPERAD 5.

1. I come to You, O Ye Bountiful Immortals! as a praiser priest, and invoker, as a memoriser, reciting (Your ritual), and as a chanter for Your sacrifice and homage, Your propitiation, and Your praise; (yea, for Yours) the Bountiful Immortals, and for our preparation, (O ye holy Saoshyants!) and for your well-timed prayer for blessings, and your sanctification, and for our victorious smiting of our foes, beneficial (as it is) for our souls, for ours, the Saoshyants, (with you), and holy.

2. And I make my offering to You, O Ye Bountiful Immortals, who rule aright, and who dispose (of all) aright! (Yea), I offer You the flesh of my very body, and all the blessings of my life as well.

3. And I confess my belief in Thee, O Ahura Mazda! and as a Mazdayasnian of the order of Zarathushtra, and in accordance with this Faith.

VISPERAD 6.

1. In accordance with the precept, with praise, and with the joyful reception of grace, with Zaothras intelligently offered, with sacrificial words correctly spoken, I call the good Amesha Spenta by their names of beauty; yea, I worship the Bountiful Immortals by their beautiful names, with the blessing of the ritual Order, with the longing blessing of Righteousness the good.

VISPERAD 7.

1. We worship the (sacrificial) words correctly uttered, and Sraosha (Obedience) the blessed, and the good Ashi, (the blest order of our rites), and Nairya-sangha. And we worship the victorious Peace as the unprostrated and unmoved. And we sacrifice to the Fravashis of the saints, and to the Chinwad Bridge, and to the Garo Nmana of Ahura, even Heaven, the best world of the saints, the shining and all glorious!

2. And we sacrifice to that better path that leads to that Best World (as well). And we worship Arshtat (Justice) the good, which helps the settlements to advance and flourish, benefiting them thereby, that Arshtat which is the Mazdayasnian Faith; and (with her) we worship Rashnu the most just, and Mithra of the wide pastures. And we worship Parendi the wealthy, wealthy with a wealth of thoughts, with a throng of words, and with a breadth of actions, [for she makes our persons agile (for good thoughts and words and actions)]

3. And we worship that virile defensive Heroism which possesses men who think beforehand, and heroic men, which is fleeter a than the fleet, stronger than the strong, which comes to him who is endowed by God, which, when especially made theirs by men, produces one who is a freer of the body. And we worship Sleep, the Mazda-made, the gladdener of the herd and men.

4. And we worship those things in the creation of the holy which are the ancient institutions, those formed before the sky, the water, the land, the plants, and the Kine of blessed gift. And we worship the sea Vouru-kasha, and the stormy wind which is made by Mazda, and the shining heaven, of old created, the first-made earthly object of (all) the earthly world.

5. And we worship thee, the Fire, O Ahura Mazda's son! the holy lord of the ritual order, and this Baresman, having the Zaothra with it, and the girdle with it, spread out with sanctity, the holy ritual chief, and we worship Apam-napat (the son of waters)

VISPERAD 8.

1. With this word be Thou approached, with the proper word be Thou present here, Thou who art Ahura Mazda, the holy, together with the good Yazads who are the Bountiful Immortals, who rule aright, and dispose (of all) aright, together with fifty, and a hundred, and a thousand, and ten thousand, and millions, and yet more.

2. And to Him who rules the best let the Kingdom be!

From:
AVESTA: VISPERAD (Extensions to the liturgy) (Translated by L. H. Mills : From Sacred Books of the East, American Edition, 1898.)

http://www.hinduwebsite.com/sacredscripts/zoroscripts/avesta_3_visperad.htm

Sad Dar

Translated by E. W. West, from Sacred Books of the East, volume 24, Clarendon Press, 1885.

From:
http://www.hinduwebsite.com/sacredscripts/zoroscripts/saddar0.htm

INTRODUCTION.

1.
In the name of Ohrmazd, the lord, the greatest and wise, the all-ruling, all knowing, and almighty.
2.
This is a book (kitab), about the proper and improper, which is extracted from the good and pure religion of the Mazda-worshippers. 3. What is expedient (vajib) is this, for every one to know and keep this in practice. 4. And it is not desirable that he become independent (hali) of this for a single hour (sa'hat). 5. Because, when one becomes independent, the sin for each one may become abundant; and when it is brought into practice the reward becomes abundant.
6.
On this occasion (vaqt) I, a servant of the religion -- like the mobed Eran-shah, son (bin) of Yazad-yar, son of Tishtar-yar, son of Adarbad, son of Mahraspand -- have sent a reward to their souls, unto every one who reads and is bound by duty. 7. Thus much (in qadar), which has come written, is a good work they know, whosoever are superior; but it is not possible for every one inferior to know of this. 8. If it were more (ziyadat) it is proper, but if (imma) less than this it is not proper to know; while, in gratitude for the benefits (shukr-i ni'hmat) of the sacred being, they become increasing in action, and the sacred being, the most high (ta'halai), makes benefits occur on the spot on that account.
9.
And, secondly, the kindness (lutf) and generosity (karm) of the sacred being, the most high, are manifest from this, that he created us with each member (alat) complete (tamam), and did not keep anything from the maternal nature. 10. And whatever was necessary for use he gave us. 11. At the head, likewise, he appointed a master, which is the wisdom for the purpose that they may keep these members in action.
12.
May the peace of the sacred being, the most high, be on the souls of those acquainted with the religion of the pure Zartosht, the Spitaman, and of those who are pure and virtuous. 13. For the souls of those persons it is desirable that every duty they perform they shall perform through the authority dasturi) of the wisdom of the high-priests.

CHAPTER 1.

1.
The first subject is this, that it is necessary that they become steadfast in the religion, and do not introduce any hesitation (shakk) and doubt into the heart. 2. And that they make a statement ('haqiqat) with confidence (i'htiqad), that the good religion, the true and perfect, which the Lord sent into the world ('halq), is that which Zartosht has brought; which is this I hold.
3.
Every time that mankind are like this, and do not introduce any hesitation and doubt into the heart, of every duty and good work that others have done, from the days of Zartosht until these days, and of whatever one does after this until the resurrection, there is a share for that person. 4. When the soul, on the fourth night, arrives at the head of the Chinwad bridge, the angel Mihr and the angel Rashn make up its account ('hisab) and reckoning. 5. And, if the good works it has done be deficient in quantity, of every duty and good work that those of the good religion have done in the earth of seven regions they appoint it a like portion (nazib), till the good works become more in weight; and the soul arrives righteous in the radiant locality of heaven.
6.
For it is declared in revelation, that of the duty and good work which they perform in doubt -- that is (ya'hni), they entertain a suspicion like this, that 'I do not know that this faith, which I possess, is better in comparison with other faiths' -- no merit whatever comes to their souls. 7. Therefore, the first (avval) thing is to become steadfast in the religion; and this is the chief of all good works.

CHAPTER 2.

1.
The second subject is this, that it is necessary to make an effort (gahd), so that they may not commit any sin. 2. If even a trifling sin occurs it is not desirable to assume that this small quantity does not possess harm hereafter.
3.
For it is said in revelation, that if such be the quantity of sin that the sin is one filament of the hair of the eyelashes more in weight than the good works are, that person arrives in hell. 4. And if such a quantity of good works be in excess, he arrives righteous in the radiant locality of heaven.
5.
Therefore, even if a sin be trifling it is not desirable to commit it; and it is requisite to refrain, so that they may not commit it, and may become without doubt as to the religion.

CHAPTER 3.

1.
The third subject is this, that it is necessary for man that he be continuously employed (mashjhul) on his own work, and then the work becomes his own.
2.
For it is declared in revelation, that every one who hereafter becomes employed on his own work, if in the midst of that work any trouble and discomfort happen to him, obtains in that other world twelve recompenses for every single instance. 3. If he becomes employed on iniquity (fasad), and in the midst of that work any trouble and harm happen to him, he so obtains in that other world only torment ('huqubat) and punishment.
4.
Similarly (maTHalam), if any one be himself going, employed on his own work, and a robber falls upon him on the road, and carries off his property (qumash), or he be slain, they give him back in that other world four things for each one of whatever they have carried off. 5. If he be slain he becomes righteous, any sin that he has committed goes clean away from him, and they convey him to heaven. 6. But (amma) if he becomes faulty (batil) in any duty, and a robber falls upon him on the road, and carries off his wealth (mal), or he be slain, when he descends to that other world all the property that other carried off from him becomes just as though it were his who has carried it off from that person; and, besides, there occur, as a substitute ('hivaz) for that property, the punishment and torment they give him. 7. And if he be slain it is just as though he who has carried it off from that person were one who had innocently slain that person who arrives in hell as retribution (mukafat) for sin.

CHAPTER 4.

1.
The fourth subject is this, that it is not desirable for any one that he should become hopeless of the pity (ra'hmat) and forgiveness of Ohrmazd, and fix his heart outwardly on this, that our sin is excessive and it is not possible to arrive in heaven. 2. Because it happens that a small quantity of duty and good work is performed, and it may be that for that quantity Ohrmazd, the good and propitious, may have pity on him and may make him arrive in heaven.
3.
For it is declared in revelation, that one time when Zartosht was in conversation with the sacred being, the most high, he saw a man whose whole body was in hell, and one foot -- the right one -- was outside of hell. 4. Zartosht inquired of the sacred being, the most high, thus: 'What person has this man been?' 5. Ohrmazd, the good and propitious, gave a reply (javab) thus: 'He has been a king, and possessed the sovereignty of thirty-three towns, and was conducting that sovereignty many years. 6. And he never did any virtuous action, but was committing much oppression, lawlessness, and violence (thulm). 7. By chance (qazara) he was one day going on the chase, and arrived out at a place (mauza'h) and saw a goat that was tied. 8. A morsel of hay was placed very far off, and that goat was hungry. 9. Owing to this the goat was trying to eat the hay, but did not reach the hay. 10. This the king saw, and kicked his foot at that hay and cast it in front of the goat. 11. Now, in recompense for that, that one foot of his is outside of hell, and the remaining (baqi) limbs are in hell.'
12.
Therefore, although a sin has happened to any one, it is not necessary for him to become hopeless. 13. And whoever has the power (taqat) is to endeavor to perform good works, so that there may be an atonement for the sin thereby; because the sacred being, the good and propitious, is kind to every one.

CHAPTER 5.

1.
The fifth subject is this, that it is necessary for all those of the good religion that they make a thorough effort, so that they celebrate the ritual and become Navazud.
2.
For in our religion there is no good work more ample than this. 3. And it is declared in revelation, that, although much duty and good work be performed, it is not possible to attain to the supreme heaven (garothman), except on that one occasion when the Navazud ceremony is performed, or they have celebrated a getig-kharid. 4. And on any occasion ('hal), if they are not able to perform it with their own hands, it is requisite to order it; and then it is inevitably necessary that the celebration of the Getig-kharid should be in the same manner as they would have performed it with their own hands.
5.
Man and woman are both equal in this good work; therefore, it is not proper to neglect this duty, for it is the chief of all the good works of the religion. 6. Because it is declared in revelation, that on the day that they are performing the Navazud ceremony, or are celebrating a Getig-kharid on his account, three times the soul of that person arrives at heaven, and they show it a place therein, and offer it a profuse greeting (niTHar).
7.
The explanation (tafsir) of the Gahs is this, that a Gah -- that is, that his own place -- becomes visible to him in heaven that day.
8.
And if one does not perform a Navazud ceremony, or does not order the celebration of a Getig-kharid, it is the same as when a poor (gharib) man makes for a town, and does not obtain a spot where he may alight in that place. 9. Although it is his own town he is in this trouble. 10. Therefore, it is not possible to bring to hand a place in heaven through any good work, except by the performance of the Navazud ceremony, or by ordering the celebration of a Getig-kharid.
11.
And a Getig-kharid is this, that heaven is purchased in the world, and one's own place brought to hand in heaven.

CHAPTER 6.

1.
The sixth subject is this, that of the many good works there are those which, when they accomplish them, obtain great ('hathim) rewards; and if one does not perform them severe punishment seizes upon one at the head of the Chinwad bridge. 2. One is the celebration of the season festivals [Gahambars]; the second is keeping the days of the guardian spirits [fravashis]; the third is attending to the souls of fathers, mothers, and other relations; the fourth is reciting the Khwarshed Niyayesh [Sun Litany] three times every day; the fifth is reciting the Mah Niyayesh [Moon Litany] three times every month, once when it becomes new, once when it becomes full, and once when it becomes slender; and the sixth is celebrating the Rapithwin ceremony once every year. 3. If not able to celebrate them oneself, it is requisite to order them, so that they may celebrate them every single time.
4.
These six good works are things indispensable unto every one. 5. When any one of them is not performed -- be it that which, if omitted at its own time, it is not possible to accomplish, or if it be. that one time one omits an occasion, and another time they accomplish twice as much -- one should consider that as an advantage, which occurs in retribution for it, or as atonement for the transgression. 6. Because they call the transgression of each of these six a bridge-sin; that is, every one through whom a transgression of these may have arisen they keep back, at the head of the Chinwad bridge, till punishment for it happens to him, and no good work is possible in this place, which is torment and punishment for him.
7.
Therefore it is necessary to make an effort, that they may be performed each one at its own time, so hat they may obtain a recompense, and not a severe punishment.

CHAPTER 7.

1.
The seventh subject is this, that, when a sneeze ('hatsat) comes forth from any one, it is requisite to recite one Yatha-ahu-vairyo and one Ashem-vohu. 2. Because there is a fiend in our bodies, and she is an adversary who is connected with mankind, and strives so that she may make misfortune ('hillat) and sickness predominant (mustauli) over mankind. 3. And in our bodies there is a fire which they call a disposition -- in Arabic they say tabi'hat -- and they call it the sneezing instinct (gharizi). 4. It is connected with that fiend, and they wage warfare, and it keeps her away from the body of man. 5. Then, as the fire becomes successful over that fiend, and puts her to flight (hazimat), a sneeze comes because that fiend comes out.
6.
Afterwards, because it is necessary, they recite these inward prayers and perform the benediction (afrin) of the fire, so that it may remain for a long period while thou art keeping this fiend defeated. 7. When another person hears the sneeze, it is likewise requisite for him to utter; the said prayers, and to accomplish the benediction of that spirit.

CHAPTER 8.

1.
The eighth subject is this, that it is necessary to maintain the religion by rule (dastur), and to practice obedience to the commands of the high-priests; and every duty that people perform they should perform by their authority.
2.
For it is declared in the good religion, that, if they accomplish as many good works as the leaves of trees, or the sand-grains of the desert, or the drops (qatrah) of rain, which they do not perform by command of the high-priests, or to their satisfaction, no merit whatever attains to their souls, and for the good works they have done they obtain sin as a recompense. 3. While such a one is living it is not proper to call him righteous, and when he dies he does not attain to heaven, and not a single archangel comes near him. 4. He does not make his escape from the hands of the demons and Ahriman, and he does not obtain a release from hell. 5. Because duties and good works attain to the soul on those occasions when they perform them with the authority of the high-priests and those acquainted with the religion, and when they give them one-tenth of those good works.

CHAPTER 9.

1.
The ninth subject is this, that it is necessary to practice abstinence from committing or permitting unnatural intercourse. 2. For this is the chief of all sins in the religion: there is no worse sin than this in the good religion, and it is proper to call those who commit it worthy of death in reality.
3.
If any one comes forth to them, and shall see them in the act, and is working with an ax, it is requisite for him to cut off the heads or to rip up the bellies of both, and it is no sin for him. 4. But it is not proper to kill any person without the authority of high-priests and kings, except on account of committing or permitting unnatural intercourse.
5.
For it says in revelation that unnatural intercourse is on a par with Ahriman, with Afrasiyab, with Dahak [Zohak], with Tur-i Bradrok-resh who slew Zartosht, with Malkos who will arise, with the serpent Srobovar which existed in the days of Sam Nariman, and as many sins as are theirs. 6. And Ahriman, the evil one, becomes more joyful, owing to this practice, than owing to the other sins which have made high-priests necessary; for the soul itself of that person becomes extinct.
7.
And when they commit the sin with women, it is just the same as that with men.

CHAPTER 10.

1.
The tenth subject is this, that it is incumbent on all those of the good religion, women and men, every one who attains to fifteen years, to wear the sacred thread-girdle [kusti]. 2. Because the sacred thread-girdle is to be a girding of the loins and to preserve obedience (ta'hat) to the Lord, may he be honored and glorified ('hazza va jalla)!
3.
The first person who set the wearing of this sacred thread-girdle in view was Jamshed. 4. And it may be the whole (jumlah) of the demons and fiends who are made extinct by the glory of wearing the sacred thread-girdle.
5.
Every one who has tied the sacred thread-girdle round the waist is out of the department of Ahriman, and is established in the department of Ohrmazd. 6. And also, while he keeps the sacred thread-girdle on the waist, there is a share for him of all those duties and good works which they perform in the earth of seven regions. 7. It is like that which occurs when they are performing hamazor and hama asho, and have put on this sacred thread-girdle [kusti] on that account, or when, similarly, some one in Cashmere, or Eranvej, or Kangdez, or the enclosure formed by Jam [Jamshed], performs a good work, and we are not able to perform it with hama zor, then they and we, who wear the sacred thread-girdle on the waist, are mutually connected and equally meritorious, one with the other. 8. As no good work attains to him who does not wear a sacred thread-girdle -- excepting that which he performs himself -- it is therefore necessary that any one of mankind should not put it away from the waist on any occasion, so that the associated good works of those of the good religion may attain to him.
9.
And those four knots, with which they tie it on, are on this account, that it may give four attestations. 10. The first knot is that which preserves constancy (qarar), and gives attestation as to the existence, unity, purity, and matchlessness of the sacred being, the good and propitious. 11. The second knot is that which gives attestation that is the good religion of the Mazda-worshippers which is the word of the sacred being. 12. The third knot is that which gives attestation as to the apostleship and mission (rasuli) in the just ('haqq) Zartosht, the Spitaman. 13. The fourth knot is that which adduces more pleasantly, gives assurance (iqrar), and openly accepts that I should think of good, speak of good, and do good. 14. And from the whole I become established; and the pure, good religion is this, that I persist in those views.
15.
And, again, when the archangels [Amahraspands] came meeting Zartosht they likewise wore the sacred thread-girdle on the waist; and the distinctive characteristic (farq) amid the laws of the sacred being is the wearing of the sacred thread-girdle. 16. It is incumbent both on woman and on man, and it is altogether (albattah) improper when they do not wear it.

The above is from:
http://www.hinduwebsite.com/sacredscripts/zoroscripts/saddar0.htm


                       15.0.4.11    The Correspondential Sense in Bahai Sacred Scripture   

Theistic psychology is the knowledge and science that is extracted from Sacred Scripture through the method of correspondences that is revealed and described exclusively in the Writings of Swedenborg (see Section xx). All religions are based on a particular cultural and historical version of Sacred Scripture. In its universal idea all Sacred Scripture given by God forms one rational and scientific series of ideas -- when viewed through the correspondential sense, and not at all when viewed through the literal sense.

When we view this or that version of Sacred Scripture in its literal meaning, the versions do not agree with each other and even contradict each other to such an extent that people from different religions see each other in hostile terms. This conflict and division disappears completely when we translate each version of Sacred Scripture into its correspondential meaning. When this is done one discovers the rational and scientific unity of all Sacred Scripture as Divine Speech expressed in some natural language and in natural-historical ideas. When the universal Divine Speech to humanity descends to the physical world as a text written in a natural language, message is necessarily cast in natural ideas that ordinary people can understand and accept.

If Sacred Scripture were written directly in terms of correspondential meanings it would no longer be Sacred Scripture but theistic psychology. And this is a science that depends on facts and research, thus not at all suitable for religion. People of any religion can study the correspondential sense of their Sacred Scripture, but this would not be a religious activity but a scientific project. And this scientific project must include research on the correspondential sense of other Sacred Scriptures that one's religion does not acknowledge. Hence it is that theistic psychology is a science, not a religion.

Various cultural-historical versions of Sacred Scripture have been examined in theistic psychology and this research will continue and increase in the future as a critical component of theistic psychology.

In this Section I am examining the correspondential sense of the Baha'i Sacred Scripture.

Online copies of Baha'i Sacred Writings are presented at: http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/KI/

Baha'is believe: (From: http://www.bahai.us/bahai-beliefs )

  • the purpose of life is to know and worship God, to acquire virtues, to promote the oneness of mankind and to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization
  • all humanity was created by one God and is part of one human race
  • work performed in the spirit of service is a form of worship
  • the soul, created at the moment of conception, is destined by God to reach the afterlife, where it will continue to progress until it attains the presence of God

Baha'is practice:  (From: http://www.bahai.us/bahai-beliefs )

  • daily prayer and communion with God
  • high moral principles, including trustworthiness, chastity and honesty
  • independent investigation of truth
  • a life dedicated to the service of humanity
  • fellowship with the followers of all religions
  • avoidance of excessive materialism, partisan politics, backbiting, alcohol, drugs and gambling

Social principles include:  (From: http://www.bahai.us/bahai-beliefs )

  • equality of women and men
  • the harmony of science and religion as two complementary systems of knowledge that must work together to advance the well being and progress of humanity
  • the elimination of prejudice
  • the establishment of a world commonwealth of nations
  • recognition of the common origin and fundamental unity of purpose of all religions
  • spiritual solutions to economic problems and the removal of economic barriers and restrictions
  • the abolition of extremes of poverty and wealth
  • the adoption of a world auxiliary language, a world script, and a uniform and universal system of currency and weights and measures

God, His Manifestations And Man

Selections from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh
From:  http://info.bahai.org/article-1-3-2-12.html

The Bearers of the Trust of God are made manifest unto the peoples of the earth as the Exponents of a new Cause and the Revealers of a new Message. Inasmuch as these Birds of the celestial Throne are all sent down from the heaven of the Will of God, and as they all arise to proclaim His irresistible Faith, they, therefore, are regarded as one soul and the same person. For they all drink from the one Cup of the love of God, and all partake of the fruit of the same Tree of Oneness.

Correspondential Analysis: 
"The Bearers of the Trust of God"
       
= the prophets and revelators that God provides to the peoples and nations of this world, that they may bring to people the Voice or Speech of God to humanity

"are made manifest unto the peoples of the earth
"
        =  spiritual truths that were previously incomprehensible, can now be seen in the conscious natural mind by any thoughtful person

"as the Exponents of a new Cause and the Revealers of a new Message"
        = Divine Speech expressed in natural languages is given by God anew from time to time, each time with a new spiritual message that could not be given as clearly in earlier revelations

"these Birds of the celestial Throne are all sent down from the heaven of the Will of God"
        = new spiritual-rational ideas from God through heaven descend into the minds of all individuals, ideas that contain God's love and God's truth for the human race, both in this world and in the world of eternity where our heavens are and to which we all pass on at the death of the temporary physical body

"they all arise to proclaim His irresistible Faith"
        = all spiritual-rational ideas descend from God into every person's unconscious spiritual mind, from where they descend into our conscious natural mind, where we can understand rationally that God is love (good) and truth, and that all good (love) and truth that each of us possess, is actually God's love and truth in our mind, thus God with us

"they, therefore, are regarded as one soul and the same person"
        = the  content of humanity's mind consists of all the people's intentions, loves, thoughts, sensations, actions, in all the past, present, and future, are in one endless collection that in God's Mind is united into One Grand Human or Individual

"they all drink from the one Cup of the love of God"
        = every human being, past, present, and future, has the same relationship to God through the acknowledgement of God's truths given in Sacred Scripture

"all partake of the fruit of the same Tree of Oneness"
        =         = every human being, past, present, and future, has the same relationship to God through the reception of God's love or good, that is given in our will or heart each time we avoid evils in our heart and mind as sins against God 

+++

These Manifestations of God have each a twofold station. One is the station of pure abstraction and essential unity. In this respect, if thou callest them all by one name, and dost ascribe to them the same attributes, thou hast not erred from the truth. Even as He hath revealed: "No distinction do We make between any of His Messengers." For they, one and all, summon the people of the earth to acknowledge the unity of God, and herald unto them the Kawthar of an infinite grace and bounty. They are all invested with the robe of prophethood, and are honored with the mantle of glory.

Correspondential Analysis:
"These Manifestations of God have each a twofold station. One is the station of pure abstraction and essential unity. In this respect, if thou callest them all by one name, and dost ascribe to them the same attributes, thou hast not erred from the truth."
        = God has given various outward versions of Himself in different Sacred Scriptures ("These Manifestations of God"), but they each have the same inner correspondential meaning of Him. This inner spiritual meaning constitutes their inner spiritual unity, which is the good and truth flowing to human beings from the same One God. The diversity in the versions of Sacred Scripture reflects and supports the diversity of cultural practices and world views that exist among the people of this earth.  

"Even as He hath revealed: "No distinction do We make between any of His Messengers." For they, one and all, summon the people of the earth to acknowledge the unity of God"
        = The versions of Sacred Scripture ("His Messengers") are all equivalent in their inner correspondential message, which is that our willing and thinking in all daily activities must be made to conform to God's eternal order.

"and herald unto them the Kawthar of an infinite grace and bounty. They are all invested with the robe of prophethood, and are honored with the mantle of glory."
        = God has provided that each version of Sacred Scripture, in its own literal, theological, or cultural sense, be sufficient and adequate in providing a clear unambiguous message to adherents of God's commandments of life for them. Every literal version of Sacred Scripture is given to humanity through an individual chosen and prepared by God ("invested with the robe of prophethood") to receive Divine Speech or Truth in that particular version at that particular time in that historical and geographic place. Every literal version of Sacred Scripture is invested with an inner correspondential meaning ("honored with the mantle of glory").

+++

Thus hath Muhammad, the Point of the Qur'an, revealed: "I am all the Prophets." Likewise, He saith: "I am the first Adam, Noah, Moses, and Jesus." Similar statements have been made by Imam 'Ali. Sayings such as these, which indicate the essential unity of those Exponents of Oneness, have also emanated from the Channels of God's immortal utterance, and the Treasuries of the gems of Divine knowledge, and have been recorded in the Scriptures.

Correspondential Analysis:
"Thus hath Muhammad, the Point of the Qur'an, revealed: "I am all the Prophets." Likewise, He saith: "I am the first Adam, Noah, Moses, and Jesus." Similar statements have been made by Imam 'Ali."
        = the inner unity of all Sacred Scripture is affirmed by God in the literal sense of Sacred Scripture in its various versions, yet each version reveals something new of its own, given through God's chosen prophet, each new prophet being capable of receiving something new from God, and creating a new spiritual force for God in the world and in eternity

"Sayings such as these, which indicate the essential unity of those Exponents of Oneness, have also emanated from the Channels of God's immortal utterance, and the Treasuries of the gems of Divine knowledge, and have been recorded in the Scriptures"
        = the literal sense of various versions of Sacred Scripture affirms the Divinity of all versions of Sacred Scripture. The literal sense is Divine, and the inner correspondential sense is Divine. Both are Divine Truth. 

+++

These Countenances are the recipients of the Divine Command, and the Day Springs of His Revelation. This Revelation is exalted above the veils of plurality and the exigencies of number. Thus He saith: "Our Cause is but One." Inasmuch as the Cause is one and the same, the Exponents thereof also must needs be one and the same. Likewise, the Imams of the Muhammadan Faith, those lamps of certitude, have said: "Muhammad is our first, Muhammad is our last, Muhammad our all."

Correspondential Analysis:

"These Countenances are the recipients of the Divine Command, and the Day Springs of His Revelation."
        = the literal sense of Sacred Scripture contains God's commandments about our intentions, thoughts, and acts that we perform during our daily activities -- how we must arrange them in a heavenly order, for this is the mental order that exists in our eternity or heaven

 "This Revelation is exalted above the veils of plurality and the exigencies of number."
        = the literal sense of every version of Sacred Scripture provides access to God's commandments for our mental world, which He wants us to arrange in the order of heaven, which is Himself

 "Thus He saith: "Our Cause is but One." Inasmuch as the Cause is one and the same, the Exponents thereof also must needs be one and the same."
        = the literal sense of all Sacred Scripture enjoins its adherents that in order to be saved and enter the eternal heavenly life, they must acknowledge the spiritual unity of God, regardless of the literal, theological, or cultural versions. There is only One God and every event in the world and in the mind is managed by Divine Providence from His Divine Love and Omnipotence through His Divine Truth and Omnipresence.

"Likewise, the Imams of the Muhammadan Faith, those lamps of certitude, have said: "Muhammad is our first, Muhammad is our last, Muhammad our all."
        = God's chosen prophet receives the Divine Truth from God, and Divine Providence sees to it that only God's Divine Word is written down. Hence the literal of Sacred Scripture contains within itself Divine Truth and even, God Himself.

+++

It is clear and evident to thee that all the Prophets are the Temples of the Cause of God, Who have appeared clothed in divers attire. If thou wilt observe with discriminating eyes, thou wilt behold Them all abiding in the same tabernacle, soaring in the same heaven, seated upon the same throne, uttering the same speech, and proclaiming the same Faith. Such is the unity of those Essences of Being, those Luminaries of infinite and immeasurable splendor! Wherefore, should one of these Manifestations of Holiness proclaim saying: "I am the return of all the Prophets," He, verily, speaketh the truth. In like manner, in every subsequent Revelation, the return of the former Revelation is a fact, the truth of which is firmly established....

The other station is the station of distinction, and pertaineth to the world of creation, and to the limitations thereof. In this respect, each Manifestation of God hath a distinct individuality, a definitely prescribed mission, a predestined revelation, and specially designated limitations. Each one of them is known by a different name, is characterized by a special attribute, fulfils a definite mission, and is entrusted with a particular Revelation. Even as He saith: "Some of the Apostles We have caused to excel the others. To some God hath spoken, some He hath raised and exalted. And to Jesus, Son of Mary, We gave manifest signs, and We strengthened Him with the Holy Spirit."

It is because of this difference in their station and mission that the words and utterances flowing from these Well Springs of Divine knowledge appear to diverge and differ. Otherwise, in the eyes of them that are initiated into the mysteries of Divine wisdom, all their utterances are, in reality, but the expressions of one Truth. As most of the people have failed to appreciate those stations to which We have referred, they, therefore, feel perplexed and dismayed at the varying utterances pronounced by Manifestations that are essentially one and the same.

It hath ever been evident that all these divergencies of utterance are attributable to differences of station. Thus, viewed from the standpoint of their oneness and sublime detachment, the attributes of Godhead, Divinity, Supreme Singleness, and Inmost Essence, have been, and are applicable to those Essences of Being, inasmuch as they all abide on the throne of Divine Revelation, and are established upon the seat of Divine Concealment. Through their appearance the Revelation of God is made manifest, and by their countenance the Beauty of God is revealed. Thus it is that the accents of God Himself have been heard uttered by these Manifestations of the Divine Being.

Viewed in the light of their second station -- the station of distinction, differentiation, temporal limitations, characteristics and standards -- they manifest absolute servitude, utter destitution, and complete self-effacement. Even as He saith: "I am the servant of God. I am but a man like you."...

Were any of the all-embracing Manifestations of God to declare: "I am God," He, verily, speaketh the truth, and no doubt attacheth thereto. For it hath been repeatedly demonstrated that through their Revelation, their attributes and names, the Revelation of God, His names and His attributes, are made manifest in the world. Thus, He hath revealed: "Those shafts were God's, not Thine." And also He saith: "In truth, they who plighted fealty unto Thee, really plighted that fealty unto God." And were any of them to voice the utterance, "I am the Messenger of God," He, also, speaketh the truth, the indubitable truth. Even as He saith: "Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but He is the Messenger of God." Viewed in this light, they are all but Messengers of that ideal King, that unchangeable Essence. And were they all to proclaim, "I am the Seal of the Prophets," they, verily, utter but the truth, beyond the faintest shadow of doubt. For they are all but one person, one soul, one spirit, one being, one revelation. They are all the manifestation of the "Beginning" and the "End," the "First" and the "Last," the "Seen" and "Hidden" -- all of which pertain to Him Who is the Innermost Spirit of Spirits and Eternal Essence of Essences. And were they to say, "We are the Servants of God," this also is a manifest and indisputable fact. For they have been made manifest in the uttermost state of servitude, a servitude the like of which no man can possibly attain. Thus in moments in which these Essences of Being were deep immersed beneath the oceans of ancient and everlasting holiness, or when they soared to the loftiest summits of Divine mysteries, they claimed their utterances to be the Voice of Divinity, the Call of God Himself.

Were the eye of discernment to be opened, it would recognize that in this very state, they have considered themselves utterly effaced and non-existent in the face of Him Who is the All-Pervading, the Incorruptible. Methinks, they have regarded themselves as utter nothingness, and deemed their mention in that Court an act of blasphemy. For the slightest whisperings of self within such a Court is an evidence of self-assertion and independent existence. In the eyes of them that have attained unto that Court, such a suggestion is itself a grievous transgression. How much more grievous would it be, were aught else to be mentioned in that Presence, were man's heart, his tongue, his mind, or his soul, to be busied with any one but the Well-Beloved, were his eyes to behold any countenance other than His beauty, were his ear to be inclined to any melody but His Voice, and were his feet to tread any way but His way....

By virtue of this station they have claimed for themselves the Voice of Divinity and the like, whilst by virtue of their station of Messengership, they have declared themselves the Messengers of God. In every instance they have voiced an utterance that would conform to the requirements of the occasion, and have ascribed all these declarations to Themselves, declarations ranging from the realm of Divine Revelation to the realm of creation, and from the domain of Divinity even unto the domain of earthly existence. Thus it is that whatsoever be their utterance, whether it pertain to the realm of Divinity, Lordship, Prophethood, Messengership, Guardianship, Apostleship, or Servitude, all is true, beyond the shadow of a doubt. Therefore these sayings which We have quoted in support of Our argument must be attentively considered, that the divergent utterances of the Manifestations of the Unseen and Day Springs of Holiness may cease to agitate the soul and perplex the mind.5

From:
http://info.bahai.org/article-1-3-2-12.html

The Book of the Covenant

From:
http://info.bahai.org/article-1-3-3-1.html

O ye that dwell on earth! The religion of God is for love and unity; make it not the cause of enmity or dissension. In the eyes of men of insight and the beholders of the Most Sublime Vision, whatsoever are the effective means for safeguarding and promoting the happiness and welfare of the children of men hath already been revealed by the Pen of Glory. But the foolish ones of the earth, being nurtured in evil passions and desires, have remained heedless of the consummate wisdom of Him Who is, in truth, the All-Wise, while their words and deeds are prompted by idle fancies and vain imaginings.

O ye the loved ones and the trustees of God! Kings are the manifestations of the power, and the daysprings of the might and riches, of God. Pray ye on their behalf. He hath invested them with the rulership of the earth and hath singled out the hearts of men as His Own domain.

Conflict and contention are categorically forbidden in His Book. This is a decree of God in this Most Great Revelation. It is divinely preserved from annulment and is invested by Him with the splendour of His confirmation. Verily He is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

It is incumbent upon everyone to aid those daysprings of authority and sources of command who are adorned with the ornament of equity and justice. Blessed are the rulers and the learned among the people of Baha. They are My trustees among My servants and the manifestations of My commandments amidst My people. Upon them rest My glory, My blessings and My grace which have pervaded the world of being. In this connection the utterances revealed in the Kitab-i-Aqdas are such that from the horizon of their words the light of divine grace shineth luminous and resplendent.

O ye My Branches! A mighty force, a consummate power lieth concealed in the world of being. Fix your gaze upon it and upon its unifying influence, and not upon the differences which appear from it.

From:
http://info.bahai.org/article-1-3-3-1.html

Extracts from the Bahá'í Writings on Consultation

From:
http://info.bahai.org/article-1-3-6-6.html

Man must consult on all matters, whether major or minor, so that he may become cognizant of what is good. Consultation giveth him insight into things and enableth him to delve into questions which are unknown. The light of truth shineth from the faces of those who engage in consultation. Such consultation causeth the living waters to flow in the meadows of man's reality, the rays of ancient glory to shine upon him, and the tree of his being to be adorned with wondrous fruit. The members who are consulting, however, should behave in the utmost love, harmony and sincerity towards each other. The principle of consultation is one of the most fundamental elements of the divine edifice. Even in their ordinary affairs the individual members of society should consult.

(From a Tablet - translated from the Persian)

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Every one of the friends should highly praise the other and each should regard himself as evanescent and as naught in the presence of others. All matters should be consulted upon in the meeting and whatever is the majority vote should be carried out. I swear by the one true God, it is better that all should agree on a wrong decision, than for one right vote to be singled out, inasmuch as single votes can be sources of dissension, which lead to ruin. Whereas, if in one case they take a wrong decision, in a hundred other cases they will adopt right decisions, and concord and unity are preserved. This will offset any deficiency, and will eventually lead to the righting of the wrong.

(From a Tablet - translated from the Persian)

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The purpose of consultation is to show that the views of several individuals are assuredly preferable to one man, even as the power of a number of men is of course greater than the power of one man. Thus consultation is acceptable in the presence of the Almighty, and hath been enjoined upon the believers, so that they may confer upon ordinary and personal matters, as well as on affairs which are general in nature and universal.

For instance, when a man hath a project to accomplish, should he consult with some of his brethren, that which is agreeable will of course be investigated and unveiled to his eyes, and the truth will be disclosed. Likewise on a higher level, should the people of a village consult one another about their affairs, the right solution will certainly be revealed. In like manner, the members of each profession, such as in industry, should consult, and those in commerce should similarly consult on business affairs. In short, consultation is desirable and acceptable in all things and on all issues.

(Cited in a letter dated 15 February 1922 written by Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of Persia)

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Regarding thy question about consultation of a father with his son, or a son with his father, in matters of trade and commerce, consultation is one of the fundamental elements of the foundation of the Law of God. Such consultation is assuredly acceptable, whether between father and son, or with others. There is nothing better than this. Man must consult in all things for this will lead him to the depths of each problem and enable him to find the right solution.

(From a Tablet - translated from the Persian)

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The honoured members of the Spiritual Assembly should exert their efforts so that no differences may occur, and if such differences do occur, they should not reach the point of causing conflict, hatred and antagonism, which lead to threats. When you notice that a stage has been reached when enmity and threats are about to occur, you should immediately postpone discussion of the subject, until wranglings, disputations, and loud talk vanish, and a propitious time is at hand.

(From a Tablet - translated from the Persian)

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Settle all things, both great and small, by consultation. Without prior consultation, take no important step in your own personal affairs. Concern yourselves with one another. Help along one another's projects and plans. Grieve over one another. Let none in the whole country go in need. Befriend one another until ye become as a single body, one and all...

(From a Tablet - translated from the Persian)

From:
http://info.bahai.org/article-1-3-6-6.html

 

15.1   Faith and Charity

zzzz

 

15.2    Charity or the Love of Being Useful

 

 

15.3    Consciousness Raising and Enlightenment

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15.4    Miracles and Prophesies

zzzz

 

    15.4.1    Visions of Heaven

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

AC 1882. There are two kinds of visions that are not of the ordinary kind, into which I have been let solely that I might know their nature, and what is meant by its being said in the Word that men were "withdrawn from the body," and that they were "carried by the spirit into another place." (AC 1882)

AC 1883. As regards the first, namely, being withdrawn from the body, the case is this. The man is brought into a certain state that is midway between sleep and wakefulness, and when he is in this state he cannot know but that he is wholly awake. All his senses are as fully awake as in the highest wakefulness of the body; the sight, the hearing, and, wonderful to say, the touch, which is then more exquisite than it can ever be in the wakefulness of the body. In this state also spirits and angels have been seen to the very life, and also heard, and, wonderful to say, have been touched, and almost nothing of the body then intervened. This is the state of which it is said that they are "withdrawn from the body," and that they "do not know whether they are in the body or out of it."* I have been let into this state only three or four times, merely that I might know how the case is with it, and that spirits and angels are in the enjoyment of every sense, even touch in a form more delicate and more exquisite than that of the body.
* See 2 Cor. 12:3.  (AC 1883)

AC 1884. As regards the other kind of vision-being carried away by the spirit into another place-it has been shown me by living experience what it is, and how it is done, but only two or three times. One single experience I may mention. Walking through the streets of a city and through the country, and being at the same time also in conversation with spirits, I did not know but that I was wide awake and saw as at other times, so that I walked on without mistake, and all the time being in vision, seeing groves, rivers, palaces, houses, men, and many other things. But after I had thus walked for hours, suddenly I was in the sight of the body, and became aware that I was in another place. Greatly amazed at this, I perceived that I had been in such a state as they were in of whom it is said that they were "led away by the spirit into another place;"* for while this state lasts there is no reflection concerning the way, even if it be many miles; nor is there reflection concerning the time, even if it be many hours or days; nor is there any feeling of fatigue. Moreover the person is led through ways of which he has no knowledge, even to the appointed place. This took place that I might know that a man can be led by the Lord without his knowing whence and whither.
* See 1 Kings 18:12; 19:8; Ezek. 3:12, 14; Acts 8:39. (AC 1884)

AC 1885. These two kinds of visions, however, are extraordinary, and were shown me merely to the end that I might know their nature. But the things I have habitually "seen" [as mentioned in the title to this work] are all those which of the Lord's Divine mercy you may see related in this First Part, and which are placed at the beginning and end of the several chapters. These are not visions, but things seen in the highest wakefulness of the body, and this for several years.*  (AC 1885)

 

15.5     Persuasive and Blind Faith

 

 

15.6     Rational Faith and Rational Love

 

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

TCR 371. (iii) The link with the Lord is reciprocal, so that the Lord is in the person, and he is in the Lord.

Scripture teaches, and the reason too can see, that the link is reciprocal. The Lord teaches that His link with the Father is reciprocal, for He says to Philip:

Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? Believe me, I am in the Father, and the Father is in me. John 14:10, 11. So that you may know and believe that the Father is in me and I am in the Father. John 10:38.

Jesus said, Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, so that your Son too may glorify you. John 17:1.

Father, all that is mine is yours, and all that is yours is mine. John 17:10.

The Lord's description of His link with man is similar, that is, as being reciprocal; for He says:

Remain in me and I in you. He who remains in me, and I in him, bears much fruit. John 15:4, 5.

He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. John 6:56.

On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. John 14:20.

If anyone performs Christ's commands, he remains in Christ and Christ in him. 1 John 3:24; 4:13.

If anyone shall confess that Jesus* is the Son of God, God remains in him, and he in God. 1 John 4:15.

If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I shall come in to him, and dine with him, and he with me. Rev. 3:20.
 

[2] These plain statements make it obvious that the link between the Lord and man is reciprocal; and it follows inevitably from this that a person ought to link himself with the Lord, so that the Lord may link Himself with him. It also follows that the consequence would otherwise be not linking, but removal and separation, though this is not on the Lord's part, but on man's. In order to make the link reciprocal, man has been given free choice, allowing him to set foot on the road to heaven, or the road to hell. This gift of freedom is the source of man's ability to reciprocate, so that he can link himself with the Lord or with the devil. But more illustrations will be offered of that freedom, its nature and the reason it has been given to man, in the following chapters dealing with free will, repentance, reformation and regeneration, and imputation.

[3] It is to be deplored that the reciprocal linking of the Lord and man, despite the clarity of its statement in the Word, is still unknown to the Christian church. The reason for this ignorance is the theories held about faith and free will. The theories about faith are that faith is conferred without man contributing anything to its acquisition, or adapting himself to receive it or making any more effort than a block of wood. The theories about free will are that man has not so much as a grain of free will in spiritual matters. But to prevent the reciprocal linking of the Lord and man, on which the salvation of the human race depends, from remaining any longer hidden in ignorance, I am compelled to make it known; and there is no better way of doing this than through illustrative examples.

[4] There are two kinds of reciprocation leading to linking: one is alternate, the other mutual. Alternate reciprocation leading to linking can be illustrated by the breathing of the lungs. A person inhales air, using it to expand the chest, and then expels the inhaled air, so contracting the chest. The act of inhaling and the consequent expansion is effected by means of the force exerted by the atmospheric pressure; but the expulsion of air and consequent contraction is effected by means of the muscular effort operating on the ribs. Such is the reciprocal link between the air and the lungs, and on it depends the functioning of the senses and movement throughout the body; for if respiration ceases, both of these fail.

[5] Reciprocal linking by alternate action can also be illustrated by the heart's link with the lungs and the lungs' link with the heart. The heart supplies blood from its right chamber to the lungs, and the lungs return it to the left chamber of the heart. This produces a reciprocal link, and on it the life of the whole body is totally dependent. There is a similar link of the blood with the heart, and of the heart with the blood; the blood from the whole of the body flows through the veins into the heart, and flows out of the heart through the arteries to the whole of the body, so that its action and reaction constitute a link. There is a similar action and reaction, which keeps a link in being, between the embryo and the mother's womb.

[6] However, the reciprocal link between the Lord and man is not of this sort; it is a mutual link, achieved not by actions and reactions, but by co-operation. For the Lord acts, and the man receives the action from the Lord, and works as if of himself, to be precise, of himself from the Lord. This working on the man's part coming from the Lord is imputed to him as if it were his, since he is perpetually kept by the Lord in a state of free will. The freedom which he has in consequence is the ability to will and think from the Lord, that is, from the Word, and also the ability to will and think from the devil, that is, contrary to the Lord and the Word. The Lord gives man this freedom so that he can enter into a reciprocal link, and by its means be granted everlasting life and blessedness; for this is unattainable without a reciprocal link.

[7] This kind of mutual reciprocal link too can be illustrated by various features of man and the world. Such is the link between the soul and the body in each individual. Such is the link between the will and action or between the thought and speech. Such is the link between the two eyes, the two ears and the two nostrils. The linking of the two eyes being, in its own fashion, reciprocal, is clear from the optic nerve; in this fibres from either hemisphere of the brain are twined round one another, and thus entwined proceed towards either eye. The case with the ears and nostrils is similar.

[8] There is a similar mutual reciprocal link between light and the eye, sound and the ear, smell and the nose, taste and the tongue, and touch and the body. For the eye is in light and light is in the eye, sound is in the ear and the ear is in sound, smell is in the nose and the nose is in smell, taste is in the tongue and the tongue is in taste, and touch is in the body and the body is in touch. This sort of reciprocal linking can also be compared with that of a horse with a carriage, that of an ox with a plough, that of a wheel with a machine, that of a sail with the wind, that of a flute with the air. To sum up, such is the reciprocal link between end and cause, or between cause and effect. There is, however, no room to explain all these one by one, since it would take a great many pages. (TCR 371)

 

15.7    Fundamentalism and External Worship

For an in depth analysis, please see:  James, Leon. (2003) Moses, Paul, and Swedenborg: Three Steps in Rational Spirituality. Available at:  www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy/instructor/gloss/moses.html

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

SE 5936. WOMEN WHO PREACH. Women who think in the way men do on religious subjects, and talk much about them, and still more if they preach in meetings, do away with the feminine nature, which is affectional; owing to which they must be with married men: they also become material, so that affection perishes and their interiors are closed. They also begin to develop a tendency, as regards the thoughts, to take up with crazes; which takes place because the affection, being then destroyed, causes the intellectual to be crazy. In outward form, indeed, they are still able to appear like other women. In a word, they become sensual in the last degree. Woman belongs to the home; and she [becomes] of a different nature where [she engages in] preaching. (SE 5936)

The correspondential sense of SE 5936, to be confirmed in the literal sense of the Writings Sacred Scripture where marked (zzz)

“women who preach” = the proprial self-intelligence and self-love of a man or a woman (zzz -- see why Eve from man’s rib)

“women who think the way men do” = the thoughts of a man or a woman when led by self-intelligence and self-love (zzz)

“do away with the feminine nature, which is affectional” = what is contrary to the regenerated will or disorder in the individual’s willing in daily activities (feelings, intentions, emotions) (zzz)

“owing to which they must be with married men: they also become material” = the proprial unregenerate will of men and women is corporeal and sensuous, which is infernal (“to be with married men” = adultery = corruption of the will) (zzz)

“so that affection perishes and their interiors are closed” = a man or woman prior to being regenerated is in the order of hell. (zzz)

So that the first half of SE 5936 becomes in its true meaning:

The proprial self-intelligence and self-love of a man or a woman, that is, the thoughts of a man or a woman when led by self-intelligence and self-love, are contrary to the regenerated will, indicating disorder in the individual’s willing in daily activities (feelings, intentions, emotions). This proprial unregenerate will of men and women is corporeal and sensuous, which is infernal. Thus, a man or woman prior to being regenerated is in the order of hell.

 

15.8    Rational Spirituality and Internal Worship

 

 

15.9     Resurrection and Resuscitation of the Dead

 

 

15.10     Children in Heaven

Quoting from the Writings Sacred Scripture:

HH 345. What the difference is between those who die in childhood and those who die in mature life will also be told. Those dying in mature life have a plane acquired from the earthly and material world, and this they carry with them. This plane is their memory and its corporeal natural affection. This remains fixed and is then quiescent, but still serves their thought after death as an outermost plane, since thought inflows into it. Consequently such as this plane is, and such as the correspondence is between the things that are in it and the rational faculty, such is the man after death. But little children who die in childhood and are educated in heaven do not have such a plane, but they have a spiritual-natural plane, since they derive nothing from the material world and the earthly body. For this reason, they cannot be in such gross affections and consequent thoughts, since they derive all things from heaven. Moreover, these little children do not know that they were born in the world, but believe that they were born in heaven. Neither do they know about any other than a spiritual birth effected through the cognitions of good and truth and through the intelligence and wisdom, from which man is a man; and as these are from the Lord they believe themselves to be the Lord's own, and love to be so. Nevertheless, it is possible for the state of men who grow up on the earth to become as perfect as the state of little children who grow up in heaven, provided they put away bodily and earthly loves, which are the loves of self and the world, and receive in their place spiritual loves. (HH 345)

 

15.11     Marriage in Heaven

 

 

15.12     The Clergy, Sacraments, and the Priesthood

 

 



The Writings of Swedenborg are available on the Web in a searchable format at:

 www.theheavenlydoctrines.org   and at  www.smallcanonsearch.com
and at  www.swedenborgdigitallibrary.org/index1a.html