Helen writes about encountering a passage in a book that embodied a truth from the Writings about how the Lord views all people, in heaven and on earth, as one. With her knowledge of Swedenborg's vision for the New Christianity, she augments what she found in that book years ago. -Editor.
One evening I picked a book off the shelf at a library and it had the most beautiful thing: a list of the major religions of the world and each one's most important attribute. That was years ago, but I've never forgotten it and returned to the library to search for it.1 And there it was, right on the shelf, hopefully read a number of times since the last time I looked at it. Inside, the table of contents is what I found so beautiful, for it showed how all religions can be as one human in the Lord's eyes, and that the important qualities of each I need to nurture and develop. The following is the table of contents:
I had read something years before that had sparked my interest; it was a passage from Emanuel Swedenborg's Apocalypse Explained, and this table of contents showed me how it could be true. It said that in the Lord's way of seeing things, ”All angels of heaven and all men of the earth...are as one man" (note 1217). Then it went on to say that the Lord is the life of that human. The earthly humans included in this, of course, mean the ones who, in their minds, are becoming spiritually open.
Swedenborg's main thrust, back in 1758, was that a new Christianity was starting to come into being from the Lord, for the purpose of giving to people deeper insights into how He loves us, deeper meanings into the secrets of the Bible, and a deeper understanding that this natural world is not the final place where we will be living. Just as we lived within our mother's womb for the first nine months of our existence, there is another place we will be going on to, and that we will be living in forever. It is in that place these qualities will assume an even greater importance.
Swedenborg does his best to explain in his thirty-odd books of theology the deeper truths and affections which underlie the great work the Lord is doing at every moment. It is essential that the person cooperate with the Lord's effort and work, and it is through freedom of thinking and freedom of choice that this cooperation takes place. Funny that we humans consider the creating of the natural world God's monumental work, where the Lord considers his creating of a spiritual human within the natural one as the most important work he does, presently and in the past.
Considering all these things, I would like to add to the list of religions in that table of contents a New Christianity, one which is slowly being accepted throughout the world, and is slowly reforming people in the older religions to see things more deeply, to allow the heart to be reached and spoken to by the Lord, and to live with the promise that each one of us will live forever. How the religion with this new thrust fits into Andrew Harvey's table of qualities is yet to be seen. Its hallmark seems to be the need for truth to always seek its good, or, put another way, for love and wisdom to meet within the human mind and be married.
My addition to the list would read:
1The Essential Mystics: the Soul's Journey into Truth. Edited by Andrew Harvey.