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New Church Perspective
is an online magazine with essays and other content published weekly. Our features are from a variety of writers dealing with a variety of topics, all celebrating the understanding and application of New Church ideas. For a list of past features by category or title, visit our archive.

Entries in change (3)


The Love to Change

People can and do change, but it't not so glamorous, romantic and spontaneous as movies and books often make it seem. It isn't easy and it isn't always pretty but, as Clark discusses in this week's article, Jesus provided us with many examples and many tools that we need in order to change and grow into our "authentic" selves. Even if that change is so slow it isn't completed in this world. -Editor.

The movie “Fifty Shades of Grey” was recently released. While it may seem to be an excellent study of human nature, I will not go see it because any message about positive human change will be quite obscured by the salacious content. The message will be completely missed by most viewers who only want to be titillated (yes that is a word. Go look it up!).

The Word is full of examples of how humans change. Sadly, we are not shown very many examples of it in the various forms of media these days. There are many movies that purport to show how a person learns a lesson about their humanity through experiencing their depravity. While such a book or movie may be an excellent study of human nature, any message about human change is hidden from most readers and viewers who only want to be voyeurs. There are a number of movies that more accurately and appropriately reveal the mechanism of change in human beings. They are not as viscerally exciting because they portray how change really happens: human change is a process that begins within the individual human spirit, when God’s love and wisdom are voluntarily brought to support an individual’s motivation, thought, speech and act.

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Bryn Athyn Cathedral with Jim Adams

In this episode, Todd and Pearse interview Jim Adams about goings-on at the Bryn Athyn Cathedral--past, present, and future. He describes the recent renovations to the building and the services and tours available to visitors and worshippers. Hear Jim on the Cathedral's new status as a national historic landmark and live streaming of Sunday services. Why will workers soon be drilling 500 feet into the Cathedral hill, not once but 40 times? Find out on this episode!

Bryn Athyn Cathedral with Jim Adams


Meditate | It's Not About "Getting There?"

Spiritual and heavenly things—as a group and individually—go through cycles, for which the daily and yearly cycles are metaphors. The daily cycle begins in the morning, extends to midday, then to evening, and through night to morning. The corresponding annual cycle begins with spring, extends to summer, then to fall, and through winter to spring.

These changes create changes in temperature and light and in the earth’s fertility, which are used as metaphors for changes in spiritual and heavenly conditions. Without change and variation, life would be monotonous and consequently lifeless. There would be no recognition or differentiation of goodness and truth, let alone any awareness of them. Secrets of Heaven 37

In an earlier passage than the one cited above, Swedenborg explains how for those whose love and faith are united, as is the case in heavenly angels, their love reveals all religious knowledge to them (34).This strikes me as a very powerful idea. A life focused on loving the Lord and the neighbor is capable of providing all religious knowledge, and yet all things, even spiritual and heavenly things go through cycles like the days and years. Cycles are inevitable or else we would have no way of being aware of goodness and truth (I write this from a feeling of amazement more than conviction). The day and night and the seasons are on account of variations of heat and light; there are different levels at different times, but it always leads to morning and it always leads to spring.

So it all comes back to morning and spring, but there is wisdom to be found—a deeper awareness of goodness and truth—by going through every part of the cycle, including the night and the cold of winter. In a lot of ways the complexity of how the Lord leads us in our levels of love and truth and takes care of our evil and falsity is beyond me; but it is enough for me to remember and hold at the front of my mind that change and variation—even in heavenly and spiritual things, which I take to mean things in myself, in my will and intellect, that have to do with loving the Lord and the neighbor—are essential and inevitable. Continual change and variation in spiritual and heavenly things in my life is an essential part of the process.