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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 Divine Love and Wisdom (3)


Forgiveness By Any Other Name

Vaishali condenses Swedenborg's writings into one compact statement of purpose. She encourages everyone to identify themselves with Divine Love and Wisdom, and explains how this is the key that unlocks heaven within us. What can stand against this love? If you'd like more on the topic of forgiveness, check out the brand new issue of New Church Connection magazine. -Editor

If I were to distill all of Emanuel Swedenborg’s writings into one concentrated principle it would be this: You are what you Love and you Love whatever you give your attention to. In the same way that the Earth circles around the Sun, everything revolves around this Law - every facet of human and spiritual existence.

Think of this Law as running sunlight through a prism. It reveals a spectrum of colors, the true essence of light, that is invisible to the naked eye. Everything is understandable and knowable in light of this Law. There is no spiritual maturity without embracing it and making one’s peace with it.

To further explore this Truth let’s see it in action. Take forgiveness for example. What is it? How does it happen? What does it look like? How does it feel? How can you be sure you are in a right relationship with it? Forgiveness is a choice, your choice, to grow beyond what has hurt you. But it is more than that. It is having the power to grow beyond any and all limitations.

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A Common Heart

Chelsea writes of how religion, while becoming more central to peoples lives generally, is also the justification for increasing aggression between people of differing faiths. She calls on humanity to recognize our common heart, and shows us how New Church doctrine is uniquely suited to inform the growing desire for interfaith respect and love. -Editor.

Effort to understand people of various religions is needed right now in our national and global society. Religious intolerance and extremism are current issues in American society and around the globe. The combination of increasing religiousness world-wide and a vastly interconnected global society makes it nearly impossible for people of different religious identities not to cross paths. These current circumstances raise the question: is it possible under conditions of such close proximity for the world’s religious variety to coexist harmoniously?

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Tent Talk: Unexpected Treasures

If you ever find yourself in the wilds of Alaska, stuck in a tent with an obnoxious teenager, you will wish you had read this article by Lauren Anderson. In it she recounts her experience of a surprising opportunity to talk about the big questions of life. Are humans more than animals? Did the universe come from nothing? -Editor

During the month of July, I embarked on an outdoor adventure that would test my tolerance for adverse weather, steep boulder-clad slopes, and adolescent men with drug and attitude problems. My sea-kayaking and backpacking trip through south-central Alaska, indeed, was more of a social challenge than a physical challenge. The challenge was that the average age of my eleven-member student group was seventeen. The culture shock of interacting (for the first time ever in my life) with teens from affluent families and worldly backgrounds of blatant abuse of drugs, alcohol, and sex, was quite shocking and rather dismaying. One lad, in particular, let’s call him Peter, was a huge test of my patience due to his meticulous ability to shirk most work with procrastination and poor excuses, his disrespect of others made apparent by his colorful and repugnant vocabulary, and his disrespect of the environment, which was unfortunately exacerbated by his laziness. It pains me to speak ill of so ill of one, however, which is why I am quite pleased to relay my best (as in, most pleasant and somehow profound) interaction with Peter, and the coincidental – or, more accurately, providential – lessons I learned from it.

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