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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 heavenly character (2)


Meditate | "Lord Willing!"

“The ignorance about [perception] is so great that people are capable of believing it to be a kind of ongoing revelation, or else something instinctive. Some suppose that it is no more than make-believe, while others have other ideas. Yet perception is the epitome of the heavenly character that the Lord gives to those who have a loving belief in him” (Secrets of Heaven 536).

I feel like I’ve fallen under the idea before—and translated it into my whole life—that perception is “ongoing revelation.” Life—once it’s all in order, once I’m ‘living the heavenly life’—always will feel good. It will be just an ongoing experience of blissful revelation—joy, perpetual good feelings, wise insights, the whole bit. But perception is not ongoing revelation. Thank goodness, really, because being under the impression that my life is somehow meant to have a relentless effusion of positivity, and being faced with the reality that it clearly doesn’t, is a combination ripe to get me feeling down. So what is perception?

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Meditate | Expansion of the Center

 “In every subsequent church, the inmost part, closest to the Lord, has also been the Sabbath. The same holds true for all regenerate people when they develop a heavenly nature…

‘If you turn your foot back from the Sabbath by not doing your own desire on my holy day; if you refer to those things that belong to the Sabbath as pleasures honoring the holiness of Jehovah, and you honor [the Sabbath] by not going your own ways and not gaining your own desire or speaking a word [of your own]; then you will be a pleasure to Jehovah, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth and will feed you the inheritance of Jacob’ (Isaiah 58: 13, 14).

Heavenly people act not on their own desire but on the Lord’s pleasure, which is his desire. So they are blessed with inner peace and happiness (their being ‘lifted up on the heights of the earth’) and at the same time with outer calm and enjoyment (their being ‘fed with Jacob’s inheritance’)” (Secrets of Heaven 85).

The first part of this passage is reason for meditation—to connect to that inmost part and experience the Sabbath there.

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