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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 love to the Lord (1)


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.