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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 perception (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 | Trusting the Word

“And Jehovah God commanded the human concerning it, saying, ‘From every tree of the garden you are definitely to eat’” (Genesis 2:16).

To eat from every tree is to depend on perception in order to know and recognize what is good and true; a tree is perception” (Secrets of Heaven 125).

“If we do not rely on the world for our wisdom, on the other hand, but on the Lord, we tell ourselves at heart to believe in the Lord, that is, in all that the Lord has said in the Word, because those are reliable truths. This is the principle in which we base our thinking. We use rational argument, factual knowledge, sensory evidence, and physical phenomena in confirmation, but whatever fails to confirm the Word we put aside” (Secrets of Heaven 128).

Definitely eat of every tree in the garden; depend on perception from the Lord to know and recognize what is good and true. For me I read, “TRUST;” trust the perception I get from the Word.

In Secrets of Heaven 128 it teaches that we should use worldly knowledge to confirm perception and not the other way around; and if something doesn’t confirm our perception, to put it aside. So often when I read the Word, the loving, true ideas in it directly oppose false ideas I’ve been holding onto (…go figure). It’s almost laughable how hard it is to cast these false ideas aside and let myself believe something more loving and promising of my eternal happiness: like the simple message that I don’t need to worry! The Lord’s thoughts are not my thoughts. I want to trust the Lord’s thoughts, which are available in the Word. So I’ll work on trusting for now and maybe eventually my trust will turn into a continual reliance on what I hear the Lord telling me through the Word.