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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 regeneration (4)


Meditate | Spiritual Transformation as Erosion by Water

Meditate is a monthly column in which insights gained from meditating on the Word are shared. We welcome your insights, too, in the form of comments or even your own article. Contact us if you'd like to write a submission for this column. -Editor

“And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory” (Ezekiel 43:2).

“His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength” (Revelation 1:15-16).

“And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live…for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes” (Ezekiel 47:9).

“‘Living waters’ are often mentioned in the Word, and by them are meant truths that come to us from the Lord and are received. These are living, because the Lord is life itself…The Lord also…opens the spiritual parts of our mind, and imparts to us the affection of truth; and the spiritual affection of truth is the very life of heaven within us” (Apocalypse Explained 483 as quoted in What Would Love Do? By John Odhner and Sasha Silverman).

“ ...the earth is full of the knowledge of Jehovah, as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9).

The Bishop of the General Church of the New Jerusalem released a statement a couple of weeks ago saying the policy of the General Church would not be changing with regard to women’s ordination. My meditation on the ideas in the passages above along with processing my own thoughts and feelings about the state of the General Church, of which I am a member, led me to writing the following poem as I considered the prospect and process of an organizational shift in the General Church that would allow for the ordination of women as priests. I offer it here for your own contemplation.

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A Taste for Sweetness

Alanna writes about the development of taste in infancy - sweet first, and only later salty, sour, bitter and savory - and how this progression mirrors spiritual growth. -Editor.

I recently listened to an interview of the chef Grant Achatz conducted by Terry Gross for her program “Fresh Air.” Achatz was diagnosed with tongue cancer. His treatments were ultimately successful, but he lost his sense of taste in the process. Remarkably, his sense of taste has been gradually restored, beginning first with sweetness and then progressively incorporating the others tastes- bitterness, sourness, saltiness, and umami. Achatz reasoned that this process followed the basic development of the sense of taste in infants, which begins with an appreciation of sweetness. This idea instantly reflected a few truths to me about the Lord and his relationship to us. It mirrors how the Lord leads us through pleasure.

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Meditate | The Context of our Human Nature

“He chose to be born and in fact to be born into a religion that had sunk all the way down into a hellish, diabolical kind of selfhood, through self-love and materialism. He was born in order to unite his divinely heavenlike selfhood to a human one, in the context of his human nature, by the use of his divine power, so that they could be one inside him. Had he not united them, the world would have ended in total destruction” (Secrets of Heaven 256).

This seems like the quintessential passage for my entire process up until now of learning about the dynamic of the inner and outer self, and how to live from the inner self versus the outer. This passage teaches what the Lord did and it is the task of our lives. This is the reason for being alive—to be sewn to heaven and the Lord the way the Lord did himself. We are that religion, that selfhood built of self-love and materialism, and the Lord uses his divine power to unite a heavenly selfhood to us, to make our human selfhood heavenly. He transforms it.

I love how it says that the Lord’s work occurred in the context of his human nature, which to me means that the Lord can bring about this transformation in me in the very context of my human nature—all of it, all of my evil tendencies, tendencies to be mean, to get frustrated, annoyed, impatient; the context of my everyday living is the stuff, the medium, through which I will and am undergoing transformation.

The Lord didn’t make an exception for himself. He didn’t remove his process, his experience, from the gritty stuff of the context of human nature. That would have made his work pointless and useless. The context is so essential. It is so essential to recognize that transformation happens in your very, current context—in your human nature.   


Meditate | Eventide

“When spiritual people (who are now the ‘sixth day’) begin to turn heavenly (a process first alluded to here), they have reached the eve of the Sabbath. In the Jewish religion, this was represented by the commencement of the Sabbath observance in the evening” (Secrets of Heaven 86).

I am glad to be reminded that evening happens even when we reach the sixth day. We have to go through the evening. It is so easy for me to get caught up in the idea that, “if I’m becoming more heavenly, then shouldn’t things be getting easier?” But no, cycles are essential and there is an evening before the morning of even the sixth day. This is the divine order.

Your thoughts?