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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 self (2)


“The Ball Is In Your Court”

Peter has taken three essential concepts of the New Church—love, wisdom and use—and condensed each one into a strong statement of purpose. They illuminate the role we must play as individuals in cooperating with the Lord and His providence. -Editor.

One of the things that has always struck me about the teachings of the New Church is the significant role the Lord gives us in charting our own destiny. Not only is this true in the big picture of our lives, namely whether we choose to live in heaven or in hell, it is also true of so many facets of the life we live along the way. We are called to obey the Lord’s teachings, to repent of certain things, to be life-long students of the Lord’s Word, to believe in the Lord and trust in His providence, to seek enlightenment, to pray, to engage in worship, to be useful, to care for one another, and to figure things out for ourselves. It’s true that the Lord’s part will always be larger than our own, and that we are called to acknowledge that we don’t do anything good without His help, but there is no doubt that He has set up the system in such a way that requires our engagement. There are three phrases that I’ve discovered which now serve as a consistent reminder of this theme of “doing my part.” One came in the context of marriage, one arose out of a mental exercise I was asked to engage in, and the third came out of my pastoral work.

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Buddhism and the New Church

Ian gives a brief but insightful comparison between Buddhist and New Church ideas. For a consideration of what to make of differences in religion turn to Isaac's article Even as We are One.

All true religion is founded on the idea that love is the heart of human life. Both the New Church and Buddhism hold religious visions in which humanity's higher reality is one of love. More interesting are the perspectives Swedenborgians and Buddhists share on why, if love is our highest reality, we do not feel love all the time—or even at all. They also share common themes on how we can become a part of this higher reality. Buddhist teachings stress the idea of non-attachment to our desires; whether they are for material possessions, physical pleasures, thoughts or emotional states. The teaching of non-attachment is compared easily to Swedenborg's view of love of self and of the world: love of self being an obsession and preoccupation with our self and our desires and love of the world being an imbalanced craving for possessions, wealth and pleasure. It is our attachments to these things that lead us into the negative states we feel during our life.

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