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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-examination (8)


Meditate | Adverse Learning

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

“Cease to do evil, learn to do good” (Isaiah 1:16-17).

“In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: surely God has appointed the one as well as the other” (Ecclesiastes 7:14).

The other day I read a very clear statement that speaks to an ongoing issue in my spiritual growth: it’s okay to feel angry, it’s not okay to act on it. This statement came into my mind like a drop of soap in dirty water. After reading it, I went about my day and had the idea to track when I felt angry—to approach this feeling with curiosity, to “consider in the day of adversity.” The only “action” I would take when I felt angry was to make a note of what triggered my anger. It was surprisingly satisfying, rather than to have no action to take when I am feeling anger, to have something specific I would do—write it down, or in most cases, dictate it to a note on my phone! After doing this just for one day, I felt an ease, and less fear when the anger came up, because it no longer meant I acted out in a way I would regret a moment later.

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And When He Came to Himself

Isaac gives testimony to the inner reaches of his spirit. Laying self satisfaction aside, he witnesses the Lord in battle against the evil within him and vows to remain vigilant until His victory is sure. -Editor.

And when he came to himself ...he said, "How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants." And he arose, and came to his father. (Luke 15:17-20)

The Lord knows I have strayed very far from Him. Hell deceived me through many stages of rebellion to the point where I believed that I was almost fully reformed, and was ready to handle anything with the Word that was in me.

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Here Edmund expounds on holistic management principles as defined by Allan Savory. He finds that Savory's focus on the whole is a concept mirrored everywhere in Swedenborg's writings. These guidelines are as applicable to a farmer managing the natural resources around him as they are to an individual navigating his spiritual life. -Editor

Over the last year I've been studying the principles of Holistic Management as developed and described by Allan Savory. Savory's background was as a scientist and park ranger in the African bush. He developed a system of land management that has successfully reversed desertification, improved water availability, increased livestock and game populations, and helped stabilize unsettled human groups by improving their economic opportunities. Holistic Management centers on the development of a holistic goal and then using seven questions to test decisions, large or small, prior to instituting change.

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Come, Preach the Gospel!

Isaac invites all who have received the truth of the Lord's coming to proclaim the good news fearlessly. With the enthusiasm of a biblical prophet, he warns everyone to share what they have or risk losing it. - Editor

Brothers and Sisters, you who have heard and clearly received the message of the Lord’s coming in Power and Glory in the Clouds of Heaven, come! You who are stirred by a zeal to teach and to lead, come share the good news around the world. Stay not behind. Pat each other not on the back and say “Well that we have known.” I say no! Let the gospel burn inside you! Be not ashamed! Be not afraid! Be of good courage and confess the Lord before the nations! He who is ashamed will only receive shame. He who is timid will receive timidity! Fearful and doubting spirits have no part in the New Jerusalem, but are cast alive into the lake of fire. So let us encourage one another in the strength we have from the LORD!

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Using an Annoying Game to Deal With Annoying Thought Patterns

Malcolm throws a wrench into the gears of the ever calculating, meritorious self-machine. In so doing, he experiences moments of sincere love. Below, his strategy is revealed. - Editor

The Game

Have you heard of “The Game”? According to Wikipedia, there are 3 rules:

  1. Everyone in the world is playing The Game. (Sometimes narrowed to: “Everybody in the world who knows about The Game is playing The Game”, or alternatively, “You are always playing The Game.”) You cannot not play The Game; it does not require consent to play and you can never stop playing.
  2. Whenever one thinks about The Game, one loses.
  3. Losses must be announced to at least one person (either by using a statement such as “I Lost The Game” or by alternative means).

I played this for a little while in college and soon tired of it and stopped playing. Some might say that that’s not possible; nevertheless I accomplished it. I was not able, however, to stop people around me playing it. Most meals at the dining hall were punctuated by someone joyfully exclaiming, “I lost!” followed by a chorus of other “I lost”s.

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If you tend to procrastinate, worry not about this article. Normandy Alden's piece on procrastination get's right to point and will take you as little time to read as a few Facebook status messages. Normandy offers a useful reflection on what happens in our minds as we procrastinate and she also invites further discussion and reflection from her readers. Please share your experiences in the comment lines. -Editor

“I’ll have more time tomorrow. Besides, I have some phone calls to make… and I’ve got to run to the store before the weekend. Maybe the right snack would help me focus. Okay, Fig Newton’s were not the right snack, maybe a piece of cheese? I wonder what the weather will be like this week? Checking Facebook….”

These and similar thoughts have been the creation of my procrastinating mind. I have been procrastinating about writing this article for over a month, in fact. Originally, my idea was to write about the impact my yoga practice has had on my spiritual life. Once I realized that I had been procrastinating about the article because I didn’t really want to write on that topic at all, I decided that perhaps a more apt topic for me would be “Dealing with Procrastination”! What has finally brought me to the keyboard was the idea that I could apply spiritual tools to a very mundane, frustrating issue.

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