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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 the will (1)


Meditate | My Dear Self-Interest

“The tree of lives is love and the faith it leads to; in the middle of the garden means in the will that belongs to the inner self.

The main thing the Lord possesses in a person or angel is the will, which the Word refers to as the heart. Since none of us can do good on our own, our will or heart is not ours, even though it is described as ours. What is truly our own is self-interest, which we call our will.

Because the will is in the middle of the garden, in which stands the tree of lives, and we have no will aside from self-interest, this tree is the Lord’s mercy, the source of all love and faith and so of all life” (Secrets of Heaven 105).

I remember vividly a number of years ago waking up in the morning from sleep with the phrase, “there is love in your heart,” reverberating through my mind. It felt like a huge awakening. Acknowledging this phrase as true meant trusting the Lord to supply love to me in or through my heart. Reading this passage takes me to the next level—the Lord IS my heart! It’s not my heart at all; the only thing that is my own is self-interest! Contemplating this in meditation, my heart feels like it is a glowing red, vibrant center giving light, warmth, and life to the rest of my body. It is by living from my heart that I truly can live from the Lord.

So next in my meditation, I think about my day. My will is self-interest, and the Lord’s is my heart. Yes, after examination, I realize everything I want to do today—“my plan”—is self-interest: I have a haircut appointment; I need to do laundry; I have an interview scheduled…all self-interest. Then I ask, “What is the Lord’s will?” What would it look like? What would I do today if I lived from my heart and humbled my self-interest to that…?

I have no answer at all. Then I realize, of course I don’t know—I’m all self-interest! So then it comes to me—“live from love according to faith.” This simple phrase just keeps repeating itself in my mind. This means sacrificing knowing the future and any attachment I have to what I’ll really end up doing today, because to live from the Lord, from the heart, means to live in the present; to live without self-interest is to live in the present because self-interest immediately wants to know the future and “what’s in it for me?” So I’ve got to go do that now—live from love according to faith. That changes my perspective on my day!