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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 understanding (2)


Keep the Puzzle Out

Reading the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg can be a daunting task. Detailed and specific with tiny yet powerful pieces, Yvonne relates her experience of reading the volumes of Arcana Coelestia or Secrets of Heaven with working on a puzzle. She enjoys doing large puzzles in collaboration with her family, and has had a similar experience reading through the Arcana with a reading group. Collectively they make the picture come clear more quickly than they would on their own. (Originally published in the 2008 Echo). -Editor

I love jigsaw puzzles. I don’t get much time to do them anymore but one of our family Christmas traditions was to have a new puzzle on a table to work on throughout the holiday. Colorful, complex, and challenging, putting together a puzzle is a lot like reading the Arcana. For me the excitement was no different. First of all, the volumes of the Arcana are books! Books in themselves hold the promise of intricate color and detail, and these particular books also represented a challenge and a promise of something even more.

So you bring the puzzle home and you dump it out and try to sort out this pile of disconnected pieces. The first time I cracked open Volume 1 and began to read was hard.

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Discernment: Reflections on 9/11 

Norm offers an unconventional perspective on the destruction of the Twin Towers. He finds the 9/11 Commission Report to be frightfully inadequate. As a Swedenborgian, he cannot accept un-rational explanations for events that have shaped our foreign policy so drastically over the last ten years. -Editor.

"Thought from the eye closes the understanding but thought from the understanding opens the eye" (Divine Love and Wisdom 46).

To speak out and challenge the official findings of the 9/11 Commission Report on the events of September 11th even in a relatively free society is ventured into with some degree of trepidation. Yet openness, and a willingness to express a divergent viewpoint from the norm is essential where truth and its pursuit are fundamental to freedom and democracy.

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