creations of lost civilisations such as Stonehenge and stone circles demand that
scholars make educated guesses as to the minds and motives of an ancient people.
On a grander scale much of modern scientific study
focuses on discovering the cause that lies behind the known material world; from
the origin of matter to the origin of mind.
Since the time of Darwinian theories there has been a
polarisation of opinion as to the nature of this cause. Much of the scientific
community accepts a material cause. Others believe in a spiritual cause
referring to it as, ”Spirit”, “Life Force”, “Energy”, “Mother Nature” or they
favour Creationist beliefs.
offers a rational and beautifully simple but very profound cause. He declares
that the mind and motives of God can only be known through God revealing himself
to his creatures. He says that God revealed Himself as Divine Love and this is
the origin of creation. He points out that for us to really understand first
causes we have to raise our reason above the senses because these only
experience material and not spiritual things.
“Anyone can see,
if he is able in his thinking to raise his reason above the level of the senses,
that life cannot be created. For what is life but the activity of love and
wisdom in the inmost? And these are in God, and are God. This life too can be
called the life force itself.” True
Christian Religion 471
For him the origin of creation is God and God is Divine Love and Divine
Divine Love is the first cause of creation and Divine Wisdom
gives it form. Divine Love and Wisdom is substantial and enduring. He uses the
singular because they can not exist without each other. It is the only reality
and everything else arises from it. We often talk about love and wisdom as
things emanating from and outside a person in their sphere, actions and speech
but Swedenborg teaches that they are the person themselves from which everything
else flows. The mind and body through feelings thought and action are their
instruments. For Swedenborg both the spiritual world and the natural or physical
world are an expression of the very real substance and form of Divine Love and
The Purpose of Life is the Purpose of Divine Love.
Swedenborg gives Divine Love three essentials which define
its nature and purpose and therefore the nature and purpose of creation.
1.To love others other than itself and to want to give itself to them.
It is through Divine Wisdom that this purpose is given form
in the creation of the universe. Each created object is a finite receptacle of
Divine Love and Wisdom. However it can never become the Divine Love itself. Thus
the infinity of God is reflected in the infinite variety of forms of creation.
No daisy is like another. The desire to love others is expressed by every
created object “serving” the rest of creation in its own unique way.
2. To want to become one with them and so form a relationship with them.
Divine Love needs to create subjects apart from itself who
have the freedom to reciprocate that love and become one. This is never Nirvana
but always remains a relationship. In our God given freedom of choice we can
reject Divine Love by using life so that it becomes self-serving. Rather than
desiring to give to others we take everything we can from them.
3. To want their eternal happiness.
Creative Love experiences its joy and delight in the joy and
delight experienced by its creation. We hear it expressed in the dawn chorus and
the laughter and joy of little babies. Its ultimate purpose is to create a
heaven of angels from the human race. These people have freely chosen to find
their joy in bringing happiness to others. Their life has become a reflection of
the Divine Love and Wisdom of their creator.
We may never know the minds of the creators of Stonehenge. In
contrast Swedenborg presents a clear and rational picture of the mind of God. He
encourages us to see the whole of creation with its deeply complex and wonderful
forms as the manifestation of the Love and Wisdom of its creator.