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How God Reveals Himself to us

Since the dawn of time, there has always been a correspondence between spiritual qualities and the created forms of the material universe. The latter are sometimes said to ‘mirror’ the former. For instance, the human ear represents obedience, (‘give ear to my words’), gold the eternal nature of Divine Love because it is the colour of the sun in heaven and does not tarnish, a branching tree represents developing thought and so on.

spiritual growthEmanuel Swedenborg discovered that the most ancient of primitive people were highly intuitive and their consciousness seemed to move between this world and higher spiritual realms. They conversed with angels and the Lord God appeared to them in angelic form. The objects of this material world were to them aspects of God revealing Himself to them. All creation was an expression of the Divine Creator , and everything, including themselves was perceived as one. Everything was an integrated whole. Their intuitive perceptions were connected with their viewing of the material objects of nature so that these became instantly symbolic of spiritual qualities within themselves. The combined double effect of the heavenly things they saw through the ‘eyes of their spirits’ and the things they saw through ‘material eyes’ in this world was to them, Divine revelation.

As time progressed, people gradually lost this ability to intuit higher realms of existence and they became more and more focused on what was going on in this material world (materialism). Eventually, for most, this world became the only reality.

At some point in our unrecorded history, the most ancient people changed and became more intellectual, whilst language and writing were born. God then provided them with a written revelation or ‘Word’. They were now much more reliant upon the senses of their bodies and less on the intuition of their spirits. This 'Ancient Word', which has now become lost, revolved around correspondential myths of gods and goddesses (aspects of Divinity), of a Creation of the world and a ‘Fall’ of mankind. It contained legends of peoples’ struggles against evil, of heroes who prevailed against difficulties, temptations and tribulation. Aspects of Greek Mythology and the Egyptian and Hindu pantheons, and indeed all world religions probably include remnants in some form or another of this Ancient Word. According to Swedenborg, the first seven chapters of Genesis in the Bible were taken straight from this Ancient Word.

According to the Bible, when God called Abram out of Ur (see Genesis Ch.12), the saga of the Hebrew, Israelite and eventually Jewish people began. Their recorded history became the Old Testament as we know it today. This seems to have accompanied a continuing development of materialism of the people on Earth. During this period, God revealed Himself to the Israelites in various material ways such as a Voice speaking out of a burning bush, a guiding pillar of flame, as well as various other miraculous happenings.

According to Swedenborg, the continuing ‘Fall’ into materialism was finally arrested with the incarnation of Jesus Christ, (a radically new personal form of Divine revelation). By this means ‘cosmic’ processes were established which allowed people to begin to reconnect again with the ‘higher realms’ of spirit. The Old and New Testaments contain an inner correspondential meaning which is now accessible through a knowledge of correspondences. These inner meanings describe the nature of higher realms of existence, cosmic processes, and the make up and workings of the human psyche as an expression and receptacle of Divine Life. Knowledge of these things aid a descent into the human spirit of Divine Love and Wisdom, and a relationship with the Divine which brings about lasting inner peace, contentment and happiness, and a building of heaven within.

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