Human nature can sometimes be pointed to as an excuse
for inappropriate behaviour: human nature can be condemned as an
unchangeable vehicle creating victims of its thought-patterns. At other
times, however, sweet-natured individuals can be experienced, too! Are
these two aspects of the same coin? Is a sweet nature the result of hard
work by an individual to rise above otherwise poor patterns of living?
One biblical image to reflect on for human spiritual nature is
Genesis Chapter 1 verses 26/27 –
“Then God said, ‘Let
us make man in our own image, in our likeness, … ' So God created man in
his own image, in the image of God he created him …”
Swedenborg suggests that the Divine Source is present in
everyone as images of Himself.
It may be helpful, therefore, for you to consider how
you experience God.
You may wish to consider that in these experiences
the qualities of human spiritual nature could be revealed.
In a variety of contexts the popular press seems to
report human nature as something quite negative – primarily seeking
after satisfying No.1. For example, in a recent discussion on ‘green
issues’ one report said that “…you might say, human nature being what
it is, the only way to promote mass greenism is via such an appeal to
enlightened self-interest. …”.
In other words, an early, perhaps immature, way of
concerning oneself with the welfare of others or the planet is to
increase one’s own benefits in the process.
Is human nature basically self-centred - looking
Is the Divine Nature
If God is a God of love and wisdom it then appears
that human nature reflecting a self-centred view of life needs to be
uplifted to make it into a human spiritual nature.
As day follows night, enlightenment follows darkness
of spirit: whether that darkness derives from ignorance or perhaps a
wilful putting aside of available revelation and inner knowing. Could it
be that an enlightened human nature – called for now human spiritual
nature - is received solely from a Divine Creative Source: much talked
about everyday human nature being a forerunner of a higher nature
available to every person?
Perhaps it may be said that light – being able to see
and or understand - is one image of a Higher Source. As in many dawns,
early morning light penetrates darkness and gives a new, fresh
In a context of human nature and human spiritual
nature perhaps human spiritual nature is somewhat higher, deeper or
purer. It may be argued that human spiritual nature is a revitalised
human nature: revitalised by choosing to receive and use existing images
of love and wisdom from a Higher Source?
Within the world of nature warmth accompanies light
and helps germinate things in the vegetable kingdom; warmth gives energy
to the animal kingdom. This natural world illustration could also be
taken as an indication of how the kingdom of a spiritual realm responds
to the love of God – embracing a sphere of trust, commitment, justice
and compassion! A combination of love as well as wisdom is needed to
reflect an image and likeness of God. Such a combination leaves the possibility of
holding an image of God which offers compassion and justice – a justice
which embraces the welfare of all concerned, including the learning of
lessons leading to adopting a willingness to change and living a path of
looks from the love present in him at the things that belong to that
love; and what he sees he calls truths because these are in harmony with
it. Everyone's love holds the light of his life within it, for love is
like a flame which radiates light. The nature of a person's love or
flame therefore determines that of the light of truth with him. Those
who are stirred by a love of good are able to see the things belonging
to that love, and so to see the truths that are in the Word. They do so
according to the amount and the quality of their love of good, for light
or intelligence flows in from heaven, that is, from the Lord by way of
Emanuel Swedenborg in
Arcana Caelestia 3798:2
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