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In these days of increasing life expectancy, there are now large numbers of people living well into their ninth or even tenth decade. One experience that many of them seem to have in common is that they simply donít feel so old inside. Despite the gradual ageing of the physical body the inner spirit doesnít appear to age at all. We might wonder how such an old body can sustain such a young and vital spirit. The answer is, of course, that it doesnít.

The physical body is not the source of our life but only the most outward receptacle of it. Life comes to us from a higher source and we are merely recipients of it. Emanuel Swedenborg wrote in True Christian Religion 504:

 

ďA human being is an instrument for life; and God alone is life. God pours His life into the instrument and all its parts, just as the sun pours its heat into a tree and all its partsĒ

 

life dnaWe all enjoy the springtime and love to see the effects of the sunís increasing light and heat on the plants and trees. Under the influence of the sunís energy a tree comes back to life. It is soon covered with colourful blossom and dressed with leaves; in course of time it produces its delicious fruit. None of this life and beauty would be possible unless the tree was filled with the light and heat of the sun. The tree cannot live from itself, but must draw its life from the sun above.

In the spiritual world God appears high above the heavens in the form of a sun. Like our natural sun this pours forth light and heat upon all who dwell in the heavens. However, in essence, the light of that sun is wisdom and the heat is love, both coming forth from the Divine Creator. Under the influence of this light and heat the angels are able to live a faithful and loving life.

This same spiritual sun is also our life source. It pours forth its heat and light into our souls and minds, bringing life to every spiritual faculty within us. In this way the human spirit is enabled to love and think. As our spirit is located in the spiritual world from the very beginning it is not subject to the laws of space and time and so does not age. Our physical body is merely the natural clothing of this spirit; it lives from it by correspondence, in the same way that a kind deed lives from a loving thought. Being subject to the laws of space and time in the natural world, however, the physical body does age and eventually die, at which point the inner spirit is clothed with a new spiritual body.

Because we each draw our life from the Divine Creator we can never find meaning, contentment, and joy whilst we persist in the effort to live from our own resources alone. Jesus reminds us that, ďApart from me you can do nothingĒ (John 15:5). It is only by linking up with the Divine in Human form and living in him and from him that we can begin to experience the full richness and beauty of human life. He is the source and we shall always be restless until we rest in him.

 

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