None good but One
June 16, 2017 § 1 Comment
Our western culture appears to worship self-worth. We are encouraged to have a positive self-image of ourselves. Yet the Heavenly Doctrines teach us repeatedly that we are all nothing but evil. This is not a popular teaching. Yet the acknowledgement that we are nothing but evil is necessary if we are to live angelic lives.
It is true that evil spirits associated with us don’t mind if we cripple ourselves with overwhelming guilt and depression over this fact. But the acknowledgement of our evil nature does not have to involve such guilt and depression. It can be a simple recognition of a fact.
People who die in childhood do not have actual evils, as those who die in adulthood; but they do have hereditary inclinations to evils. Since they have not acquire any actual evil, it is easy for those who died in childhood to think that they are good. They have to be disabused of that idea.
I have spoken to angels about young children, whether these are free from evils since no evil of their own doing clings to them as it does to adults. But I have been told that they are just as much immersed in evil; indeed that they too are nothing but evil, but that as with all angels they are withheld from evil and maintained by the Lord in good, so much so that it seems to them as though they abode in good from themselves. This also is why, after young children have become adult in heaven, they are sometimes allowed to return to their evils which they acquired by heredity – lest any false notion should exist in them that good with them is derived from themselves and not from the Lord; and they are left immersed in those evils until they come to know, acknowledge, and believe that the truth is as has just been indicated. A certain person also who had died as a young child but who had grown up in heaven possessed a similar notion and was therefore taken back to the life of evils that was innate within him. At this point I was given to perceive from his sphere that he had an inclination to dominate others and that he thought nothing of lustful acts, which were evils that he possessed by heredity from his parents. But after he acknowledged that such was his character he was received back again among the angels with whom he had been previously. (AC 2207)