The Church

May 27, 2018 § Leave a comment

A person without spiritual good, that is, the good of charity, and without spiritual truths, that is, the truths of faith, does not belong to the Church in spite of having been born within the Church. The whole of the Lord’s heavenly kingdom possesses the good of love and faith, and unless the Church possesses good like that it cannot be the Church since it is not joined to heaven; for the Church is the Lord’s kingdom on earth.

[2] The term ‘Church’ is not used because it is the place where the Word is and teachings drawn from it, or because it is where the Lord is known and the sacraments are celebrated. Rather it is the Church because it lives in accordance with the Word or with teachings drawn from the Word, and seeks to make those teachings its rule of life. People who do not live like this do not belong to the Church but are outside it; and those who lead wicked lives, thus lives contrary to that teaching, are further away outside the Church than gentiles who know nothing whatever about the Word, the Lord, or the sacraments. For since those people are acquainted with the forms of good that the Church fosters and with the truths it teaches they annihilate the Church within themselves, something gentiles cannot do because they are unacquainted with those things. It should also be realized that everyone who leads a good life, in charity and faith, is a Church, and is a kingdom of the Lord. He is for that reason also called a temple, and a house of God too. Those who are Churches individually, no matter how remote from one another they may be, constitute one Church collectively. This then is the Church meant by the expression ‘the children of Israel’ here and in what follows. (AC 6637)


Quantum Mechanics and Theology

May 20, 2018 § 5 Comments

I have been reading about string theory in physics, and I came across this statement.

The [Heisenburg’s] uncertainty principle says that certain pairs of quantities can never be measured accurately at the same time.

Randall, Lisa. Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe’s Hidden Dimensions (p. 138). Harper Collins. Kindle Edition.

For some reason I was struck by the word “pairs.” I got to thinking. I wonder, and mind you this is a question, could this be said of “good and truth.”

Good and truth, of course, are pair quantities. Like position and momentum, good and truth always exist together. The uncertainty principle says, that more accurately we know the position of an electron, the less accurately we know it’s momentum. And vice a versa, the more accurately we know the momentum of an electron, the less accurately we know its’s position.

Does the uncertainty principle apply to good and truth? Is there a correspondence between how we can know position and momentum of an electron, and what we can know about good and truth?

Does for example, the more we understand the truth of something, obscure the good that lies within it? And does the more we know the good of something obscure the truth of it?

I don’t know the answer to these questions, but they are worth pondering.

I have observed in my readings of the Heavenly Doctrines that there are pairs of teachings that seem contradictory (like light being both a wave and a particle), but which are not. We can see one aspect at a time, but not both simultaneously. A classical example of this is that the Lord fore sees everything and we have free will. Or the Lord is all powerful and all good.


Confirmation of falsity

May 17, 2018 § Leave a comment

Falsity can be substantiated (confirmed) more readily than truth, because it encourages evil desires and accords with the illusions of the senses. (AC 6500)


Obscurity in heaven

May 13, 2018 § Leave a comment

We don’t normally think that those who dwell in heaven are in a state of obscurity, but sometimes they are.

Apparently all people entering heave begin their life there in a state of obscurity.

. . . people raised into heaven are at first in obscurity, for they cannot enter clear light until they have come to be in heaven and have learned from the Lord about truths through the angels into whose community they are sent. For a period of time is needed for the purpose of dispelling the obscurity brought on by falsities. (AC 6443)

This makes perfectly good sense. When we begin a new job, we begin in a state of obscurity. Even if we have done the job before, we have to learn how the new company does things. As we learn our new job and ways of the new company we leave the state of obscurity behind us, and enter into a state of enlightenment.


Torn Away!

May 6, 2018 § Leave a comment

I know that the Lord has to save us from hell. After all, we love our evils and really do not wish to give them up willingly. But the wording about this in the following passage really drove the point home to me:

‘From the plunder you have gone up, my son means that through the celestial the Lord accomplishes the deliverance of many from hell. This is clear from the meaning of ‘going up from the plunder’ as deliverance from hell, dealt with below; and from the representation of Judah, to whom ‘my son’ refers here, as the Divine celestial, dealt with in Arcana Coelestia 6363. The reason ‘going up from the plunder’ means deliverance from hell is that left to himself a person is in hell, for his will and thought, when they spring wholly from himself, are nothing but evil and derivative falsity, which tie him so firmly to hell that he cannot be torn away except by force. This tearing away and deliverance is what is called ‘the plunder’; and because that is effected by the power of the Lord’s Divine Good, it is said that through the celestial the Lord accomplishes the deliverance of many from hell. [2] But it should be recognized that no one can be torn away and delivered from hell unless during his lifetime spiritual good, that is, charity that comes through faith, has existed in him; for unless that good coming through faith has been present in him, there is nothing that can receive the good which flows in from the Lord. Instead that good from Him flows straight through, without being able to become fixed anywhere. Consequently those lacking spiritual good cannot be torn away and delivered from hell. For all the states that a person has attained during his lifetime remain with him in the next life and are developed more fully. Good states with the good remain and are filled out with good, and by means of them those people are raised into heaven; and evil states with the evil remain and are filled with evil, and by means of them these people sink down into hell. This is what is meant by the saying that as a person dies, so he remains. From this it is evident who those people are who can be delivered from hell by the Lord through the Divine celestial. AC 6361.

We like our evils so much, that the Lord has to tear us away from them! Wow!

New Christian Bible Study

May 6, 2018 § Leave a comment

Over the past few weeks, I have come to really appreciate New Christian Bible Study:

For few years now, I have preferred to read the Heavenly Doctrines on my computer, rather than a book. It is easier on my eyes. I don’t know why. I think, in part, because the contrast is greater. The white screen background is whiter than a book page.

There are a few reasons that I prefer using New Christian Bible Study to do my daily readings of Heavenly Doctrines.

One is that you can compare different translations, or even the Latin, with the passage you are reading side by side.

Another reason is that if you create an account you can create a book mark where you left off your daily reading. The next day you click on the book, and you go to right passage and the same translation you were reading.

Further, you can add notes to a passage. I often quote a part of the passage I am reading, occasionally adding a brief note about what I think is important.

Check out New Christian Bible Study. 

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