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Friday
Sep162016

Having Jesus in Your Heart 100

 

As the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and told the leading priests what had happened. A meeting with the elders was called, and they decided to give the soldiers a large bribe. They told the soldiers, “You must say, ‘Jesus’ disciples came during the night while we were sleeping, and they stole his body.’ If the governor hears about it, we’ll stand up for you so you won’t get in trouble.” So the guards accepted the bribe and said what they were told to say. Their story spread widely among the Jews, and they still tell it today. Matthew 28:11-15

“Reward” means salvation, and thus heaven. “Reward” strictly means that delight, blessedness, and happiness which is contained in the love for goodness and truth. this love encompasses in itself all that joy of heart which is called heavenly joy, and also heaven. The Lord is in this love, and with the Lord also heaven. It is this joy, therefore, or this delight, blessedness, and happiness, that is meant by the “reward” which those will receive who do good and speak truth from love and affection for goodness and truth, thus from the Lord, and not in any way from themselves. They do this from the Lord, and not from themselves, and therefore the reward is not merited but of grace....There is also the “reward” for those who are in falsities from evil, which is joy or delight, and good fortune and happiness, while they live in the world, but hell after their departure out of the world. Apocalypse Explained §695

The Word tells us that the Lord guards us by means of his divine providence to ensure that we are salvable. We are also told that: “A divine power extends even into the hells and also guards them. So it is that the Lord reigns in the hells also, yet with this difference, that the divine power which surrounds and protects heaven is the sphere of divine truth joined to divine good, whereas that which guards hell is the sphere of divine truth separated from divine good. The reason why the latter sphere exists in hell is that everyone in that place reject divine good, and reject the Lord's mercy....People in hell are guarded by means of this powerful sphere, so that no one does excessive harm to another. From all this it is evident that the sphere of divine good in outward form comes to an end where heaven does so, and the sphere of divine truth separated from divine good begins where hell begins, and in the gap between there is a joining together.” Secrets of Heaven §9534

 

 

Picture white, fluffy clouds, high in the sky. Remember the smell of your favorite cooked food? The sound of a baby’s laughter? The touch of satin, or lamb’s wool, or your loved one’s face? These sensations have a power to bring you into an experience of peace or joy, in accordance with the laws of correspondence that govern the relationship and connection among the many levels in creation. These rules of operation are described in the Word so that we may have a confidence when an experience is manifesting the sphere of heaven.

The power of the divine love and divine truth are expressed together as an atmosphere. The power expands as a sphere, in your spirit in the same fashion as in the natural world, in all directions, decreasing in impact the farther from the source it extends. So the clouds in the sky are living representatives of that atmosphere of the Lord’s love and truth. Or an odor bringing a memory of a loved one, or a past moment of joy, or an experience of peace is a living representative of this atmosphere of the Lord’s divine love and divine truth. It is a sphere of God’s love and wisdom, existing in heaven, then transforming into your emotion and thought, and finally transforming into a physical sensation in your body. For a moment right now, imagine and picture in your imagination, something that brings you love, or joy, or peace. And now notice the emotion that comes with that thought and image. That emotion is the sphere of the divine love and divine truth, united; a power that you sense in your mind, which is your spirit. And if the connection is complete, you feel it in your body. Indeed, science is studying the physiology of the brain and body, and is discovering how joy is manifested in the body.

It is the source of all sadness when goodness and truth are separated. This separation happens in the human spirit and no where else. No where else. It begins as an inherited, unconscious inclination to favor one’s self, one’s ego, one’s proprium, over all other sources of power and so control in your life. We cannot help but experience this self centeredness as our minds develop after birth. It is our lot. It is the curse symbolized by the dismissal from Eden, and in so many other ancient myths.

Our opportunity, our task, is to discover the connection that exists to the source of joy that will produce the sphere of bliss, peace, serenity in our consciousness. For that connection certainly exists. God created life to receive the power of his love and wisdom. His act of creation was an effort, a fluctuation, that consists of a high and a low, an inner and an outer, a nearer and a farther. While these cannot exist in the infinite divine love, which is infinitely a unity, they do exist as an emanation, a sphere, going out from him as a wave. When God did this emanation, this creation, this limitation then produced its own border. And that boundary or edge, then produces its own sphere, its own effort, its own power, distinct from the source that formed it. And this new wave has its own characteristics which are, perhaps in a minuscule way, farther from the source. Its power is diminished, its form a bit grosser. When it’s edge produces its own form, the process continues. And so creation extends as a sphere, farther and farther from its source, and eventually, the wave becomes an emotion in our spirit, or a desire or an impetus to be in action. This feeling produces its own edge and wave, which is the thought that we think. And, marvelously, the sphere of God’s love produces corresponding, ever coarser, levels of life that ultimately become the atoms that make up all of matter, including the matter of our brains, which feels this power, and the experience of God’s love and wisdom becomes part of our consciousness.

So pause and consider this: the pleasantness of the scent of a flower; or the sensation of softness on your finger; or the delight of the taste of food; or the sadness of a piece of music. These are all created by the combination of two elements, and the interaction of two degrees of life. There is the emotion and that thought on the one level of your spirit, and there is the physical collection of atoms on a lower level. To have joy, peace, and beauty in this world, there must exist in our unconscious and conscious minds God’s goodness and truth that can, and certainly will, connect to what his love and wisdom have created in the physical world as a corresponding vessel for heaven’s joy and bliss. And we live in the midst of that connection.

It is so very sad when this order of life is adulterated by our selfishness and worldliness. Consider the guards at the tomb of Jesus Christ, and consider those who had them put there. The guards were Roman soldiers, posted at the grave when the church leaders asked Pilate, the civilian governor, for them. When the effort control the events failed – because the tomb was indeed empty – the guards and the church leaders had to respond. Their motive was impure. They wanted to protect themselves, their egos, their power, their control. So they had to start their own rumors to protect themselves both from the truth, and from punishment. But they also still didn’t believe that the tomb was empty, that Jesus was the Messiah.

“Here is an instance of determined unbelief against all admitted evidence. It is too seldom considered that belief or unbelief is but a means to an end. Belief or unbelief has its roots in the end we have in view – in the ruling love by which we are activated. Hence the grand doctrine on the church. That faith has no ground but charity, and that where there is no charity, or love, there can be no faith.” (“The Gospel According to St Matthew,” by William Bruce) And no belief.

When the guards felt the earth quake and saw the angel, they fainted, missing his message to the women. When they revived, they returned to the chief priests (note: not their commanders!) and reported what happened. The Chief Priests then also lied. Instead of believing the facts, because their end in view would not have been served by those facts, they bribed the guards and promised to defend them if their commanders or Pilate intended to discipline them.

This is an example of the separation of goodness and truth. When you manipulate the truth to serve your selfish or worldly ends, the love that would be manifest in your life cannot be received, the connection to God’s love and wisdom is severed, and your emotions and thoughts produce lies and hatred.

We all are guarded at some times. In some ways. About certain things. Think of some things you guard in some way. What do you do to protect them? We all have some thought or feeling, and maybe a practice, that we don’t want others to know about because we are sure we will be judged, and caught failing, and so condemned, and so cast out, and so as to our ego, destroyed. Or ugly. Or evil. We all do have failings, evil desires or false ideas that we want to protect. We all have this condition.

There are two considerations to notice. The first is that our evil desires, our false ideas, our failings, our selfishness and materialism, exist to protect our ego, our proprium. The need to have power and be in control that we are born with never completely goes away while we are on earth. Such protectionism is part of our physical being, we have to do it. It is the lowest level and the farthest from the source of life in God, and it has to be in place for our physical wellbeing. Our efforts thus need to be to identify the evil, false, selfish, or materialistic inclinations, and notice how they exist because we are separating goodness and truth. And then come to the Lord with the humble request that the power of the sphere of his divine goodness and truth would support our putting those thoughts, feelings and actions out of our mind and stopping those actions in our body. We appeal to the Lord for the support of his power of love and wisdom and so look away from the false ideas and selfish desires. This personal work in the first consideration.

The second is that we all, every human on the planet, has this task of identifying their own evil desire, false thought, selfish inclination and materialistic habit. Every human being. We are all in this together! We are each part of the social fabric that supports the peace and joy that the Lord is seeking to establish on the earth, AND we are part of the social fabric that supports the lies, that pays the bribe, to keep us all in the dark and silent about the evil in our hearts, the falsities in our minds, the selfish need to be right, and the materialistic fear of scarcity. Our task is to develop the capacity to be vulnerable. To be able to let others see us fully, flaws and scars, knowing that they will be able to show themselves fully to us, because we accept each other completely, as we are – all that makes us to be who we are.

Such a society is likely never fully achieved outside of healthy families. But we can support the evolution of such a community, and so the transformation of all the earth, by coming together in this mutually vulnerable sphere of God’s love and wisdom. Our eyes may be closed in supplication for our own peace and joy. We may be concentrating on our own request of the Lord. But we will also be aware of the sphere of love and humility surrounding all those who want peace with us.

Know that the Lord God Jesus Christ has indeed risen from the tomb. Know that there is life inside what too often seems to us an empty shell, a loveless, corrupted physical life – from our own bodies and personal experience, to what we see in the world. And we may despair that what we see may be empty of love and charity. The separation of goodness and truth is very real on the physical level of life. It produces the horrors of fifteen years ago. It produces the sorrow of a lost loved one, and so many other, tragedies. We feel lament. Let us not avoid those feelings. Let us recognize that so many around us have those same feelings. Let us place ourselves and our fellow human beings in the perspective of the Lord’s grand purpose of our eternal, heavenly, joy and peace. And let us remember the Lord’s purpose of a heaven from the human race. And then let that be the experience of the power of the sphere of the Lord’s goodness and truth influencing our consciousness, impacting our bodies, as we feel a lift, a release, an acceptance.

This is an experience of the power of his love and wisdom united as a sphere establishing a connection with our God, and so with every other human on the planet, who is also a child of that same God. Shared desires, mutually supportive thoughts, will manifest his love and wisdom. And the empty tomb will become the symbol it is meant to be for us: a symbol of the new life that we all have every time we look within, and see the messenger of the Lord, telling us of our new life of joy and peace in his love.

 

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