The True Divine Essence is Love and Wisdom (Continued)

It is because the divine essence itself is love and wisdom that everything in the universe involves what is good and what is true. Everything that flows from love is called good, and everything that flows from wisdom is called true. But more on this later [Sections 83–102].

It is because the divine essence itself is love and wisdom that the universe and everything in it, whether living or not, depends on warmth and light for its survival. Warmth in fact corresponds to love and light corresponds to wisdom, which also means that spiritual warmth is love and spiritual light is wisdom. But more on this as well later [Sections 83–84, 89–92].

All human feelings and thoughts arise from the divine love and wisdom that constitute the very essence that is God. The feelings arise from divine love and the thoughts from divine wisdom. Further, every single bit of our being is nothing but feeling and thought. These two are like the springs of everything that is alive in us. They are the source of all our life experiences of delight and enchantment, the delight from the prompting of our love and the enchantment from our consequent thought.

Since we have been created to be recipients, then, and since we are recipients to the extent that we love God and are wise because of our love for God (that is, the extent to which we are moved by what comes from God and think as a result of that feeling), it therefore follows that the divine essence, the Creatress, is divine love and wisdom.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 31-33

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The True Divine Essence is Love and Wisdom

If you gather together everything you know, focus your mind’s insight on it, and look through it carefully from some spiritual height to discover what is common to everything, the only conclusion you can draw is that it is love and wisdom. These two are essential to every aspect of our life. Everything we deal with that is civic, everything moral, and everything spiritual depends on these two things. Apart from them, there is nothing. The same holds true for everything in the life of that composite person who is (as already noted [Section 24]) our larger and smaller community, our monarchy or empire, the church, and also the angelic heaven. Take love and wisdom away from these collective bodies and ask whether there is anything left, and you will be struck by the fact that without love and wisdom as their source, they are nothing.

No one can deny that in God we find love and wisdom together in their very essence. He loves us all out of the love that is within him, and he guides us all out of the wisdom that is within him. Further, if you look at the created universe with an eye to its design, it is so full of wisdom from love that you might say everything taken all together is wisdom itself. There are things without measure in such a pattern, both sequential and simultaneous, that taken all together they constitute a single entity. This is the only reason they can be held together and sustained forever.

It is because the very essence of the Divine is love and wisdom that we have two abilities of life. From the one we get our discernment, and from the other volition. Our discernment is supplied entirely by an inflow of wisdom from God, while our volition is supplied entirely by an inflow of love from God. Our failures to be appropriately wise and appropriately loving do not take these abilities away from us. They only close them off; and as long as they do, while we may call our discernment “discernment” and our volition “volition,” essentially they are not. So if these abilities really were taken away from us, everything human about us would be destroyed—our thinking and the speech that results from thought, and our purposing and the actions that result from purpose.

We can see from this that the divine nature within us dwells in these two abilities, in our ability to be wise and our ability to love. That is, it dwells in the fact that we are capable of being wise and loving. I have discovered from an abundance of experience that we have the ability to love even though we are not wise and do not love as we could. You will find this experience described in abundance elsewhere.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 28-30

Notes:

Section 24: Published 4/17/2018

Today’s Publication of Sections 28-30: Published 4/12/2016, 4/16/2016

There is one human God who is the source of everything (Continued)

It would be the same in the church that is spread throughout the world, which is called a communion because it is like a single body under a single head. It is recognized that the head governs the body beneath itself at will. The head is after all the locus of our discernment and our volition, and the body acts at the behest of our discernment and volition to the point that the body is pure obedience. The body is incapable of doing anything except at the behest of the discernment and volition in the head; and in similar fashion we of the church can do nothing apart from God. It does seem as though the body acts on its own—as though hands and feet move of their own accord when we do something, as though mouth and tongue vibrate of their own accord when we say something—and yet nothing whatever is done “on its own.” It is prompted by the stimulus of our volition and the consequent thinking of the discernment in the head.

Just think. If one body had many heads, and each head had its own agenda based on its mind and its volition, could the body survive? There could be no unanimity among them the way there is with a single head.

It is the same in the heavens, which consist of millions of angels, as it is in the church. Unless every single angel focused on one God, one angel would move away from another and heaven would fall apart. So an angel who even thinks about many gods instantly disappears, exiled to the very edge of heaven, and collapses.

Since the whole heaven and everything in it depend on a single God, it is the nature of angelic speech to come to a close in a particular harmony that flows from heaven’s own harmony. This is a sign that it is impossible for angels to think of more than one God. Their speech follows from their thought.

Surely everyone of sound reason perceives the fact that Divinity is not divisible, that there is not a multiplicity of infinite, uncreated, omnipotent beings, or gods. Suppose some irrational soul were to say that there could be a multiplicity of infinite, uncreated, omnipotent beings, or gods, if only they had a single “same essence,” and that this would result in one being who was infinite, uncreated, omnipotent, and god. Would not that single same essence have one “same identity”? And it is not possible for many beings to have the same identity. If this individual were to say that one is derived from the other, then the one that is derived from the other is not God in and of himself; yet God in and of himself is the source of all (see Section 16 above).

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 25-27

Notes

Section 16: Published 4/14/2018

There is One Human God Who Is the Source of Everything

All the elements of human reason unite in, and in a sense center on, the fact that a single God is the Creator of the universe. As a result, rational people, on the basis of their shared understanding, neither do nor can think in any other way. Tell people of sound reason that there are two creators of the universe and you will feel within yourself how they recoil from this notion, perhaps simply from the tone of their voice in your ear. This enables us to see that all the elements of human reason unite and center on the oneness of God.

There are two reasons for this. The first is that in its own right, our very ability to think rationally is not our own property. It is a property of God within us. Human rationality in general depends on this fact, and this general property causes our reason more or less spontaneously to see the oneness of God. The second is that through our rational ability either we are in heaven’s light or we draw from it some general quality of its thought, and the all-pervading element of heaven’s light is that God is one.

This is not the case if we have used our rational ability to skew our lower understanding. In this case we still possess the ability, but by the distortion of our lower abilities we have steered it off course, and our rationality is not sound.

We may not be aware of it, but we all think of an aggregation of people as a single individual. So we understand right away when someone says that monarchs are the head and that their subjects are the body, or when someone says that this or that individual has some particular role in the body politic, that is, in the realm. It is the same with the spiritual body as with the civil. The spiritual body is the church, whose head is the Divine-Human One. We can see from this what kind of person a church would look like under this construct if we were to think not of one God as creator and sustainer of the universe but of many gods instead. We would apparently be envisioning a single body with many heads on it—not a human being, then, but a monster.

If we were to claim that these heads have a single essence that made them all one head, then the only possible image would be either of a single head with many faces or of many heads with one face. In our perception, then, the church would look grotesque. In fact, one God is the head, and the church is the body that acts at the bidding of the head and not on its own, as is true of us as well.

This is also why there is only one monarch per realm. More than one would pull it apart; one holds it together.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 23, 24

In the Divine-Human One, infinite things are distinguishably one (Continued)

The presence of infinite things in God is even more obvious to angels because of the heavens where they live. The whole heaven, made up of millions of angels, is like a person in its overall form. Each individual community of heaven, large or small, is the same; and therefore an angel is a person. An angel is actually a heaven in its smallest form (see Heaven and Hell 51–86).

Heaven is in this form overall, regionally, and in individuals because of the divine nature that angels accept, since the extent to which angels accept the divine nature determines the perfection of their human form. This is why we say that angels are in God and that God is in them, and that God is everything to them.

The multiplicity of heaven is indescribable; and since it is Divinity that makes heaven, and therefore Divinity is the source of that indescribable multiplicity, we can see quite clearly that there are infinite things in that quintessential Person who is God.

We can draw the same inference from the created universe if we turn our attention to its functions and the things that answer to them. However, this will not be comprehensible until some examples have been offered.

Since there are infinite things in the Divine-Human One, things that are so to speak reflected in heaven, in angels, and in us, and since the Divine-Human One is not in space (see Sections 7–10), we can see and understand to some extent how God can be omnipresent, omniscient, and omniprovident, and how, even as a person, he could have created everything, and how as a person he can forever keep everything he has created in its proper order.

Further, if we look at ourselves we can see a kind of reflection of the fact that these infinite things in the Divine-Human One are distinguishably one. There are many things within us—countless things, as already noted [Section 18]; yet we feel them as one. On the basis of our feelings, we have no sense of our brain or heart or lungs, of our liver or spleen or pancreas, of the countless components of our eyes, ears, tongue, stomach, sexual organs, and so on; and since we are not aware of them, we sense them as all one.

The reason is that all these organs are gathered into a form that precludes the absence of any one of them. It is a form designed to receive life from the Divine-Human One, as explained in Sections 4–6 above. The organization and connection of all these elements in this kind of form give rise to the feeling and therefore to the image of them not as many or countless but as one.

We may therefore conclude that the innumerably many components that constitute a kind of unity in us are distinguishably one—supremely so—in that quintessential Person who is God.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 19-22

Notes:

Sections 51-58 from Heaven and Hell: Published 2/13/2018-2/15/2018

Sections 59-77 from Heaven and Hell: Published 3/3/2018-3/10/2018

Sections 78-86 from Heaven and Hell: Published 3/28/2018- 3/30/2018

Sections 7-10 from Divine Love and Wisdom: Published 4/10/2018-4/11/2018

Sections 18 from Divine Love and Wisdom: Published 4/15/2018

In the Divine-Human One, infinite things are distinguishably one.

It is recognized that God is infinite: he is in fact called the Infinite One. But he is called infinite because he is infinite. He is not infinite simply because he is intrinsically essential reality and manifestation, but because there are infinite things in him. An infinite being without infinite things within it would be infinite in name only.

The infinite things in him should not be called “infinitely many” or “infinitely all,” because of our earthly concepts of “many” and “all.” Our earthly concept of “infinitely many” is limited, and while there is something limitless about our concept of all,” it still rests on limited things in our universe. This means that since our concept is earthly, we cannot arrive at a sense of the infinite things in God by some process of shifting it to a higher level or by comparison. However, since angels enjoy spiritual concepts they can surpass us by changing to a higher level and by comparison, though they cannot reach infinity itself.

Anyone can come to an inner assurance about the presence of infinite things in God—anyone, that is, who believes that God is a person; because if God is a person, he has a body and everything that having a body entails. So he has a face, torso, abdomen, upper legs, and lower legs, since without these he would not be a person. Since he has these components, he also has eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and tongue. He also has what we find within a person, such as a heart and lungs and the things that depend on them, all of which, taken together, make us human. We are created with these many components, and if we consider them in their interconnections, they are beyond counting. In the Divine-Human One, though, they are infinite. Nothing is lacking, so he has an infinite completeness.

We can make this comparison of the uncreated Person, who is God, with us who are created, because that God is a person. It is because of [his being a person] that we earthly beings are said to have been created in his image and in his likeness (Genesis 1:26, 27).

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 17, 18

In the Divine-Human One, reality and its manifestation are both distinguishable and united

Wherever there is reality, there is its manifestation: the one does not occur without the other. In fact, reality exists through its manifestation, and not apart from it. Our rational capacity grasps this when we ponder whether there can be any reality that does not manifest itself, and whether there can be any manifestation except from some reality. Since each occurs with the other and not apart from it, it follows that they are one entity, but “distinguishably one.”

They are distinguishably one like love and wisdom. Further, love is reality and wisdom is its manifestation. Love occurs only in wisdom, and wisdom only from love. So love becomes manifest when it is in wisdom. These two are one entity in such a way that although they can be distinguished in thought they cannot be distinguished in fact; and since they can be distinguished in thought and not in fact, we refer to them as “distinguishably one.”

Reality and its manifestation are also distinguishably one in the Divine-Human One the way soul and body are. A soul does not occur without its body, nor a body without its soul. The divine soul of the Divine-Human One is what we mean by the divine reality, and the divine body of the Divine-Human One is what we mean by the divine manifestation.

The notion that a soul can exist and think and be wise without a body is an error that stems from deceptive appearances. Every soul is in a spiritual body after it has cast off the material skin that it carried around in this world.

The reason reality is not reality unless it is manifested is that before that happens it has no form, and if it has no form it has no attributes. Anything that has no attributes is not really anything. Whatever is manifest on the basis of its reality is one with that reality because it stems from that reality. This is the basis of their being united into a single entity, and this is why each belongs to the other reciprocally, with each being wholly present in every detail of the other, as it is in itself.

It therefore stands to reason that God is a person and in this way is God manifest—not manifest from himself, but manifest in himself. The one who is manifest in himself is the God who is the source of all.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 14-16

God is the Essential Person (Continued)

The ordinary concept of God among Christians is a concept of a person because God is called a person in the Athanasian doctrine of the Trinity. The better educated, though, claim that God is invisible. This is because they cannot understand how a human God could have created heaven and earth and filled the universe with his presence, along with other things that pass the bounds of understanding as long as people do not realize that Divinity is not in space. Still, people who turn to the Lord alone think of one who is both divine and human, and therefore think of God as a person.

We may gather how important it is to have a right concept of God from the fact that this concept is the very core of the thinking of anyone who has a religion. All the elements of religion and of worship focus on God; and since God is involved in every element of religion and worship, whether general or particular, unless there is a right concept of God there can be no communication with heaven. This is why every nation is allotted its place in the spiritual world according to its concept of a human God. This [understanding of God as human] is where the concept of the Lord is to be found, and nowhere else.

We can see very clearly that our state after death depends on our avowed concept of God if we consider the opposite, namely that the denial of God, and in the Christian world, a denial of the Lord’s divinity, constitutes hell.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 12, 13

God is the Essential Person

Throughout all the heavens, the only concept of God is a concept of a person. The reason is that heaven, overall and regionally, is in a kind of human form, and Divinity among the angels is what makes heaven. Further, thinking proceeds in keeping with heaven’s form, so it is not possible for angels to think about God in any other way. This is why all the people on earth who are in touch with heaven think about God in the same way when they are thinking very deeply, or in their spirit.

It is because God is a person that all angels and spirits are perfectly formed people. This is because of heaven’s form, which is the same in its largest and its smallest manifestations. (On heaven being in a human form overall and regionally, see Heaven and Hell 59–86.)

It is common knowledge that we were created in the image and likeness of God because of Genesis 1:26, 27 and from the fact that Abraham and others saw God as a person.

The early people, wise and simple alike, thought of God only as a person. Even when they began to worship many gods, as they did in Athens and Rome, they worshiped them as persons. By way of illustration, here is an excerpt from an earlier booklet.

Non-Christians—especially Africans—who acknowledge and worship one God as the Creator of the universe conceive of that God as a person. They say that no one can have any other concept of God. When they hear that many people prefer an image of God as a little cloud in the center, they ask where these people are; and when they are told that these people are among the Christians, they respond that this is impossible. They are told, however, that Christians get this idea from the fact that in the Word God is called a spirit; and the only concept they have of spirit is of a piece of cloud. They do not realize that every spirit and every angel is a person. However, when inquiry was made to find out whether their spiritual concept was the same as their earthly one, it turned out that it was not the same for people who inwardly recognized the Lord as the God of heaven and earth.

I heard one Christian elder say that no one could have a concept of a being both divine and human; and I saw him taken to various non-Christians, more and more profound ones. Then he was taken to their heavens, and finally to a heaven of Christians. Through the whole process people’s inner perception of God was communicated to him, and he came to realize that their only concept of God was a concept of a person—which is the same as a concept of a being both divine and human.

from Divine Love ans Wisdom, Section 11

Notes:

Sections 59-77 from Heaven and Hell: Published 3/3/2018-3/10/2018

Sections 78-86 from Heaven and Hell: Published 3/28/2018-3/29/2018

Divinity is not in Space (Continued)

It stands to reason, then, that with merely earthly concepts we cannot grasp the fact that Divinity is everywhere and still not in space, and that angels and spirits understand this quite clearly. This means that we too could understand if we would only let a little spiritual light into our thinking. The reason we can understand is that it is not our bodies that think but our spirits; so it is not our physical side but our spiritual side.

The reason so many people do not grasp this is that they love what is earthly and are therefore reluctant to lift their thinking above it into spiritual light. People who are reluctant can think only spatially, even about God; and thinking spatially about God is thinking about the extended size of nature.

This premise is necessary because without a knowledge and some sense that Divinity is not in space, we cannot understand anything about the divine life that is love and wisdom, which are our present topic. This means there can be little if any understanding of divine providence, omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, infinity, and eternity, which are to be dealt with in sequence.

I have stated that in the spiritual world, just as in this physical world, we can see space and therefore distances as well, but that they are appearances, dependent on spiritual likenesses of love and wisdom, or of what is good and true. This is why even though the Lord is with angels everywhere in heaven, he still appears high overhead, looking like a sun. Further, since it is the acceptance of love and wisdom that causes likeness to him, if angels have a closer resemblance because of their acceptance, their heavens appear to be closer to the Lord than those of the angels whose resemblance is more remote. This is also why the heavens (there are three of them) are marked off from each other, as are the communities of each heaven. It is also why the hells underneath them are farther away in proportion to their rejection of love and wisdom.

It is the same for us. The Lord is present in us and with us throughout the whole world; and the reason for this is simply that the Lord is not in space.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 8-10