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In this special Giving Tuesday episode, hosts Curtis Childs and Jonathan Rose join us to answer viewer questions with the help of the writings of eighteenth-century spiritual teacher Emanuel Swedenborg.
Before we get into that, Curtis and Jonathan are joined by the Swedenborg Foundation’s director of development Tim Bilger to share information about a 3:1 giving match and some lovely prizes for supporters who donate. For more on how you can support the offTheLeftEye channel, check out otlegt2019.causevox.com.
Throughout the rest of this special episode, our team will work together to answer questions from viewers. Questions and answers are summarized below; please follow the links for the full discussion.
In Swedenborg’s writings, our dominant love is the thing we pursue and serve above all else; it’s what makes us who we are and brings us joy. The wise know what’s in their own hearts and can even tell what other people’s dominant loves are. The four basic loves are love of God, love of others, love of worldly things, and love of self. These can all be good, but they need to be in the right order.
Swedenborg visited heaven frequently and witnessed prayer there, but he found that his desires were indistinguishable from prayer; his desires actually functioned as a deeper form of prayer that moved the actions forward. That being said, Swedenborg was no stranger to prayer as we know it, especially in those times of extreme difficulty.
In celebration of Giving Tuesday, we get a behind-the-scenes visit with some of our community managers—the people who manage and moderate our social media presence. After that short video, Chelsea Odhner, Chara Daum, Chris Dunn, and Karin Childs join to answer more questions.
Married love as Swedenborg describes it is a loving partnership that reflects God’s relationship with us. This relationship does not have to be completed in this life and it can even begin in the afterlife. Regeneration goes hand in hand with our openness to married love; and we will keep learning, growing, and experiencing well after we die.
Swedenborg definitely experienced spirits trying to get in the way of prayer, even to the extent of trying to unclasp his hands! It’s important to note that they’re trying to affect your ability to pray, but they’re not getting in between your prayers and God. Even though spirits will try to distract you, God knows your prayers and your will.
Jesus’s physical body was literally raised, which explains why he could appear after his death and resurrection and move beyond typical physical limits. His human was glorified and transformed to become the Lord. For other people who are born again and resurrected, the whole process will be purely within the spiritual world.
In continued celebration of Giving Tuesday, we are treated to an original song from Chelsea Odhner. Afterwards, Curtis and Jonathan return to answer one more question.
There are many passages in which Swedenborg says that your ruling love in life defines your afterlife, but other passages make it sound like people in hell are actually able to learn and improve even when they’re there. Everybody is allowed to go to heaven, but some people choose not to.
In this new feature, Curtis and Jonathan challenge themselves to quickly answer remaining viewer questions.
- Even someone who loves truth, love, and wisdom will have earthly things to be purged in the next world. Is it painful? Is it difficult? What is the cleansing process? It can be painful and difficult, but it depends on our level of resistance.
- Since the world of spirits is connected to both heaven and hell, aren’t we essentially in the first phase of the world of spirits now? We think so—our spirits are in that world. Swedenborg says that some people go immediately to heaven or hell, which means that they must have already been through the world of spirits while on earth.
- My grandparents both died in 2019. Will they be able to find me and recognize me if I die many years from now? Yes, they will. Love brings people together in the afterlife; it’s a magnet. They will know you by your unique spirit.
- Regarding inflow: Do we color the inflow and pass it on to other spirits? Inflow refers to the fact that life radiates out from one source, God, and flows through all people. And yes, we believe that living people are part of that process: a group of people with the same kind of ideas emanate positive and negative atmospheres.
- Are the negative and positive energies of atoms in the physical universe equal to this world’s spiritual distance from God? The fundamental forces of the physical world may well be correspondences to spiritual realities.