Watch full episode here!
In our live broadcast last week, Curtis spoke about making life more spiritual at a convention in Austin. In this episode, hosts Curtis Childs and Jonathan Rose join with our viewers and eighteenth-century philosopher and theologian Emanuel Swedenborg to learn more.
This question reflects a central tenet of the Swedenborgian worldview—God is always working through us through providence. Jonathan has learned about this impact after counseling sessions or talks with others. When somebody shares how they were inspired, he realizes his impact is bigger than he expected.
Sometimes when he’s writing or creating something, Curtis will come upon what feels like complete thoughts he didn’t make up himself. In a small way, everything anyone makes has God’s touch on it.
Turning on the Power Switch
In last week’s presentation, Curtis shared that human beings are a meeting place between heaven and earth.
Angels have also said that there is within every human an innermost or highest level of life—or an innermost and highest something—where the divine nature of the Lord flows in first and most intimately. . . . The angels called this innermost or highest something the Lord’s gateway to us and his quintessential dwelling within us. (Last Judgment §25:5)
We’re all plugged in to the Divine, but we need to power up to unlock our potential energy. We’ve got the design and access to the Divine, but it’s up to us to activate that connection.
The Lord’s kingdom is a kingdom of purposes that are functions or—which amounts to the same thing—of functions that are purposes. For this reason, the universe has been so created and formed by the Divine that functions can clothe themselves in materials that enable them to present themselves in act or in results, first in heaven and then in this world, and so step by step all the way to the lowest things in nature. We can see from this that the correspondence of natural phenomena with spiritual ones, or of the world with heaven, takes place through functions, and that the functions are what unite them. (Heaven and Hell §112)
Think about a giraffe—it has a distinctive shape, but it has a shape for a reason. Just as the form of its long neck helps serve the function of eating from higher branches, our human forms serve a higher function. The form always follows the function.
So what is our function as human beings? We are the link between the physical and spiritual worlds. We need two things to get this right, and we did shows that dig into both ideas:
As for us, though, our acts are services in forms to the extent that we live according to the divine design—that is, in love for the Lord and in thoughtfulness toward our neighbor. To that extent, our acts are correspondences that unite us to heaven. In general terms, loving the Lord and our neighbor is being of service. (Heaven and Hell §112)
The Positive Potential
What is our potential as human beings? What happens when we fulfill it? In our show about the “Law of Attraction,” we showed that there are no guarantees that our outer, physical lives will improve. But our inner, spiritual selves will have better tools to work in the world.
Only through humankind is there a descent from the heavens into the world, and an ascent from the world to the heavens. The brain and its inner depths provide the means of descent and ascent because they contain the actual rudiments or starting and ending points from which absolutely everything in the body stems and flows. They are also the source of the thoughts in our intellect and the emotions in our will. (Secrets of Heaven §4042)
If we dedicate ourselves fully to our purpose, we may find that we can see and understand more of what is truly going on.
The grand purpose, or the purpose of all elements of creation, is an eternal union of the Creator with the created universe. This does not happen unless there are subjects in which his divinity can be at home, so to speak, subjects in which it can dwell and abide. For these subjects to be his dwellings and homes they must be receptive of his love and wisdom apparently of their own accord. . . . We are those subjects, people who can raise themselves and unite with apparent autonomy. (Divine Love and Wisdom §170)
During this live show, viewers chatted in their questions. Just click a question to see the answer:
- Is the veil thinning like I have heard?!
- Is there money in the spirit world? How do you get things?
- Did Swedenborg study the endocrine system?
- Did Swedenborg ever say anything about the future of the planet or mankind on it?
When Curtis was in Austin, he got the chance to do a guest interview with Robert, a fan of the show. Robert came upon us by researching the paranormal after he retired. He talked about frustrations with his Baptist upbringing, and someone pointed him to Swedenborg.
Once he started watching, he just kept watching and reading the books, and it just kept making sense. Robert used to be a detective, so he’s naturally cynical, but he couldn’t find anything that was inconsistent with his faith and nature.
At the beginning, we asked viewers which topic they’d like us to cover. Here are some of the answers.
- I really believe that soul comes in when truth and love is seeked in regular basis.
- I think trying to overcome my dysfunctions is a way God is working through me to help my offspring by my example. Spiritual evolutions. They see me studying and searching and not settling for easy answers.
- I am aware when God works through me because when that happens whatever I am doing comes out better than I am actually capable of doing.
- Everytime one of my three kids were born.
- Everytime I help people like in New Orleans we brought food oatmeal to the homeless tent people when it got in the single digit temps here, and blankets and such.
- We are all the atoms that make up the Celestial body.
- I know God has worked through me when I give people information they need that I didn’t know . . . it just somehow flows in.
- Whenever I do something good, and feel peace/bliss. Like helping someone.
- I think when I work on some group projects at work and it seems that things fall in with what others are doing and it all fits together and works.
- God works through me when I am of service to others and forget myself for a brief moment.
- I seem to be put in places at an exact right time to save children, even leaving late, thinking I will be late and need to go, and hear, “No, wait.” And yes when in the zone or flow.
- Yes I noticed that God is working through me when I say something that not even I expected to say and it surprises me I feel that that was God.
- God works through me with humor.
- I like to paint landscapes and when I am in the zone, I feel connected to God.
- Someone you can get random thoughts to help people around you in public other times you can see it in a huge way when you think back on things with people that used to be in your life.
- When I have prayed for others, helping me to be more alert, empathic, and to listen better and ask the important questions. When I forgive, and when I admit my sins.
- When I realize that somebody else’s social blunder is much less important than that person’s feelings and heartfelt motivations, I feel God working through me.
- I asked God to speak through me when I had to confront my son after I discovered he was full force in an addiction, one of the worst addictions . . . I could never have done it effectively on my own.
Thanks for joining us—we’ll see you next week!
Related Swedenborg & Life Videos
Free E-Book Downloads
Support Swedenborg & Life! Enjoy our programming and want to help us produce more free videos, books, and other faith and spirituality content? Make a donation or become a member of the nonprofit Swedenborg Foundation!
Want to watch more Swedenborg & Life videos? Visit our offTheLeftEye YouTube channel and be sure to subscribe for new uploads!
About Swedenborg & Life
In a lighthearted and interactive webcast format, host Curtis Childs from the Swedenborg Foundation and featured guests explore topics from Swedenborg’s eighteenth-century writings about his spiritual experiences and afterlife explorations and discuss how they relate to modern-day life and death.
View the entire Swedenborg & Life Playlist[/column][column]
When we wake up in heaven, Swedenborg tells us, angels roll a covering from off of our left eye so that we can see everything in a spiritual light. The offTheLeftEye YouTube channel uses an array of educational and entertaining video formats to look at life and death through an uplifting spiritual lens.
View our offTheLeftEye YouTube channel