This is the highest understanding in reformation because we can then see how Divine Doctrine applies to our willing and thinking moment by moment. These three levels correspond to the three educations mentioned above. Please refer again to the diagram above. Enlightenment Volume 2 is the opening by the Lord of the interior-natural mind. At the third level of enlightenment III we install the class of dualities represented by the Spiritual Doctrine that is extracted from the literal and built into a coherent rational system of principles.
Regeneration Volume 3 is the application of enlightenment to reveal our willing and thinking and to compel ourselves into proper alignment with the Spiritual Doctrine in our mind. At level I, regeneration is merely the knowledge from the Letter that we must undergo reformation in adult life, followed by regeneration until the end.
At level II, regeneration is the understanding that the church in our mind must be a heaven in miniature. No willing and thinking must be left standing that is not in obedience and conformity with the Heavenly Doctrine understood spiritually. At level III, regeneration is the development of conjugial love.
And example is the Doctrine of the Wife, discussed in Volume 3. So far we discussed the diagram vertically by operation reformation, enlightenment, regeneration. Now if you look at the diagram horizontally you will get a picture of the overall operation for each level.
But reading the diagram horizontally gives us a specific perspective on the role of these three levels within each operation. For example: What is the difference between the knowledge level of thinking between reformation and enlightenment? In other words, the idea that the spiritual sense is to be extracted from the natural sense is an enlightenment step, while the idea that the internal man rules the external man from an invisible world that is a discrete degree above it, is a reformation step. This notion is discussed further below when the nine installation steps are described individually.
This duality is further discussed below in the installation steps. This means that the spiritual-rational correspondences in the understanding point to, or refer to, that which is above themselves.
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And this is the Spiritual Doctrine. In the same way you can see that the Letter of the Writings is the external portion of the Spiritual Doctrine and the two cannot be equated since they form a duality. The diagram shows that the interior-natural mind is a discrete degree above the natural-rational mind. Above or within in terms of discrete degrees always means superior xx.
The way in which the interior-natural mind is superior to the natural-rational mind is shown by adjacent dualities. For instance, going horizontally on the matrix, the interior-natural mind in reformation level II becomes the containant for spiritual-rational correspondences in enlightenment II. This indicates that the opening of the interior-natural mind during reformation paves the way for understanding the duality between interior-natural correspondences and natural-rational correspondences.
There is therefore an indirect but determinative relationship between understanding the interior-natural mind and perceiving the Spiritual Doctrine. These matters are discussed in more detail later in the Chapter. Similarly, the Letter of the Writings is a natural vessel for the Spiritual Doctrine. However, these relations vary for each operation. In the operation of enlightenment , the relation between the spiritual and the natural is by means of the perception level III that the natural-rational correspondences of the Writings have a spiritual-rational correspondence to which they refer from within.
Consequently, it is the perception that the Spiritual Doctrine is not in the Letter but within it, and must be extracted from the Letter by appropriate methods. In the operation of regeneration , the relationship between the interior and external is defined by a perception level III of conjugial love within the marriage of regenerating couples. Therefore our understanding level II of heaven is the result of this perception since understanding level II is always the result of perception level III xx. As you can see the ennead diagram has powerful abilities to organize a lot of ideas from the Writings.
You can practice deriving questions by picking a contrast, as I have done above in the four examples. Then, giving an answer by invoking the neighbor dualities. You can move around vertically, horizontally, and diagonally, each movement defining the type of question being asked and its answer. See Note 24 for more information on the amazing properties of enneads that I have discovered over the years.
This is the first installation step. Notice the two arrows. The arrow on the right pointing downward represents the order of creation. In this case the internal man was created to rule the external man, and gradually does so, as we are regenerated. The reverse arrow on the left pointing upward represents the order of appearances. In the appearances of our biography it seems that the internal man is discovered by the external man.
From this we live the appearance that the external man discovers the existence of the internal man. When this appearance is taken for reality, the internal man cannot descend into the external man and heaven remains unattainable and distant as long as we remain in that state of mind. The two arrows must work together to achieve functionality of the Divine operation. The downward arrow represents the dominion of the internal over the external. Heaven then rules that person, and the individual is then in heaven already. The upward arrow represents the resistance we put up to obeying the Doctrine in our mind.
It is our unregenerate state. Understanding this duality moves us into level II of reformation. It is the first step up in our reformation, which begins at some point in adulthood with the knowledge from the Writings that we must undergo reformation by subduing the external man and place him in obedience to the internal man. Acknowledging this process allows us to begin reformation but in order to progress we must take the second installation step. The first installation step that begins reformation Volume 1 , is our acknowledgement from the Letter of the Writings that the internal man is superior even though invisible to the external man.
The contrast in our mind was a nonduality created by the idea of a continuum that stretches between the internal and the external of our mind. We thought of it like we think about the internal wall of the heart and its external wall. They are different along a continuum of muscle-cartilage combinations. Both the external wall and the internal wall of the heart belong to the same specialty in medicine, and the same techniques are used for managing both during surgery and after. This is a nonduality because the internal and external portions of the heart are made of similar fibers and protein molecules.
They are at the same discrete level. But not so for the internal man and the external man—they are at discrete levels relative to each other. The internal man can see the external man, but the external man cannot see the internal man xx. Their relationship and interaction is by correspondence only since they are in two separate realms of existence.
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Reformation begins when we acknowledge that the relation is a discrete duality. Then for the first time we can accept the idea that the external man did not discover the internal man, but it is the internal man that revealed himself to the internal man. This new acknowledgment completes the paths of the two arrows and renders the duality functional, allowing the second step up. Prior to the beginning of reformation sometime in adult life, we have the Letter of the Writings in our understanding and we take the literal meaning to be the spiritual meaning, especially when we had to work hard to finally understand some passage or see a relation between a collection of passages.
But when we acknowledge that the internal man reveals himself to the external man, we can begin to understand this as a scientific or medical process of the growth of the human mind. This new understanding is the second installation step, as the diagram indicates.
The third installation step is above understanding into perception. We are in this final phase of reformation we can perceive the particular within the general. This means: when we apply the Letter to our willing and thinking. Our willing and thinking is the particular out of which the general is constructed. Another way to say this is that our reformation is complete when we perceive the duality of the particular within the general. The general refers to the general principles and laws of Doctrine that we have in our mind from the Letter. When our reformation is completed installation step III , our mind is then operating differently from before.
We were not able to perceive how the Letter applied to our willing and thinking. We were not able to see the particular within the Letter, only its general on the exterior. Yet the general is for the sake of the particular, just as the external is for the sake of the interior. Looking at the diagram again:. Installation step 4 begins the operation of enlightenment Volume 2. This step is the acknowledgement of the duality between the spiritual sense and the natural sense.
Until this first step of enlightenment we had believed that the natural sense of the Letter of the Writings is the same as the spiritual sense of the Old and New Testaments. This point of view cannot see a duality between them in discrete degrees, but only as a nonduality contrast, or continuum within the same degree. The first step of enlightenment therefore comes when we acknowledge that the Writings are written in pure correspondences. The second step of enlightenment is installation step 5. The diagram shows that this involves understanding the duality of spiritual-rational correspondences within natural-rational correspondences.
We obtain this understanding when we practice reading the Letter of the Writings with substitutions for parts from another part of the Writings. This technique and its enlightening consequences are described later in the Chapter. The final step in enlightenment is installation step 6.
This is the highest step of enlightenment when our perception is elevated to heavenly light and we perceive spiritually like the angels do, though by means of natural correspondences, ever higher and more discretely representative. When we are fully enlightened and can perceive the Spiritual Doctrine within the Letter, we are at last fully prepared for the operation of regeneration Volume 3. Note the two arrows again in installation step 6, or the final phase of enlightenment III.
From the order of creation, the Spiritual Doctrine creates a suitable natural vessel for itself called the Word. This creative cause-effect relation is represented by the right arrow pointing downward. But in biographical appearance, the order is reversed. It appears that the Letter comes to us first, and that we study it for many years, believing that our increasing understanding is the spiritual sense that we penetrate. This is represented by the left arrow pointing upward. But as soon as both arrows become functional, the process is completed.
In this case, the Spiritual Doctrine is no longer seen as something we infer and figure out, but something we derive or extract from the Letter because it is located within the Letter. It is a mining operation rather than a discovery and invention operation. And there are definite rules and techniques to be applied for the mining operation to be effective.
This Chapter describes these methods of orderly an legitimate extraction of the Spiritual Doctrine from the Letter. Installation step 7 is the first step of regeneration. As the diagram shows, it is the acknowledgement of a discrete duality between reformation and regeneration. Prior to this first step, we believe that we have already been regenerating since childhood or adolescence. This is a nonduality notion of the unregenerate mind. We knew before that there was a distinction between reformation and regeneration.
But we did not understand this relationship spiritually, only naturally. But now, we acknowledge it as a discrete duality, so that we can recognize the task that lies ahead. The task of regeneration has not begun until the tasks of reformation and enlightenment have been completed. Only when we perceive the Spiritual Doctrine within the Letter can we acknowledge the discrete duality between reformation and regeneration. We acknowledge reformation to be the external part of our work, while regeneration is the internal part.
The external part has to do with the understanding and the dualities therein, while the internal part has to do with the will and our infernal delights. The second step of regeneration is installation step 8. The diagram shows this is the understanding II of the duality of heaven within the Church on earth.
You can see from the diagram that this understanding depends on the duality between spiritual-rational correspondences and natural-rational correspondences established earlier panning left to enlightenment, level II. We know from the Writings that heaven is the Grand Human and that nothing can be inducted into that Divine Form but what is genuinely Human, that is, what is from the Lord. There is a purification process that we must undergo if our mind is to be a Church that is tied to heaven, thus a Church in which there is an internal worship. Regeneration is the process of purification by which the Lord brings our awareness to evil delights we cleave to, thus giving us the opportunity to reject them by turning our face toward Him.
Thus we can desist from the evil delights, and at last hold them in aversion and detest them. Then the Lord can admit us into the innocence of wisdom in old age see Volume 4. This is the celestial mind, the Church on earth. The final step of regeneration is installation step 9. The diagram shows that this is the perception III of the duality conjugial love within marriage.
Prior to this final phase of our regeneration we could not perceive a discrete degree between the external of our marriage an its internal, which is conjugial love. After completion of the nine installation steps, the New Church mind is fully regenerated. Then begins a new form of regeneration that does not depend on combat, as before.
This is the first time that we have become fully human, as a celestial mind on earth. It is called the innocence of wisdom in old age volume 4—in preparation. IN this interior-natural mind we con consciously see the correspondences of the Doctrine in a spiritual way. This is our spiritual understanding of the spiritual Doctrine located in our interior natural mind.
Now we can see the difference between the Doctrine in the Letter and the spiritual Doctrine laid down within the Letter in our mind. Now we can see that there is an inexhaustible source of interior spiritual truths within the Writings. We can understand that the Letter of the Writings is a finite set of Numbers and sentences.
They have been indexed and translated many times. There is a definite and finite number, even if we go down to the letters of each word. How then can there be an endless collection of spiritual truths in the Writings, to serve the entire humanity of the entire future ahead to eternity? We can see the answer as soon as we have established for ourselves the idea that the spiritual Doctrine is spiritual, made of a collection of spiritual truths. And right away we can see that there is no limit to the number of spiritual truths. The development of Doctrine can be thought of objectively and scientifically in terms of spiritual psychobiology, spiritual neurology, or spiritual agriculture.
Spiritual freedom refers to our self-controlled access to these information packets. Whichever type we love, that we access, that is, streams into us from heaven or hell, which builds up the fibers of the mind into clusters of coherent coiled shapes. In order to distinguish between the two types that enter externally into our rational mind, we must filter them through our reasoning process.
The accuracy of our reasoning process depends on our motive. We can perform the rational analysis between true and false information packets, in order to keep our inherited delights. In this case, our reasoning process will be necessarily biased and false, leading us to take falses for truths, and truths for falses. This is a disastrous course that leads all the way to hell because only truth leads away from hell.
Or, we can perform the rational analysis between true and false information packets, in order to shed our inherited delights. This leads to heaven because all inherited delights are ties to hell and shunning them turns us toward heaven. But what would lead us to shed our inherited delights? The Writings teach that there is only one thing that can convince us to freely give up our inherited and acquired evils.
And that is the Doctrine in our mind from the Writings xx. If we love the Doctrine because it is from the Lord and is the Lord xx , we will work daily to acquire it into our mind. And if we continue to love it in our mind, we will hold it up in the air as a brass serpent xx , and guide our steps in its light. Every moment we take a step in our mind, we are advancing the spiritual fibers further into hell, or further into heaven.
Every act of willing or desiring, every idea and conclusion of our thinking, is each a spiritual act that coils the fibers of our mind into heaps tending to hell, or beautiful networks of coherence and rationality that reach toward heaven, and touch it, thus becoming part of it. In one day there are minutes and 86, seconds. Think of every second as involving at least one spiritual act, but usually many more, if one thinks about it from sudden memory see Chapter 8 Section 1.
Clearly then, every day builds a considerable amount of spiritual fibers in our mind, and these are permanent installations! Every single one is formed by an information packet that comes to our natural mind either from hell or from heaven. Of course we could not even begin to do this from our own power and intelligence, since we are born spiritually insane, and power we have none xx.
So the Lord has made a way for us. He will supply the motive power, moment by moment, and He will supply the sanity of thinking moment by moment. The Lord cannot do this directly, like we do agriculture on earth, but only spiritually, through our own willing and thinking acts. To the extent that we compel ourselves to do our willing and thinking acts in accordance with His Divine Truth, to that extent we can be reformed and regenerated. By loving these packets of truth in the Letter of the Writings, we imbibe them from the literal language into our external mind, called the natural-rational, and then simultaneously, the Lord, from within, puts the spiritual content into our spiritual mind, and by correspondence into our interior-natural mind.
Now we have the living truth of Doctrine in us. Its external part is in the literal meaning of it in our natural-rational mind. This conscious understanding of truth from the Writings comes to us from the external natural world in the form of a book. Within this conscious truth, the Lord implants spiritual truths from within. This takes place in the spiritual mind in an unconscious way. But the unconscious activity becomes conscious by correspondence in our conscious interior-natural mind, as explained.
The mind is created into discrete degrees or levels. Each upper level interacts with the level below itself by means of correspondences. The bottom level of the natural mind is corporeal and it is not active with angels in heaven xx. But while we are in the physical body, the corporeal mind provides us with the ability to memorize the Letter. Children are very good at this and can be taught to recite large chunks of the Word, and to learn it by song and play.
But this level of thinking does not allow them to understand a single sentence or rational concept. Above this is the natural-sensuous mind which allows us to interpret the surface layer or meaning of the Letter. Anyone with education can paraphrase many sentences in the Writings, or translate them into another language. However this sensuous level of thinking and understanding does not allow one to see general applications or see the equivalence between different passages, or how they relate to one another and build on a theme or principle.
These activities can only go on in the natural-rational mind. You can see form the diagram that it is the highest portion of the external natural mind. Above this is no longer the external natural mind but its interior, called the interior-natural mind. Note this important fact: While the natural-rational mind is built up by our own studious effort at figuring out the Writings, the interior-natural mind is activated solely by the Lord.
This means that the interior-natural mind is the consciousness of the Holy Spirit with us. It is the physiological organ of the mind that provides for the dwelling of the Divine within our conscious awareness. Note from the diagram that the interior-natural mind is activated by the Lord simultaneously with our mental activity of rationally figuring out a sentence in the Writings.
This is the process of enlightenment from the Lord as one reads or reflects upon the Letter. It is provided by the Lord for the sake of our regeneration, for without this enlightenment we could not perceive the spiritual sense, and without perceiving the spiritual sense no one can be regenerated. This is the physiological process the Lord provides and there is no other method by which to be regenerated and saved.
The spiritual meaning that is in our interior mind is from the Lord. The natural-rational meaning that is in our external mind comes from our intellectual effort to understand the literal of the Writings. Together the external truth springs into life and becomes a living truth. Living truths is what heaven is made of, therefore we need them to enter eternal life in heaven xx.
The living spiritual truths which form heaven in our mind is called the City, the New Jerusalem, the Heavenly Doctrine xx. This is the spiritual truths we must have in our mind in order to filter the packets and arrange them in the heavenly order, until at last, our mind is a heaven in miniature xx. Without this spiritual Doctrine in our mind, nothing can happen but the inevitable slide down to hell. Our spiritual acts of willing and thinking all day long will not be filtered by truth, and in the absence of truth there is only hell forever xx.
Keep in mind that in order to perceive the spiritual sense of the Letter of the Writings, two activities must go on simultaneously. One is located in the interior-natural mind and the other in the natural-rational mind. Prior to reformation our interior-natural mind was not activated by the Lord. Our consciousness of the spiritual topics discussed by the Letter was non-existent.
We only had a natural understanding of the spiritual topics discussed in the literal sensed of the Writings. But after reformation the Lord is able to activate our interior-natural mind. Now when our natural-rational reflects on the meaning of a sentence in the Letter, our interior-natural is also activated, giving us a spiritual consciousness of the topics in the sentence.
Now we can perceive the spiritual sense within the Letter of the Writings. The activation of the interior-natural mind is called enlightenment. This as of-self self-compulsion is the discipline and effort into which the Lord can infuse spiritual-rational light, which is the understanding of interior truths. So we must continue the daily discipline by modifying the Doctrine of life day by day, to reflect the new more interior light we receive from the Lord.
Now in this new light, we must modify our willing and thinking to agree with the new light, which gives a higher and purer perception. This is a cumulative process so that we grow spiritually every day. Now even more interior light can be given by the Lord, and this continues to eternity AC For unless we improved every day to eternity, we could not be truly human and truly happy xx.
Note that the ever spiraling light to higher or more interior consciousness is not a sensation of ecstasy but a rational consciousness. It is a new rationality in the understanding. No truths reside in the will but only in the understanding AE So it is the understanding that receives higher and higher consciousness to eternity. Charity cannot be exercised without Doctrine xx. It is Doctrine that leads to charity, and from this charity, we receive new, more interior Doctrine. Charity does not save unless it is from Doctrine xx. Charity is the primary, and Doctrine the secondary. Doctrine without charity cannot save xx.
Doctrine as primary and charity as secondary, cannot save. But Doctrine that leads to charity, from which new Doctrine is obtained, does save. It is not charity that saves by means of Doctrine, but Doctrine from charity saves xx. Everything that proceeds from the Lord is called spiritual. And since these truths and goods cannot be received by man unless he believes them and does them, it is added, which are of faith and life from the Word. This New Church, truly Christian, which at this day is being established by the Lord, will endure to eternity, as is proved from the Word of both Testaments; also it was foreseen from the creation of the world; and it will be the crown of the four preceding churches, because it will have true faith and true charity.
The New Church mind contains the Heavenly Doctrine and is shaped by it. The Writings are to last forever. Henceforth for all times the Writings will be the sole source for Doctrine that the human race needs to be regenerated and saved. Heaven is in our understanding by means of the spiritual understanding of Doctrine. And the all of heaven is the Lord xx. The true human begins in heaven in the celestial mind, and this mind is made out of spiritual truths gathered together in the Doctrine that we have appropriated for ourselves in our understanding.
The truths of the Second Coming creates the New Heavens in our mind. This is a rational heaven made of spiritual-rational truths. Only by acquiring spiritual-rational truths from the Writings, can heaven be formed in our mind, and in no other way. Note carefully that it is not the literal language of the Writings that makes the heavenly Doctrine in our mind, but its spiritual content available from within, in the spiritual mind:. Natural truths, which are the truths of the sense of the letter of the Word, are not the very truths of heaven, but are appearances of them; and appearances of truth encompass, enclose, and contain the truths of heaven, which are genuine truths, and cause them to be in connection and order and to act together, like the cardiac and pulmonary organs with their coverings and ribs, as has been said above; and when these truths are held in connection and in order they are holy, and not till then.
This the sense of the letter of our Word does by means of the appearances of truth of which its ultimate consists; and this is why that sense is the holy Divine Itself and the sanctuary. AE . When we learn the truths of the Writings, we first have to put them into our external rational mind, which is natural, not spiritual. But once they are there, they can be elevated into spiritual truths when the Lord enlightens us to perceive these spiritual truths.
And the Lord enlightens us only when we struggle to arrange our willing and thinking to conform to this literal understanding in the natural mind. In that struggle to apply the truths to our acts all day long, is the enlightenment that constitutes the spiritual Doctrine in our mind. This is what saves since this is what we must acquire to live in heaven. But he is greatly mistaken who separates appearances of truth from genuine truths and calls these appearances holy by themselves and from themselves, and not the sense of the letter holy by genuine truths and from them and together with them.
He separates these who sees only the sense of the letter and does not explore its meaning, as those do who do not read the Word from doctrine. The "cherubim" mean in the Word a guard and protection that the holy things of heaven be not violated, and that the Lord be approached only through love; consequently these signify the sense of the letter of the Word, because that is what guards and protects.
It guards and protects in this manner that man can think and speak according to the appearances of truth so long as he is well-disposed, simple, and as it were an infant; but he must take heed not to so confirm appearances as to destroy the genuine truths in the heavens. AE . Note in this passage something is said about those who do not read the Writings from Doctrine.
Doctrine here refers to the spiritual understanding of the literal sentences. When we are in that state, which is at the start of our reformation in adult life, we read the Writings and try to make sense of it by means of our own intelligence and reasoning.
We do not explore the spiritual meaning in what we read because we do not believe there is a spiritual meaning in the Writings before we begin to regenerate. The idea that the Writings contain a spiritual meaning beneath the letter can only come to us when we acknowledge it as the Word, just like the Word of the Old and New Testaments. The minute we start doing this, we begin to see some of the spiritual meaning within the letter.
This is the result of enlightenment from the Lord. The Lord works with our motive for doing this substitution. To the extent that we do the substitution because we love the idea that the Writings are the primary Word for the New Church mind, to that extent the Lord intensifies the enlightenment and allows us to see more interior truths.
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The more interior the truths we see within the letter, the more there is enlightenment, and the closer we are to the celestial angels who live in the spiritual truths of the Writings. But, as explained frequently, this enlightenment is proportional to the extent to which we apply our understanding of Doctrine to our life. It is very important to realize that striving to be a good man and doing good to the neighbor and country, are not sufficient to effect reformation and regeneration xx.
Only through Doctrine can we be reformed and regenerated. This is how the Lord created the New Heavens out of the old, by means of new spiritual truths He brought to the angels in the Word of His Second Coming. As the angels accepted and loved these new truths about the Divine Human, they appropriated them to themselves, and in these higher truths they entered the New Heavens.
The New Heavens were built by the Lord out of these new spiritual truths that were in the angels from the Writings. When the spiritual Doctrine is in our understanding, it is the Lord who put it there. Clearly then, the spiritual Doctrine is only from the Lord, and therefore is the Lord with us, dwelling in our understanding of His Divine Truth.
As we ponder these things there is a certain fear or hesitation: What is someone claims to have enlightenment from the Lord and promulgates a spiritual Doctrine that is from himself, hence false. How would we distinguish between the false and the true Doctrine? The answer is that the spiritual Doctrine is only from enlightenment in the understanding, and as soon as you try to write down or describe it in natural language, all you get is a natural view of it.
We can read or reflect on the literal statements of the spiritual Doctrine this man claims to have from the Lord. But the literal and natural sentences do not give a spiritual view of the spiritual Doctrine, only a natural view. You can see that this is also the case with the Heavenly Doctrine. In Arcana Coelestia AC we read numerous descriptions of the spiritual sense of words and sentences in the Old Testament. We can be told that woman in the Word means Church, or that man means faith or truth, or that Jacob represents the external mind, or that blood signifies spiritual truth or the falsification of spiritual truth, and so on.
These correspondences are explained and these explanations are about spiritual truths, but only as seen from a natural perspective.
Vol 2: Enlightenment
A spiritual perspective on these spiritual truths cannot be obtained from the literal descriptions. This spiritual perspective on spiritual truths cannot reside in the natural mind, and we are not conscious of what is in our interior or spiritual mind xx. The only way we can see the spiritual truths is not form the literal, but within the literal. And this perception within the literal is only there when we are enlightened by the Lord as we read the Writings.
Let us try to write down the content of this enlightenment, and we have nothing left in the sentences but a natural perspective. Note carefully that this enlightenment can only take place with the literal of the Writings and in no other way. The Lord cannot enlighten us with spiritual truths from any other work, but only from His Word.
Only the Word contains spiritual truths xx. For the New Church mind only the Writings contain spiritual truths. The Old and New Testaments are also the Word, but for the New Church mind they can only be understood from the perspective of the Writings. Hence the Writings are the primary Word for the New Church mind. The Lord is able to regenerate us by means o the spiritual Doctrine in our understanding. By methods unbeknownst to us, He adjoins good to the spiritual truths we acquired as-of self into our understanding by studying the literal of the Word.
Therefore gathering the spiritual Doctrine in our mind is the primary means by which we are regenerated. But this applies only to the extent that we shun evils in our willing and falsities in our thinking. If we fail to do this, the enlightened understanding falls back to the level of the unregenerate will, where it dies, and becomes purely natural, which in itself is dead xx. It is a stillborn spiritual Doctrine, never getting a breath of life. This breath of life is our shunning evils because they are sins against the Divine Truth.
When good is adjoined by the Lord, we become a genuine human being, a celestial mind, seeing the spiritual within the natural and willing and thinking accordingly. AE This clearly says that to live from the Writings is to live from the Lord and that He is the Writings. The Writings teach that they cannot be understood without Doctrine drawn from its Letter xx. Note that Doctrine has to be drawn out, which means that Doctrine is not the same as the Letter.
The Letter of the Writings referred to is the literal meaning of the sentences that we have studied and understood in a rational way. Therefore the Letter of the Divine Truth now exists laid down in our natural mind. At first it is laid down in our sensuous mind, but then as we grow more in intellectual ability, the Literal is laid down in our natural-rational mind.
This is the Letter we must think of when discussing regeneration, for only when it is in the understanding can the Letter serve for our regeneration and salvation. Doctrine must be drawn from the sense of the letter of the Word. But the Divine truth which must be of doctrine appears to none but those who are in enlightenment from the Lord. SS These three commandments must be kept in mind when thinking about Doctrine and regeneration.
First, the Letter of the Writings is not the Doctrine and cannot be understood without Doctrine. Second, Doctrine must be drawn or rationally extracted form the Letter of the Writings. Third, the spiritual Doctrine is of Divine origin and can be seen only by those who are enlightened by the Lord.
Clearly, our regeneration and salvation goes through orderly stages, and one is the imbibing of the Letter of the Writings and figuring out their meaning in a rational way. This is our First Education in spiritual development or regeneration. It is orderly and objective since others in the Church must be able to also understand the extraction process. Genuine faith cannot be by persuasion or authority xx.
So every regenerating individual must extract Doctrine from the Letter. But this cannot be done prior to studying and figuring out the meaning of the Letter in a rational way. By performing this intellectual discipline we are insured that there will be rational vessels in our natural mind that can serve for enlightenment by the Lord. You can see that the Lord desires to enlightens everyone, and would instantly do so, if this were according to Order. But it is not possible to do this according to Order, for rational and spiritual reasons that are explained in the Writings.
Therefore the Lord commands us to follow the precise condition by which He can enlighten us, and this is the taking up of the Letter of the Writings into our rational mind. As we apply this natural understanding to our daily willing and thinking, the understanding become spiritual. This is done by the Lord who animates the external rational understanding from within, as explained in several places in this book.
So the Second Education we must undergo is this drawing out of Doctrine from the Letter. Here not the external physical book is meant, neither the memorized sentences. What is meant is the Letter in our understanding. In other words, the intellectual effort we made in trying to understand the Letter we read in the book. The third step is to confirm the spiritual Doctrine extracted by means of the Letter in the book. Without this the entire process is not genuine but falsified.
All three steps are necessary. The Third Education is the development of our skill in confirming spiritual Doctrine in the Letter of the Writings. This activity multiplies the consequences of the spiritual Doctrine and the spread throughout our conscious rational mind, from which we have wisdom to defeat our evil affections. The Third Education allows us to prove the correctness and purity of the spiritual Doctrine and to disprove the false natural doctrinal theories that many in the Church might put forth at one time or another.
The essential human is rational and since Doctrine is a rational entity, it is Doctrine that makes us more and more human. We are not fully human, genuinely human, until we have confirmed the spiritual Doctrine which we received by enlightenment. Because the fully human is the celestial mind, and this is what the celestial mind does, and this is whereby the celestial mind is created by the Lord. You can see from all this that two things make the all and all of the New Church: the Letter of the Writings and the spiritual Doctrine we extract from it by enlightenment from the Lord.
The process of spiritual development, or regeneration, is gradual and by means xx. The first general step is to study the Letter of the Writings as the Word itself and to gather into our rational mind the Literal form of the Spiritual Doctrine. The form of the Spiritual Doctrine lies within every sentence of the Writings. Even every single word of the Writings must be so honored, being aware of the rational idea that the Divine spiritual Doctrine is laid down in this or that translation. But faithful translations will insure the transmission of the Literal in a genuine rational form that allows it to respond by correspondence to the details of the spiritual Doctrine.
The spiritual Doctrine is the understanding we have of the Letter in our mind when enlightened. This is a new spiritual understanding not available to us before the enlightenment. It can be read and learned in descriptions given by others, but only a natural understanding can be had in this by this external mechanism. Only a direct internal mechanism allows us to access the spiritual understanding of Doctrine, namely, what the Lord calls enlightenment or illustration xx. Once enlightened, try to write down the spiritual understanding, and you end up with correspondences for it in the natural-rational system of thinking.
Note well: the Letter of the Writings must be in our mind for this to happen. Further, this happens only to the extent that our motive for taking up the Literal in our mind, is a spiritual motive in relation to regeneration. In other words, we read in the Writings that we must take up spiritual Doctrine from the Letter in order to cooperate in our regeneration. This is the right motive, and other motives will not allow the Lord to enlighten us from the Letter we have in our mind. I have discussed this issue throughout Volume 2 and in many places in Volume 1.
Enlightenment in the Letter from the Lord means that He creates a new interior-natural mind within the external-rational mind that is in the upper portion of the natural mind, above the sensuous. This new creation admits nothing whatsoever from self and the world. This is most important to keep in mind in order to be able to see the Divine origin of the Doctrine we bring forth as-of self in the Church.
The events in the interior-natural mind are nothing else but correspondences. These correspondences are nothing else but representations in our conscious rational mind of the events going on in the spiritual mind. These events are totally unconscious and of which cannot become aware in this life. So the activity in the spiritual mind is purely a Divine Work. These activities involve the implantations of spiritual seeds and their nurturing and development by the angels from the Lord. As this Divine procedure is achieved, the exact and full correspondence is recorded in the interior-natural mind.
You can see that these correspondences are also Divine since only the Lord deposits spiritual truths and their correspondences. Now e have a new thing entirely. We have an interior-natural mind which gives us conscious awareness of spiritual truths seen through spiritual correspondences that are Divine. In effect, we become conscious of Divine Truth in a spiritual way. Prior to this we only understood spiritual truths in a natural way through our external rational mind. In other words, our First Education, was to implant the Letter into our rational by as-of self voluntary intellectual effort.
The Second Education is to become consciously aware of the spiritual correspondences of Divine origin in our interior-natural mind. This new spiritual consciousness is purely of Divine origin, and there is nothing in it from self and the Letter. Again remember that the conscious awareness of the spiritual Doctrine in the interior-natural mind is there in exact proportion to the motive we have for putting the Letter into our rational mind. It follows from all this that the Doctrine of the Church placed in the interior-natural by the Lord through correspondences, is a Divine Doctrine that has nothing from self or the world in it.
This Divine Doctrine is not man-made but man-received. All those who will honor it can receive it, see it, and consciously understand it to the extent they are undergoing regeneration. Prior to our ability to enjoy enlightenment from the Lord, we are immersed in the Letter. Our understanding of the revelations of the Second Coming is an individual struggle. We grasp to understand more and more and we go through various stages of confusion, and even doubt. One sign is that we can readily believe on sentence of the Letter, but not so readily some other sentences. When the literal meaning runs contrary to our beliefs systems and education, we experience some doubt as to the Divine origin of those sentences.
Similarly, when we read that there is a Doctrine of the Church, and then read its description in the Letter, we merely believe that these explanations are the Doctrine discussed. As we undergo reformation in adult life, early or late, we begin to see that the Lord works in every detail of our regeneration, in our thinking especially. He decides what we read when and tries to bend our thinking so that we may receive the spiritual meaning that this within the Letter.
We begin to trust that the Lord is supervising these details. A wrong motive for doing this will only yield self-made doctrine, which is neither Divine nor true or valid. But a right motive for doing it will only yield Divine Doctrine. This duality must be fully accepted by being fully convinced o fits truth.
The wrong motive cannot yield the Divine Doctrine and the right motive must. It is an inevitable process the Lord has created for the regeneration of the old mind and the formation of the New Church mind. The New Church mind cannot be formed by anything from self-intelligence but only by intelligence form the Lord.
Whatever comes into our intelligence form the Lord is Divine. This has tow main portions. First, the acknowledgement that tithe Writings are the Word. This divine Doctrine was born in a specific New Church at a particular time in history. This Divine Seed was nurtured by the men of the General Church and confirmed in many ways from the Letter. This Divine Doctrine revealed to the General Church is to serve the entire human race. The Lord has an endless list of spiritual-celestial truths to grant to all the New Church organizations of the endless future. Each time, the Divine Birth in the Church is a replication or recapitulation by correspondence, of the how the Lord Glorified His Human.
The Spiritual Doctrine is solely a Divine Work with the men of the Church who are undergoing regeneration and are enlightened by the Lord to see the Divine Doctrine in their interior-natural mind. To say that the sole authority of the Church is the plain teachings of the Writings is to say that the Spiritual Doctrine cannot form the Church since it is in the interior-natural mind.
The Church must be formed by that which is external, hence the Letter of the Writings and ecclesiastical administrations xx. Clearly no other possibility exists since the Church specific is a natural organization in society with a legal status and responsibilities. It must have a literal constitution and a literal Sacred Scripture.
So the Letter of the Writings must be the only and final authority on all things concerning the Church administration and instruction. The Old Testament gave the Jewish Church very precise and detailed procedural steps, rules, and principles to follow under penalty of death and misery. Clearly this was done to allow cultural differences in religious worship of the Lord. The same is the case with the New Church. So many details could have been given in dozens of volumes of writing, so many details were given about so many subjects, yet almost no details were given about Church administration and worship.
For the same reason as before, to allow the endless proliferation of organizations in the New Church. Only the internal worship has become crucial xx , and this is a matter of the Spiritual Doctrine. Almost all of the external Church procedures of worship and government are therefore not part of the Letter, nor part of Doctrine.
Ecclesiastical government, procedures, and rules are socio-cultural natural issues, and these often become political issues when charity in the Church is made less important than Church organization. The Spiritual Doctrine does not enter into the Church organizational framework and due process of grievance.
Nor does the Letter. To attempt to bring forth the Letter in support of a political dissent in the Church can only lead to more dissent until all charity dies, and that Church specific becomes vastated. Dissent in the Church organization will develop but the Letter of the Writings must not be used to support one side of the argument as against another.
To do this would lead the Church into fundamentalism and from a celestial Church it becomes a Church of Cain xx. We may fear the social and political implications of saying that the Doctrine in our mind can be Divine. We immediately start imagining that a New Church pope will come along, or several of them, and will mislead the people to their own power hungry or crazed motives and insanities. Since they are in a position of authority an prominence in the Chr5uch, we fear for the destruction of the Church by heresies, just as we are told happened with the Christian Church xx.
As a result of this notion and fear, we might act to suppress the idea of a Divine Doctrine other than the Letter of the Writings. But the Lord guides our thinking in this all important area, as He does all areas of lesser importance to our salvation. We cannot really become convinced of the Divinity of some Doctrine brought forth by someone in the Church unless we are fully confident that the Lord will also bring clear vision to all sincere men so that they may distinguish between bogus doctrine and spiritual Doctrine of purely celestial origin.
If we fail to allow this certainty and confidence in the process, we are not yet acting from the Lord but from ourselves. When proposals are brought forth about new spiritual insights form the Lord, those who read them may not see that what has been brought forward are genuine spiritual truths of Doctrine, even thought hey may be. This is why all proposals of Spiritual Doctrine must be confirmed by the Letter in many ways, not just here and there. So when someone in the Church brings forth such a proposal, and confirms it by the Letter, the others in the Church must try do likewise. They must search the Letter to see if they can build their own case for the new proposals.
Only the case you can build yourself can be of value to your understanding and regeneration. In this way there will be no disturbance in the Church and the priesthood can lead the flock to the good of life by means of instruction. The Letter of the Writings protects the Church from false proposals of Doctrine since all Doctrine must be confirmed by the Letter xx.
It is impossible to prove rationally that a false Doctrine is from the Letter.
- Charles Limcango (Author of The Nondual Teachings of Christ, vol. 3).
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Note well: Many such attempts have been made in the Old Christian Church and in the New Church, and this will no doubt continue for a long time, if not permanently. The unregenerate mind born in the New Church will concoct false Doctrine, but it will never be able to prove it from the Letter. If the attempt is made, no proof is produced, but only a correlated argument. An analogy from science may make this easier to understand rationally. Our culture makes us familiar with medical research reported in the news and magazines.
For example, smoker have a higher rate of lung cancer than non-smokers, even when other lifestyle factors are held common such as diet and exercise. For many years this finding served to fuel the campaign against smoking, and indeed it dropped as behavioral habit. The associated illnesses also dropped in frequency. This is an example of relying on correlation argument. When this is done, sometimes the argument turns out to be wrong.
Some other unknown correlated factor was present, and it is that actually produces the illness. If this factor is not present, the behavior habits do not lead to the sickness. In the case of smoking, causative proof was also obtained to some extent by means of causative procedures that involve control groups and medically created groups that receive certain treatment. It is similar with the attempt to distinguish between man-made false doctrine and Divine Doctrine from heaven. The pipe is then smoked till finished, and the shaman asks: "When do you want to do this quest.
All other participants enter after the Shaman and the Quester, who sit in the East and South respectively. Everything belongs to you, your pipe, this sacred place we have made, the centre is your dwelling place. The shaman and the quester then make tobacco ties, after which the shaman will pack the pipe to the 6 directions and the quester tapes it closed until after the quest is completed. The pipe is then held by the quester, who now sits in the West of the lodge with the pipe stem facing the East. Each participant then mentions their relationship to the quester, or the reason for them participating.
Quester wishes to offer the pipe to you. Grandfather, I am sending a voice that my people may live. When the water is brought in, the quester can drink all or some of the water, but they must not spill a single drop. Second round All other participants now pray for the quester and tell a story about one of their experiences in doing a Vision Quest. The first task is to locate or feel the centre point where the strongest power and connection to your heart 'feels right'.
Then as you collect the direction stones feel for the stones that call to you for the particular directions, connect with the stones. As you create your circle call in the powers of the directions and of each stone person. When completed, stand back and see if it 'feels right', it can always be adjusted now but preferably not during the quest. The quest circle should have a pole in the centre, tobacco in the hole, with the prayer ties attached. On the perimeter there should be the 4 direction poles with robes tied. The quester can have a bed, of leaves, with their head touching the centre pole and their feet facing the east.
Enter the circle from the east and symbolically, with intent if not with smoke also, purify yourself; beginning with your head, so as to think pure thoughts, then your eyes, to see the truth, your ears, to hear the truth, your throat, to speak the truth with clarity, and finally purify your heart, so as to give and receive love freely and unconditionally.
As you keep the intention and purpose of the quest clearly in your mind pray to your creator, asking for blessing. Call in your guides and give thanks to them as you centre yourself with seven breaths drawing in energy from each direction and the centre. The quester can pray by holding their pipe up to Wakan-Tanka at the centre, and then do the same at the east returning to the centre after each prayer to the directions, in the natural order of nature East, North, West, South, for the Southern Hemisphere. Be attentive. Note all thoughts and beings that come into vision, especially the winged ones.
Be aware and pure of heart. The quester may sleep, but should pray mostly in the middle of the night and be up before sunrise, to pray to it. Ask yourself, "What is your essence truth and your theme freedom? Take responsibility for your actions, but don't get bogged down in guilt or fears. Where is your power? A fear named is a fear tamed. Visualise a worst case and in the comfort of detachment find a solution or acceptance of any fear, anger, addictions, possessions, children, parents or beliefs by cutting the connecting energy cord, through creative visualisation.
Give thanks to your body, part by part. And give thanks to nature and your Creator. Calling for a vision actively by beseeching - calling sincerely from the heart. Be open and accept, with a still mind, to receive, breathe, and observe all things, all actions, and all dreams. The quester goes strait into the lodge with the shaman who lights the quester's pipe and smokes it to the 6 directions before passing it to the quester and back until it is all smoked.
Tell us the truth of everything that happened, and don't leave out a single ant's movement. First round The shaman will pray something like: "I thank you Wakan-Tanka for the vision that you have given, which is for the good of All Our Relations. Give time, persistence and patience to understand all the messages given in each vision or experience. It can take many years. Your act of power An act that you manifest in the world from your deepest passion. When you perform an act of power, you are manifesting your true destiny in life.
You are living your dream. Like a sacred flute player enticing your truth of spirit out into the light of day, own your power, because you are made of power. An act of power comes from a place of passion within your deepest being. It is an expression of your totality, of who you are in the world. To find your act of power is to live your dreams. What would you do if you could do anything? Discover what that is, and then do it.
To find your power is to find your destiny. The flute player uses sacred sound to coax your spirit into physical manifestation. The lotus blossom symbolises the birth into you spiritual nature, you true destiny. When destiny is found, it exemplifies your illumination. Copied with permission from:. Uncertainty-supremacy assails the world. God's secret and sacred Will in the world of the unknowable prevails. The New Millennium is humanity's unhorizoned God-surrender-victory. And Divinity's most glorious earth-blossom-discovery.
All that we are. All that we can be. And all that we will ever be, Is right here. We're Alone! Our Gods have left and ascended into Heaven, Our power animals and lower world spirits have become outlawed, As demonic, vile and illegal. And so we close our mind's eye to 'All that is'. And we indulge in New, the first, The fast, the bright, neon, the loud, Ego.
Hide, don't make eye contact with The other, the selfhood. Ignore the crying child within. You may, in time, learn to realise it's Not here for you. You are part of it. Mitakuaye Oyasin These are an order of words that came to me upon waking after a night spent in the rain forest. I possibly call it 'the reality of our reality'.
They also mark my time of transformation, wanting to be a better being, righting my wrongs, to benefit the whole of creation. Hello Sitting Owl Thank you for your letter and good wishes.
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I am glad you got to meet my family and friends at the mass of hope for me. It was like the trickster caught me off guard when I made it back from the Tassie wilderness. When I was out bush I hoped probably to god for strength each day and I hoped that the authorities would be kind and understanding.
It was like these requests were answered but I didn't think to ask so that the media would be kind. I didn't even think about television and newspaper popularity, so I didn't expect help about it. In hindsight they are just concerned about the money spent on the search, that's okay. At about day 20 my mind was very wound up and stressed. It was so intense and full of thoughts at about 4. It felt like my brain was about to explode this day. I was not over worried or scared though, because I knew it was going to happen and that it was a positive thing that would eventually happen to me.
Without that understanding of your knowledge, life out there would not have been as good. I literally felt my brain move and feel at peace. It actually felt good. The ha-hum, ha-hum and the hyperventilation happened for about one minute. At the completion of this strange experience I felt basic peace, when I chose, and whatever it was chose to finish at the same time. My thinking became rational again.
About a half-hour later I moved my shelter into a better position and not long after that, about 10 minutes, after collecting my tree bark mattress, it snowed. I was eating the snow like snow cones like they were a gift, and then I slept like a baby. The entire walk was like a Hero's Adventure managed by the trickster energy in conjunction with Creator. It must be so that spirit listens to what we hope. My best mate looked after me, and with your help I knew how to accept the help. I am now very interested to know if everything is controlled by the hand of God or if our consciousness is the boss; to know if everything is managed by chaos or choice.
Actually, the universe is managed by both choice, which is consciousness or as you put it, inertial energy, and by cycles. Some cycles are known to us and others are unknown, some repeating within a split second, and others on cosmic scale like the cycle of a star's life from birth to death. Decisions I made were life saving, but I don't know if anything outside myself told me what to do. There could be million angels managing our lives. All memories, both known and unknown are stored in the unconscious or subconscious.
The trick is to be consciously aware of all of them so that we have more control of our entire life, but this is one mean feat, and I have only been scratching the surface of my own subconscious. Thanks Sitting Owl. M Mitakuye Oyasin. This is the beauty of living in the bush, you never get bored, because you have to do so much to survive. Today's kids are committing suicide mainly because of information burnout.
They have so much they can do, but they get bored with it very quickly, and depression sets in. If they lived in the bush without the TVs, Video Games, and computers, they would soon find things inside themselves to enrich their lives beyond the toys of our modern society. And they would even enjoy the company of the rest of their family, whom in modern society, they probably don't even know. My fondest memories are playing cards or games with my family, back before we got our first TV, which then kept everyone from talking or playing together.
That is why this world is getting so bad. The family unit has been torn apart by technology, not brought together. People will find living together far more enjoyable in the Golden Age, because they will do everything together, such as gardening, going fishing, or berry picking, great joys of life. I had a feminist lady tell me once that she did not wish to live the way the Indians lived, where women were under the thumb of a man. I had to laugh. If my mother had been there she would have found out what real feminism is all about. To most people the way the Indians lived comes from old movies, which are the products of Hollywood imagination.
The reality is very different. The first white men who saw the way things get done in an Indian village were totally shocked by the fact that nothing happens without women's approval. They described the Indian form of government as a 'Petty-coat parliament', because the men would get together, and at the same time the women would get together, and both would pass judgement on any of the issues of the day.
The men and the women would then get together and see if they agreed. If they did not agree, then it would be put off for a time until one side or the other saw things differently. To the white man, he saw it as nothing getting done in a hurry. To the Indian, it was simply a matter of equality. Women were never under the thumb of an Indian man.
Once a woman made her mind up who she wished to marry, she would then at anytime have the right to leave him if she wished. If he was mean to her, or did not hunt good enough to feed her family, or if she simply liked someone else better, she could leave. She also had the right to become a warrior if she wished. I think that would have been the way my mother would have gone, had she been raised in the old days!
So you can understand that women having so many rights in marriage, the men did not treat their wives badly, or they would just leave. My Grandfather had many wives which, to the white men is also not right. But the circumstances were always for the benefit of the women involved. My Grandfather's first wife had a friend that no one else wanted to marry, so my Grandmother asked him to marry her friend, so that she would not be alone. My Grandfather did so out of respect for his wife, not because he wanted another wife.
Another young woman of the tribe was very beautiful, so beautiful that all the young warriors were ready to fight over her. The council got together and gave her to my Grandfather as his wife. This may seem crazy to you, but my Grandfather never slept with this woman, knowing he was only keeping her for the council. Soon the young men started marrying other women, and forgot about the beautiful young maiden. One warrior was so in love with her that he would not marry any other women. When he was the last man left, my Grandfather asked the young girl about the warrior that wouldn't go away, and she told him that she loved him too.
The next day my Grandfather gave her to this warrior to be his wife. This happened many times in Indian villages to keep the young warriors from killing each other over a beautiful woman. To me it is very civilised, not the work of savages. For young warriors in love, there were several options in picking and getting the woman he loved.
He could offer all the riches he had such as blankets, horses, or make a beautiful knife for the father. But it was always the mother who would check with the daughter to see who she preferred, then the mother would inform the father who the daughter wanted to marry, and he would show favour to this man.
If the father did not think you were worthy of his daughter, but you knew she really loved you, you still had one option left. You could try to steal the girl from under the father's nose in the middle of the night from his lodge. This was a very dangerous thing to try because if the father caught you, he would certainly kill you dead on the spot. But the way the Indian father thinks is different than most. If this young man was willing to put his life on the line to marry his daughter, then he would surly die trying to protect her later on, wouldn't he!
Warriors who managed to steal their wives in this manner, were treated with the greatest respect among the tribe. One thing that today's women would like about the Indian way of life is the way women were treated when they were menstruating. Once a woman's period began she was moved to a special lodge. The other women of the tribe would then feed her children and do her normal chores, such as gathering wood and cooking for her family. At the same time they would also feed, bathe, and rub the woman down to ease her pain. This was the way of life for Cherokee women.
If the white man had joined the Cherokee way of life, I don't think there would have been the need for a women's movement or feminists around. An old Cherokee joke says it all; "A white man asked the Cherokee woman why she walks three paces behind her husband? No matter what the crime, there was always a way for the Indians to forgive.