Spiritual Law: The Essence of Swedenborg's Divine Providence

Spiritual Law: The Essence of Swedenborg's Divine Providence

by Joanna V. Hill


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Spiritual Law: The Essence of Swedenborg's Divine Providence by Joanna V. Hill

This book is the retelling of a Swedenborg classic, Divine Providence, first published in Latin in Amsterdam in 1764. Its contemporary message of how the spiritual and physical worlds interact is a fascinating explanation of this interplay. Swedenborg, 1688-1772, a Swedish scientist and theologian, describes five laws under which spiritual energy operates, much like the laws under which the material world operates, such as the law of gravity. Understanding these spiritual laws and their implications can remove some of the barriers to understanding how and why things happen.

Swedenborg explains that we are born with free will and that we can choose how we want to grow, knowing all the while there is love and support with us always. Swedenborg wrote hundreds of years ago, but his ideas are refreshingly inclusive. Although written from a Christian perspective, these principles are true for people of all religions.

The book follows the same outline that Swedenborg used for the original book, incorporating similar chapter breaks and examples. The text is restated, condensed, and directed to a contemporary audience of spiritual seekers while retaining some of the traces of the original tone and clarity.

Ultimately, this book is a handbook for spiritual growth. It makes his understanding of the spiritual world accessible to a much wider audience of readers. The insights of Emanuel Swedenborg, whose formidable writings on the nature of the spiritual world may prove too time-consuming and complex for today's readers, are now clearly stated in accessible language so that readers can use them for growth and enrichment of life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780991251605
Publisher: Rock Point Press
Publication date: 09/15/2014
Pages: 128
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Joanna Hill began her career in publishing in book production/design at university presses in North Carolina, Texas, and Louisiana State University. She later worked at the Swedenborg Foundation and was founding publisher for Templeton Foundation Press in Pennsylvania. She earned a master's degree in religious studies from the Bryn Athyn College Theological School and is co-author of three books: The Power of Prayer around the World, Words of Gratitude for Mind, Body, and Soul; and Tiffany's Swedenborgian Angels: Stained Glass Windows Representing the Seven Churches from the Book of Revelation

Read an Excerpt

The way that God governs is through Divine love and wisdom, or perfect love and perfect wisdom. These would be the fullest sense of what these words "love" and "wisdom" could possibly encompass, which actually are much beyond our comprehension. They are contained within the creative force of the universe and are unified within the Creator. Symbolically, we can think of Divine love as heat and Divine wisdom as light. Just as the sun contains both heat and light, so does God contain and project both love and wisdom. When we have heat without light, or light without heat, we are lacking or limited in our abilities to function effectively, just as if we were to have love without wisdom or wisdom without love.

The basic purpose of God's governance through Divine providence is to protect this unity of love and wisdom. Divine order is, in fact, this unity and spiritual law exists to make and sustain this connection. We all have within us the capacity for good and truth or evil and falsity. Being aware of spiritual law, or Divine providence, helps us learn to choose with understanding which path to follow. Even evil exists for the purpose of promoting this unification of good loves and true ideas by creating equilibrium, providing a contrast, and pointing out the areas of our lives that need attention. This works in the spiritual world as in the natural–just as one who has been cold more greatly appreciates the heat, so can the presence of evil promote a love of goodness and truth.

The creation of the world came about as a result of this Divine love through Divine wisdom; it was not created from nothing but from God. We can see signs of this wisdom within such creations as a seed from which grows a beautiful tree. There are ways we can look at things first instinctively, then rationally, and then spiritually. If we can look at examples of God's creation first from a physical, then scientific, then transcendent perspective, we can begin to sense the unity, wonder, and awe of all of creation. This unity exists within all living things and is evidence of Divine influence.

The unity that exists within God is reflected in each human being and in every creation. There is an emanation from God to all of creation–from the highest and most pure descending by degrees through the levels of material creation. It is thus that the closer one is governed by this union of love and wisdom to the same degree do they reflect the image and likeness of God. God, through the spiritual

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