Spiritual Questions

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Unclear about things? Welcome to Spiritual Questions eZine – trying to throw light on how we find lasting happiness and the meaning of life.

Index of Content Click on topic of interest to see available articles and comments.

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Questions about the arts: Reviews of music, fiction, visual arts etc. from a spiritual angle.

Questions about consciousness: Study of altered states of consciousness is revealing new insights into the human condition and these states are an important part of spiritual experience especially the sense of unity reported by many mystics.

Questions about spiritual healing: Focusing on how personal happiness can come through spiritual healing.

Questions about meaning of life: Focusing on the meaning of life, relationships, the experience of humanity, the human soul and divine presence.

Questions about ethics: Here you will find posts that try to apply spiritual ideas to political, social and moral issues.

Questions about Swedenborg: Who was Swedenborg? What did he have to say? Why does he get mentioned so much? Who are his readers?

Questions about what’s new: Information about new events – workshops, courses, retreats, conferences, and other spiritual events.

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Please give your comments or ask your spiritual questions below the relevant article. We can all learn from each other when looking to find personal meaning and happiness and a philosophy of life.

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66 Responses to Spiritual Questions

  1. Ashok Kumar says:

    Dear sir can we feel the presence of God in this world through meditation.

  2. Ashok Kumar says:

    Hey how we can get God in this world

  3. Rob says:

    I’m still here struggling with this. I had an epiphany recently where I saw the way to live in a heavenly way is at least in good part by experiencing God’s love. Then one doesn’t want to do things that will cut himself off from that love. But sometimes one can forget God’s love and find himself falling into hellish ways of being. And its hard to extract one’s self at that point. You just wallow there, repeating the same hellish actions and thinking. Then you wonder if you have even ever been on the path that leads to heaven. Life is too difficult.

  4. Barb says:

    I have a question and wasn’t sure who to ask. Saw your website and decided to ask you this.
    Do you have any idea what it means when someone accidentally breaks an angel figurine?
    My husband just dropped one today and the head broke off. Tried googling this on computer and the closest I could find was that if an angel figurine’s wing breaks, it means an angel is watching out for you. Hopefully it’s a good sign.


    • Ed says:

      Forgive me if I sound flippant but when somebody accidentally breaks something it could be they are being careless. Kinder people than me might say your husband was just unlucky.

      The trouble is I don’t believe in chance whether good or ill-luck because if there is a Divine Power invisibly in charge of the universe, then that will have to include control over the smallest details of what happens including things getting broken in the home. So the question becomes why should any bad thing be allowed to happen anywhere and anytime.

      I guess that brings us back to my first point. Any thing that a good God allows to go wrong must have some benefit even it is not apparent to us. Parents allow their children to make mistakes because they might learn from them. As a total guess perhaps life is trying to teach your husband his need to learn to be more careful e.g. of things that you hold dear.

      Anyway your question was about angels. You may be unaware of the extraordinary experiences of 18th century Emanuel Swedenborg during which he claimed to have daily experiences for the last 27 years of his life hearing and seeing angels. He said that these were good human beings who had died but continuing to live in an afterlife.
      Apparently, we do have angels as you say watching out for us. They can bring a state of peace, contentment and bring into our minds wise thoughts. There influence is more keenly felt when we turn towards what is good and then they defend us against harmful impulses but they are said to recede a little from us when we turn to what we know is bad.
      I strongly believe they are immune from anything we might do such as breaking figurines of them.

      Regards Stephen

  5. lyss says:

    heey my mate told me that i shined bright light white colour, i don’t know what that means and why can’t i tell myself what colour is my aura is!

    • Ed says:

      Hi Lyss

      Your comment has provoked me to research the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg on the topic of auras. My post giving some of what he said is here

  6. Sigh says:

    Hey there.. I’ve been going through a spiritual awakening for a while but I feel like my life is being wasted. My parents don’t let me go outside, and it’s SUmmer so I just sit in the house for weeks. I’d love it if I was able to just step into the sun and explore. I’d really love to see new place.. or even familiar places and people.. I’ve tried using positivity to attract more positive thing, like being happy for the time I do spend out but.. that barely ever happens and it doesn’t look like my situation is getting better.. being happy about out financial situation is hard too because I’m not the person who makes money for the house.. I just really want to enjoy the outside world in person and be able to go out with friends, family meet new spiritually awakened people.. but things I need and want and just be happier.. but as a child, I’m not sure I am able to manifest such things… Sorry for the scattered question, my last post was refreshed and I rushed through this one.. Thanks.

  7. kanishk says:

    hi friend.
    I have a doubt that is troubling me very much. I want to hear your views regarding this.
    Suppose a girl knows that some person is wrong and must be caught by police.And there is no one else in the house to help her. However, the police cannot arrive until next day and so she has to hold him for one night.Painfully she decides to bind him in love trap and sleeps (or forced to sleep)with him that night. Next day police comes and arrests the man from the bedroom.
    Was she correct in this decision, or what else she should have done.?what about her brahmcharya, was it destroyed or did it survive?
    Thanks for answering.

    • Dear Karnish,
      It sounds like a very difficult situation and a very difficult choice. I cannot say whether it was right or wrong; that is between you and God. But it was very brave. How are you holding up?
      Rev. Hunter

  8. R says:

    How do you handle obsessions? My thing is I get easily sucked into political conflicts. I let these things roll about in my head and eat at me. Its so easy for this to happen too. Just a few words from certain people and I find myself filled with thoughts of rage and hostility. I feel overpowered.

    • Ed says:

      Hi R

      I would say you feel overpowered by hostile thoughts because you attribute them to yourself. Once we identify ourselves with such thoughts then we emotionally take them on board. On the contrary, Swedenborg reports that the source of all nasty impulses is outside of ourselves coming from the thoughts and feelings of hellish spirits whose presence is not known to our ordinary consciousness. Once we stop identifying with their poison we become free to become more aware of positive thoughts shared by angelic spirits whose inspiration can lift our mood. My article on obsessions is http://spiritualquestions.org.uk/2011/07/how-to-escape-unwanted-thoughts/ Regards Stephen

      • R says:

        This is just too hard. There is no peace in Swedenborgism, just anxiety on top of anxiety. What a curse it is to be born in this universe and have the bad luck not to die an infant.

        • Ed says:

          Hi R

          The extreme negativity of your message left me wondering if there were anything at all that I could say that might help.

          I gain the impression that you strongly feel that you have knowingly allowed yourself to turn towards, entertain and thus been corrupted by resentful and malicious thoughts and desires.

          I am unsure whether this guilty fear is a “natural fear” or is it a “holy fear”. The former is a merely a fear of punishment for being bad and does not run deep for it comes from a love of self. However, the latter comes from a love of the spiritual and is thus a much deeper fear: for example a fear of never being able to acquire goodness (e.g. the trait of goodwill) and even the fear of losing what good traits one has previously had. Perhaps you unfortunately experience a mixture of natural and holy fear.

          From what you write, I imagine you have little or no experience of that state of deeper peace that people experiencing holy fear report as a result of prayer. This feeling of peace and forgiveness is said to be felt when they have sensed a divine presence who provides loving acceptance. According to Swedenborg’s teaching on salvation, this mystical experience is open to all whatever immoral crime they have done or evil frame of mind they have enjoyed. However, there are some important provisos. The individual:

          Puts aside old notions of a judgmental condemning God
          Honestly confides their sense of guilt
          Has a state of genuine remorse
          Has a desire to stop doing what is wrong.

          Regards Stephen

  9. R says:

    I feel despair because I find it so hard to be good. I give into my negative thoughts and emotions very easily. I realize to that I have created a dark world for myself, but I find it hard to extract myself. I have been trying though, yet again I can easily find myself indulging in negativity and even hate. This morning in fact I came close to going full-out hate when I gave into curiosity and logged onto news and politics sites. And I just did it out of boredom.

    How to change, how to change……
    I fear that I am incorrigible.

    I do not trust myself. I write to you seeking some hope, some relief from my fears, but to be brutally honest about myself, I have a tendency to take any words of encouragement and read them as a kind of “grace”, where I then give myself permission to relax and give way to my worse proclivities. I’m like the bad dog who knowing better, will still squeeze out the front door when the owner cracks it open.

    I do not trust myself.

    • Ed says:

      Hi R.
      I don’t trust myself to resist my own demons by my own will-power alone either.

      However, Swedenborg gives us a handy phrase — “as if”.

      I can resist indulging in what is bad by focusing on what is good as if from myself whilst believing the desire to do good comes from the divine source of goodness who is the Lord God working in me and by me. In other words we fail when we go it alone but have a chance of success if we try to collaborate with a power higher than ourselves.
      Regards Stephen.

  10. R says:

    From R
    I just discovered your site and I am new to Swedenborg.

    To be honest, brutally honest, Swedenborg frightens me terribly. I spent a good part of my life seeking to escape the fear of hell, which lead to reading lots of stuff that said all religion and spirituality were bunk. Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens, etc. However, as my fear of hell subsided, I found myself in a place of feeling bleak, that life was just a random assemblage of particles, meaningless and hopeless.

    Then I found Swedenborg. At first I was happy and intrigued until I read further. Now I feel crushed by the burden of hell again. See, I am just the candidate for hell. I am a middle-aged, bitter, resentful man who has been a failure at life, love, etc. For the past couple of decades I have let my resentment have free run, engaging daily in hateful thoughts and fantasy. Of course this is toxic, and according to Swedenborgism, damning. How am I ever going to turn this around? I have a real hunger for spirituality and really have all my life despite my difficulties with religion; however I am also a man of profound resentment and hate. I do not get on well with the world. Swedenborg seems like a crushing burden now. I am left in terror and despair.

    What to do?

    • Ed says:

      Hi R

      Thank you for your message. I am wondering what it is about your idea of hell that leaves you in a state of fear and despair? Those people who believe in a sphere of hell in the afterlife which consists of torment and punishment for misdeeds done on Earth might be expected to feel such fear. However, my understanding of Swedenborg is that no one is punished for what they did before they died: punishment in the afterlife is only used to deter us from the kind of further misconduct that exceeds the level of malice or whatever that had been established in our character during life on Earth.

      When we are really in a state of resentment or hate then I do not think we are really happy although we kid ourselves at the time that we are. This seems to me the normal state of delusion that hellish spirits experience. It does not amount to the peace, contentment and joy of a heavenly state but it is the pleasure that this kind of person wants.

      The central message of Swedenborg to my mind is that life on Earth is a training ground for eternal life. In other words there is always hope that we can receive the power of God to transform our character. Acknowledgement of what is bad within us is a crucial first step followed by genuine repentance and effort to turn round and receive a feeling of divine acceptance and forgiveness and power to behave in a heavenly way.

      Regards Stephen (Editor)

  11. Timikia says:

    What can I do to make my man love me only?

    • Ed says:

      It sounds like you are feeling upset as I’m sure you really realise that none of us can actually make someone love us no matter what we do. If the man in your life is unwilling to keep you special then in the end I’m afraid you will need to face the possibility that he is not right for you. Repeated unfaithfulness can destroy love.
      On the other hand even the best sexual relationship will have its ups and downs and if the downs are addressed coldness that has set in can be alleviated. There is a huge amount of practical advice around regarding how one can look good and alluring, communicate in a loving way and change one’s habits to help create harmony. Sometimes the way forward is for one member of the couple to take the initiative in calmly discussing the relationship problem with their partner perhaps with help from a relationship counsellor. Without an understanding of what is going wrong you won’t know what to do about it.
      For example sometimes disharmony develops because of an unfair sharing of responsibility and decision-making between two partners — this can arise unnoticed from slowly changing circumstances that are not properly discussed. There is more information about this here.
      A relationship worth fighting for will be one where there is some willingness by both people to re-ignite the flame of love by at times putting the loved one first, being honest and open together about their inner ideas and feelings, spending quality time together – facing the challenges of life in a state of mutual care and support.
      From a spiritual perspective I would suggest this means a willingness to bring the spirit of divine love and wisdom into the situation.

  12. Fabio says:

    I’m Fabio Odoardi, italian oboe player, I read on an italian edition of a book by Swedenborg called “Cielo ed Inferno” = “Heaven and Hell” that Swedenborg practiced a form of intuitive pranayama during his prayers and meditation, do you teach that?
    I really would like to learn it!
    All the best to you,
    God bless you!

  13. hardik says:

    i am just thinking why i born here? as is there any main reason for this cycle where i become part of it? why i should ask god to help me out ? who i am? what is my relation with this earth? why my life is so limited if my ultimate destination is to die one day why i should seeking for something? what actually brings person out of pain , happiness, requirement ? what i can achieve so i can not have any other fulfillment ? what is this nature for if all have same right to live with me than how can i achieve that stage where i can not disturb others and as other can not disturb me?

    • Ed says:

      Hi Hardik
      Your comment reminds me of the sentiments expressed in the song What’s it all about Alfie. You’ve triggered me to put down some thoughts here which I hope you might find food for thought.

      Regards Stephen

  14. Colin Ashley says:

    Only last week I talked about my problems in dealing with life, I was allmost ready to give up and die.
    I ordered a book called Observing Spirit,I am on to chapter 6 and have realised where I have been going wrong in my life.
    Anyone having problems with life shuld read this book. It has inspired me and saved my life.

    • Ed says:

      Hi Colin I’m sure it would be of interest to many readers if you could say what it is in Peter Rhode’s book that has shown you where you have been going wrong. Perhaps I should have let you finish reading the book before asking! Cheers Stephen

      • colin ashley says:

        Where have I been going wrong.
        I read the 10 commandments and did not realise how much I lusted after things. Wheather it was a nice car or a beutiful woman,I found it was the same feeling.
        Just not feeling the feeling has changed my life, im more relaxed and live for the moment.
        Doing the work when it is needed, and living my life again.
        Its hard to explain,Im just starting my life again. Im learning everyday.
        All I can say is have faith in god,and detatch yourself from bad feelings.

  15. Jack Dunion says:

    Hi Cassi,

    I just picked up on your post and so I don’t know if anyone has responded to you yet. I would be happy to explore this with you further if you wish? Could you be a bit more specific regarding which chapter and verse and how you relate this to what has been happening to you? Sounds very interesting!

  16. Cassi says:

    I have been having some pretty amayzing things happening to me in the The Holy Spirit. I have some information that relays to the Exodus story of Aaron as a priest and was wondering if you could help me look over some of it and make sense of it?
    Thank you for your time,

  17. SilverC says:

    Quick question,
    I was on the phone with my best friend once, and my grandma asked me who I was talking to. I told her, “my best friend”, and her name. So grandma said, ” Tell her I love her! ” Immediately, my grandma caught the holy spirit and i dashed to catch her. This happens every single time she mentions her. What does this mean for my best friend ?

    • editor says:

      Hi SilverC. Thanks for your question.
      I’m wondering what you understand by the term ‘the holy spirit’? I am comfortable with the idea that this is a powerful stream of God’s spiritual life flowing into my heart and mind, rather than any separate divine entity. I think it is a mistake to believe that God is a trinity of three persons. Instead it is easier for me to believe in a God with three aspects – like heart, head and hands — and the Holy Spirit is the third of these, acting with love and wisdom.
      What made you think your grandma caught ‘the holy spirit’? And how does she know if she hasn’t caught something else?
      Sometimes — perhaps too rarely — I feel caught up in the presence of this spirit which energises me, uplifting my feelings and inspiring my thoughts. I don’t suppose there is anything obvious about this to others. I don’t fall over and need catching but perhaps people are different.
      Do you have any guess what this might mean for your best friend?
      Can anyone else suggest anything?

  18. editor says:

    Hi Emma,

    You have asked about the number 3 which was appearing a lot in your life and now about the number 347. Perfectly understandable questions as I do believe that nothing happens purely by chance. For this reason, I am not surprised that number symbolism constitutes a universal cultural phenomenon and people thinking and writing about it has gone on from time immemorial.

    According to Swedenborg who wrote in the eighteenth century, numbers in much of the Bible have a spiritual significance because everything in sacred scripture is a divine revelation of what is universally true. They each express a particular psycho-spiritual state like a virtue or a vice. The number three is said to be generally about a complete state of what is true in a person or in its opposite sense of what is false.

    The idea here is that what any number denotes depends on the context. Thus for example the divine command to ‘keep a feast unto the Lord three times a year” (Ex 23:14-17) signifies fullness and perpetuity of the worship of God from a grateful heart.

    He also maintains that compound numbers which are multiples of a simple number signify similar things to the simple number but one that is more complex and extensive.

    “It is bound to seem strange and very far-fetched to everybody that these details have this meaning. (However) people who possess the internal sense, as good spirits and angels do, are beyond anything earthly, bodily, or purely worldly, and so beyond anything involving numbers and measurements. Yet the Lord enables them to perceive the Word fully, and to do so quite independently from such concepts. This being so, it becomes quite clear that numbers and measurements embody celestial and spiritual things. The latter however are so remote from the sense of the letter that such things cannot possibly be seen.” (Heavenly Secrets section 647)

    In addition to archetypes there is personal psychology to consider. Despite what I suggesting about universal meaning, the fact is it is you who is noticing the co-incidence of a specific number appearing in your life. I guess what this might signify may well have a unique meaning for yourself that unfortunately can only be better seen through you talking with someone who is able to draw out from you through association what is personally going on.

    Hope things get clearer.

    Sorry I can’t be of more help.

    Cheers Stephen

  19. Emma says:

    Hi Ed, wondering if you could help me with the number 347 like I said previously 3’s have appeared everywhere now its 347 and I don’t know what the number really means or signifies in my life. Hope you can help thanks

    • Ayaan says:

      Heron, I’m sorry that you are depressed. I am a Christian woman and I pray to Jesus for help. I also look touhrgh Psalms, which are beautiful and uplifting. If you don’t mind, I pray that the Lord will be the lifter of your head tonight, that He will give you peace and comfort, and that whatever is on your heart that burdens you, He will lift that burden and replace it with assurance of His love. And I ask this in Jesus name.

      • Rebecca says:

        Hi Emma, just wondering if you were able to come up with anything on the number 347? It has been driving me crazy for just over 20 years. It is everywhere – on the car licence plate in front of me, on the clock when I wake to go to the toilet, on the computer when I look up to check on the time, on my phone when I pick it up to check for messages, on a mail box as I glance out my car window, on the top of the page as I flick through a book, the price of a product I am reaching out to buy, on any numbered item, wherever I am or whatever I am doing. I now tell my husband everytime because sometimes I think maybe this is my imagination. I would love any light on this number.. And why not some other number… seriously, if it is random then why the same number everytime. I am a born again Christian and I am not superstitious in anyway, I love the Lord and serve Him with my life, but need help understanding this number and why it keeps popping up – not a day goes by when I have not encountered it at least twice. Any light shed on this is appreciated, even If I disagree with your opinion I am still interested to hear it. Thanks and God bless.

  20. Emma says:

    hey, been seeing some weird Synchronicity recently and been researching into it and spiritual awakening has been suggested what does this mean and have you got any other views on the signs im seeing.

    • Ed says:

      Hi Emma
      Could you say a little about the signs you are seeing? Cheers Stephen

      • Emma says:

        well it all started when my partner left me suddenly i kept seeing 3’s everywhere and i thought no i’m just trying to make signs but then everything ties into our relationship like 3’s are EVERYWHERE, birds, fairytales and july being a very big month i’ve been told. Also my dreams are telling me signs, so ive researched all of it up and it said about spiritual awakening but it’s all tied in with my partner the signs. x

        • Emma says:

          Also i have recently turned to buddhism which has transformed my life, which is why they suggested spiritual awakening x

          • Ed says:

            Hi Emma

            These days the veil between spirit and material reality is thinning out. The Consciousness link on the main menu across the page under the picture lists a few articles about such psychic signs.

            Spiritual awakening can mean being aware of the divine flow in life. Part of this is noticing fortunate co-incidences. So how does one go with the flow? Part of the trick is getting absorbed in the ‘here and now’. This is similar to what they say in Buddhist circles about mindfulness. More information

          • Emma says:

            Hi thanks for your reply Ed very useful, also wondered whether dream interpretaion actually can tell you what’s going to happen in your waking life?

            • Ed says:

              The inner part of our psyche conveys the present trends in our fears, hopes, perceptions and where they can lead. The subconscious mind is talking about events which it, in effect, is bringing about inwardly. For example Swedenborg dreamed of dining with a priest and took away from the table two silver cups. These can be said to symbolize what he had learned about the spiritual life which he wished to give back to God represented by the priest. The dream was revealing something about his future role as a theologian. At that time he was far from knowing he would later produce 33 volumes of remarkable theology.

              However I assume you are wondering about precognition. Swedenborg kept a diary of his dreams and two of these appear to have been predictive. About one he wrote “That which had been represented to me in a dream some days before happened to me; for in one day I was exposed to two deadly perils; this indeed happened to me…” The clinical psychologist Wilson Van Dusen wrote about this saying Swedenborg “unfortunately gives no other details. We would like to know what was shown in the dream and what the real life events were, and how closely they matched….Shortly thereafter he describes … how he saw the church of the Moravian Brethren in a dream three months before and recognized it when he came upon it in real life.”

              In Van Dusen’s book The Presence of Other Worlds all the known examples of Swedenborg’s later precognitive powers are detailed.

  21. David Leyland says:

    Is the term God not counter to your second item in “Now for some dont’s”
    “Avoid using traditional religious language and jargon (no matter one’s own conventional way of speaking)”
    In Buddhism for example Buddha is not referred to as a God. Personally I believe in a certain sense there is a spiritual aspect to not only man but all living creatures. I don’t believe in, as wikipedia define God “a singular being in theistic and deistic religions”.

    • Ed says:

      Like David, I believe that there is a spiritual aspect to not only man but all living creatures. Having said that, I don’t actually know if he and I have the same understanding of the word ‘spiritual’. Mere language is not always up to the job of sharing deeper insights. The same goes for the word ‘God’ that has a mixture of connotations. I suspect that people don’t understand God in the same way. It is a pity I haven’t been following the editorial guideline about avoiding traditional religious language and jargon.

      I do belief in love and light as the source of our being. This might have been a more helpful way of expressing myself. My problem is that the word God is one that is in common usage. Nevertheless, perhaps instead of saying God is love and light it is more helpful to say Love and Light together are what have been called God.

      This is because divine love and light flow into everything and so nothing exists apart from this spiritual life. If the divine is the life or being in everything then it is just as true to say that nothing has any being on its own.

      Thus humane compassion and wisdom is the creative source of the universe (hence Swedenborg’s concept of the Divine Humanity). I can accept the idea that the divine needs us in order to become fully real and this can only happen if we are willing to receive divine humanity into our hearts and minds. It is the way to find an end to suffering and craving.

      • Adri Braam says:

        Just a very short comment. Ed, why talk about Love and Light while Swedenborg talks about Love and Wisdom and compares them to the sun’s warmth and light?

    • Vijitsamai says:

      God has a wonderful siiapturl organization and all of them love one another and are united in worship and peace. The very best way I have found to overcome depression is to surround myself with them and associate with them on a regular basis, to keep busy in teaching and preaching about God’s kingdom government that will restore the earth to it’s original paradise-like conditions and drawing close to God by reading and meditating on the Bible as God’s letter to all of us which is full of siiapturl treasures.

  22. Barbara says:

    Is there a difference between spirituality and piety?

    • Ed says:

      Thanks for your question Barabara, You wrote is there a difference between spirituality and piety?
      I would suggest not all pious people are spiritual and not all spiritual people are pious.

      Piety means devotion and reverence to God and dutiful observance of religious principles. According to psychologist Gordon Allport, the beliefs of many religious people are what really lie behind their whole approach to life. These are said to have an ‘intrinsic religious orientation’. Their private prayers carry much meaning and personal emotion. These surely are spiritual people.
      Research has found that some people affiliated with religion have a low score on ‘intrinsic orientation’. And so I would suggest not all pious people are deeply spiritual. And this is why sometimes the word ‘piety’ is used to denote a conspicuous devoutness or less often even a sanctimonious self-righteousness associated with being hypocritical.
      Also in my view not all genuinely spiritual people can be described as pious. Daniel Bateson, who completed doctoral studies in both theology and psychology, described the ‘quest orientation’ characterised by complexity, doubt, and tentativeness. Here we find a spiritual kind of person with an open-ended, responsive dialogue with existential questions raised by the contradictions and tragedies of life.
      In his book The Spirituality Revolution ,David Tacey compared a conventional to a deeper approach to religion. He wrote that the latter is a spiritual approach which is “based on personal experience, tolerant towards difference, compassionate towards those who make different life choices, and relatively free of ideological fanaticism.”

      • Jason says:

        This may not initially sound spirtiual, but take good care of your body. It is a precious gift from God.Exercise has been found to be as effective as medication at relieving depression.Also, repent of any sins that are keeping you from feeling the love of God. Confess to Him, promise Him that you will not go back to your sins, and then ask Him to make you clean through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. These both helped me a lot.

  23. VW says:

    Does Swedenborg say anything about the sovereignty of God, and if so, what exactly is it?

    • Ed says:

      Is God sovereign? According to Swedenborg the answer depends on what we mean by sovereign.

      There is an underlying order in all creation maintained by the Creator’s universal laws on all levels.
      All these laws arise from aspects of God’s Love and Wisdom.
      The goal of God’s Love is the happiness of eternal life for all.
      God governs not only life in general but also the very smallest details imaginable.
      However, this control never intrudes into our inner freedom of choice. For without our individual co-operation we could never receive the happiness of eternal life from our Divine Source. If God compelled our belief by external means we would not change inwardly.
      Therefore God must provide for us invisibly – otherwise we would no longer have freedom to ascribe events to God’s Providence or to chance.
      God’s providence always looks to the final goal of our eternal life.
      Evil things are permitted for the sake of this end.
      It is in retrospect that we can notice that the traumas in our lives have functioned as growth points.

      I’ve based this account on Emanuel Swedenborg: Essential Readings edited by Michael Stanley (published by North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, California in the Western Esoteric Masters Series).

  24. David Lister says:

    Have you ever been in love? This is the nearest many people get to seeing others as God or Jesus sees them. Swedenborg’s book, Conjugial or Married Love is his own reflection on this relationship. The experience is a useful peg on which to hang reflections on the essence of our being, and a standpoint from which to view his views.

    • Ed says:

      I read your comment out to my wife Carole and she said

      “They say love is blind, but there’s a difference between blind love that is a sort of infatuation that doesn’t see the faults in a person and a love that accepts the person warts and all and can see the beloved’s potential. I think that’s the sort of love we get from God.”


  25. Barbara says:

    Here’s a spiritual question. What does ‘spirituality’ mean?

    • Ed says:

      I rather like the definition given in Wikipedia.

      “Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or immaterial reality; an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of their being; or the deepest values and meanings by which people live.”

      “Spiritual practices …develop an individual’s inner life; such practices often lead to an experience of connectedness with a larger reality, yielding a more comprehensive self; with other individuals or the human community; with nature or the cosmos; or with the divine realm…”

  26. Frank says:

    Carly asks how we can change the media. I suppose one possibility is to write letters to newspaper editors giving examples of good news that isn’t getting into the papers. The Uplifting writing link on the menu may give some examples.

    • Jack says:

      What I find interesting about the media is that it needs to reflects the interests of the general population; a kind of sounding board for our inner state. More and more people are waking up to the fact that we need to restore some sort of moral or even spiritual guidance. The world, up to now, has been lead by blind obedience – we are becoming grown-ups now and maybe we need to start realising our potential. It doesn’t need to be like it is! and I say we need to start taking individual responsibility and act collectively to rearrange our priorities.

  27. Carly Jones says:

    I so agree with you. If you believe all you hear in the media it seems like a horrible world. How can we change this?

    • Adri Braam says:

      Change the world or change or view?
      Have you ever stepped into a gym? How would you descibe the atmosphere there? :)
      This world is not meant for our comfort or pleasure, we are here to build and develop our spirit. Sometimes that can stink. Muscles are not built without resistance, love is not developed without temptations.
      We can’t have water, or even power washers, without also tsunamies.

  28. Stephen Paul says:

    What is your interest in doing this blog?

    • Ed says:

      I’m interested in sharing ideas about feeling good and healthy; insights about human happiness and spiritual healing and growth. Not easy subjects to talk about.

      No-one likes to feel dissatisfied, bored or fed up. We often get immersed in problems of living. Our news media seem to think that only if something bad happens they must report it. It is as if they cannot see the good news all around them. However, for those looking for a way forward towards inner contentment and delight in life, there is much that is inspiring to see if one looks for it. I believe it often means engaging in meaningful relationships and activities. Also finding a framework of ideas that help with a spiritual meaning of life.

  29. Stephen Paul says:

    When you speak of spiritual questions are you talking about religion?

    • Ed says:

      For some people religion has become an undesirable thing. Many wicked things have been done in its name. And some religious beliefs I find abhorrent. Yet there’s no getting away from it, the notion of a deeper spiritual reality indicates a meaning of life that transcends what our eyes and ears can tell us. It is a highly personal perception that cannot be proved by science yet for me is a divine spiritual healing force deep within the human soul.

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