Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; Thou art clothed with honor and majesty:  Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment... Psalm CIV

Divine love and wisdom are substance and form in themselves, thus the one and only absolute. E. Swedenborg


light actionScientists know exactly how Light behaves. It behaves according to the Principle of Least Action. When it is faced with many roads, Light will always choose the road that takes the least amount of time. This does not always mean that this road is the shortest. If a road is short and contains many obstacles, it will choose a road that is longer and less crowded. This means that Light behaves intelligently. And the reason it is able to behave this way is because it is omnipresent and omniscient; it can see the future.

Now, the most surprising thing about the Principle of Least Action is that most of the laws of the universe can be derived from it. For example, Newton’s laws of motion and gravitation, Maxwell’s laws of electromagnetism and the laws of quantum mechanics can be derived using integrals and assuming that things will behave, move and vibrate over the whole distance in the least amount of time.

This essentially means that the Principle of Least Action is the principle that guides and governs the whole universe. Now, if we assume that the universe is not just physical but higher-dimensional, we can perhaps speculate as to what the Principle of Least Action represents in the higher dimensions of mind and spirit. In the physical world, natural Light is impelling things to move towards a physical destination in the least amount of time. But, in the higher dimensions of mind and spirit,  spiritual Light must be urging and guiding things to  move towards a spiritual destination in the least amount of time. Therefore, in these higher dimensions, we could characterize this principle  as Divine Providence. Divine Providence is perpetually organizing the events in our life so that we arrive into the state of Heaven in the least amount of time. Divine Providence can do this because it is omnipresent and omniscient; it can always see the future and has the end in mind. And the end or purpose of the universe is to produce a Heaven of angels from the human race.

Of course, as human beings, we are always free to cooperate with Divine Providence or not. When we freely obey our spiritual conscience, we are cooperating with Divine Providence and, as a result, our soul will get to Heaven in the least amount of time. But, by disobeying conscience and giving in to our selfish urges, we are wasting time and energy and delaying our arrival in Heaven. In fact, if we continue to disobey conscience, we can delay our arrival indefinitely and remain in states of spiritual darkness. 

There is an intrinsic Divine Pattern that is impelling and guiding the whole universe from within. The motion of Light is in correspondence with the harmonic e-motion of Divine Love. And the Divine Pattern of Divine Love is Divine Wisdom or Truth. When our actions are motivated by unselfish (innocent) Love, we are behaving in accordance with the Divine Pattern and, as a consequence, we are able to behave and do things efficiently. Our life flows effortlessly because it is the Lord who is doing the work. However, when we behave from self-love and self-intelligence, we are acting against the Divine Pattern, encountering resistance and only wasting time and energy through misuse and abuse.

Divine Providence Regards Eternal Ends, and Not Temporal Ones Except as They Accord with Eternal Ones

 The fact that Divine providence regards eternal ends, and not temporal ones except as they coincide with eternal ones - this we are going to demonstrate under the following series of headings:

(1) Temporal ends have to do with advancements and riches, thus with honors and material gains, in the world.

(2) Eternal ends have to do with spiritual honors and riches, which are those of love and wisdom, in heaven.

(3) Temporal and eternal ends are separated by mankind, but conjoined by the Lord.

(4) The conjoining of temporal and eternal ends is the Lord's Divine providence.

It Is a Law of Divine Providence That a Person Not Perceive or Sense Anything of the Operation of Divine Providence, but Still Know about And Acknowledge it

The natural person who does not believe in Divine providence thinks to himself, "What is Divine providence when evil people are raised to higher positions of honor and acquire more wealth than good people, and when those who do not believe in Divine providence meet with many more like successes than those who do believe? Indeed, when faithless and impious people are able to inflict injuries, losses and misfortunes, and sometimes death on faithful and pious people, and this by cunning and malicious arts?"

 And so he thinks, "Do I not see from actual experience, as though in the clear light of day, that crafty schemes prevail over faithfulness and justice, if only one has the clever skill to be able to make them appear trustworthy and just? What are any other happenings but inevitabilities, consequences, and chance events, in which we see no evidence of Divine providence? Are not inevitabilities due to nature? Are not consequences due to a cause, flowing from it in accordance with natural or civil order? And are not chance events due either to causes unknown, or to no causes at all?"

 Such are the thoughts entertained by the natural person who ascribes nothing to God but everything to nature. For one who attributes nothing to God attributes nothing to Divine providence either, as God and Divine providence are inseparably connected.

 [2] That is not, on the other hand, what a spiritual person says and thinks to himself. Even though he does not in thought perceive Divine providence in its progress or see it with the sight of his eye, still he knows about it and acknowledges it.

 Now, because the aforementioned appearances and resulting misconceptions have blinded the intellect, and because the intellect cannot recover any sight unless the misconceptions that induced the blindness and the falsities that induced the thick darkness are dispelled, and this can be done only through truths that have the power to dispel the falsities, therefore these truths must be disclosed, but for the sake of clarity, under the following series of headings:

 (1) If a person were to perceive and sense the operation of Divine providence, he would not act in freedom in accordance with his reason, nor would anything appear to him to spring from him. So, too, if he were to foreknow events.
 (2) If a person were to clearly see Divine providence, he would inject himself into the order and course of its progression, and upset and destroy it.
 (3) If a person were to clearly see Divine providence, either he would deny God or he would make himself God.
 (4) It is granted a person to see Divine providence from behind and not from in front, and in a spiritual state and not in a natural state.

It is granted man to see the Divine providence in the back and not in the face; also to see it in a spiritual state and not in his natural state. To see the Divine providence in the back and not in the face is to see it after it occurs and not before; and to see it from a spiritual and not from a natural state is to see it from heaven and not from the world. All who receive influx from heaven and acknowledge the Divine providence, and especially those who by reformation have become spiritual, when they see events in some wonderful series see as it were the Divine providence by an interior acknowledgment, and confess it. Such have no wish to see it in the face, that is, before it occurs, fearing that their will might intrude itself into something of its order and tenor.

[2] It is otherwise with those who admit into themselves no influx from heaven but only from the world, especially with those who have become natural from the confirmation of appearances in themselves. These see nothing of the Divine providence in the back, or after it occurs; but they wish to see it in the face, or before it occurs; and as the Divine providence works by means, and the means operate through man or through the world, whether they see it in the face or the back they attribute it either to man or to nature, and thus confirm themselves in a denial of it. This they do because their understanding is closed from above and is open only from below, that is, closed towards heaven and open towards the world; and it is not granted to see the Divine providence from the world, but only from heaven. I have sometimes thought within myself whether such would acknowledge the Divine providence if their understanding were opened from above, and they could see as in clear day that nature in itself is dead, and that human intelligence in itself is nothing, while it is from influx that these both have an appearance of being; and I have perceived that such as have confirmed themselves in favor of nature and of human prudence would not acknowledge this, for the reason that the natural light flowing in from below would immediately extinguish the spiritual light flowing in from above. (Emanuel Swedenborg, DP 214, DP 175, DP 187)


Copyright © 2011-2014  A. J. Coriat All rights reserved.