FR43

THE SCIENCE OF LIGHT

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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

RATIONALITY

For hundreds of years, scientists assumed that humans evolved by chance or accident and that their intelligence was acquired through natural selection or survival of the fittest. But if that were truly the case, man would never have developed reason, conscience or compassion. In fact, these human qualities only serve to impede our survival and advancement in the world. And, it is those who are malicious, irrational, inconsiderate and selfish that seem to succeed in the world. What is then the origin and use of these human faculties?

In the Bible, we read that the universe was created by means of the Word. If the Word is the Bible itself, are we to believe that the universe was created by means of those strange and inexplicable Bible stories? In fact, those literal stories are the outer casing that protects the inner content of the Bible.  The Bible was written by means of correspondences and those literal stories contain higher levels of meaning. And this meaning is Divine Truth. Thus we discover that the universe was created by means of the Word or Divine Truth. The universe involved and evolved from God’s substance or Divine Love and through His form or Divine Wisdom. Divine Truth is the blueprint of the universe and natural evolution was guided by Divine Truth. The physical universe evolved in correspondence with the higher dimensions of Heaven because Divine Truth is the spiritual form of Heaven. Those strange Bible stories also depict the spiritual evolution of humanity.

Thus the human mind must have developed in correspondence with the proportions or ratios of Heaven. This is where rationality originates. In fact, some of us derive enjoyment from using this intellectual mind. We enjoy understanding how the universe functions or we derive pleasure from studying mathematics, physics, philosophy or psychology. This joy is a pure delight that stems from our love of Truth.

We know that scientists tend to focus their studies on the natural world of their physical senses. But what are psychologists and philosophers really studying? If mind and spirit are the higher dimensions of the universe, they must be studying the proportions and forms of Heaven. In fact, moral values are the proportions of Heaven because Heaven is organized according to Justice and righteousness. It is kept in harmonic order by the Love (Mercy) and Truth (Judgment) of God. 

Divine Truth is the Light of our mind because it enables us to distinguish what is true or rational from what is false or irrational. What is true is organized according to the harmonic proportions of Heaven. Rationality is intellectual beauty. For example, certain mathematical proofs and theorems tend to be elegant and beautiful. Mathematicians tend to appreciate the beauty or rationality of mathematics. In fact, some savants can visualize the number pi as a beautiful landscape in their mind.

Now, we know that human beings have a difficult time agreeing upon what is True or what is Good. This is probably because we can also use our rational mind to justify our evil (selfish) intents and actions. When we do this, we are misusing and abusing our powers of rationality. For example, malicious lawyers can use fallacious arguments to fool the jury and defend murderers. They are able to do this because some members of the jury may be in spiritual darkness. It is only when our mind is enlightened by Divine Truth that we can distinguish what is true from what is false as well as what is good (unselfish) from what is evil (selfish).

So, is there a way for us to make sure that what we believe is True? Since the level of our understanding can never exceed the level of our will, we can only perceive Truth if our intentions are good or unselfish. When we are in self-love and love of the world, we tend to lie to ourselves and rationalize our evil behavior. However, when we live according to conscience, our intentions are unselfish, our mind is enlightened by Truth and we tend to readily detect what is false or irrational because our mind is no longer biased through selfishness.

It can be interesting to watch how certain human beings are able to rationalize their selfish behavior. We can almost see how they have lost touch with Reality (Heaven); they are subsisting in the dark worlds of fantasies, lies, insanity and selfishness (or hell). When we lie to ourselves, we are living in darkness and we turn our back on the Light of Heaven.

 Very many in the world imagine that a rational person is one who can reason with skill on many subjects and link one piece of reasoning to another in such a way that the conclusion he draws seems to be the truth. But that ability occurs even in very wicked people who are expert reasoners and can make the deduction that evil things are good and false ideas are true, or that good things are evil and true ideas are false. But anyone who stops to reflect can see that this is wicked imagination and not rationality. Rationality consists in seeing inwardly and perceiving that what is good is indeed good, and from this that what is true is indeed true; for such vision and perception of these things comes from heaven. Emanuel Swedenborg [AC 6240]

It should come as no surprise to learn that the first or natural rational level loves to argue—and above all to win arguments. It even uses the truths of the Word of God as ammunition with which to shoot down in flames those who disagree. The first rational level is also characterized as being very self-righteous, or “holier than thou,” because it ascribes to itself any good that it does. A person in this state speaks the Lord’s truth, the truth of his holy Word, as if it were his own idea, as if he had composed it all himself. If people think that what he says is a marvelous, wonderful truth, he will agree as if it is all his own invention. And because he ascribes to himself everything good that he does, he is inclined to compare himself very favorably with other people and to be contemptuous of them in comparison with himself. Douglas Taylor (The Hidden Levels of the Mind)

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