Monday, 13 August 2018

Swedenborg's Seven Stages of Spiritual Regeneration

The chart below is adapted from “Seven are the steps to Heaven: A Comparative Study of Swedenborg and Simnani”-  Cassie Lipowitz, The New Philosophy, July–December 2014
Emanuel Swedenborg’s (1688–1772) exegesis of Genesis 1:1–2:3, in which he describes the stages of spiritual regeneration can be found in Arcana Coelestia, trans.John Clowes, (West Chester, PA:Swedenborg Foundation, 1998), §16-85
See also Blavatsky on Swedenborg:
https://blavatskytheosophy.com/blavatsky-on-swedenborg/
Genesis – Days of Creation Microcosmic Correspondence Psycho-Spiritual Meaning
1-On the first day of creation, God creates heaven and earth Heaven symbolizes the internal man, while earth symbolizes the external man.
As the beginning of a separation of (and battle between) opposites—the two most basic of which are good and evil.
2-On the second day, a "vault" is created to separate the waters above and the waters below "The internal man is called an ‘expanse’; the knowledges which are in the internal man are called ‘the waters above the expanse’; and the memory-knowledges of the external man are called ‘the waters beneath the expanse.’" "Remains" (knowledge of faith that exists within the internal man) begin to show themselves more fully within the individual’s field of awareness.
3-On the third day, dry lands are formed that produce vegetation.
When the "earth," or man, has been thus prepared to receive celestial seeds from the Lord, and to produce something of what is good and true, then the Lord first causes some tender thing to spring forth, which is called the "tender herb"; then something more useful, which again bears seed in itself, and is called the "herb yielding seed"; and at length something good which becomes fruitful, and is called the "tree bearing fruit, whose seed is in itself," each according to its own kind. The "herb yielding seed" may be seen as the seed of true faith, which has begun to readily grow in the individual in this third state. This faith brings forth repentance in the seeker, as well as works of piety and devotion. now the individual understands "…that the higher, God-given knowledge about truth and good reaches him from the inner man. There is now a readiness to receive higher insights that root themselves in man and then grow."
4-This faith is further perfected on the fourth day, at which time two lights, the sun and the moon, as well as the stars, are created. These celestial bodies represent divine love and faith; the sun corresponds with love and the celestial, which, in turn, illuminates the moon (faith). At this stage, it may be said that the individual’s faith is exponentially deepened, since it is now illuminated by love. .. now, the individual has begun to realize that all goodness, love, and faith, arise not from himself, but from God. This reorientation—insofar as it instills in the seeker a realization of the inseparability between wisdom (associated with knowledge and understanding) and good works (associated with the will and love)—is a crucial turning point.
5- The creation of the birds of the air and the fish of the sea that arise on the fifth day. Now that he is vivified by love and faith, and believes that the Lord works all the good that he does and all the truth that he speaks, he is compared first to the ‘creeping things of the water,’ and to the ‘fowls which fly above the earth,’ and also to ‘beasts,’ which are all animate things, and are called ‘living souls.’" The individual, illuminated by the "twin lights" of faith, is now truly "alive." As such, he or she becomes "animated"—a "living soul" in a deeply symbolic and meaningful sense… animate things, and are called ‘living souls.’" In this fifth state, the inner man comes to the fore, now dominating the outer, and thus, knowledge and wisdom flow much more freely through him.
6-On the sixth day, it is said that humanity—both the male and the female—are created in the image of God. It symbolizes a joining or "marriage" of two opposites: the male, representing understanding and wisdom, and the female, representing love and will. The union of these two, created in the divine image, thus signifies a "marriage" of the faculties within the individual who has reached the sixth stage. Thus, on the sixth day, the individual becomes a "spiritual" human being, image" of God,
7- On the seventh and final day, God rests, satisfied with the creation.
This constitutes the highest state of perfection for the individual—a state in which there is complete union between his or her inner and outer selves.
Now, completely aligned with God’s will, so as to be scarcely differentiated from it, the celestial human being finds rest and peace: "Such is the quality of the celestial man that he acts not according to his own desire, but according to the good pleasure of the Lord, which is his ‘desire.’ Thus he enjoys internal peace and happiness."