Spiritual traditions like Buddhism speak of enlightenment as promising a state of wisdom, happiness and freedom from the troubles we usually have to deal with in life. So what actually is enlightenment? How can we understand what the term means? Physical light and well-being The word enlightenment obviously is based on the word ‘light’. So … Continue reading Enlightenment – How to think of it?
We seem to be surrounded by so much tension and conflict in the world today. With all the prejudice, discrimination and violence associated with strongly held beliefs, it would be nice to work out why people disagree so much. So what causes us to each believe certain things and be sniffy about opposing ideas? I … Continue reading Beliefs – Why do people differ so much?
Experiencing my centre and spiritual source isn’t something that just happens for me. I find I need to make a conscious effort to search out this higher power and that means turning in the right direction. But you can’t turn round unless you first recognise which way you are currently facing. Perhaps this is why … Continue reading How do I find my spiritual source?
Not everybody wants to be a better person and develop along what can be our hectic journey of life. My cat doesn’t. She’s quite content with the stage she has reached in her life — as long as I feed and stroke her on a daily basis. Nor do those human beings who are uninterested in … Continue reading How to become a better person?
In deciding what to believe sooner or later you come up against something that is greater than yourself. Toddlers make every effort to get their own way but eventually have to submit to parental authority. Young people test their limits climbing mountains or visiting wild places until forced to acknowledge their helplessness in meeting the … Continue reading What to believe – How do I decide?
General ideas about what is true about life come from all around us — family, the mass media, books. These concepts have often seeped through from current and past thinking for example from politics, philosophy and religion. We absorb such ideas because we tend to be interested in making sense of our lives, why we are here, where we come from, and where we are going, not to mention fathoming the reality of suffering, misfortune, and chaos that we find all around us. But life goes on and we are obliged to make the best fist of it using what values and principles we have learned about and accept. The question arises: Is it better to have conviction or doubt about your ideas?
Anders Behring Breivik murdered dozens of people in cold blood in Norway as a horrendous way of protesting about Islamic immigration. How should we respond? By reiterating democratic liberal values in favour of multiculturalism? Or seeing a warning sign about a society’s limits to tolerance of what is alien?
Morality has a bad press. It smacks of being judgemental and a blaming attitude. Discrimination is out and tolerance is in. Anything goes these days as long as it doesn’t cause harm. Many people do not think in terms of morality yet they feel that decisions should be made on the basis of the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Those, who deny there are any personal rights and wrongs, nevertheless, emphasize the ideals of love, holism, and self-improvement. And even criminals usually acknowledge their crime is wrong deserving punishment if they are caught. So the question remains just how does one know what really is right and wrong?
The World Values Survey, which is claimed to be the most reliable survey of beliefs across the globe, suggests that there has been a substantial cultural change. William Bloom writing in The Complete Encyclopedia of Mind Body Spirit reports that in modernised and free societies, where people have access to diverse views, up to seventy per cent of the population has moved away from a single faith tradition. Many seem to be acknowledging a spiritual dimension to life without affiliating with organised religion.
For me, Swedenborg is the grandfather of today’s new spiritual consciousness. The Divine revelation he received back in the 18C is concerned with our awareness of the inner process of spiritual awakening and connecting to God. Swedenborg’s books contain a wonderland of ideas which help me to understand God, truth and the purpose of my life here.
Here are his current top 3 ideas ……