Determining the Spiritual Power Upward, thus to the Lord

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg

And Joshua did as Moses had said to him in fighting against Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And it was, when Moses lifted up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, that Amalek prevailed. And Moses’ hands were heavy, and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat upon it; and Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other; and it was, his hands were steady until the setting of the sun. And Joshua weakened Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.  Exodus 17: 10-13

  • What it is to look toward the Lord – What it is to look toward the world and self
  • What it is to look above self, and What to look below self
  • To look above self is to look to the neighbor, to our country, to the church, to heaven, thus to the Lord
  • To look below self is to look to the world and to self
  • To look above self and below self is to have as the end and to love above all things
  • Man is distinguished from brutes by the fact that he can look above self and below self, and that when he looks above self, he is a man, but when below self, he is a beast
  • To look above self is to be elevated by the Lord, for the Lord flows in with every man through the truth which is from Himself, whereby He gives life to man, because the light which is from the Lord is Divine truth, and is life (John 1:4).

This Divine truth which is from the Lord flows into the good with man, and by means of it draws the man to itself; for the life which is from the Lord has a power of attracting, because it is from love, since all love has in it this power, inasmuch as it wills to be conjoined, so as to be a one. Then therefore a man is in good, and from good in truth, he is drawn by the Lord, and is conjoined with Him. This is meant by “looking upward to the Lord.” But when a man is not in good, thus not in truth from good, then too he is drawn by the Lord, but cannot be elevated, because evils and the derivative falsities turn themselves away. This is meant by “looking downward,” or “to self and the world.”

That the Lord draws man to Himself, the Lord Himself teaches in John:  I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Myself (John 12:32).


From all this it can now be seen how it is to be understood that when the faith looked toward the Lord, the fighting truth conquered, and that when the faith looked downward from the Lord to self and the world, the falsity conquered, as is signified by Israel prevailing when Moses held up his hand, and by Amalek prevailing when he let down his hand.

(Arcana Coelestia 8604:2-4)
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About mike

Finding out that the Lord is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last, and from the human race the angelic heaven would be formed, my entire focus on life changed. The reason for my creation was to perform Divine uses - The Divine Providence looks to eternal ends. My gain, honor or reputation no longer could be the focal point of what drives the engine. One day I will lay aside this material body and will wake up in the spiritual world never to return; there will be a continuation of life, and my ruling love will be what guides me to my final situation. 'Where a tree falls, there will it lay' (Ecc 11:3) We only have a few years in these bodies compared to eternity. What is fossilized on our souls in this short period is important to how we spend eternity. We are not left to blind faith, The Lord has come in His Word to reveal rationally how we can be made 'a vessel of honor, able for the master's use.' I truly hope the post create a thirst. If I can be of service, please do not hesitate to email me. --Mike
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