A programme dedicated to exploring the inner application of spiritual principles to the life of the human mind. "In the beginning was the Logos and the Logos was toward God and God was the Logos... all came into through Him and apart from Him not one came into being who has come into being. In Him was life and the life was the light of human consciousness." The Gospel of John.
The Third Round: What does it mean to think from causes as opposed to thinking from effects?
So I just wanted to expand on something that came up in today's Logopraxis Life Group.
There was an interesting question that asked what does it mean to think from causes as opposed to thinking from effects?
This can be reframed as; What does it mean to think spiritually as opposed to thinking naturally? That's because thinking from causes is what it means to think spiritually and thinking from effects is what it means to think naturally. As we have talked about many times before to think spiritually means to think from what the Word says is true, while to think naturally is to think from the appearances of the senses in the belief that what's conveyed by the them are not appearances but how things actually are.
To think from truths of the Word in the face of what our senses present to us is a state in which we are spiritually conscious. We are awake to the natural mind's tendency to take what the senses offer and interpret this in favour of that sense of self that makes up the infernal proprium's life. The infernal proprium's life and identity is embedded in the senses, specifically, in natural ideas born of thinking based in person, place, space and time.
A large part of what constitutes the spiritual life while living on the natural plane in time and space is focused on removing elements of space and time from the centre of our thinking to have what is of the Word govern our thinking instead. We can know if the Word is at the centre of a given state by reflecting on where our attention is. If our attention is divided so that we are aware of what's happening externally and presenting in our senses and at the same time we find ourselves in the effort to monitor the quality of how we are responding internally in the light of our understanding of truths from the Word then we will be close to thinking spiritually.
I say close because this ability for divided attention can also be done from a natural or moral basis which is often confused with being in a state of divided attention that comes from a spiritual base. And if you don’t know what the difference is you are most likely in the former rather than the latter. I should perhaps add that you can’t get to the latter without being processed through the former so we are all always a work in progress in this regard. And even if we are able to discern the difference it means we will be iterating back and forth between these two states of divided attention. We can through reflection recognise the natural moral state as it will be focused externally on the realm of effects taking the appearances of the senses to be real. It can, and more often than not does, carry elements of self concern, subjective forms of judgement (either of oneself or others), be bound up in states of comparison and self righteousness, also there can be envies, jealousies, merit and guilt amongst many other things. It will also be characterised by defensiveness and denial in the face of these things. Above all it’s object is to maintain a false self-image based on appearances. Working with the Word gradually puts us in front of this state of feeling ones self in what is not real so that our attachment to it can be broken down and a new sense of self base on what the Word says is true can be established.
A spiritual state of divided attention looks and feels nothing like it’s moral counterpart. There is always an objective aspect to seeing from the spiritual or rational level of the mind into the external or natural part of the mind. This is because it is truths from the Word that are doing the seeing. While the level of objectivity will strengthen and weaken depending on the degree of our identification with what’s arising within our mental landscape as our self, the influence of what is higher means we won’t get caught up in moral recriminations for as long as we might have other
ACV7 S25: AC 5347-5356
ACV7S25 Click to Print
5347. Verses 50-52. And to Joseph were born two sons before the year of famine came, whom Asenath the daughter of Potiphera priest of On bare to him. And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh; For God hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house. And the name of the second called he Ephraim; For God hath made me fruitful in the land of my affliction. "And to Joseph were born two sons," signifies good and truth therefrom; "before the year of famine came," signifies that came through the natural; "whom Asenath the daughter of Potiphera priest of On bare to him," signifies that came from the marriage; "and Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh," signifies a new will in the natural, and its quality; "For God hath made me forget all my toil," signifies removal after temptations; "and all my father's house," signifies the removal of hereditary evils; "and the name of the second called he Ephraim," signifies a new understanding in the natural, and its quality; "For God hath made me fruitful," signifies the consequent multiplication of truth from good; "in the land of my affliction," signifies where temptations were suffered.
5348. And to Joseph were born two sons. That this signifies good and truth therefrom, namely from the influx of the celestial of the spiritual into the natural, is evident from the signification of "being born," as being to be reborn, thus the birth of truth from good, or of faith from charity (see n. 4070, 4668, 5160)-that the births spoken of in the Word are spiritual births maybe seen above (n. 1145, 1255, 1330, 3263, 3279, 3860, 3866); and from the signification of "sons," here Manasseh and Ephraim, as being good and truth (of which just below). For by "Manasseh" is signified the will of the new natural, and by "Ephraim" its understanding; or what is the same thing, by "Manasseh" is signified the good of the new natural, because good is predicated of the will; and by "Ephraim" is signified its truth, because truth is predicated of the understanding. In other passages also where we read of two sons being born, by one is signified good, and by the other truth, as by Esau and Jacob (that good is signified by "Esau" may be seen n. 3302, 3322, 3494, 3504, 3576, 3599, and truth by "Jacob," n. 3305, 3509, 3525, 3546, 3576); so likewise with the two sons of Judah by Tamar, Perez and Zerah (n. 4927-4929); and so here with Manasseh and Ephraim. Their birth is now treated of, because in what immediately precedes was described the influx of the celestial of the spiritual into the natural, and hence its rebirth, which is effected solely by means of good and truth.
5349. Before the year of famine came. That this signifies that came through the natural, is evident from the signification of "before the year of famine came," as being while the state of the multiplication of truth from good lasted, which state is signified by the years of abundance of produce, and thus before the state of desolation signified by the years of famine. As in the former state truth from good was multiplied in the natural, and thus good and truth were born to the celestial of the spiritual through the natural, therefore this consequence is signified by the words, "before the year of famine came."
5350. Whom Asenath the daughter of Potiphera priest of On bare to him. That this signifies that came from the marriage, is evident from what was said above (see n. 5332).
5351. And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh. That this signifies a new will in the natural, and its quality, is evident from the representation of Manasseh in the Word, as being spiritual good in the natural, and thus a new will (of which below): this name also involves the very quality of this good, or of this new will. That the "name" involves this quality may be seen from the names given to others a
ACV7 S24: AC 5330-5346
ACV7S24 CLICK TO PRINT
5330. Verse 45. And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphenath-paneah; and gave him Asenath the daughter of Potiphera priest of On for a woman; and Joseph went out over the land of Egypt. "And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphenath-paneah," signifies the quality of the celestial of the spiritual at that time; "and he gave him Asenath the daughter of Potiphera priest of On for a woman," signifies the quality of the marriage of truth with good and of good with truth; "and Joseph went out over the land of Egypt," signifies when both naturals were its own.
5331. And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphenath-paneah. That this signifies the quality of the celestial of the spiritual at that time, is evident from the signification of a "name" and of "calling a name," as being the quality (see n. 144, 145, 1754, 1896, 2009, 2628, 2724, 3006, 3237, 3421). In its original language "Zaphenath-paneah" means "a revealer of hidden things and an opener of things to come," by which in the celestial sense is signified the Divine therein; for to reveal hidden things, and to open things to come, is of God alone. This is the quality this name involves, and it is also the quality of the celestial of the spiritual; for the celestial of the spiritual is the good of truth in which is the Divine, or which is immediately from the Divine. This, namely the celestial of the spiritual in which is the Divine, belonged to the Lord alone when He was in the world, and was the Human in which the Divine Itself could be, and which could be put off when the Lord made all the Human in Himself Divine.
5332. And he gave him Asenath the daughter of Potiphera priest of On for a woman. That this signifies the quality of the marriage of truth with good and of good with truth, is evident from the signification of "giving for a woman," as being marriage. That it is the marriage of good with truth and of truth with good, is because nothing else is meant in the spiritual sense by marriages, and hence nothing else is meant by them in the Word. By the "daughter of the priest of On" is signified the truth of good, for a "daughter" is the affection of truth, and a "priest" is good; but "Joseph" is the good of truth in which is the Divine, which is the same as the celestial of the spiritual. From this it is plain that the marriage of truth with good and of good with truth is signified. It is the quality of this marriage that is signified, but this quality cannot be further set forth, because the quality the Lord had in the world cannot be comprehended, even by angels, and only some shadowy idea can be formed of it from such things as are in heaven-as from the Grand Man, and from the celestial of the spiritual which is therein from the influx of the Lord's Divine; but still this idea is as dense shade to light itself, for it is most general, and relatively is therefore scarcely anything.
5333. And Joseph went out over the land of Egypt. That this signifies when both naturals were its own, is evident from the signification of "going out," as here being to flow in; and from the signification of the "land of Egypt," as being the natural mind (of which often above), thus both naturals; and because "to go out" signifies to flow in, and the "land of Egypt" signifies both naturals, by these words together with the preceding is signified the quality of the celestial of the spiritual, and the quality of the marriage of good with truth and of truth with good, when the celestial of the spiritual by influx made both naturals its own. What is meant by "making the natural its own" may be seen just above (n. 5326).
5334. Verses 46-49. And Joseph was a son of thirty years when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from before Pharaoh, and passed over into all the land of Egypt. And the earth made gatherings in the seven years of abundance of produ
ACV7 S23: AC 5314-5329
ACV7S23 CLICK TO PRINT
5314. Verses 41-44. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh took off his ring from upon his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and clothed him in garments of fine linen, and put a necklace of gold upon his neck; and he made him ride in the second chariot that he had; and they cried before him, Abrech; and he set him over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or his foot in all the land of Egypt. "And Pharaoh said unto Joseph," signifies the further perception of the natural from the celestial of the spiritual; "See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt," signifies dominion over both naturals. "And Pharaoh took off his ring from upon his hand," signifies a confirming of the power the natural previously had; "and put it upon Joseph's hand," signifies that the natural yielded all the power to the celestial of the spiritual; "and clothed him in garments of fine linen," signifies an external significative of the celestial of the spiritual; ("garments of fine linen" are truths from the Divine); "and put a necklace of gold upon his neck," signifies a significative of the conjunction of interior things with exterior, effected by good; "and he made him ride in the second chariot," signifies a significative that from this comes all the doctrine of good and truth; "that he had," signifies that comes by means of the natural; "and they cried before him, Abrech," signifies acknowledgment through faith, and adoration; "and he set him over all the land of Egypt," signifies that such was its authority; "and Pharaoh said unto Joseph," signifies still further perception; "I am Pharaoh," signifies that the natural is thence derived; "and without thee shall no man lift up his hand," signifies that from the celestial of the spiritual is everything of power in the spiritual; "or his foot," signifies and everything of power in the natural; "in all the land of Egypt," signifies in both naturals.
5315. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph. That this signifies the further perception of the natural from the celestial of the spiritual, is evident from the signification of "saying" in the historicals of the Word, as being to perceive (as often shown above); and from the representation of Pharaoh as being the natural, and of Joseph as being the celestial of the spiritual (of which also above). The reason why it is the perception of the natural from the celestial of the spiritual that is signified, is that the natural has all its perception from what is higher than itself; here from the celestial of the spiritual, which is higher.
5316. See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. That this signifies dominion over both naturals, is evident from the signification of "setting anyone over" as being dominion; and from the signification of "all the land of Egypt," as being both naturals (of which above, n. 5276). This treats still further of the dominion that Pharaoh gave Joseph over the land of Egypt, namely, that Pharaoh deprived himself of his own authority, and put all Egypt under Joseph. These things were so done of the Divine Providence, in order that Joseph might put on the representation of the celestial of the spiritual the Lord had when He was in the world, and by means of which He disposed His natural and also His sensuous, in order that progressively He might make them both Divine. This was done to Joseph to the end that the Word that was to be written about him might contain Divine things, thus such things as in the heavens are most holy and are suited to the angels who are in the heavens; for the angels there are in the Lord, because they are in the sphere of the Divine truth proceeding from Him; and therefore the Divine things in the Word's internal sense relative to the Lord and to the gl
Jacob’s Ladder: Connecting Heaven and Earth
Click here to access the QnA Session related to this paper
I would like us to focus today on the image of Jacob’s ladder which can be found in Genesis 28:10-12. There we find Jacob travelling to Laban’s house to find a wife. Laban is Jacob’s uncle on his mother’s side. The back story is interesting in that he was sent there by his father Isaac, who was persuaded by Rebecka, his wife and the mother of Jacob, that it would be better for Jacob to marry one of their own rather than to marry a Canaanite from the surrounding district. However, there was a more pressing reason to get Jacob away from the family home which had to do with the fact that Rebecka and Jacob were complicit in deceiving Isaac so that he would bestow on Jacob the birthright belonging to his older twin brother Esau. Now, Rebecka, aware of Esau’s anger toward his brother, feared for Jacob’s life so she worked on Isaac and persuaded him to send Jacob to Laban to acquire a wife for himself.
And so, we come to the point in the story where Jacob takes rest for the night on his way to Laban and we are told that Jacob dreams a dream, so reading Genesis 28:10-12 we have...
And forth is Jacob faring from Beer-sheba, and going toward Charan. And coming is he upon a place and is lodging there, for the sun has set. And taking is he one of the stones of the place, and is placing it for his pillow, and lying down is he in that place. And dreaming is he, and behold! A ladder-way set up earthward, with its head touching the heavens. And behold! Angels of God are ascending and descending on it.
We also come across a reference to this ladder upon which the angels of God are ascending and descending in the Gospel of John where Jesus has the following exchange with Nathanael...
Jesus perceived Nathanael coming toward Him, and is saying concerning him, "Lo! truly an Israelite in whom there is no guile!" Nathanael is saying to Him, "Whence do you know me? Jesus answered and said to him, "Before Philip summons you, when you are under the fig tree, I perceived you." Nathanael answered and is saying to Him, "Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God! Thou art the King of Israel!" Jesus answered and said to him, "Seeing that I said to you that 'I perceived you underneath the fig tree,' are you believing? Greater things than these should you be seeing!" And He is saying to him, "Verily, verily, I am saying to you, henceforth you shall be seeing heaven opened up and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man." Jn 1:47-51
The general idea to get hold of here is that there is this ladder that connects what is called "heaven" with what is called "earth" and that it allows for the ascending and descending movement of what are called “angels”.
So, what this image presents us with is an image of an unfolding psychological or spiritual process for this is what dreams concern themselves with, and that Jacob’s dream illustrates a connection between different levels of mind. The levels of mind are presented in the relationship of “heaven” to “earth”. Heaven is above and earth is below, so psychologically, heaven represents what is of a higher or finer quality of mind and life while earth refers to what is of a lower or coarser quality of mind and life. These terms refer to two different modes of consciousness. Another way of thinking about this idea of higher and lower is think in terms of what is interior and exterior. Things of an interior nature have to do with the interior aspects of our mental life or spirit. These are things concerned with eternal realities such as the well-being of our soul, while those of an exterior nature have to do with temporal things or those aspects of our mental life that are more focused on the well-being of our body and life in the external world.
When we start out on the journey to wholeness our level of consciousnes
The Third Round: A Spiritual Life is Only Possible Due to Truths from the Word
Third Round posts are short audio clips taken from Round 3 comments offered in the online Logopraxis Life Group meetings. The aim is to keep the focus on understanding the Text in terms of its application to the inner life along with reinforcing any key LP principles that have been highlighted in the exchanges.