New Church Life NCL May/June 2018 - Page 14

n e w c h u r c h l i f e : m ay / j u n e 2 0 1 8 The “higher truths” Mrs. Potts mentioned were actually “remnants” (Arcana Coelestia 19, 20), those remains granted to the first “animal-like” human beings on this planet and still granted after birth onward to every human being, rendering us all human. (Arcana Coelestia 286, Apocalypse Explained 294.15, 739:6) Those higher truths are now an open secret.  The Writings cannot have an internal sense the same way the Old and New Testaments do, in any case, because of their own statements. The spiritual sense of the Word of Sacred Scripture has “been printed” in the works of Swedenborg, and this internal sense “teaches Doctrine.” (Arcana Coelestia 9380:2) “Doctrine is what the internal or spiritual sense teaches.” (Ibid. 10400.3) This spiritual sense is the same as “the doctrine they have in heaven.” It is all now presented “in this book.” (Heavenly Doctrine 7)  The reason there is the belief that the Writings, as the Word of Heavenly Doctrine also beg for an enlightened or inner view, is probably because the Writings reveal the many layers or degrees of truth in the heavens. There are six degrees described in Arcana Coelestia 8443: the first two above the heavens are matched by the “two radiant belts” or solar halos described in Arcana Coelestia 7270. These two are below the spiritual sun in which is the Lord Himself.   Next below these two come the celestial, spiritual and natural -- now New – heavens. The last spiritual degree called the fifth of 8443, may “somewhat” be seen by people enlightened by regeneration – or by those just counting the Word to be holy – here on earth. Also in Apocalypse Revealed 959, the Word is described coming through the “celestial heaven where the meaning is celestial, to the spiritual heaven where it is spiritual, to the natural where it is natural, down to the man who wrote it.” It is tempting to think the celestial sense of the Word can be found within its spiritual sense: but the celestial sense is reached by going more deeply into the text from which the spiritual sense was first drawn. You have to go deeper to go higher. The Writings occasionally do this, revealing the celestial sense of the Ten Commandments, and portions of Jacob’s story.   But since John’s eyes were opened to “the celestial heaven” and there he saw the “New Church as to doctrine” coming down as a city, (Apocalypse Revealed 896) it is clear that the Writings incorporate all these degrees of truth. Without the Writings, anyone may only come into the fifth degree “for a little bit.” (Arcana Coelestia 8443)  The Writings have blasted that fifth-degree barrier for good. All levels of truth are open, with doctrinal passages decorating these degrees as musical notes on heaven’s staves. That is why we feel there are deeper things to be found. So read on, and find them.  190