Monday, March 30, 2015
Hello friends, great to meet you. Thought of the day: People often say everything is subjective, true, but it is also true that the only way of knowing is through our body, heart and mind. We are made to be receptacles of God's love and wisdom. Love not an abstraction, but can only be expressed through the human form. The cross has a vertical and horizontal; by horizontal connected to all people and places, by the vertical tethered to the Lord. The virtues also exist by being expressed through human form.
I have a blind friend with superpowers, feel more scene by her than anybody, great ease of affection and hearing. Thanks for participating in my blog. Please leave a comment.
I have a blind friend with superpowers, feel more scene by her than anybody, great ease of affection and hearing. Thanks for participating in my blog. Please leave a comment.
Sunday, March 29, 2015
This article tells the inside story of the second coming. It is a big subject to tackle but I will try to boil it down so one can see the spiritual reasoning behind it. If you choose to contemplate this it would definitely help to read the article entilted, ‘The Concept of Equilibrium - An Esential Key to Understading the Bible, Science, History, and the Cosmos’ in this blog. That article will help you to understand the terrible imbalance which had taken place in the equilibrium between heaven and hell at three different times in history; the time of Noah, the Incarnation, and the second coming. At each time the church on earth, or the universal spiritual state of mankind, had declined to the point there was almost no goodness left in it. The declined state caused a cosmic imbalance that, if left uncorrected, would have consumed humanitly in total darkness. Each time in different ways it was restored by the might of the Lord. At the time of Noah He caused the flood, at the end of the Old testament He was born on earth and resurrected, in the second coming he revealed the internal sense of the Word. What occurred that was the same at each of these times is that in the spiritual world he subjugated the forces of hell, and restored equilibrium between heaven and hell. The second coming has to do with the decline of the Christian church, namely the Catholic, all the protestant churches, and the Muslim churches on earth. Each of these had lost almost all charity in them. This decline culminated in 1757. They had become mostly external at this time, especially the catholic church.
“I saw a new heaven and a new earth: the first heaven and the first earth passed away”. This refers to the second coming. Because of the imbalance that had taken place the Lord had to accommodate a sort of suedo-heaven in the spiritul world inwhich the good and the bad were together. At the time of the second coming in the spiritual world evil spirits had the upper hand and were intercepting most of those who newly died and in the spiritual world were deceptively brought into their suedo-heaven. This had been developing for centuriess parrellel to the corruptions in the churches on earth. This is comparable to the long decline in the Jewish religion of the Old Testament where the people were so stubborn and time and time again rejected God’s plans and eventually became completely external and legalistic. The Jewish leaders had usurped all power over the people and used religion to dominate the people. The corruptions of the Catholic religion before the second coming went even further; they made themselves the source of authority, claiming the very place of God. They made the people subject to them, and took away a direct relationship with the Lord and the Bible. Simularly in the spiritual world the religious leaders that were evil recruited the people into their ‘heaven’ and Lorded over them. They could not be overtly evil but had to appear of good decroum and play the role morally, but were inwardly delighting in power. The ordinary people followed these leaders and learned of the things of faith and religion from them, wether they leaders were evil or not. Because they were tied in this relationhsip that involves the Word and the sacred things of religion they were conjoined in a way that the Lord could not separate them until the time was right. This service the evil were providing protected them from being put where they belong. The people who followed them and practiced faith in sincerity, even though it was from evil leaders, could be saved, and for this reason the Lord allowed it. This is told in many places in the Bible, but perhaps none more clearly than in the Parable of the wheat and chaffe. Swedenborg explains:
If therefore these spirits (the good) had been forcibly removed from them (the evil) before the appointed time, heaven would have suffered in it’s ultimate (it’s foundation): yet it is upon the ultimate that the higher heaven rests, as it were upon its basis. That for this reason these spirits (the bad) were tolerated till the last time, the Lord teaches in these words: Didst thou not sow good seed in the field? Whence then hath it the tares? And they said, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root also the wheat with them. Let both therefore grow together until the harvest: and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, gather ye first together the tares, and bind them into bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat unto my barn…the harvest is the consummation of the age…As therefore the tares are gathered together and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the consummation of this age.” (Matt. xiii, 27-30, 37,40.) (The Last Judgment p. 69,70)
When you see the inside story then you can understand the parable (and how unfathomably deep the Word and parables are). What many people don’t understand is that the last judgement took place in the spiritual world. Most of the the Book of Revelation is about the judgement that took place on the different peoples and nations in the spiritual world, though the events on earth were the foundational cause of it as described above. The judgment in the spiritual world and was upon those who lived from the Lords time until the second coming. It did not include those who were already in heaven or hell before the Lord was born, nor those who were not caught up in the false heavens either as perpetraters or victims, but went to the real heaven or to the real hell. By the last judgment the Lord was retrieving the captive good to their rightful place in heaven, and deconstructing the false heavens and sending the evil to where they belong. The bad were revealed in their true state and went to hell.
The second coming is not about current events and does not take place some time in the future. It is a general truth that a judgement always takes place at the final stage of decline of the earthly church as it had at the time of Noah and the incarnation. As He had done at the time of the flood, and the time of his advent, in second coming the Lord restored equilibrium. The subjugating of hell, restoring equilibrium and putting heaven back in order is the Lord’s work of redemption. Swedenborg professes to have been allowed by the Lord to witness the enactment of the Last judgment in the spiritual world on each of the different churches and peoples. He describes that the first step is that there is a ‘visitation’ as talked about in the Bible. This means the good people are seperated out of the cities to a safe place, and the bad are left in the city. Then he describes that there was great earthquakes, the earth opened and the evil fall into great chasms; there is the smoke of idolotrous items burning; often massive floods that sweep people away or into deserts, it is all far too much to relate here.
In the centuries leading up to the second coming the many fake heavens that formed in the spiritual world below heaven caused a dark cloud between heaven and earth. This dark cloud caused interference to the heavenly influx to earth, which further caused the external state of the people and the church. In the judgement the Lord destroyed and removed all of these heavens. The captives (as spoken in the Bible) rejoiced greatley at being released and restored to their rightful place in heaven. As you can imagine there was overflowing gladness of heart and thankfulness. The effect on earth was slower and less dramatic; but there is a trickle-down effect that can clearly be seen in history. First let us hear Swedenborg explain these things:
Before the Last Judgment was effected much of the communication between heaven and the world, and therefore between the Lord and the church, was intercepted. All enlightenment comes to man from the Lord through heaven, and enters by an internal way. So long as there were congregations of such spirits between heaven and the world, or between the Lord and the church, man could not be enlightened. It was as when a sunbeam is cut-off by a black interposing cloud, or as when the sun is eclipsed and its light arrested by the interjacent moon. If therefore anything had been revealed by the Lord, it either would have not been understood, or if understood, yet would not have been received…. Now since all these interposing congregations were dissipated by the Last Judgment, it is plain that the communication between heaven and the world, or between the Lord and the church, has been restored…. this great change which has been effected in the spiritual world does not induce any change in the natural world as to the outward form…. But as regards the church … it will indeed be similar as to the outward, but dissimilar as to the internal form…the man of the church will hereafter be in a more free state of thinking on matters of faith, that is on the spiritual things that relate to heaven, because spiritual liberty has been restored.
In the next blog we will look at more of thes principles and examine them in history.
In this article I hope to explore the correspondence between the process of the glorification of the Lord, and Einstein’s theory of particle acceleration, which states that as matter approaches the speed of light its mass increases, and theoretically approaches infinity. This was demonstrated in the Berkeley cyclotron. I will begin by describing the process of the glorification.
Jesus was tempted and assaulted by evil during the course of His whole life. The 40 days and 40 nights that the Lord was tempted are symbolic of temptations that actually took place his whole life. These temptations and battles that took place were of an intensity far beyond what we could even imagine. The process of overcoming these temptations is how Christ purified his human and accomplished the glorification. Christ could be tempted by evil because he had a human body from his mother. All humans have Hereditary evil; it is passed on from generation to generation through the body, and the soul. The evil that comes from the father is more interior, because of the soul; and the evil that comes from the mother is more exterior, because from the body. Interior evil from the soul can be regenerated, but cannot be removed. Therefore, because Christ soul was divine, or Jehovah himself, he had no interior evil, but he did have hereditary evil from the body. The result of this is that He ‘entered the fish bowl’, so to speak, that is, He made himself accessible to all humanity, and at the same time to all evil. But the brilliance of this is that Jesus also access to evil. He needed to be able to be tempted by the evil so He could subjugate all evil.
The Lord grew like other men. He learned and grew in skills, except at a much greater rate and power. With his exceptional spiritual and intellectual skills he was tempted by spiritual pride, and every other vice during his growth. Day by day, step-by-step, He overcame all temptations. Evil forces tempted Him with power, fame, greed, wealth, and comfort. The reason he could be tempted but did not sin, is that as long as we a mulling a deed over in mind, it is not yet sin, but when we intend to do, or do he deed, it has entered our will and it is sin. They tempted Him to rage, vengeance, lust, pride, and self-love. They unrelentingly tried to persuade him to sinful actions by incredible magical arts. But Christ was able to see and reject the evil of men and women, especially in the spiritual world. He defeated the forces of all hell by making them surrender to him.
To give some insight to the depth of these assaults, Swedenborg writes that even the angels of heaven tempted Him because angles, even though good, are former humans and have remnants of hereditary evil. Swedenborg writes: “He foresaw and overcame the most subtle of all temptations from the angels”. It took the power and might of His Divine Soul to overcome and do what no human could do.
Christ’s greatest temptation had to do with his boundless love and compassion for humanity. The evil forces knew this, so like terrorists on earth, they sought to destroy that which He loves the most.
Now it is very important to note that evil attacks according to ones innermost love, for from this they can destroy a person’s life; and because Christ was the greatest love to ever be all the greatest forces of hell sought to destroy him. But from the power in his soul each time Christ overcame a temptation He took another step in purifying His human body of all hereditary evil. And each time He removed hereditary evil, He entered a greater state of light, and the quality of his love rose to a higher level.
Now lets examine the implications of this process. The progressive temptations the Lord underwent and overcame, and the ever-increasing love He opened to, sets up an exponential equation. As said above, it is a law of the hells that they seek to destroy a person by attacking their innermost love, and every time a temptation is overcome one’s state of love increases. In the case of Christ His soul possessed infinite potential because His father was God. Swedenborg writes, “Because this love (of Christ toward humanity) was not human but Divine, and temptation is great in proportion as the love is great, it is evident how grievous were His combats, and how great the ferocity on the part of the hells. That these things were so I know of a certainty”. So the ever-increasing formula is this: the more Christ overcame temptations and purified his human the higher his quality of love became, which in turn led the hells to attack with increased force at the higher level, and when He overcame that temptation, His quality of love increased again, and so on to the point of infinity.
Having described Swedenborg’s conception of the Glorification process we can now compare it to Einstein’s theory of particle acceleration, which states: the closer a particle approaches the speed of light, the greater its mass becomes, and this increase continues exponentially to the horizon of infinity. Max Born writing on this subject says:
Having described Swedenborg’s conception of the Glorification process we can now compare it to Einstein’s theory of particle acceleration, which states: the closer a particle approaches the speed of light, the greater its mass becomes, and this increase continues exponentially to the horizon of infinity. Max Born writing on this subject says:
A glance at formula 78 for the mass tells us that the values of the relativistic mass m become greater as the velocity v of the moving body approaches the velocity of light. For v=c the mass becomes infinitely great.
From this it follows that it is impossible to make a body move with a velocity greater than that of light by applying forces: Its inertial resistance grows to an infinite extent and prevents the velocity of light from being reached (Max Born, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, 277).
The primary difference between the Glorification and Einstein’s formula, is the infinite inertia of mass. But I believe the infinite love of Jesus could overcome the the law of the infinite inertia of mass.
In Einstien’s formula I would suggest that m (mass) corresponds to the body of Jesus, and v (velocity) corresponds to the accelerating love and wisdom of Jesus; c (the speed of light) corresponds to reaching the infinite potential, or making his body divine. The inertial resistance corresponds to the barrier between the natural world and the spiritual world, which physical substance (a body) cannot cross. Max Born’s statement about the infinite resistance of inertia preventing the speed of light being reached is a difference, but in a way it helps us appreciate the miraculous nature of the resurrection. The exact correspondence is that between mass becoming infinite and Jesus taking his human body into the spiritual world and merging with the divine, which is what Jesus accomplished in the resurrection. Jesus was able to do this because he entered into a love that never existed before, his love was divine and by utterly purifying his body of all hereditary evil he as able to enter the innermost of all things. His divine body merged with the divine essence of God. This is the mystery of all mysteries and the greatest event in all History.
Swedenborg writes that Christ was the only one to raise His corporeal body into the spiritual world and the only one who ever will:
He rose again on the third day with His whole body; which does not take place with any man, for man rises again only as to the spirit, but not as to the body. That man might know and no one should doubt that the Lord rose again with His whole body…He showed himself in His human body to the disciples, saying to them, when they believed they saw a spirit: Behold, My hands and My feet, that it is I myself; handle me and see, for spirit hath not flesh and bones, as you see me have. And when He said this, He showed them his hands and feet (Luke 24:39,40) (A.C. 5078).
The Bible is careful to show that the Lord’s has a divine body in transition after the resurrection. When Christ first appears to Mary after the resurrection and she mistakes Him for a gardener, He says to her, “Do not touch me, for I have not yet risen to My Father”. Afterward He invites the disciples to touch His body. As in the above quote to prove to the disciples further that He rose with His whole body He told Thomas to thrust his hand into His side (John 20:27,28). For the same purpose, in front of the disciples, He ate fish and honeycomb proving He had natural qualities (Luke 24:41-43). He also ‘appeared to them while the door was shut’ (John 20:19,26), in other words, He walked through walls indicating his body had divine qualities. It is also significant that after He had been with the disciples for some time, suddenly ‘He became invisible’ (Luke 24:31). The Bible is laying out the attributes of the Divine Human so that all generations can know that he resurrected His human body and merged with the divine, thus becoming the divine human.
This process describes the resurrection of Christ. In physics when the velocity of mass equals the speed of light then theoretically mass becomes infinite, but this would mean infinite mass would occupy all space and thereby destroy everything, which of course is impossible. But in a spiritual way this makes sense, because Swedenborg writes that the whole unverse is in the form of the Grand man, the divine human. This is another subject, which I will write about in my next blog.
In seminary my class was given the assignment to write a paper on our personal theology. In response to my paper the professor said that I had a ‘Star Wars’ theology. I suggested to him that “I think it is the other way around; Star Wars got its ideas from the Bible”. I believe Biblical themes have an intrinsic place in the human soul and psyche, and it is fascinating to observe how this comes out in stories and film. What follows below is not by any means a scientific survey of the subject, but simply the observations from an average man’s engagement in pop culture.
The most moving theme of the Bible, and also of life, is redemption; redemption is the central theme of the Christ story, and all the other themes circle around it. Whenever we hear a story of true sacrifice for love, honor, or the life of another we can not help but be moved deeply; it is a basic response of the goodness in the human soul to honor true sacrifice - and deep down I believe this universal response comes from the Lord within us. A good example of this is in superman: as the military captain flies the ‘package’ into the world engine (to destroy it) he says, “a good death is its own reward”. This affirms the spiritual value of honor, and giving one’s life for another. On this point Swedenborg writes:
Every citizen or subject is united to his king by obeying his commands and precepts; and more so if he endures hardships for him; and still more if he suffers death for him, as men do in war. In the same way friend is united to friend, son to father, and servant to master, by acting according to their wishes; still more by defending them against enemies; and more yet by fighting for their honor. Is not one united to the maiden whom he is wooing when he fights with those who defame her, and contends even to wounds with his rival? It is according to an inherent law of nature that they are united by such means.
(The word King, which was appropriate for Sweden in the time of Swedenborg, could be replaced with ‘nation’ or ‘community’). The principle Swedenborg expresses above relates to the Lord saying in the Bible: “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd layeth down his life for the sheep. Therefore doth My Father love Me” (John 10:11- 17). The depiction in stories and movies of heroes that are willing to sacrifice themselves and save the world evoke the intense love and bond that comes with the acknowledgement of the heroes deeds, know-how, and skill. We are moved to tears by their skill and deeds even if we have seen the same story a hundred times, and even if it is not great art. There is perhaps nothing more internally compelling to a child then a father or mother who cares for them so much that they will die for them. And everyone of us still has this child inside that yearns for this care, and hopefully is willing to do it for another. Here are some examples in movies: In the movie ‘Armagedon’ there is the self sacrifice of the Father Figure (Bruce Willis) who forcible takes the place of his future son in law so his son in law can live and marry his daughter; he is left behind on a meteor by himself to ignite the bomb that will save the world; in the Matrix there is the wondrous skill and spiritual mastery of ‘The One’ (Keanu Reeves) that saves the world. In ‘Signs’ the young girl helps save the world because she has been intuitively led to leave water cups around the house (and it turns out that water destroys the aliens); also the young man in ‘Signs’ saves his family with his prodigal skill for swinging the bat; in ‘Independence Day’ the drunk, worthless father sacrifices himself by flying into the power source of the alien ship; There are similar themes in the Terminator, The Fifth Element, Iron Man, The Avengers, Captain America, Men In Black, and many others. There are also great stories of personal sacrifice in more life-like stories. In these stories we are deeply moved because of the battle we all go through to find ourselves, overcome hardships, and see meaning in our lives. We see this in movies like ‘Shawshank Redemption’, ‘Lone Survivor’, ‘The green Mile’, and thousands of others. These stories so often center around Military and police men and woman, because they are the ones most often in harms way, and most of them have dedicated themselves to the honor and safety of their country or community, and are willing to sacrifice their lives for others. When we hear the story of the soldier that jumped on a grenade to save his companions we cannot help but feel love and honor for the man and his deed. How much more are we moved to honor Jesus Christ - for He from his own might saved all humanity from eternal darkness.
It may seem odd that I am bringing comic book stories, fantasy, and pop movies into a study of the Bible. But it is really not so odd. G.K. Chesterson wrote a long time ago an essay called, “In defense of Penny dredfuls”. (Penny dreadfuls are stories for adolescents that can be compared to pulp fiction in America.) In it he writes: “The simple need for some kind of ideal world in which fictitious persons play an unhampered part is infinitely deeper and older than the rules of good art, and much more inportant. Every one of us has constructed such an invisible dramatis personae. Literature is a luxery; fiction is a necessity”. He argues that common novels that engage these themes are invaluable to the imagination and inner development of youth and adults wether they are well written or not: “That is to say, they do precisely the same thing as Scott’s Ivanhoe and Lady of the Lake, Byron’s Corsair, Wordworth’s, Rob Roy’s Grave, Stevenson’s Macaire, Mr. Max Pemberton’s Iron Pirate, and thousands of more books…It is the modern literature of the educated, not of the uneducated, which is avowedly and aggressively criminal…The vast mass of humanity have never doubted and never will doubt that courage is splendid, that fedelity is noble, that distressed ladies should be rescued, and vanquished enemies spared. There are a large number of cultivated persons who doubt these maxims of daily life.”
Although circumstances have changed when Chesterson wrote this, the spirit of what he is saying very much applies today. In a later essay called Orthodoxy he extends his argument to Christianity and attempts to explain the immediacy that continually fuels the inner need to engage Biblical themes:
All Christianity concentrates on the man at the cross-roads. The vast and shallow philosophies talk about ages and evolutions and ultimate developments. The true philosophy is concerned with the instant. Will a man take this road or that?...The instant is really aweful: and it is because our religion has intensely felt the instant, that it has in literature dealt much with battle and in theology dealt much with hell. It is full of danger, like a boy’s book: it is at an immortal crises. There is a great deal of similarity between popular fiction and the religion of the western people (Jacobs, 124).
It is inevitable that Biblical themes are told by our most creative people. Pop culture is market driven. Whether the writers and producers of these movies are Christian or not, or whether they are conscience of the source of these themes, they know what moves people inside – they know what sells to the masses. Sex sells, but so does the deep inner desire for redemption by superheroes. Carl Jung made a big point of revealing story tellers that wrote genuinely from the creative imagination; he made the distinction of stories that were archetypal from the collective unconscious, and thereby had universal appeal to people, and those that were conscious creations (more manipulative). This is certainly an important point, but I don’t think we have to concern our self laboring to identify this quality with each book or movie. Rather, for our purposes we can go by the receiving end, that is, what is continually compelling to people in the market place.
In regard to the subject of the Bible and myth I think Carl Jung missed something essential; he seemed to believe in Christ as a real man, but not as divine. To my knowledge he treated the Bible as Myth, and psychologized it. He believed in God within the individual but not in God as both within and without, and that He is the creator of all things. C. S. Lewis was also a master of myth, Medeival literature, fantasy and loved these kinds of books. In the early part of his life he considered himself an atheist. But unlike Jung, he gradually come to the conclusion that the Bible was true history, not myth, he had to come to intellectual terms with the Bible as history. This made all the difference for him. C.S. Lewis became a passionate Christian while retaining his love of myth and fantasy. He strove to live the Christian values.
Most people assume that C. S. Lewis wrote his stories, especially the Narnia Chronicles, with a conscious intention to create Christian allegories (as I did). But he writes over and over again that it was not this way; in regard to the Narnia stories he writes:
Some people seem to think that I began by asking myself how I could say something about Christianity to children; then fixed on the fairy tale as an instrument; then collected information about child psychology and decided what age group I would write for; then drew up a list of basic Christian truths and hammered out “allegories” to embody them. This is pure moonshine. I couldn’t write in that way at all (The Narnian, Jacobs, 244).
Lewis strove to do something far more risky, courageous, and self revealing in these stories. He wrote: “It is better not to ask the questions (what allegories are god for children) at all. Let the pictures show you their own moral. For the moral inherent in them will rise from whatever spiritual roots you have succeeded in striking during the whole course of your life”. This is very profound to contemplate. Lewis biographer, Alan Jacobs, writes about this:
“The moral inherent in them will rise from whatever spiritual roots you have succeeded in striking during the whole course of your life”. This is terrifying, or liberating: liberating in that one need not expose oneself to the sanctimonious drudgery of drawing up lists of Christian truths…But terrifying because as those images rise from your mind you discover what you are really made of…Trusting the images, you find out who you are” (Jacobs, 244).
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
The Nature of Determinisim In the Times Before the Coming Jesus, and Why This Always Appears in Times of Darkness
In the times before Jesus was born on earth the people had become almost completely external in character. This external character extends to all levels of society in the mediteranean, and to all its nations and ethnicities, including the Greeks and Romans. In this article I will focus on one major aspect of the externalization – Determinism. We can talk about other factors in another article. Whenever a people descend into an external nature determinsim appears. A the end of this article I will show how this appears on movies too.
Among the thinkers in the century before Jesus was born there was an assumed determinism that was prevalent in their writing, even when they are striving to philosophize on freedom. Meeks in “The Moral World of First Century Christians” demonstrates this qualitie among the philosophers. For example, there is a famous speech in which the roman stoic Epictetus responded to a young man who considered becoming a cynic. To be a cynic was the most individualistic of ancient philosophical movements, but Epictetus cannot think past the determinism of the times, which is symptomatic of the lack of internal freedom. Meeks quotes Epictetus’s speech:
“You are a calf; when a lion appears, do what is expected of you; otherwise you will smart for it. You are a bull; come on and fight, for this is expected of you, it befits you, and you are able to do it. You are able to lead the host against Illium; be Agamenon. You are able to fight a duel against Hector; be Achelles. But if Thersites came along and claimed command, either he would not have got it, or if he had, he would have disgraced himself in the presence of a multitude of witnesses” (Epictetus, Discourses 3.22.5-8).
Meeks goes on to comment:
Honor and shame were the reciprocal sentiments that enforced the unwritten rules of these continual transactions. It is enough for Epictetus to say, in his hypothetical example of a man seizing a role which he is unsuited, that Thersites would have put himself to shame before a ‘multitude of witnesses’. For a slave or freedman to put on airs like a freeborn citizen marked him as shameless. For an emperor to give performances like an actor or musician, as Nero is said to have done, was a public shame.
In the Bible the same cultural value is represented when Jesus says:
And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do (Luke 17: 7-10).
Determinism is inherent in the society, because the people are entrenched in an external way of thinking and being. Ancient determinism is very different than modern determinism, because the later is based on the psychological principle that we are formed by childhood experiences, which is a strongly individualistic and inwardly contemplative mode of being that is nowhere in the ancients thinking. Ancient determinism is communal; it comes from the belief that they were born into their life roles and there is nothing they can or should do about it. In their heart the people did not contemplate pangs of conscience, or how they could change their econmic status, their mindset accepted their role and place and tried to improve their status within their strada of society.
This gives an idea how the people were externally motivated in almost all their actions. Everywhee Swedenborg emphasizes the external nature of their worship: “It certainly was not anything internal which affected them, for they did not know at all, nor indeed wish to know, what was internal…”(A.C. 4293). Similarly Malina says, “The New Testament depicts persons and events concretely, from the outside, so to say. They avoid introspection as uninteresting, and evaluate behavior on the basis of externally perceptible activity…” Malina goes on to describe how our western idea of conscience is different than the Mediterranean:
Conscience (for the New testament person) is sensitivity to what others think about and expect of a person; it is another word for shame in the positive sense…This is the group embedded, group oriented, dyadic personality, one who needs another simply to know who he or she is…anything unique that goes on inside a person is filtered out of attention. Individual psychology, individual uniqueness, and individual self-consciousness are simply dismissed as uninteresting, and unimportant (Molina, ).
This mindset at the time goes hand in hand with the general societal resignation to cruelty, and to the acceptance of dark forces. We shall see many examples of this further on. Below is an example from an incidental letter.
In “The Jesus of History”, the author T. R. Glover, gives us a glimpse of how the day-to-day mindset of the Mediterranean is different than today. He quotes from a letter that is dated September 1 AD by a man named Hilarion, an Egyptian Greek, to his wife Alis:
“Know that we are still even now in Alexandria. Do not fidget, if, at the general return, I stay in Alexandria. I pray and beseech you, take care of the little child, and as soon as we have our wages, I will send you up something. If you are delivered, if it was a male let it live; if it was a female cast it out…How can I forget you? So don’t fidget”
The letter is not an unkind one…And then it ends with the suggestion, inconceivable to us today, that if the baby is a girl it need not be kept. It can be put out either on the land or the river left to the Kite or the crocodile…it is not the exceptional thing that gives the character of an age. It is the kind of thing that we take for granted and assume to be normal that shows our character (64, Glover).
Leaving a child to exposure to die is very common in Athenian comic plays in the third and forth century, recurring over and over in the plots. Plato in his ideal constitution recommended that the marriage between young couples be made by the government, and that if infants were not good enough, they be put away where they will not be found. Aristotle made the same recommendation (65, Glover). These examples of the cruelty of the times only scratch the service. Looking into the life and times of emperors of Rome such as Tiberias and Caligula reveal an incredible depth of perverse cruelty and an insane level of jadedness to death and blood. The Greek God of the underworld Hades was a dark and cruel figure that was an expression of the cultures obsession with death and darkness.
In the latest supeman movie, “Man of Steel”, this theme is a very large part of the back story of Kripton. It is told that the people of Kripton had adapted in such a way that they tightly controlled child birth. Every child was born under government control with a predetermined purpose, - some workers, some leaders, some trades people and so on. Zod, the military ruler of Kripton, angrily expresses throughout his scenes that his sole purpose for eixstance from birth was to perseve Kripton, and he is a warrior who will destroy everything in his way that would keep him from that purpose. Also, in the beginning of the movie when Zod and his officers are sentenced for their crimes by the counsel, their sentence is forever - no possibility of release or attempt to rehabilitate. This is so because the counsel knows Zod’s purpose, and that he cannot be reformed. This is significant because with the Romans and other mediteranean nations at the time the jadedness toward cuelty was a natural extension of determinism. The belief that they have a pre-determined purpose led to a great devaluing of life. This theme is also in ‘The Terminator’, and the ‘Matrix’.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Constitution based on freedom and responsibility. It champions the fighting spirit in people, and tethers our nation to God and fair play. Freedom, responsibility are married in the constitution, which gives the greatest place for passion and goodness to flourish. In democracy and capitalism under the constitution both good and evil have to win on the free market, which allows Gods plan and presence to be in greater light, because evil can not so readily hide in this system, and good shines brighter. For instance, when we see men like Obama disrespect the constitution it is hurtful, but it also fires our passion to uphold it. In Socialism and communism the fighting spirit is watered down. These systems believe in relativism, which justifies being lukewarm. The Lord asks us to be hot or cold. Being lukewarm is the passionless , just seeking a free-ride, dissociating from life. The constitution is the opposite, it leads us to be on point, and to develop spiritual intelligence, goodness and fairness, to use our spiritual gifts from God. The Declaration states that we have enalianable rights given to us by God. The reason America is great and exceptional is because we declare as a nation that we are under God. The declaration and constitution are covenants with God made by the founding fathers, and by all who honor this agreement. This has made America a spiritual and moral light to the world, and to continue in it we must honor and uphold it.
Jesus told Thomas, ‘you know the way’. We know the way by the gifts in our soul given to us by God.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Correspondence means that everything in the natural world is the result of its counterpart in the spiritual world; the object in the spiritual world being the first cause of what is in the natural world. Everything in nature that is connected to its counterpart in the spiritual world, yet separated by a discreet degree, is said to correspond. A discreet degree can most readily be understood by our experience of the separation between the earthly world and the spiritual world. For the most part we cannot see, hear, or touch across this divide, but we can at times sense, feel, or intuit across. A tree in the natural world is subject to the natural laws of time and space, while the spiritual tree exists from the meaning it portrays from the love in the soul of angels or spirits. It is more real than a tree here because it is composed of spiritual substance and derived from love and wisdom from the Lord. The very colors of flowers and homes, the plants and animals that appear in a garden, are manifestations of what is in the soul of the angel or angles present in that place. In heaven the objects are of a beauty and light that surpasses what is on earth many times over. A tree there is more real than a tree on earth because it is the internal of a tree. If one grasps the implications of this one can see that all things that exist, exist in relationship to human beings; the human form being the highest of all forms. The same is true of things in nature on earth, but they are more remotely reflected and less clear to our perception.
For instance, contemplate for a moment hiking up a wild and rugged mountain. The mountain itself is a challenge, and an experience of beauty and danger. To reach the top a person must persevere. The higher one goes up the mountain the more one can see of the landscape around. There is, in seeing an expansive view, a natural delight and exhilaration that anyone who makes the effort feels. This natural delight corresponds to the spiritual joy of gaining higher perception of life. Mountains correspond to heaven. The delight of gaining an elevated view on a mountain is the reflection (correspondence) of spiritually gaining wisdom in one’s soul. Correspondence is an essential operation in the universe, and the above is an example of how it operates in our immediate life and experience. The ground gained to reach a view on a mountain is not given up easily, but when it is it becomes one’s own achievement. Similarly, internal perception requires attention and effort and it results in real effect or change in the soul, whereas mere knowledge does not.
As another example, I will share an early personal experience. I remember after graduating from high school and getting ready to go to college, I reflected on all the friends I hung out with and came to know well. I saw that in spite of all of our shortcomings, it was through my interactions with them that I came to know myself. This thought was a beginning of regeneration. It was a beginning of being able to accept others and myself with all of our frailties, and there was a kind of beauty in this perception because it was real, and there was not a stagnant feeling that this growth could happen only with them. I had this epiphany as I looked at a rainbow in the sky, and at the same time inwardly saw the comparison between my thought and the rainbow. In a rainbow the beauty of light is revealed as it refracts through little particles of water in the air, and thus the inner qualities of light are made visible, and real to our perception. Swedenborg writes that rainbows symbolize something very like this: “The reason that the appearance of a rainbow is seen is that the natural things corresponding to their spiritual present such an appearance. It is a modification of spiritual light from the Lord in their natural things” (AC 1042). In a person this means that the spiritual and natural must grow together, to grow at all. The spiritual becomes one’s own when there is accord between the love we see and feel, and our actions in life.
Correspondences happen in three realms of life, the Word, the human form, and in nature. In each case a perception of them is a sound way of gaining understanding. Perception is the moment when the internal and external come into concordance in a person. It is very significant to realize that perception involves the whole soul, and is a deeper way of knowing. Perception is reception in the soul of truths from the Lord. In this short article I will focus on providing an opportunity of perceiving correspondences between the Sun, the earth, and the Lord.
The principle of correspondence is a universal principle through which we can confidently gain knowledge about the nature of the spiritual world and the earthly world. It is, if we apply it thoughtfully, a readily accessible resource that can be read forward or backward, that is, from heaven to earth, and visa versa. We can gain insight into the dynamics of the spiritual world by the scientific processes we observe in the natural world. This is the basic principle I am using in this essay. It is at one and the same time, a spiritual and intellectual practice. By making the effort to meditate into correspondence I have often felt light coming into my heart and mind; it is a most comforting feeling anyone can feel.
The prime example of correspondence is between the sun in the sky and the sun in the spiritual world. The heat and light of the natural sun corresponds to love and wisdom from the spiritual sun. We know the sun provides heat and light without which nothing could live. Suns are the source of all energy and raw material for the entire natural world. All the suns throughout the universe are the source of heat and light for their respective solar systems, and beyond. In the spiritual world there is only one sun and it is the one source of all life. It is the origin of life, and creates the substance of life; the fundamental substance of life being love and wisdom from the Lord in the midst of the spiritual sun.
The natural suns are made of matter, are in time and space, and are innumerable, whereas there is only one spiritual sun. This one sun is the one source of everything. The reality that there is one spiritual sun and infinite natural suns in the universe is a function of correspondence, in that the natural sun cannot possibly reflect the infinite presence of the spiritual sun by size, so it corresponds by infinity of numbers. The reason for this is that in the natural world there is time and space, while in the spiritual world everything is based on state of being, or quality of love.
Science’s ability to penetrate some of the secrets of physics that occur in the sun offers the opportunity to look deep into potential correspondences. Science shows that everything that happens on earth occurs by a process, and correspondingly Swedenborg demonstrates that everything that occurs in the spiritual world occurs by a process. It is very important to grasp this concept, and we can only do so by practicing on particular examples. Humans have an ingrained habit of ‘magical thinking’ when it comes to the spiritual world, meaning we tend to think that things just happen there, that God makes them by the wave of the hand. But we know everything with humans is a matter of gradual growth, and accomplished reciprocally; and that everything in nature requires a process. It is the same in heaven: in heaven people don’t just sit on a cloud and bask in God’s light, but experience fulfillment through being useful in all the same type of occupations we have here. Everything is relational in both worlds. Only in heaven people love each other more than themselves.
Lets look at the example of the sun again. Einstein discovered that the source of the sun’s power is nuclear fusion. The sun’s mass is so enormous its gravity causes unfathomable pressure and heat in its core. The pressure and heat cause the atoms to accelerate to incredible speeds at close proximity. Hydrogen atoms normally repel each other, but the heat and pressure at the core is so enormous it causes the Hydrogen atoms to smash together and split, forming a new element – helium. In the process they release heat, and light as photons, and the massive power of the explosion seeks to expand to the surface of the sun. This is nuclear fusion, the engine in the suns core. The sun is anything but static; within the sun there is a constant tension, a raging battle between gravities crushing inward force, and nuclear fusion’s immense expansive fire. But the two forces settle into an equilibrium that lasts for billions of years, and together provide all the elements in the universe, and the heat and light that sustain life.
It is a universal principle that that which is created by the source has in it the inclination to repeat the form of the source. The master example of this is that humans are made in the image of God. The equilibrium between the forces of gravity and nuclear fusion in the sun defines the form of the sun, and because the sun is the source, the form of equilibrium is repeated in everything that exists. For anything to exist it has to have a form, and anything that has form has some kind of equilibrium that is the cause for that form. Based on this principle Swedenborg writes that just as there is an infinite largeness there is also an infinite minuteness. There is nothing so minute that there is not something smaller that is the substance within it. For instance an atom is a form that has within it electrons, neutrons and protons spinning around. As science keeps discovering, even the protons and neutrons have smaller things that compose them, and there are smaller things yet which compose these, and so on. It is beyond our ability to comprehend infinite minuteness, but based on the principle of form, substance and equilibrium we can see it must be true.
Equilibrium is in everything we see. The human body and every organ in it has a certain equilibrium between the inside forces of blood pressure and muscle tension, and the outside forces of gravity and atmospheric pressure. A leaf on a tree has equilibrium in a similar way. Anything we might look at is in a state of equilibrium, a chair, a light bulb, a cell, a fiber, anything, because they have a form, and substance inside it. The equations of Newton and Einstein work within equilibrium. The state of equilibrium can always change, for instance if a bottle is broken, but its pieces settle into another state of equilibrium. Swedenborg writes:
For any thing to have existence there must be an equilibrium of all things. Without equilibrium there is no action and reaction; for equilibrium is between two forces, one acting and the other reacting, and the state of rest resulting from like action and reaction is called equilibrium. In the natural world there is an equilibrium in all things and in each thing. It exists in a general way even in the atmosphere, wherein the lower parts react and resist in proportion as the higher parts act and press down. Again, in the natural world there is an equilibrium between heat and cold, between light and shade, and between dryness and moisture, the middle condition being the equilibrium. There is also an equilibrium in all the subjects of the three kingdoms of nature, the mineral, the vegetable, and the animal; for without equilibrium in them nothing can come forth and have permanent existence (Heaven and Hell, 589).
Another correspondence we can see in the sun has to do with the fact that the divine contains infinite variety, and is the source of life. From the divine human in the spiritual sun manifests the infinite variety and continual abundance of life, similarly, there is nothing that exists in nature that is exactly the same as anything else. For instance, science shows that snowflakes can be very similar, but never exactly the same. It is the same with everything. There are no two human beings that are the same, or ever will be.
To see how suns are the source of all things in nature, and the cause of variety, lets look more deeply at what happens in the sun. Scientists teach that the nuclear fusion taking place in the sun is the cause of all the elements of the universe. A sun like ours is only big enough to produce helium, but stars bigger produce such massive gravity that they have enough heat and pressure to create heavier elements such as sulfur and iron. These heavier elements are only created in supernovas. The elements are made by the incredible heat and energy released when the supernova explodes. Scientists report that the heaviest of elements, such as Gold, are made by the even more enormous explosions that occur when two neutron stars collide. This is why the heavier Elements are more rare. These incredible explosions send the elements out into the universe. And from these elements and their infinite combinations, all the things in the universe originate - planets, galaxies, new stars, and all living things. Scientists describe supernovas as the mother of all substances and objects in the universe. From this information we get an idea of the essential correspondence between God as the source of all things and their infinite variety, and the sun as the source of the abundance and variety in nature.
In my experience correspondence never fails; we simply have to dig into understanding them. Below is another interesting correspondence. In this correspondence we can compare the dynamics between; one, the divine in the spiritual sun and the reception of Him where angels live; and, two, the natural sun and the dynamics of how humans on earth receive light and heat from the sun. Swedenborg writes:
Divine love in the spiritual world appears to the sight of angels like the sun, as far distant from them as the sun of our world is from men. If therefore God, who is in the midst of that sun, were to come close to angels, they would perish just as men would if the sun of the world came close to them, for it is equally burning. For this reason there are constant controls which modify and moderate the burning heat of that love, so that its radiation should not reach heaven undiluted, since this would consume the angels. When therefore the Lord makes His presence more immediately felt in heaven, the irreligious beneath heaven begin to complain, suffering torture and fainting, so that they take refuge in caves and fissures in the mountains (TCR, 691).
This corresponds to the fact that where there is life on a planet there must be the right distance from the sun, and also, a certain delicate balance of characteristics on the planet that protect the life there. Earth being at the perfect distance from the sun is a clear correspondence, but there are many more subtle comparisons to be made. For instance scientist have discovered how essential the magnetic field of the earth is to protecting life against the power of solar flares and radiation. (When solar flares are too big people on earth complain that they take out our electrical systems.) The motion of molten magma inside the earth causes a rather weak magnetic field around earth, but this magnetic field is strong enough to form a barrier around the earth that deflects harmful solar radiation. Also, just the right tilt of the earth’s axis creates the seasons around the globe, which is important for many things, especially maintaining moderate temperatures, a variety of climates for life, and especially a stable atmosphere. These factors, plus just the right amount of water on earth, produce a healthy atmosphere that provides essential protection from the sun’s radiation. The moon provides essential protection for earth by stabilizing its rotation on its axis; without this life would be thrown into dramatic cycles of destruction, mostly due to sudden huge temperature changes, and loss of a stable atmosphere. All of these factors, and many more, work together to maintain a delicate balance; they correspond to the ‘constant controls which modify and moderate’ the burning heat and light of the spiritual sun from harming angels. I am not a physicist, but we can see these correspondences readily enough on the level of principle. The more detailed one’s knowledge of science the deeper the correspondences that can be seen.
Now we look to the ultimate source of equilibrium that makes it a universal correspondence, and demonstrates the connectedness of all things. Inside the spiritual sun there is also an infinite, dynamic marriage that is the source of life. This is the Holy marriage between the Lord’s divine essence and his divine human. This is the Holy of Holies. From this marriage radiates Holy fire, which is the cause of the spiritual sun’s light and heat (wisdom and love). The powerful forces we described inside the natural sun give us a glimpse, by correspondences, of the unfathomably powerful union inside the spiritual son. The equilibrium in the natural sun corresponds to the Holy marriage in the spiritual sun; except, of course, the forces inside the natural son are not alive; they are material and energy based, but in the spiritual sun life comes from the source itself, the divine human, Jesus Christ. This is the mother of all correspondences.
In the Sun there, which is from Himself, is Divine fire, which is the Divine good of the Divine love. From that Sun is Divine light, which is Divine truth from Divine good. (AC 8644).
That the union in the spiritual sun is holy, and in its interiors most holy, is very evident from the fact that in every detail of it there is the heavenly marriage, that is, the marriage of good and truth, thus heaven; and that in every detail of the inmost sense there is the marriage of the Lord’s Divine Human with His kingdom and church; nay, in the supreme sense there is the union of the Divine Itself and the Divine Human in the Lord (AC 6343).
It is as if His body (Jesus) is the candle and his essence (God) the wick, and the marriage of them produces the Holy fire from which radiates infinite love and wisdom. This bond, or marriage, and resulting Holy fire, causes the form of the spiritual sun. The Holy bond between Jesus and God was forged (in all wonder, pain, joy, and beauty) in the glorification process while Jesus was on earth. In the resurrection the Lords body was made divine, and merged with the divine essence. What radiates from the spiritual sun around the Lord is the universal spiritual substance of life, - love and wisdom – just as heat and light radiate from the natural sun. Love and wisdom are spiritual in nature; indeed they are the indivisible spiritual substance of life, not abstractions.
This idea bears repeating in another way so that it might penetrate our understanding. The source of life and creation is the Holy marriage within the Lord, and this core reality descends by correspondences from the divine to the physical. The equilibrium that constitutes the form of all things in nature originates from the Lord in the form of the spiritual sun, and we get a glimpse of the mightiness of Him in the power power of the physical suns in the universe. The implications of this are limitless, but we can begin by saying that spiritually the divine of the Lord is intrinsic in our life and in nature, and thus, if we are receptive to Him, can be seen or experienced through all things such as a rainbow or climbing a mountain.
Sunday, March 15, 2015
The theme of the glorification is hinted at in many films at their conclusions when they show the hero or situation fading into pure light. In Platoon, the hero, in a helicopter, fades into the pure light of the sun as his voice-over submits to seeking goodness; in The Peaceful Warrior, the master passes away by turning into pure light.
The common way the glorification is represented is by superhuman feats the hero performs, particularly if these deeds have to do with saving the world. In The Matrix (the first film of the Matrix Trilogy) Neo does this when he saves his fellow rebel and beloved, Trinity, by hanging on to a cable from a crashing helicopter, trusting she will cut it and hang on. In The Avengers Iron Man swoops in and catches an atom bomb and then directs into the heart of the enemy ship and thereby saves the world. Also, when Superman saves several men from certain death when he walks through fire and holds up an enormous tower as they are saved by a helicopter. This is glorious because “the One” has the skill and awareness to perform the feat that saves the world.
The theme of superhuman powers is most like the glorification when it is combined with the hero’s willingness to sacrifice his or her life for others. But there is much more to the process of the glorification that the Lord went through, and there are only a few films I know of that depict greater particulars of the glorification.
Often, the glorification process is represented in film by the hero having the power to enter the heart of the enemies abode when this seems the most impossible thing to do, but by doing so he destroys the evil forces from within.
Superman does this when he enters the power beam from the world engine that is transforming earth into Kripton. With incredible determination, Superman flies up through the heart of the beam—withstanding its massive force—and begins to move upward. He strains higher and higher into the light until he reaches the world engine and destroys it. When the deed is accomplished, the captain of the army says, “He did it,” similar to Jesus saying, “It is finished.” (Similarly in The Matrix, when Neo has finally destroyed Smith, the leader of the Machine World, he says, “It is done”). In the Bible, these words signify Jesus accomplishing his glorification. Superman is then shown in a peaceful, colorful scene lying down with the rays of the sun on him as he reaches toward its pure light, (a trope in many hero films). Superman is known to get much of his power from the earths sun. One of the reasons this scene is so meaningful and powerful is that Jesus is the Divine Human in the midst of the spiritual sun in the spiritual world, and from it provides life for all living things. In the transfiguration and other places, the Lord is described as shining like the sun.
To a lesser extent, the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still pursues this theme when ‘“the one who can save the world,” an alien named Klaatu, becomes convinced of the goodness in humanity and fights his way against the swarm (which is certain to consume the earth in darkness) and dares to enter the heart of the alien mother ship. He is shown at the end fading into pure light, and the swarm recedes and leaves.
The best film in this genre to depict some of the details in the process of the glorification is The Matrix. Prophecies are an important part of the glorification of Jesus. In The Matrix the theme of prophecy is essential and well developed. In it “The One” is the person who can and does fulfill the prophecies just as Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies told about him in the Old Testament. Simply put, prophecy is divine truth from God, and whoever fulfills prophecy is from God, and as he or she accomplishes each fulfillment she or he comes closer to oneness with God. The Lord’s process was not a forgone conclusion—a common misconception; it was an enormous battle and struggle in doubt from moment to moment. When he fulfills the last temptation on the cross He says, “It is finished,” meaning that he made his human body divine and returned to oneness with the Father, which is the culmination of the glorification of Christ.
In the first film of the Matrix Tilogy, Neo’s status as The One is constantly in doubt, but He gradually performs the deeds as no one but the Divine can. His status as The One is confirmed when he is Killed by the agents, but then resurrects from the dead and has gained exponentially greater powers - which he then demonstrates by defeating three agents with supernatural power.
In the last movie, in spite of everyone telling him he is insane except a few who believe in him, Neo travels into the heart of the evil realm of the machines. This comparable to Jesus descending to hell, and the disciples pleading with him not enter Jerusalem where he will be killed. As he is walking closer to face the power center of the machines, the image switches between a realistic view of metal walkways, scrambling insect machines, grey cables and such - to Neo’s inner vision, which is burning light that depicts perceiving and entering the internal of all things. He at once submits to and transcends the power of the machines, and they allow him to battle the multiplying agents alone, for they know he is the only one who can do it. He gives himself up, and trusting in the truth. This compares to Jesus allowing the religious leaders to capture and torture Him, and entering the last temptation. Neo then has a royal battle with the evil agents, and defeats them by the power of his light and truth. Swedenborg tells only the might of the Lord from divine truth can battle against and defeat the forces of evil. This is why Neo alone can do this. All of these events are allegories of the glorification of Christ.
One of the scenes that makes the Matrix the greatest representation of the glorification occurs at the end of the battle between Neo and his nemesis, agent Smith. Smith presses his hand into Neo (as he has done to many others during the movie) and a suffocating blackness consumes inside and out. This blackness represents the over -accumulation of hereditary evil that is overtaking the world and each person. As Swedenborg said in reference to the accumulation of evil on earth before Christ came, if Jesus had not stopped it humanity would have eternally lost in darkness. Smith attacking is the moment Neo has been waiting for, for when the evil consumes him - it also gives him access to all evil and with divine power enters the innermost and defeats their forces from within. Neo is then shown in the machine city lying in the cross position in pure burning light and the machine voice says, “It is finished,” just as Jesus says when he has accomplished his glorification.
This victory corresponds to Jesus purifying his body of all hereditary evil, subjugating all the forces of evil, and especially expanding his presence infinitely by entering the natural level of reality, that is, the innermost of all things in all the universe. In this way Neo in the movie, and Jesus in the world, renewed all things of heaven and earth. Jesus, by his supreme act of love and skill made his human body divine, merging it with the divine of God, which is the glorification; He also released all the captives in the false heavens of the spiritual world, which is redemption, and He restored spiritual freedom to the whole world. Simulerly, Neo embodies divine power, he redeemed all of Zion (the land of non-subjugated humans outside of the Machine) and released all the captives that were held so long in the pods, and restored freedom to everyone. This release is confirmed at the end of the movie where the Oracle asks the Architect if he will release all the people in the pods, and he says, “What do you think I am—Human”. Then at the very end there is a salvation scene in which the Oracle and the little girl take great pleasure in a suddenly beautiful and colorful land.