Chapter One & TOC

The Feeling

The Feeling

by Clayten Tylor

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Chapter 1: The Darkness Within

I would like to describe a reoccurring dream I had, which represents the ego's possessive feeling of self-love. It precedes the first of seven stages of what is described as the process of regeneration, when “the new intellectual principle and the new will-principle are formed” (5354).

Spiritual regeneration is the process that will lift our ego out of its selfish, darkness feeling of self-love. It is done by the celestial self-less feeling of conjugial love. Thus, “Conjugial love is the conjunction of love and wisdom” (C. S. L. 65).

E ven though “dreams denote foresight” (5091); in this one, I lay motionless, paralyzed and unable to move. A silent darkness pervaded all space and surrounded me. At the skyline, where the dark sky touched the earth, it was as if a wire, was stretched across the horizon, and held taut by two unseen figures positioned off to the side and out of sight. Every few minutes the two unseen figures would pluck the wire and create a pulsating vibratory sound that resonated throughout the entire universe. It made my body feel paralyzed, as if it were encased within an endless, silent, vibrating darkness.

The darkness represents our emotional needy feeling, the emptiness that precedes the first state of spiritual regeneration. “T he first state is called a void, emptiness, and thick darkness” (6-13). Thus, “ needy signifies one who is not in good ” (A. R. 95).

The reason darkness precedes the first state is that “Good is not known as to its quality, but by relation to what is less good, and by opposition to evil” (D. P. 24). Thus, it is important to be born into the proprium or ego's dark state, and perceive the light, as the first stirring of the feeling of spiritual good. Thus, “ black signifies proprium” (A. C. 3994).

Similarly, it was not until after I turned forty years old that I began to remember the silent-darkness dream, and the feeling that it caused within me. It was not until then that I also realized that it had been a reoccurring dream, which began when I was young, and had happened more than a thousand times during my lifetime.

At first, the feeling of being touched by the Divine always appears as darkness to the wicked. The sense of touch is the spiritual light that connects our feeling of self-love while in this dark state, with the deeper affection of celestial good presently still asleep. Thus, “ t o feel, is the sense of touch and corresponds to the affection of good” (4404).

Yet, to perceive the celestial good as a spiritual feeling of love, while still in this unenlightened dark state, they are first realized in the body as pleasures. These sensations are “creeping things,” because it is how the body interprets spiritual affections when it is still unenlightened. These “creeping things” vivify what is still asleep, the feeling of spiritual good. The creeping sensations of good, are associated with the primary principle of enlightenment.

To perceive a spiritual life, the feeling of celestial good, must be born first. Thus, “F irst-born, in a supreme sense, represented the divine celestial love” (3325). Yet, “Good is not at first perceived, and therefore it was unknown that good was the primary principle ” (3325).

The feeling of celestial good must be born from the darkness during midlife and be spiritually awakened. From the innocence as children, the foundation to becoming more than human gets infused. Innocence may become goodness, if the ego can be redirected from its inherited evil of dwelling in its memory. The ego must become intuitive to be more than human. When the innocence is spiritual and it cannot be defiled, it becomes firstborn. This means that we can call in the innocence at every moment, and know it is true; and this is the meaning of the Word “made flesh.”

To know the Word, is to perceive the feeling of someone or something. This is to know the truth. The firstborn in the spiritual sense of the Word, as the innocence brought back into the feeling of self. We place it alone side our ego, and keep it there until we can shift full-time into the spiritual feeling of love. We strengthen it by the thoughts of good that manifest here and now its own form and effigy.

As I recall the silent darkness dream, my body begins to expand into an erotic, humming feeling of self-less love. My mind-chatter becomes quiet. The silent aspect is symbolically the deep sleep that fell upon Adam, when Eve gets created from his rib. It represents the spiritual birth at midlife of the self-less “own.” It is the Divine feminine feeling of celestial love within.

From an egotistic perspective, darkness causes fear. Yet, from a spiritual perspective darkness is silent. The darkness represents the internal core of the possessive needy feeling of self-love. It is before the spiritual earth within has been discovered, before the thirty trillion cells in our body have been touched by the sensual feeling of celestial love. It is before conjugial love can be experienced consciously. Thus, “the Word is the means by which earth is united to heaven, and heaven to the Lord” (A. C. 3476); for “earth signifies the internal of the church” (A. R. 398).

The spiritual earth, means the Word. It is the spiritual “self-less” feeling of love. Yet , I do not mean acting, or being selfless. I mean feeling self-less, without a separate sensation of self. The ego becomes merged into the atmosphere, able to feel as if it could communicate to all distances by just our thought. This is the spiritual “earth.”

Later, I understood that the two dark figures in my dream represented the two gates, or the two sacraments: Baptism, is a symbolic introduction into the self-less feeling of the spiritual church. The Holy Supper, is a symbolic representation of the transformation of the cells of the body, into the celestial feeling of eternal life. Thus, “Baptism and the holy supper are, as it were, two gates to eternal life” (T. C. R. 721).

The Love of Self

I imagine that we have all had a similar silent-darkness dream, but simply do not recall it or associate it with being a spiritual experience. A darkness dream is not necessarily, always accompanied by fear. Yet, “fear signifies love” (5459).

There are also two kinds of feelings of fear, depending on a person's response, either good or evil. “ T he fear of God signifies worship ” ( 2826). Yet, “ f or those that are evil they fear punishment, and those that are good, experience holy fear, which is accompanied by reverential awe of the Divine, and love ” ( A. C. 3718).

To paraphrase Swedenborg, he said that fear, is not used to reform someone, because it takes away their reason, but it is within the person as their own negative response.

Also keep in mind that “ h oly fear is sometimes joined with a sacred tremor ” ( A. R. 56); (This is what I experienced). Thus, “Holy fear signifies love; the love of little children toward their parents; the fear to do anything, which displeases” (8925).

My point is, to impress upon you that this silent sensation within the darkness is resident within the center of all of us, and it is just a matter of feeling it, to re-enact it. The fact, I forgot this darkness dream until after I turned forty is the perfect symbolism of the “love of self.” It represents the development from an egocentric fearful feeling before regeneration, to becoming more than human. It is symbolic of the spiritual light stage that comes after regeneration.

At this stage, the “darkness of blackness signifies the falses of evil” (1839, 7711).

The darkness signifies our self-love, believing that we are only a physical body. This way of thinking does not allow us to experience the affection of spiritual love as flowing through us, but associates the feeling as coming from us. The, “self-love consists in wishing well to ourselves alone” (N. J. D. 65).

Yet, once we connect the darkness with being a delicate affection at the core of our false sense-of-self, then this sensual feeling of flaming light can begin to flow without personal identification. Thereby, bringing into awareness its self-less Presence.

Since the feeling of darkness triggers our primary fear of loneliness, I want to make a connection to silence, and the womb as the place of being re-born. Thus, the virgin birth is the beginning of the spiritual feeling of a new you.

More importantly, the idea of the sensation of fear is behind the entire feeling-experience of death, and therefore, it is also the means of our waking-up to the spiritual feeling of love. So let's connect the silent-darkness feeling in the womb of the cosmic mother, as our starting point to begin to be re-born by a virgin birth.

Thus, “to come forth from the womb denotes to be re-born or regenerated” (4918).


Sensual Love

As said previously, I had never been happy in a physical body. I had secretly thought to myself that if I were not happy by the time I turned twenty-five years old, I would end my life. Therefore, this is a suicide story, but with a happy ending, the death of an ego. Thus, “good is known by opposition to evil” (D. P. 24).

In my twenties, I had one particularly difficult relationship. Swedenborg calls them “scortatory love” relationships. They are fun, but emotional. This quote sums up who I was back then: “ H e who believes nothing but what he can see with his eyes, and touch with his hands, is a sensual man” (N. J. D. 50).

Scortatory relationships are good for practice, defined as “conjugial semblances.” “In the natural world where spiritual affections do not conjoin, there are given external affections, which assume a semblance of internal, and tend to consociate; hence comes apparent love, friendship, and favor, between conjugial partners” (C. S. L. 272).

That said, be cautious to not judge these kinds of sensual “semblances” from merely outward appearances, for conjugial love is an invisible marriage by a spiritual feeling.

Thus, “there are marriages, in which there are no appearances of conjugial love, and yet it is there, and there are marriages in which there is an appearance of conjugial love, and yet it is not there. Conclusion whether a man has or has not conjugial love must not be made from the appearance of marriage or scortation ” ( C. L. 531).


Love & Honesty

Scortatory love is you discover that your partner is unfaithful, and they are dishonest about it; your intuition tells you one thing, but they tell you otherwise. Thus, “scortatory love means the love of adultery” (C. S. L. 423).

Yet, the basis for any conjugial love relationship is honesty. Thus, “honesty is the complex of all moral virtues; decorum is only the form thereof” (2915).

This is how the “sensual principle” is before regeneration while it is “ a dhering and cohering to man's five senses, ” for “concupiscences are all sorts of craft and cunning” (D. P. 206). Yet, how these deceitful feelings affect us, is by keeping us sensual, reasoning without intuition, like “serpents.” “Those who are reasoned from sensual things were called by the ancients, the s erpents of the tree of knowledge ” ( A. R. 424).

We have all experienced deceit in our love relationships, and thereby lost our intuition. Thus, “everyone in hell gets tormented by his love and its concupiscences” (A. R. 864).

Scortatory relationships are together by the combination of lust and deceit. They can cause the feeling of emptiness, when our jealousy confuses the sensation of self-love, and we are taken-over by emotions from hell. This is how, “ s pirits and demons control a person's reasoning power through feelings ” ( Sp. Dia. 48).

Our spiritual feeling communicates. Yet, “Angels and spirits know nothing of man, no more than man knows of them, because they consociate by correspondences, which cause them to be together in affections, but not in thought” (A. R. 943). Thus, “man is created that he can be at the same time with angels, and angels with man” (1880).

Therefore, it is important to experience these kinds of scortatory love-sensations, so that we can begin to sense what spiritual feelings of conjugial love are. Thus, “scortatory love is opposite to conjugial love” (425).

These two perspectives are necessary to discriminate between the spiritual kinds of love. Especially when we reach higher planes of consciousness and enter the experience of the erotic feeling of conjugial love. Thus, “conjugial love is within the love of the sex, as a gem in its matrix” (C. L. 97), for “Love truly conjugial is chastity itself” (C. L. 143). Therefore, “chastity cannot be predicated of infants; nor of boys and girls; nor of young men and virgins before they feel the love of sex with themselves” (C. L. 150).

Initial Light

I t was during an emotional time in one of my scortatory love relationships that I also turned twenty-five years old. I decided that I was not happy with humanity, and perhaps, it was finally time to take some pills to end my life.

It was a summer afternoon, with the Sun shining through the window, when I took the pills. Interestingly, “window signifies truth in the light” (A. R. 132). As the pills took effect, everything went dark and silent. The darkness was somehow comforting. I had not known such peace before. Although death signifies “a rejection by the world” (A. R. 866), it felt to be a temporary state, as the darkness was familiar. As I entered in and out of consciousness, from the sunlight of the physical plane, back into the silent-darkness of the world of spirits, the comparison was astounding, a mini-revelation in comparative feeling. “At this day, there exists immediate revelation, because that is what is meant by the coming of the Lord” (H. H. 1).

This “near-death” experience was an opportunity to compare the two kinds of light. I got a glimpse into the feeling of the spiritual light of the heavenly world and I decided that I still wanted to live, so with help I awoke three days later. I was still in my physical body, but now I had a slight awareness of a spiritual life within. Thus, Burial signifies resurrection, but also regeneration, for regeneration is man's first resurrection, inasmuch as he then dies to the former man, and rises again as to the new; by regeneration man from dead becomes alive”(2916).

I was blessed to have learned during that time that we must consciously choose to live, live long enough to develop the inner senses to perceive our spiritual life while still in a body. This is because, “the wicked do not rise again to life” (2916).

To be blessed, is to be able to perceive our spiritual life now. The “blessed is predicated of one who with respect to his spirit is in heaven; consequently, who while he lives in the world, is in communion with the angels of heaven” (A. R. 8).

One might say, “well I have never had any thoughts of suicide; therefore, I am fine.” This means that you would probably want to be kept alive, perhaps by some life-saving mechanism that could extend your physical life. This would indicate that you still need to allow the self-less feeling of a spiritual life within, to live. Thus, “in him was life, and the life was the light of men, and the light appeareth in darkness” (2894). Yet, the resistance to the concept of an eternal life is strong, for “those who live in evils are averse to truths” (7951).

Rational Silence

Without that life and death feeling-comparison experience, I might have spent my entire time believing that dying could actually end inner suffering. I was certainly questioning my own life long before I was suffering with relationship problems. It only forced me to confront the suicide issue early on. It led me to spending the rest of my life searching for a spiritual solution to humankind's hereditary evil of looking for happiness in people and things.

Thus, “Man is born in a state of mere ignorance, in consequence of his hereditary evils” (1050). Yet, hereditary evil is man's propensity to negative mind-chatter, the cause of human suffering. Our part merely requires relegation: “the return of evil spirits to hell” (6762).

There are intense feelings created by sexual relationships, but any insane love such as this, can destroy someone's chances of their rationality getting elevated. Essentially, just one bad relationship could ruin someone's chances of ever becoming rational, of never being able to recover and to rise above their own mind-chatter and hatred. This is important for love needs a rational mind into which it can manifest. However, that requires that the mind is receptive, silent, and at peace. Yet, “ there can be no rationality with infants and children” (D. L. W., Ager, 259).

A lack of rationality, happens when a spirit comes over us and makes us buy something compulsively. Therefore, it is necessary to stay-open to the source of every thought, and especially, every feeling.

Thus, “the general law is that angels and spirits have their actual abodes in the thoughts and affections of men, although they indeed live an apparently independent life in their heavenly mansions” (L. J. 9, D. L. W. 92).

Suicidal feelings can mostly have a collective source, because of their correspondence to the fear of death and the state of separateness felt in darkness. Yet, the womb is the source of all beginnings, the void feeling of darkness, although not where we want to end up. It is not until after we have experienced the rationality of the spiritual light and have compared the two feelings, do we know that we are eternal. This is important because the feeling of “Spiritual life is grounded in the love of eternal life” (D. P. 73). Thus, we must use our imagination to develop the idea of an eternal life into a feeling that we can cherish and love. “The blessed, signify those who have the felicity of eternal life” (A. R. 639).

The dark, possessive feelings of lust, self-love, and the love-of-the-world hinders our spiritual life because they “impede the general truths” (3175). Thus, “lusts of the mind are the origins of diseases” (5712). Especially, self-love, with the possessive feelings associated with lust and luxuries. Yet, only because the feeling of self-love impedes our ability to be at peace, just enough that we cannot experience conjugial love, thus, never actually having moments when we feel eternal.

Without the silent, peaceful feeling of a conjugial love experience being able to reach humanity and relieve our fears, insecurities, and loneliness, suicide could become a culture of mass protest. This is how the world's most sensitive individuals, get taken over by mass-hypnotic states of insecurity and fear, caused by lack of spiritual love on our part. Thus, bringing the negative, suicidal feelings upon ourselves and our children, unless we embrace the silent-emptiness within, without fear, rationally, silent, in the state of peace. Thus, “sensitive is the ultimate of perception” (7691). This is because, “the sensitive and perceptive exists from good” (3528).

The darkness within, is mostly connected to our irrational fear of death. It is based on a lack of understanding of our continued life as a spiritual feeling after death. Yet, the moment that we desire to be reformed of our fear, the feeling of spiritual life becomes alive. Then, when we are without fear and tend to feel loved, the truth about life after death gets unveiled. Thus, “being reformed, is the removal of evil loves; by means of freedom; and by combat against evils” (A. Cr. 55, 53).

Suicidal feelings mirror an irrational fear of death, which stems from self-love. Yet, we can easily turn to a life of spiritual light, merely by imagining the feeling of love within, as being eternal. Therefore, it is this negative feeling of darkness as a memory that we are inhibiting, since suicide is an outdated idea, caused by a spiritual sensitivity to the collective suffering with others.

This collective feeling of suffering connects us all, but it needs to be made rational by transforming it into a silent affection of spiritual light. Thus, “man is reformed by self-examination” (D. P. 152). Yet, “self-examination is of no avail, unless man confesses his sins” (T. C. R. 530). “When evil spirits are dispersed, the state of commotion and turbulence is succeeded by serenity, or silence” (A. E. 842.2).

This reception of spiritual light first begins as a silent-rationality, and then as a feeling of liberty. Thus, “man is reformed by two faculties called liberty and rationality” (D. P. 82). “The first act of the new birth is called reformation, which relates to the understanding; and the second act is called regeneration, which relates to the will” (T. C. R. 571, 620).

Thus, “man who is reformed, first respects truths of doctrine, and afterwards good of life; and when he respects truths of doctrine, he is like unripe fruit, and afterwards as he respects good of life, he becomes like ripe fruit” (A. R. 84).

Fortune & Gain

Let us go back to the concept of darkness, and why it is that humankind cannot yet feel the silent spiritual light within it. It is because we have not learned to feel the inner spiritual light equally to the outer natural light. “Darkness (tenebrae) signifies natural light (lumen), for, in respect to spiritual light (lux), it is as darkness” (A. E. 526). Yet, for “Man, when his thought is elevated above sensual things, comes into a clearer light [lumen], and at length into heavenly light [lux]” (6183, 6313, 6315).

This is you and I about to decide if we want to enter the feeling of the inner, silent, spiritual light of Divine providence. First, let us look at what we will gain, and what is said about the Divine providence concerning gain. “ Contingencies, or the things ascribed to chance and fortune are of the divine providence” (A. C. 5508). Thus, “Every occurrence in life however accidental it may appear, is brought to pass by some cause originating in the spiritual world” (5508). However, “It is not from the Divine Providence that wars exist” (D. P. 251).

S wedenborg describes the auras of people sitting at a gambling table when a bright cloud appeared just before they won. (A. C. 6494). He witnessed how the dice seemed to roll in their favor, because of the increased light in their aura. It is the rationality of liberty just before they won. Faith combined with a spiritual feeling of love. Thus, “t hose in illustration from the Lord have something luminous and glowing round the head” (30).

I t was the feeling of winning that influenced the game; and it was “the aura itself coming through the angels that contribute to it” (Sp. Ex. 4758). Thus, “there is an effluvium around every vegetable, animal, and man. With man after death, it is his sphere of love” (10.130). Now, imagine having the feeling of winning, even when you lose. To me, this is the feeling of Divine Providence.

Where did that silent winning feeling c ome from? If the “s ecurity of life is induced by a belief in instantaneous salvation” (D. P. 340), then I would call this winning feeling an influx of divine providence. Thus, “fortune is the divine providence in the ultimates of order, agreeing with the particular state of man” (D. P. 212).

Let us summarize here: “Rationality is the faculty of understanding truths” (264); and, “Divine providence has for an end, a heaven from the human race” (A. E. 286). Yet, “the Lord does not regard temporal things, but eternal ones” (8717). Therefore, “under divine providence everyone can be saved” (D. P. 325).

This infinite and eternal winning feeling is the spiritual sensation of rationality. Thus, it says “the superior region of the natural degree is called rational” (D. L. W. 254). Yet, “infinite and eternal are two attributes, which are alone predicated of Jehovah; infinite relates to his divine esse, and eternal to his divine existere” (A. C. 3701).

We have already covered the “eternal” aspect of the idea of suicide. Feeling eternal, and thinking about killing yourself are opposing concepts. Yet, “it is a law of divine providence that man should act from freedom according to reason” (D. P. 1, 33, 46).

It then makes perfect sense that to know what it feels like to be eternal, one must remove the hellish proprium influences, or the affections from negative mind-chatter that leads to suicidal rationalization. Therefore, by practicing feeling eternal, instead of dwelling on being finite, we will symbolically attract the Divine Essence as a peaceful sensation and eventually magnetize it as a conjugial love experience.

Moreover, to prevent suicide, the law of Divine providence asks that we should first remove the evils in the external man. Therefore, by practicing imagining feeling eternal, will remove all the evils, by relieving the doubt and the fearful mind-chatter.

There is also no point in rationalizing suicidal feelings by tracing them back to an event in our life, because the ego will find another experience in its memory to blame, and thus strengthen its negative mind-chatter argument. Thus, “the Proprium of man has an innate enmity against the divine providence” (D. P. 211).

Yet, every time that we replace a suicidal thought with a spiritual feeling of being eternal, we are acting out a sacred principle, which puts into Divine order the relationship between the mind and body. Thus, strengthening our spiritual feeling of knowing and eventually, realizing the celestial affection of being infinite.

To understand what it means to feel infinite, we must first turn to Mother-nature, and stroll through the Garden of Eden. There we can re-connect with the one true source of all love and happiness as the spiritual feeling of the infinite Tree of Life.

Providence: Man's Tree

J ust as the Divine created, “this world, and the world to come,” it also grew two trees in the Garden of Eden within, as the Tree of Life, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. “Love is described by the tree of life, faith by the tree of knowledge” (A. C., Elliott, 77).

The feeling of the “two trees in the Garden of Eden, one of life, and the other of the knowledge of good and evil, signify that free agency was given to man in spiritual things” (T. C. R. 466-469). Therefore, “the tree of life signifies perception from the Lord, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil, perception from the world” (A. E. 379).

We are consciously growing ourselves into the spiritual feeling of an infinite Tree of Life. Yet, we cannot know its goodness until we get there and eat its fruit. Thus, the “fruit signifies the good of love” (Dec. 46).

We only get to eat the “fruit” by birthing an infinite spiritual feeling of love. Not later, sometime in an afterlife, but now, while still in a physical body, by trying to feel the Divine's infinite love within.

Thus, “heavenly joy is a pleasantness that cannot be described. It fills the whole body with its pleasantness. It is a clear sensation of the whole body, as if coming from the heart and spreading itself gently throughout all the tissues; not unlike that supreme pleasantness of married partners in the joy, but spreading from the smallest simple tissues to the more complex” (S. E. 1112).

Likewise, it is significant to understand that by correspondence a “tree signifies man” (A. R. 400), because eventually, all humankind will feel their spiritual body to be like a living tree within. The affection of the Tree of Life is the Divine celestial life-essence embodied as a sensation in man's sense-of-self, in equal proportion to humanity becoming an awakened recipient-vessel for the spiritual feeling of love.

Thus, “we are bad trees right from our seed. But we are granted a scion or graft from shoots taken from the tree of life, through which the sap rising from our old roots is changed into a sap that brings forth good fruit” (D. P. 332).

The Tree of Life, represent the awareness of the feeling of conjugial love as Divine love and Divine wisdom. Divine love originates every feeling, and Divine wisdom every thought. All our delights are from a feeling of love, and all our satisfactions are from an affection for knowing.

Our delights and satisfactions are equal to the measure of our love to become wise. As we begin to think from that affection of becoming wise, the feeling, is perceived as the creative cause of all of our experiences.

To me, the Tree of Life represents turning within to the spiritual sensation of Divine Providence, instead of seeking happiness, outside ourselves. Thus, the “Life of Man in its principles, is in the brains, and in its principiates in the body” (D. L. W. 365).

With the perception of the Tree of Life within, we can grow the feeling of a spiritual-life as an inner knowing. Thus, “a tree signifies perception” (A. C. 102).

A new spiritual life, expands the feeling that becomes love and charity. Thus, “the tree of life signifies the essential, celestial, that is, all love and charity” (2187, A. R. 89).

I would also add a note about cooperation in relationship to regeneration; in that, it is “effected through charity and faith, during man's cooperation” (T. C. R. 576).

Our cooperation requires feeling infinite and eternal. Yet, not from an egotistical point of view, since the feeling comes subconsciously, through the inner Tree of Life. By enacting the inner tree symbolism by feeling infinite and eternal, we are thereby preparing for an influx of conjugial love, and clearing the emotional path for others.

Thus, “there is a correspondence of sensual things with natural things, of these with spiritual things, of these with celestial things, and of celestial things with the divine of the Lord” (A. C. 5131).

Silent Soul

It is the silent-darkness and the womb symbolism, to which I would also add “the deep sleep that fell upon Adam” when “God took a rib to create woman out of him” (C. L. 194). It all corresponds to Swedenborg's dimensionless natural point, the place within, where darkness becomes silent, and Divinity expands out with love to connect everything into a spiritual self-less feeling of Unity.

Symbolically, this natural point within, originates from the first motion as the Adam phase in the development of our human faculty and function. It is the time just before our sensual memory gets fully formed, as our ability to recall and to dwell-on sensual-memories. Yet for that isolating perspective to come into being, we first needed to develop our possessive sensual-memory that emerges from the darkness within, to cause our false, magnetic feeling of separateness.

All physical manifestation begins with a concentration of spiritual energy back into itself, up on a center-point within. T here must be a void, emptiness, and darkness in the center of our being for anything like light or an idea to manifest or emerge from it. There must first be a feeling, as a sort-of divine potential.

It is a mental concentration of self-conscious spiritual energy or love-energy, pulling back into itself as a feeling. It begins as “a super vortical spiral,” a “rotational spin about a polar axis” (E. R. 16). Furthermore, it is the inner magnetism as the “ o rigin of the suns and planetary systems from the aerial atmosphere ” ( E. R. 16).

It is this awareness of the spiritual feeling within the silent darkness as a self-less center point that encapsulates the formation of Swedenborg's idea that “ s tars may pulsate giving off radiant vibratory energy. ” T he final and ultimate purpose of this spiritual feeling is to pulsate and radiate love and light, “ n ot a physical universe, but a man, himself, as an immortal soul” (E. R. 16).

The silent core of darkness within is the Divine in its spiritual self-less innocent love that connects creation and matter. A spiritual affection of love is evolving you and me through creation by becoming familiar with its own self-reflection through our human aura as our feeling of self-love. “There goes out, yea, flows forth from ever man a spiritual sphere from the affections of his love” (C. S. L. 171).

The Divine is admiring Itself through our aura, and loving us into the awareness of itself as the Divine Human Essence. “The atmosphere of the inmost heaven is a pure aura” (A. E. 538). Yet, that full awareness in our aura, which begins from the darkness will only be fulfilled when it brings the feeling of the Aura of spiritual light into being by birthing the affection of the immortal living soul within. This is why the spiritual feeling of the “internal man is called the firmament” (24).

The proof of the feminine feeling of the New Church has been a painful battle for humankind. “To be delivered in childbirth, signifies the doctrines of the New Church, in its birth, and the difficult reception thereof” (A. R. 535). For “the woman fled into the wilderness, signifies the church, which is the New Jerusalem, at first confined to a few. By the woman is signified the New Church, and by a wilderness is signified where there is no longer any truths” (A. R. 546).

The “New Church” is the Divine Human Essence as the self-less feeling of celestial love when it fully enters the body by influx into all extremities. It enters into the circulation of the cerebrospinal fluid, and finally, into the spiritual sight. Then the Divine manifest as the “Garden” in all its Glory.

Thus, “the spirituous essence, which flashes like rays through the simplest fibers composing the tunic of the nerve-fiber must not be thought of as a liquid but a vortical current of force” (Fiber, 264, 251).

The perception of time and space is an individualized experience of the Divine Human in its development from a sensual sensation into a spiritual feeling of love. This is its feminine path of return to unity as the ultimate experience of the feeling of conjugial love. Thus, “the divine human, which was born from eternity was also born in time, and what was born in time, and glorified, is the same” (2803).

Time and space diffuses the feeling of Divine good into the sensation of celestial love and then into the affection of spiritual light to re-unite with us. Thus, “the whole, exists from the parts, and parts subsist from the whole” (D. L. W. 367).

Time, space, and matter are all created as part of Divine order to birth an individual, self-conscious, feeling-reflection of Itself. It is you and me, guided and directed from a higher and more perfect form and image of the One. A pure intuitive state into a lower instinctive mind directed by the senses that opens the rational level capable of reflection over self-consciousness. It gives the appearance of free will, by dividing the left and the right sides of the brain that correspond to the tree of knowledge, and the tree of life, the two aspects of the One True Self.

All of this is linked from a higher to a lower communion of souls through the vibration of the feeling of spiritual love. It is man's love, transformed into Divine love. Otherwise, man united to the Divine by an influx of celestial good, felt as the Garden of Eden. Thus, “the celestial man is such a garden, but as the garden is the Lord's, it is permitted this man to enjoy all these things, and yet not to possess them as his own” (79).

The celestial feeling is “Love from the Lord” (99). It is the affection of Oneness, the feeling of eternity, the peace that can save us all. Thus, “from eternity there was oneness; because the human race could not otherwise be saved” (A. C. 5663).

How can the feeling of oneness save us? It is because “this oneness is that mystical union, which is achieved through love alone” (1013, Elliot). Thus, “the Lord's love and mercy are able to enter with blessedness and happiness into such a oneness” (2732); and, “that oneness dwells solely within good” (4837). Thus, good, is a feeling.

Swedenborg draws a parallel to this destined life of goodness in the following description where he links by correspondence the sensory delights, the garden, and the remains as an essence of good. They are all implanted in us at birth as a spiritual feeling of oneness, to maintain our permanent silent communication with the soul.

The hereditary affections of good that remain within are inwardly hidden sensory delights or sensual feelings. They, “ serve, not as a part of his memory, but as a means of holding the mind open somewhat to the influx of heaven, so that man may be able to think reasonably and to exercise spiritual freedom. Even an evil man cannot pervert these remains with himself, although he may close them off” (A. C. 7560).

The Divine needed to become a human to implant the sensory delights as a self-less conjugial feeling in the collective memory of humankind. Therefore, the darkness of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil gets connected by balancing the pairs of opposites in equilibrium with the light of the Tree of Life. The balance gets implemented by the feeling of conjugial love in the Garden, you and me regenerated.

Thus, “t he Lord from eternity could not have created the universe and all things therein, if he had not been a man” (D. L. W. 285).

This was done to connect the collective sensual memory of all mankind and to leave behind the “remains of goodness.” It is the celestial essence of spiritual love as a feeling of Conjugial Delight. It is a love truly conjugial as a self-less desire to feel as One. Thus, “in its essence conjugial love is nothing else than that two will to be one” (215).

The spiritual feeling of these remains created in man a separate sensual memory as our “hereditary evil,” which was essentially permission to be bad. Thus, “spirits do not enjoy a sensual memory, nor do angels” (Sp. Ex. 82). This sensual memory is why “man from birth is like a little hell, between which and heaven there is perpetual discordance” (D. P. 251.2).

Permission: Self-Love Exercise #2

The possessive sensual feeling of our love-of-self is our sense of free-will, which creates the sensation of pride that separates us from the selfless sensory delights of spiritual good. Thus, “pride extinguishes and suffocates the light of heaven” (4949).

Pride is the Divine's sense of Itself reflected in human nature as our hellish proprium feeling, in the hope that it will encourage spiritual growth. It is by the awareness of the spiritual dimension that humanity can feel conjugial love again.

The purpose of the feeling of pride is to distort free will, and not to do as we please, but to choose spiritual light and life over death and outer darkness. Not to retreat into the safety of pride, but to burn-up our ego by recognizing its cupidity feeling, as false. Thus, “pride is an endeavor and effort to domineer” (8678).

When Swedenborg got admitted into the spiritual kingdom, he spoke with t he dead who had risen again. However, he spoke not through his selfish sensation of pride, but through his spiritual feeling of selfless love. He felt mankind to be a perfectly mirrored reflection of the hierarchical Whole. Yet, because he felt it, he knew that “man signifies the most ancient church consisting of both male and female” (477).

Yet, humankind's fall, was our emotional attachment by our sensual memory towards the things of beauty, making us feel as if they were our own. It leads to living a false feeling of self, which was our development as an ego as a mere reflection of the Divine in man as pride.

Thus, “man signifies the false principle, which defiles the affections of good and truth” (2362). Yet, “ t he Lord leads man by his affections, and binds him to good by a tacit providence, that he may be in freedom” (4364).

In a sense, the Divine looked back on Itself to begin creation; for “the divine itself willed to unite to itself the divine human” (A. C. 5663). We were made on Its image as an add-on feeling. It is the darkness/creation point within us, the reckless boredom looking for His other half, Her, the unaware you. First comes free will through time and space, and then the waiting for the return to joy as the feeling of eternity, the goodness. That said, “without free will, in spiritual things, there would be nothing about man, whereby he might join himself by reciprocation with the Lord ” ( T. C. R. 485).

Symbolically, pride represents humankind's disconnectedness to the spiritual affection of love that we so deceptively hide, and thereby unknowingly hurt others, because of our feeling special. Pride arises from the insecurity of feeling separate from God and others. It distorts our feeling of spiritual love into negative emotions, which then become hidden power-complexes, of fear, self-pity, and hatred.

Our prideful response does not come through our outer senses, but through the afflicted feelings of our self-created hell, the negative memory patterns of our ego. Thus, “the evils that are shut in and do not appear are like mortification” (D. P. 251).

Yet, “affliction is the means of arriving at good” (3864). We are not good yet, not until after we have acknowledged the feeling of spiritual love within as being Divine. Yet, first we must unite using gratitude, thus, a simple “acknowledgment of a God causes a conjunction of God with man, and of man with God” (D. P.326).

In this quote, the Divine gets identified as the uniting medium as the feeling of love that flows through humankind. It is, “so that man might be a medium of union between the divine and the world of nature” (3702).

Moreover, the Divine Human may be in nature, in man's aura if he lives in the rhythm according to Divine order. This means that “every operation is first successive and afterwards simultaneous; and successive operation is Influx, and simultaneous operation is Harmony” (6128).

Divine order is the feeling of being loved. Conjugial love is the uniting medium, and “man should prepare himself for the reception of God” (T. C. R. 105). Thus, “Divine Presence is measured according to the state of neighborly love, and faith, in which man is” (904).

Without feeling loved first, we are acting from a place of self-love. The feeling of the “ D evil signifies self-love” (D. P. 302). Thus, “the love of self and the world make hell in man” (7366). All “cruelties originate in the love of self” (D. P. 276); and “a man is in the love of self when he regards only his own family and relatives” (7368).

Thus, “i t is a false notion to suppose that devils have existed from the beginning of creation, except what were once men” (968). Still, “all men whatsoever are detained from evils by the Lord, and this by a stronger force than can be believed” (2406).

W e must eventually grasp the concept that evil can only ever come from other humans. It is our self-love as the devil, our hellish-ego acting in the world. Yet, it is a necessary condition to being human, because it has allowed us to have a sensual memory, and to therefore feel separate from God. This also means that we are only aware of one side of God, just the intellectual, or the Wisdom.

Yet, once Divine order gets restored, when the masculine and feminine are in rhythm together as an influx of the feeling of conjugial love, will the love-of-self as the hellish ego, the insecure state of being separate, vanish. Since “Divine truth from the Lord constitutes order, and divine good is the essence of it” (1728, 7995).

Exercise #2: Recognizing Self-Love: Working at spiritual regeneration.

The feeling of self-love as t he love of ourselves, is a subtle, contracting cupidity affection. From a spiritual perspective self-love is more like a self-loathing. Thus, “self-love scatters the thoughts upon every vanity” (A. Cr. 112). Thus, “Cupidity and lust proceed from the loves of self and of the world” (1668).

L et me explain about the possessive feeling of self-love in another way, through a story. Once, while coming down a set of stairs in a nightclub, I saw myself reflected in a mirror. Although, I was quite happy that particular night, it was after I saw myself in the mirror that I thought I actually looked better than I felt. Therefore, when I got to the bottom of the stairs, I continued to hold that more positive image of myself in the mirror, until it developed into a self-less feeling that accompanied me throughout the entire evening.

Later, I remembered that Nirvana, was the Buddhist's state of perfect blessedness achieved by the absorption of the soul into the supreme spirit” (Webster's dictionary).

Similarly, the state of Nirvana is also a spiritual position of consciousness about eighteen inches out from the forehead, but up on a forty-five-degree angle. This spiritual feeling is a blissful state of attunement of the mind with Cosmic Consciousness. It is a self-less affection arrived at when we first feel loved, and then act from that love.

In Swedenborg's words: “ Angels and good men, as to their spirit, continually turn themselves toward the Lord as a Sun, and thus they have the Lord continually before their faces, and, which way so ever they turn, which is wonderful” (A. R. 380).

Internal vs. External

E ssentially, we are developing the discrimination to be able to perceive the difference between the self-less affection of the internal-self, and the possessive feeling of the external-self.

Thus, “i n every person there is an internal man, and an external man; the internal man is called the spiritual man, because it dwells in the light of heaven; the external man is what is called the natural man, because it dwells in the light of the world only” (N. J. D. 38).

To be able to discriminate between the two levels of self is important. It is how we perceive the spiritual self. Since, “ t he internal man must be regenerated before the external” (3321, 9325). Thus, “ t he internal man must be lord and master, and the external his minister, and in a certain respect his servant” (10.471).

Once the ego can recognize the difference between the internal and external sensations of self, then the sensual feeling can begin to be regenerated. The silent internal or spiritual self then gets revealed as the rational level of mind. It acts as a feeling-medium to communicate between the internal and external self.

Thus, “t he interior man is the middle between the internal and external man; by means of the interior man, the internal communicates with the external, and without such medium, no communication could possibly exist. The interior man is called the rational man, and is a mediatory communication between the celestial, spiritual, and corporeal principles” (1701).

The rational or spiritual self is the actual celestial feeling of good itself. Thus, “t he rational mind is of the internal man, but the natural mind is of the external man” (5301, 7693). For “if a man be rational, he speaks from a principle of good thought, and acts from a principle of good will, that is he speaks from faith, and acts from charity” (5128). Also, there are “ t wo rational principles, one before regeneration, and one after ” ( 2657).

Yet, before regeneration of the possessive self, “ n othing but a conformity of the natural to the rational and a conjunction of both, can make man blessed and happy, which is only effected by charity” (2183).

What could drive a man to this spiritual level of conformity of the “natural to the rational” except a desperate search for a feeling of security? Thus, “the adult, who does not come into rationality in the world, cannot do so after death” (D. P. 99).

To begin our process of conforming to the rational is easy, if it is done first with just the feeling, by attuning with the sensation of spiritual love until the body senses the light. The intellectual mind then becomes transparent and Silent, to conform to the spiritual light of the rational mind, thereby, allowing a communication between the celestial, spiritual, and corporeal principles.

Chapter Two »

The Feeling
by Clayten Tylor

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