Word Cloud for Conjugial Love Numbers 27-41:
Summary of the Numbers:
In this section of Conjugial Love the subject of Marriage in Heaven begins. The discussion mentions that when we die and move into the spiritual world, we enter as a person. We are nothing more than how we were recognized in our earthly life. Swedenborg states that angels are seen in human form. He also writes that when a man enters heaven, he is a man and when a woman enters heaven, she is a woman. However, he also says that "it is not known in what masculinity or femininity essentially consist." He does say that what we love defines us and makes us who we are, both on earth and in heaven. Conjugal love is defined by Swedenborg as an impulse to be joined to the other. He also makes a distinction between sexual love and conjugial love. Sexual love is related to the natural or human side of us and conjugial love is the spiritual love we will experience. The purpose of marriage in heaven is being linked to the Lord.
Summary of the Responses:
It is evident that a number of the responses were concerned with how today’s gender roles are more fluid, compared to when Swedenborg wrote this text. We must remember that when we read something written so long ago, there may have been changes to society’s thinking, or our own thought process. However, many of the responses hit on this subject as you will see.
Direct Quotes from Contributors: "My thought is that in the light and warmth of the spiritual world, it will become clear to each of us whether we are male or female, regardless of the physical body we’ve had on earth and how we felt in it. Swedenborg describes communities on the outskirts of heaven for those who do not want to participate in marriage relationships as a manifestation of the higher marriage paradigm (the union of love and wisdom.) I am comfortable extrapolating that out to the possibility of communities for people who want that higher marriage within them, but end up discerning that they are not entirely male or female, and so cannot participate in the marriage relationships that Swedenborg describes as characteristic of heavenly communities."
"I suspect it all becomes clear to us individually in the spiritual world as to our gender expression and gender attraction. With that clarity and with clarity around our dominant motivation, we find ourselves 'located' in a heavenly community in a way that manifests our relationship with the core of heaven, Divine Love."
"We all have an 'impulse to be joined,' whether or not it is a desire to be deeply joined into one. In males, that might be felt as a strong sexual attraction, with a less strong desire for intimacy. For females, that might be felt as a strong desire for true, self-revealing intimacy, with less of a desire for sex. That’s how it’s a 'mutual and reciprocal' sexual love. Transgender persons and bisexual people might have one or both of these manifestations of the joining impulse. Self-reflection and self-knowledge are always required to sort out the nature of our sexual attractions."
"But I do know that the Writings are based on the science of the 18th century and definitely do not contain most of what science has found out since then, e.g. evolution, DNA, relativity, electricity. We have to use our intelligence and compassion in dealing with questions that need input from science that did not exist then, and may not even exist now."
Word Cloud of the Responses:
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Today’s Blog By: Pastor Kelly Milne