The Search for Understanding

February 3, 2021

Last Friday, January 29, 2021, Emanuel Swedenborg turned 333 years old. He has been living permanently in the spiritual world now for about 249 of our years, almost three times as long as he lived on this earth. I sometimes wonder what he is doing now. Is he writing more books? Is he seeing new places, meeting new people? Who is his spouse, and what has he learned from that relationship? Is he making new inventions? Is he maybe even an “assessor” on a “board of spiritual mines”?
I like to think that his inquisitive mind is peacefully satisfied, not in finally knowing all the answers, but in knowing that he will get to continually learn more of the Lord’s truths forever.
I often find myself craving what I think would be the peace-of-mind in finally knowing all the answers. Hearing an answer to a question, or finally understanding something new can be very satisfying. Much like the satisfaction of taking a big drink of water after feeling thirsty. But the search for understanding is not a one-and-done thing. Life isn’t about drinking enough water once to last the rest of our days. Life is about continually acknowledging regularly that we need to drink more water. We will never know enough to know all the answers. The peace-of-mind comes in accepting that. And it comes in delighting in the questioning, not just in the answers (see Heaven and Hell 279, Apocalypse Explained 118).
The Writings of Swedenborg, as part of the Lord’s Divine Revelation, provide many answers that are deeply satisfying. But they also inspire many questions and the process of questioning can also be really important for our spiritual growth. The lifelong search for understanding the Lord’s truth can be a pleasant journey, when we bring along provisions of humility, patience, love, and trust.
Happy Birthday Emanuel! Peace be with you on your continual spiritual journey of life.
“Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give, will never thirst. But the water that I shall give, will become in you a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:14)