1. Angelic Wisdom about Divine Providence
Divine Providence Is the Form of Government Exercised by the Lord's Divine Love and Wisdom
To understand what divine providence is--that it is the way the Lord's divine love and wisdom govern us--it is important to be aware of the following things, which were presented in my book on the subject.
In the Lord, divine love is a property of divine wisdom and divine wisdom is a property of divine love (Divine Love and Wisdom 34-39).
Divine love and wisdom cannot fail to be and to be manifested in others that it has created (Divine Love and Wisdom 47-51).
Everything in the universe was created by divine love and wisdom (Divine Love and Wisdom 52, 53, 151-156).
Everything in the created universe is a vessel of divine love and wisdom (54-60 [55-60]).
The Lord looks like the sun to angels; its radiating warmth is love and its radiating light is wisdom (Divine Love and Wisdom 83-88, 89-92, 93-98, 296-301).
The divine love and wisdom that emanate from the Lord constitute a single whole (Divine Love and Wisdom 99-102).
The Lord from eternity, who is Jehovah, created the universe and everything in it from himself and not from nothing (Divine Love and Wisdom 282-284, 290-295). These propositions may be found in the work titled Angelic Wisdom about Divine Love and Wisdom.
Divine Providence #1
1. Angelic Wisdom about Divine Providence
By New Christian Bible Study Staff
Most people are familiar with Albert Einstein’s famous equation, e=mc2. But how many know what it means, and why it’s so important?
The meaning is actually pretty straightforward. The “e” stands for energy; the “m” stands for mass; the “c” stands for the speed of light. So it means that a given bit of mass - a grain of sand, say - could be converted into a specific amount of energy. And since the speed of light is such a large number - 186,000 miles per second - the potential energy is large. This was proven over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945; small amounts of uranium were converted into massive amounts of energy, enough to destroy cities, end a war and launch the nuclear age.
That, obviously, is enough on its own to make Einstein’s insight important. But there’s a much deeper implication: The equation means that mass and energy are in essence the same thing, that mass - the physical stuff our world is made of - is actually large amounts of energy trapped in small amounts of space. So the entire universe is just energy, and the staggering variety of material we observe is really just a variety of forms and shapes that energy takes. In fact, we ourselves, our physical bodies, are collections of energy trapped into layers and layers of substances that can collectively support our functions.
That’s a strange, counter-intuitive idea, but it has been the basis of science ever since. Its truth has been borne out in many ways, including the bizarre behavior of sub-atomic particles, which tend to act like mass and energy both at the same time. It’s also been demonstrated in the idea of the Big Bang, the moment that the universe ballooned into existence out of nothingness, with an unfathomable energy that created space itself and time itself, and suffused space-time with energy that would eventually clump into forms as stars, planets and people. It is essentially all about pure energy.
So what does this have to do with Divine Love? Maybe a lot. A century and a half before Einstein revolutionized our ideas of physical reality, Swedenborg described a spiritual reality with startling similarities. It is a reality based on the idea of pure energy taking basic forms to create and suffuse its own universe. Because of its very nature, that energy tends to clump and create forms and patterns that are solid and unique. Those forms are made of that initial energy and sustained by it, with no life of their own - but as forms they are separate, with their own identity. They are of the energy, but are not part of the energy, if that makes sense.
As you may have guessed, that pure spiritual energy is Divine Love, the actual being and essence of the Lord and the fundamental substance of spiritual reality. And those forms with their unique identities are people - something created and enlivened by the Lord but separate, so that He can love them without loving Himself.
Swedenborg’s works offer boundless details about how this all works. Most fundamentally, Divine Love is in the form of Divine Wisdom and the two are one in the Lord. And forms are critical, because in its essence Divine Love is so blindingly powerful that it would destroy us if we received it directly. So it comes to us filtered, in the form of divine truth, yet in that form it is still so bright and powerful that it is the actual sun of the spiritual world.
Swedenborg’s “Divine Love and Wisdom” also offers this beautiful description of what love is: “The hallmark of love is not loving ourselves but loving others and being united to them through love. The hallmark of love is also being loved by others because this is how we are united. Truly, the essence of all love is to be found in union, in the life of love that we call joy, delight, pleasure, sweetness, blessedness, contentment, and happiness. The essence of love is that what is ours should belong to someone else. Feeling the joy of someone else as joy within ourselves - that is loving.”
That is how the Lord loves us, and His only desire is to have us receive his love more fully so we can be joined with Him and brought into the greatest happiness. If we think of that in terms of ourselves as patterns in the fabirc of spiritual reality, it would be aligning that pattern with the gram of the fabric, so that the Lord’s love can enter into our very fibers.