The Christian Church

1  Now it's a wonder why the Christian Church was established in Greece, instead of Judea, where Christ Himself was born. For indeed a precedent was set, and the Greeks, more than any other people, were prepared for the new Christian faith. Why? Because they had a very structured inner-world—of the psyche—personified by their relationship with their gods: such divine models or archetypes, upheld as patterns for human behavior.

2  They had Zeus (n14:4), whom they made their supreme god, father of gods and men, whom by the name Jove (Roman form), bears a striking resemblance to Jehovah, our supreme god. And they had Dionysus, god of wine and ecstasy, who in many ways portrayed Christ: he was a forerunner or prototype to Christ. The son of Zeus and born of Semele, a mortal virgin mother, Dionysus was an essential structure to the Greek psyche and, became the fulfillment of their religion, as Christ became the fulfillment of Judaism. Indeed, much was borrowed from Dionysus.

3  Twelve in number, the Greek gods were a pantheon of gods (14:3), which resided on Mount Olympus. Each portrayed a specific aspect of the human dimension, and came together as a whole, to form the structure of heaven. Similarly, Christ had twelve disciples, who represented aspects of the same structure. Much like Dionysus, the twelfth and last god added to Mount Olympus, replaced Hestia, the goddess of the hearth (n14:1-2): who, according to some, didn't step down at all, making Dionysus the thirteenth and central figure, like Christ. Though not as clearly defined as the Greek deities, being more central to the figure of Christ, the disciples ascended to Mount Zion—with Christ—to reign in heaven. And so equates with Mount Olympus: the walls of the New Jerusalem and its twelve foundations, one for each disciple. Revelation 21:10-14

4  Originally people, or saints, the deities were so elemental to the Greek viewpoint, that they were elevated as gods. As is the case with most religions, which elevate the central figure, it's acceptable so long as it's understood they represent The Divine—"Man was created in God's image"—and man doesn't lose sight of a supreme being who rules above all, like Zeus. Thus when properly perceived, the first commandment which speaks of this, "Thou shalt have no gods before me," remains inviolate. And so the Greeks, with a well developed system of beliefs, were a highly creative and imaginative people: who strove to the heights of objectivity! And being the most receptive to new ideas and beliefs, with them, the Christian faith was implanted.

Kingdom of Lydia

5  The New Church became established on the west coast of Asia Minor, on the outskirts of Greek domain. It was east of Ionia, a region of Greece, and more or less central to the kingdom of Lydia (n12:1). Which are the seven churches of AsiaEphesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea—which St. John addresses in Revelation 1-3  He was on the Island of Patmos, off the coast of Ionia when he received this revelation. And so refers to the Byzantine Empire or Eastern Orthodox Church: the Greek Orthodox Church being an autonomous part of this.

6  What's noteworthy about Lydia, was its status as a trading partner and major cultural influence to the Greek mainland, a gateway to the east, between Europe and Asia. What's more, Lydia was central to the region where the cult of Dionysus had its origins, and thence imported overseas. Thus it's no real wonder the Christian Church was established here, for the inroads were already provided through the previous incursion of Dionysus. It therefore wouldn't be far off to assume Dionysus was Christ's predecessor and, that the Christian Church was a lay over of what Dionysus achieved earlier: the Greeks and their religion being a diced version of what Christianity became a consolidation of—monotheism. And, as I relate in the preface (n2), the Greeks equated Dionysus with Jehovah, which is all the more unusual!

The Church of Man

7  Although generally not understood, the Christian Church is part of a lineage of churches throughout history called The Church or, Church of Man. This is the title for religion in general, but is more specific to the Western Church, as described in the Bible. In other words you don't have to look beyond the Bible to understand what it means. For who hasn't heard of the Church of Adam, the Church of Noah, and the Israelite Church which, culminated into the Christian Church? This is the actual lineage. And, while Adam and Noah aren't typically portrayed this way, it only stands to reason, for the Bible is a religious document containing our religious heritage, beginning with Adam; albeit the focus remains on the Christian Church.

8  Thus being fourth and, similar to the front cover, where the color white is the medium (shown on the Menorah), the Christian Church is the Universal Church—if indeed Christ was who He claimed to be! Yet why should the lineage end here? Just as there are seven branches on the Menorah, it doesn't conclude with the fourth branch. We have yet to explore the fifth, sixth and seventh branches. So, could it be the Christian Church, as conveyed in the Bible, has already come to close and, that a fifth church has been instituted? Indeed, this is a critical part of my claim. For I intend to provide the basis, and further contend, that the fifth church has already drawn to a close and, a sixth church has been instituted!

9  And yet we tend to think of the Christian Church as the final word in terms of The Church, and for obvious reasons. But given how much humanity has changed, although it's not entirely wrong to view it this way, it's too shortsighted in its approach. Times change, people change, and so must religion, in order to accommodate a more modern perspective. We must, at the very least, take into account the Age of Enlightenment and, the advances of modern science, lest we bypass the last 300 years of human development, and find we are still living in the dark ages. This is the period I've ascribed to the fifth church and Emanuel Swedenborg below. And yet, where the Christian Church is portrayed by the main stem of the Menorah, from which all other branches proceed, it suggests all other churches are tied this way, meaning we can't entirely escape the idea.

Emanuel Swedenborg

10  Contrary to popular belief, The Last Judgment, as foretold in the book of Revelation, occurred in the year 1757, and under the auspices of Emanuel Swedenborg, a gifted scientist, theologian—and, mystic. This is thoroughly detailed in his work, The Apocalypse Revealed, a verse for verse account to the book of Revelation; he refers to the date in chapter XX, verse 11. It's also detailed in his work, The Last Judgment and Babylon Destroyed, as well as, The True Christian Religion, in chapter XIV, articles I-X; he refers to the four preceding churches in articles III and X. And, although it sounds far-fetched, it's all there. He also wrote numerous other books describing related phenomena, for example his works, Heaven and Hell, Divine Providence and Conjugal Love.

11  Thus when the Bible speaks of Christ's second coming, it actually refers to Emanuel Swedenborg and his work—as Swedenborg claims. And, much as Emanuel is another name for Jesus and means, "God with us" Matthew 1:23 it has a familiar ring to John the Baptist: who wasn't really Elijah (Elias), yet this was who he signified. Matthew 11:7-14  Yet I don't intend to elaborate so much on Swedenborg's role, although it's essential to know, for the book is based more upon my own experiences—dreams, visions, symbols and related phenomena—and shall reflect upon this; aside from the fact that it details what comes after the Swedenborg or, Fifth Church. I do mention Swedenborg throughout the book, however and, for anyone interested, his materials are available through the Swedenborg Foundation of West Chester, Pennsylvania, previously out of New York. That way you can decide for yourself, and don't have to take my word for it.

12  So does that mean anyone awaiting The Rapture at some future date has missed the boat? (n13:10). That would depend on your interpretation. However, being the astute scientist, Swedenborg's approach was more substantive, and he looked upon God in more practical terms, as opposed to a God of pure whimsy, as the scriptures might suggest. That doesn't make his claims any less fantastic though, nor altogether different from what the Bible claims, just that he had a better method and means of explaining it. Take for example the idea about the lineage of The Church (n7), as well as the notion that his revelations or, observations as a scientist, represented the Fifth Church. Without these, there would be no Sixth Church to speak of. While it seems more rational—and sane—to refer to the End Times in terms of the end of a church (below). Therefore to understand Swedenborg, in accord with the Age of Enlightenment, is to understand one of the great thinkers of his time.

The End of an Age

13  Through all its upheavals, disasters and restitution, the book of Revelation seems to foretell the end of the world, specifically in chapter 21. Yet it really portrays the end of an age which, can be viewed in terms of a church. And so refers to the Christian or fourth church, as it draws to a close. Similarly, a form of Last Judgmentor Apocalypse—is performed at the end of every church, at which point the hells are subjugated and, a new heaven and earth is formed. And, while more of a spiritual phenomenon that occurs in the spiritual world, it does coincide with events in the natural world. For example, a Last Judgment was performed at the end of the first church or Church of Adam, and was signified by the great flood. I'll speak more of the six churches shortly.

14  What Swedenborg calls the Church of Man (n7), the Western Church is what embodies religion as a whole, to become its ultimate vessel: much in the way a large vessel holds water. The orthodox aspect itself, it's indicative to its more formal lineage, and charts the development of Man and Church throughout history, and becomes the final say so in how it's presented—in its ultimate or, exterior sense.

15  Nor by any means does it nullify eastern religion: i.e., "All true religions lead to God . . ." It simply means western religion is more concerned with cultivating truth, much as western civilization has built itself—in every conceivable way—upon what is rational and comprehensible. As a whole, religion can be compared to the construction of a house: where western religion constitutes its exteriors and general structure, more so in a masculine sense; and eastern religion constitutes its interiors and ornamental aspects, more so in a feminine sense.

Today's Church

16  Having made the distinctions to The Church above, regarding its lineage and the advent of the Fifth Church, it lays the groundwork for what I'm about to present, the New Church—of Today—which has been instituted on earth. And, with its relation to the Swedenborg Church, and distinct ties to Jesus and the Christian Church, I am referring to the Sixth Church which, was instituted in 1987. While true to the title it will be illustrated in accord with Dionysus. (Note the blue highlight around the star and rings on the front cover.)

17  And, while my claim may seem speculative, i.e., a voice didn't come out of heaven and say this was so—not blatantly at least—it will soon be apparent this has happened. Or, as with the purpose of any true religious work, my book will serve to testify to a higher, spiritual power. If you refer to chapter 5 (n1), I recall the experience that I draw my conclusion from; while in chapter 12 (n1), I refer to the New Church in Southern Oregon, with its unique similarity to the Seven Churches of Asia.

18  Notwithstanding I did hear a voice while meditating one day. It was clear and distinct and said, "Points of permission beyond cultivation." And while I didn't fully understand initially, it refers to that which has happened after the fact, and coincides with my ideas of the Fifth Church above; and fits in well with my idea of the bride to be and engagement period regarding the Sixth Church (n38; n3:21; n4:66). And yes, the voice sounded like it came from up above. However, since I already determined the Sixth Church was established, albeit unofficially, it basically confirmed the idea, but with specific details about the Fifth Church. In effect it was saying the book of Revelation was already fulfilled, regarding the Fifth Church and, that it signified the second coming of Jesus (n10-11). Meaning this was the main event, making the Sixth Church somewhat incidental in that regard.

19  But, then again, if you haven't heard of Swedenborg or, heard of the Sixth Church, you will have missed the boat—twice! (n12). So if my book serves only as an introduction to Emanuel Swedenborg, then so be it. That isn't to say it's not capable of standing on its own merits either, because it is. In fact, if it becomes popular—where Swedenborg's materials tend to be tedious and verbose, and people have neither the time nor inclination to sort through it all—I can see it as a means of putting everyone on the same page world-wide, regarding religion in general or, the God Issue. The voice was also the only formalized instruction I received on the matter, unlike Swedenborg, who received it continually.

20  While here I should say I'm not the scholar, in that I draw from my own experiences and make my own conclusions, and only later, typically, will something crop up to corroborate the idea (n23; n2:11). Meaning it involved very little research. At the same time I don't wish to make it sound like my ideas are half-baked, because they're not. Itís just that I didnít devote much time to the study of knowledge or, formalized study, as if there was anything in particular to study. It was more a matter of following my own interests, from day to day if nothing else, albeit I had my reference books, and simply asking questions: about who I am as a human being or, why am I here? And the writing of this book is a result of the answers received.

21  So tell me, who spoke to the biblical prophets of old? They must have had some way of communing with a Supreme Being. This in effect is what happened to me. It was revealed to me, by means of The Spirit, if you will (n17:55); which prompted both the questions and, guided me in a way to resolve them. While much of it was highly personalized, and less formal which, is unlikely for what one might glean through academic study. It's more in line with Carl Jung's synchronicity (n22-29 below) or, Swedenborg's study of correspondences (n4:18), and doesn't require a formalized approach, so much as being familiar with and utilizing the method. It's still a discipline unto itself, however. I also practice an active imagination technique, together with the meditation described in chapter 19 (n1), that enhances the likelihood of detecting these things.

Six States of Mind

22  As we're speaking of the human condition here—specifically—the six churches can be ascribed to the various states of mind that depict different stages of human development (n6:58). And being a relationship typically portrayed between God and The Church, what Swedenborg calls the Heavenly Marriage, they can be ascribed to the Six Elements of Marriage in chapter 3 (n1). While there's a curious similarity to Jung's work (n14:26), particularly to the first four states, which he describes as opposing pairs—or, a cross of opposites (n6:58; n14:28). Whereby it leads to the fifth and sixth elements, enlightenment (n27) and ESP (n29).

The six churches and their states are described as follows:

23  The Church of Adam (1) compares to the thinking process, which is akin to the speculative mind or, what is theoretical. Therefore who was Adam? Where did he come from? Indeed there are many theories. Thus being the first aspect developed in our culture, according to Jung, it corresponds to the top segment of the cross (n6:58). While in accord with the front cover (n5), where red is the first color of the Menorah, the name Adam means, red earth. It too signifies the rational or thinking process, for it's iron that makes the soil red which, according to Swedenborg, via his study of correspondences (n21; n4:18), signifies the rational comprehension of truth (n4:112). Hence it seems we have just discovered a synchronicity!

24  The Church of Noah (2) compares to the feeling process, which is akin to the developmental mind or, the science or research prompted by what's speculated on (or thought about). The opposite of the thinking process, it corresponds to the opposing or, second segment of the cross (n6:58). Hence the idea of Noah, who was born of earthly parents, seems more substantial, and through his science he built the ark, the first known handiwork of man. But, was there really a flood? And when did it occur? It seems we're still fishing around. As these first two churches included everyone, they portrayed the General Church: we're all the progeny of Adam and Noah (12).

25  The Israelite Church (3) compares to the process of substantiation or, the substantial mind. Similar to what Jung describes as the sensational mind—the sensate perception of one's physical world, to determine whether it's real or not—it involves finalizing one's ideas before putting them into use. Much in the way a triangle, which is completed by three sides, might suggest: everything as to truth (n6:69). And here, the idea of monotheism is substantiated through The Word or holy writ, i.e., the Bible, having proceeded throughout the western world with the instituting of the third, fourth, fifth and now Sixth Church (n10:9). It's what western religion specifically focuses on.

26  The Christian Church (4) compares to the intuitive process, which is akin to the intuitive mind. Defined by the area within the triangle, signifying everything as to good (n3:10; n6:69), the Christian Church is the fruit of the substantial mind or, Israelite Church. Compare the Greek letter Delta, which means the fourth . And here, once we substantiate an idea, the framework remains, and it's no longer necessary to dwell on it, consciously. It's then reallocated to our subconscious memory, and lingers there, to prompt us later as flashes of insight. The actual filling of the vessel or, the sensation it has on our minds, we don't quite understand why we know, that is, until it resurfaces. And so Christianity was born of, and became the fulfillment of, the Israelite Church.

27  The Swedenborg Church (5) compares to the decision process, which is akin to the understanding: the culmination of one's experience, brought to bear on a situation. And, where the thinking and feeling processes are one opposing pair, from top to bottom, and the substantial and intuitive processes are the other pair, from left to right, the understanding becomes the balance or, focal point—or, crux of the matter. This too is in line with Jung's work which, oddly enough, he describes the person who has developed all four aspects as being enlightened. Remember I said the Swedenborg Church coincides with the Age of Enlightenment? (n9,12). While I am simply amazed at how well this bears out!

28  Essentially reflective of the third church, the fifth church encompasses broader terms or, the whole of one's experience. As the Christian Church is the filling of the vessel, i.e., with water, making it the universal church (n8), the Israelite Church becomes the vessel itself. Whereby the Swedenborg Church becomes the vessel's ultimate use (n14) or, ultimate realization. For which reason I won't go into extensive detail about the spiritual world, as it's thoroughly detailed in Swedenborg's work.

29  Today's Church (6) compares to the life developed in accord with the fifth church: which is akin to one's will or, liberty. The actual reciprocal of the understanding, it works in concert with it—the ultimate act, proceeding from the understanding. Essentially reflective of the fourth church, like the fifth, it encompasses broader terms: regarding ESP or, the sixth sense. Again, in line with Carl Jung, it's probably best expressed by the term he popularized—synchronicity—which, should soon become apparent. Thus having established the first five churches, the first four forming a symmetrical cross, and the fifth the focal point or crux of the matter, it's time now to form the extension, and ground it at its base (n6:58).

Two Walnut Trees

30  To carry things further, the fifth and sixth churches can be ascribed to a tree, more specifically an English walnut. And here, the Fifth Church became established in Northern Europe, more specifically Great Britain, with its strong Protestant ties. Having roots in the soil of the Christian Church, or Greece, it was transplanted as a seedling from Judea, i.e., Root of David, with its initial seed corresponding to The Word or, the Israelite Church. It was a tree that grew to such a height, as to extend its boughs unto Great Britain and drop its fruit on the soil below. And, although he was from Sweden, one of Swedenborg's early ambitions was to complete his studies in England, in his much awaited promised land.

31  The tree was later transplanted to North America, or the United States, as the Sixth Church. And is typified by grafting the English walnut, to the black walnut, a tree indigenous to North America: the only instance I know where two trees are joined this way; and conveys what I'm trying to do here, exclusively! While here, the English walnut, its foliage signifying the crown of the tree, branches out throughout the British Empire, its culture the desired fruit. Is it any wonder why English is the most common language spoken in the western world, and most common second language spoken elsewhere, highly esteemed for its scientific applications? While the black walnut, a hardy and more disease-resistant tree, signifies the trunk of the tree, as it broadens and supports the rest of the tree. This is the role the United States has played, although it has more to do with the tree approaching maturity, regarding the year 1987. While I give more detail of this, and the ties between Great Britain and the United States in chapter 10 (n1).

32  This transplanting of one culture over another also typifies what happened to the American Indian. Essentially cut off at the base, he had his heaven removed, and replaced by the European sky god, Jehovah. Which may have been an appropriate thing, for the crown of the tree signifies the marriage to heaven (n36; n3:6): as the leaves draw sustenance through photosynthesis. And, as American Indian culture is based more on a relationship with mother earth, it signifies a marriage to the earth: as the trunk draws sustenance from the soil through the roots. Thus by transplanting European culture to North America, the marriage (7) of both heaven (5) and earth (6) is fully realized (567) (n4:72; n6:58). Where the European assumes the qualities of the husband or the understanding or, Father Sky; and the American Indian assumes the qualities of the wife or the will or, Mother Earth. And here I should note the founders of the United States were inspired by the Native American's form of government—the Iroquois.

33  I haven't read the Book of Mormon yet, which claims the American Indians descended from the House of Israel and, that Christ appeared with His Mission in ancient America (n10:12). Which for all I know is fictitious, but it at least sews the seeds in people's minds, giving it a spiritual tangibility. And so the Church of Mormon was founded, which I believe is a legitimate Christian sect; although I personally donít subscribe to formalized religion. This in itself, even if false, nearly substantiates what I'm trying to present: transplanting The Church to North America.

34  Indeed it seems fitting that these cultures be joined, for it's time western man stood up and took a good look, and accounted for the heap of intellectual waste he's wrought on a world he now mistakes for home. It's time Apollo went back to Apollyon—for now—and stepped aside for his younger brother Dionysus, to allow him to resurface and see what he can do. Again, western man needs to rediscover his ties with mother earth, which have become so vital now: where the American Indian comes in. And so compares with Dionysus, whose worship was held in close communion with Mother Nature. While in recent times, western civilization has effectively suppressed Dionysus, almost a direct parallel of the way the American Indian was scapegoated, i.e., a primary symbol of Dionysus. And here, I relate the experience I had with American Indians in chapter 9 (n1).

35  As our tree approaches maturity, we need to reconcile ourselves to the American Indian—in some capacity—it being our best chance to achieve a change in outlook. And with the recent resurgence of American Indian culture in the late twentieth century, it seems to support the idea—as well as the advent of the Sixth Church. Yet if we don't address our environment, and soon, and continue to strip away the topsoil, and/or pollute it, our tree may topple! Isn't it time we stopped taking so much for granted?

The Marriage

36  Finally, by joining the Fifth and Sixth Churches it joins the two minds: the understanding (n27) and the will (n29). Which is indicative to their completion or marriage (n30), and suggests a seventh and final state of, The Church (n7). What I believe will be developed in accord with Russia or the former Soviet Union. If you refer to chapter 5, I relate the experience that occurred along the Russian River (n4) in Northern California that partly confirms this: with the early Russian settlement near the river's mouth, Fort Ross, explaining how the river got its name.

37  And so prompts Revelation 12: A woman clothed with the sun in verse 1, and the great red dragon who persecutes her in verse 3. Which, according to Swedenborg, refers to The Advent of the New Church, and could easily apply to the Soviet Union. I speak more of the woman's significance in chapter 4 (n109). While the red dragon signifies the Communist System itself, or its dogma; while in verses 7-9, it speaks of Michael who goes to war with the dragon, and defeats him. Thus it's easy to see the correlation to Mikhail Gorbechev, and the critical role he's played in derailing Soviet Ideology, with the recent fall of the Iron Curtain and current attempts to go to a free market economy.

38  Indeed it seems to correlate with Today's Church (n16). And, while Russia could be viewed as the bride to be (n4:66), her true reconciliation or marriage—to the west—won't occur until the year 2010, just like the movie, 2010: The Year We Make Contact. I suspect it will take this long to set up the necessary measures. Then there's the book, Russia 2010, published in 1993 by Daniel Yergin and Thane Gustafson, which conveys something similar. While I speak more of the link between Russia, the United States and Great Britain in chapter 10 (n21-28), and refer to the date in the next chapter (n2:17).