And the Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples born of you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the elder shall serve the younger.” -Genesis 25:23
Dear members and friends,
If you were to ever ask, “what is the right way to live as a human?”, you are inviting yourself into an almost never-ending journey of soul searching. As each term, “right,” “way,” “live,” and “human,” requires an effort to define and properly understand, the journey of soul searching has to begin right within our own mind. Each religion has its own primary purpose, as do the people within that religion. According to Jesus, the primary purpose of humans in Christianity is not to adore and praise God in buildings called churches, but to cultivate one’s own spirit and mind to be united with the Creator.
One very vivid teaching, according to Swedenborg, regarding the journey of soul searching is illustrated in the story of the twin brothers Esau and Jacob. Some may pity Esau because he lost his birthright and father’s blessing to his brother Jacob. Yet, if you read the story carefully, Esau was the one whose life was easy and simple. He stayed at home and inherited everything from his father, which was all the wealth of Abraham. However, Jacob had to run away from home empty handed and worked 14 years for his uncle to earn relatively little. Factually, the life of Esau seems more blissful than the life of Jacob. Yet, the message in the Bible is clear that we should choose the life of Jacob over the life of Esau. In a way, Esau symbolizes the life that we desire to live, while Jacob symbolizes the life that we need to live. The desire is of the body and of this world, while the need is of heaven and of God. The need is of heaven and of God because reformation is needed for us to accept heaven within us and thus unite with God. Reformation of mind does not happen automatically while we enjoy everything in the world sensually and materialistically. This is why we need to choose to steal the birthright and blessing of Isaac in order to embark on the journey of soul searching. This journey happens whether we are conscious of it or not because it is the primary purpose of a human.
So, which way would you pursue? The way that your desire seeks or the way that your rationality points out?
Blessings, Rev. Junchol Lee