Seeking Truth

Blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.

Matthew 13:16

Dear members and friends,

My quest for truth began when I realized that the way I came into the world was not favorable, and that my life seemed to have begun under a cloud of negativity. I desired to understand life, the world, and especially myself, because I wanted to know why I had to live a life that I did not choose. I studied the ancient texts of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism and learned one unifying truth: what I may feel as true and what is true are not the same thing. The matter of acknowledging the truth was indeed a personal and subjective matter. 

Starting in my mid-twenties, I began to read the Bible again. Reading through the lens of Emanuel Swedenborg, I believed I was beginning to understand the book for the first time. After many years of reading the Bible in such a way, I suddenly felt that my life-long thirst for seeking truth about life, and my life in particular, had disappeared. My mind was at peace for the first time and with a degree of understanding about life, the world, and myself. I understood what it meant to be content.  

In a way, the entire Bible is written with cryptic codes. There are stories about humans and their relationships with each other and with God. We could learn enough moral and ethical principles from reading these stories. Yet according to Swedenborg, within these stories are embedded a deeper story or meaning that could be read by those who have minds cultivated (or prepared) for them. In Matthew, Jesus teaches his disciples, “The reason I speak to them in parables is that “seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand” (13:13).” Jesus is very clear that our physical ability to see, hear, and understand is not equipped with the ability to perceive, listen, and understand the inner truth from God. For this Jesus adds, “What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:6) The spiritual cultivation taught by Jesus, Buddha, and Lao-zi are amazingly similar in that they all emphasize the importance of cultivating our mind by freeing it from self-centeredness, selfishness, and desires of the physical body. Truth is what illuminates not only these shortcomings, but a path through which we can free ourselves from them.   

My brothers and sisters in God, our God created us in the image and likeness of the divine. Let us reflect on the truth that we are all equipped with the ability to learn, understand, and live a truer life in which we live with fulfillment, satisfaction, and peace. Let us accept the truth from God, and thus become truly free beings in whom God dwells. 

Blessings, Rev. Junchol Lee