Then God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.” –Genesis 1:11
Dear members and friends,
Emanuel Swedenborg believed that the whole Bible is written allegorically, especially the creation stories in Genesis. He believed that the creation stories have nothing to do with the formation of the physical universe, but everything to do with the formation of the spirit within humanity. The spirit, or inner self of humanity, needs to be formed through a very special process simply because the spirit is the vessel in which divinity should be contained. What this means is that the spirit must be capable of receiving that which is from the divine, as well as willing and delighted to become one with the divine. The second requirement – willingness and delight – is more the reason for the creation story because it requires a human to fully understand the value and meaning of the truth from the divine in order to willingly receive and be delighted with something that is not from one’s own self.
The third day of creation with “dry land” and “vegetation” symbolizes the inner process of how the formation of our spirit begins. Dry land is soon called the Earth and signifies the part of our mind where the spiritual cultivation would occur. And the vegetation signifies the foundational step into the spiritual cultivation, which happens with many small inner confirmations of the value and power that stems from accepting and acknowledging truths from the higher realm. Just as the vegetation is the most essential, life-providing entity for all land creatures, these small inner confirmations of truths are soon to result in the formation of certainty of truth, and thus living faith, meaning one will be able to live what one perceives as truth from the higher realm.
The most significant part of the third day in the creation story is that the sower of the vegetation is not humans or the natural process, but the Creator. In other words, the small truths that need to be understood and accepted in our minds must be from the higher realm, and not from our own making. However, in order for this to be possible our mind must be capable of perceiving the truth from the higher realm (signified by the light on the first day), and distinguish the truth from secular and/or man-made knowledge (signified by the separation of the waters on the second day).
Blessings, Rev. Junchol Lee