Spiritual Practise and Negative States


A short 2 min Q and A with references to these questions. Click below to see the video (2 mins)…

When we get serious about exploring the inner world using truths from the Word to do that we soon discover that what actually presents as our mental life in the form of its emotions and thoughts can be somewhat disturbing. This is because prior to practising self-examination and repentance in relation to the life of our mind we give very little attention to the quality of the inside of the cup (Matt. 23:25-26).  In the work True Christian Religion, we see this idea of the need to attend to the things of the mind expressed in number 215.2

[2] Jesus said:

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, because you clean the outside of the cup and dish, but the insides are full of robbery and intemperance. You blind Pharisee, clean first the inside of the cup and dish, so that the outside too may be clean. Matt. 23:25, 26.

In saying this the Lord spoke in similes and comparisons which are at the same time correspondences. When He said ‘the cup and dish’, cup not only means but stands for the truth of the Word, since cup implies wine and wine stands for truth. Dish, however, implies food, and food stands for good. Therefore cleaning the inside of the cup and dish means purifying the interior parts of the mind, the seats of will and thought, by means of the Word. ‘So that the outside may be clean’ means that in this way the exterior things too, what we do and say, are purified, for their essence is drawn from the interior.

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Divine Providence 150.
(6) The outer self must be reformed by the inner self, and not the reverse. By the outer and inner self we mean the same thing as by the internal and external levels of thought, which we have discussed frequently before. The outer self must be reformed by the inner self because the internal flows into the external, and not the reverse.
People in the learned world know that there is an influx of the spiritual self into the natural self, and not the reverse. And in the church people know that the inner self must be purified and renewed first, and by it then the outer one. This is known because the Lord teaches it and reason declares it.

Apocalypse Explained 960
The natural man or the natural mind is inwardly purified when falsities and evils are removed, but it is not purified when they are not removed. For such as the interior is such does the exterior become, but the interior does not become such as the exterior is. For the interior flows into the exterior and disposes it to agreement with itself, but not the reverse.

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Apocalypse Explained 475.7
The internal man is purified by knowing, understanding, and thinking the truths of the Word, and the external man by willing and doing them. This makes clear how the Lord’s words to Peter must be understood, “He that hath bathed needeth not save to wash his feet;” likewise how the Lord’s words to the Pharisees must be understood, “cleanse first the inside of the cup and of the platter, that the outside may become clean also.”

[8] That the internal man is purified by truths which are of faith, and the external by a life according to them, is meant also by these words of the Lord:
Except one be born of water and of the spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:5).
“Water” signifying the truths of faith, and “spirit” a life according to them.

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