Each Has A Unique Use That Serves The Common Good

The Lord provides that everyone should love the uses suited to his peculiar disposition and that love is exalted by the hope of becoming an angel…. All uses of heaven have reference to the common use which is for the Lord’s kingdom, … since all particular and individual uses are excellent in proportion as they relate more nearly and more fully to that common use. (HH 517)

The common use in heaven is the expression of the common good or common love and this is the Lord’s love which is a love for the salvation of what is human, the human form being the union of good and truth in life.

… for Being (Esse) itself, or Jehovah, is nothing else than mercy, which is the manifestation of love towards the whole human race. (Arcana Coelestia 2253)

The closing of the second state of awakening, the state of interior concerns, brings about two important realisations. The first is the awareness that one’s inner nature determines the quality of one’s external actions and speech. The second, and most significant realisation, is that acknowledging the Lord involves acting on what one understands to be true from the Word. This acknowledgement is essential for receiving the genuine insights and states of enlightenment that are necessary as the spirit moves into the third state, the state of instruction.

From a Logopraxis perspective, this parallels with the essential need to compel oneself to engage in the disciplines of self-examination and repentance, so that the insights and states of enlightenment needed to support inner work may arise. But it can’t be said that such states are a product of self-compulsion. In Logopraxis we have the aphorism that, “your effort achieves nothing but without effort nothing is achieved”, meaning that we work from an ‘as of self’ effort whilst striving to be in the acknowledgement that all work is the Lord’s.

Through practicing the Word, self-awareness is heightened, enabling the identification of those states of mind that hinder the reception of the Lord’s goods and truths, thus allowing these obstructive states to begin moving to the peripheries of our mind. This process of purification leads to an increased ability for those in a community of spiritual practice to harmonise their efforts in support of the common good. In this way the unique uses of the different individuals in such a community combine to form a shared or ‘common use’ that unites the members into a body that is focused on a unique work.

This common good or love is the Lord’s love for the salvation of what is human. And in this third state of awakening, the state of instruction, there is a notable change in perspective where this love comes forward into the centre of a spirit’s life. This shift involves moving away from an inward focus for the sake of one’s own regeneration, which is characteristic of the initial states of exteriors and interiors. The emphasis now lies on serving the spiritual well-being of others and working towards the greater purpose, aligned with the Lord’s love for the salvation of the human race.  The nature of the guidance received during the state of instruction is determined by this shift towards focusing on use for others, for the society that the spirit lives in and for the general whole of the Lord’s kingdom. In Logopraxis, this can translate to working for others in one’s Life Group, for the whole of the Logopraxis community, for all those we have contact with in our life and for the general whole of the Lord’s kingdom. This infilling and expansion of common good or use is the primary focus of the third state of instruction.

Further to the role of use regarding instruction in the third state of awakening we read…

For spirits are affections and are therefore in a human form that is similar to their affections. Being such, they are constantly inspired with the affection of truth with regard to the uses of life; … with everyone the affection of truth is so conjoined with the affection of use that they act as one; and thereby truth is so implanted in use that the truths they learn to know are truths of use. In this way are angelic spirits instructed and prepared for heaven. (HH 517)

We see from this statement that a key aspect of the process of instruction is the cultivation of the “affection of truth with regard to the uses of life.”   The transformative work that the Lord undertakes as the Word in reforming and regenerating an individual’s mind always aligns with His universal end of the salvation of the human race taken as a whole. Consequently, through the Word, the Lord inspires a deep love for use into each individual. This love of use is not something that is forced upon individuals but rather it is something that arises naturally from their own unique dispositions and abilities foreseen by the Lord. The Lord, through the Word as means, provides that “everyone should love the uses suited to his peculiar disposition”. As individuals begin to cultivate this love of use, through looking to the Word as the Lord in their practice, they are filled with an expanded sense of purpose and meaning. They are driven by the “hope of becoming an angel”, of using the talents and abilities they have been gifted with in support of the spiritual well-being of others and so more effectively contributing to the greater good, the “common use”.

All of the “particular and individual uses” that individuals engage in within a spiritual society or community are valued to the extent to which they are aligned with the common use of regenerating the human mind. In this way, even the most mundane and seemingly insignificant tasks in one’s practice of the Word can take on a deep spiritual significance when they are held within the context of the Lord’s end in view.

So, we can see that the affection of truth and its practice, and the love of use are two sides of the same coin for, “the affection of truth is so conjoined with the affection of use that they act as one”. They are so closely intertwined that they become one and, in this way, truth becomes implanted in use. It is through this process of aligning our own goals and aspirations with those of the Lord’s kingdom that we become instructed and prepared to engage in the spiritual life of our community more fully.

The implications of this in our Logopraxis work is that the more we make the truths of the Word the basis of our life, the more we become connected with the Word as the Lord. Through this practice, we can expect to see a growing desire to understand the Word’s truths on a deeper level of application to spiritual life.  It is an understanding that empowers us to live the uses we love. And because the Kingdom of Heaven is a kingdom of uses it is in the performance of use in serving others that increases the sense of fulfilment and purpose. Thus, it is in consciously working for the greater common good, that the Lord and His kingdom is ultimately served. And it is the practice of the Word as the Lord that is the key to unlocking our true spiritual potential as human beings.


The Practice Of The Word As The Lord

… the acknowledgment of the Lord, faith in Him, and love to Him, are the way to heaven; and the Word is what teaches the way: whence it is, that without the Lord, by means of the Word, there is no salvation. (Last Judgement 55)

Entrance to heaven is only possible through the Word for to experience the Word working in our life is to experience the Lord working in our life. The Word, doctrine drawn from the Word, and the Lord are all one and the same thing. This is the realisation of the experiential instruction that is received as the third state of awakening to spiritual life.

…there is no doctrinal thing, nor the smallest part of one, that is not from the Lord, because the Lord is doctrine itself. Hence it is that the Lord is called the “Word,” because the “Word” is doctrine (AC 3364)

The Word applied to life through the practice of spiritual principles informs the specific form of use that is needed in any given situation. This is the essence of doctrine drawn from the Word and it serves as the foundation for spiritual instruction.

All the instruction…(in preparing a spirit for heaven) is done from the doctrine drawn from the Word, and not from the Word apart from doctrine. (HH 516)

Sound doctrine drawn from the Word must absolutely shine before people and show them the way to go; those teachings are provided by the internal sense, and the person who is acquainted with them has the internal sense of the Word. (AC 10276{8})

The doctrine referred to here pertains to the internal sense of the Word and what it teaches, which is specifically adapted to support the regeneration of the human mind so that it might come into a heavenly life.  To receive this doctrine from the Word transforms us because the Word and the doctrine drawn from it, through the practice of truths, is the Lord. The Lord is experienced as the uses that flow from Him when the life of this practice is active, both directly so far as our own engagement is concerned or indirectly through others who are engaged in the inner practice of the Word with a focus on the spiritual wellbeing of others. But whether directly or indirectly, in every case, uses are expressions of that ‘common use’ or common good which is the Lord’s love and wisdom toward the human race.

…by “that they may serve Me” is signified elevation into heaven in order to perform uses therefrom. That “to serve the Lord” denotes to perform uses, is because true worship consists in the performance of uses, thus in the exercises of charity…The angels in heaven have all happiness from uses, and according to uses, so that to them uses are heaven. (AC 7038)

As we saw earlier, doctrine derived from the Word is not merely a set of memorisable statements such as we find in books. Certainly, these serve as a starting point but only as far as they open the mind to more interior things. The uptake of doctrine that relates to the third state of awakening is the understanding that arises through the application of truths to life, “cognitions are not committed to memory, but to life” (HH 517).  It is what is learnt experientially as we give truths authority in our life to examine our minds. This is what it means to live from the Word. To give the Word authority in our life means to engage with it as the basis for examining the quality of our mental activity. Without this, regeneration is simply not possible.

For the Word in the sense of the letter is not understood apart from doctrine, and doctrine is not seen without a life in accordance with it. That is because a life in accordance with doctrine drawn from the Word opens the spiritual mind, and light from heaven flows into the mind, enlightening it and giving it the ability to see. The reality of this is not known by one who does not live according to the truths of doctrine they are acquainted with. (Apocalypse Revealed 320)


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