This Is The Way
The Logopraxis approach has been built on a single principle – that the Lord is the Word. This is its common use or good and all else flows forth from that. This is its heart, and the lived life of the Word in its practitioners are like its lungs, breathing life into the rest of the body, willing each area to thrive and function in its own unique use.
Through the exchange of the life with the Word with one another, Logopraxis enables individuals to integrate their personal experiences of the Word into the community as a whole, creating a shared understanding and deeper spiritual connection. This shared understanding allows the community to support each other’s spiritual growth and well-being, fostering a culture of mutual care and support. The ways in which the Word as the Lord achieves this is described in the following…
The affection of truth that is suited to the use is insinuated by various means, most of which are unknown in the world; chiefly by representatives of uses which in the spiritual world are exhibited in a thousand ways, and with such delights and pleasures that they permeate the spirit from the interiors of his mind to the exteriors of his body, and thus affect the whole. In consequence, the spirit becomes as it were his use. Therefore, when he comes into his society, into which he is initiated by instruction, he is in his life by being in his use. From these things it can be confirmed that cognitions, which are external truths, do not bring anyone into heaven; but the life itself, which is a life of uses implanted by means of cognitions. (HH 517)
Supported and surrounded by others in their heavenly society, which is their heavenly home, every spirit is brought into its own love, clothed with its unique understanding of the Word, and its specific use that flows forth from the marriage of those two. Each finds their place and function in that society. The more they receive truths that are integrated into their life and loved because they are the Lord, the more they come into this use. Each forgetting themselves and their individual needs, their focus is the Lord as the Word, their desire is to do His will. Each looking to see how they might draw forth what is of the Lord in one another, of how they might nurture the unique gifts and abilities in each other, so that together they might be more effective in fulfilling the Lord’s purposes.
When spirits have been prepared for heaven by instruction in the places above described… they are clothed with angelic garments, which are mostly glowing white as if made of fine linen; and they are thus brought to the way that leads upwards towards heaven, and are delivered there to angel guards, and afterwards are received by other angels and introduced into societies and into many blessednesses there. After this, each one is led by the Lord into his own society, which is also effected by various ways, sometimes by winding paths. The ways by which they are led are not known to any angel, but are known to the Lord alone. When they come to their own society then their interiors are opened; and as these are in conformity with the interiors of the angels who are in that society they are immediately recognized and received with joy. (HH 519)
By means of the spiritual light that the Word as the Lord offers through the practice of its truths, the church as a spiritual form, both individually and collectively, may be directed and guided in its thoughts and affections. As each member of the community is led into its unique function and use, so too is the collective led into its own unique function and use. Each little heaven, an image of the larger heaven. This is so that all who come into contact with the church might be touched by the living witness that she is to the transforming power of His love. The Lord is her very life and fires her affection for truths so that this love might be expressed in real and tangible ways: always seeking the salvation of all and always looking to show her the path that leads to heaven.
Go ye back from the way, cause ye to turn aside from the path. Thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, This is the way, go ye in it. (Isaiah 30:11,21)
… no angel or spirit ever thinks of death; indeed they do not at all know what it is to die; wherefore, when “death” is mentioned in the Word, the angels understand by it either damnation, which is death in the spiritual sense, or the continuation of life and the resurrection. (LJ 25)
Once we remember that the Text before us is a spiritual text and therefore must be describing our spiritual experiences, then a whole new possibility of meaning opens up for us that has practical application to the work involved in the reformation and regeneration of our life in the here and now. The descriptions of death then in the awakening series in Heaven and Hell become illustrations of the reordering and sorting out of our inner psychological life, that is, of the inner world of our feelings and thoughts. As we consciously engage with the Word, seeking to apply its truths to examine the quality of our mental life, it awakens the mind in this inner spiritual world that is the life of the spirit, and it leads us through a process:
1. “The state of exteriors” (HH 491-498)
2. “The state of interiors” (HH 499-511)
3. “The state of preparation’ or “instruction of those who come into heaven” (HH 512-520).
The state of exteriors can be seen then as an illustration of the stripping away of self-images to reveal the true nature of the loves that have been driving them. And the meeting of relatives and friends in the spiritual world in this first state then becomes the revisiting and reworking of concepts about spiritual life that we have been affectionally attached to and have had relationship with. We see that there is a need to examine these now in the light of what is being revealed by the Word as their interior natures are exposed.
The work done in this first state of awakening paves the way for what must unfold in the second state of interiors where things start to get sorted into two classes: those states which acknowledge the Lord as the Word and those that don’t. As truths from the Word are applied in life, those that offer damnation because they are being ruled by the loves of the hellish proprium are identified for the states of death that they are and effectively cast into hell in this recognition. What then remains as a result of this sorting process is the potential to be instructed further by the Word in preparation for entering heavenly states of life, or a life of use aligned with the Lord’s end.
This instruction is the third and final state and completes the process of awakening to spiritual life which culminates in a resurrection and continuation of life in heaven. It involves the elevation of truths from the memory, through their practise, so that they can be integrated into the very core of one’s life. As the ability to think and live consciously from the Word starts to deepen, there is more stability experienced than there was previously in the first two states. This increased inner stability and deepening of spiritual literacy offers a foundation upon which we can become more attuned to the Lord’s presence in our lives and in our interactions with others. As such there is a shift in focus away from working for the sake of one’s own regeneration to working for the sake of what can be offered back to others and to the collective community though one’s work with the Word. The result is a movement toward being more consciously aligned with the Lord’s universal end, the common use, which is the love for the salvation of all.
There is also an increased acknowledgement that the work of each brought together as a whole, forms an invaluable contribution to our ongoing learning of how to be in a spiritual community that is centred on the lived experience of the Word. The conscious effort to work to live from the Word brings a new meaning to what it means to be in a life of charity, and it also opens up the possibility of seeing what it means to be a church, both on an individual and collective level. These experiences, through our Logopraxis work, can be viewed as illustrations of the descriptions of the heavenly communities that the spirits find themselves led into in the third state of instruction.
We can see then that our conscious participation and as-of-self effort to engage with the Word as the Lord Himself is paramount to the processes that are involved in spiritual awakening. Logopraxis therefore seeks to provide a structure and spiritual practice that supports the cultivation of a deep love and reverence for the Word and to bring people together in a shared commitment to the practise of it to experience its transformative power. Through self-examination and repentance, the way is opened for the mental structures of our natural mind to be re-formed into vessels that are able to hold what is higher in our conscious awareness. The experiences that arise from this practice, when shared, becomes incredibly instructive both on an individual and collective level.
Practise is therefore essential, and nothing can substitute this – for it is our willingness to practise at each state of awakening that opens us up to receive the goods and truths we need to be carried through to the next state. No one can leapfrog a state. Each stage is linked to a state of life that arises from changes in the psycho-spiritual structures of a person’s mind as they undergo states of reformation and regeneration. As was pointed out at the very outset in the introduction of this three-part paper, no one can think their way into the next state, nor can anyone enter a state through sheer force of their will any more than a person can hasten their developmental progression from childhood into adolescence or adolescence into adulthood. These states, whilst presented as linear and progressive in nature, are also cyclic in our experiences of them. Our regeneration and instruction is an eternal process, one that is always moving into deeper states of seeing what it is the Word as the Lord is offering for us to see. To see what resists and what saves, to see what is dead and what offers life, to see what is hell and what is heaven. Through the seeing we are set free as we are led into an ever-deepening sense of use in His heavenly community, for the sake of His kingdom and His love for the salvation of all.
In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was toward God,
and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning toward God.
All were made through Him.
and without Him not one was made that was made.
In Him was life.
And the life was the light of men.