From the Logopraxis Workbook
The Life Group as a Human Form or Collective Person
The human form is the Divine form, and is that which comes into being as the only possible expression of the Lord’s life within those He is creating. This means that on the largest or smallest scale of creation all is organised or strives towards a more complete and thereby perfect, human form.
In Heaven and Hell 73 it’s explained that
“Heaven in its whole complex resembles one man, as does any one society in heaven. From the sequence of reasons there set forth, it follows that this is equally true of each angel. As heaven is man in the greatest form, and a society of heaven in a less form, so is an angel in the least form. For, in the most perfect form such as that of heaven is, there is a likeness of the whole in the part and of the part in the whole”
Although we can relate to being supported by the Text at the level of our personal work, the idea that we are part of a collective human being that takes form as we meet together can be rather abstract, and difficult to grasp. The descriptions of heaven as a Grand Human composed of countless societies, with each society being a fully functioning human form composed of individual angels, provides an illustration of how the group can be, and of our function and use in it. This requires a perceptual shift where our sense of person expands from being limited to a single individual to incorporate many individuals functioning as one, in support of a common use. Expanding our sense of what actually constitutes a human being is important to contemplate and asks where our sense of self sits in relation to that.
Logopraxis group life is concerned to provide an environment that leads us towards an ever-deepening sense of the Lord in our collective midst, as the Word. The more conscious we are of working – not only for ourselves, but for others in the group, and for the group as a whole – the deeper will become our sense of spiritual community; and the spiritual literacy skills and methods discussed throughout the Workbook are very much part of this shift in environment.
The Lord is looking to be present in our midst, and He is present when the things of the Word are made the basis for our being together. The collective human that forms when a Life Group meets together is brought into being as we share our direct experience of the Word working in our lives; forming a sacred space where the Word can be known as the Lord.
“By the Lord’s name is meant the Word, for the Lord is the Word” (Arcana Coelestia 5502; John 1:1)
In the very act of meeting, what we bring from our experience of the Word’s operation in our life becomes a live conjoining presence, creating connections:
- Between individuals in the group
- Between the group and the spiritual world
- Between the group and the LordIt is this lived experience of the Word, when shared with others, that serves as the soul or life of the group. It’s what connects each to the other.
Reflect & Discuss
- What is the human form?
- What does it mean to view our life group as a ‘collective human’?
- What is my experience of this?
- TheLord is present in our midst when the things of the Word are made as the basis for our being together.
- The experience of the Word is the soul of the Life Group.
Divine Providence 172. In the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Sacred Scripture it has been shown that the Lord is the Word, and that all doctrine of the church must be drawn from the Word. Since, then, the Lord is the Word, it follows that the man who is taught from the Word is taught by the Lord alone. But as this is not easily comprehended, it shall be illustrated in the following order: (1) The Lord is the Word because the Word is from Him and treats of Him. (2) Also because it is the Divine truth of the Divine good. (3) Thus to be taught from the Word is to be taught from the Lord. (4) That this is done mediately through preaching does not take away the immediateness.
 First: The Lord is the Word because the Word is from Him and treats of Him. That the Word is from the Lord is denied by no one in the church. That the Word treats of the Lord alone is not denied, indeed, but neither is it known. This has been set forth in the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Lord (1-7, 37-44); also in the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Sacred Scripture (62-69, 80-90, 98-100). Since, then, the Word is both from the Lord alone and treats of the Lord alone, it follows that when man is taught from the Word he is taught from the Lord, since the Word is the Divine; and who except the essential Divine, from whom the Word is and of whom it treats, can communicate the Divine, and plant it in the heart? When, therefore, the Lord speaks of His conjunction with the disciples He says:- That they should abide in Him, and His words in them (John 15:7). That His words are spirit and life (John 6:63). And that He makes His abode with those who keep His words (John 14:20-24).
To think from the Lord, therefore, is to think from the Word, seemingly through the Word. That all things of the Word have communication with heaven has been shown in the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Sacred Scripture, from beginning to end. And since the Lord is heaven, this means that all things of the Word have communication with the Lord Himself. It is true that the angels of heaven have communication; but this, too, is from the Lord.
 Secondly: The Lord is the Word, because it is the Divine truth of the Divine good. That the Lord is the Word He teaches in John in these words:- In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word; and the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (John 1:1, 14). As heretofore this has been understood to mean only that God taught men through the Word, it has been explained as a hyperbolical expression, not meaning that the Lord is the Word itself; and for the reason that it was unknown that by “the Word” the Divine truth of the Divine good is meant, or, what is the same, the Divine wisdom of the Divine love. That these are the Lord Himself is shown in Part First of the work on The Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom; and that these are the Word is shown in the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Sacred Scripture (1-86).
 How the Lord is the Divine truth of the Divine good shall also be briefly told. Every man is a man not from his face and body but from the good of his love and from the truths of his wisdom; and because it is from these that a man is a man, every man is also his own truth and his own good, or his own love and his own wisdom. Apart from these he is not a man. But the Lord is good itself and truth itself, or, what is the same, He is love itself and wisdom itself; and these are the Word which was in the beginning with God and which was God, and which became flesh.
 Thirdly: Thus to be taught from the Word is to be taught by the Lord Himself, because it is to be taught from good itself and truth itself, or from love itself and from wisdom itself, which are the Word, as has been said. But every one is taught according to the understanding that belongs to his own love; what is beyond this is not permanent. All those who are taught by the Lord in the Word are taught a few truths in the world, but many when they become angels; for the interiors of the Word, which are Divine spiritual and Divine celestial things, although implanted at the same time, are not opened in man until after his death, thus in heaven, where he is in angelic wisdom, which in comparison with human wisdom, that is, man’s former wisdom, is ineffable. That Divine spiritual and Divine celestial things, which constitute angelic wisdom, are present in all things, and in each thing of the Word, may be seen in the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Sacred Scripture (5-26).
 Fourthly: That this is done mediately through preaching does not take away the immediateness. The Word must needs be taught mediately through parents, teachers, books, and especially the reading of it. Nevertheless it is not taught by these, but by the Lord through them. And this the preachers know, and they say that they do not speak from themselves but from the spirit of God, and that all truth, like all good, is from God. They are able, indeed, to declare the Word, and bring it to the understanding of many, but not to the heart of any one; and what is not in the heart perishes in the understanding; “the heart” meaning man’s love. From all this it can be seen that man is led and taught by the Lord alone, and is led and taught immediately by Him when this is done from the Word. This is the arcanum of arcana of angelic wisdom.
True Christian Religion 263. Few understand how the Lord is the Word; for they think that although the Lord can enlighten and teach men through the Word, He cannot on this account be called the Word. But let it be understood that every man is his own will and his own understanding, each man being thus distinct from every other; and as the will is the receptacle of love, and thus of all the goods of that love, and the understanding is the receptacle of wisdom, and thus of all things of truth belonging to that wisdom, it follows, that each man is his own love and his own wisdom, or what is the same thing, his own good and his own truth. For no other reason is man a man, and nothing else than this in man is man. In respect to the Lord, He is love itself and wisdom itself, thus good itself and truth itself; and this He became by fulfilling all the good and all the truth in the Word. For he who thinks and speaks nothing but truth becomes that truth; and he who wills and does only what is good becomes that good; and as the Lord fulfilled all the Divine truth and Divine good contained in the Word, both in its natural sense and in its spiritual sense, He became good itself and truth itself, that is, the Word.