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According to New Church theology, the entire Old Testament has an internal sense that describes the spiritual journey of everyone who is being born again, and in the highest sense the journey of Jesus as he glorified His humanity. Recent political discussion has me thinking of a particular Old Testament figure who, in New Church theology, describes an immature phase on that path to regeneration.
That figure is Ishmael. Ishmael was the first son of Abraham, but it was his younger brother Isaac who would be the heir. According to Arcana Coelestia, Ishmael represents an earlier state, and in particular an earlier kind of rationality, than the more mature rationality represented by Isaac.
Aspect - Ishmael - Rationality - Intellect - Mercy
The defining aspect of “Ishmael rationality” is that it consists of the intellect alone, divorced from mercy or compassion or love.
Before Ishmael was born, an angel prophesied of him:
Arcana - Coelestia - Kind - Person - Ishmael
Arcana Coelestia describes the kind of person who is an Ishmael frame of mind:
The person whose rational is of such a character that he is solely in truth – even though it be the truth of faith – and who is not at the same time in the good of charity, is altogether of such a character. He is a morose man, will bear nothing, is against all, regards everybody as being in falsity, is ready to rebuke, to chastise, and to punish; has no pity, and does not apply or adapt himself to others and study to bend their minds; for he looks at everything from truth, and at nothing from good (§1949).
Kind - Thing - Climate
Where do I see this kind of thing in our current political climate? I might not have to spell it out. On...
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