I love the sea with all its moods and mysteries and I can’t imagine living away from it. I can sit and just look at it for hours, thinking about and imagining the life that exists beneath its surface.
Besides an interest in the fish that live in it, the sea is fascinating because of its correspondence with the literal sense of the Word. “The sea corresponds to a knowledge of good and truth such as in the sense of the letter of the Word” (Swedenborg).
Like the sea, the Word has hidden depths within it. In one sense it deals with the darkest and deepest aspects of our natural mind but it is also a source of food for our minds to grow in spiritual things. Fish correspond to the living facts that sustain this life. No wonder fish are called brain food!
When we look at the sea, we can regard it as a medium of separation between lands and people and that is often how some people regard truth. They apply it in life in a divisive way, to condemn and judge. However, the sea, like the Word should be seen as a medium of joining people together. By sailing on the sea we connect to other land masses and peoples just as the Word is the means by which people are to be connected through living a good life according to it.
The storms on the sea are a reminder to us of the inner spiritual struggles we undergo as we battle to live by the Word. Life can be reduced to chaos as the old is broken free of, but after the storm there is the calm. Peace and stillness come from the Lord.
Living by the sea is a wonderful blessing, not just for the recreation and fun, but for the profound lessons that can be drawn from seeing it as a true symbol of the Word. As the sea is vital for natural life on this “watery planet,” so is the Word for our spiritual life. Therefore it says in Isaiah 12:9, “The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”
It is not an accident that there is so much diversity in spiritual practice and focus in the world. In God’s eyes, humanity appears as a single body, made up of many and various parts and members. A body could not function if it were, say, just a head, or all legs! Every part has a vital unique function. In a healthy body, these parts are working together in harmony for the benefit of the whole. There are messages passing from one part to another and a sharing of resources; there is a feeling of well being and sense of purpose and fulfilment. At present the earthly body of humanity is not well. There are blockages in communication and inflammation areas, even open wounds. There is starvation and poverty for some and wealth and abundance for others. We are not listening to one another, learning from one another, nor are we sharing. We are trying to make everyone else comply to our way of thinking –be just like us. Some members have been hurt by harsh treatment and are reacting violently. As we know, if any member of our own body is hurting, our whole body is affected. Waging war on the affected parts can only result in more pain. There will never be peace in this world until we are all one.
Being all one does not mean being all the same, as I mentioned before. It means honouring the uniqueness of the individual parts. If we are to bring unity or wholeness to this world, we must bring healing to the hurting parts – embracing our dark side (the wounded emotions behind the violent outbursts), listening, learning, supporting, healing, forgiving, peeling back the layers to find the innocence within, nurturing that goodness, turning ourselves around to the light of God’s love.
Can we really make a difference to the body of humanity? Maybe not all at once on a grand scale but we can start small with the people around us. Little by little the ripples will move out and become examples for others to follow.