Life in A Hologram
WELCOME TO TODAY'S WORSHIP SERVICE
APRIL 15, 2012
LIFE IN A HOLOGRAM
For an all-text version, click here.
THIS YEAR'S THEME: The Year of the Lord
THIS MONTH'S TOPIC: Union with the LordTODAY'S MESSAGE: Life in a Hologram
Open your Bible
Light a candle
"You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it. You drench its furrows and level its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its crops. You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance. The grasslands of the desert overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness. The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing." (Psalm 65:9-13)
Apocalypse Revealed (Rogers) n. 290
290. And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying. (5:13) This symbolizes a confession and glorification of the Lord by angels of the lowest heavens.
That it is a confession and glorification of the Lord by angels of the lowest heavens is apparent from the series, because the preceding confessions and glorifications of the Lord were made by angels of the higher and lower heavens (nos. 275ff., 286ff.). For there are three heavens, and in each countless societies, every one of which is called a heaven.
It is apparent that angels are meant by every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and in the sea, for we are told, "I heard (them) saying," and they said "Blessing and honor and glory and strength be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever.
Life in a Hologram
To see the world in a grain of Sand
The universe in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the Palm of your Hand
And eternity in an Hour
George Dole says that that verse by William Blake seems to reflect this statement from Swedenborg:
The Divine is the same in the greatest and the smallest things. [DLW 77]
The result of all this is that I am coming to see Swedenborg’s theology different than I did before. I am coming to see it composed of a central holographic concept …
[Sorting Things Out, 77]
New physics talks about how the universe consists of both particles and waves. The particles are the solid matter of the world that we can touch. The waves are energies that can’t be seen or touched. Dole sees the waves as Swedenborg’s “inflow.” We have inflows that come to us internally and some externally. Our conscious self is at the center – at the intersection of the two waves. This is basically how one makes a hologram – a flow from a single source is divided into direct and indirect flows. They meet in an intersection pattern. That means that the whole universe is in every grain of sand – and in every cell of our bodies.
What does that mean for my life and your life? Dole writes:
Perhaps the central ethical import of the Swedenborgian of the holographic model is to point to the possibility of moving beyond the need to define ourselves by excluding others, which for me gives a particular clarity to the injunction that I love my neighbor as myself.
So, what would this look like in real life? What is it like to live a life of uses, of seeing one’s self as part of the wholeness of the world? I’d like to suggest Daniel Burnham as a possible example.
Daniel was born in Henderson, N.Y. into an active Swedenborgian family. They moved to Chicago when Daniel was seven. He had hopes of going to Harvard or Yale, but failed both entrance exams. While doing assorted jobs, he discovered a passion for architecture. He became one of the nation’s greatest architects during his lifetime.
Burnham was involved in designing many innovative buildings in Chicago. He also helped to plan and build in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and the Philippines.
He may be best known for the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. The fair was spectacular success, and Burnham became well-known around the world. The Parliament of World Religions was also held in conjunction with the fair, under the leadership of another Swedenborgian, Charles Bonney.
Masonic Temple Building in Chicago
Towards the end of his life, he was commissioned to develop a plan for Chicago. He put together a breath-taking vision of a city that was the use of its citizens. He presented his plan in 1909, and much of the plan was put into effect after his death. This past year, Chicago held a year-long centennial in honor of Burnham and his plan for Chicago.
What made Burnham such a strong example of living by a Swedenborgian holographic concept in the oneness of all things?
Burnham said that his work was inspired by Swedenborg’s concept of “uses.” He believed that a city or a building should exist for improving the quality of life of people. In Chicago, he saw that the property along the shore of Lake Michigan was being purchased for private enjoyment or by business for industrial gain. He believed that the water and the land belonged to everyone. He fought tirelessly to get the shores into the hands of a commission that made it all into beautiful parks for the enjoyment of all. One can now drive for miles along Lake Shore drive with an unobstructed view of the water, and enjoy beautiful public parks. Burnham knew that many people experienced the divine in nature, and he believed that a city -- and a building – should have a lot of open space and light. He put many parks in the cities that he designed.
Most of the work he did for cities was done without a fee.
One researcher, Dr. Kristen Schaffer, has discovered that Burnham’s original draft of the Chicago Plan contained a radical social agenda in addition to a physical lay-out of the city. Burnham had wanted a city filled with social services to alleviate hunger and homelessness – and even to provide day care for the children of working parents. What happened to that part of the plan? It somehow disappeared from the final version of the Chicago Plan. It has yet to be implemented.
Burnham radically changed the lives of countless generations of people in Chicago, D.C., the Philippines, and many other places. He has given many of us an opportunity to experience the Divine in even a grain of sand along the shore of Lake Michigan.
Burnham never did well in school, and he flunked college entrance exams. Yet he found his deepest passion in life, and he followed it. He followed it in a way that allowed thousands of people to experience the divine flow in their buildings, their parks, and their cities.
Every moment of each human life is another opportunity to bring the love and wisdom of uses into the lives of others. It really is the only way of life that makes sense when you consider that I am part of you and you are part of me. By improving the life of one person, we improve life for all.
Extinguish your candle.
Close the Bible
Go in peace, secure in the knowledge that you live in God's hologram.
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New: Resouces on Holograms