Ruling Love

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)

For Contemplation

The theologian Emanuel Swedenborg (2000) re-stated this teaching of Jesus in a concept called “ruling love” (p. 224). People are, become, and live according to the love that rules them. Love of money, love of power, and love of fame are powerful forces because they place value in things that have no spiritual value. The same mistake can be made with countless other “loves,” including the love of another person, if the loves are based on selfish intentions. All of these “loves” need a proper foundation or context that can come only from first loving God. This love of God is so encompassing when it is present that it perfectly aligns all energies or forces that are channeled through human beings. Without this first love, all other loves have the power to destroy, disfigure, or corrupt human beings. All treasures other than the source of life and love are temporary and can dissolve in an instant, leaving the heart empty of God’s love. What we love becomes our destiny as human beings.


All power, all knowledge, and all truth reside in you, God. Let the love that flows inside of us flow from your divine love, from love that is renewed through your presence. Help us to trust in your love, and may we treasure this love above all things that do not reflect your perfect love for us. May our hearts rest in your heart where all things eternal are held by your love. Amen.

From The Readings

2012-99 Every person has a boundary between themselves and other persons in the physical plane. It is the mind that sees into the physical plane and at the same time is connected to the spiritual dimensions of life. In the spiritual dimensions of life, every person is connected to all other forms of life and consciousness. But the mind sometimes confuses the spiritual reality and the physical reality. And it is for this reason that we sometimes see in other people parts of ourselves, forgetting the spiritual connection. We see this outside of ourselves and we disassociate from that part of ourselves. This is why important decisions, this is why understanding your life work that comes from those true loves, are the stronger bases of any decision. This is the reason one should move on: where the love is different, where the purpose is different, where the intention is different. Otherwise, all decisions are made in such a way that a person is always fighting themselves, and the rationale for change always breaks down and cannot be fulfilled. When we find ourselves through our spiritual practice, through meditation and prayer, we also find what we love, and our purpose, and our intention. You will find these three things at the heart of all permanent change, because they are constantly moving a person forward in consciousness and awareness. Remember, intention, love, and purpose.

2012-101 (I’m having trouble discerning when I should be moving toward people vs. following what I feel. For example, I have an aversion sometimes to certain groups of people. Is this superficial or is it okay to recognize how I feel and to move on?) The feelings of doubt or concern come as a consequence of not knowing your own love, your own intention and purpose. When you discover this and are clear, and when you have a reasonable idea of that purpose, that love and that intention from another person, then you’ll either feel the bond or you’ll feel the separation. It is key to tell the difference between a superficial aversion and a key difference in intention or a key difference in purpose and love. As you go forward you will discover these things. For some people, you have already discovered them. We might say that every human being is working toward God, yet one key distinction is which human beings are consciously working toward God rather than unconsciously working toward God. In one sense the purpose is always there, but the conscious understanding of purpose, especially as it relates to fear and how fear affects the personal understanding of one’s purpose is not always present. But you know it is true that you will not escape your own purpose and your own destiny, nor will you escape any of the illusions or falsities that afflict you without the right love, the right purpose, the right intention. It will appear that life is bringing them to you, but the opposite is always true: You draw them to yourself.