Thursday, May 3, 2007

Two Different Sides of Humanity

Without two eyes we couldn’t focus; without two ears we couldn’t balance; without two arms we couldn’t carry large weights; without two legs we simply couldn’t walk down a road and get to a destination. The marriage of a man with a woman is what brings focus, balance, strength, and potential to human life.

Very often marriage consists of doing different, or even opposite things. When walking, one leg goes up while the other goes down. When picking up a heavy object, one arm pushes one way, while the other arm offers resistance When using both eyes, each eye has a slightly different perspective on an object, which is what allows us to focus, and to gain a better understanding of our 3-dimensional world.

It’s good that men and women are so different.

The Conjugial Principle

One of the wonderful things about marriage is this idea of the complementary union of Two into One. The ancient Eastern religions knew about this idea, which is where the Yin/Yang concept and symbol came from.

Emanuel Swedenborg refers to this concept as the “Conjugial Principle;” the idea that all of creation reflects this image of two joining into one.

I like to say that our church is all about marriage. Just about any religious question you can ask about the New Church can be answered with the word “marriage.”

“What is the nature of God?”

“The Marriage of Divine Love and Divine Wisdom.”

“What is the nature of humanity?”

The Marriage of freedom and rationality.”

“What is the nature of Creation?”
“The Marriage of good and truth.”

“What makes a good church?”
“The Marriage of Faith and Charity.”

“What is the process of spiritual growth, or How do we become angels?”
“By the Marriage of our will with our understanding in a good life.”

“What is an angel in heaven?”
“The Marriage of one man with one woman.”

The following is a list of dualities that are (or can be) complementary:
Good and Truth
Love and Wisdom
Charity and Faith
Will and Understanding
Volition and Intellect
Affections and Thoughts
Compassion and Intellect
Freedom and Rationality
Women and Men
Contemporary and Traditional
Liberal and Conservative
Religion and Science
Active and Passive
Concrete and Abstract
Applicational and Theoretical
Celestial and Spiritual
Heat and Light
Soft and Hard
Future and Past
Fire and Water
Bread and Wine
Receptive and Aggressive
Flexible and Rigid
Justice and Judgment
Church and State
God in us, and God in Heaven
Emotional and Pensive
Art and Science
Music and Lyrics
Extrovert and Introvert
Taoism and Confucianism
Open Minded and Narrow Minded
One and Many
Essence and Form
DNA (truth) and Protein (good)

These dualities don’t so much describe the marriage of a man and a woman, as much as they describe the nature of humanity and creation. However, a better understanding of this conjugial principle can often have a beneficial impact on one’s marriage. Many of the above listed dualities could show up within the marriage of a man and a woman, and be a point of conflict, and yet ultimately could become complementary within the marriage.