I just picked up a book I've had for a long time, but I don't recall reading. It's Helen Keller's "My Religion." I hadn't realized how much she was influenced by the thoughts of Swedenborg. Makes me want to find my Swedenborg books somewhere, probably on shelves in the garage. Or, if I'm blessed to get a Kindle for Christmas, maybe I can download some of his writings.
One of the things she wrote about near the beginning is how he was able to see spiritual dimensions and hear from the cloud of witnesses. At the risk of sounding daft, I have had quite a few such moments. Someday I'll share more of them with people -- I've told a little to some.
She describes some of the problems with narrow thinkers and extreme fundamentalists. Wow! Have I ever had that experience in spades, so to speak! They don't even try to reconcile their lack of loving kindness. They somehow think they can take the Bible completely literally! They don't want to know a lot is in poetry, song, metaphor, instructive stories such as parables and myths. They don't want to know what were the customs or idioms of the people back in the day.
In fact, here is a quote: I was glad to discover that the City of God was not a stupid affair of glass streets and sapphire walls, but a systematic treasury of wise, helpful thoughts and noble influences. Gradually I came to see that I could use the Bible, which had so baffled me, as an instrument for digging out precious truths, just as I could use my hindered, halting body for the high behests of my spirit....I can only say that the Word of God, freed from the blots and stains of barbarous creeds has been at once the joy and good of my life..."
As a person wounded deeply by loved ones who think they are always and only right, her book is healing for me and a gift I really needed to receive right now. Thank you, Helen Keller, if you're looking right now.