Inside, a huge fireplace warms the modest dimensions of the nave which is almost as wide as it is deep. There is no paint or gilt. There are no pews, but the seeker is offered a sturdy rush-seated chair.

Arching overhead are the reddish madrones from the Santa Cruz mountains. Trees correspond to the entirety of the divine life, with roots going deep into the good soil to bring the love of the earth up into the trunk of life. The spreading system of branches represent knowledges of many kinds, that at last bear leaves and blossoms, which are the actual uses and enjoyments of being alive. So within, this temple is of God's trees. The gnarled cypress from the wind-swept crest tells of the vicissitudes of life. There points a flame-like piece of root to things above. Swedenborg himself wrote: "The ancients worshipped in groves, because groves of trees signify heavenly wisdom and intelligence."

Four murals painted by William Keith depict nature scenes of Northern California - a divine sanctuary which the artist painted for forty years. The stained glass replicates a garden scene. As the dove drinks sustenance from the water bowl, so is the worshiping congregation to drink spiritual sustenance from the Word of God.

The spiritual foundations of the worship practiced within this structure are found in the theological writings of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772). Foremost among his ideas is a central perception that all life is spiritual and all things reveal something essential of the divine. Swedenborg believed the world had entered a new phase of spiritual potential during his own lifetime and that he had been called to the role of revelator.

As a celebrated scientist-turned-mystic whose extensive writings articulated a new understanding of Christianity, Swedenborg's ideas were championed by American Transcendentalist thinkers (Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry James Sr., Bronson Alcott) and English Romanticists (William Blake, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Thomas Carlyle).

In this century, Helen Keller, D.T. Suzuki, Jorge Luis Borges and William Butler Yeats are among dozens of significant minds who have drawn explicitly upon Swedenborg's religious insights.

Foundation Realization Cultivation Interior