Swedenborg Lives On

Talk Radio Network, September 29, 1999: Two-hour interview with Dr. George Dole by Emanuel McLittle on Swedenborg (excerpts from interview will be posted when they are received.)

The News & Observeer, Raleigh, NC, September 10, 1999, "The Inquiring Mind of Emanuel Swedenborg"": Excerpted quotation from Dr. George Dole: "Swedenborg offers no shortcuts. Life is about loving and learning. Clear sight and profound love is the goal."

Atlantis Rising, May 1999: from "R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz Magnum Opus Now in English" by Dr. Joseph Ray:
. . . Consider the "science of correspondences" which knowledge underlies the Ancient's selection of symbols.
     Swedenborg, who lived during the 18th century and never visited Egypt, wrote at length on the subject of Correspondences,
the title of one of his books. A section of Heaven and Hell is devoted to the subject. "The most ancient people, who were celestial men, thought from correspondence itself, as the angels do." (#87); "The whole natural world corresponds to the spiritual world. . ." (#89), "the knowledge of correspondences is now wholly lost: (#110). Indeed, the seminal Anthroposcopic principle, upon which correspondence depends and which underlies Pharaonic teaching is considered extensively by Swedenborg who described the universe as "The Grand Man," and humanity as this in miniature. De Lubicz uses the phrase "Colossus of the Universe" as he confirms and amplifies all that Swedenborg had told us in 1758.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Angels, Jay Stephenson, Ph.D., Alpha Books, 1999
     This new publication devotes several pages to Swedenborg and his descriptions of angels, offering a very simplistic but informative introduction. "According to Swedenborg, although God is the source of love and wisdom, he did not create the angels. Instead, they evolve from the souls of deceased human beings who attempt to return to God. After death, they wind up in one of the heavens an any of various angel societies where they lead busy, active afterlives discussing intellectual and theological issues and guiding living human beings."

Scientific American, October 1998
     In Reviews and Commentaries, mention is made of Swedenborg as "yet another polymath. He did humanities, geology, metallurgy, paleontology, flying machines and submarines, started the first Swedish science journal and dabbled in astronomy. In 1745, he had an ephipanous vision, in which God ordered him to dump science and technology in favor of the Bible and in doing so changed Swedenborg's life from that of propellor-head to that of prophet of his Church of the New Jerusalem."
     It was not, of course, Swedenborg's intention to found a church.

What Dreams May Come
     Following is an excerpt from the novel What Dreams May Come, upon which the Robin Williams movie is based:
     "What's needed even more, though," Albert said, "is a 'science of dying'-- physical and mental aids to accelerate and ease the separation of bodies. . . . "
     "Will people ever have that science?" I asked.
     "They should have it already," he answered. "No one should be unprepared for survival. Information regarding it has been available for centuries."
     "For example," said another of his friends, a man called Phillip, "'as to man's so-called survival after death, he sees as before, he hears and speaks as before; smells and tastes; and when touched, he feels the touch as before. He also longs, desires, craves, thinks, reflects, loves, wills as before. In a word, when a man passes from one life into the other, it is like passing from one place into another carrying with him all the things he had possessed in himself as a man.' Swedenborg wrote these words in the eighteenth century."

     Swedenborg's is the only name mentioned in the novel as an acurate guide to the afterlife. Much of the novel's descriptions of both heaven and hell comes from Swedenborg.

Healing from the Heart
     Dr. Mehmet Oz, a leading cardiovascular surgeon, has written a new book in which he "explores the power of complementary medicine." His spiritual quest began when he met his wife, Lisa Lemole, and her unconventional family, who along with their most of their neighbors in the spiritual community of Bryn Athyn near Philadelphia, followed the precepts of Emanuel Swdenborg. Dr. Oz writes in Healing from the Heart that "Swedenborg wrote that the second coming of the Lord did not mean a return of an actual person or deity, but rather a second coming of understanding, or enlightenment about the Lord's message. He also believed that we all become angels or spirits, and that when a man and woman bond, they do so not only to become a stronger union than if each were separate and alone, but also to extend the marriage into an afterlife for eternity. The image of angels and the afterlife that has dominated Western religious art and Christian theology--both Protestant and Catholic--for the past two centuries springs in part from Swedenborg's views of this other realm.
     As I began to read about Swedenborg and other works by great thinkers, I saw a central theme expressed repeatedly. Explanations of life that are based only in hard logic derived from the material world will always be insufficient; we must expand our vision to encompass additional dimensions of existence."

Excerpts from "Eugene Taylor, Ph. D. on Spiritual Healing and the American Visionary Tradition," an interview with Bonnie Horrigan in Alternative Therapies, November, 1998
     Taylor: The point that I tried to make in my book,
A Psychology of Spiritual Healing [published by the Swedenborg Foundation, 1997], was that the true function of psychic abilities discovered through interior exploration is not to find dead bodies and lost wallets. It's for the purpose of self-realization.
     The function of the symbols of one's personal destiny is to give meaning to our lives, which is how we bring the will to live to situations of trauma and tragedy where healing must take place. The true function of these symbols is preparation for the hour of one's death, which is the transition, the larger thing that we're going to pass into, whether we know how to conceptualize it or not.

     . . . AT: In your book you mention 12 forms of spiritual healing. Can you talk about those?
     Taylor: When I first wrote the book I called it The Psychology of Spiritual Healing. Then I remembered an episode I had with Henry Murray. I sat with him 4 hours a day, 5 days a week for 7 years, talking about Jung, Erikson, Skinner, in addition to all the other things we were working on. One day I said to Harry, "What do you think about Erik Erikson's 8 stages of development?" He said they were fine, but that he thought it was a problem that they were presented as the 8 stages.
     When I remembered that, I changed the title of the book to A Psychology, which actually made my point better, because I was trying to say, as Jung had, that it was applicable to no one else but me. If you glean something valuable in what I wrote, it's strictly something you got out of it. I'm just revealing my map. It is up to each person to discover the symbols of his or her own personal destiny and to constuct his or her own interior map.

     . . . AT: Could you talk about the "inner doors of perception'? What are those inner doors?
Taylor: Aldous Huxley has a wonderful essay about this called "The Doors of Perception." Swedenborg called it "an opening of the interior spiritual sense." It's like the difference between seeing things in 3 dimensions in the natural world and realizing that everything is infused with the dynamic of the spiritual--literally, a fourth dimension.
Alternatives Therapies, copyright owner


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October 2, 2000