Saturday, April 11, 2015
Short Bio of Emanueal Swedenborg and a Sample Quote from him
I sometimes refer to Swedenborg in this blog. Many of you may not of heard of him, so I offer this brief description of him. His Biography is very unique and fascinating in history.
The mission of Swedenborg’s life was to reveal the inner sense of the Word and the secrets of heaven. He writes from a perspective that is unique in history. He proclaims his source to be the wisdom of heaven, and that he was granted by the Lord to communicate with the angels of heaven. Because of this, his history of mankind and God (the divine human) is from a first hand experience of heaven and its teachings - that is unique! He provides a cosmic view of the progress and decline of mankind and religion from the beginning of time till the second coming. His writing is intensely spiritual in that it reveals the essential cause of things. He maintains a tone of authority and integrity, and is not dogmatic; - he continually appeals to the reason of the reader. And he does so because he knows people are meant to form their beliefs in freedom.
Swedenborg didn’t just have an experience of the light; he entered the mansion (heaven) and empirically tells of its wonders; he illucidates the principles of heaven and the Word in an ordered series designed for gradual reception in our hearts and minds. These principles are based on his innumerable encounters with angels, spirits and demons over 30 years. He emphasizes that all of his encounters with angels, spirits, or demons are under the auspices of the Lord’s guidance. His books on theology and metaphysics come to more than thirty volumes; and there is a seemless depth of coherency in all of his writing. The writing is rigorous and dense, but as one gets to know it there is a sense of wonder and passion, albeit a composed passion. In his writing there is not a hint of literary vanity; he purely seeks to impart the wisdom of heaven and the Word in the most efficient way he can. To that end he organized the material with his own unique built-in reference system.
Here is a quote from Swedenborg describing the situation at the time of the Lord’s incarnation, and the cause of it:
At the time of the Lord's first coming the hells had increased to such a height as to fill the whole world of spirits, which is intermediate between heaven and hell, and thus had not only thrown into disorder the heaven that is called the lowest, but also had attacked the middle heaven, which they infested in a thousand ways, and which would have gone to destruction if it had not been upheld by the Lord. Such an uprising of the hells is meant by the tower built in the land of Shinar, the head of which was to reach to heaven.
The hells had increased to such a height because at the time when the Lord came into the world the whole earth had completely alienated itself from God by idolatries and magic; and the church which had existed among the children of Israel and afterwards with the Jews, had been utterly destroyed by the falsification and adulteration of the Word. All these, both Jews and Gentiles, had after death streamed into the world of spirits, where at length their number was so increased and multiplied that they could be driven out only by a descent of God Himself and then only by the strength of His Divine arm. How this was done has been described in the little work on the Last Judgment (London, 1758). At the Lord's first coming this increase of the hells was the work of idolaters, magicians, and falsifiers of the Word. This impending damnation Jehovah God removed by means of His Human, thus redeeming angels and men. From this it is clear that without the Lord's coming no one could have been saved (TCR 121).
To truly understand what he is saying here one needs to gain an understanding of the nature and power of the Word. The Word provides conjunction between heaven and earth and this understanding is essential to see the lengths the Lord went to to be born on earth without causing harm to humnaity.