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About Emanuel Swedenborg



Emanuel Swedenborg (1688 – 1772) was a Swedish pluralistic-Christian theologian, scientist, philosopher and mystic. He is best known for his book on the afterlife, Heaven and Hell. Swedenborg had a prolific career as an inventor and scientist. Wikipedia

References:   Encyclopaedia Britannica

  

Quotes by Emanuel Swedenborg

Emanuel Swedenborg (quotes)

  • The sky is an enormous man.
  • Love in its essence is spiritual fire.
  • Conscience is God’s presence in humans.
  • A heavenly society is a harmony of many.
  • Man knows that love is, but not what it is.
  • The divine essence itself is love and wisdom.
  • Man is an organ of life, and God alone is life.
  • love to shine forth from every part of the face.
  • What is true is true, and what is false is false.
  • In a word, to grow old in heaven is to grow young.
  • less is he acquainted with its nature and quality.
  • Two consorts in heaven are not two, but one angel.
  • So far any one shuns evils, so far as he does good.
  • Self-love and the love of the world constitute hell.
  • The activity of love and faith is what makes heaven.
  • He who is in evil, is also in the punishment of evil.
  • Love comes into being through useful service to others.
  • A life of kindness is the primary meaning of divine worship.
  • Goodness shapes our will, and truth shapes our understanding.
  • Man knows that there is love, but he does not know what love is.
  • All union is effected by love, and love is not love without trust.
  • We all have spirits present with us who are feeling the way we are.
  • All religion relates to life, and the life of religion is to do good
  • Charity is to will and do what is just and right in every transaction.
  • Such as the love is, such is the wisdom, consequently such is the man.
  • This Divine truth flows into heaven from the Lord from His Divine love
  • Angelic happiness is in service, from service, and according to service.
  • Faith is knowing and thinking truths. Charity is willing and doing them.
  • The Lord casts no one down in Hell, but the spirit casts himself hither.
  • You are what you love, and you love whatever you give your attention to.
  • The inner self is as distinct from the outer self as heaven is from earth.
  • All in heaven take joy in sharing their delights and blessings with others.
  • it who have lived in the good of charity in accordance with their religion.
  • Angels never attack, as infernal spirits do. Angels only ward off and defend.
  • One’s distance from Heaven is in proportion to the measure of one’s self-love.
  • True charity is the desire to be useful to others with no thought of recompense.
  • Charity alone, or love and compassion, is what joins [the Lord and a person] together.
  • Heaven is such that all who have lived well, of whatever religion, have a place there.
  • Angels from the Lord lead and protect us every moment and every moment of every moment.
  • We are all spirits inwardly. This is what’s alive in the body, not the body on its own.
  • People are unaware that spirits even exist, let alone that angels are present with them.
  • Sacred scripture is like a mirror in which we see God, although each in a different way.
  • spiritual life, and to use the divine things, which are in their religion, as the means.
  • The end of creation is that all things may return to the Creator and be united with Him.
  • To have dominion by religion, is to have dominion over men’s souls, thus over their very
  • Worship does not consist in prayers and in external devotion, but in a life of kindness.
  • will be shown, that heaven and hell are from the human race, and that therefore the human
  • I have often talked with angels on this subject, and they have invariably declared that in
  • Man, before he is being regenerated, does not even know that any internal man exists, much
  • The more one is absorbed in so-called philosophy, the greater one’s delusion and blindness.
  • The human race is the seminary of heaven, will appear from a subsequent article, in which it
  • and thus of being conjoined to God by faith and love, and to be conjoined to God is to live to
  • Angels from their wisdom go still further. They say that not only every thing good and true is
  • This I can declare: things that are in heaven are more real than things that are in the world.
  • Love consists in desiring to give what is our own to another and feeling his delight as our own
  • Peace holds within itself trust in the Lord, the trust that He governs all things and provides all
  • First of all it must be known who the God of heaven is, since upon that all the other things depend.
  • Every single moment of a person’s life, both of the understanding and of the will, is a new beginning.
  • If love is not married to wisdom (or if goodness is not married to truth), it cannot accomplish anything.
  • A man who knows all goods and all truths, as many as can be known, but does not shun evils, knows nothing.
  • We do need to realize, though, that it is the quality of our love that determines the quality of this life.
  • Peace has in it trust in the Lord, that He governs all things, provides all things, and leads to a good end.
  • Every man is received in heaven who receives heaven in himself while in the world, and he is excluded who does not.
  • The nature of heaven is to provide a place there for all who lead good lives, no matter what their religion may be.
  • A man after death, is not a natural but a spiritual man; nevertheless he still appears in all respects like himself.
  • A spiritual church first becomes a church when it acts as bidden by charity, charity being the true teaching of faith.
  • Love consists in this – that its own should be another’s; to feel the joy of another as joy in oneself, that is loving.
  • What a man thinks in his spirit in the world, that he does after his departure from the world when he becomes a spirit.
  • Charity itself consists in acting justly and faithfully in whatever office, business and employment a person is engaged in.
  • Heaven is not located on high, but where the good of love is, and this resides within a person, wherever he or she might be.
  • for every man’s soul is in a spiritual body after it has cast off the material coverings which it carried about in the world.
  • A person who knows all that is good and all that is true — as much as can be known — but does not resist evils, knows nothing.
  • Our love is our life itself. What our love is like determines how we live and therefore everything about what we are as human beings.
  • This publication provides a cradle-to-grave, systematic procedure you can initiate in order to protect your properties and facilities.
  • Goodness and love mould the form into their own image, and cause the joy and beauty of love to shine forth from every part of the face.
  • When Sam Blades starts work at Shimmering Dreams who allow you to downloads your dreams onto your Cell Phone. is it as good as it seems?
  • No one’s character is completely like another’sthis infinite variety is like a mirror in which we can see the infinity of God the Creator.
  • A work of great importance to deep thinkers as its last chapter offers an updated philosophy – to explain the issues of our new millennium.
  • Man, before he is being regenerated, does not even know that any internal man exists, much less is he acquainted with its nature and quality.
  • Angels from their wisdom go still further. They say that not only every thing good and true is from the Lord, but every thing of life as well.
  • The essence of love is that what is ours should belong to someone else. Feeling the joy of someone else as joy within ourselves-that is loving.
  • Anyone can see that intending and not acting when we can is not really intending, and loving and not doing good when we can is not really loving.
  • Charity is like warmth in springtime or summer that causes grass, plants, and trees to grow. Without charity, or spiritual warmth, nothing grows.
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  • The human race is the basis on which heaven is founded, because man was last created, and that which is last created is the basis of all that precedes.
  • All our longings for what is loving and true reach out into heaven. They put us in touch with angels who are feeling the same way and unite us with them.
  • Peace holds within itself trust in the Lord, the trust that He governs all things and provides all things, and that He leads towards an end that is good.
  • So far as the Angels are recipients of that spiritual heat and light they are loves and wisdoms, not loves and wisdoms for themselves, but from the Lord.
  • The Divine of the Lord in heaven is love, for the reason that love is receptive of all things of heaven, such as peace, intelligence, wisdom and happiness
  • God loves every one of us but cannot directly benefit us; he can benefit us only indirectly through each other. For this reason he inspires us with his love
  • Hell and Heaven are near man, yes, in him; and every man after death goes to that Hell or heaven in which he was, or to his spirit, during his abode in the world.
  • Everything good or true that the angels inspire in us is God’s, so God is constantly talking to us. He talks very differently, though, to one person than to another.
  • It can in no sense be said that heaven is outside of any one; it is within … and a man, also, so far as he receives heaven, is a recipient, a heaven, and an angel.
  • To will and not to do when there is opportunity is in reality not to will; and to love what is good and not to do it, when it is possible, is in reality not to love it
  • He who assists a poor or needy villain does evil to his neighbor…for through the assistance which he renders he…supplies him with the means of doing evil to others.
  • I have seen a thousand times that Angels are human form, or men, for I have conversed with them as man to man, sometimes with one alone, sometimes with many in company.
  • The act of exploring what the men are, and moreover the separation of the good from the evil, is visitation; and the good are then removed, and the evil are left behind.
  • for heaven is within us, and people who have heaven within them come into heaven. The heaven within us is our acknowledgment of the Divine and our being led by the Divine.
  • The church of the Lord is spread over all the globe, and is thus universal; and all those are in it who have lived in the good of charity in accordance with their religion.
  • Times of happiness, bliss, and sheer delight intensify as the higher levels of our minds are opened within us One our life on earth is over, these levels keep rising forever.
  • For those who trust in the Divine all things are moving towards an everlasting state of happiness, and no matter what happens at any time to them, it contributes to that state.
  • To have dominion by religion, is to have dominion over men’s souls, thus over their very spiritual life, and to use the Divine things, which are in their religion, as the means
  • The spiritual idea of distances of space is the same as of distances of good or distances of truth, which are affinities and likenesses according to states of goodness and truth.
  • A person’s life from infancy to old age is nothing else than an advance from the world towards heaven, the last stage of which is death; the actual transition from one life to the next.
  • Justice is following the divine design in all that one does, and bringing back into the divine design things that have fallen away from that design. Justice is the divine design itself.
  • For the judgment was accomplished not only upon all the men of the Christian church, but also upon all who are called Mohammedans, and, moreover, upon all the Gentiles in the whole world.
  • Charity means love towards the neighbor and compassion, for anyone who loves his neighbor as himself also has as much compassion for him in his suffering as he does for himself in his own.
  • All the ancient churches were churches representative of spiritual things; the rites, and also the statutes, according to which their worship was established, consisted of pure correspondence.
  • In heaven there are two distinct loves, love to the Lord and love towards the neighbor, in the inmost or third heaven love to the Lord, in the second or middle heaven love towards the neighbor.
  • For the spiritual sense of the Word treats everywhere of the spiritual world, that is, of the state of the church in the heavens, as well as in the earth; hence the Word is spiritual and Divine.
  • And as the divine that goes forth from the Lord is the good of love and the truth of faith, the angels are angels and are heaven in the measure in which they receive good and truth from the Lord.
  • For in every particular of the Word there is an internal sense which treats of things spiritual and heavenly, not of things natural and worldly, such as are treated of in the sense of the letter.
  • Man is so created that as to his internal he cannot die; for he is capable of believing in God, and thus of being conjoined to God by faith and love, and to be conjoined to God is to live to eternity.
  • There are angels that receive more interiorly the Divine that goes forth from the Lord, and others that receive it less interiorly; the former are called celestial angels, and the latter spiritual angels
  • This new church is the crown of all the churches that have ever existed on this planet because it will worship the one God, who can be seen, within whom is the God that cannot be seen, like a soul in a body.
  • Man was so created by the Lord as to be able while living in the body to speak with spirits and angels, as in fact was done in the most ancient times; for, being a spirit clothed with a body, he is one with them
  • The human race is the seminary of heaven, will appear from a subsequent article, in which it will be shown, that heaven and hell are from the human race, and that therefore the human race is the seminary of heaven.
  • It is no proof of a man’s understanding to be able to affirm whatever he pleases; but to be able to discern that what is true is true, and that what is false is false, this is the mark and character of intelligence.
  • True wisdom is seeing what is beneficial to your eternal life, and managing your life according to that. You do this when you not only know these things and grasp them with your understanding, but also will and do them.
  • That honors and possessions are also bestowed by the devil, is known; because for that reason he is called the prince of the world. Now as it is unknown when honors and possessions are blessings, and when they are curses.
  • I have often talked with angels on this subject, and they have invariably declared that in heaven they are unable to divide the Divine into three, because they know and perceive that the Divine is One and this One is in the Lord.
  • The angels taken collectively are called heaven, for they constitute heaven; and yet that which makes heaven in general and in particular is the Divine that goes forth from the Lord and flows into the angels and is received by them.
  • In the spiritual body moreover, man appears such as he is with respect to love and faith, for everyone in the spiritual world is the effigy of his own love, not only as to the face and the body, but also as to the speech and the actions
  • Seen in its own right, a loving person’s inner spirit is an angel of heaven, and while we are living in the body we are also in the company of angels, even though we are not aware of it; and once we are released from the body we join them.
  • Angels can recognize the nature of our unique essence on the basis of nothing more than a brief conversation with us. From hearing the tone of our voice angels sense what we love; and from hearing what we say, angels sense our level of understanding.
  • Kindness is an inner desire that makes us want to do good things even if we do not get anything in return. It is the joy of our life to do them. When we do good things from this inner desire, there is kindness in everything we think, say, want and do.
  • What could be sweeter to us than to hear and persuade ourselves that we can be saved, even if we live like a savage beast? Even non-Christians see that this is false, and many of them shudder at Christian teachings when they observe how Christians live.
  • That all who have ever been born men from the beginning of creation, and are deceased, are either in heaven or in hell, follows from those things which have been said and shown in the preceding article, namely, that Heaven and Hell are from the human race.
  • I am well aware that many will say that no one can possibly speak with spirits and angels so long as he lives in the body; and many will say that it is all fancy, others that I relate such things in order to gain credence, and others will make other objections.
  • In the Christian world… it is believed that angels were created at the beginning, and that heaven was formed of them; and that the Devil or Satan was an angel of light, who, becoming rebellions, was cast down with his crew, and that this was the origin of hell.
  • God created us in such a way that our inner self is in the spiritual world and our outer self is in the physical world. This was so that the spiritual part of us, which belongs in heaven, could be planted in the physical part the way a seed is planted in the ground.
  • Moreover, no one is judged from the natural man, thus not so long as he lives in the natural world, for man is then in a natural body; but everyone is judged in the spiritual man, and therefore when he comes into the spiritual world, for man is then in a spiritual body.
  • That every man after the life in the world lives to eternity, is evident from this, that man is then spiritual, and no longer natural, and that the spiritual man, separated from the natural, remains such as he is to eternity, for man’s state cannot be changed after death.
  • Some hells present an appearance like the ruins of houses and cities after conflagrations, in which infernal spirits dwell and hide themselves. In the milder hells there is an appearance of rude huts, in some cases contiguous in the form of a city with lanes and streets.”
  • One can see how great the delight of heaven must be from the fact that it is the delight of everyone in heaven to share his delights and blessings with others; and as such is the character of all that are in the heavens it is clear how immeasurable is the delight of heaven.
  • Wherefore the brain must be looked upon as the universal and general sensory and at the same time as the universal and general motory organ of the body and finally as the universal and general laboratory of the animal spirits and the blood or of the essential juices of life.
  • Others work among the spirits that have just arrived in the world of spirits. Again others raise the children who have died in infancy. Swedenborg ensures the parents of these infants that ‘All children whether born within or outside of the church, are adopted by the Lord and become Angels’.”
  • In the world it is little comprehended what love is; and yet it is man’s very life. That this is little comprehended is evident from the common saying “What is love?” What it is, is not known for the reason that love is not manifest to the understanding, and the understanding is the receptacle of the light of heaven.
  • The life of any one can by no means be changed after death; an evil life can in no wise be converted into a good life, or an infernal into an angelic life: because every spirit, from head to foot, is of the character of his love, and therefore, of his life; and to convert this life into its opposite, would be to destroy the spirit utterly.
  • Marriages on earth–because they are the seminaries of the human race and of the angels of heaven also; because, likewise, they proceed from a spiritual origin, that is, from the marriage of good and truth; and since, in addition, the Lord’s divine proceeding principally flows into conjugal love–are most holy in the estimation of the angels.
  • Every one may know that to will and not to do, when there is opportunity, is in reality not to will; and that to love what is good and not to do it, when it is possible, is in reality not to love it. Will, which stops short of action, and love, which does not do the good that is loved, is a mere thought separate from will and love, which vanishes and comes to nothing.
  • It is amazing but true that it is easy for any of us to rebuke someone else who is intending to do something evil and say, Don’t do that—that’s a sin! And yet it is difficult for us to say the same thing to ourselves. The reason is that saying it to ourselves requires a movement of the will, but saying it to someone else requires only a low level of thought based on things we have heard.
  • People who have intended and loved what is evil in the world intend and love what is evil in the other life, and then they no longer allow themselves to be led away from it. This is why people who are absorbed in evil are connected to hell and actually are there in spirit; and after death they crave above all to be where their evil is. So after death, it is we, not the Lord, who cast ourselves into hell.
  • Man, when he is re-born, passes through the ages as he who is born; and the preceding state is always as an egg in respect to the subsequent one, thus he is continually conceived and born: and this not only when he lives in the world, but also when he comes into another life to eternity: and still when he cannot be further perfected, then to be as an egg to those things which remain to be manifested, which are indefinite.”
  • I asked, What does a religion need to be like in order to save people?” They said, We are going to divide this question into a number of subquestions. Before we have come to conclusions on these we will not be able to give a reply to your question. The points for discussion will be the following. (1) Is religion anything? (2) Does salvation exist or not? (3) Is one religion more effective than another? (4) Do heaven and hell exist?”
  • When they enter the church, and even more when they climb the stairs into the pulpit, I know that the people meant by Lucifer in Isaiah—the people of Babylon, especially those who named themselves the Society of Jesus—are overcome with passion. For many of them that passion comes from a hellish love. They raise their voices more vehemently and draw sighs from their chests more deeply than those whose passion comes from a heavenly love. There”
  • A life of faith without love is like sunlight without warmth—the type of light that occurs in winter, when nothing grows and everything droops and dies. Faith rising out of love, on the contrary, is like light from the sun in spring, when everything grows and flourishes. Warmth from the sun is the fertile agent. The same is true in spiritual and heavenly affairs, which are typically represented in the Word by objects found in nature and human culture.”
  • There are two loves that have been deeply rooted in the human race for a long time now: love for dominating everyone, and love for possessing everyone’s wealth. If the reins are let out on the first type of love, it rushes on until it wants to be the God of all heaven. If the reins are let out on the second type of love, it rushes on until it wants to be the God of the whole world. All other forms of love for evil are ranked below these two and serve as their army.”
  • Men live a moral life, either from regard to the Diving Being, or from regard to the opinion of the people in the world; and when a moral life is practised out of regard to the Divine Being, it is a spiritual life. Both appear alike in their outward form; but in their inward, they are completely different. The one saves a man, but the other does not; for he that leads a moral life out of regard to the Divine Being is led by him, but he who does so from regard to the opinion of people in the world is led by himself.
  • If we would accept heaven’s life, we need by all means to live in the world and to participate in its duties and affairs. In this way, we accept a spiritual life by means of our moral and civic life; and there is no other way a spiritual life can be formed within us, no other way our spirits can be prepared for heaven. This is because living an inner life and not an outer life at the same time is like living in a house that has no foundation, that gradually either settles or develops gaping cracks or totters until it collapses.
  • Since the Bible is a divine revelation, every single part of it is divine. Anything that comes from the divine could be no other way. Everything that comes from the divine goes down through the heavens all the way to people on earth. In heaven it is adapted to the wisdom of the angels there, and on earth it is adapted to the understanding of the people there. So the Bible has an inner, spiritual meaning for angels and an outer, material-level meaning for people on earth. That is why our connection to heaven happens through the Bible.
  • It is important to note, however, that these two loves can be more prevalent among commoners than among the great; more prevalent among the poor than among the wealthy; more prevalent among subjects than among royalty. The latter in each case are born into power and wealth. Over time, the latter come to view their power and wealth much the way people at a somewhat lower level—commanders, governors, admirals, or even impoverished farm workers—view their own households and possessions. It is not the same, though, when monarchs wish to exercise power over nations that are not their own.”
  • The opposite happens if we remain earthly. Then we greatly desire to rule heaven from our world. All who have a love for power that comes from loving themselves are like this. If we are examined inwardly, it is discovered that we do not believe in any god, but only in ourselves. After death, we believe that we are a god who has greater power than others. This is the kind of insanity that exists in hell. It falls to such a depth that some there say they are God the Father, some say they are God the Son, and others say they are God the Holy Spirit. Some Jews there say they are the Messiah.
  • It is recognized that non-Christians live lives that are just as moral as the lives of Christians—many of them, in fact, live more moral lives. A moral life may be lived either to satisfy the Divine or to satisfy people in this world. A moral life that is lived to satisfy the Divine is a spiritual life. The two look alike in outward form, but inwardly they are totally different. One saves us, the other does not. This is because if we live a moral life to satisfy the Divine we are being led by the Divine; while if we live a moral life to satisfy people in this world, we are being led by ourselves.
  • It is recognized that non-Christians live lives that are just as moral as the lives of Christians—many of them, in fact, live more moral lives. A moral life may be lived either to satisfy the Divine or to satisfy people in this world. A moral life that is lived to satisfy the Divine is a spiritual life. The two look alike in outward form, but inwardly they are totally different. One saves us, the other does not. This is because if we live a moral life to satisfy the Divine we are being led by the Divine; while if we live a moral life to satisfy people in this world, we are being led by ourselves.”
  • In the Protestant Christian world, active repentance, which is examining ourselves, recognizing and admitting to our sins, praying to the Lord, and starting a new life, is extremely difficult to practice, for a number of reasons that will be covered later. Therefore here is an easier kind of repentance: When we are considering doing something evil and are forming an intention to do it, we say to ourselves, I am thinking about this and I am intending to do it, but because it is a sin, I am not going to do it. This counteracts the enticement that hell is injecting into us and keeps it from making further inroads.
  • Goodwill has something in common with each of these categories of love, because goodwill is by definition a love for usefulness of all kinds. Goodwill wants to do what is good for our neighbor, and goodness is the same as usefulness. Each of the categories of love just mentioned have usefulness as their goal: love for heaven has the goal of being useful in spiritual ways; love for the world has the goal of being useful in earthly ways, which could also be called forms of civil service; and love for ourselves has the goal of being useful in physical ways, which could also be labeled benefits at home for ourselves and our loved ones.”
  • There is one God, in whom there is the Divine Trinity, and he is the Lord Jesus Christ. This can be briefly illustrated in the following way: It is a certain and established truth that God is one, and his essence cannot be divided; and also that there is a Trinity. Since God is One, and his essence cannot be divided, it follows that God is one Person. And since he is one Person, the Trinity is in that Person. It is clear that this Person is the Lord Jesus Christ from the fact that he was conceived from God the Father (Luke 1:34, 35), and thus as to his soul and life itself he is God. Therefore, as he himself said, “he and the Father are one.” (John 10:30).
  • It is evident that there are three means for the formation of faith in man: the first is, approaching the Lord; the second, learning truths from the Word; and the third, living in conformity to them. Now these three means being each distinct from the other, it follows that they may be separated; as for instance, a person may approach the Lord, and yet be acquainted with no truths concerning God and the Lord, except such as are historical; so another may be acquainted with abundance of truths derived from the Word, and yet not live in conformity with them; but in such cases, where the three means are separated, that is, where one is without the other, there can be no faith profitable to salvation.
  • The angels also said, When people arrive in this world from the physical one and hear that they are in another world, they gather together in many places to form groups. They ask where heaven and hell are, and also where God is. After they have been taught, they start arguing, disputing, and fighting about whether God exists. This is a result of the great number of materialists in the physical world today. When the topic of religion comes up, materialists start to debate about it with one another and with other groups. The ensuing proposition and debate rarely results in an affirmation of the faith that God exists. Materialists associate more and more with the evil, because only from God can one do something good with a love for what is good.
  • People who do not examine themselves are like people with a sickness that closes off their capillaries and therefore corrupts their blood, causing their limbs to go to sleep and atrophy, and resulting in severe chronic diseases because their humors, and therefore the blood that arises from them, are viscous, sticky, irritating, and acidic. People who do examine themselves, however, including the intentions of their will, are like people who are healed from these diseases and regain the vitality they felt when they were young. People who examine themselves in the right way are like ships from Ophir completely filled with gold, silver, and precious stones; before they examined themselves, though, they were like barges loaded down with unclean freight, carting away the filth and excrement from city streets. . . .
  • When someone’s body can no longer perform its functions in the natural world in response to the thoughts and affections of its spirit (which it derives from the spiritual world), then we say that the individual has died. This happens when the lungs’ breathing and the heart’s systolic motion have ceased. The person, though, has not died at all. We are only separated from the physical nature that was useful to us in the world. The essential person is actually still alive. I say that the essential person is still alive because we are not people because of our bodies but because of our spirits. After all, it is the spirit within us that thinks, and thought and affection together make us the people we are. We can see, then, that when we die we simply move from one world into another. This is why in the inner meaning of the Bible, “death” means resurrection and a continuation of life.
  • Some people believe it is hard to lead the heaven-bound life that is called “spiritual” because they have heard that we need to renounce the world and give up the desires attributed to the body and the flesh and “live spiritually.” All they understand by this is spurning worldly interests, especially concerns for money and prestige, going around in constant devout meditation about God, salvation, and eternal life, devoting their lives to prayer, and reading the Word and religious literature. They think this is renouncing the world and living for the spirit and not for the flesh. However, the actual case is quite different, as I have learned from an abundance of experience and conversation with angels. In fact, people who renounce the world and live for the spirit in this fashion take on a mournful life for themselves, a life that is not open to heavenly joy, since our life does remain with us [after death]. No, if we would accept heaven’s life, we need by all means to live in the world and to participate in its duties and affairs. In this way, we accept a spiritual life by means of our moral and civic life; and there is no other way a spiritual life can be formed within us, no other way our spirits can be prepared for heaven. This is because living an inner life and not an outer life at the same time is like living in a house that has no foundation, that gradually either settles or develops gaping cracks or totters until it collapses.

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Quotes about Swedenborg

  • The real importance of Swedenborg lies in the doctrines he taught, which are the reverse of the gloom and hell-fire of other breakaway sects. He rejects the notion that Jesus died on the cross to atone for the sin of Adam, declaring that God is neither vindictive nor petty-minded, and that since he is God, he doesn’t need atonement. It is remarkable that this common-sense view had never struck earlier theologians. God is Divine Goodness, and Jesus is Divine Wisdom, and Goodness has to be approached through Wisdom. Whatever one thinks about the extraordinary claims of its founder, it must be acknowledged that there is something very beautiful and healthy about the Swedenborgian religion. Its founder may have not been a great occultist, but he was a great man. Colin Wilson
  • His rare science and practical skill, and the added fame of second sight and extraordinary religious knowledge and gifts, drew to him queens, nobles, clergy, ship-masters and people about the ports through which he was wont to pass in his many voyages. The clergy interfered a little with the importation and publication of his religious works, but he seems to have kept the friendship of men in power. He was never married. He had great modesty and gentleness of bearing. His habits were simple; he lived on bread, milk and vegetables; he lived in a house situated in a large garden… He is described…as a man of a quiet, clerical habit, not averse to tea and coffee, and kind to children… A colossal soul, he lies vast abroad on his times, uncomprehended by them, and requires a long focal distance to be seen; suggests, as Aristotle, Bacon, Selden, & Humboldt, that a certain vastness of learning, or quasi omnipresence of the human soul in nature, is possible. Ralph Waldo Emerson in Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • .. exaggerates the circumstance of marriage… and fancies a wiser choice in heaven. But of progressive souls, all loves and friendships are momentary. Do you love me? means, Do you see the same truth?… I know how delicious is this cup of love,—I existing for you, you existing for me; but it is a child’s clinging to his toy… For God is the bride or bridegroom of the soul. Heaven is not the pairing of two, but the communion of all souls. We meet, and dwell an instant under the temple of one thought, and part, as though we parted not, to join another thought in other fellowships of joy. So far from there being anything divine in the low and proprietary sense of Do you love me? It is only when you leave and lose me by casting yourself on a sentiment which is higher than both of us, that I draw near and find myself at your side; and I am repelled if you fix your eye on me and demand love. In fact, in the spiritual world we change sexes every moment. You love the worth in me… but it is not me, but the worth, that fixes the love; and that worth is a drop of the ocean of worth that is beyond me. Ralph Waldo Emerson