The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Emanuel Swedenborg: Afterlife Explorer Extraordinaire

I’m starting this thread on Emanuel Swedenborg (hereafter ES) for 4 reasons:
(i) A Stanford University Thinktank developed criteria for rating the most brilliant thinkers in history. That rated Emanuel Swedenborg (hereafter ES) one of the 3 brightest minds of all time (Together with John Stuart Mill and Goethe).
(ii) In my view, no one has directly explored the afterlife territories more regularly, thoroughly, and uniquely than ES.
(iii) ES has produced the most compelling verifications ever of his ability to explore the afterlife territories and has demonstrated his paranormal abilities in the presence of some of the leading historical figures of his day.
(iv) Many of ES’s discoveries, if correct, help answer questions that no else has effectively answered about the nature of reality and the afterlife journey.

That said, I don’t recommend "ES for a general Christian readership. Though ES warns wannabe afterlife explorers of the dangers of spirit impersonation and demonic attack, he himself seems to have been victimized at times by such deception. Also, his method of biblical interpretation would be embraced by no modern Bible scholar. Still, ES has much to teach and intrigue us. So please stay tuned, as I introduce you to his scientific career, his method of afterlife exploration, his awesome verifications of this gift, and his key insights that make him one of the most intriguing spiritual thinkers of the last 1,500 years.


Swedenborg (1688-1772 AD) spent the first part of his life absorbing the scientific knowledge of his era and wrote over 100 scientific works. He also mastered a repertoire of technical trades. His primary occupation was that of mining engineer and inspector of mines. But he was a ground-breaking thinker in physics, chemistry, mathematics, and astronomy For example, he is particulary famous his nebular hypothesis. He also made major contributions in anatomy and the neurosciences. For example, he was the first to discover the functions of the brain’s cerebellum. He recognized a special funtion of the pituitary gland two centuries before modern endocrinology. He was a metallurgist and is credited with founding the science of crystallography. He also directed a project that moved ships over 14 miles of mountains and valleys. He designed stoves, an ear trumpet, pumps and fire extinguishers, and a flying machine. The list goes on and on.

At age 56 in the 1740s, he shifted his focus to the nature of the psyche or soul. ln 36 volumes he recorded and interpreted his dreams and, in the process, anticipated many modern psychoanalytic insights. He quickly realized that anatomical and neurological would not be very helpful in this new quest. His former scientific approach was inadequate for such elusive matters. This realization catapulted him down the road to mysticism and he was soon to merit the title 'the father of astral projection." That is my judgment, not the judgment of Swedenborg or his followers.

My next planned post will focus on his evolving methodology that honed his unique spiritual gift.

And here is some more info links:

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”-- John Quincy Adams

Here’s an article that mentions ES’s influence on George MacDonald:


[My major sources for this and future posts are Wilson van Dusen’s “The Presence of Other Worlds” and Ernst Benz’s “Emanuel Swedenborg: Visionary Savant in the Age of Reason”]

Without knowing it, ES engaged from childhood in a meditation akin to Yogic and Buddhist practices. He would relax, close his eyes, and focus in with total concentration on a scientific problem. At the same time, his breathing would nearly stop and his awareness of the outer world and even bodily sensation would diminish to the point of vanishing. He whole existence would focus on the one issue he wanted to understand.

What begins as an intensely intellectual form of meditation ultimately progresses to an exploration of his dreams, the hypnogogic state, and later, trances. The hypnogogic state is experienced twice a day as one goes into and out of sleep. Few people have the discipline and focus to explore the spontaneous wellsprings of mind that bubble up from this state. ES learns to converse with its symbolic inner processes. Those who really explore this state can linger for hours watching scenes and hearing things said. For some reason, some people are primarily visual during this state, and others, like myself, are primarily auditory.

When I awaken, I often hear a whirring sound like a washing machine completing its cycle and also hallucinatory voices, both known and unknown. I wonder if the whirring sound signals recent OBEl travel erased from my memory. During his hypnogogic state, parapsychologist David Fontana often experienced a combination of waking paralysis and a sense of a menacing alien presence. Upon further experimentation, he discovered that the alien presence was in fact a dim memory of his soul returning from a forgotten OBE state!

In the hypnogogic state, something is said or seen before there is any possibility of grasping its meaning. For example, in this state ES gains this insight: “As to pleasure, wealth, and rank, which I had pursued, I perceived that all was vanity and that he is the happier who is devoid of such things. …I seemed to hear a hen cackling, as she does when she has laid an egg.” ES later realizes that chickens are not very bright. Symbolically, his mind is warning him that his insight is nothing to be proud of and must be only the prelude to far more profound insights.

The sphere which most people rule within their minds is relatively small. Unlike ES, the average person would find it very hard to hold one thought, image, or intention in mind for even one minute. In the hypnogogic state, one can watch thoughts form and be spoken without one’s behest. Further, the inner processes think faster and more cleverly than the meditator and the symbolic language spoken may not even be understood. By inspecting feelings, associations, and the situation being symbolized, it is possible to penetrate the symbol.

For ES these inner states suggest the presence of other spiritual beings interacting with our lives. Those who scoff at this suggestion have rarely shared ES’s determination to use the hypnogogic state as a springboard for more vivid waking trance states and ultimately for visits to the Hells, the World of Spirits, and the Heavens. By contrast, we generally experience such inner states merely as pieces of the unconscious self bubbling to the surface. ES’s communal notion of the earthly self would embrace both perspectives as valid!

Eventually, ES’s contemplative development and breathing exercises leads to the discovery of “inner breathing,” a way of tuning in to the virbration of spiritual dimensions. The higher dimensions are entered through inner breathing in a mood of pure unconditional love.


As his consciousness expands from dreams and hypnogogic states to waking trances, conversations with demons and angels, and visits to the afterlife territories, ES actively seeks out ways of validating his experiences. In all these psychic states, he begins to experience the little-known phenomenon called photism or orbs of light. The meditator seeking guidance finds a signal system to guide him. ES sees an affirming flame. He observes: “Such a flame appeared to me so often, and indeed, in different sizes in a diversity of color and splendor, that during some months when I was writing a certain work, hardly a day passed in which a flame did not appear as vividly as the flame of a household hearth.” Most people who experience orbs are puzzled by by their significance. ES tested the validity of his flame and soon discovered that it was “a sign of approval.” He could, for example, correlate it with his scientific breakthroughs. Both by its color and warmth, his flame symbolizes love and feeling. During his expanded awareness, ES begins experiencing his guiding flame during his daytime trances and visions as well.

In my next planned post, I will explain how ES’s contemplative discipline leads to his life-changing conversion through visions of the risen Christ.

Too many modern astral adepts tend to accept the entities they encounter at face value without rigorously discerning their positive or negative ambience. ES’s passion to encounter the divine reinforces his discipline and resolve to test the spirits by sorting out their quality and usefulness. He even experiences automatic writing. He’d feel his hand being seized by lower-order spirits and forced to write things about biblical figures that he didn’t even approve of. But his most impressive verifications derive from evidence that he can truly contact the dead and gain from angels information that at times cannot be gleaned from the minds of incarnate humans.


ES eventually experiences a spiritual crisis in which his former robust self-confidence, his pride in his scientific achievements, and his sense of entitlement to fleshly lusts collapse. Then at Easter in 1744 he experiences a profound sense of divine forgiveness, but remains burdened by an inability to control his sinful thought patterns. ES then experiences an inner purification that he describes thus in his Dream Diary:

“Had in my mind and body a kind of sensation of indescribable delight, so intense that, had it been increased, the body would have been dissolved…from delight alone.”

ES then has this dream vision of Christ, in which he prays: 'You have promised to receive in grace all sinners. You can do no otherwise than keep your word." In the same moment I was sitting His bosom and beheld Him face to face…He was smiling at me, and I was convinced He looked like this when He was alive. He spoke to me and asked if I had a health certificate, and to this I replied, “Lord, you know better than I.” He said:…“Well, then, do love me!” God then gave me grace. I found it beyond my power and woke up shuddering." [Christ’s health certificate reference spiritualizes ES’s earlier experience in England where he faces legal problems for failing to provide a health certificate.]

In a subsequent vision, he is granted the insight “that, by the grace of God, I have gained the battle and that the blood and merit of Jesus have helped me, and that, in my studies I shall gain my object…I was so angry with Satan that I wanted to fight Him with the weapons of faith.” This vision gives ES a new profession, which replaces his scientific career, a vocation of promoting the glory of God, not his own.

On a trip to England ES writes these closing words in his diary:
(1) Only grace can save us. (2) Grace is in in Jesus Christ who is in the throne of grace.
(3) It is the love of God in Christ by which salvation is effected. (4) And that one then allows onself to be led by the Spirit of Jesus. (5) Everything that coms from ourselves is dead and is nothing but sin…(6) For nothing good can come except from the Lord."

An additional visionary call in London directs ES’s gaze towards using his extraordinary psychic talents to explore spiritual dimensions. My chief objection to this new calling is ES’s conviction that he can find his afterlife discoveries and insights symbolically expressed throughout Scripture… In my next planned post, I will document the unprecedented verifications of the authenticity of his ability to visit afterlife territories.

Your question is best answered by report\ing what ES discovers in his many visits to the Hells, the World of Spirits (= the Judeo_Christian concept of Hades), and the Heavens and how the process of postmortem location is created step and by step. btw, all the angels ES encounters are discarnate former humans.

I’m hooked on this now - keep it up!


ES never contacted the dead just to satisfy the voyeuristic curiosity of supplicants; rather, he had to be convinced that such contacts would benefit them spiritually. By his own admission, ES experienced hundreds of spectacular verifications of his gift of contacting deceased souls and angels in the spirit world. But he mentioned none of these in his prolific writings. The confirmatory incidents were all recorded out of the astonishment of the eyewitnesses. ES refrained from disclosing his verifications for at least two reasons:

(a) He believes that miracles have a coercive effect on belief that too often undermines the quality of free will in spiritual matters. In his view, impressive miracles tend to affect only the externals of belief. In time, the internal, freely chosen path comes to rule and even miraculous events are washed away and forgotten in the current of time. God has created us to FEEL or intuit our way to Him, not to THINK our way to Him. True, feelings can be shallow and unreliable. ES is referring to our higher-level feelings that are rooted in a truly loving impulse that can tune in to God’s loving essence. Even Jesus questions the power of miracles to convince skeptics to embrace spiritual truths in a life-transforming way (Luke 16:31).

(b) Besides, ES’s gift is ridiculed by many of his contemporaries. For example, consider this incident witnessed by Dr. Krohl. One day at a large social gathering, Bishop Troilius decided “to amuse himself and the rest of the company at ES’s expense.” He derisively posed this challenge to ES: “By the way, …tell us something about the spirit world. How does my friend Broman spend his time there?” ES answered instantly, “I saw him just a few hours ago shuffling cards in the presence of the Evil One, and he was only waiting for your worship to make a game of Tresett.” An embarrassed Troilius had not told ES that Broman was one of his gambling buddies and that their card game of choice was Tresett! Dr. Krohl notes, “The conversation…was thus brought to a close, and it is not difficult to see which of the two became the subject of the company’s mirth.”

Perhaps, ES’s allusion to “the Evil One” was meant tongue-in-cheek to knock Troilius down a peg. The ensuing 3 incidents seem even more compelling: (1) ES was once summoned for an audience with Swedish Queen Louisa Ulrica. She asked him if he could really converse with the dead. When ES said “yes”, she invited him and Count Sheffer to retire to a quiet spot where she asked ES to take a commission to her deceased brother. The queen and her brother had been separated because their countries were at war when he died. She did not really believe in ES’s abilities. Still, at his next audience with her, she lightly asked if he had a message from her brother. ES suggested that they speak alone. The queen was later described as in shock, so indisposed that she had to retire. She said later that ES had revealed what no living person knew about her brother. The message must have been intensely personal because neither ES nor the queen ever revealed it.

(2) Around 1770 a merchant from Elberfield visited ES after he had moved to Amsterdam. He convinced ES that he had a burning spiritual quest and asked him if he could visit a recent deceased friend and ask him about their last conversation. ES asked his friend’s name and then asked the merchant to return in a few days. Upon his return, ES smiled and said, “I have spoken with your friend; the subject of your conversation was the restitution of all things.” If ES had simply read the merchant’s mind, one might expect ES’s ESP to be limited to the last conversational subject in general. But ES then accurately expounded in great detail the different positions that the merchant and his deceased friend had defended. The merchant turned pale and asked, “Is he in a state of blessedness?” ES replied, “No, he is not yet in Heaven; he is still in Hades, and torments himself continually with the idea of the restitution of all things.” The merchant exclaimed, “My God! What, in the other world?” ES replied, “Certainly; a man takes with him his favorite inclinations and opinions, and it is very difficult to be divested of them. We ought, therefore, to lay them aside here.” The awestruck merchant then went back to Elberfield and shared his confirmatory story.

(3) A skeptic might try to explain incidents (1) and (2) in terms of ESP derived from the minds of the living. But our next incident seems to preclude that explanation. In 1761 a countesse M. de Marteville came to ES and explained that her husband, the Dutch ambassador to Sweden, had just died. He had given her a costly silver service just before he died and now the silversmith was demanding payment that she could no longer afford. Besides, she felt certain that her husband had already paid for it. She asked ES to contact her husband about the receipt. ES agreed and 3 days later he visited her and reported what her husband had told him. The receipt, it seems, was in an upstairs bureau. She protested that she had already searched that bureau. But the husband had told ES that she should look for a secret compartment behind a certain drawer. the woman promptly went upstairs with ES, and to her astonishment, found the receipt, together with other important papers. No one alive had known about this secret compartment.


ES claims that everyone has both angels from Heaven and spirits from Hell with them all the time, normally two of each. He applies the term “angel” to discarnate humans in Heaven as opposed to Hell and the intermediary realm he calls “The World of Spirits.” His practiced mastery of discernment allows him to distinguish angels from the deceptive hellbound spirits. Lower-order spirits like to pretend that they can predict and even control the future, but they cannot. Modern astral adepts have seldom penetrated the heavens, and so, are often deceived by hallucinatory encounters with lower-order spirits. But the Lord, Heaven, and angels essentially transcend time. So anyone in contact with them can potentially read the past, present, and future, and even verify their contacts with the dead.

At first sight, some of ES’s clairvoyant revelations might be due to ESP gleaned from the minds of eyewitnesses. Consider these 2 cases: (1) Chris Springer was a Swedish politician and a close friend of ES. Springer had been a major player in the secret negotiations between Sweden and Prussia. After ES’s death, Springer revealed that ES had psychically gleaned detailed knowledge of these negotiations. ES discerned such details as who was present, what money was offered, what Springer had done, and why he had done it. (2) In the middle of a conversation at an Amsterdam party, ES lost his awareness of those around him and entered a deep trance. When he recovered, his dismayed associates asked him what had happened, but he initially refused to say. But after much coaxing, he soberly described how Emperor Peter III of Russia had just been strangled in a prison in Kopsha, Russia. He advised partygoers to note the date and his description, so they could later verify it from newspaper accounts. A few days later, the local papers confirmed his report.

Skeptics challenged his ability to receive such premonitions. His sister had died without his knowing it. When chided about this, he explained that he was emotionally distant from her at the time of her death and, in any case, had not asked his angels about her. When he did ask his angels to reveal when someone would die, he received accurate clairvoyance. Two episodes illustrate this:

(1) At a Stockholm gathering, ES was challenged by skeptics to a test: he was asked to identify who of those present would die first. ES immediately entered a profound state of meditation. After a while, he shared the angels’ reply: “Olof Olofsohn will die tomorrow morning at 4:45 AM.” This confident prediction transformed the mood of those present to one of anxious expectation. One of Olofsohn’s friends went to his house the next morning to test the prediction. En route, he met one of Olofsohn’s servants who informed him that his master had just died from a fit of apoplexy. The clock in his home had stopped at the very moment he had expired and the hand pointed to 4:45!

This episode reminds me of 3 deaths in the Long family in my Buffalo church. Nick Long died suddenly from a heart attack while a young man. His son, Nick, Jr., was later distraught over a failed marriage and hung himself while his mother, Eleanor, was attending a funeral at my church. Eleanor herself was killed in a fiery car crash a year later. Eleanor’s death hit me very hard because she was always very kind to me. A week prior to her death, she had a dream in which several deceased relatives visited her home. Her late husband came downstairs and asked her, “Honey, do you want to dance?” Eleanor would ordinarily never turn down her husband’s offer to dance, but she sensed that dancing was a symbol for her imminent passing. So she replied, “Oh no, I’m not ready yet!” These 3 deaths in the Long family had one thing in common with Ofofsohn’s death: the clock in teir living room stopped at the time of death for all 3 of the Longs!

(2) ES’s ability to receive accurate death premonitions from angels is dramatically corroborated by an exchange of letters with John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. ES wrote Wesley an unexpected letter, saying, “I have been informed in the world of spirits that you have a strong desire to converse with me; I shall be happy to see you if you will favor me with a visit.” Wesley received the letter in an English drawing room just as he and his followers were preparing for an extended speaking tour. Wesley told those present that he was indeed eager to meet ES, but had told no one about this. He wrote ES that their meeting would have to be postponed for 6 months until the completion of his speaking tour. ES wrote back, apologizing that he could not meet him at that time because he was to die on the 29th of the next month, which, of course, he did.

My Dad’s friend Helmut can attest that ES’s premonition about the exact date of his passing is not unprecedented. Helmut’s Dad always said he would die on his 91st birthday. When that day arrived, he had no obvious health problems and no one dared comment of the fateful date. He had a good breakfast and cheerfully announced he was going to take a nap. He passed away peacefully durng the nap just as he’d always predicted.

ES receives angelic clairvoyance of 3 accidents or acts of Nature, none of which can satisfactorily be explained in terms of ESP tapping the minds of eyewitnesses. (1) In ES’s day the uncertainties of wind and weather made it impossible to predetermine how many days a long sailing trip might take. Sea captains generally took his presence on a ship as a sign that the journey would be safe and swift. ES claimed he never feared these journeys because he had angels with him. Those angels demonstrated their presence in a conversation ES had with a Captain Dixon as they embarked on a trip from London to Stockholm. ES accurately predicted that the ship would arrive in Stockholm at 2 PM in exactly a week.

(2) On July 17, 1750, he and 15 others were guests of the prominent merchant William Castel in Gothenberg at his fine home on Canal St. At 6 PM, ES suddenly turned pale. When asked what was wrong, he described a fire burning out of control at that moment in distant Stockholm. in principle, he might have acquired this information by ESP gleaned from the minds of Stockholm’s residents. But the ESP explanation cannot satisfactorily account for his detailed knowledge of the fire’s course. He described where it had started and where it was burning, including the inceration of a friend’s house and the fact that the fire burned itself out just before it arrived at ES’s home. The next day the governor summoned ES and sought and received his report on the fire which was confirmed in detail the following day.

(3) In 1770, ES attended a social event in his honor in Gothenberg. he sat beside Bolander, the owner of extensive cloth-mills. During dinner, ES abruptly turned to Bolander and sharply instructed him: “Sir, you had better go to your mills!” Bolander was taken aback at his rudeness, but nevertheless left the table and hurried to his mills. A large piece of cloth had just fallen near the furnace and had begun to burn. He arrived just in time to prevent his property from being reduced to ashes. When he returned, he thanked ES. ES smiled and explained that he had spoken so abruptly because he had “seen” that the danger was imminent.


I take seriously what ES’s astral explorations have revealed on this subject because of his many awesome verifications of his conversations with angels and other discarnate humans. My source here is ES’s classic book “Heaven and Hell” (= HH) from which I will now quote extensively:

“When we die, we are still alive and just as human as ever. To convince me of this, [the Lord] has allowed me to talk with almost all the people I have ever met during their physical lives, with some for a few hours, with some for weeks and months, and some for years. This was primarily so that I could be convinced and bear witness (437).”

“There are three states that we pass through after death before we arrive at either heaven or hell. The first state is one of more outward concerns. The second is one of more inward concerns, and the third is one of preparation. We go through all three states in the world of spirits. Some people do not go through these states, but are either raised into heaven or cast into hell immediately after their death (HH 491).”

The “world of spirits” is a transitional state between the heavens and hells. In biblical terms, the world of spirits embraces Hades (not to be confused with Hell) in its lower planes and Paradise, an old Persian term for “park”, in its upper planes.


“We use the outward aspects of our spirit to adapt our bodies in the world–especially our faces, our speech, and behavior–to our interactions with other people. The more inward aspects of our spirit are the ones proper to our intentions and consequent thought, which rarely show in faces, speech, and behavior. We are trained from infancy to present ourselves as friendly, benevolent, and honest, and to conceal the thoughts of our own intentions. As a result, of this habitual behavior, we scarely know our inner natures and pay no attention to them (HH 492).”

“Our first state after death is like our state in the world, since we are then similarly involved in outward concerns. We have similar faces, voices, and character; we lead similar moral and civic lives. That is why it still seems to us as though we were in this world unless we notice things that are out of the ordinary (HH 493).”

Most NDEs are marvelous experiences. But ES chillingly insists that the initial postmortem state is normally wonderful even for people who will ultimately find their way to a hell. ES’s mention of their trips to gorgeous gardens and parks in the first state recalls descriptions of Focus 27:

“Their friends…take them around to various places, into the company of different people. They go to different cities, to gardens and parks, often to gorgeous ones because things like that appeal to the outward concerns they are involved in. Many of them think they will make it into heaven because they led moral and civic lives in the world, not reflecting that both good and evil people lead similar outward lives (HH 495).”

ES adds that “the first state after death…rarely lasts more than a year for anyone (HH 498).” This fits neatly with modern research on contacts received by the recently bereaved from deceased loved ones. One study indicated that 50% of Americans and 48% of the British report convincing contacts with their deceased loved ones within the first year since their death. After that, the number of such contacts dramatically dwindles. Making such contacts is much harder for those who have moved on from the world of spirits to a heaven or a hell.


“Our second state after death is called a state of our deeper interests because then we are given access to the deeper reaches of our minds, or of our intentions and thoughts, while the more outward interests that engaged us in the first state become dormant (HH 499).” “We as spirits are brought…into the state of those deeper intentions and consequent thoughts we engaged in when we were left to ourselves in the world and our thinking was free and unfettered (502).”

At this stage we shed aspects of self that were shaped by social expectations, peer pressure, and the need to present an acceptable presenting self that can mask our inner self. As a result, “people who were inwardly devoted to the good…then behave…more wisely than when they were living in the world…In contrast, people who were focused on evil…then behave more insanely then when they were in the world (HH 505).” It now becomes impossible to act one way and inwardly be another. The person pauses at this threshold world long enough to become one with her own nature.

“Once people like this are in the second state, they are let back into the state of their more outward concerns for brief periods of time. They then retain a memory of how they behaved when they were in the state of their more inward concerns. Some of them are embarrassed and admit they were insane. Some of them are not embarrassed at all. Some of them resent the fact that they are not allowed to be in the state of their more outward concerns all the time, but they are shown what they would be like if they were continually in this state. They would constantly be trying to do the same things covertly, misleading people of simple heart and faith with simulations of goodness, honesty, and fairness. They would destroy themselves completely because eventually their outer natures would be ablaze with the same fire as their inner natures (HH 506).”

“The things they [evil people] had done and said in secret are now made public, too, because now, since outward factors are not constraining them, they say the same things openly, and they keep trying to the same things without any fear for the reputations they had in the world…They [visually] look to angels and good spirits like the [evil] people they really are (HH 507).”


Our third state after death is one of instruction. This state is for people who are entering heaven and becoming angels and not for people who are entering hell, because the latter cannot be taught
(HH 512)." Their closed-mindedness prevents them from sensing the vast heavenly world beyond the world of spirits. “As a result, their second state… ends in their turning straight toward…the hellish community that is engaged in a love like their own.” The general intention of the hells is to ignore God and vault the interests of self above all others.

Heaven is not just reserved for Christians. On the one hand, ES casually mentions bishops he has encountered in hell. On the other hand, humble and teachable agnostics who have lived the equivalent of a loving Christian life will then be "taught things like that God exists, that heaven and hell exist, that there is a life after death, that God is to be loved above all, and our neighbor as ourselves, and that we are to believe what is said in the Word because the Word is divine (HH 512).

No offense, but I think I’m one of the biggest skeptics alive when it comes to people who claim to know all about the afterlife. This guy claims to have seen someone’s friend gambling and playing cards? My question to this: If we are just as human as ever, and if people can converse with each other and carry on just as they did when they were human, then why do we even have physical bodies in the first place?

1 Like

I fully agree. When I present my theory…that the ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE…is the most probable, end-times tribulation scenario…Most folks don’t understand zombies at all.

Qaz, “What did ES say people do in heaven? Crazy as this may sound, leisure all the time sounds scary. I think work underlies pleasure; it makes leisure possible. I have a work/leisure cycle (like most people I imagine). It works well. I worry that in heaven there won’t be such an existence.”

The objections made by LLC and Holy Fool sadly reflect their imprisonment in a myopic thought Ghetto mentality to prevents them from actually reading posts carefully and engaging them critically. Thus, they have nothing to say about how ES’s mysticism enables him to spectacularly verify both his scientific breakthroughs and his discoveries from regularly exploration of afterlife territories over decades… Qaz, however, actually has an honest and open quest for spiritual truth, and so, his questions are worth answering.

(7) ES might answer Qaz’s fear about a sterile eternity of endless leisure in at least 2 ways:
(1) Qaz’s fear of a boring heaven of sterile rest and worship is admittedly reinforced by many Christians. But ES’s astral travels reveal that heaven is far from a place of idleness. Everyone there has spiritual work to do:

“Some spirits have believed that heavenly happiness consisted of a life of leisure. Then they were shown in many ways that heavenly life consists of…thoughtful actions…that are services to others…So that these people might feel shame…they are allowed to perceive what kind of life this [idleness] would be. They see that it is thoroughly miserable (HH 403).”

(2) Boredom is created by the fear of a terrible satiation created by endlessly repeated experiential patterns that endure over space and time.
(a) But as ES discovers, there is no time as we know it in the heavens. This transcendence of time explains why ES’s angels can be so accurate in their predictions. Modern adepts are often fooled by astral predictions that emanate from ignorant but pretentious lower planes.

(b) ES learns that there is no space in heaven and to understand what this means one must begin to confront what ES means by the principle of correspondence that determines the structure of spiritual reality. For example, what corresponds to distance in the heavens are the feelings we have for each other. To quote ES’s “Heaven and Hell” (Hereafter HH):"

“People who are nearby are the ones in a similar state and the ones who are far away are in dissimilar states. This is why space in heaven is nothing but the outward states that correspond to the inner ones. This is the only reason why the heavens are differentiated from each other; as are the communities in each heaven and the individuals in each community. It is also why the hells are completely separate from the heavens. They are in an opposite state.”

“This is also why in the spiritual world one individual is present to another only if that presence is intensely desired. This is because one person sees another in thought in this way and identifies with that individual’s state. Conversely, one person moves away from another to the extent that there is any sense of reluctance. Whenever people move from one place to another, whether it is in their town, their courtyards, in their gardens, or to people outside their own community, they go there more quickly if they are eager to and more slowly if they are not. The path itself is lengthened or shortened depending on their desire, even though it is the same path. We can illustrate this by our own thoughts. . .for whatever we focus on intently in our thought is seemingly present (HH #193-96).”

This psychological equivalence to earthly spatial relationships among heavenly communities raises interesting questions. Most of us have multi-faceted loves and tastes. Assume for the sake of argument that I wind up in heaven. I enjoy the company of men who make me laugh, men who love sports, and men who stimulate me intellectually. I enjoy the company of women who have the gift of empathy, women who charm me, and women who balance me because they are very different from me, etc. Let us assume that people of each type enjoy my company equally and are equally evolved in their spirituality. How will the “geography” of these personality types be worked out? What combination of strengths, interests, and quirks would bring my “type” together into a heavenly community? Would I be with comedians who make me laugh, with men who stimulate me intellectually, with women who charm me, but are very different from me, etc.? How can love be quantified? Does God have some hierarchy of values that elevates some loving personality types to a higher level than others? If so, what are they? Perhaps, it is simply a matter of the purity and frequency of a soul’s vibration. So many questions, so few answers.

HF, I’m glad someone agrees with me.:slightly_smiling_face:

Sorry Berserk, But I just think that while this guy was sitting around all day in some hallucinatory trance, there were REAL world problems to deal with. What makes him any different than being just a plain old drug addict? We have about seventy years on this earth at best, and in the context of eternity, that’s not very long. When we depart, we’ll find out for ourselves what the afterlife is all about. In the meantime, we are called to be fully present, active participants in THIS world, making it a better place for those who live now and those who will come after us. BTW, some may find utter happiness in imagining the afterlife to be full of rest and leisure.

That is a very real and profound quote.

LLC: "Sorry Berserk, But I just think that while this guy was sitting around all day in some hallucinatory trance, there were REAL world problems to deal with. What makes him any different than being just a plain old drug addict? "

First, Stanford U. is one of the best universities in the USA and a Stanford thinktank rated ES one of the 3 most brilliant humans of all time. That in itself should make any intellectually curious denizen of this site curious about what his rigorous research has discovered.

Second. his many scientific discoveries and breakthroughs in a variety of scientific fields makes him far more intellectually accomplished than " a plain old drug addict." Duh’

Third, the same mystical and meditative practices that produced his scientific breakthroughs also produced his insights from afterlife exploration. Your myopic Ghetto mentality evidently prevents you from actually engaging his many verifications reported in this thread. e
LLC: “We have about seventy years on this earth at best, and in the context of eternity, that’s not very long. When we depart, we’ll find out for ourselves what the afterlife is all about.”

And denizens of Closed-Minded University like yourself, may then find out that you totally missed the point of life, which ES and others have discovered through exploration and helpfully explained."

LLC: “In the meantime, we are called to be fully present, active participants in THIS world, making it a better place for those who live now and those who will come after us. BTW, some may find utter happiness in imagining the afterlife to be full of rest and leisure.”

On the contrary, we are called to recognize (1) that this life is the school and the afterlife is our true career and (2) that if we just tiptoe through the tulips, oblivious to the hard work of and hones and ope spiritual quest, we will likely flunk the exams and live as if this life is our career and the afterlife is little more than a glorified static nursing home in the skies.

Except that folks who are Catholic and Orthodox saints…or Sufis and Yogis…or Native American holy people…or Zen Masters…or Native American Churches or Brazilian Churches - doing Peyote and/or Ayahuasca ceremonies…are communicating with the creator and/or a higher reality…And I have been around enough, to see and know - the difference for myself. Now I can neither confirm - nor deny - whether I have partaken of certain ceremonies - or indulged in certain medicines or sacraments…Which is my standard CIA style answer.


And maybe they are singing this song

But there are many stories of miracles, healing, etc…taking place around such people and events.

It’s best explained by Plato, by his cave analogy.

And I give more credence, to visions of mystics…like Lutheran mystic Jacob Boehme, over that of Emmanuel Swedenborg…but his visions are harder to understand, due to the terse language used.

However, having said that…it doesn’t mean that ALL visions, are necessarily interpreted literally (I.e. St. John’s book of Revelations)…Or we know the ROOT cause, of such visions (i.e. real vision, organic illness, psychosis, prescription or “non-prescription” interaction, demonic activity, etc). …Or the visions, are necessarily cast in concrete - like this one:

And we might need an EXPERT in these things, to tell us…Like a Native American, Holy or Medicine person…or a REAL saint, from the Orthodox or Catholic Churches…or even medical doctors, psychiatrists, and medical tests.

So, Berserk…is this vision and/or prophesy real or not? And if NOT, how do YOU explain it (and WHY are they having this vision) ??? I do believe you IMPLY, you are an EXPERT in these matters. Is this a CORRECT understanding, Berserk???

“You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously.”-- Sophia Bush

I wouldn’t want to receive instruction on how to live on Mars from someone who’s never actually been to Mars.

That’s not a BAD idea, Berserk…Especially with a zombie. :smile:


(8a) ES discovers that in both the spiritual and natural worlds each person, animal, plant, and mineral is encompassed by its spiritual replica, an energy sphere which continually emanates from it. "“Thus the natural world derives from the spiritual, and the spiritual from the Divine (DLW 283).”

“This whole natural world is responsive to the spiritual world–the natural not just in general but in detail. So whatever arises in the natural world is called `something that corresponds’. It must be realized that the natural world arises from and is sustained in being by the spiritual world exactly the way an effect relates to an efficient cause (HH 89).”

“Now because every single thing remains in being from the Divine,…and every single thing from that source is inevitably a representative of the real thing by means of which it has come into being, the whole visible universe is therefore nothing else than a theatre that is representative of the Lord’s kingdom. And this in turn is a theatre representative of the Lord Himself (AC 483),”

So ES does not simply believe that God spoke and “Poof!” life appeared. For ES, Nature provides a mechanism whereby the Lord’s life reaches down to ultimates [evolved states] and returns to Himself through higher and higher “uses” (DLW 180, 316). Darwinian evolution is at least consistent with this scheme of things.

ES reveres biblical truth but insists that the Genesis creation story cannot be taken literally. He precedes Darwin by almost a century and inevitably makes mistakes in his speculations about the development of life forms. But he anticipates the general drift of modern evolutionary theory. For example, he recognizes the tiny lichen on a rock as a developmental prelude to emerging forests. He believes that each order of plants gives birth to a corresponding order of animals (WLG 30). He traces the modern human species back to a primordial prehuman stage (SD 3390).

In my view, he anticipates and corrects a flaw in the evolutionary principle of natural selection. Natural selection assumes that chance variations create genetic advantages that improve the chances of survival. ES accepts the role of randomness in creation, but insists that the Lord controls chance or probability distributions (AC 5508). His anticipation of evolutionary theory a century before Darwin is yet another confirmation of the validity of his ability to explore spiritual dimensions…


ES’s views on the origin and development of life forms find confirmation in some modern scientific experiments. Biologist Rupert Sheldrake argues that the DNA molecule cannot contain all the information essential to the organism’s formation; rather, DNA is a finely tuned receptor which taps into the information contained in the “morphogenetic field” of that organism, a field that seems to be the functional equivalent of ES’s energy spheres flowing out from each organism. Sheldrake contends that the form, development, and behavior of living organisms are shaped and maintained by this field together with genetic inheritance. In a sense, these fields function like a kind of species memory through which the newly acquired characteristics of prior generations can be passed on to future ones. The key to species evolution is this: the condition of an organism’s systems is constantly updated in these fields.

Sheldrake put his theory to the test in an experiment he conducted on live TV. Millions of BBC viewers were taught to see hidden images in puzzle pictures. Before the program aired, a base line was established by observing how well people could distinguish the hidden image. After the program, people from all over the world who could not have seen or heard the program were again asked to find the image. The results indicated significant improvement in the worldwide ability of non-viewers to distinguish the image.

Sheldrake was building on the findings of animal research. (1) At Harvard experiments on rats found that children of rats mastered a maze much faster (tenfold) than their parents, even though the offspring were not born at the time their parents were tested. This result was replicated in both Scotland and Australia and the rats’ performance dramatically improved from place to place even though there was no physical contact among the geographically separated rats.

(2) In pre-WW2 Europe, milk was home-delivered in cartons. A bird species (bluetits) suddenly began to land on top of the cartons, remove the cover, and drink the cream. Some of the birds were even found drowned inside the cartions! Bluetits have a range of 4-5 miles. Yet this practice spread for a hundred miles within a year. The same phenomenon occurred in Scandanavia and Holland. Milk delivery ceased during the German occupation of Europe during WW2. Bluetits only have a 2-3 year life expectancy; so all the avian cream drinkers died off. But after the war, bluetits resumed their cream drinking and this habit spread just as before WW2.

(3)In his book “Is There an Afterlife: A Comprehensive Overview of the Evidence,” David Fontana (pp. 22-23) discusses a study in which measurements were taken of electrodermal reactions on the skin of receivers while they were subjected to a series of both arousing and calming thoughts from a sender in another room. The sender would visualize the receivers in a very fearful situation or as relaxing on a sunlit beach. The receivers had no idea which type of thoughts were being sent. Thus the experiments show that even when receivers have no conscious awareness of whether they are receiving arousing or calming thoughts, the unconscious or morphogenetic field seems to be receiving the information and registering it in physiological reactions.

You’re like a politician, Berserk…You keep dogging my questions…is this vision and/or prophesy real or not? And if NOT, how do YOU explain it (and WHY are they having this vision) ??? I do believe you IMPLY, you are an EXPERT in these matters. Is this a CORRECT understanding, Berserk??? And WHY is the visions of Emanuel Swedenborg RIGHT (or wrong)… and the zombie visions, of this Christian prophetess of God WRONG (or right)?

“You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously.”-- Sophia Bush


1 Like