Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Spiritual Diary of Emanuel Swedenborg, Angels, and Spiritualism

I have just published a new work on Amazon, The Spiritual Diary of Emanuel Swedenborg (5 volumes).  This took longer than expected as it includes a hyperlinked topical index.  It is available on Amazon here., and on Barnes and Noble here.  Here is the book cover:


For the uninitiated I felt it necessary to include a preface to the work, to dispel some certain prejudices in regards to the revelations that Swedenborg received in waking vision over a 27 year period. I think it will sum up just about every possible reaction a reader will have to the work. Instead of including a normal blog here, here is the preface to the work:

PREFACE TO THE SPIRITUAL DIARY

The Spiritual Diary of Emanuel Swedenborg (5 volumes) is a personal record of Swedenborg's waking experiences in the spiritual world, from which he drew upon to compose his later theological works concerning the heavenly doctrines that were revealed to him. The main purpose of these visions were to reveal the Lord's Second Advent in the internal spiritual sense of the Word, and to reveal that each person will continue to live in a spiritual body after death. Some of this has been confirmed by others in modern Near Death Experiences. This Diary is valuable for study for how Swedenborg later referenced much of these experiences in a comprehensive spiritual theology in his published works, all of which have been published separately in the hyperlinked multi-volume work The Divine Revelation of the New Jerusalem: Expanded Edition (39 volumes). As the Diary is written in chronological order, it may be hard for the reader to absorb all the information as each entry can switch between topics. To help the reader in this matter, this digital edition also includes a hyperlinked index and references so that the reader can easily read on a particular topic. As the subjects are varied in each entry, it is recommended that the reader start with the index at the end of the five volumes.
As for the reception of Swedenborg's experience, most will probably reject the contents offhand due to disbelief. Swedenborg was aware of this, and described five different levels of reception among readers:
"...it was given to perceive that there are five kinds of reception: First, [those] who wholly reject, who are in another persuasion, and who are enemies of the faith. These reject; for it cannot be received by them, since it [can] not penetrate their minds. Another class, who can receive these things as scientifics, and are delighted with them as scientifics, and as curious things. A third class, which receives, intellectually, so that they receive with sufficient alacrity, but still remain [in respect to] life as before. A fourth class [receives] persuasively, so that it penetrates to the improvement of their lives; they recur to these in certain states, and make use of them. A fifth class, who receive with joy, and are confirmed." (n. 2955)
In Swedenborg's day, he was made aware of the low reception of his published works. The angels responded, that there should be no forced compulsion on what each person should believe:
"I received letters [informing me] that not more than four copies had been sold in two months, and this was made known to the angels: they wondered indeed, but said that it should be left to the Providence of the Lord, which was such as to compel no one, though it might be done, but that it was not fitting that [any others] should read [my work] first but those who were in faith; and that this might be known from [what happened at] the coming of the Lord into the world, who was able to compel men to receive His words and Himself, but [yet] compelled no one, as was also the case afterwards in regard to the apostles; but still there were found those who would receive, to wit, those who were in faith, to whom also the apostles were sent." (n. 4422)
As for the low reception of Swedenborg's works, it was given to him to know that many in the churches themselves are not spiritual, but attend merely out of habit, or whose mind was focused on materialistic matters:
"I heard that many have looked into my books on heaven and hell, etc., and yet have not been satisfied: wherefore, they leave them alone; when, nevertheless, they are arcana of heaven. As I wondered at this, many Christians now in the world, differing as respects life, were instanced: some who do not care for such things; some who care little; some who are in worldly pursuits, which they prefer; some who attend churches only from habit - some one way and some another - and it was discovered that there are very few who receive anything which is from heaven; and that many nauseate and reject it; so that this is the character of men in the Church, at the present day." (n. 5931)
Certainly this attitude prevails at the present day: most have never even heard of Emanuel Swedenborg. Many will reject it as a product of imagination or hallucination. But those who have studied the biography of Emanuel Swedenborg cannot come to this conclusion, for time and time again Swedenborg was able to demonstrate clairvoyant abilities from the spiritual world to those who knew him. These include people such as Queen Ulrica of Sweden, the German philosopher Immanuel Kant, the German poet and writer Christoph Wieland, the journalist and diplomat Friedrich Melchior, Baron von Grimm, the Swiss poet and physiognomist Johann Kaspar Lavater, Dr. Johann Heinrich Jung-Stilling, professor of the Universities of Heidelberg and Marburg, among many others.[*]
Another reaction of some, despite these testimonies of verified clairvoyant experiences, is that Emanuel Swedenborg was insane. This position again is untenable and does not fit with what we know of his character and his work. Swedenborg led an enormously productive life: he was involved with the Swedish Riddarhuset (The House of Nobility), the Riksdag (the Swedish Parliament), the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, was assessor-extraordinary of the Swedish mines, and published numerous scientific works and articles. His massive theological works are remarkably consistent. In all of his discourses he was rational, and never became disassociated with reality. Moreover, he never directed attention to himself, and initially published his theological works anonymously.
Given this evidence, one would think the matter is settled and that the theological writings deserve investigation. Not so: certain Christian ministers and writers, who are not worthy of mention, have levelled the charge that Swedenborg was "influenced by the Devil" and received this information from spirits of the dead. Ignorance from false religious principles thus prevails at this day as of old. Many of the prophets had their vision open and saw angels around them:
"And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. So when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, and said, “Strike this people, I pray, with blindness.” And He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha." (2 Kings 6:17-20)
Many religious leaders are blind leaders of the blind, and make void the revelation of the Word of God from the traditions of men, preferring tradition over a direct heavenly revelation. Nevertheless, scripture indeed does forbid communication with spirits of the dead, so how does one distinguish a lower order spirit from an angel? It is very simple: lower order spirits have a tendency to express a belief in reincarnation, and will deny the Divinity of Jesus Christ. The revelations given to Swedenborg clearly deny reincarnation, explaining its origin from shared memory, and expressly states that Jesus is Jehovah in human form. Are we to believe that the Devil wishes to deceive the world by declaring that Jesus is Divine, and should be worshipped? The accusation is ridiculous: no evil spirit can confirm Jesus as Lord, which Swedenborg also confirmed from his own experience.
Swedenborg was allowed to explore the realms of heaven and hell, and in the process did interact with many angels, spirits, and demons. All of this was to provide knowledge of the afterlife, and a more complete revelation of scripture. Nevertheless, in all that he wrote Swedenborg was guided by the Lord alone, and was protected from following any false doctrine from a spirit or angel:
"Whenever there was any representation, vision, and discourse, I was kept interiorly and intimately in reflection upon it, as to what thence was useful and good, thus what I might learn therefrom; which reflection was not thus attended to by those who presented the representations and visions, and who spoke; yea, sometimes they were indignant when they perceived that I was reflecting. Thus have I been instructed; consequently by no spirit, nor by any angel, but by the Lord alone, from whom is all truth and good; yea, when they wished to instruct me concerning various things, there was scarcely anything but what was false: wherefore I was prohibited from believing anything that they spoke; nor was I permitted to infer any such thing as was proper to them [or akin to their proprium]. Besides, when they wished to persuade me, I perceived an interior or intimate persuasion that the thing was so and so, and not as they wished; which also they wondered at; the perception was manifest, but cannot be easily described to the apprehension of men." (n. 1647)
Swedenborg was given an interior perception of the truth from the Lord, and thus spirits were unable to deceive him:
"It has been granted me to perceive their nature by an interior sense, so that they could by no means deceive me." (n. 131)
With this information the reader should judge the truth of the matter by examining the writings themselves, and comparing them with scripture. Indeed, in most every statement Swedenborg makes he confirms the doctrines from scripture, which can be seen in his published theological works in The Divine Revelation of the New Jerusalem: Expanded Edition.
On the opposite side of the spectrum of the older Christian churches who are stuck in their traditions there are spiritualists who seek answers from channeling spirits and not from scripture. Swedenborg confirms that without being under the guidance of the Lord, and in the truth faith, it is dangerous for one's vision to be opened to the spiritual world:
"I spoke with spirits, and it was granted to perceive in spiritual idea that it is most dangerous for any learned person, who is imbued with phantasies, to be able to speak with spirits, or any revelation disclosed to them, and this for many reasons." (n. 3060)
What dangers are there? One's conscience can be opened to such a state as to see one's own sinfulness, and one could be "liable to be tormented with remorse of conscience even unto death" (n. 1959). Thus repentance as to one's life is a necessary first step in any spiritual development. Opening up one's vision too early opens up one to attack from evil spirits, bringing one to a state similar to psychosis. These disorders of the mind originate from evil spirits, yet those in a life according to the true faith are protected:
"WHY SPIRITS DO NOT MANIFEST THEMSELVES BEFORE MEN, AND INSTRUCT MEN CONCERNING THE EXISTENCE AND QUALITY OF SPIRITS.
"There are very many causes which are in the Lord's secret and sanctuary, why such things do not exist. It is permitted to relate only that they cannot be manifested to a man who is not in the knowledges of true faith, because the Lord can thus be present, and take care that spirits, inasmuch as they fly around in troops and squadrons, and desire nothing else than to pervert man, yea, kill him, may not bring harm to man, as regards his body and soul; for when it is allowed them to manifest themselves, then they also operate to the manifest sense, upon the ideas and will of man. It is different with those who are in the knowledges of true faith. The Lord then takes care that such things may not be brought on man." (n. 2393)
Among other reasons why one should not seek answers from channeling spirits, is that many spirits contacted in this matter either tend to be habitual liars, or freely provide information on matters that they do not even know:
"When spirits begin to speak with man, he must beware lest he believe them in anything; for they say almost anything; things are fabricated by them, and they lie; for if they were permitted to relate what heaven is, and how things are in the heavens, they would tell so many lies, and indeed with solemn affirmation, that man would be astonished; wherefore, when spirits were speaking, I was not permitted to have faith in the things which they related. ...For they are extremely fond of fabricating: and whenever any subject of discourse is proposed, they think that they know it, and give their opinions one after another, one in one way, and another in another, altogether as if they knew; and if man then listens and believes, they press on, and deceive, and seduce in divers ways: for example, if they were permitted to tell about things to come, about things unknown in the universal heaven, about all things whatsoever that man desires, yet [they would tell] all the things falsely from themselves; wherefore let men beware lest they believe them. On this account the state of speaking with spirits on this earth is most perilous, unless one is in true faith." (n. 1622)
Thus the condemnation of spiritualism, or the more modern practice of channeling, is quite explicit throughout the revelations given to Emanuel Swedenborg. These sources of information should be read with discernment, which is near impossible without knowledges of the true faith.
Such spiritual matters are probably considered of no account to those who are materialists. Others may choose to be agnostic, waiting to see what happens after they die. But Swedenborg states that those who are agnostic in this life tend to be agnostic in the next, and stay in the state of their will when they died:
"The majority of these are such as have thought in the world, when they heard from preaching, or came into any thought from the speech of another, and seem to be vanquished by some reason which they cannot gainsay that, whether it is or is not, true, they do not know; whether there is a God, whether there is a heaven, whether there is faith, whether such things as belong to the Church; [saying to themselves] "I might easily believe them if I were to see them in another life - if I come thither;" supposing that they will believe if they see for certain, or hear for certain. But this by no means happens. They who have not faith when in the world do not have faith in the other life. I have spoken with such ones; and they were convicted of being in error. They seized upon the truth. And, when they turned the face to me, they believe. But, immediately they turn themselves to their own loves, or turn themselves away from me and to themselves, then they are instantly in the like faith to that in which they were in the world, and altogether against those things which they have heard. Nor are they any longer able to be led to the truths of faith; for the whole interior intellectual life is from their principles: wherefore, [to be so led] would be to destroy that life." (n. 4722m)
Another argument should be considered, that some may say everything has already been revealed in scripture itself, and that nothing more needs to be known. To these people Swedenborg said the following:
"I also spoke concerning those in the world who will simply say that they have the Word and have no need for a [new] revelation, thus rejecting these things which come out of heaven and descend; when nevertheless it here treats of the genuine sense and understanding of the Word and the quality of faith, and many further things which specifically concern the state of those in the other life. For the Word in the ultimate or literal sense simply mentions hell and heaven, with damnation in hell, and felicity in heaven, and yet there are indefinite things in both the one and the other; wherefore the objection that they may have this knowledge only from things revealed is of no avail. For it is also well known that anyone is able to take something from the Word and interpret it according to his own opinions, as long as he adheres to the letter only; and he explains it as he chooses in the interior sense, as can be evident from many things." (n. 1464)
The Spiritual Diary of Emanuel Swedenborg provides a direct account of Swedenborg's experiences, much of which was systematically presented alongside the explanation of the spiritual sense of scripture in his published theological works, for which see The Divine Revelation of the New Jerusalem: Expanded Edition. A lot of material was never published and can only be found in this Diary. What is left is for any who seeks to know, to determine the truth of the matter for themselves by reading the revelations that were given, to obtain a deeper understanding of scripture, and from there a reformation of one's life according to this new revelation.


SAMPLE INDEX: TOPICS CONCERNING HEAVEN

From the Spiritual Diary, here is a sample index entry concerning heaven:

Heaven, Heavenly.
The instruction of infants in heaven, 168.
Heavenly food is wisdom, and drink intelligence, 170.
Gentiles, or the uninstructed, come into heaven more easily than the instructed, 204.
How heaven is affected by true faith, 239.
The gentiles, or uninstructed, and the instructed, in their relations to heaven, 214.
The ultimate heaven, i.e. "the former," and sirens there, 240.
The heaven of ignorance, 266.
The ineffableness of heavenly joy, 269.
Societies in an exterior heaven where they think they are in a kind of earthly paradise, 275.
The arrangement of the societies in the exterior heaven, 278.
Why the sphere, the vortices, and the societies of heaven, correspond to the parts of man, 279.
Societies in an exterior heaven where they think they build cities, and give them away, 280.
Swedenborg, on coming into a certain society of an exterior heaven, experienced a sensation of heat in the feet and loins: what this signified, 283.
Heavenly joy, 288.
Angels transferred from an exterior to an interior heaven, and their great happiness thereat, 293.
Spirits raised from the lower earth, or pit, into the exterior, and even interior heaven, 297-9.
In the interior heaven, the delight and happiness are ineffable, 301.
The inmost angels are as pivots or centres, like the stars in the heavens, 303.
The mind falls from hearers when it is in worldly things, 304.
The central or pivotal angels are numerous in every heaven, 305.
The feelings of some on being raised up into an interior heaven, 307.
Spirits recently arrived in the other life can be admitted into the interior heaven, but only temporarily, and under the protection of an angelic sphere, 313.
The least degree of heavenly happiness far exceeds the greatest happiness of man in the world, 314.
Heavenly happiness unendurable to man in the world, 314.
How manifest man's thoughts and ideas are in heaven, and how plainly they are there seen to flow into him, and lead him to speak, 315.
Evil spirits can enter heaven, and be among the angels, 316.
Man's resurrection and introduction into heaven are of the Lord's love and mercy alone, 322.
Jealousy in its origin, and as it exists with infants, is delightful and heavenly, 331.
Even passions and lusts are from a heavenly origin, and flow in through heaven, 331.
The marvellous effect produced in heaven by the reading of the Psalms by man, 335.
Spiritual and celestial knowledges when received in the faith, and engaging the thought of man, affect the whole angelic heavens with delight, 336.
Mohammedans who desired a heaven in which the Lord did not reign, 339.
Mohammed and Mohammedan heaven, 344-6.
Only Mohammedan infants pass at once into the angelic heaven, not the boys and girls, 347.
The indefinite variety that exists in the angelic heaven, 348-9.
Even the least things are displayed to the light in the heavens, 350-1.
Heaven a communion of joys, 359-60.
The heavenly form is such that there is intercommunication of delights and happiness among all in it, 359-60.
Immortality, though characteristic of the hearenly state, is from the Lord alone, 362.
The conatus or effort to act of the heavens is what holds all things together, 369.
Those who, in the world, desire to become greatest in heaven, and to rule over all, become devils, 371.
External joy, as if heavenly, but nevertheless impure, can be induced on man, 379.
One, Abraham, learns experimentally the evanescence of delights not truly heavenly, 379.
A certain external delight, which they call heavenly, is enjoyed even by the wicked, 381.
The Word when read penetrates into the heavens, and into the interiors and inmosts of spirits and angels, 382-3.
All things on earth are representative of heavenly things, and as it were the effect of spiritual things, 396.
Those who after instruction refuse to acknowledge the Lord are rejected from heaven, 408.
The many modes by which heaven is purified of those who are not angels, but have obtained admission, 409-11.
This Abraham's place no more found in heaven, 411.
The words of speech are incapable of expressing anything in the third heaven, 412.
Certain stars cast down from heaven, 417.
Certain spirits who seem to themselves to carry their children in their arms to show to the Lord of heaven, 419.
Those who inquire for Peter in order to be admitted by him into heaven, 421.
Spirits are led to knowledges, and prepared for heaven by means of whatever phantasies they have, 426.
Spirits who are prepared for heaven in sleep, and are vastated by means of dreams, 427.
The numberless varieties of heavenly pleasures and delights, 428.
Spurious heavenly pleasures can be infused by devils, 429.
The kind of objects in the "ultimate angelic heaven," and the kind of happiness of those there, 438.
When good spirits, who have been raised into an interior heaven, return, they seem to themselves to have been in a delicious dream, 456.
The "heaven, of spirits," 458-9.
The stars, a third part of which the dragon drew down from hearen, 466-7.
A state of heavenly peace and happiness, 465.
Three primates who were thrust down from heaven, 476.
The dragon that invaded heaven, 487.
Heaven, as the Lord's body, or Grand Man, 499-500.
The dragon and the stars have been cast down from heaven towards hell: what the dragon tried to do there, 501.
How the spirits of Mohammed are prepared for heaven, 512-4.
The Jovian or Jupiterian angels and heavens, 525.
The Jupiterian heaven is separate from ours, and larger, 552.
A general glorification in singing, by the whole heaven, at once, 608.
The sense of the letter of the Word does not penetrate to heaven, 612.
Spirits who are very high up in the [artificial] heavens, 639-40.
The state of the heavens prior to the first advent, 672-3.
The admission of spirits and a society of spirits into an exterior heaven, 697-706.
Heaven can never be filled, consequently will not be closed to eternity, 702-5.
The great joy of those who are received into heaven, and the paradisiacal loveliness they find there, 709-14.
The casting forth of evil spirits who endeavour by deceit to insinuate themselves into heaven, 715-6.
The situation of the heaven of spirits in the spiritual world, 717.
How the cherishing of filthy loves by spirits is sometimes manifested to them in the heaven of spirits, 1080-2.
Certain rainbow-like decorations which appear in the heaven of good spirits, 1087.
There are evil spirits who cannot be distinguished by the smoothly flowing character of their speech from heavenly spirits, 1168-74.
A tumult in the heaven of spirits arising from differences of opinion respecting truths, and what the truths were, 1316-32.
The heaven of spirits not yet in order, 1341.
The desire and pursuit of honour from men is not heavenly, 780-1.
A spirit who besought Swedenborg to intercede for him that he might go into heaven, 872-4.
The speech of the angels of the exterior heaven, 894-5.
Why evil spirits are sometimes permitted to enter heaven, 1085.
On being first let into heaven, spirits progress from one society to another in order, 1125-6a.
A disturbance in an exterior heaven, 1185-9.
The inmost heaven, 1200.
The vastation punishments of those who assume hypotheses in spiritual and heavenly things, and confirm them by reasonings, 1467-9.
Some spirits are carried into heaven for a short time, and then let down again, 1511.
The various ways in which the Lord is acknowledged in the heavens, 1534-8.
How representations descend from heaven among spirits, 1575-8.
Some in heaven call our earth a putrid well, 1588.
Spirits when taken up into heaven, appear to be taken away from those with whom they were before: illustrated in Swedenborg's case, 1593.
An execrable rabble roving through heaven, 1594-1601.
No one in heaven takes any credit to himself from the teaching and conversion of others, 1643-4.
The Lord knows and arranges all things, even the least, in the whole heaven, and in all earths, 1758-60.
How those spirits are represented who think heaven is to be obtained by humiliations and supplications in prayers, 1850-1.
Neither men nor spirits know even the most general things in the heavens, 1892-3.
The opening of heaven to spirit or to man fraught with danger, 1961.
Those spirits whose anxiety it is to get into heaven, 1962.
The external senses are successively put off as heaven is entered, 1989.
A spirit who was distressed by his anxiety to get into heaven., 2049-50.
A spirit who was lifted np and carried off to heaven, 2061.
The harmonies of the interior heaven are from the more interior states, and come from the Lord, 2115-8.
The delights of good spirits, and of the angels of the interior heaven, 2160.
The Lord provides, sees, perceives and rules all things in heaven and on earth, 2163-5.
The diffusion of the universals of the thought in the world of spirits and in heaven, 2174.
Things spoken in heaven, fall, with men, into things which correspond, 2180c.
The degrees among angels in the interior heaven, 2491.
Certain spirits who, being in faith, were raised up into heaven, 2258.
Material ideas cannot be taken into heaven, nor understood by the angels there, 2285-6.
A conversation with spirits about heaven, 2330-1.
All in the heavens have, in their condition, the greatest joy, 2513.
No angel desires a higher heaven than the Lord deems fitting, 2517-20.
How the representations in the world of spirits flow in from heaven, 2550-6.
How the interior things in heaven are related to such as can reach man's apprehension, 2561-2.
It often happens that spirits are expelled from heaven, 2600.
Those who in any manner wish to merit heaven, put themselves far from heaven, 2652-54.
The varieties of felicities in the heavens, 2720.
The wonderful circulation of ideas in heaven, 2728-31.
A comparison of spiritual and celestial things iu the world of spirits and heaven, with the atmospheres and waters, 2810.
The joy of felicity in heaven that they have who glorify the Lord, 3029.
Those who wish to enter into heaven, when yet they are not in the love of the neighbour, 3061.
Those who are esteemed most learned in the world, and seemed to the world the most enlightened in the Word, have conceived a false idea respecting heaven, 3062.
The greatest in heaven is he who is least, 3120.
In all things of the world of spirits and heaven an equilibrium exists, 3168.
Heaven, that it may be closed, 3208.
The rainbow heaven, 3213.
The influx of men's thoughts into heaven, 254.
He who desires more heavenly joy than he ought, is a cupidity, 3310.
A certain one amongst the wisest of the world; what was his idea concerning heavenly joy, 3348.
How heaven is represented, 3398.
The general law of heaven, 3427.
The Lord alone does everything in the heavens and on earth from His omnipotence. That the evil were above, 3934.
The notion of love and of heaven, 3945-46.
The moon in heaven, 4219.
Heaven and heavenly joy, that some supposed it could be bestowed upon everyone, 4260.
How the case is with representatives and correspondences in heaven, illustrated by the correspondence of knowledge with eating, 4295-6.
licaren and hell, 4593.
The hell of those who are opposed to the inmost of heavenly love, 4636.
Heaven and the sun there, 4639-40.
Heaven with man, 4644-6.
The manner in which some gentiles, from Asiatic regions, make investigation as to whether they are tending towards heaven or hell, 4652.
The heaven of rustics, 4655.
The state of those who are in hell, in respect to those who are in heaven, 4659-60.
Heaven, 4669.
Heaven, and the Word, 4670-1.
The celestial heaven, and the doors there, 4674-6.
The equilibrium between heaven and hell, 4682m.
The light and heat in which heaven is, 4682m..
The communication of heaven with hell, 4684m.
Of those who are in heaven, that the more interior the good in man, the better and more beautiful it is, 4688.
Intelligence and perception in heaven, 4691-2.
Heaven and hell, 4693-8.
Those who believe that heaven is bestowed out of mercy, 4700.
Those who are in intellectual perception, and, as it were, in the light of heaven, and yet are evil, 4741m.
Concerning him who came to the feast or heaven, without a wedding garment, and was cast down, 4751m.
The heavenly marriage and the infernal marriage, 4768.
In heaven there is no joy apart from use, 4773m.
The supplications of the good are heard in heaven as loud cries, and those of the evil in hell, 4821-2.
Heaven, 4826.
Turning to the Lord, and turning from the Lord. Heaven, 4850.
Spiritual generation, as it were, of races and families: thus concerning heaven with man, 4864.
Heaven, 4865-71.
The heavens and a description thereof, 4894-99.
Total devastation (Charles XII.), 4900.
Elevation to heaven by means of phantasies, 4905-6.
Continuation concerning the heavens and the hells, 4907-8.
The heavens, 4923.
Heaven and those who are in faith separate, 4924.
Continuation concerning heaven and the Last Judgment, 4930-2.
Heaven and the Last Judgment, 4944-5.
The Divine Human of the Lord in the heavens from this earth, 5032-3.
Heaven, 5179-83.
Heaven is not a place, but a state of life, 5125.
Heaven and hell, 5148-9.
Heaven cannot be opened to the inhabitants of this earth, 5151.
Heaven and the love of wisdom of those who are there, 5152-4.
Heaven and its joy, 5155-60.
The state of the lowest heaven, 5172-6.
Reflections in the heavens, thus concerning the state of the life of those there, 5177-8.
Continuation concerning the Last Judgment and the destruction of heaven and earth, 5202-3.
The form of heaven and the situation of the peoples and nations there, 5240-8.
The destruction of the old heaven, or the changes there, 5377-5404.
The mountain where the Jews are, and about miracles by means of the Heavenly Doctrine, 5413-20.
The new heaven and the new earth, 5515-18a.
The state of those who are in heaven and in hell, and of those who are not yet vastated, 5527-31.
About heaven, 5546.
Heaven in general and its degrees, 5547-53.
About books and the Word in heaven, 5561-3.
About speech and wisdom in heaven, 5564-66a.
About numbers in heaven, 5571.
How they are admonished in the heavens as to whether their interiors are in a good state, 5601.
About books and the Word in the other life in heaven, 5602-6.
Heaven, 5643-4.
How maidens are educated in the other life and in heaven, 5660-7.
Man at this day does not believe heavenly things, if he thinks about those things which are there, or when they are directly under his observation, 5678-87.
Real appearances in the other life, from comparisons.
Heaven, 5774.
Heaven answers to one man, 5775.
Heaven, 5776.
The state of evil spirits; also influx. Heaven and hell, 5778.
The situation of those who are in the lower earth and in the heavens, 5779-83.
Appearance in the heavens, 5784.
Those who are cast down out of the heavens: Babylon. The former heaven, 5786-92c.
What it is to live as a Christian. That it is not difficult in the Heavenly Doctrine, as it was in Babylon destroyed, 5793-7.
The way which leads to heaven is the same way, as far as the corner-stone, as that which leads to hell, 5798.
The arrangement of the heavens in order. The Last Judgment, 5821.
Those who are in faith alone and not iu life-of what quality they are in heaven, 5827.
Those who are cast down from on high and from heaven, 5831.
How that which is from heaven is received by those of the Church at the present day, 5931.
Signs of the conjunction of a man with heaven, 5933.
Influx of the Word into heaven, and communication with the gentiles, 5947.
The Word in heaven, 5964-65.
The speech of the third heaven, 6084.

So there you have it. Everything you wanted to know about heaven and were afraid to ask. Or did not even think to ask. Or you had no one who could answer the question.





Saturday, August 30, 2014

Pray for Peace in Ukraine



Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Matt. 5:9)

I can't help but notice that a prophecy given during a Near Death Experience (see A Prophecy of September 11, Islamic Terrorism (ISIS), Russia and America) is being played out now in current events - especially with the rise of ISIS in the Middle East, and the current crisis in Ukraine. As predicted, ISIS is guided by a religious fanaticism that goes against God's will, and because the borders with Turkey are open terrorists can freely flow into Europe. As predicted, the conflict in Syria has spilled over into Russia. I would say we are at a critical nexus point. Where we go depends on our free will.

Military conflict is not going to solve this problem, and there are certain parties in the West blasting out propaganda pushing for war - a large NATO summit is taking place in England where some decisions are going to be made.  A study was done that indicated that while rebellions that included violence were 25% successful, peaceful non-violent protests were over 50% successful.  This conflict can only be solved through negotiation, and prayer. Thankfully there are some who have refused to fight - for Ukrainians and Russians are brothers, they are in fact one people. But I would encourage everyone to pray for the people in Ukraine. I have seen prophecies where Russia invades Europe. I have seen other prophecies where the hope for Christianity will come out of Russia. Swedenborg saw in his visions that Russians had a tendency to be less evil than other nations in the West:
"Russians have been with me, several times; and through them the evil from the Christian world were kept away. They were in obedience, and were modest; so that they were much better than those. The reason is, because they can be kept in a good affection, owing to the fact that they are in obedience and subordination, and do not aspire to high [places], and thus can be withheld from the will-proprium." (Spiritual Experiences, n. 5963 - will proprium is the selfish ego)
I would like to point out that prayer is not just some superstition - when several gather to pray, particularly on one issue, it can change the future course of events. Thoughts take substance and form in the spiritual world, and in Richard Sigmund's Near Death Experience he saw that prayers are carried by angels before the throne of God, especially those that regard the good for the end (see A Journey to Heaven by Richard Sigmund and Emanuel Swedenborg). On numerous occasions, Swedenborg would pray, and the answer would be given in a form of revelation. But there is one law of Divine providence that cannot be circumvented: one must ask first before God can respond. If we never ask, God will not respond. Thus Jesus said, "Seek and ye shall find, ask and it shall be given." But we have to ask.

In news of the weird, after Crimea broke away from Ukraine, no one wanted to take the post of chief prosecutor in Ukraine. After several people refused to take the post, one Natalia Poklonskaya took the post, becoming the youngest chief prosecutor in Crimea's history:



Apparently someone in Japan noticed that Natalia Poklonskaya has a similar appearance to some anime characters that are popular there, and Natalia Poklonskaya has become an anime sensation:



According to Japan’s darling Natalia Poklonskaya on Tokyo Russia sanctions list, as a result of the sanctions against Russia Natalia is not permitted to travel to Japan. Her Japanese fans must be heart-broken. Some in Ukraine apparently regard her as a traitor, but as far as I am concerned, Crimea was autonomous in the first place, and they voted. Rumor has it that the upcoming NATO summit has planned discussions on how to make people "dislike" her on facebook.

So why do I bring this up? Well Natalia Poklonskaya has appeared in this song called "Nyash Myash" - and I thought the ending had a nice hopeful note for the future of Ukraine. I have no idea what "Nyash Myash" is, nor what she is singing in this song, but I did find a versions with English subtitles for some of the phrases. I would like to believe those monsters are a symbol for the shadow government that created ISIS, and that this song is a hopeful prayer for a bright future for Ukraine and Russia:



Saturday, August 23, 2014

What is the Way to Heaven?

What is the way to heaven?  It happens to be quite simple.


I told this person who has a tendency to have clairvoyant and precognitive dreams (e.g., A Prophetic Dream of Flight MH17, among many others), to focus their thoughts on more spiritual topics, such as heaven, and less on material things, and to tune out people who tend to have petty and jealous thoughts. The next day this person had a dream vision and saw these men with white beards, wearing different light colored robes. They were taking care of these younger boys.  This person then asked:

"Where is this place?"

One of the men with the white beards then responded,

"This is heaven."

He then said this:

"Tell Doug this: all go to heaven who who treat other people well, and with love."

And that was it. I was a bit surprised at the immediate response. The men with white beards were probably Middle Eastern. And the young boys? Probably all the young children who have died recently in the Middle East (Swedenborg saw that all children who have died at a young age will go to heaven). And these men with white beards were taking care of them, and with such care. I understood that the boys were probably from the Middle East, as so many children have died recently in Iraq, Syria and Palestine. And the reason for such death? From false religions. False religions, or false doctrines of religion, have a tendency to state that only people of a particular religion go to heaven. But that is not true - it is not the BELIEF which is important, it is LOVE which is important.

Religion or one's belief system is only useful to the extent it leads a person to love God and love others. Religions that focus on belief alone tend to not be so useful or practical in one's spiritual life.

Others, who would perhaps expect some great overwhelming revelation from heaven, will probably be disappointed and say, "That's it?" That was Howard Storm's reaction when he had a Near Death Experience, and asked Jesus what he should do. Jesus simply responded, "Love the one you are with" (see Swedenborg on the Near Death Experience of Howard Storm). And his reaction was "That's it?" Yes, that is really it. For God is love itself, and inasmuch as we allow that love inside our heart, so we will live forever in heaven. In Near Death Experiences, people are consistently encountering a Being of Light and come into a life review, and in that life review one principle is important: how we have loved others.

ALL HUMANS WERE CREATED TO DWELL ETERNALLY IN HEAVEN

Swedenborg was very clear in his visions of the afterlife - he saw all people of different religions in heaven, dwelling in different areas according to the level of understanding and love they had reached in their life. In his work Heaven and Hell, he wrote:
"It is a common opinion that those born out of the Church, who are called heathen or gentiles, cannot be saved, because they have not the Word and thus do not know the Lord, and without the Lord there is no salvation. But still it may be known that they also are saved, from this alone, that the mercy of the Lord is universal, that is, toward every one; that they are born men as well as those within the Church, who are respectively few; and that it is not their fault that they do not know the Lord. Every one who thinks from any enlightened reason, may see that no man is born for hell, for the Lord is love itself, and His love is to will to save all. Therefore He has provided that all may have religion, and by it acknowledgment of the Divine, and interior life; for to live according to one's religious belief is to live interiorly, as he then looks to the Divine; and as far as he looks to This, so far he does not look to the world, but removes himself from the world, thus from the life of the world, which is exterior life." (Heaven and Hell, n. 318)
And what is the advantage for those who know? External morality appears similar to other people, but there is a morality which is external and natural, and a morality which is more spiritual. The difference in one's morality is based on one's intent:
"Moral life is lived either for the sake of the Divine, or for the sake of men in the world; the moral life which is lived for the sake of the Divine is spiritual life. Moral life and spiritual life appear alike in outward form, but in inward form they are altogether different; the one saves man, the other does not save him. For he who lives a moral life for the sake of the Divine, is led by the Divine, but he who lives a moral life for the sake of men in the world, is led by himself. This may be illustrated by an example. He who will not do evil to his neighbor because it is contrary to religion, thus contrary to the Divine, abstains from doing evil from a spiritual motive; but he who does no evil to another merely from fear of the law, of the loss of reputation, honor, or gain, thus for the sake of himself and the world, abstains from doing evil from a natural motive, and is led by himself: the life of the latter is natural, but that of the former is spiritual." (Heaven and Hell, n. 319)
And this is the reason why the 10 commandments were revealed on Mount Sinai: for hidden within the morality of societies laws, which everyone has a tendency to know from their own conscience, there is a hidden spiritual way of living. You cannot divorce morality from spirituality. Some religious thoughts which focus on belief alone, consider the study of morality a "side issue" rather than have it be central to their teaching.

As I often see many who are at a lower level of understanding when it comes to their religion, what did Jesus have to say on the issue? Did Jesus speak of other religions? Yes he did.

ETERNAL LIFE IS THROUGH LOVE

What shall one do to inherit eternal life? Love others. And that is it:

And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?”
And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” (Luke 10:25-28)

WHAT ABOUT DIFFERENT RELIGIONS?

Right after Jesus said the above, the topic of other religions comes up.  In Jesus' day, the Jewish Pharisees utterly despised another group known as the Samaritans, who only followed the first five books of Moses and rejected much of what was taught in Judaism.

But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 
Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side.
So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion.
He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.
And the next day he took out two denarii3  and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’
Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?”
He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” (Luke 10:29-37)

Note in the parable Jesus specifically chose a Samaritan, someone who followed a different religion, who it was who did God's will.

A RELIGION OF BROTHERHOOD

Again, Jesus spoke in another instance concerning someone who did not follow his disciples:

John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name,  and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.”
But Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me.
For the one who is not against us is for us. (Mark 9:38-40)

This is something a particular religion will not talk about. Indeed, the gospel of Mark is the earliest of the gospels, and this story does not appear again in any of the other gospels. A "religion of brotherhood" recognizes other religions that does good as a brotherhood, even though they may follow different teachings.

ALL RELIGIONS ARE CREATED FOR MAN, AND NOT MAN FOR RELIGION

All religions, without exception, are adapted to the culture of the people receiving the revelation. For if it were not adapted to what people can receive, there would be no conjunction between humans and God.  And indeed, Jesus confirms that religion was made for man, and not man for religion:

The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. (Mark 2:27)

The "Sabbath" in a generic sense means religion, for it was on the Sabbath day that religious instruction was given.  The Jews at the time had made so many unnecessary rules to honor the Sabbath day that they forgot what the law was all about: loving others.

ALL ARE JUDGED ACCORDING TO THEIR LIFE, NOT THEIR RELIGION

Finally, everyone will be judged according to how they lived their life. There are many religious people that just follow ritual or do lip service, but do not live their life according to what is taught:

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.
Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’
Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?
And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?
And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’
Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’
Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’
And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matt. 25:31-46)

WHO CRUCIFIED JESUS? RELIGIOUS PEOPLE

One often forgets that the four Gospels concentrate on how religion towards its end become corrupt, and based on falsity justifies the killing of other people:

They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. (John 16:2) 

So beware of belonging to a religion of false teachings. Always examine what you think to be true. If a religion is based on fear and hatred, or making one group "superior" to others, it is a false religion.

BRAIN GAMES ON LOVE AND COMPASSION

Here is an interesting episode from Brain Games on National Geographic, which demonstrates the psychological impact of love and compassion on other people, based on scientific studies. I especially like the hot chili blind test, which shows just how a simple act of kindness can have a ripple effect on other people.  It also shows what questions you can ask in a party situation to determine which personality is most likely to be "psychopathic." Love is not just for heaven: love is the key to happiness, and a healthy social life.