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Communicating with SpiritsPosted Saturday, February 18, 2012, at 4:16 PM
Emanuel Swedenborg (1688 - 1772) was a Swedish scientist, philosopher and mystic. He was the world's pre-eminent scholar and scientist of his day.
Many artists, writers and scholars were influenced by Swedenborg, including Carl Jung, Arthur Conan Doyle, William Blake, Immanuel Kant, Helen Keller, Ralph Waldo Emerson and W.B. Yeats.
Swedenborg's father, Jesper, was a professor of theology who believed in direct communication with the Almighty One, rather than relying on sheer faith. He also believed spirits and angels were present in everyday life.
Emanuel completed his university training in Sweden in 1709. The following year, he travelled through the Netherlands, Germany and France, and eventually settled in London for the next four years where he studied physics and philosophy.
In 1715, Swedenborg returned to Sweden and spent the next two decades on engineering projects. He attempted to persuade the King of Sweden (Charles XII) to fund an astronomical observatory in northern Sweden, but failed. Instead, the king appointed him on the Swedish Board of Mines as an assessor.
In 1716-18, Swedenborg published a scientific periodical of various mathematical discoveries and mechanical inventions, including sketches of a flying machine.
In 1724, he was offered the chairmanship of mathematics at Uppsala University in Stockholm but turned it down. He had a speech impediment (stuttering, which caused him to speak slowly) and didn't care to speak in public.
In the 1730s, his studies led him to physiology and anatomy. He was the first recognized scientist who anticipated the neuron concept (significance of nerve cells). He developed theories about the nervous system, the cerebral cortex, the localization of the cerebrospinal fluid and the function of the pituitary gland. In many cases, his conclusions would be scientifically verified decades later.
Swedenborg studied some of the great philosophers, such as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes and Plotinus. He eventually became interested about the purpose of creation. In one of his manuscripts he attempted to explain how the infinite was related to the finite, and how the soul was related to the mortal body.
On Easter weekend, April 6, 1744, Swedenborg, at age 56, began to have dreams and visions that led to a spiritual awakening.
In April of 1745, Swedenborg was dining in a private room at a tavern in London. At the end of the meal, he went into an altered state of consciousness. A man appeared in the corner of the room, telling him "Do not eat too much." Later that night, he encountered this man in a dream, who then told Swedenborg He was the Lord and would reveal the meaning of the Bible and guide him on what to write.
For the remaining 28 years of his life, Swedenborg published dozens of theological works.
In his publication titled LIFE ON OTHER PLANETS, he wrote that he had communication with spirits from Mars, Venus and other planets.
In 1758, Swedenborg had an audience with Queen Louisa Ulrika of Sweden whereupon the Queen requested that he tell her something about her deceased brother. When Swedenborg whispered something in her ear, she tuned pale. She later explained that Swedenborg told her something only she and her brother could have known.
On July 29, 1759, Swedenborg was having dinner with a group of people, several hundred miles from his home. At six PM, he announced there was a fire at a neighbor's house, which also threatened his house. Two hours later, he declared the fire was now under control. Later, it was all proven to be true, including the precise times of the start and end of the fire.
Swedenborg wrote 30 volumes on theology, including HEAVEN AND HELL published in 1758. He had developed the skill to be simultaneously in the carnal world and the spirit world, by realizing a state of awareness in a manner of similar to entering a hypnotic state.
He wrote the following -- "The first experience, being taken out of the body, is like this. We are brought into a particular state that is halfway between sleep and waking. When we are in this state, it seems exactly as though we were awake -- all our senses are as alert as they are when we are fully awake physically -- sight, hearing, and strange to say, touch. These senses are more perfect than they can ever be during physical wakefulness. This is the state in which people have seen spirits and angels most vividly. It is the state described as being taken out of the body and not knowing whether one is in the body or outside it."
Swedenborg claimed he had endless conversations with the spirit world. He explained that "celestial" angels remained in the higher realms whereas "spiritual" angels visited and guided mortal beings Needless to say, he was highly criticized by the prevailing religious establishment.
More from Swedenborg writings -- "We may gather that inwardly we are spirits from the fact that after we depart from our body, which happens when we die, we are still alive and just as human as ever. I have talked 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 with some for years... while we are living in our bodies, each one of us is in a community with spirits even though we are unaware of it."
May the Force be with you.
Quote for the Day -- "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." Albert Einstein
Bret Burquest is the author of 8 books, including THE REALITY OF THE ILLUSION OF REALITY, ORB OF WOUNDED SOULS and PATH TO FOURTH DENSITY (available on Amazon). He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and where spirits are occasionally produced when the moon shines.
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Bret Burquest is a former award-winning columnist for The News (2001-2007) and author of four novels. He has lived in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Kansas City, Memphis and the middle of the Arizona desert. After a life of blood, sweat and tears in big cities, he has finally found peace in northern Arkansas where he grows tomatoes, watches sunsets and occasionally shares the Secrets of the Universe (and beyond) with the rest of the world.