Swedenborg Study.com

Online works based on the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg


Both Factual and Spiritual?

by Laurel Odhner

Dear Editor,

For months-or years, I think, really-I have been watching this argument going on in the pages of the LIFE between people who say Earths in the Universe must have an internal sense and you can't take it literally, and people who say you have to take it literally because the Writings don't have an internal sense.

Has it occurred to anyone yet that both might be true? That, like the Gospels and the historical parts of the Old Testament, this might be a true, factual story that also has a spiritual and celestial sense?

Chris Horner (March 1981, p. 158) says, "There may indeed be deeper senses on those planes where the angels dwell, but for man to apply his puny, undeveloped intellect to such things-never."

What?! Why are we told about those internal levels of meaning if we are not to strive to see them? Mow are we to stretch and develop our puny intellects if we don't apply them to things beyond their reach? We are meant to be working on becoming angels now, not waiting for some mysterious transformation after death. What I have been taught is that the internal sense is certainly there in the Writings, just as in any other revelation direct from the Lord, and the difference between it and previous revelations is that there is nothing in the Writings that contradicts or hides the internal-so it should be most readily accessible, in the very "letter" of the Writings, for anyone who is spiritually ready to understand it.

And on the other hand, haven't some of you out there, who have separated the actual data the spaceships sent back from the premature conclusions the "scientific" community drew from them, noticed how much more vividly realistic Swedenborg's descriptions of the planets begin to sound? That our awkward pictures of gravity-laden people walking "as if swimming" on the surface of Jupiter suddenly became gloriously graceful when Jupiter turned out to be made of gasses and liquids? Did no one look at the photos of Mars and think of the passage about those who were sent out to live among the rocks? Scientific fact continually enriches and confirms spiritual truth. It is only pseudo-scientific theory prematurely announced as law that conflicts. Anyone who is gambling his religious faith on the bet that there are men on the moon had better learn to sift what he reads, gather the real information, and throw out the secular conclusions that have been drawn from it.

Philadelphia, PA


The Starry Heaven
Revealed Knowledge
Inhabited Universe 1
Hard Sayings
How should those in the Church regard the Teachings Concerning the Earths in the Universe?, by Philip Odhner, 1969
Absent Other Worlds
What God Revealed?
The Spiritual Universe
About Moon-Dwellers
Men Upon the Moon
Around the Lord
Life on the Moon
Worlds in Space
Planets Outside
On Mars
Earth in the Universe
Was Life on Mars?
Swedenborg & Dr. Oz


• Back • Home • Up •

Factual & Spiritual?

Webmaster: IJT@swedenborgstudy.com