On Mars and the Second Coming
by Steve Koke
Scientific research suggests that all signs of any possibility of life on Mars do refer to the distant past . Mars has been for some time unable to support any elaborate ecosystem but may have long ago. So far so good. But, if there was life on Mars only in the distant past, the empty planet would have had to be noted by Swedenborg, for in Earths in the Universe n. 1 he says that the deceased inhabitants of a planet are near their planet and know what is going on there. No empty planets were reported, and if there were any, it would have been a crisis for the spirits from the planet-a planet's population is the material base or foundation of any planetary population in the spiritual world. And his Martians are described as if they were still there (e.g.: "At length they were instructed from heaven that the inhabitants of Mars were meant, that their celestial love, in which very many still are . . . " n. 94). If Mars lost its inhabitants, it would have happened after EU was published.
Swedenborg's efforts to identify the solar system home planets of people in the spiritual world failed across the board, which indicates that the problem was probably systematic. With a systematic problem on our hands, Mars would be a lucky exception, and we would need to unravel the entire solar system problem before we could be sure of any one planet-except ours!
I was intrigued by Douglas Taylor's article on how to present our idea of the Lord's Second Coming. He brought out a striking argument based on John 16:12, 13, and 25, which he feels predicts that the Second Coming would be a revelation of truth, not a personal coming. Since I am writing a book on the subject for the Swedenborg Foundation, I looked up the passages with the help of Searle's Index, but found no such interpretation by Swedenborg. Hence I'm cautious. If the verses did settle any issues about how to take the Last Judgment prophecies, Swedenborg curiously avoids using them for the purpose.