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Emanuel Swedenborg

emanuel, swedenborg, swedenborgian, prophetEmanuel Swedenborg ws born in Sweden and lived from 1688 to 1772. He was a scientist and inventor but, like others before him, he became inspired through dreams and visions to express in writing what he had seen through his spiritual experience. The result were a series of books that helped many people see Christianity in a much brighter light and more lucidly. It was to be expected that the more orthodox wanted him tried for heresy. (It should always be remembered and history has proven, that the more orthodox or even conservative in any religion are often the least enlightened and consequently the most condeming of anyone who might present a more complete picture of reality that might alter and therefore threaten their narrow scope.)

Some might say that what Emanuel Swedenborg wrote was simply philosophy influenced by this, that or the other philosopher. Unfortunately, this is just how many scholars speak because, having had no experience of their own, they have to rely on the experience of others to draw their conclusions. Often all they have is the experience of the experience of the experience of others and that forms their reality. The possibility of someone actual being a prophet is not considered rational in a world whos heart has waxed cold and beleives more in itself than something higher.

Swedenborg's writings influenced many including Hellen Keller who stated that "the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg have been my light, and a staff in my hand and by his vision splendid I am attended on my way." Other notables that found genuine inspiration in the work of Emanuel Swedenborg were Elizabeth Barrett Browning, August Strindberg, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Charles Baudelaire, Adam Mickiewicz, Balzac, William Butler Yeats, Sheridan Le Fanu, Jorge Luis Borges.

Needless to say, Swedenborg also had those who were less than flattering towards him and his writings.

Swedenborg put forth the idea that salvation through faith alone without charity was not possible. The purpose of faith, according to Swedenborg, is to lead a person to a life according to the truths of faith, which is charity. This statement can, purhaps, be put in different terms; simply knowing or beleiving that there is food in the kitchen will not satisfy ones hunger if they do not eat that food when they are hungry. Some equate believing in Christ with salvation. According to Swedenborg this is just the begining. Thinking and acting are the natural extension of faith.

Some religious sects have even plagurised the work of Emanuel Swedenborg "adopting his words to suit themselves but, not their meaning." Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, did just that and went as far as to say that Swedenborg was a fool for not "profiting" from his writing. This does not invalidate Swedenborg as he preceeded the affore mentioned "latter day movement" by over half a century.

In his writings Swedenborg presages that an even greater seer than himself would come. Comparing the work of Emanuel Swedenbrog and Jakob Lorber one might conclude that Swedenborg was refering to Lorber.

Swedenborg's is heavenly and in conformity with Biblical script if not its various and sometimes extreme interpretations.

If there is a title of the work of Swedenborg that is not shown below, you can search for it when you are in Amazon.

As amazing as the work of Emanuel Swedenborg is, some translations of his work are better than others. The best we were able to sample were the "Standard Editions." These were translated several decades ago and, when compared to the newer translations, stand out as far superior. This is to be expected given that the original writing was written in Latin and there just aren't that many people speaking fluent Latin these days. The newer translations compared with the Standard Editions seem a lot more "liberal" in their interpretation let alone translation because when compared they sometimes convey entirely different concepts than what is in the earlier translations. The Standard Editions read better, convey concepts that are in keeping with the subject matter and are consistent with the work of others who write as Swedenborg does. See Jakob Lorber.

The Standard Editions are not available here. You have to order them directly from the Swedenborg Foundation. The books below that are in Yellow cover are your best bet. The other Swedenborg books presented here are also from the Swedenborg Foundation.