Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Friday, May 29, 2015

Swedenborg Was A Far-out Dude

That the Divine is the same in things greatest and least may be shown by means of heaven and by means of an angel there. The Divine in the whole heaven and the Divine in an angel is the same; therefore even the whole heaven may appear as one angel. So is it with the church, and with a man of the church. The greatest form receptive of the Divine is the whole heaven together with the whole church; the least is an angel of heaven and a man of the church. Sometimes an entire society of heaven has appeared to me as one angel-man; and it was told that it may appear like a man as large as a giant, or like a man as small as an infant; and this, because the Divine in things greatest and least is the same.

The Divine is also the same in the greatest and in the least of all created things that are not alive; for it is in all the good of their use.  These, moreover, are not alive for the reason that they are not forms of life but forms of uses; and the form varies according to the excellence of the use. But how the Divine is in these things will be stated in what follows, where creation is treated of.

Put away space, and deny the possibility of a vacuum, and then think of Divine Love and of Divine Wisdom as being Essence itself, space having been put away and a vacuum denied. Then think according to space; and you will perceive that the Divine, in the greatest and in the least things of space, is the same; for in essence abstracted from space there is neither great nor small, but only the same.

Something shall now be said about vacuum. I once heard angels talking with Newton about vacuum, and saying that they could not tolerate the idea of a vacuum as being nothing, for the reason that in their world which is spiritual, and which is within or above the spaces and times of the natural world, they equally feel, think, are affected, love, will, breathe, yea, speak and act, which would be utterly impossible in a vacuum which is nothing, since nothing is nothing, and of nothing not anything can be affirmed. Newton said that he now knew that the Divine, which is Being itself, fills all things, and that to him the idea of nothing as applied to vacuum is horrible, because that idea is destructive of all things; and he exhorts those who talk with him about vacuum to guard against the idea of nothing, comparing it to a swoon, because in nothing no real activity of mind is possible.  -- Angelic Wisdom Concerning the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom -- Emanuel Swedenborg, paragraphs 77 through 82.

That was clearly some potent pipeweed.  Weirdness aside, there are some interesting ideas buried here and there.  Swedenborg reminds me a little of Blake but perhaps more self-indulgent.  He's not on the level with MOTT over all, and I'm not convinced it's worth the sifting, but sometimes I skim for things that grab me.

Space is one of those things.  It is cannot be nothing.  Swedenborg has good kung fu here, "Put away space ... think of Divine Love and of Divine Wisdom as being Essence itself ...".  


Rick said...

I second your assessment :-)

julie said...

And I third; that same line jumped out at me. Interesting, perhaps especially, inasmuch as science still doesn't really understand how light can travel across the vast near-vacuum of space, instead falling back on the idea of a "dark matter" that can't in any way be detected.

Why not just call it the love that holds everything together? Especially considering that this dark matter must be just as present around and within us as it is everywhere else, and yet the very concept comes across as something out there. But Love, well, easy to understand how that's everywhere and in all things...

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Aye, as if matter or dark matter explains it. What's the matter with them? Exactly.

mushroom said...

Love wouldn't sound as scientific as dark matter. It's easier to get funding for dark matter research.