Swedenborg as Theosophist
- Published: Friday, 02 March 2012 23:59
By G. Baseden Butt – the UK
[Edited from the Theosophist, October 1925]
The truths of Theosophy continually receive confirmation from unexpected quarters. An instance of this is provided by the Swedish seer and mystic, Emmanuel Swedenborg. Swedenborg died in 1772 at the age of eighty-four, most of his religious works being produced in the last twenty or thirty years of his life. All his theology is Christo-centric and he betrays no indication of having given the idea of reincarnation even cursory attention.
But in spite of these limitations Swedenborg anticipates several doctrines to be found in Theosophy and also, of course, in modern spiritualism. He makes what must then have been the revolutionary announcement that man after death pursues for a time a life similar to that which he has followed in the world—thought, character, personality, and tastes remaining unchanged. Swedenborg refers to the astral plane as the “world of spirits” and the lower and higher mental planes are doubtless his “celestial” and “spiritual” heavens, in the former of which dwell angels, grounded primarily in goodness, and in the latter angels grounded primarily in the love of truth.