In Other Planets, Emanuel Swedenborg offers us a panorama of a unified and purposeful universe based on his visionary journeys through the unimaginably vast reaches of the spiritual world.
Cast in the form of a travelogue, Swedenborg describes having contact with the spirits of people who had lived on Mercury, Jupiter, and other planets and satellites in our solar system and beyond. This may present a challenge for those who interpret it literally, but just as it is with other of Swedenborg’s “memorable occurrences” in the spiritual world, the goal is to consider and explore the deeper insights that he reveals regarding the universal principles that unite the human with the Divine. The discussions of faith in Other Planets are framed by Swedenborg’s own Christian beliefs; however, a key takeaway for readers will certainly be the feeling that there are multiple ways of approaching belief and religious practice that can all lead to heaven.
Also published under the titles Earths in the Universe, The Worlds in Space, and Life on Other Planets, this work provides seasoned students of Swedenborg with a renewed take on the fundamentals of his theology. At the same time, this short piece opens a window onto how the people of the eighteenth century sought to integrate science and religion in ways that are still relevant and meaningful today.