Our expert panel has gathered to answer viewer questions with the help of the writings of eighteenth-century spiritual teacher Emanuel Swedenborg.
The panel members are:
- Curtis Childs, host of Swedenborg & Life
- Chara Daum, Latin consultant, New Century Edition
- Chris Dunn, community manager for Swedenborg & Life
- Karin Childs, writer for Swedenborg & Life
Questions and answers are summarized below; please follow the links for the full discussion.
The afterlife is bound to be a confusing place, but according to Swedenborg, we’re certain to have help as we acclimate to it. We might not have a dedicated “customer service” team to support us, but we’ll be in communities that know how to speak our language, both literally and figuratively.
The first thing to understand is that God did not create sin—sin is self-centeredness that results from our opposition to God’s love. Once it emerged, God found a way to account for it through divine providence and still make sure everything is working toward joy. Sin needs to be seen to be addressed and eliminated. While angels go through different stages of closeness or lack thereof to the Lord, their distance does not correspond to sinfulness or hellishness.
Angels communicate with us constantly, but that doesn’t mean we see them. To “see” one, you need to have your spiritual eyes open, but Swedenborg doesn’t outline a clear path to opening your spiritual eyes. Both good and evil people can and have been able to see them. It’s important, too, to remember that angels aren’t some distinct species—they’re just people in especially heavenly mindsets, living from the truth and loving others.
We remember everything that is useful to our joy, but we can set aside useless or painful memories. Imagine if you could put your worst memories on a bookshelf and only pull them down when you need to. And at the same time, your favorite memories are always on hand and can be revisited with crystal clarity. In fact, according to Swedenborg, angels have perfect memory. For more on this, check out “What Will You Remember in the Afterlife?”
Since there is no sense of time and space in the spiritual world, our loved ones don’t feel like they’re waiting for us. Swedenborg did witness reunions between loved ones, which we cover in detail in “5 Reunions in the Afterlife.”
Spirituality done right can provide healthy tools to deal with depression, but they are not otherwise related. Brain chemistry being what it is, even the most spiritual people can struggle with mental illness.