Good Question! Recap: Giving Tuesday 2019 — 12/09/19

Watch full episode here!

In our finale to our Giving Tuesday week celebration, our expert panel gathers to answer viewer questions with the help of the writings of eighteenth-century spiritual teacher Emanuel Swedenborg.

Before we get into that, host Curtis Childs joins Chelsea Odhner and executive director Morgan Beard to talk about the Swedenborg Foundation and to introduce prizes for our supporters.

Throughout the rest of this special episode, our team will work together to answer questions from viewers. Questions and answers are summarized below; please follow the links for the full discussion.

1. Did Swedenborg believe Jesus’s virgin birth was a literal fact like the Resurrection or view it allegorically as a correspondence, like early Genesis?

When Swedenborg discussed the Bible, he identified some stories that didn’t literally happen but that were instead allegories for greater spiritual truth. Some other stories did literally happen in history, but they still had correspondences to greater spiritual truth. Most of the miracles of Jesus’s life fall in that latter category—they did literally happen in accordance with divine design so that they could show deeper truths. 

2. Would Swedenborg say we should be led by our hearts or our minds? Intentions or understanding?

Our hearts (love) and our minds (truth) must work in concert to lead us forward. A lot of Swedenborg’s writings discuss or emphasize balance in these fundamental principles. Our intentions let us act on our understanding, and our understanding guides and shapes our intentions.

3. What do we do about boredom, what is it really?

Boredom can allow you to let go and see opportunities to do useful things that could challenge you and help you grow. It can be a good tool for reflection—if you’re bored, ask yourself what part of you is bored. Sometimes, your more earthly instincts should be bored so that you are able to open up to deeper, more spiritual things.

In celebration of Giving Tuesday, we get a behind-the-scenes visit with community manager Chris Dunn and social media moderator Melissa Bowyer, along with writers Chelsea Odhner and Karin Childs. After that short video, Chelsea Odhner, Chara Daum, Chris Dunn, and Karin Childs join to answer more questions.

4. Does Swedenborg mention anything about people living in a hellish state? Do they have a chance to rectify their situation and then go on to heaven?

People can live in hellish states here on earth, but they are truly confronted with their choices when they pass to the afterlife. There, they can make the choice to move away from those hellish states once they know the truth. Only those who choose to go to hell will go there. Anyone who desires to rectify their situation will definitely be helped by the Lord to do so.

5. Do suicidal people find peace in their choice? Do they regret their choice?

All those who die are greeted by angels who take them on a path to peace. However, with suicide, there is likely regret in the realization that many of the circumstances that led to this tragic decision were either impermanent or misunderstood. In the afterlife, we find truth, and the truth is that life is worth living.

6. Does everyone who enters the world of spirits choose to undergo regeneration, or do some just choose to live their “normal” life?

In a way, entering the world of spirits allows us to begin our fullest lives. All the masks are shed, and from there we can decide what to do next. But regeneration isn’t really something we choose—even here on earth we are always regenerating and growing.

In continued celebration of Giving Tuesday, we are treated to another original song from Chelsea Odhner. Afterwards, Curtis and Morgan return alongside director of development Tim Bilger to read some donor comments. Then, the results of the raffle are finally revealed.

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Related Swedenborg & Life Videos

Regeneration: How Radical Love Is Born

Suicide, the Rapture, and Dating in the Afterlife? (Good Question!)

“Who Was Swedenborg?”

Why Jesus Was Born

The World of Spirits

Free E-Book Downloads

Apocalypse Explained

Apocalypse Revealed

Conjugial Love

Divine Love and Wisdom

Divine Providence

Heaven and Hell

Last Judgment / Supplements

Life / Faith

The Lord

New Jerusalem

Other Planets

Sacred Scripture / White Horse

Secrets of Heaven

True Christianity


Read more Swedenborg & Life episode recaps >


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About Swedenborg & Life

In a lighthearted and interactive webcast format, host Curtis Childs from the Swedenborg Foundation and featured guests explore topics from Swedenborg’s eighteenth-century writings about his spiritual experiences and afterlife explorations and discuss how they relate to modern-day life and death.
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About offTheLeftEye

When we wake up in heaven, Swedenborg tells us, angels roll a covering from off of our left eye so that we can see everything in a spiritual light. The offTheLeftEye YouTube channel uses an array of educational and entertaining video formats to look at life and death through an uplifting spiritual lens.
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