Good Question! Recap — 1/20/20

Watch full episode here!

Our expert panel convenes once again to answer some hard-hitting questions—with just a little help from eighteenth-century spiritual teacher Emanuel Swedenborg.

The panel members are:

  • Curtis Childs, host of Swedenborg & Life
  • 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.

1. You have mentioned how heaven speaks through us in ways other than words, so would you say that when we are given these wonderful intuitive thoughts they are being translated by a higher source?

Everything—every thought, every idea, every word—comes from a spiritual source. So if something feels good and loving and helps you move forward, then it’s almost definitely from heaven. Darker thoughts are just distortions of higher truths. 

Curtis and Chris sit at the anchor desk, discussing the question about how heaven speaks through us.

2. We know the left eye corresponds with the intellect. What about the right eye?

Eyesight in general is about understanding and faith. The right eye corresponds to what you care about, while the left eye corresponds to what you know. Think about the right eye as how we understand love and the left eye as how we understand wisdom. One is nothing without the other. If you just know things but don’t care to work on them, it’s as useless as working on things you don’t understand.

Karin sits smiling at a desk in front of a white wall and a bookcase full of Swedenborg's writings.

3. If the afterlife is so much like life here . . . why is there no stress there?

Swedenborg does describe heaven as being really similar to earth, but there’s a clarity there that removes so much of the ambiguity and struggle that we experience here. Life in heaven is simply less complicated. Here on earth and even in the world of spirits, we are constantly bombarded with distractions and noise that block or obscure heaven’s light. In heaven, though, there’s just a lot less in the way.

4. Revelation 21:8 speaks of unbelievers being cast in the lake of fire. Swedenborg literature in Our Life after Death says otherwise. Is Revelation 21:8 a misinterpretation or a different meaning?

Swedenborg actually addresses this directly—the book of Revelation is symbolic language. The lake of fire symbolizes destructive passions and burning hatred, which people have the freedom to throw themselves into. It’s hard to imagine wanting to be in these states, but for those who truly love evil, it seems like the best choice.

5. How much of the ego do we take with us into the afterlife?

The ego can feel like a liability, but it also seems like a good thing to have a confident sense of self. We are given a selfhood for a reason, so we don’t need to destroy it completely; it’s just not meant to be in charge. In this life and on into the afterlife, we are in a process of aligning our lower self (negative ego) with our higher self (God’s purposes). We talk about this in more detail in our episode “The Infinite in You.”

6. Why do some spirits communicate with living loved ones and some do not? They see living people’s sorrow and pain, but usually they don’t respond and show themselves.

It’s a big question—why don’t people we love who have passed away talk to us more? Knowing that the afterlife is real makes it difficult for us to understand the silence, but people who have passed aren’t going to speak the same language we do. They have more subtle ways of communication. Sometimes our loved ones relate to us through thoughts, feelings, or overall sensations rather than through more concrete and easily recognizable language.

Curtis and Chris sit at the anchor desk, a screen with the "Good Question!" logo between them.

7. Is there such a thing as karma?

The pop understanding of karma is that life or the universe will return the positive or negative energy you put into it. Analogously, when we choose to embrace the thoughts and feelings that flow into us from either heaven or hell, we situate ourselves in closer proximity with those heavenly or hellish communities. This direct relationship, however, only operates in the spiritual world, not in the physical world. In the spiritual world, you always know the repercussions of your actions. For more on these ideas, check out our episode Is the Law of Attraction Real?.

8. Is it too late to repent after we pass on to the other side?

There isn’t a time limit on repentance and regeneration; it’s a lifelong process. So any time we open ourselves to becoming better and look toward developing a conscience, we can find our way to a higher heaven. It’s just a matter of making a start while we’re here on earth.

——-

Related Swedenborg & Life Videos

The Gates to Heaven and Hell

The Infinite in You

Is the Law of Attraction Real?

The Meaning of the Book of Revelation: the Four Horsemen

The Meaning of the Book of Revelation: 7 Churches

The Meaning of the Book of Revelation: Souls Under the Altar

The Meaning of the Book of Revelation: The Throne Room

“Who Was Swedenborg?”

“Why Don’t Those Who’ve Died Communicate With Us More?”

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

Our Life after Death

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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