Watch full episode here!
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
- Dr. Jonathan Rose, series editor, New Century Edition
- Karin Childs, writer for Swedenborg & Life
Questions and answers are summarized below; please follow the links for the full discussion.
According to Swedenborg, all heaven cares about is your intentions. If your intention is to do good for the sake of good, that’s much different from doing good just to get a reward. This makes self-reflection important—consider why you’re doing what you’re doing, and keep working to improve not only the effects but also your intentions.
Angels are messengers, and they’ll make their way to you if there’s something you need to know. They don’t visit without a purpose. They’re here on earth to do good—to give comfort and reassurance.
Strangely enough, he compares angelic government to the government of bees. The way that bees interact can teach us a lot about how heaven values usefulness and community. When it comes to earthly government, Swedenborg lived in a time of political change. One thing he highlighted was the importance of intellectual freedom. Government should support the common good, not just individual groups.
The remnant is a part of you that is special—an indestructible goodness within you. Swedenborg doesn’t clearly answer this question, but Jonathan believes that just as do freedom and rationality, the remnant must remain with people even in hell. Those who are in hell still have everlasting life, so the remnant may be that core element that God connects with to sustain their life.
Kim found our show after experiencing a loss, and it helped her understand her grief and move forward. She had a spiritual experience that got her back into her spiritual practice, and she finds that the show helps her bring things into perspective.
According to Swedenborg, all angels were once human. To have an individual spirit requires that one starts out in the physical world. It’s important, too, to note that Swedenborg includes sentient aliens in the human category.
Though some argue that she was Jesus’s wife, Swedenborg wasn’t extremely interested in the historical people. He was much more interested in their correspondences and symbolism. So there were no hints as to the depth of her relationship with Christ.
Start with what they believe in—are they interested in science, in ethics, in psychology? Any of these can be valid entry points to Swedenborg’s writing. He can help to reconcile some of the things that don’t make sense to critics, because they didn’t make sense to him either. A lot of his ideas are actually seeing more traction in scientific communities today.
Related Swedenborg & Life Videos
“Is There Evidence for God?” (Short clip)
Searching for Mary Magdalene (by Soni Soneson Werner)