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
- Chara Daum, Latin consultant, New Century Edition
- Dr. Jonathan Rose, series editor, New Century Edition
- Chelsea Odhner, writer for Swedenborg & Life
Questions and answers are summarized below; please follow the links for the full discussion.
In the afterlife, proximity and connection are based on spiritual alignment and shared passions. There is a divine design behind all of it, so these kinds of unpleasant confrontations may happen, but only when providence has a use for them. As an example, Swedenborg once described a murderer meeting his victim in the afterlife. It was unsurprisingly awkward, but it could have set up a powerful reconciliation.
Some scholars believe that this was when Jesus went to hell and released penitent souls. Swedenborg described this as freeing people from “the lower earth,” which is a part of the world of spirits. In fact, Swedenborg says that for human beings, in general, there is a three-day period between dying and waking up in the spiritual world.
For more on “the lower earth,” check out our episode “The Meaning of the Book of Revelation: Souls Under the Altar.”
Across the years there have been many predictions about when the world is going to come to an end, but it hasn’t happened yet. According to Swedenborg, there will not be a physical rapture; instead, the rapture is a spiritual movement in which angels and people will be connected through the truth.
We are not held spiritually responsible for our conditions of mental impairment or for their consequent actions. In fact, we’re not condemned or saved based on our actions; instead, placement in the afterlife is based on our true intent and motivation. Everyone in the spiritual world is a welcome guest. You have to try hard to get into hell—people only go there if that’s where they want to be in their heart of hearts.
Stephanie found our show when she was going through a spiritual awakening. It helped her feel like she wasn’t alone at a time when she felt isolated from everyone else. Before her awakening, she was elevating her own self-improvement over her relationship with God.
Swedenborg says, yes. Marriage love and its consummation are looked upon as holy, important, joyful things among the highest love in heaven. Some churches feel like sex is a dirty thing, so Swedenborg’s description of it as a correspondence of our union with God was controversial.
First, understand that nothing catches God by surprise, and everything serves a divine purpose through providence. From God’s view, there’s nothing to fear in our physical death, our “first death”; what’s unfinished on earth can be figured out in the spiritual world. There are things God wills, things God allows, and things God cannot prevent. In the end, though, it’s about what’s best for everyone.
Short answer, yes. Swedenborg says that all our loved ones will be waiting to greet us when we enter the afterlife. In the afterlife, Swedenborg found everyone he ever met in life, so odds are good that we’ll meet those who were important to us again.
Related Swedenborg & Life Videos
“An Interview with Spirits Three Days after Their Death” (News From Heaven)