Manual Angelic Wisdom concerning Divine Love and Wisdom (Hyperlinked Works of Emanuel Swedenborg Book 24)

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Jung read Swedenborg and referred to him in his writing in a way that indicates he believed the seer to possess extrasensory abilities. This is the notion that all humans form part of a united spiritual human body — an idea originating in Kabbalistic lore. Nonetheless, Jung never directly credited Swedenborg as having an influence on his theory of the Collective Unconsciousness. We will therefore now turn to the importance of a universal symbolic language as this had earlier played an important role for Swedenborg. Symbols and Archetypes: Swedenborg and the Collective Unconscious.

Jung believed symbols appearing in dreams and myths could be identified as eternal types embedded in the unconscious, representing paradigms of psychic significance. Included among the collective often religious symbols to which he paid attention are the cross, the six-pointed Star of David, and the Buddhist wheel of life. According to Jung, such symbols were a method the Self uses to raise unconscious energy and aspirations to the level of the conscious.

Swedenborg would also trace symbols, which he calls Correspondences, across cultural divides. Many of the relationships between spiritual verities and natural images have survived as metaphor in our everyday language. In England, where Swedenborgianism grew early and fast, dictionaries were soon published J. According to Swedenborg, the symbolism of the horse and the rider can be found many places.

Wace, Walter E.

He points to the riders in the Revelation of St. John Swedenborg White Horse , but he also saw this symbolism manifested in various scenarios experienced on his dream-like journeys to the spiritual world. Swedenborg holds that Correpondences were originally intuitively understood and disseminated throughout ancient Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, Syria, Mesopotamia, Arabia, and the land of Canaan.

Most importantly, they were worked into the Bible, but they were also carried into Greece, where they were turned into fables. In Greek tradition, Correspondences are discernible in the stories of Olympus, Helicon and Pindus, and in the story of the winged horse called Pegasus, which symbolizes an understanding enlightened by spiritual insight. The transmutations that the human mind will go through in its quest for psychic wholeness were also reflected in the stories composed by the ancient writers of Greece.

Even though Jung describes the symbols in our common human psyche as genetic, i. According to Jung, man must try to know these transpersonal symbols and archetypes in order to achieve what in English translation is called individuation.

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Swedenborg similarly emphasizes a raising of consciousness as the primary goal of man through approaching symbols and archetypal narratives. For Swedenborg, the primary repository for these Correspondences is the Bible. The trees of that garden are his possible perceptions of love and intelligence, while the one he must not touch is the pain of death etc. In this way, Swedenborg sees the Testaments as providing images that will guide man towards inner psychic growth and deeper collective wisdom. Likewise, in Arcana Coelestia , a work of biblical exegesis, Swedenborg understands the six days of creation in the Book of Genesis as six successive states of a psycho-spiritual regeneration, moving through stages of redemption, forgiveness, reconciliation, the new life, and final consummation.

When this happens, they stultify into worship false images and inflexible doctrines.

Lecture 9 - The Occult

However, as humankind lapsed into evermore exterior perception, these works of art lost their significance to man and were worshipped as idols Swedenborg True Christian Religion , no. When composing these lines, Blake had been reading Swedenborg for some time, annotating his books and, for a short time, attending the Swedenborgian Church in Eastcheap, London Rix The Jungian analyst June K.

Singer claims in Blake, Jung, and the Collective Unconscious that Blake tapped into the Collective Unconscious, giving form and voice to the primordial psychological energies in his self-made mythology In a letter to Nanavutty, 11 Nov. The critic Northrop Frye sees Blake as someone presenting the psychological archetypes of human existence. For later critics, this has invited psychological analysis of the illustrations. In relation to the illustrations to Bunyan, for example, Gerda S.

Psalms 102

In addition to this, the emphasis on human types of men also smacks of Swedenborg, as we shall see in a moment. Like Swedenborg, Blake sought out a number of mythological and symbolic narratives that he believed provided mankind with archetypal images of divine significance. He knew nothing of God. Wilkinson interprets the mythology of the Poetic Edda by explaining the symbolic significance of lion men 31 , the fig tree 53 , and that of various animals that represent good and evil affections. This was a Swedenborgian analysis to the core, relying on Correspondences identified in his works.

In particular, the promise of a renovated Golden Age, captured in the image of the rebirth that follows Ragnarok, is interpreted as a representation of spiritual renewal. Wilkinson sets out to categorize the Norse mythological figures as representations of eternal personality types. This typologization is a very Swedenborgian strategy, which we may briefly discuss.

The groups of men that Swedenborg encounters in the spiritual world are classified as types, ordered in accordance with their psycho-spiritual characteristics for example, either Compassion or Self-Love, or whatever their minds direct them to. Swedenborg tells us that men with similar mindsets would gravitate towards one another in the spiritual world and form communities. These communities inhabit various strata of Heaven and Hell, descending from the very high to the lowest deep.

These groups of men are described in terms of the mental and religious proclivities they share, but are otherwise most often anonymous. Nonetheless, in the work of the Swedenborgian psychologist Leon James, this is precisely what is attempted. According to Swedenborg, men morph into outward symbols of their dominant convictions in the spiritual world. In this way, the mind would be visibly externalized. The beautiful angels are not divine creatures, but men who are entirely governed by love and affections. Conversely, men who live a life of evil may take on the appearance of the vile animals which their minds resemble.

Thus, men who prey on others for their own benefit may appear as ferocious carnivores, such as lions, tigers, or even dragons. Pound sees this as the definition of the language the poet seeks to reach for a higher state of consciousness. These dreams would eventually turn him away from science towards metaphysical investigations.

When it comes to the full-blown spiritual journeys to Heaven and Hell and other planets , a number of readers have also approached these as explorations of archetypal symbolism, not as the documentary accounts Swedenborg claimed they were. Reading Swedenborg as speaking in a mytho-psychological vocabulary that meant something more than its literal sense was a strategy already adopted by S. In some sense, Coleridge here approaches Jungian notions of imaginative activity, or what is also seen as the extension of the conscious horizon by the including numerous personal fantasies for the purpose of bringing about a psychic change see Jung CW : Evidently, Whitman evaluated these works not for their various religious doctrines but for the spiritual truths they conveyed.

Compared to the epic compositions of Dante and Milton, Shakespeare may seem the odd one out. It was a widespread opinion that Shakespeare wrote his plays as spiritual allegories, a code of truly divine messages. Dante is the literary writer to whom Swedenborg is most often compared. Swedenborgian scholars have argued that since the architecture of the afterlife which Dante describes in the Divine Comedy c.

Both Frank Sewell and Arthur Edgar Beilby painstakingly trace the similarities, while they both maintain that Swedenborg was a true visionary, while Dante was more of a myopic sage who was only allowed fractured glimpses of the world beyond Sewall; Beilby. In contrast, benign and compassionate spirits find themselves in agreeable landscapes.

Swedenborg because he belongs to an eighteenth century not yet touched by the romantic revival feels horror amid rocky uninhabited places, and so believes that the evil are in such places while the good are amid smooth grass and garden walks and the clear sunlight of Claude Lorraine. The Romantic poet Blake saw Swedenborg and Dante as essentially painting the same vision of heaven, as he noted in an inscription to his illustrations of The Divine Comedy However, he rated them differently. Others have been more egalitarian in their assessment. Jorge Louis Borges also compared Dante to Swedenborg on several occasions.

He admired both writers, but insisted that Swedenborg entertained true visions, while Dante was a poet Rowlandson It seems that Swedenborg as a myth-making artist of the inner life has garnered admiration, while his attempt at systematizing archetypes scientifically — like another Linnaeus — has provoked negative responses.

Several commentators now hail Swedenborg as a precursor of transpersonal psychology. His emphasis on physical-spiritual Correspondences has appealed to literary writers, who look for signs of the universal forms, the life behind things, and thereby escape the impoverishment of pure realism.

Finally, there is an ongoing attempt at reading Swedenborg as a psychopomp guiding the spiritual seeker by means of literary allegories. From this perspective, the fantastical visions are clearly separated from his theological doctrines. To put a general gloss on this turn in the reception history: his visions are reclaimed as literary iconography whose teleology is personal transformation. In this article, I hope to have demonstrated how the influence of Swedenborg on a number of readers helped to establish a nexus between psychological investigation and a literature pertaining to an unseen metaphysical reality.

The pervasiveness of an eccentric and unfashionable visionary in such discourses deserves to be noted and requires further study. Akert, Konrad, and Hammond, Michael P. London: R.