Swedenborg and Life

AngelicView: Emanuel Swedenborg was a scientist (of the natural sciences – anatomy, physiology, and psychology) who lived from 1688 to 1772. According to the story, later on in his life he experienced a religious crisis and began having communications – along with out of body experiences – with spiritual beings. Swedenborg wrote books with the information he gleaned from these connections with the entities and with the other side and the information has very direct confirmations with persons who have experienced NDE’s (Near Death Experiences). But the volumes of information in these books by Swedenborg goes into so much more detail than a short story of someone’s NDE.

Here is a brief excerpt from an article on Swedenborg on near-death.com:

Swedenborg described what happens when bodily functions such as respiration and circulation cease. This description is similar to what people describe when dying during an NDE.

“Still man does not die, but is only separated from the corporeal part which was of use to him in the world … Man, when he dies, only passes from one world into another.”

Swedenborg wrote how he himself has been through the early stages of death and had experiences outside of his body. This corresponds to the out-of-body experience component of the NDE.

“I was brought into a state of insensibility as to the bodily sense, thus almost into the state of the dying; yet the interior life with thought remaining entire, so that I perceived and retained in memory the things which occurred, and which occur to those who are resuscitated from the dead … Especially it was given to perceive … that there was a drawing and … pulling of … mind, thus of my spirit, from the body.”

During Swedenborg’s out-of-body experiences, he encountered beings whom he identifies as angels. They ask him, in effect, if he is prepared to die. This corresponds to NDEs where spirit guides appear and help the experiencer.

“Those angels first inquired what my thought was, whether it was like the thought of those who die, which is usually about eternal life; and that they wished to keep my mind in that thought.”

The communication which took place between Swedenborg and the spirits are direct transfers of thought – a way of communicating in which there is no possibility of misunderstanding. This corresponds to people having NDEs who describe communication as being telepathic.

“Whereas spirits converse with each other by  universal language … Every man, immediately after death, comes into this universal language … which is proper to his spirit …

“The speech of an angel or a spirit with man is heard as sonorously as the speech of a man with a man; yet it is not heard by others who stand near, but by himself alone; the reason is, because the speech of an angel or spirit flows first into the man’s thought …”

Swedenborg described how the newly dead often do not realize they are dead because they still inhabit a body resembling their physical body in several respects. This kind phenomenon appears in many NDE testimonies such as that of Dr. George Ritchie.

“The first state of man after death is similar to his state in the world, because then in like manner he is in externals … Hence, he knows no otherwise than the he is still in the world … Therefore, after they have wondered that they are in a body, and in every sense which they had in the world … they come into a desire of knowing what heaven is, and what hell is.”

Swedenborg described how – compared to physical life – the spiritual life has less limitations. Perception, thought, and memory are more perfect. Time and space no longer pose the obstacles they once had in physical life. This corresponds with NDE testimonies describing how thought becomes more expansive and how the afterlife realms exist in a timeless state.

“All the faculties of spirits … are in a more perfect state, as well their sensations as their thoughts and perceptions.”

According to Swedenborg, the dying person may meet with other departed spirits whom they knew in life. These other spirits are there to help the dying person in their transition to life on the Other Side. This corresponds to NDE testimony involving the experiencer being welcomed by loved ones in a kind of homecoming.

“The spirit of man recently departed from the world is … recognized by his friends, and by those whom he had known in the world … wherefore they are instructed by their friends concerning the state of eternal life …”

Swedenborg wrote how the departed person may have their entire life shown to them in a vision. The departed person remembers every detail of it and there is no possibility lying or concealing anything. This corresponds to the life review of NDEs.

“The interior memory … is such that there are inscribed in it all the particular things … which man has at any time thought, spoken, and done … from his earliest infancy to extreme old age. Man has with him the memory of all these things when he comes into another life, and is successively brought into all recollection of them … All that he had spoken and done … are made manifest before the angels, in a light as clear as day … and … there is nothing so concealed in the world that it is not manifested after death … as if seen in effigy, when the spirit is viewed in the light of heaven.”

Swedenborg also mentioned the “light of the Lord” which permeates the hereafter. It is a light of ineffable brightness which Swedenborg claims to have glimpsed himself. It is a light of truth and of understanding. This corresponds to the otherworldly Light seen in many NDEs.


(AV) What I want to bring your attention to is a You Tube Channel called “OffTheLeftEye” which is by the Swedenborg Foundation in which they offer teachings of Swedenborg’s – including live events where they will take your questions about the afterlife and answer them live on the air according to Swedenborg’s teachings. It’s very easy to submit a question. You can either type it into the comment section of the livestream video (on You Tube), or you can use their comment section on their Facebook Page. I think the videos are very interesting and informative.

If you want to get involved in this, simply go to their You Tube Channel and subscribe. Then watch your subscriptions and it will let you know when one is coming up (or watch their Facebook Page). You tube will even allow you to set yourself a reminder. Then you simply click on the video when it’s time for it to start.

Some of their videos are live-streamed and other ones are pre-recorded. But they do try to get to all questions posed to them either way. I’ll post below some examples of videos they have made.


Swedenborg and Life: What the Afterlife Feels Like

(This video offers a free PDF version of the book they are discussing 😉  )

How will it feel to be in the afterlife? Will what we love affect how we feel? Join us, along with author Peter Rhodes, as we read through Swedenborg’s accounts of his spiritual experiences and what he learned through them.

Topics include:

-The difference between our outer and inner self
-How being let into our inner selves affects us based on what we love
-The communities our spirits belong to

You can download the book that we’ll be going through for free as an ebook or pdf here: http://bit.ly/1pyMMWs

Swedenborg and Life: What is Heaven?

(This one was recorded Live and starts after the timer runs down.)

Swedenborg and Life: The True “Church” isn’t About Religious Affiliation

2 thoughts on “Swedenborg and Life

  1. Thanks for the reference to that Youtube channel, was unaware of it. I discovered Swedenborg after I read “Life after Life” by Raymond Moody, who had coined the phrase “Near Death Experience.” There are many insights in his writings, It changes your way of thinking.

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