Beyond, beyond belief!

I am a follower of the ideas of Emanuel Swedenborg. His contributions to the history of human thought have almost completely been swept under the carpet. The reason why his ideas are so little embraced in the modern world of human ideas is that on the surface they seem to be totally preposterous.

For instance, after having an illustrious 35-year career as a natural scientist and philosopher Swedenborg suddenly turned to theology and claimed that the Lord God had given him the profound ability to observe the spiritual world and even interview its inhabitants (including angels) while still living on earth.

During this 28-year exploration of a non-physical realm, in which the Lord had raised his consciousness to a higher level of mind, he discovered that the Bible had higher levels of meaning as well, that the Second Coming had actually begun and that LOVE was the omnipresent world substance and unique active element behind all agency in the universe.

Swedenborg himself claimed that the Lord God had prepared and guided his mind through science so that he could later make proper observations of the distinct phenomena of the spiritual world. In other words, Swedenborg’s various scientific models were teased out of his mind from a divine imperative.

I have heard estimates that there are about 25,000 people in the world today who take Swedenborg seriously. Perhaps (a rough estimate) about 1,000 of them feel so strongly about these theological concepts that they are engaged in finding comparisons and points of contact with the New Paradigm science (i.e., relativity theory, quantum theory and multidimensional string theory). There is a strong feeling among them that Swedenborg’s advanced theology supports some of the latest scientific findings concerning the fundamental nature of reality.

Even beyond that and more rare, there are perhaps several dozen (at best) Swedenborgian thinkers who believe that his scientific models not only anticipated the discoveries of modern science but they still surpass them! For various reasons, most Swedenborgians dare not upset the apple cart of current scientific thinking and scholarship and will not go this far.

I belong to this last group of Swedenborgian thinkers. In order to increase the numbers of this tiny group I have written a new book titled Proving God. It is a seven-year attempt to unify science and theology by challenging the assumptions of both and providing new insights into the full spectrum of Swedenborg’s scientific and theological writings, including a new theory on evolution.

God’s Holy Word not only contains deeper meanings and secrets about human salvation but also the patterning principles of universal law and the top-down causal processes that created and sustain all things in the universe.

http://www.provinggod.com

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About thegodguy

EDWARD F. SYLVIA, M.T.S. Philosopher/Theologian Edward F. Sylvia attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his Master of Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and a Certificate of Swedenborgian Studies from the Swedenborgian House of Studies. He is a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (C.T.N.S.) and the Swedenborg Scientific Association (S.S.A.). Award-winning author of "Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden" and "Proving God," which fulfills a continuing vision that God’s fingerprints of love can be found everywhere in the manifest universe. His most recent book, "Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links" is an edgy collection of anti-intuitive essays for personal transformation that challenges and inspires. He has been a student of the ideas of both Emanuel Swedenborg and George I. Gurdjieff for over thirty years. Read more about TheGodGuy, his books and his ideas at http://www.staircasepress.com
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23 Responses to Beyond, beyond belief!

  1. Anon says:

    So what are some of the testable predictions made by these new models?

  2. thegodguy says:

    Dear Anon,

    That is why I wrote a 400+ page book! Nothing is for free – certainly not wisdom!

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  3. sks says:

    Actually, GodGuy has shared quite a few things in the posts he’s written here over the past couple years. If you do a topic search of this blog in the search box at the top of the page, you’ll probably uncover some of them. Some are more clearly spelled out here than others, but the blog gives a good taste of some of the topics that the book covers in great detail. I’m reading it now… it really does take a big book to describe these topics in detail. Interestingly enough, the book has summaries of each chapter and ends each chapter with a prediction. Pretty cool stuff.

  4. thegodguy says:

    Dear readers,

    Today’s science (materialistic ideology) is starting to ask questions for which it no longer has answers. The laws which rule the universe on the most fundamental level seem to be a-temporal, a-spatial, pre-geometric and non-physical. This level of reality that operates beyond any dynamical involvement with time and space is where my book focuses its attention.

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  5. Anon says:

    So there are testable predictions? Are they discussed only in the book?
    I’ve tried searching the blog, but I haven’t been able to find any posts discussing theory-external information. That is, I find posts about the theory itself, but not how it is connected to the world.

  6. thegodguy says:

    Dear Anon,

    My book offers models with explanatory and predictable powers. These models address universal (holistic) laws of process which span spirit, mind and matter. Buy the book. It challenges many of the assumptions of both current scientific and theological thinking.

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  7. carla friedrich says:

    Love the toppled apple cart. I’d say Swedenborg’s ideas can be used to “retro-engineer” or unfold certain discoveries and precipitate others. I’d like to use them use them as inspiration/ a template/ ~ an if::then type of statement to prompt a Renaissance of innovation. (inmyhumbleop) A proactive conscious inspired loving use of them… VS being catapulted intoa destructive use of them. Must we always wait for someone to weaponizes our best knowledge and then we get the dregs for creative salvific use?
    What makes a Quantum leap possible? – Why did the Greeks with mathematical and philosophical learning not make and use machines effectively? Why did the Romans with technological and engineering war mongering capability not instead industrialize their states for peaceful productivity? Why did the Renaissance have elaborate toys and loads of amusing mechanical gadgets also not make more “useful” machines? And why do/ did we, with a unified field theory already discovered and at our fingertips, still use fossil fuels and employ all we know for destructive purposes VS deploying our knowledge of multi-dimensional energetic sources for divine purposes of peace and abundance – a free energy source/ device?

  8. carla friedrich says:

    Ed, would you say Swedenborg positing there would be a proliferation of information/ knowledge after the Writings (everything takes place in the Spirit first then the physical world) is a testable prediction?
    And that the various ideas of Freedom/ agency is a result of the Lord establishing/ divinely espablished Spiritual freedom.
    …That the LORD saw fit to provide the means (substantial matter / love) to infill all that info/ memory knowledges/” scientifica” with Goodness?
    What if LOVE/INTENTION? AFFECTIVE Realities IS the new technology VS Wisdom/ Philosophy/Ideas/. What if we need a real paradigm shift!? to make Celestific Discoveries or SENTIENTific discoveries (yuh I ramble and im making up words)

    And sure enough there was a proliferation of

  9. thegodguy says:

    Dear Carla,

    I think your typos are charming. I also think you need to get a few more hours of sleep. Not only does the world of religion and science need to go through a paradigm shift they need to hold hands to survive it! Even the “New Church” is far from exhausting Swedenborg’s contributions to the world of human thought.

    Love is the ultimate science. One can increase his or her love to such an extent that communication with heaven and God’s angels will be RESTORED. What external technology would survive such a drastic change in perception? What culture or lifestyle would not be affected by such a leap in human cognitive function? It is this INNER (angelic) technology that God places His hope for the world.

    Can we make a testable prediction that LOVE IS THE ULTIMATE SCIENCE? Yes!!!

    If Anon is reading this please check out my blog post titled “A SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENT BETWEEN LOVE AND HATE” (April 6, 2009) where I subjected bean plants to both loving and hateful influences.

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  10. Anon says:

    Hello GodGuy

    I read the blog post that you directed me to, and it left me with more questions than answers, but not the kinds of questions that I usually find myself asking after reading a scientific paper.

    You mentioned that the experiment would be ‘perfectly controllable’, but where was the control group? You were actually trying to test two very hypotheses at once; there was a ‘loved’ group and an ‘abused’ group, but no neutral group to compare either to.

    Why such small samples? The reliability of test results diminishes rapidly with the sizes of tested populations, particularly when a subtle quantitative effect is found.

    How were the results quantified? Were the plants washed and weighed at the end? Were the heights of the seedlings carefully measured according to pre-established parameters? How were the measurements between the groups compared?

    Were the environments for the two groups really identical? Was the daily insolation of the two rooms actually monitored, or was it assumed to be identical based on the construction of the two rooms? How was daily temperature monitored/controlled? How was water delivered to the plants, and how was it determined that the amounts were the same? Had all the seeds been planted at the same depth?

    Perhaps most importantly, where were the attempts to make the study blind? Was a third person, one who didn’t know which plants had ‘received’ which thoughts, responsible for measuring the plants at the end, or were the same parties involved at every step of the experiment?

    I’m glad that your son had a chance to get involved in a science-themed activity, and it’s not my place to comment on the grading of the project. However, I can point out that getting an ‘A’ on a grade school science fair project is a little different than having a paper accepted for publication in a reputable peer-reviewed journal, which is itself only a first step.

    Even humans, the most neurologically complex beings known to exist, have never been demonstrated, in properly controlled experiments, to exhibit ESP effects. Experimentally demonstrating these effects in plants, which have no nervous systems whatsoever, would be like finding out that homeopathic remedies were actually effective despite a total lack of biological plausibility. It’s a truly extraordinary claim, and you seem to be using it here to support even more extraordinary claims about reality having a fundamentally spiritual substrate. But where is the correspondingly extraordinary evidence?

  11. thegodguy says:

    Anon,

    My dear spiritual brother. If you have the means to make the same experiment under more scientifically rigorous conditions please do. The result will be the same and thus is a testable prediction. The result was profound – the “loved” plants were TWICE as large as the “hated” plants. I came up with a result now lets see you experimentally disprove me. Oh, and do by the book.

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  12. Anon says:

    Dear GodGuy,

    Under these kinds of conditions you can get practically any result that you want, so the burden of proof remains on the claimant despite the outcome. It is unreasonable to expect anyone to bother disproving a sensational claim that has not gone through basic steps to gain credibility. Scientists are generally busy enough dealing with plausible problems.

    Still, the idea that plants can be affected by human thoughts and emotions has been around for a while, at least since the mid 1960s, and it has gotten popular enough to attract scholarly attention. Rigorous experiments have been done, and they show that plant physiology is quite unaffected by psychic energy, human moods, threats…whatever. A representative example of this work is “Plant Primary Perception” by K. Horowitzt et al., vol. 189 of Science (1975), which found no correlation between plant response and acts of violence. Note that contrary findings do exist, but only when controls are loose and the methodology is sloppy; proper experiments give unambiguously negative results.

  13. thegodguy says:

    Dear Anon,

    I am too busy myself to deal with busy scientists. You flat out reject my result because it challenges your worldview. However, researchers have also discovered that love and kindness strengthens a person’s immune system.

    I do not think we need a scientific experiment to prove that mutual love has tangible benefits in society (testable predictions). Science is impotent when it comes to the study of consciousness because it is personal. Nothing is more real (or important) than our consciousness and our direct experience. Scientists cannot construct a phenomenal psychology that can be shared like physics is shared, rendering first-person experience beyond the grasp of a third-person scientific perspective. Science calls this the “hard problem.”

    Anon, you love science and its methodology. It is your LOVE that occupies the cockpit of your intellect!

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  14. Anon says:

    Dear GodGuy,

    I don’t expect anyone to go personally ‘deal’ with scientists, and I’m sorry if my last comment was interpreted as a challenge. I simply meant that since scientists, like many other people including yourself, are very busy and have limited resources, it is to be expected that they will follow research leads that are likely to yield positive results. Since the sum of current botanical knowledge points to the biological implausibility of any sort of plant telepathy, research in plant telepathy is a relatively unpopular field. However, if an enterprising scientist gets a hunch that plants can be affected in strange ways previously unknown to science, he is free to investigate. If that scientist comes back with results that he says confirm his hunch, but there are major flaws in the quality of his research, the greater scientific community is not obliged to simply believe him.

    Your attack on my intellectual character, that my mind is closed and blind to your findings, is not well-motivated. I did not say that your empirical research cannot be trusted because you sound too mystical. I simply pointed out a number of methodological issues with your experiment that call your interpretation of the results into question. I will NOT flatly deny that the ‘loved’ group appeared larger and healthier, but I can point out that there are plenty of unknown variables that could account for the accelerated growth, that the sample sizes were too small, and that there was plenty of room for confirmation bias and self-deception. These are not ad hominem attacks, unlike the baseless assertion that my narrow worldview is causing me to reject clear results.

    Does a loving environment strengthen a person’s immune system? I’m not remotely expert on this topic, but if you can point me to any serious articles, I’d be more than happy to read them with the same balance of open-mindedness and skepticism that I try to approach every new claim with.

    Still, the human immune system has very little to do with plant development and growth. Yes, it is intuitively plausible that humans, highly social animals possessing intelligence and self-awareness, might exhibit better health in a supportive social environment. But plants aren’t at all like this. When we say ‘love causes humans to flourish’ and ‘love causes plants to flourish’, we are making very different claims.

    In the first case, ‘love’ could quite plausibly operate at a social level before having psychosomatic effects on the beloved, eventually manifesting as an improved immune system.

    In the claim with plants, no plausible intermediate mechanisms exist. ‘Love’ is assumed to be some sort of substance that floats through the air, or maybe an undiscovered particle that can be beamed out of people who are chilled out enough.

    Do happy, loving societies operate better than miserable ones? Of course they do! But what is your point? As with your immune system point, accidental similarities of language are being confused with profound realities about a deeply spiritual universe. These are good examples of irrelevant conclusions.

    The attack on science that follows is very confusing to me. Is the implication that, because a phenomenon is not currently well understood in scientific terms, the phenomenon can be explained in mystical terms in the meantime? It’s true, science doesn’t understand everything, but we don’t get to fill in all the blanks however we see fit. But people can’t seem to resist; Christians traditionally appeal to God to fill the gaps, while New Agers now seem to prefer filling them with their unusual interpretations of quantum physics. Combining them into something like ‘quantum love particles from God’ doesn’t really address the problem.

    I hope that someday the hard problem of consciousness will be solved satisfyingly, but I’m perfectly happy to suspend judgment on the answer until then. I always prefer being honest about the limits of my knowledge.

    Love,
    Anon

  15. thegodguy says:

    Dear Anon,

    You are judging my 500-word blogs as though they were meant to be taken as rigorous academic papers. They are simply my way of attracting attention to my books.

    For instance, my newest book “Proving God” spends a whole chapter on formulating a comprehensive, multi-level theory of the cognitive architecture and its layered substrates (and put within a person-level framework). Then I demonstrate how this pattern of cognitive scaffolding is contained within the architecture of Holy Scripture! This is no “New Age” work. You will find a solution to the problem of Quantum Gravity in another chapter (which unifies relativity and quantum mechanics). The book has a Foreword written by a theoretical nuclear physicist.

    By the way, I LOVE your sign-off!

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  16. KG says:

    I’m not sure how much you actually believe in your claims but I find it disgusting and difficult to digest how you deflect the majority of simple contentions raised against your “factual” claims by shamelessly plugging your book at every opportunity while never offering a single, well laid out retort in defence of your claims. This makes me think you don’t really believe what you are writing and you are just trying to make money off of writing something controversial by pandering to the ignorant and hoping those who disagree with your claims will be so enraged by them that they will buy your book just to tear it apart.

    And if you truely believe what you are saying, I encourage you to stop deflecting and defend your claims with a logical and reasonable response.

    Irreverently yours,
    TD

    P.S. You’ve figured out Quantum Gravity! A unifying theory! Which volume and issue of Nature is this published in?

  17. thegodguy says:

    Dear KG,

    What you ask for is beyond the scope of a mere blog. That is why I wrote a 400+ page book. For instance, from your one comment (above) I can’t tell if you are super intelligent or broke. So I won’t make a judgement call.

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  18. sks says:

    This is in response to those who ask about specific experiments (and specifically to KG/TD, who may be frustrated, but is actually being kind of rude in a blog about “love”). While it may seem like a “dodge” when The Godguy says “read the book,” I have to agree that in this case, it really is the best way to see what he’s talking about. Realizing how much time, energy and resources the author has invested in this study, I doubt he would have published if he didn’t believe in what he’d written. That makes no sense at all. KG/TD, it’s time to stop disrespecting!

    I have read this book and I can vouch for the fact that you really can’t do this discussion completely or “lay out a defense of a claim” adequately in a blog post. If you don’t want to “buy the book,” then ask your local library to get it for you. Just get your hands on a copy. There are a lot of pretty amazing ideas in there that take a couple chapters to explain. (Trite as it sounds, you do have to at least thumb through this book to grasp even the scope of some of these ideas. There are some cool diagrams, too.)

    It’s not an easy read, but it’s a very rewarding one. There is a lot in there that other scientists and students will be able to explore and probe for years to come. I don’t think there’s anything else out there quite like it. Pretty exciting. I have a friend who read it, loved it, and says it will take about five more readings for him to really absorb it all. It’s that intense and that ground-breaking. It’s a very brave book, because it’s not the usual stuff you see on PBS and the Discovery Channel. This one definitely goes way beyond that, into uncharted territory.

    If you go to his website (listed above) you can read the introduction, table of contents and the foreword. That gives you a little more of a taste. I don’t mean to sound like a commercial. I just don’t want you to miss out on an exploration that might blow you away.

    I wish you all an open mind…
    sks

  19. Walt says:

    I just finished reading Proving God and wanted to thank you for writing this incredible book. I have been searching for spiritual truths for more than 40 years and your book answered so many questions that no one else I have read could answer. I am now studying the books Swedenborg wrote and hope to continue learning and growing spiritually.

    I was also wondering, since there are no Swedenborg churches in my area of Florida, would it be possible to email you sometime if I have specific questions?

    Thanks again for writing this book.

    Walt

  20. thegodguy says:

    Dear Walt,

    Thanks for the encouraging words. If you have specific questions feel free to send them my way. However, you might not always get a prompt answer because I am quite busy.

    Please tell others about the book! Maybe you could also start a small group of friends to study and discuss Swedenborg’s unique ideas.

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

    • Walt says:

      It’s interested you suggested starting a small group of friends to study the book. That is something I’m thinking about doing since I’m a member of a spiritual center near my home and there is a lot of people I could contact concerning a new study group.

      I just need to figure out a few things like: what to say in the email announcing the new study group. Whether to study the whole book from beginning to end or just sections that might be easier for most folks to grasp. And whether or not I need to re-study the book myself so I’m better able to deal with questions when they come.

      Anyway I’m moving in that direction and will keep you posted on my progress.

      Walt

  21. thegodguy says:

    Dear Walt,

    You can start the group with Swedenborg’s “Heaven & Hell.” That book alone can lead to great discussions.

    My book is different. It is an attempt to UNIFY science and theology through a deeper look at Swedenborg’s scientific and theological ideas. (He was a scientist before becoming a theologian.) It would be a great discussion if you asked your group members if they think science and theology can be harmonized at all, and, whether we humans have to change our assumptions about both – in order to find similar patterns of order within their different “truth claims.”

    Good luck!

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

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