Swedenborg, Einstein and Heisenberg

Once upon a time Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg and Emanuel Swedenborg were brought back from the dead to discuss their ideas about fundamental reality.

Einstein bragged that he overthrew Newton’s idea that time was simply matter repeating itself. “Matter,” he said, “repeats itself by displacing its location through motion. It is true that there is no time in a static universe but I added another proponent to the dynamics of time.  I came up with the notion of spacetime. In other words, time was a direction. Therefore both time and space partake of geometry.”

“My good friend Albert,” said Werner. “As fantastic as your theory of spacetime is, it is still a classical theory. My ideas go even deeper and are truly non-classical. In quantum theory, because a particle or electron doesn’t come into existence until it is observed and measured, it exists as a mere tendency and potential with neither locality nor temporality. Before measurement, a quantum event is indeterminate and therefore time hasn’t happened yet. This has led to a new generation of quantum physicists who suspect that if consciousness brings about measurement and actuality, then consciousness may underline physics and be a primary substance.”

Then Swedenborg spoke. “I agree that the laws which govern the universe emerge from consciousness. But consciousness means the universe is conceptual and based on rational ideas.” Swedenborg paused then spoke again. “I developed a scientific model very similar to what is today called Quantum Field Theory, which is based on virtual processes that precede events in actual or measureable spacetime. In my model these pre-space and pre-time processes have indeterminate trajectories and velocities. But they do not create spacetime and matter until their kinetic directions form new structure from coherent relationships among each other, whereby relativity is established through cooperative order and orientation. This ability of virtual processes to form novel structure through relationships is not only the origin of mass in the physical universe. It is the principle behind nature’s incessant endeavor to self-organize and create complexity. The modern notion of quantum theory on the other hand is not a theory of principles. This unifying principle in nature for which I speak has its origins in conscious love. God is the architect of this conceptual universe from Divine Love!”

Swedenborg then looked deeply into both Einstein and Heisenberg’s eyes and said with confidence, “Gentlemen, I believe I solved the problem of quantum gravity over 250 years ago.”

The two 20th Century scientists became quite animated upon hearing his background-independent explanation of quantum gravity and had many more questions for the Swedish scholar.



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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14 Responses to Swedenborg, Einstein and Heisenberg

  1. Glenn Schoen says:

    “Oh, and by the way–have I mentioned this before?–perhaps not. But some have been wondering about it, and I think it would be well were I to confirm their rightly founded intuitions.

    “Yes, gentleman, I did indeed predict the repulsive Casimir force, regarding which I am given to understand has been successfully observed and measured.

    “So, there you have it! Scientific, empirically verifiable proof that I knew what I was talking about!

    “I know you gentleman are astounded by my assertion that I solved the problem of quantum gravity more than a couple of centuries ago.

    “However, if you be patient, I have instructed my dear friend TheGodGuy to collaborate once again with the physicist Ian Thompson, and thus produce another book, wherein this time it shall be proven that I had foreseen and predicted the repulsive Casimir force.

    “Since this force has been scientifically and empirically verified, once my anticipation of it has been laid out, my scientific credentials will be unimpeachably established for all the duration of natural time.

    “You may object that I have foregone the inclusion of mathematical formula in my work. Its absence is quite noticeable, indeed it is. However, I had elected to seek to speak in a way that others of a wider audience might understand, and so opted to forgo the inscrutable shorthand you elitists tend to lost without.

    “And now, if you gentleman will be kind enough to close your gaping mouths long enough to excuse me, I shall join the professor at Baskin Robbins, where I believe he is indulging in some wonderfully delicious, utterly scrumptious Nutty Coconut. For, as you know, or could have known had you taken the time to consult my works, not only does life consists in the exercise of sensation, but without such exercise there is no life.”

  2. Glenn Schoen says:

    Dear TheGodGuy,

    I do appreciate the concern, and respect the attention you are giving to it.

    While I have not ever had any dialog with him, I have been aware of his endeavors to use Swedenborg’s ideas to explain quantum physics. I have read some of the material he has published on the web, including the 2002 article in New Philosophy, as well as various articles on his websites.

    As you have identified yourself as not being a physicist, and some of your ideas seem to be more than coincidentally related to his ideas, which have been expressed going back more than seven years (before you began working on your book), and as he has written something for your book, it seemed both natural and safe to assume that there has been some collaboration. But, yes, it is an assumption.

    Re the rest of my earlier comment… If it is the case that Swedenborg did indeed solve the problem of quantum gravity, or any other problem of quantum physics, more than 200 years ago, than perhaps it is also the case that it can be shown that he anticipated, if not also explained, the repulsive Casimir force. If this latter is true, then Swedenborg’s credibility with respect to modern quantum physics might not be more difficult for others to challenge.

    Again, I respect the attention you are giving the concern expressed. And if the person would rather not have his name mentioned, I can, and will, respect that too.


  3. thegodguy says:

    Dear Glenn,

    I was very impressed when I read Ian Thompson’s article in The New Philosophy in which he attempted to marry Swedenborg’s THEOLOGICAL ideas to quantum physics. We need more Swedenborgian thinkers like him willing to move beyond the academic “safety zone.”

    Ian and I exchanged emails concerning my book for about a year and we didn’t always agree. But he did help me to understand modern physics better and the issues involved. The more I understood modern physics the more I came to the conclusion that Swedenborg’s SCIENCE was still superior! Few Swedenborgians would embrace the possibility of such a thing and would rather accept the findings of the New Paradigm science. If I am wrong it is because I am too Swedenborian!

    As I always like to point out, Erwin Schrodinger came up with his famous differential equation for quantum (wave) mechanics at a weekend retreat while he was cheating on his wife! God does not reveal deep truths to such men. My book challenges the current formulation for quantum physics, relativity theory and string theory with spiritual considerations.

    These modern theories are all based on a materialistic philosophy. Swedenborg’s model treats LOVE as an exact science – that LOVE has a mathematical aptitude of ENDS. Swedenborg’s worldview is even more fine-tuned then current physicists would ever suspect!

    I myself do not know what the repulsive Casimir force is. Why do you bring it up? Is it more important than solving the problem of quantum gravity and the unification of physics? It doesn’t come up in other popular books written by physicists tackling the issue of God.

    Spiritually yours,

  4. Glenn Schoen says:

    Dear TheGodGuy,

    Thank you for clarifying the matter regarding Ian Thompson.

    The repulsive Casimir force was brought up for the reason mentioned (though I did mangle it at the end; I meant to say that if Swedenborg could be shown to have anticipated or explained the RCF, that his credibility as a scientist would be more difficult for materialists to challenge).

    As for where the RCF might rate on a physics-based scale of importance, I don’t know that it is anywhere near as important as the two items you mentioned. I haven’t read anything which might be taken as a suggestion that it does. But I also don’t know why, sans a physics-based scale of importance, those two items should be considered important at all. Interesting, challenging, fascinating, yes. But why important outside of what is based on a materialistic philosophy?

    Slight change of subject.

    Let’s assume that Swedenborg’s model of the physical world is superior to any current model based on a materialistic philosophy. By ‘superior’ I mean more correct, more exact, and more complete in its explanation and accounting for what exits in the physical world. In assuming this, I’m neither agreeing nor disagreeing, but simply establishing a starting point for what follows. What follows are some questions. And the questions are these:

    Do non-materialists need to be convinced that a materialistic model is lacking? Is it necessary to convince materialists that that their model is inferior? If so, is rhetoric sufficient for carrying the day when it comes to attempting to convince materialists that their model is inferior?

    Or is there some purpose, some goal, some end behind taking on the materialistic model other than to convince materialists that their model is inferior? Is it perhaps an expression of “model envy”? Or something more sincere, such as cluing in potential or floundering non-materialists that there is something tangible (so to speak) for them to latch on to?

    Though I believe these to be fair questions, I pose them mainly as food for thought.


  5. thegodguy says:

    Dear Glenn,

    I think we can now have a more fruitful conversation.

    You are absolutely correct. Rhetoric is not sufficient for carrying the day. My new book “Proving God” offers a lot for material scientists to latch on to – more than any blog post could hope to accomplish..

    Your questions are fair. However, you wrongly read my new title as “Proof” of God, whereas Sue recognizes that my actual title “Proving God” represents a process by which I can add more and more evidence from a spectrum of topics that I hope will be hard to dismiss.

    Not only did Swedenborg anticipate many of the ideas in modern science, but modern science is moving in his direction. One quick example. Modern neuroscience is beginning to look at the importance of emotion (derivatives of love) as sitting in the cockpit of consciousness. Some pioneering brain scientists are coming to believe that emotion and feelings focus our attention and arranges the information of the memory into coherent structure (worldview or value system). Others even suspect that there is a multi-level cognitive model of emotion (hierarchy of loves) waiting to be formulated.

    Your challenge is based on the normal scientific expectation of proof – a mathematical equation. But such a mathematical equation is the connate knowledge of the soul and of angels. Swedenborg refers to this superior scientific equation as the “Mathematical Philosophy of Universals” and “love’s mathematical intuition of ends.”

    Swedenborg states that “Such a knowledge is not acquired by learning.” Rather it is acquired by an individual tapping into “higher mind” which requires a spiritual transformation of the heart. This knowledge is ultimately holy and sacred and cannot become the property of every Tom, Dick and Harry. This science glorifies God not man.

    But do not despair. The last chapter of my book offers a real mathematical schematic of angelic perception of this universal knowledge. It is something that serious thinkers can indeed latch on to!

    Spiritually yours,

  6. Sue says:

    GodGuy, this has had me pondering:
    Your paragraph that starts with As I always like to point out…
    (agggg! I have to have it here, so why is cut and paste not possible? aggghhhh. Ok. I should have paid more attention back in typing class.
    Re: As I always like to point out, ES came up with his famous (that won’t work – ES could be Sw.).
    “As I always like to point out, Erwin Schrodinger came up with his famous …. at a weekend retreat while he was cheating on his wife! God does not reveal deep truths to such men.”

    Hmmm … that’s fascinating. There’s a part of me that says, “Well, there are unlucky people who sin openly (poor Erwin in this case and I know LOTS more) and then there are more-lucky people who sin secretly in ways that aren’t so obvious (gossip, resentment, vindictiveness – Me!), but if God never revealed deep truths to sinners, who would He ever get to reveal them to?”

    And then there’s a part of me that says, “That’s a really perceptive thought. If a person hasn’t firmly turned his back on sin, God can’t really get into his mind. True. So, many scientific theories are materialistic precisely because the scientist wasn’t presently available to God.”

    Anyway, I decided you are right.

  7. Glenn Schoen says:

    Dear TheGodGuy,

    I think you may have misread my comment (and witnessed a non-existent state of despair (two for the price of one!).

    Nothing of what was said above refers to–or is drawn from an interpretation of–the title of your book. Rather, it refers to a model of the physical world held to be ‘superior’–as defined above–to the currently held model of same, which latter model is based on a materialistic viewpoint. You had Swedenborg exclaiming that he (believed he) had solved the problem of quantum gravity. As far as physicists are concerned, this problem is not yet solved. Ergo, if Swedenborg did solve it, then the current model, which fails to adequately account for it, is incomplete at best, wrong at worst. The questions posed did not involve any reference to proof of the existence of God.

    Also, in my first comment, Swedenborg was not taken to task for not providing mathematical equations. Rather, he was given a pass on this point. And in my next comment, I did not invoke mathematics, nor did I challenge you to provide mathematical equations.

    On the other hand, you did refer to love having a ‘mathematical aptitude’, and that this ‘mathematical aptitude’ is exact. Or was it that the science of this ‘mathematical aptitude’ is exact? Either way, although I haven’t questioned the absence of mathematical equations, or present a challenge meant to elicit any, I can understand why some others (having missed the metaphorical use of ‘mathematical’) might be inclined, to follow up on your statements and ask to see some.

    Also, as an interesting side note, let it be mentioned that long before Swedenborg, man’s thinking was already recognized as a function of affections and/or passions. While I would agree that ES addresses this point in a way that no one else has, he was by no means the first to take it as a given.


  8. thegodguy says:

    Dear Sue,

    (As I always like to point out) Science believes that the search for knowledge has nothing to do with values, ethics or morality. However, the ultimate knowledge is transformative to both the individual and society.

    The irony of the Sokal “hoax” is that it was probably the best thing he ever wrote! Just contemplate where our thoughts and ideas come from – they are produced by our desires, affections, appetites and LOVES! Our loves are the things we value. Science doesn’t consider values a topic of science – only dead facts and data.

    Spiritually yours,

  9. thegodguy says:

    Dear Glenn,

    Perhaps we both are misreading each other (a multitude for the price of one). The idea of affections and passions driving the intellect may have come up before Swedenborg but the books on neuroscience that I have studied seem to imply this is a relatively recent insight and area of investigation for brain scientists.

    Also, Swedenborg developed a multi-level theory of cognitive function with its distinct layering of bio-structures. Modern neuroscience still seeks such a comprehensive cognitive theory – THAT INCLUDES A BROAD PERSON-LEVEL FRAMEWORK.

    I no longer see any reason why we should be in disagreement.

    Spiritually yours,

  10. Glenn Schoen says:

    Dear TheGodGuy,

    I’ve been thinking something similar, that we’ve been on the same page all along, just different parts of it. It would seem that in our discussions and dialogs, we have (while perhaps retaining ‘dialects’ we’ve each grown comfortable with), more or less gravitated towards the same spot here on your blog.

    One good reason why talking and hashing things out is a good thing.


  11. thegodguy says:

    Dear Glenn,


    Spiritually yours,

  12. sks says:

    Thanks Guys (and Sue) I really enjoyed this!

  13. Mike Hentrich says:

    I skimmed it but THE SWEDENBORGIAN REVOLUTION HAS BEGUN. So uhh yeah, good read.

    • thegodguy says:

      The Swedenborg revolution will really kick in when it is discovered that his scientific models trump those of even our contemporary scientists (as in his Doctrine of Forms)!

      Spiritually yours,

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