The human imagination is an amazing function. One of its most charming occupations is to give all sorts of things human names. We give human names to our pets, our boats, our fighter planes, and even our sexual organs (like women’s breasts).
I once raised some geese and ducks on my homestead pond. But once my wife and I had given them names we were no longer able to butcher them for food. They had become an intimate part of the family.
When you name something you begin to know it as a special quality. But could you imagine a race of humans with such superior mental abilities that they could break down all their ideas and thoughts into distinct categories such as knowledges, intelligences and wisdoms, then give them all names?! Imagine a race of humans who could take these names and turn them into the characters of fantastic stories that cleverly depicted the inner struggles and adventures of the human spirit seeking to perfect itself!
That kind of storytelling would require a unique richness of the imagination as well as a unique and profound understanding of the human psyche. If such people had lived among us would we be able to recognize their amazing contributions? Or would their writings go over our heads?
According to scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg, ancient myths, legends and fables were written with this precise richness of imagination and insight into the human psyche (heart and mind). These so-called “fairy tales” could be interpreted from a higher level of meaning, that is, translated into their psychological equivalent or correspondence.
Some modern academicians correctly suspect symbolism is at play with these ancient stories but would be stunned by the depth of knowledge and psychological precision employed in these narratives of the past. But Swedenborg dared to stretch our neurons even further—by insisting that there was much, much more to be imagined.
Swedenborg claimed that God’s Holy Word was also written in this multilevel style so that named objects, places and people, could contain God’s Infinite Wisdom concerning the ultimate cosmic drama of spiritual salvation. Swedenborg even provided many volumes of evidence in which he successfully interpreted three distinct levels of meaning within the sacred stories of Holy Scripture. Even the literal and historical events of Scripture contained this three-tiered scaffolding in its storytelling message.
Such an imaginative idea, if true, would indeed be a game changer. Such a revelation would create an upheaval within most of humankind’s current institutions. In fact, Swedenborg claimed that such an upheaval was symbolically communicated within the Bible’s Revelation and the coming Apocalypse.