From David Bohm to Emanuel Swedenborg

I like the work of the 20th Century physicist, David Bohm. Most people who believe in spiritual realities also prefer Bohm’s approach to science over that of other physicists. There are two major reasons for this.

First, Bohm (like his mentor, Einstein), refused to believe in a world that came into existence by accident. So he added a deterministic element to the Schrodinger wave equation in quantum physics. Second, he rejected the notion of scientific reductionism. He believed that the deeper you explored nature the more subtle and complex it became—not simpler. (This opens the scientific door for the existence of an infinitely intelligent Creator.)

But I like Swedenborg’s theistic approach to science even better than Bohm’s!

In fact, Swedenborg starts where Bohm’s ideas leave off (in spite of living two centuries earlier)! For instance, Bohm believed that the reasoning powers behind the human mind were evident in its ability to find new ratios (relationships) within some generally perceived ratio. This process is how the human mind creates abstract thought, higher mathematics, and new orders and categories of knowledge. Swedenborg went an important step further. He assigned to this same notion of a hierarchy of ratios and relationships, real organic forms in the human brain and the geometrical principles responsible for their increasingly rarefied cognitive functions!

Simply put, Swedenborg maintained that all levels of awareness required a corresponding organic structure. Humans cannot see without eyes nor could they think without a brain (thinking is a more rarefied function of seeing.) So, if the brain recognized one ratio, it would need more subtle structures to tease out and recognize deeper ratios. (Modern neuroscience is just beginning to suspect deeper cognitive structures within the brain and neuron.) The human mind and its consciousness, according to Swedenborg, evolve from generals to specifics, through precise lawful and geometrical principles (modern science lacks this geometrical knowledge).

Next, Swedenborg’s concepts go on to add an unexpected theological dimension to this hierarchical scheme. He advanced the concept that general ratios, and the particular ratios from which they are formed, have reciprocal relationships. This reciprocal unity between all things in general and their particulars, has relation to a purposeful end. Without such a teleological relationship oriented to ends, nothing can come into existence or sustain itself. Existence is relationship.  Relationship has orientation and direction (goals). This purposeful endeavor is why the universe keeps all things in connection and is rationally designed and discoverable. There can be no unity or holistic connection between general and particular things of the created universe without unity of purpose.

Unity of purpose (through reciprocal sharing) in the cosmos looks to God’s ultimate goodness as first causal principle.

Of course, I have just scratched the surface of this new emerging theology and science. If you would like to gain greater familiarity with these ideas go to:


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
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