Swedenborg’s theology is chock full of science

I have written about Swedenborg’s unique approach of harmoniously blending scientific principles with theological principles in my latest book Proving God. This “marriage” of two seemingly opposing truth-systems makes Swedenborg’s contributions to human thought uniquely relevant for the post-modern world.

For example, in his most popular book, Heaven and Hell, Swedenborg has a chapter titled “The Balance Between Heaven and Hell.” The point Swedenborg makes is not merely that our individual “free will” is always protected by God through a providential balance and equilibrium between good and evil influences, but that this dynamic is an expression of universal law operating on all scales and in both the physical and spiritual realms!

Nothing results in the universe unless everything is in balance. This cosmic balance is always maintained between two forces—active (agent) and passive (reagent). The state of rest that results from an equal agent and an equal reagent is called a balance or reconciling principle. Swedenborg called this balanced state of equilibrium, by which all things are in a perpetual endeavor towards their center of gravity, their punctum immobile.

Contemporary science understands that once something is put into motion it tends toward its equilibrium. However, they do not understand how such a principle leads to organized complexity involving circular or cyclic processes. Therefore, Swedenborg offers today’s scientists profound keys for understanding the mystery behind the “thermodynamics” of gravitating systems—by which nature spontaneously creates order, orientation and coherent structure (self-organization).

(I also apply this law of agents and reagents to explaining how virtual particles within Quantum Field Theory cause measurement outcomes—the so-called “collapse of the wave function”—in my book.)

The universe represents a process by which there is perfection through harmonious co-establishment, whereby successive things form a series that finds coincidence (the simultaneous subordination and coordination of connected things) with first causal principles (like God’s transcendental love). Each step in any process contributing to a whole manifestation acts as a mathematically precise gravity center. These distinct gravity centers are theologically symbolized as “days” within the Seven Day Creation Story in Genesis!

That is why the same law of equilibrium found throughout nature also applies to theology and our spiritual growth. Swedenborg defined that that which acts in all manifested things as being called “force” and that which reacts as “inertia.” Taking the analogy of this law to the higher level of the human heart and mind, he describes the active force as “life”  (influx from God) and the passive force as one’s “intention” (which responds and creates the parameters of God’s influence on us).

These are exciting times for those who belong to the Swedenborgian Church. Their message is more relevant to the modern world than ever before. They are the doorkeepers to the great treasure that is to be found within Swedenborg’s theological and scientific disclosures!


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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