It is well known among those familiar with Emanuel Swedenborg’s life that he was strongly influenced by both religion and science. His father was a Lutheran Bishop, who believed that all one needed was a Bible, while his brother-in-law steered him toward scientific pursuits.
Swedenborg saw no conflict between science and religion as long as one correctly identified universal principles that operated both in the cosmos and within the human soul. His successful unification of science and theology required him to first delve into some very odd (non-traditional) areas.
Providence seemed to offer Swedenborg a third kind of life influence that one could only describe as off the beaten path.
For instance, it was said that as a young child he amazed visiting clergy with his theological insights (and his parents were convinced that he had angelic playmates).
Later in life, Emanuel witnessed his father curing sufferers of mental illness by fervently reading Holy Scripture for hours on end and putting his patients into trance-like states.
He also went with his father to investigate a woman who was reputed not to have eaten any terrestrial food or taken any drink for several years. Swedenborg’s father concluded that the woman’s miraculous condition was no hoax.
While in school, Swedenborg learned of a mysterious group of people living in the northern parts of Scandinavia who reportedly could enter into non-normal states of consciousness and locate hidden or lost things.
I believe these oddities helped influence him to look beyond the current worldviews of both Christian theology and the emerging European science of the enlightenment period.
He eventually offered rational explanations for these occult phenomena based on his own explorations of the multi-dimensional structure of the human brain and mind, and I believe that later, this also propelled him to discover the multi-dimensional architecture hidden within the Bible narratives. From this multi-dimensional blueprint Swedenborg was able to detect similar rules operating in both the universe and in God’s Holy Word!
I explore these similarities (correspondences) in my book, Proving God.