The caller, while praising Swedenborg’s visionary accomplishments, seemed genuinely confused by the theologian’s archaic view of women. Hmmm?
The modern view is that women can accomplish anything that a man can accomplish. Swedenborg never challenged this assumption. But Swedenborg claimed that he personally interviewed female angels in the other world who informed him that males and females have distinct spiritual differences. These differences, along with spiritual considerations for salvation do not take part in the terrestrial debate, which favors a flat view of equality.
There is indeed, a worldly and pragmatic side to the conversation. I believe women are quite capable of competing with and obtaining the same goals as men on this earth.
Swedenborg, however, brought deeper spiritual realities into the discussion of accomplishment. He reported that female angels were offended by being called “women.” Instead, they wanted to be called “wives.” Whoa!
In heaven, staying at home and doing housework consisted of something much more spiritually intimate and noble than it does on the earthly plane. Swedenborg learned from these female representatives of heavenly life, that, God had designed their gender to be uniquely sensitive to the states of their husband’s heart, mind and soul. These inner qualities of a man’s spirit represent the “house” that an angelic female moves into when she decides to become his wife and spend the rest of her eternal life with him.
“Washing clothes,” “cleaning” and “cooking” take on a different significance in such a house in the spiritual realm. These household “chores” represent an angelic wife’s ability to see deeply into her husband’s innermost qualities and help put them into a sustained, proper order. These angelic women know—from a deep sense of marital love—what needs correcting and attention within their husband’s spiritual lives. Angelic wives want their husbands to be “Princes.”
(Where else could deeper and increased intimacy go? In this way, the female gender serves God’s ultimate purpose of creating a heaven from the human race.)
But men have become such swine that this divine plan becomes inoperable. So modern women have no choice but to find their worth chiefly in the physical world of accomplishment—but only by going against their God-given nature.
Men need to become more spiritual and repentant so that they can enter into a true and deep relationship with women. Swedenborg can be a big help to both genders in this regard.