Was Swedenborg sexist?

YLF_087Several months ago I awoke from sleep to hear someone mention “Emanuel Swedenborg” on George Noory’s Coast-to-Coast AM, radio show. This perked up my ears!

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.


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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2 Responses to Was Swedenborg sexist?

  1. yomi says:

    We are now going deeper into the real topic of equality. If it is valid that wive suppose to help the husband in the spiritual way by keeping things in order, the husband also suppose to do something spiritually to support the wive in the house. Therefore both gender will be spiritually balance in everyday activities.

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