I have long held that Emanuel Swedenborg’s scientific discoveries are still more advanced than contemporary scientific theories. For instance, he was not only the father of the neuron theory (brain cells) but anticipated the search for deeper neural substrates that controlled the higher functionings of rational and abstract thought.
Modern neuroscientists are only beginning to suspect the possibility of these deeper neural structures.
While Swedenborg is most known for his theological contributions to the world, I consider his scientific models of reality his “other” important revelation. Swedenborg’s cosmological model of reality included physical process, mental process and Divine process (the second two processes are both removed from the constraints of time and space—non-locality).
His scientific investigations ultimately led him to discover his crowning achievement—the knowledge of correspondences (universal symbols of deeper ontological realities). The result of this cosmic discovery is that all natural law and processes have their origins (first causal principles) in spiritual laws and processes.
What is often overlooked is that Swedenborg discovered these correspondences as a scientist—and before becoming a theologian!
I am dismayed that many Swedenborgian academics favor modern physics over Swedenborg’s physics. As mentioned above, Swedenborg stated that the entire kingdom of nature was a mirror image of non-material spiritual dynamics. Modern Swedenborgian scholars have dismissed many of his scientific models, and instead, have attempted to show how his theological ideas contain elements found in modern scientific theories.
Some pioneering thinkers show spiritual comparisons of Swedenborg’s theology with Einstein’s Relativity theory. Others make spiritual comparisons with the non-local aspects of quantum theory. But there is a largely overlooked big red flag here!
Quantum Mechanics and Relativity Theory resist efforts of uniting with each other. One represents the structure of spacetime fabric as continuous, the other represents it as discrete realities. God’s unifying spiritual influx and heavenly order cannot lawfully terminate in (become fixed) and maintain a coherent universe under such paranoid conditions of two totally different kinds of law.
The other two big obstacles are Intelligent Design and organic design (from a living God).
My award-winning book Proving God offers a new look at Swedenborg’s science and fresh insights into the problem of finding a final (unifying) scientific theory from spiritual considerations. The book even shows how salvation is a lawful extension of natural laws into a non-physical realm called heaven.