Swedenborg claimed that ancient societies had possession of a universal and sacred form of knowledge called the science of correspondences (Gurdjieff called this knowledge podobolzovany or “making alike”). This early form of sacred knowledge consisted of viewing all things in nature as mirroring spiritual realities.
For instance, the heat and light of the physical sun perfectly represents the rays and emanations of God’s love and wisdom. The physical sun touches and influences all things of the earth just as God’s love (warmth) and truth (light) touches the human soul.
This notion gave me a new appreciation of prehistoric art as I found, to my delight, real personal success at teasing out these higher, spiritual meanings from their various and seemingly “terrestrial” depictions. This rarefied form of translation could be used on primitive art all over the earth—revealing consistent and deeper meanings. Another, more visceral clue that ancient societies shared a similar understanding of universal truths is that they left images of their hands next to their artwork.
These hand imprints can be found everywhere and on different continents—which suggests similar approaches to important communication!
On one level, “hands” represent the power of a person’s capabilities (since the mind’s ideas find realized power in the hands). On a deeper level, Swedenborg insisted that “hands” symbolized and represented an acknowledgement that all power comes from the Lord God and this power is of divine truth taking form from divine goodness.
This unifying, sacred truth can be put into human hands (their belief systems)!
Maybe someday this great knowledge will again be put into the hands of all humans. It was the hope of Emanuel Swedenborg and George Gurdjieff that it would happen again!