Swedenborg and hypnosis

swedenborg-hypnosisOne of the most distasteful notions that I have advanced concerning Swedenborg’s scientific and spiritual paradigm is that the human race is in a hypnotic state.

If this is true, it means that we terrestrial humans cannot effectively address the issues of good and evil in the world before we come out of our trance and its derivative fantasies. Otherwise, even religion will simply add more material to human illusion.

Through my blog posts I have observed that a number of those who study Swedenborg’s many volumes of scientific and theological work are repelled by the idea that 21st century humans can be under the thumb of such an unflattering (and primitive) condition of the psyche. This analysis challenges our self-image.

But Swedenborg himself admitted to being a victim of such conditions.

While investigating the laws and dynamics of the universe, he admitted to emerging from states of limited perception and awareness. In his great work The Economy Of The Animal Kingdom (Vol. 2, Chap.3, n 208), Swedenborg admits to coming out of a state of seemingly “deep sleep” after making a special discovery about the Supreme and Omnipresent Being of reality, which is the Deity.

I will readily admit that at the time of this “awakening” Swedenborg was a lot more conscious than I ever hope to be. The point is that the Swedish sage didn’t just stuff more potent information into his noggin—his noggin was going through a complete transformation and overhaul. He had to make distinct jumps of consciousness in order to prepare his mind to see ever-deeper levels of reality.

Swedenborg experienced another distinct jump in awareness when the Lord God opened his spiritual sight to observe the wonders of heaven! In each case of his psycho-spiritual awakening he had to find new humility.

(In his theological work, Swedenborg claimed that angels were organized into distinct levels according to their spiritual awareness and activities. Those in Hell were engaged in fantasies and illusions of all kinds.)

So why would anyone think that they could approach his books and learn about spiritual salvation without also being suspicious about the possibility of their own limited state of consciousness? After all, in a state of trance, one could easily be deluded that he or she was undergoing spiritual transformation simply by studying Swedenborg’s work or having it explained to them by others or simply by doing good outer deeds.

Unfortunately, the term “hypnotism” was coined after Swedenborg’s death. If Swedenborg had used the term “hypnotism” to describe the disconnected mental state of spiritual snoozing by worldly men and women, it would be quickly recognized by all that a different approach to spiritual evolution than is currently discussed would be required.

Is their biblical support for such a claim?

Well, the Holy Bible warns throughout its narratives that we humans are to “awaken.” Jesus also treated people as though they had to break through their delusional lives by looking first at their own sins, “removing the log in their eye” and “washing the inside of the cup.“

Most people mentally grasp the difference between good and evil. So what is getting in the way of humans creating a better world? The world will never change for the better unless human hypnosis is recognized, addressed and broken through!

(Two of my published books, Proving God and Swedenborg & Gurdjieff, each have an entire chapter devoted to the issue of human hypnosis.)



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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6 Responses to Swedenborg and hypnosis

  1. Lee says:

    Thanks for bringing up a great point about the human condition here on earth. The movie “Matrix” has more truth to it than most moviegoers ever realized!

    If by “hypnotized” you mean asleep to higher realities, I agree with you 100% that we on earth are in a hypnotic state. By that definition, even most angels are in a hypnotic state.

    The early translators of Swedenborg’s works did us a disservice in translating the name of the highest heaven as “the celestial heaven.” It should be translated “the heavenly heaven.” Swedenborg was conveying the idea that this third or highest heaven is the real heaven as God intended heaven to be, whereas the lower “spiritual heaven” and “natural heaven” (or better, “earthly heaven”) are accommodations to people who don’t go through the full course of regeneration, or spiritual rebirth, during their lifetimes on earth. This just happens to include the vast bulk of the “hypnotized” people who sleepwalk this earth.

    In the early chapters of his first published theological work, Secrets of Heaven, Swedenborg didn’t even call the inhabitants of the lower two heavens “angels.” He called them “angelic spirits.” Before long, though, he apparently relaxed and decided that they could be called “angels” after all. Still, he called them “spiritual angels” and “earthly angels,” in contrast to the “heavenly angels” (not “celestial angels”) who live in the true and highest heaven.

    My point?

    While it’s not great that we’re all in a hypnotic state, it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re all going to hell. God has a place in those lower, somewhat hypnotic heavens for those who never fully wake up spiritually, but who do make an effort to live a decent, thoughtful life because they care about the people around them.

    • thegodguy says:

      Dear Lee,

      The purpose of my blog article is to sell books. Period. My blog above tells the reader that a more detailed discussion of hypnotism can be found in two of my published works.

      Hypnotism is not merely being asleep to higher realities – it is a disconnection between psychic functions (of all kinds) whereby one function is intensified at the expense of others. This creates suggestibility since their is no other material to oppose it. A major example of this is the disconnection between our habitual consciousness with our God-given “remains”.

      Swedenborg’s visions were unusual because even while experiencing heavenly phenomena he did not lose the functioning of his earthly five senses. If one is opened to a perception of the higher realities, while losing his or her worldly consciousness, this is also a form trance. On a practical level, If one is not properly connected to his or her remains, this stifles the growth of the remains, and the quality of one’s eternal reality is not ensured. There is no spiritual growth without the growth of the remains!

      I can assure you, Lee, that I have come upon insights on spiritual regeneration that have been overlooked by Swedenborgian scholars and ministers. As a spiritual friend I sincerely suggest you purchase and study my two latest books before offering comments.

      Spiritually yours,

    • havau22 says:

      yes, i thought so, i sense an attitude problem with followers of swedenborg,in regards to the god guys last comment, GET WELL SOON.

      • thegodguy says:

        The attitude problem you speak of is that many Swedenborgians have become lazy towards the real requirements of regeneration, and thus view my articles as “harsh” – even though Swedenborg himself discovered that all people are born into evils of every kind and that without the Lord God’s vigilance even the angels of the highest heavens would rush headlong into hell. Sounds a bit harsh to me!

      • havau22 says:

        ive noticed that to,that a lot of swedenborgians are missing out on the true essence of his message,thats why i prefer the old teachers of the writings of swedenborg,i really enjoy theistic psychology with leon james and many more,as far as swedenborg is concerned i been following him since 2010 it did not take me long to understand his message based on my own personel experence in life, i do also enjoy reading some of your posts from time to time. i also have better things to do then just study swendenborg 24/7, to see that i don’t get to complacent with what i have accomplished so far with the love of the lord.

  2. thegodguy says:

    You cannot approach religion (love of the Lord) properly when you are “hypnotized.” We all underestimate our dual nature and mechanical-ness. That is why I also study the ideas of George Gurdjieff. The laws of spiritual transformation never change!

    Spiritually yours,

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