Scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg correctly stated that this “sleep” was actually a state of diminished human consciousness towards Divine realities. In other words, humankind was put into a state of trance and delusion before eating and desiring the “Forbidden Fruit.”
What goes undetected in this sacred narrative is the “hypnotic” element of the story and that this trancelike sleep was necessary for preserving human free will. Imagine that—free will could only be preserved by diminishing human consciousness and allowing it to embrace fantasy. This fantasy brought about Eve’s appearance (delusional self-love) and for Adam (the human intellect) to be talked into eating the harmful fruit (of egoism) in the first place.
Swedenborg has presented the human race with new doctrines from the Lord God in heaven, including the fact that we mistakenly think we do things from our own powers. This illusion has not disappeared in the modern human psyche. So unfortunately, Swedenborg’s new heavenly revelations are being studied by those who still remain in a trance (and even church communities often strengthen and reinforce this trance in their membership).
As a result, being hypnotized is the last place people will look for changing their spiritual status. Instead, people will mistakenly overlay acts of kindness on their deluded psychic condition (which interferes with the development of innocence).
One of the most important revelations Swedenborg offers is not just about God, His Holy Word or His kingdom of angels, but new revelations about “us.” As a species, we have never come out of this hypno-state and merely assume that we are fully conscious (because of our being in a trance). That is why all through Scripture we are told to “wake up” and “sleep not.” The only way you snap out of this trance is through learning new (and unflattering) revelations about your inner self—and not fooling yourself by performing good deeds that are visible to others.
I predict that the next phase of the Holy City, The New Jerusalem, coming down to earth from heaven, will be when ordinary humans recognize that they are the Great Red Dragon!