Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist
poliphilo

Swedenborg

"I was talking to an angel the other day..."

No, he's not actually that casual, but he comes close. Jesus appeared to him in the private room of a London tavern and told him not to eat too much and he'd meet him back at his lodgings and show him the wonders of heaven and hell. Thereafter he had carte-blanche to come and go through all regions of the afterlife. He reports his findings in a remarkably matter of fact manner- like the scientist he was- his punctilious mind grappling with the ineffable and making such earthly sense of it as he can.  Did you know, for example, that whichever way an angel faces it's always facing east because that's where God is? The oddity of so much of what he says is a kind of guarantee of his probity. Tasked with fraud he said, in effect, "Do you honestly think I'd make this stuff up?"

He anticipates the symbolists, the psychoanalysts and the spiritualists. He was a man born 100 years too soon- and the language at his disposal was barely up to coping with his insights.

Oh, and he also invented a flying machine.
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