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New Church Perspective
is an online magazine with essays and other content published weekly. Our features are from a variety of writers dealing with a variety of topics, all celebrating the understanding and application of New Church ideas. For a list of past features by category or title, visit our archive.

Entries in aliens (3)


Emanuel Swedenborg Phone Home: A Mystic Perspective On Aliens

Using Swedenborg's descriptions of alien life, Vaishali finds comic irony in that, while we as a culture obsess over the possibility of life on other planets, allocating massive funds in search of scientific proof of it, those life forms reject our banal material focus in preference for the sublime worship of One. You can find other essays on the topic of extra-terrestrial life published by New Church Perspective here. -Editor.

We all know that scientists around the world have been searching for alien life. They have been behaving like the ultimate in universal voyeurs, keeping a roving eye out for signs of “other worldly life forms”, poised listening, like the nosey eavesdropping neighbor, for any possible alien transmissions - intergalactic messages. We are also familiar with the various scenarios science fiction writers have depicted as possible outcomes of alien and human life reaching out and touching one another. It runs from “Star Trek” to “The Martian Chronicles” and Spielberg’s “E.T.” to “Independence Day”, “Mars Attacks” and even “I Had An Alien’s Baby” in the supermarket tabloids. At least the science fiction writers are more creative and broad-minded in their speculative surmising. Between the hard measurable facts and the flights of human imaginative fancy is there some information that exists, right now, about the actuality of alien life, and how they may be responding to us? The answer is... yes! The source however may surprise you. The author I will be drawing upon has impeccable credentials and has attained an unquestionable level of scientific and academic accomplishment. His observations, however, may read to many like the ramblings of an over inventive, over active imagination. Sound interesting? Well, it is! And, this author’s books and writings about his contact with alien life forms have been around for hundreds of years and published in dozens of languages. Stumped? Allow me the pleasure of introducing you to the 18th century scientist mystic Emanuel Swedenborg.

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In this essay Stephen compares Swedenborg's written accounts of people on other planets with the descriptions of extra-terrestrial life given by Howard Storm after his near death experience in 1985. The two are in extraordinary sympathy with each other. -Editor.


Swedenborg wrote about aliens. Why did he do that?

In the Arcana Coelestia it is explained that the revelations about heaven and hell, life after death, the process of regeneration, etc., have been given to lead people into a belief and a true understanding of the Lord's nature and purpose. Among the revelations that the Lord gave through Swedenborg we find the descriptions of Swedenborg's interactions with spirits that once lived on other planets. These accounts turn up in the Spiritual Experiences. They are used later as inter-chapter material in the latter part of Arcana Coelestia. Finally, which for us may emphasize the point that Swedenborg really was serious about these accounts, he published them once more separately in the book Earths in the Universe.

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Weird II: What Kind of Weird Are You?

Todd Beiswenger hits us with a second article in his weird series. Weird II explores ideas of astral travel and beings from other planets. Todd puts Swedenborg's unusual ideas in the the context of similar ideas from the New Age movement. You can catch up on his first weird article here and the final piece in the series here. -Editor

For those of us who regard the Writings as an absolute authority on any topic contained therein, there is no more vexing a book than Earths in the Universe (more recently translated as Worlds in Space). This wasn’t a problem over 100 years ago when the General Church deemed the revelation from God, not Swedenborg, but it is now. How do we reconcile the existence of the book with what space exploration is telling us? My solution: think weird.

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