The Swedenborg Association of Australia is a group of individuals who seek and share an awareness and appreciation of the intellectual and spiritual riches that Emanuel Swedenborg gave the world.
The value of Swedenborg's contribution to humanity received some major recognition in 2006 when UNESCO’s World Memory program decided to include The Swedish Academy of Science as part of its program (The Swedish Academy are custodians of a large archive of the works of Swedenborg).
The Swedenborg Association of Australia is governed by a Committee consisting of a President, Secretary and Treasurer, plus up to seven additional persons.
The current Committee comprises:
Treasurer / Public Officer
The mentors of my youth in Holland were vibrant spiritual people who strove to practice what they believed. It was a time filled with laughter, interesting pursuits and much music, amidsts serious religious questions. Once my family moved to Australia I encountered a new language and new friends, we preferred a Methodist community (later Uniting), a lively bunch who enjoyed making music while also exploring spiritual matters. Again there was fun and freedom. As a teenager I aimed to make the teachings I had been brought up with my own by rationally assessing them and acknowledging or shelving them. I gradually became disillusioned with answers of insufficient depth from church sources so I chose to pursue science. It took several more years to discover that even famous science professors who also claimed to be spiritual fumbled with the big questions of life's meaning and purpose. This left me disillusioned for the second time. In 1987 I first heard about scientist-theologian Emanuel Swedenborg and his work provided answers which seemed adequate for my needs. His writings were not only philosophically robust but thankfully contained practical personal insights and ao they have kept my interest to this day.
I was marinated in Swedenborg's teachings. My mother was from a strong Swedenborgian family and my father found the writings at nine years of age and was led to be a minister in the New Church. From an early age they both taught me about heaven and what it is like. And from eleven years old I was encouraged to read the books themselves. Now, like my parents, I also enjoy teaching children about the truths from heaven, in my role as a mother, grandmother and Sunday School teacher. But I must say that this early knowledge is nothing compared to what insights I now receive when I read the writings but also try to live my life from the teachings. They mean more and more to me as I get older.
I have always had an interest in the deeper things of life and intuitively felt there is a reason for everything. By the time I left school I was a true seeker and shortly therafter came across the ideas of Swedenborg. This was exactly what I was looking for, as it provided a comprehensive and wholistic explanation of all things that is rational, logical and sensible, yet profoundly beautiful. As one can imagine from these statements, I have a wide range of personal interests, and for some years I've enjoyed being a major contributor of articles to Candela, SAA's newsletter. I have been a member of the SAA since its inception in the early nineties and can realistically see the writings of Swedenborg having a vital role in the future of the human race.
I had the novelty of being born into a Swedenborg-using family so I grew up with a fairly good idea of his writings and what there is in them. They were never imposed on me; they were simply there as the fabric of our family and my overall memory is of a childhood that was free and relaxed. Years later I came to understand the connection between this wonderful freedom and the basis of Swedenborg’s spirituality in which all things become real through us living what we believe and taking personal responsibility in life. I’ve explored a large number of other religious beliefs but I still think Swedenborg’s expression of spiritual life, personal growth, eternity and the nature of God makes so much sense and I’ve never found better.
The services for which the Association was formed include:
Promoting throughout Australia an appreciation of Emanuel Swedenborg's work and its contribution to humanity and achieving this with personal contact, meetings and seminars, interest groups, programs and publications;
Supporting branches which seek to explore subjects of interest relating to the work of Swedenborg;
Stimulate wider interest by connecting and extending Swedenborg's work with various fields of study by providing information on topical subjects and relating them to Swedenborg’s own contributions;
Supporting members in their spiritual journey with the riches of Swedenborg's legacy;
Networking with other Swedenborg organisations and like-minded groups for mutual support;