Spiritual Growth and How It Works
Author : Emanuel Swedenborg
Introduction by Lee van Laer,
Format : Paperback, 178 pages,
Release date : 2014
Centuries before popular Western culture embraced meditation, positive thinking, and the quest for enlightenment, Swedish scientist-turned-seer Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) developed a simple formula for achieving personal spiritual growth. In his works, Swedenborg describes the two parts of our mind: the intellectual side that wrestles with questions of right and wrong, and the emotional side that drives us toward what we truly love. We are born with selfish impulses and desires, and while we may learn to act ethically, we don't start growing as spiritual people until we transform our emotional side. That transformation, he says, happens from the outside in: first we decide intellectually to be more loving, and that decision leads us to choose consciously to act for the good of others. These external thoughts and actions gradually open us to a higher love, one that transforms our desires and ultimately our fundamental being. He calls this process regeneration. Swedenborg discusses regeneration in many places throughout his prolific theological writings. This book brings his key teachings on this topic together in one volume, illustrating the process of becoming a spiritual being and discussing how and why that process works.
Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) was a Swedish scientist, nobleman, and theologian who spent his life investigating the mysteries of the soul. Born in Stockholm to a staunchly Lutheran family, he graduated from the University of Uppsala and then traveled to England, Holland, France, and Germany to study the leading scientists of the time. He gained favor with Sweden's King Charles XII, who gave him a position as an overseer of the Swedish mining industry. Later, he was granted a seat in the Swedish House of Nobles by Charles XII's successor, Queen Ulrika Eleonora. Between 1743 and 1745 he began to have visions of heaven, hell, and Jesus Christ that resulted in a stream of books about the nature of God, the afterlife, and the inner meaning of the Bible. He devoted the last decades of his life to studying Scripture and presenting his own unique theology to the world.
Lee van Laer, Lee van Laer, poetry editor for Parabola magazine, holds a degree in fine art from St. Lawrence University and is a visual artist, musician, photographer, poet, and writer. He is the author of several books about the ideas of G.I. Gurdjieff (Chakras and the Enneagram, The Law of Three, and The Universal Enneagram) as well as The Esoteric Bosch, about symbolism in the art of Hieronymus Bosch. Van Laer resides in the Hudson River Valley and is an active associate of the New York Gurdjieff Foundation. See his website at www.nefersweetie.com.
"This collection of excerpts from Swedenborg's writings, like all of Swedenborg's books, is filled with truths imparted from a higher level."
- Lee van Laer