Extracts

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Other planets

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[1 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Planets, life on other" (search under Outer Life/People, Places, History)": source "Spiritual Experiences, vol.2": detail "Section 3420"
I spoke with spirits about the stars, and the origin of earths around them, saying that not a star exists, because it is like a sun and a center, that does not have earths around it. For nothing has been created except for the purpose of the grand human being, thus for the sake of the Lord.

[2 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Planets, life on other" (search under Outer Life/People, Places, History)": source "On the Earths in the Universe": detail "Section 123 - 125"
They who are in heaven can discourse and converse with angels and spirits who are not only from the earths in this solar system, but also from other earths in the universe out of this system; and not only with the spirits and angels there, but also with the inhabitants themselves, only however with those whose interiors are open, so that they can hear such as speak from heaven. The same is the case with man during his abode in the world, to whom it has been granted by the Lord to discourse with spirits and angels; for man is a spirit as to his interiors, the body which he carries about in the world only serving him for performing functions in this natural or terrestrial sphere, which is the ultimate of all spheres. But it is allowed to no one to discourse as a spirit with angels and spirits, unless he be such that he can consociate with angels as to faith and love; nor can he so consociate, unless he have faith and love to the Lord; for man is joined to the Lord by faith and love to Him, that is, by truths of doctrine and good principles of life derived from Him; and when he is joined to the Lord, he is secure from the assaults of evil spirits from hell. With others the interiors cannot be so far opened, since they are not in the Lord. This is the reason why there are few at this day who are permitted to speak and converse with angels; a manifest proof whereof is, that the existence of spirits and angels is scarcely believed at this day, much less that they are attendant on every man, and that by them man has connection with heaven, and by heaven with the Lord. Still less is it believed that man, when he dies as to the body, lives a spirit, even in a human form as before.
 Inasmuch as there are many at this day in the church who have no faith concerning a life after death, and scarce any concerning heaven, or concerning the Lord as being the God of heaven and earth, therefore the interiors appertaining to my spirit are open by the Lord, so that I am enabled, during my abode in the body, to interact with the angels in heaven; and not only to discourse with them, but also to see the astonishing things of their kingdom, and to describe the same, in order to check from henceforth the cavils of those who urge, "Did ever any one come from heaven and assure us that such a place exists, and acquaint us with what is doing there?" Nevertheless, I am aware that they who in heart have heretofore denied a heaven and a hell and a life after death, will even still continue in the obstinacy of unbelief and denial; for it is easier to make a raven white than to make those believe who have once in heart rejected faith; the reason of which is, that such persons always think about matters of faith from a negative principle, and not from an affirmative. May the things, however, which have been hitherto declared, and which we have further to declare, concerning angels and spirits, be for the use of those few who are principled in faith, whilst it is permitted me, in order to bring others to somewhat of acknowledgment, to relate such particulars as delight and engage the attention of persons desirous of knowledge; for which purpose we shall now proceed to give an account of the earths in the starry heaven.
 He who is unacquainted with the arcana of heaven cannot believe that man is capable of seeing earths so remote, and of giving any account of them from sensible experience; but let such a one know that the spaces and distances, and consequent progressions, which exist in the natural world, are, in their origin and first cause, changes of the state of interior things; that with angels and spirits they appear according to such changes; and that therefore angels and spirits may by such changes be apparently translated from one place to another, and from one earth to another, even to earths at the extreme boundaries of the universe. The case is the same also with man as to his spirit, and therefore he also may be so translated, whilst his body still continues in its own place. This has been the case with myself, since by the Divine mercy of the Lord I have been permitted to converse with spirits as a spirit, and at the same time with men as a man. The sensual man is not capable of conceiving that man as to his spirit can be thus translated, inasmuch as the sensual man is immersed in space and in time, and measures his progressions accordingly.