Extracts

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Science

swedenborg

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[1 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Science, criticisms of" (search under Cosmology/Science)": source "Spiritual Experiences, vol.2": detail "Section 2999"
I was spoken to out of heaven by means of a kind of general waving motion, thus by an unanimous agreement of many concerning heavenly truths: first, to the effect that they do not need confirmations in support of heavenly truths, since they are in them, just as there is no need of philosophical data for thinking analytically, of knowledge of the muscles for actions, but that they possess all that knowledge from the Lord.
 As for confirmatory knowledge, it was said that this can be tolerated in the world because of people who are such that truths are confirmed by the sciences, but still, if one cannot confirm them, one should nevertheless believe truths. Otherwise, with some the sciences darken the human understanding, with some they cause them to doubt about the truths, with others they cause them to deny them.

[2 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Providence, also in details" (search under Cosmology/Cosmology, Laws)": source "Spiritual Experiences, vol.3": detail "Section 4010"
From this it was granted me to conclude that it is better not to know all things, and to believe in simplicity that the Lord flows into all and the least things, and that His Providence governs all and the least, than to immerse oneself in the investigation of such matters. It is preferable not to know, for if people desired this kind of knowledge, then they would spread themselves into too broad a field of inquiry, such as when I just wanted to find out how the actions of the muscles relate figuratively to the mental imagery, and to the will's efforts and derivative powers. At that time I first labored for many years to find out how the lungs applied themselves to the least parts, then the connection and the arrangement of all the muscles, motor tissues, and nervous tissues; and how the tendinous tissues present an action contrary to the flow—as when they draw back, draw aside, or draw into gyre, and so on—and still the action produced is not according to those apparent deviations. To investigate all these particulars would be a labor of many years, and even then the most general facts would scarcely be discovered. So it is preferable to know simply that the will flows in, so much the more in regard to the things belonging to the inflow of the Lord's life, and of His Providence.