Extracts

image_left

Spiritual body

swedenborg

image_right
[1 of 1] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Afterlife, belief in" (search under Afterlife/Afterlife, Heaven, Hell)": source "Heaven and Hell": detail "Section 456"
That the spirit of man, when it has been loosed from the body, is still a man and in a like form, has been proved to me by the daily experience of many years; for I have seen such and have listened to them a thousand times, and have talked with them about this fact, that men in the world do not believe them to be men, and that those that do believe this are regarded by the learned as simple. Spirits are grieved at heart that such ignorance still continues in the world, and above all within the church.
 But this belief they said had emanated chiefly from the learned, who had thought about the soul from ideas derived from bodily sense; and from such ideas the only conception they formed of the soul was as being mere thought; and when this is regarded apart from any subject as its container and source it is merely a fleeting breath of pure ether that must needs be dissipated when the body dies. But as the church believes from the Word [Bible] in the immortality of the soul they are compelled to ascribe to it something vital, such as pertains to thought, but they deny to it anything of sense, such as man possesses, until it has again been joined to the body. On this opinion the doctrine in regard to the resurrection is based, with the belief that the soul and body will be joined again at the time of the final judgment. For this reason when anyone thinks about the soul in accordance with this doctrine and these conjectures, he has no conception that it is a spirit, and in a human form. And still further, scarcely anyone at this day knows what the spiritual is, and still less that spiritual beings, as all spirits and angels are, have any human form.
 Consequently, nearly all that go from this world are greatly surprised to find that they are alive, and are as much men as before, that they see, hear, and speak, and that their body enjoys the sense of touch as before, with no difference whatever. And when they cease to be astonished at themselves they are astonished that the church should know nothing about this state of men after death, thus nothing about heaven or hell, when in fact all that have ever lived in the world are in the other life and live as men. And as they wondered also why this had not been disclosed to man by visions, being an essential of the faith of the church, they were told from heaven that although this might have been done, since nothing is easier when it is the Lord's good pleasure, yet those that have confirmed themselves in the opposite falsities would not believe even if they themselves should behold it; also that there is danger in confirming anything by visions when men are in falsities, for they would then first believe and afterwards deny, and thus would profane the truth itself, since to believe and afterwards deny is to profane; and those who profane truths are cast down into the lowest and most grievous of all the hells.