Spiritual body


[1 of 1] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Afterlife, belief in" (search under Afterlife/Afterlife, Heaven, Hell)": source "Spiritual Experiences, vol.4": detail "Section 4628"
About the life after death, how much the conceptions of the educated differ from the conceptions of the uneducated is obvious. The educated, that is, those who are equipped with knowledge, from theories concerning the soul and their own resulting thought about these, have made the soul out to be either something ethereal, or something flaming, or something fiery, or something made of thought, and thus able to reside in some part of the body, either in a small gland or in the corpus striatum, or in the stomach or in the heart. From this they have gotten an idea of the soul from which they can never acquire faith that it will live after death—but rather that it will be dissipated, and they confirm themselves in this with their knowledge.
 But the uneducated who possess goodness have no care for such reasoning, but say that they will live after death, thinking nothing about the soul. Into this thought about their life after death—a thought not entangled and contaminated by such ideas—the thought is secretly insinuated that they are going to live there in a body, like the angels, for into such a thought flows such a perception, whereas the inflow into the perception of the educated is to the effect that the soul, because it is such cannot possibly live after death, and that if it does, it must be again in a material body.
 That the educated are of this character is because they learn the sciences for the sake of a reputation for learning in order to be promoted to honors and thus to gain profit, but not so that they may grow wise through the sciences. For the sciences are a means for growing wise, but to those who learn them for those reasons, they are a means of becoming insane; and when they are raised to honors, they live sensuously, just as others. That is why most of the educated, if you except a few, ascribe all things to nature and believe that they will die just like the wild beasts and will have no life after the death of the body. For sensuous people trained in the sciences can confirm themselves in such notions, for they cling to fallacies.