Monday, November 12, 2018

Jung and Swedenborg: Individuation and Collective Consciousness

I was sent a free copy of a book, Individuation and Collective Consciousness, which offers an interesting and detailed comparison between Carl Jung and Emanuel Swedenborg. This comes from the perspective of a psychologist and university professor who evidently discovered that Jung's psychological concepts have direct parallels with the heavenly revelations given to Emanuel Swedenborg. This I already knew: Jung was interested in psychic phenomenon and was directly familiar with Emanuel Swedenborg. However Jung did not attribute his ideas to Swedenborg, as the psychological community is averse to anything spiritual to explain psychological concepts. As Swedenborg had visions of heaven and hell, this immediately presents a problem to the scientific community that follows a philosophy of naturalism and only considers what is physical as "real." The author himself seems to have encountered this aversion to spiritual ideas which are immediately rejected and/or marginalized. This perhaps Jung knew, so Swedenborg is never mentioned, and in many cases Jung  invented his own new vocabulary to describe the spiritual psychology that was revealed to Swedenborg in heavenly visions.

I can see this work being used in a group study or discussion. The work jumps into the theology and visions of Emanuel Swedenborg to compare them with Carl Jung. To those who are familiar with the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, this is not an issue, but if someone is being introduced to the revelations and visions of Swedenborg for the first time they may first need an introduction to certain concepts. For example, most people assume we cease to exist upon death, and are not aware there is an afterlife plane of reality that interacts with ours and directly influences our behavior. Also Swedenborg discusses how all of heaven is in the form of a Grand Human which is foreign to most people, except those who are familiar with the New Testament which states we are all part of one body. However most will only take that as a figurative statement; only in the visions of Swedenborg is this strange concept explained in detail. Since these concepts are not introduced, reading this work in a group will immediately provoke discussion and that is perhaps the author's intent. The author does however explain these concepts later in the work.

Carl Jung uses the term "individuation" to describe the process of personal growth; this is known in Christianity and in Swedenborg's writings as the process of spiritual regeneration. But where Jung and Swedenborg merge together the most is in Jung's concept of universal archetypes; this was probably directly borrowed from Swedenborg's concept of "correspondences" - where every object in the natural world corresponds with a universal concept in the spiritual world. This symbolic correspondence is universal, and this system was used in composing the Bible. Swedenborg says every state of the will and thought corresponds to a universal spiritual idea, and Jung says the same thing except he calls it an archetype. What Jung and psychologists call the mental aspect of the psyche is known to Swedenborg as one's spiritual soul which resides in a heavenly plane. In short, much of Jungian thought and modern psychology is divorced from God and its spiritual roots.

The author at times uses his own terminology, or psychological background, to describe certain spiritual concepts that differ from how it was described in Swedenborg's writings. For example, man before the fall is described in this work as having "dual consciousness" which is defined as being both in the "natural mind" and "rational mind." This differs from the psychology of the soul as described by Swedenborg - the lowest part of the mind is the natural, composed of the senses and knowledges. The middle is the rational, and the upper mind is spiritual. Man before the fall had direct communion with angels and spirits as the mind was open between the spiritual and natural; the rational mind is simply the medium. There are three levels to the mind or soul and very few are aware or pay attention to the Divine influx that comes in through the highest region; this flows downward through the rational mind and this influx we also describe as "intuition" or "conscience." Swedenborg describes in detail how the rational mind can become "inverted" when it looks down to natural things or succumbs to lower desires. In other words, after the fall of man we did not lose the rational mind, just that the spiritual influx into the rational mind became cut off and we became "inverted," looking towards the love of self rather than towards God.

The author makes an interesting parallel between Jung's concept of the "collective unconscious" and Swedenborg's visions of the afterlife. In Jungian psychology, the "collective unconscious" is a part of the unconscious mind that is derived from common ancestral memories, which explains things such as common symbols and myths found throughout the world. Swedenborg has a more direct spiritual explanation. The higher region of the mind is directly connected to a higher spiritual plane, where we are directly associated with a spiritual society that influences our personality traits and behaviours. It is through this spiritual society that some may have access to "past life memories." In ancient times this was taken as evidence of reincarnation, but Swedenborg saw that this was due to us sharing the memory of a life experienced by an angelic spirit similar to our own personality. Jung divorced himself from these spiritual explanations and described everything in terms of the mind in order for the ideas to be accepted in modern day psychology. This spiritual connection with our mind is suppressed and denied, but understanding it can help us understand how to spiritually grow and face our problems head on.

The work is large, I found it interesting to see a Jungian view on the theology and revelations of Emanuel Swedenborg. While describing Jung's views of psychology, I found myself wanting to go back and reference Swedenborg to see how Jung's view of the "ego" compared with what was revealed to Swedenborg concerning our "self." The words "ego" and "self" to me are too general; the revelations given to Swedenborg show how our soul has several layers or degrees, from the outermost body and its senses, to the rational mind, and then finally to the higher region of the soul that receives spiritual influx from the spiritual world.

This is my first impression of the book, I have not had time to finish it but like Swedenborg's works its not the kind of book one reads once and puts it away, this is one where little sections need to be read, studied, and thought over carefully.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Is Genesis Historical? A Revelation from Heaven

Much of the modern skepticism on the revelations of Christianity and Judaism revolves around the first 11 chapters of Genesis, which includes the seven days of creation, the story of Adam & Eve, the flood of Noah and the Tower of Babel. As science and archaeology progressed in the 19th century, the literalistic interpretation of the first 11 chapters came into doubt. In the 19th century, ancient cuneiform tablets were discovered that showed that many of the stories of the first 11 chapters of Genesis had ancient precursors in Mesopotamia. However long before science had advanced in knowledge, and well before the ancient Akkadian and Sumerian tablets were discovered in the 19th century, Emanuel Swedenborg received the following revelations in the middle of the 18th century concerning the first chapters of Genesis:
"There are in the Word, in general, four different styles. The first is that of the Most Ancient Church. Their mode of expression was such that when they mentioned terrestrial and worldly things they thought of the spiritual and celestial things which these represented. They therefore not only expressed themselves by representatives, but also formed these into a certain historical series... These particulars concerning the creation, the garden of Eden, etc., down to the time of Abram, Moses had from the descendants of the Most Ancient Church" (Heavenly Arcana, n. 66)
Note that Swedenborg wrote this in the mid-18th century. The Sumerian tablets which contained earlier versions of the stories of Genesis, were discovered in the 19th century. The parallels are unmistakable, even though Christian apologists will continue to deny the relationship, for which see the following:

Below chart is a summary of the major parallels:

Here is an interesting chart, showing that if the years of the patriarchs before the flood are converted from base 10 to base 60, the number of years closely match the Sumerian king list:

For many Christian apologists these parallels pose a problem, which one can see from some of the links above. But in the revelations given to Emanuel Swedenborg, it is revealed that before Judaism there were revelations given to the peoples of the Ancient Near East. The revelations were given in two phases, which Swedenborg terms as "The Most Ancient Church" and "The Ancient Church." In the ancient style of writing, everything was described and taught in terms of mythical stories:
"...the historic narrative concerning the creation and concerning the first man, and concerning paradise, is a history so framed as to contain within it heavenly and Divine things, and this according to the received manner in the Ancient Churches. This manner of writing extended thence also to many who were outside of that Church, who in like manner devised histories and involved arcana within them, as is plain from the most ancient writers. For in the Ancient Churches it was known what such things as are in the world signified in heaven, and the events were not of such consequence to them as to be described, but instead the things which were of heaven." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 8891.4)
This form of mythical writing is used in Genesis 1-11. True history only begins with Genesis 12. The meaning of the symbolic myth is described in detail in the work Heavenly Arcana:
"They who do not think beyond the sense of the letter cannot believe otherwise than that the creation, which is described in the first and second chapters of Genesis, is the creation of the universe, and that there were six days within which were created the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things which are therein, and at length man in the likeness of God. But who cannot see, if he ponders on the particulars of the description, that the creation of the universe is not there meant... These and other such things in that history must needs at first thought appear paradoxical to those who entertain any doubt concerning the sanctity of the Word, and afterward induce them to deny the Divine therein... Angels, when the first chapter of Genesis is read, do not perceive any other creation than the new creation of man, which is called regeneration. This regeneration is described in that history: by paradise the wisdom of man created anew; by the two trees in the midst thereof the two faculties of that man, namely, the will of good by the tree of life and the understanding of truth by the tree of knowledge. And that it was forbidden to eat of this latter tree, was because the man who is regenerated or created anew, must no longer be led by the understanding of truth, but by the will of good, and if otherwise, the new life within him perishes" (Heavenly Arcana, n. 8891.2,3)
Thus the arguments of Christian apologists and skeptics over the first eleven chapters of Genesis are insignificant and irrelevant. A revelation has been given that not only explains the symbolic meaning of the Bible, but also Divine providence foresaw this controversy and gave an answer to the problem long before it became such a public issue of debate. And this is just one of many new revelations given concerning Christianity. Again, Emanuel Swedenborg published his writings a century before these archaeological texts were discovered, showing that he was indeed receiving clairvoyant revelations concerning Christianity and the true spiritual meaning of the Bible. Should we not be paying more attention to them?

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The Mistranslations of the Psalms

I have published yet another work, The Mistranslations of the Psalms, in which I took the King James Version, converted it into modern English, and then documented all the mistranslations by creating a hyperlink of each correction which is linked to the original Hebrew definition. This was the prelude to the work The Symbolism of the Psalms. It was necessary because it is very clear in the visions of Swedenborg that each Hebrew word has a distinct spiritual meaning, so every effort here was done to use a distinct English word for each Hebrew word when the context allowed for it. The notes are extensive, and as it was extensive I had to separate this out from the commentary. Here is the book cover:

The poetic structure of the Psalms is restored, and the rationale for the stanza structure of each Psalm is fully documented in The Secret Code of the Psalms. This work has an interesting side story, back in 2014 when I had started it someone had a clairvoyant dream about it, which is described in this blog post: A Clairvoyant Dream of a New Translation of the Psalms.

So, unlike all other translations, this translation is fully documented. All the variants with the LXX (the Greek Septuagint) are also covered in the footnotes. You can now take this and compare it with any other Bible translation, to see just how closely the translators followed the Hebrew. There are some modern translations out there that do a rather bad job, as they do not understand the importance of each Hebrew word. If you send me a message (see the bottom left corner of this blog post) I will go ahead and send you a PDF of the entire book for free.

There are mistranslations, or translation inconsistencies, in practically every Psalm. As an example here is what Psalm 23 looks like:

Each blue underlined word is a hyperlink to the original Hebrew definition. Most translations have LORD in place of the name Jehovah, but the word "Lord" is used for the Hebrew word Adonai and the Jews started to use that word in place of Jehovah's name in order to keep God's name sacred. But the name Jehovah and the word Adonai have distinct spiritual meanings: Jehovah is the Lord as to Divine love, and Adonai refers to the Lord in human form.

Also, Psalm 23 never mentions "green pastures" but instead mentions "spring meadows." Pastures, where flocks feed, have reference to learning the truths of faith, but spring meadows have reference to the peace of the good of love. There is one Hebrew word for pasture, and another for meadow.

Most translations have "still waters" but it literally says "waters of rest" - referring to the rest of peace, that one has after conquering the temptations of the falsehoods of evil.

In verse 5 most translations have "enemies" but this is translated as "adversaries." Again, there are two distinct Hebrew words here: "adversaries" are evils that attack what is good, and "enemies" are falsehoods that fight against truths.

In verse 6 most translations have "forever" but in Hebrew it literally says for "length of days." Again there is a very specific meaning for this: width has reference to truth, as the width of the path allows for walking and walking signifies living by truth, and length has reference to good because as one walks in the truth one is led towards good - and this continues forever, even to eternity.