In the 18th century, new revelations concerning the afterlife and Christianity were shown to a brilliant scientist, Emanuel Swedenborg, who was proven on many occasions to have very accurate clairvoyant abilities. In waking visions he explored the realms of heaven and hell, the world of spirits in between, and explained many theological issues within Christianity - such as the Trinity, the Divinity of Jesus Christ, and moreover, wrote a multi-volume work showing how and why scripture was Divinely inspired. His description of life after death have been corroborated by many Near Death Experience (NDE) accounts. However in his writings there are puzzling accounts of encounters in the spiritual world with extraterrestrial who had lived on planets other than earth, in what may be the first documented case of extraterrestrial contact. Perhaps those who know nothing about the reliability of Emanuel Swedenborg would point to this as an excuse to examine the spiritual revelations no further.
In these spiritual encounters with extraterrestrials, Swedenborg was only allowed to explore the spiritual world, and not remote view other areas in the physical world. He makes it quite clear that in most cases he was not actually able to view the actual planet that these extraterrestrials came from:
"...no earth is anywhere seen by those who are in the spiritual world, but only the spirits and angels who are from it" (Earths in the Universe, n. 47)So, given the above, there are several theories to explain Swedenborg's account:
1. The first is the most skeptical, that Swedenborg just imagined it all.So let's examine each theory, one by one....
2. These are extraterrestrial spiritual societies, but actually originated from other planets.
3. Swedenborg misidentified the planets of our solar system.
4. Other planets of our solar system were once inhabited, whose environment was destroyed in an ancient cataclysm.
5. There are one or more advanced extraterrestrial societies in our solar system, who are able to create temporary habitats on hostile planets.
THEORY #1: SWEDENBORG JUST IMAGINED IT ALL
Jodie Foster in Contact by Carl Sagan, where an extraterrestrial message was met with skepticism
The first theory is the most skeptical. Worse, some may say that Swedenborg "lost it" and went insane - but these are people who know the least about Swedenborg's biography, or who have a certain religious persuasion and feel threatened by what was shown in the revelations. To the end of his life, Swedenborg maintained his highly intelligent rational thought, and had a very active productive life, in both science and politics. Moreover he maintained his anonymity and never attempted to create a following or church. Swedenborg had much to lose, and in fact gave up a very successful career as well as his scientific pursuits in order to fully dedicate his life to publishing accounts of the revelations he received in waking visions.
So, given the fact Swedenborg was quite rational and well balanced, did he just simply "imagine it all"? Or was he simply misled by what he saw? There is a big problem with this theory - it is well documented that Swedenborg had very accurate clairvoyant visions, and was able to describe things that were happening in remote locations, uncover lost objects, and uncover secrets known to a select few people - including the Queen of Sweden. His secret identity as the author of the spiritual works was uncovered once when he had a remote vision of a fire in Stockholm in 1759, It is well documented, and is conveniently categorized as "unexplained stuff" on the web site www.unexplainedstuff.com. From Mystics - Emanuel swedenborg (1688–1772):
In 1759, Swedenborg had the vision of the great fire at Stockholm, which has been recorded as one of the first completely documented cases of clairvoyance in history and which has become well known throughout the Western world. In September, at about four o'clock on a Saturday afternoon, Swedenborg arrived in Gotenburg, Sweden, from England, and was invited by a friend to spend some time at his house before returning to his home in Stockholm. While there, Swedenborg became restless and went outside for about two hours. When he came back inside, he informed his host and other guests that a terrible fire had just broken out in Stockholm (which was about 300 miles from Gotenburg) and that it was spreading rapidly. His friends did not know how to respond to such news, for they had no idea how Swedenborg could possibly know that such a dreadful conflagration was occurring at such a distance away.
Swedenborg remained agitated and restless and went outside often that day, only to return with additional dire news, as if he were somehow viewing the disaster as it occurred. Alarmed, he told the company that the house of a friend was already in ashes and that the fire was fast approaching his own home. At eight o'clock in the evening, he came back inside to announce joyfully that the awful fire had been extinguished—and that it had been stopped just three doors away from his house.
By Sunday morning, word had spread of Swedenborg's remarkable vision, and he was summoned to the governor, who questioned him about the disaster. The seer described the fire precisely, telling exactly how it had begun and precisely how it had at last been squelched. On Monday evening, a messenger dispatched by the Board of Trade during the time of the fire arrived in Gotenburg. In letters the courier had brought with him, the fire was described exactly as stated by Swedenborg, and the next morning the news was further confirmed by messages brought to the governor by royal courier. As the seer had proclaimed, the fire had been extinguished at exactly eight o'clock in the evening.
Swedenborg's visions were not the product of a vivid imagination - they were very accurate, and could describe events at remote locations. Although there have been some studies in parapsychology, it is a phenomenon that our current science cannot explain and chooses to ignore. So its classified as "unexplained stuff." But the problem goes beyond that - what of these remote spiritual visions of other human extraterrestrials? And why are they associated with planets of our solar system? That leads us to the next theory.
THEORY #2 - THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL SPIRITUAL SOCIETIES ARE FROM OTHER PLANETS
This was my favorite theory when I first encountered Emanuel Swedenborg - he was simply describing spiritual societies of extraterrestrials, who were "spiritually associated" with the dead planets of our solar system but actually originated from elsewhere. However, Swedenborg himself counters that argument:
"All the inhabitants or men of every earth, after the life in the world is finished, become spirits, and remain near their own earth. From these spirits, however, information is given about their earth, and about the state of the inhabitants there; for men who leave the body bring with them all their former life, and all their memory." (Earths in the Universe, n. 127)
"The spirits of every earth are near their own earth, because they are from its inhabitants — inasmuch as every man after death becomes a spirit — and because they are thus of a similar genius, and are able to be with the inhabitants and to be of service to them." (Earths in the Universe, n. 47)
"When I arrived, the earth itself was not seen, but only spirits from it. For, as was also said before, the spirits of each earth appear around their earth, for the reason that they are of a similar genius with the inhabitants, being from them, and that they may be of service to them." (Earths in the Universe, n. 139)Each person has a spiritual psychology above the physical body, where good and evil spirits influence our thoughts and actions. These spirits are of a similar genius or mentality, and thus originate from the same earth. The greatest spiritual influence, of course, is that of Jesus Christ - who influences the universe through the Holy Spirit. It was from His work on earth that He was able to break through the evil spiritual societies surrounding our earth and restore our spiritual contact with heaven.
So, Swedenborg is not describing extraterrestrial spiritual societies that somehow got associated with dead planets of our solar system. Spiritual societies form around the planets where the spirits were from, in order to be of spiritual service to the inhabitants who are of a similar genius or mentality. But what happens when the overall society of a planet changes throughout time? Is it possible that these spirits would become more distant, and thus become associated with a more distant planet? There is a curious reference that may support this in Swedenborg's account of Mars:
"The spirits of Mars are the best of all among the spirits who are from the earths of our solar system; being for the most part celestial men, not unlike the men who were of the Most Ancient Church on this earth." (Earths in the Universe, n. 85)This is a rather interesting statement - Swedenborg describes the spiritual state of man before the fall of Adam as the "Most Ancient Church" - who were celestial in that they were primarily in love and had direct contact with heaven. We have lost this spiritual nature through sin and disobedience, and now require revelation through the written Word. So one possible explanation is that the spiritual society of Mars is in fact the ancient human race as it existed in ancient times on our own earth, but now that we are of a completely different nature, this spiritual society is now more distantly associated with us through Mars.
So in other words, the human extraterrestrials that Swedenborg saw are not really extraterrestrial at all - they happen to have belonged to our own earth, from our own distant past, but are so different from us they have formed separate societies from those now on earth. While this may explain the extraterrestrial spiritual society of Mars, this does not explain all the extraterrestrial societies of the solar system seen by Swedenborg in his waking visions.
THEORY #3: SWEDENBORG MISIDENTIFIED THE PLANETS OF OUR SOLAR SYSTEM
Here, Swedenborg actually saw other planets that were inhabited, but misidentified them as planets of our solar system. For from his visions, Swedenborg concluded that the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and even the earth's moon were all inhabited. Surely Swedenborg misidentified the planets? Jupiter and Saturn are gaseous giants with no solid surface, and anything there would be crushed from the enormous pressure before reaching the core. The other planets of the solar system do not have the atmosphere to support life.
The theory may partially explain some of Swedenborg's accounts. However, Swedenborg obtained some accurate information from the memory of the extraterrestrial spirits he encountered. For example, take this account of the planet Mercury:
"They were also asked about the sun of the world, how it appears from their earth? They said that it appears large, and larger there than from other earths, as they said they knew from the idea of other spirits about the sun." (Earths in the Universe, n. 45)This would indicate that indeed it is the planet Mercury. But Swedenborg already knew Mercury was close to the Sun, this is not something he did not know already, and perhaps this is another planet that was close to its own sun and thus was misidentified with Mercury. However, this theory becomes quite problematic when we come across the description of the rings of Saturn given by extraterrestrials from Saturn:
"They were asked concerning that great belt, which appears from our earth to be elevated above the horizon of that planet and to vary its positions. They said that it does not appear to them as a belt, but only as a snowy light in the heaven in various directions." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 8952, published in 1749-1756)This happens to be a very accurate statement, and has been confirmed by modern observations. But in Swedenborg's day, the opinion at the time was that Saturn's rings were solid belts. In 1675 Cassini determined Saturn's ring was composed of multiple rings. In 1787 Laplace stated that these rings were composed of a large number of solid ringlets. In 1859 Maxwell finally demonstrated that the rings could not be solid, but composed of particles. This was verified in 1895. And now, we have the Cassini probe giving us shots of the rings, showing that it is composed of ice particles. And indeed it looks like snowy light. Literally made out of snow balls. Here is a close up shot of ice particles in Saturn's ring A from the Cassini probe:
So Swedenborg's statement is quite accurate - the rings are indeed ice particles reflecting light. However, these rings can only be seen in this way above the atmosphere of Saturn. So the only way this could be seen in this way by an extraterrestrial spirit is if it was close to the rings in a spacecraft, or happened to have originated from one of the moons of Saturn. Possibly Swedenborg misidentified extraterrestrials from one of the moons of Saturn with the planet Saturn itself. One possible candidate is Saturn's moon Enceladus which harbors an underwater ocean, which was discovered in 1789 after Swedenborg's death.
Supporting the theory that Swedenborg misidentified the planets, are the descriptions where Swedenborg or a reader may conclude that the surface of the planet was inhabited. But this requires a careful reading - for nowhere did he see the actual surface of the planet of our solar system. Just because Swedenborg may be given information on clothing, animals or trees does not mean the surface is inhabitable. There is one exception, and this concerns Jupiter, which Swedenborg describes as having a habitable surface:
"The spirits from Jupiter said that in the region of the earth where they lived while in the world, the multitude of men was as great as the earth could support, that the earth was fertile and abounded in all things" (Earths in the Universe, n. 48)Jupiter, as we know, is a gaseous giant with no surface, and the pressure is so great that any life form would be crushed before reaching anything solid at the core. So from this we can conclude that Swedenborg misidentified the planet Jupiter, similar to how a moon of Saturn was perhaps misidentified with the planet Saturn. But this begs the question, where did these extraterrestrials come from, and why associated with Jupiter and other planets in our solar system? This theory only provides part of the answer.
THEORY #4: THE PLANETS WERE ONCE INHABITABLE
This theory actually has strong scientific evidence to back it up, especially now in the case of Mars. Our picture of Mars has completely and dramatically changed in the last 10 years thanks to the information retrieved by the robotic rovers we have sent there. We now know that Mars had flowing rivers and an ocean.
NASA has determined that Mars once held more water than Earth's arctic ocean, forming an ocean in its northern hemisphere. See NASA Research Suggests Mars Once Had More Water Than Earth’s Arctic Ocean
Mars once had a thicker atmosphere. Meteorites from Mars, and evidence from the Viking lander, show signs of microbial life.
Electron micrograph of Martian meteorite ALH84001, showing what may be fossilized bacteria life forms
Methane has been detected on Mars, which is another piece of evidence that life is there right now. Something happened in the past where the entire environment of Mars was destroyed forever. Without the Curiosity rover, scientists would still be looking at suppositions of water on Mars as "fringe" science. That is no longer the case, the evidence is conclusive.
It is thus entirely possible that the extraterrestrial society of Mars that Swedenborg encountered is that of a dead civilization that is long gone, or has since moved on elsewhere. There is inexplicable evidence in many photographs of Mars that show indications of artificial structures there. If true, it would open up a new chapter in the lost history of this human race - and perhaps ours as well.
There is one other planet of our solar system which also may have been habitable on the surface in the past - and that is Venus. It is too hot to support any life as we know it right now. But in its distant past, what many people do not know is that it probably had an ocean. From Venus Gets Weirder: CO2 Oceans May Have Covered Surface:
"Although Venus is currently unbearably hot and dry, it might have once had oceans like Earth. Prior research suggested that Venus possessed enough water in its atmosphere in the past to cover the entire planet in an ocean about 80 feet deep (25 meters) — if all that water could somehow fall down as rain. But the planet was probably too warm for such water to cool down and precipitate, even if the planet did have enough moisture. [The Weirdest Facts About Venus]Instead of seas of water, then, scientists now suggest that Venus might have once possessed bizarre oceans of carbon dioxide fluid."
Fictional representation of Venus, with 70% Ocean coverage, from The Real Colors of Venus without the Clouds
In other words, our solar system as it is now may have been quite different millions of years ago, lost to our very limited written history. This may explain the extraterrestrial societies of Mars and Venus that Swedenborg saw, who perhaps long ago left for other star systems.
But what about Jupiter? It is obviously a gaseous giant that cannot support life, and yet Swedenborg saw a huge extraterrestrial society associated with Jupiter. What can explain this? As it turns out, it has recently been discovered that Jupiter swallowed up planet ten times size of Earth in massive collision:
Jupiter is the biggest planet in the solar system because it swallowed up a smaller rival before it could grow any bigger, scientists believe.Between Mars and Jupiter there is an asteroid belt, and before this theory there other theories that this asteroid belt was the remnant of a planet that was destroyed in the distant past. But the theory has problems, one of which is the asteroid belt cannot account for the volume of a planet that was destroyed. But if Jupiter swallowed a planet in a collision, this would explain the missing mass. Was it inhabited? There is no way for us to confirm that. If it was, that would be a perfect explanation for Swedenborg's account of the spiritual society of Jupiter.
Studies of Jupiter have revealed that the giant planet has an extremely small core compared to its huge size.
Even though Jupiter is more than 120 times bigger than Earth, measurements from spacecraft have revealed that it core weighs, at most, ten times that of our own planet.
Now scientists have claimed that Jupiter’s core may have been vaporised in huge collision with a planet up to ten times the size of Earth, according to a study in New Scientist.
The study gives an intriguing new insight into the violent conditions in the early life of our solar system.
Researchers from Peking University in China have modeled what may have happened in the wake of the collision. Their simulations showed that the incoming rocky planet would have been flattened as it hit Jupiter’s atmosphere.
Half an hour later it would have crashed into Jupiter’s core.
Heavy elements in the core such as metals would have been vaporised and then mixed with hydrogen and helium in the planet’s atmosphere. Scientists believe that this might explain why Jupiter’s core is so small but its atmosphere is extremely dense.
This theory may explain something about Saturn as well:
His team say that heavy elements in Saturn’s atmosphere could also have been caused by similar impacts with smaller planets.Lesson here is, don't assume science knows everything. Our knowledge is constantly expanding, and what is considered true today is false tomorrow.
The planets in the solar system were created by collisions between small dwarf planets orbiting the newborn sun.
In the collisions the small planets melted together and formed larger planets.
The Earth and Moon are the result of a gigantic collision between two planets the size of Mars and Venus.
THEORY #5: AN ADVANCED EXTRATERRESTRIAL SOCIETY IS VISITING OUR SOLAR SYSTEM
Apollo photo of a UFO on the Moon, from http://www.lpi.usra.edu/resources/apollo/images/print/AS11/39/5741.jpg
This brings us to the most controversial theory, that of UFOs and modern extraterrestrial contact. Those who know least about UFOs will probably categorize it as part of a cult or fraudulent hoaxes. Those who objectively look at the evidence, and examine hundreds of witness testimony, can only come to the conclusion that we are currently under visitation by one or more extraterrestrial societies. The evidence is there, and there happens to be a large body of physical evidence, including photographs, radar contact and testimony from government officials, scientists and the military. Last month three UFOs were seen leaving earth's atmosphere on a NASA live feed before the video was cut. I became convinced of this when I saw blatant evidence of tampering of a video to remove a UFO above the earth's atmosphere.
Did Emanuel Swedenborg see any evidence of an advanced extraterrestrial society in our solar system? The answer to that is yes, and for some strange reason they tend to dwell around Mercury:
"The spirits of Mercury, above all other spirits, possess a knowledge of affairs, not only those that are in our solar system, but also those that are outside of it in the starry heaven; and what they have once acquired, they retain, and also recollect as often as anything similar occurs." (Earths in the Universe, n. 14)
"The spirits of the earth Mercury do not stay long in one place, or in the company of the spirits of one world; but wander through the universe. The reason is, because they have reference to the memory of things, which memory must be continually enriched. Hence they are permitted to wander about, and to acquire knowledges everywhere." (Earths in the Universe, n. 24)
"The spirits of that earth go in companies and troops, and when assembled together, they form as it were a globe." (Earths in the Universe, n. 25)
"Because of their thus journeying through the universe, and thereby being enabled to know more than others respecting the worlds and earths beyond the sphere of our solar system, I have spoken with them on this subject also. They said that in the universe there are very many earths inhabited by men..." (Earths in the Universe, n. 26)They are described as highly advanced in knowledge, but they are averse to material things and do not use vocal speech. Moreover, it is customary for them to hide their knowledge, and attempted to do that to Swedenborg. They thus tend to not want to have any contact with humans from earth. Their purpose is to observe and collect knowledge. This would explain inexplicable UFO behavior: they regard us as too materialistic, perhaps a violent and evil race, and such an opinion was expressed to Swedenborg by several extraterrestrial societies.
The fact that these extraterrestrials are allowed in the spiritual world to travel between societies of different solar systems at ease to collect knowledge indicates that they did this during their physical life, and is their primary enjoyment. For what Swedenborg saw is that most spiritual extraterrestrial societies stayed within the vicinity of their planet to be of aid to those still living. Moreover, what one does in the spiritual world will be closely related to the love of what one did during their physical life, for Swedenborg saw that our heavenly life will be one of continual use to do what we love most:
"In ecclesiastical affairs those are occupied in heaven who in the world loved the Word and eagerly sought the truths therein, not for the sake of honor or gain, but for the sake of use of life, both for themselves and for others. These according to their love and desire of use, are there in enlightenment and the light of wisdom, into which also they come from the Word in heaven, where it is not natural as in the world, but spiritual. These discharge the function of preachers, and in this according to Divine order those are in higher position who from enlightenment excel others in wisdom. In civil affairs those are engaged who in the world loved their country and its common good in preference to their own, and did what is just and right from the love of what is just and right. As far as they from the eagerness of love have investigated the laws of what is just and thereby become intelligent, so far they are in the faculty of administering offices in heaven, and administer them in that place or degree in which their intelligence is, this intelligence being in equal degree with their love of use for the common good. Moreover, in heaven there are so many offices and so many administrations, and so many employments also, that they cannot be enumerated on account of their abundance; those in the world are few in comparison." (Heaven and Hell, n. 393)Thus if an extraterrestrial society is wandering about the universe between the spiritual societies of different solar systems collecting knowledge, that is exactly what they did during their physical life. Swedenborg was shown that heavenly societies of different planets do not typically visit each other, and for various reasons it is forbidden. This indicates there indeed is an advanced extraterrestrial race visiting our solar system, and they have the ability to travel faster than light.
Other than the extraterrestrial society of Mercury which traveled between solar systems, Swedenborg saw nothing of the other worlds that indicated a society more advanced in technical achievements than ours. But this is because most are of the opinion that an "advanced" society is one that excels in technical achievements. There are several cases where extraterrestrial contactees were shown an advanced society and were surprised that most lived a simply idyllic pastoral life. If one thinks about it, humans are most happy when outside under the light among nature. Howard Storm, who had an NDE and was shown a little about extraterrestrial life, was shown the far future of our earth and was surprised about how simple life was, with no evidence of anything technical.
So, if an advanced extraterrestrial society is able to travel between solar systems and has amassed a wealth of knowledge, they certainly have the capability to create a habitat on a planet under the surface. And recently NASA has uncovered that water is abundant in the solar system, with many moons and even Pluto probably having underwater oceans of water. Recently NASA has unveiled there are large tunnels under the surface of the Moon which they describe as "lava tunnels" (see Lunar Lava Tubes Could Host Underground Moon Cities)
But what about Mercury? Is there any evidence of anything extraterrestrial there? My opinion of that is that is it uninhabited, and Swedenborg associated them with Mercury as they are perhaps often in orbit close to the Sun. As to why that is, is perhaps the Sun is used as an energy source, or it is their marked destination in their travels. In the past astronomers have noted unusual objects orbiting the Sun closer than Mercury, that for a time they postulated another planetary body known as "Vulcan" (see Vulcan - hypothetical planet).
SUMMARY OF EXTRATERRESTRIAL THEORIES OF SWEDENBORG'S ENCOUNTERS
So we have gone through five main theories to explain Swedenborg's contacts with extraterrestrials of our solar system. He also encountered extraterrestrials beyond our solar system, and it should be noted that up until the 1990s scientists were educating the public that our solar system was probably the only one with planets, which modern observations have now shown was extremely ignorant.
So the first theory, that Swedenborg just imagined it, is probably false due to documented examples of his clairvoyant abilities that have been verified. What about the second theory, that these extraterrestrial societies are just "spiritual societies" but originated from elsewhere? Swedenborg himself states that is not the case. So that leads us to the third theory, Swedenborg misidentified the planets of our solar system. I consider this as partially true. The extraterrestrial society must have lived somewhere close to the vicinity of the planet. If the planet was gobbled up or destroyed in the distant past, they would become associated with the next nearest planet. That he did not completely misidentify the planets is shown by his accurate description of the rings of Saturn. What of the fourth theory, that the planets of our solar system were once inhabited? I consider this as possibly true for Venus, probably true for Mars, and hypothetically there may have been a planet between Mars and Jupiter that is now destroyed. That still does not explain everything, so the fifth theory that an advanced extraterrestrial must be visiting our solar system I consider to be true from the evidence that other researchers have gathered, especially since the time we exploded the atomic bomb.
EXTRATERRESTRIALS AND CHRISTIANITY
So, what would extraterrestrial contact mean for Christianity? All religions must first give up the idea that one must belong to a particular religion in order to go to heaven. This idea is a false limitation of God's love and mercy. What Swedenborg was shown is that many extraterrestrial societies worship the one God, and although some are aware he became incarnate in human form, most are not.
Swedenborg was also shown that extraterrestrials may regard it as very strange that we seek revelation from a book. Swedenborg was shown that most other extraterrestrial societies have spiritual guidance from direct contact with the spiritual world:
"It is to be known that the Word on our earth given through heaven by the Lord, is the union of heaven and the world; to which end there is a correspondence of all things in the letter in the Word with Divine things in heaven; and that the Word in its supreme or inmost sense treats of the Lord, of His kingdom in the heavens and on earth, and of love and faith from Him and in Him, consequently of life from Him and in Him. ...On every other earth Divine truth is manifested by word of mouth through spirits and angels; as has been said in the preceding pages, where the inhabitants of the earths in this solar system are described..." (Earths in the Universe, n. 119-120)If there was direct and open contact, there is an unfortunate likely conflict to occur between religious leaders and those of extraterrestrials: they would probably be classified as a New Age "cult." On the other side of the coin, there is the potential that many will accept whatever they say without any critical thinking. While they have revelation from the spiritual world, Swedenborg was shown that direct spiritual communication is generally no longer permissible for the inhabitants of this earth due to sin and disobedience, for the spiritual realms of our planet are infested with evil spirits. Opening up direct contact with the spiritual world is thus dangerous without proper spiritual preparation, and even Swedenborg warned against it.
UFO filmed over the Vatican in 2005, while Pope John Paul II lay in state. See Exo-Vaticana: The Year of Three Popes & UFOs Over the Vatican
The Vatican and the Pope of the Catholic Church seem to be aware of the extraterrestrial visitation to our earth, which they possibly became aware of through inside U.S. military channels according to some witness accounts. They have thus purchased their own astronomical observatories. In 2014, Pope Francis gave a speech stating that the Catholic Church would be willing to baptize extraterrestrials (see Pope Francis says he would baptise aliens). So what would be the reaction of extraterrestrials to this? Swedenborg records their reaction when a Christian missionary spirit attempted to convert a group of extraterrestrials to Christianity:
"...they said that visitors sometimes come to them from elsewhere, who speak with them about God and confuse the ideas of their thought. They also pointed out the way by which they come, from which it was perceived that they were of the spirits from our earth. Being then asked wherein their thoughts were confused, they answered that it was by those spirits saying that one must believe in the Divine as distinguished into three persons, which they still call one God. And when they examine the idea of their thoughts, it is presented as a trine not continuous, but discrete; and with some, as three persons conferring one with another; and with some, as two seated near together, and a third hearkening to them, and then going from them; and though they call each person God, and have a different idea concerning each, they still call them one God. They complained bitterly that these strangers confuse them by thinking three and saying one, when yet one ought to think as he speaks, and speak as he thinks." (Earths in the Universe, n. 158)Most churches are certainly not willing to question their own modern theological teachings in regards to the Trinity, preferring to leave it "off the table" in any discussion as the teaching of dividing God into three persons makes no logical sense, However this is not problematic for the New Church, which has restored the original Christian teaching that God is one person in Jesus Christ, in whom there is a Trinity of soul, body and spirit (discussed at length in previous blog entries). When Swedenborg corrected the teaching, and told these extraterrestrials that the God they worshipped under human form had become incarnate on our earth, they were affected with great joy.
The New Church theology, which is based on the principles of love and truth, is universal. As the spiritual teachings of the New Church are abstracted from the literal sense of scripture, and deal with higher level spiritual concepts hidden within it, it is potentially more understandable to other extraterrestrial societies who may find it hard to verbalize their beliefs into words we can understand.
The proper approach to any extraterrestrial contact, is to not be presumptuous, and to have an open mind. Be ready to unlearn. For when one is ready to unlearn, the mind becomes open to new ideas, and new ways of living. But unfortunately, religion is for the most part a barrier, an excuse for ignorance and intolerance, and does not help prepare the public for actual extraterrestrial contact.