It’s been over 7 years since I found the YouTube channel, Off The Left Eye.
The algorithm, right on, as I was seeking solace, information, and communion following a life altering mystical experience. The crew, including Curtis Childs, Dr. Jonathan Rose, Chelsea Odhner, have a tender way with words while managing to translate complex spiritual particulars through analogy, metaphor, story telling, and music. The channel is a part of the non-profit, The Swedenborg Foundation.
Who is Emmanuel Swedenborg and Why I love his works
Emanuel Swedenborg was a scientist, philosopher, and theologian who lived in the 18th century. His unique combination of interests in both science and spirit made him a truly remarkable individual.
Born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1688, Swedenborg was trained as an engineer and scientist. He made significant contributions to the field of metallurgy, and even served as an assessor for the Swedish Board of Mines. But his passion for science was not limited to the physical world - he also had a deep interest in understanding the workings of the human mind and spirit.
"The human mind is like a garden, which can grow anything, but only if it is tended with care."
In his later years, Swedenborg began to have spiritual experiences that he believed were divinely inspired. He wrote extensively about these experiences, and the resulting books, such as "Heaven and Hell" and "Conjugial Love", became popular among a wide audience. In these works, he detailed his visions of the afterlife and the nature of God and the soul.
Swedenborg's love for science and spirit is perhaps best summed up in his own words, from his book "Heaven and Hell": "The human mind is like a garden, which can grow anything, but only if it is tended with care." This quote reflects his belief that the mind has the power to understand both the natural and spiritual worlds, but that it requires cultivation and attention to do so.
His books and teachings have inspired many people throughout history, including the poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, and the founder of the Swedenborgian Church in America, William White. Today, many societies and groups continue to study and follow Swedenborg's teachings.
For those interested in learning more about Emanuel Swedenborg and his ideas, there are many resources available. The Swedenborg Society, founded in 1810, publishes translations of his works and hosts events and lectures. The Swedenborg Foundation, established in the United States in the 1920s, also publishes his works and offers a variety of resources for study and research.
Why we should be reading Swedenborg today more than ever
For those seeking meaning and understanding in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis and all the downstream effects we're coping with, Swedenborg might offer you the solace it so tenderly offered me. His teachings on the nature of the mind and spirit, and the afterlife, offer a perspective that can provide comfort and guidance during difficult times.
One of Swedenborg's central ideas is that the mind and spirit are intimately connected, and that true understanding of oneself and the world can only be achieved by considering both. This idea is particularly relevant in the aftermath of the last few years, as many people have been forced to confront their own mortality and the fragility of life. Swedenborg's teachings offer a way to understand the meaning and purpose behind suffering and loss.
Swedenborg's ideas about the afterlife also provide a sense of hope and peace in the face of loss. He believed that the soul continues to live on after death, and that there is a heaven where people are reunited with loved ones and live in a state of eternal happiness. This belief in the afterlife can provide solace for those who have lost loved ones to the virus and are struggling with grief.
Swedenborg's emphasis on the power of the mind and the importance of self-reflection can also be beneficial for those who are struggling with the emotional and mental effects of the pandemic. His teachings encourage individuals to take responsibility for their own well-being and to actively work on understanding and improving their mental and spiritual health.
His teachings continue to inspire people to this day and his books are a treasure trove of insight for anyone interested in the workings of the human mind and spirit.
Here is a list of some of the most notable books and papers written by Emanuel Swedenborg:
"Regnum Animale" (The Animal Kingdom), 1740-1741 - This is a scientific work that describes the anatomy and physiology of animals and insects.
"Opera Philosophica et Mineralia" (Philosophical and Mineral Works), 1734-1744 - This collection includes works on metallurgy, mining, chemistry, and natural philosophy.
"Arcana Caelestia" (Secrets of Heaven), 1749-1756 - This is a multi-volume work in which Swedenborg interprets the inner meaning of the Bible, particularly the Book of Genesis and the Book of Revelation.
"De Caelo et Ejus Mirabilibus" (Heaven and Its Wonders and Hell, from Things Heard and Seen), 1758 - This book describes Swedenborg's visions of the afterlife, including heaven, hell, and the world of spirits.
"Conjugial Love" (The Delights of Wisdom Pertaining to Conjugial Love After the Fall), 1768 - In this book, Swedenborg writes about the nature of love and marriage in heaven, and the spiritual aspects of the relationship between husband and wife.
"Divine Love and Wisdom" (Divine Love and Wisdom), 1763 - This work explores the nature of God and the divine love and wisdom that governs the universe.
"Divine Providence" (Divine Providence), 1764 - This book discusses the belief that God is actively involved in the world and guides the course of human events for the ultimate benefit of humanity.
"True Christianity" (True Christianity), 1771 - In this final work, Swedenborg summarizes his theology and provides a guide for living a spiritual life.