Enlightenment – How to think of it?

enlightenment

Spiritual traditions like Buddhism speak of enlightenment as promising a state of wisdom, happiness and freedom from the troubles we usually have to deal with in life. So what actually is enlightenment? How can we understand what the term means? Physical light and well-being The word enlightenment obviously is based on the word ‘light’. So … Continue reading Enlightenment – How to think of it?

Gender – Are there deep differences?

gender

When the women’s movement spoke up for the value of women it rebelled against the traditional gender stereotypes and proclaimed equality between the sexes. It quite rightly opposed any idea of male superiority and female subservience. Some fear that any talk of gender is only a short step from women being different to being inferior … Continue reading Gender – Are there deep differences?

The Five Ages

Swedenborg’s View of Spiritual History

Extracts from Emanuel Swedenborg with commentary by P L Johnson. Swedenborg Society, 2008; ISBN 978-0-85448-154-5; xv + 243 pp; £11.95 + p&p.

This intriguing book is a selection of quotations from Swedenborg’s writings that relate to his view of different spiritual ages of the world in human history. In bringing together this material, nowhere found in one place in Swedenborg’s voluminous writings, Patrick Johnson has provided a useful service. His added comments are helpful in giving continuity and relevant recent historical knowledge, as well as some of his own suggestions.

Swedenborg can give us little guidance on dating these past ages, for his account is derived from an interpretation of the Bible as to its religious meaning. Despite this, The Five Ages shows how current ways of speaking might relate to both ecclesiastical terminology and biblical figures and events. The claim is that this holistic approach helps us to understand mankind’s psycho-spiritual development across different epochs, despite