It would be nice to believe there is someone like a guardian angel watching over you protecting against harm. But the sceptic will soon say this is just wishful thinking. Fairy godmothers are for children’s fairy tales like Cinderella and not for educated adults.
Warnings claimed to come from a guardian angel
On the other hand it is claimed there is support for the notion of guardian angels in the experiences of individuals. There are those who claim their lives have been protected by what they say is the intervention of a dead loved one.
Warnings have been sensed that turn out to have prevented such things as house fires, industrial injuries, undiagnosed health problems, motor vehicle accidents, and harm from criminals.
Two cases involving a guardian angel?
For example Catherine was asleep at her home in New Brunswick when she heard someone call her name. It was her great grand-mother who had been dead for almost a quarter of a century. Catherine woke up and looked out of the window where she could see the barn was on fire. As this was adjoined to her home, by the time she and her sons had got out of the house that too was up in flames.
Jan’s example of a guardian angel
Another example is that of Jan who lives in Arizona. Her son had become very ill and she had him under the doctor’s care. In the middle of the night she suddenly found her husband Ronny standing at the foot of the bed.
She was told “Take Wally to a dentist or he will die”. She surmised Ronny must have communicated via telepathy for he had lost his life eight years previously in a car crash. The next day the dentist examined her son and said he had a systemic infection because some of his teeth had been injured in an accident. The boy recovered with the proper treatment.
History of the concept of guardian angel
Of course none of this proves we are being watched over from a hidden realm. Perhaps it was simply the individual’s subconscious awareness at work. But the more stories you hear the less sceptical you feel.
The belief that God sends a spirit to watch every individual was common in Ancient Greece and was alluded to by Plato in Phaedo.
And the Bible reflects the belief that angels can be guardians for people:
“He will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways” (Psalm 91:11)
There seems to be a bit of an angel craze going on these days and the idea of an angel might put you off; especially if you understandably reject a mythical notion of angels as androgynous beings with wings.
Swedenborg’s perspective on the concept of a guardian angel
Emanuel Swedenborg provides an alternative description of angels: they are said to have no wings but are in a human male or female form. We are told that all angels are now spirits in a heavenly realm — walking, talking, reading, writing, and holding down jobs — although they were all were once born and died in our material plane of life.
And he says one of these jobs can consist of being with a person; exercising constant vigilance to protect your spiritual welfare and leading you towards a higher happiness if you wish to follow.
Furthermore Swedenborg says they do not impose themselves on you but help you gently not going against your will and principles. According to this view they act as a representative of the heavenly state of life stirring up your feelings of kindness to others and your interest in searching for the truth as well as illuminating your insights.
In other words the claim is they are your guardian angels in so far as they protect you from what is bad and false coming from harmful spirits.
Copyright 2012 Stephen Russell-Lacy
Author of Heart, Head & Hands Swedenborg’s perspective on emotional problems