“There is a spiritual world, and also a natural world. The spiritual
world is where spirits and angels dwell; the natural world is where
men dwell. Natural things represent spiritual things. They correspond.
What is natural cannot possibly come forth except from a cause prior
to itself. It’s cause is from what is spiritual. There is nothing natural which does not thence derive its cause, still less as causes
of causes, or beginnings. They receive their forms according to the use in the place where they are. All natural things represent the
spiritual things to which they correspond. All things in the world present some idea of the Lord’s kingdom, consequently of things
celestial and spiritual.
God is love itself and wisdom itself. The affections of His love and
the perceptions of His wisdom are infinite. All things that appear on
earth are correspondences of divine love and wisdom. This is the
origin of birds, beasts, forest trees, fruit trees, crops and harvest,
herbs and grasses. God is not extended, and yet He is present
throughout all extension, this throughout the universe from its firsts
to its lasts. He being this omnipresent, there are correspondences of
the affections of His love and wisdom in the whole natural world. In
the spiritual world, there are like correspondences with those who are
receiving affections and perceptions from God.
In the spiritual world such things are created by God from moment to
moment in accordance with the affections of the angels. In the natural
world they were created in like manner in the beginning. But it was
provided that they should be renewed unceasingly by the propagation of
one from another, and creation be this continued. In the spiritual
world creation is from moment to moment, and in the natural continued
by propagation, because the atmospheres and earths of one are
spiritual, and the atmosphere and earths of the other are natural.
Natural things were created to clothe spiritual things as skin clothes
the bodies of men and animals, as outer and inner barks clothe the
trunks and branches of trees, the several membranes clothe the brain,
tunics the nerves, and the inner coats their fibres, and so on.
The created universe is a connected work, from love by wisdom. All
things in the world were created after the image of things that are in
heaven, because natural things come forth from spiritual things as
effects from their causes. Universal nature is a theatre
representative of the Lord’s kingdom.”
– Emmanuel Swedenborg, “The Source Of Life”
About Emmanuel Swedenborg
Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) was a Swedish philosopher and scientist who, at 56, had a spiritual awakening and wrote numerous books on his theological views and related topics. He advocated a version of Christianity where works count as much as faith, with the trinity existing in Jesus, instead of three separate entities. Swedenborg derived inspiration from dreams and visions, and claimed to be able to visit heaven and hell at will. His works were widely read after his death and highly regarded by poets, writers and mystics such as Blake, Baudelaire, Strindberg, Balzac, Yeats, Jung, and William James.