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The Life on Other Planets Question

By Swedenborg Project | September 8, 2007

“[W]here there is an earth there are people; for people are the end for the sake of which an earth is, and nothing has been made by the Most High Creator without an end. That the end of creation is the human race, and from it a heaven, may be evident to anyone who thinks from reason. The angels also say that an earth cannot subsist without the human race, because the Divine provides all things on an earth for the sake of people.” (Arcana Coelestia 9237)

“Who can ever think that so vast a means [as the universe] exists for so small and limited an end as there would be if only one earth were inhabited, and from it alone existed heaven! What would this be for the Divine, which is infinite, and to which a thousand, nay, myriads of earths, and all of them full of inhabitants, would be little, and scarcely anything!” (Arcana Coelestia 6698, see also The Earths in the Universe 126).

These teachings don’t just apply out in the universe; they also apply to the planets of our solar system, and to both our moon and moons of Jupiter and Saturn. (Arcana Coelestia 9232-9237, Earths in the Universe 111-112)

Not all of Swedenborg’s theological works appear to be fully Divinely inspired.  There is good reason to believe that only the works he published himself are so inspired. (For details, see Which of Swedenborg’s books are Divine revelation? ).  What is the case for the teachings on extraterrestrial life? They are not simply included in the published works but repeatedly and prominently so.  They first appear as interchapter sections in the seminal work of the Second Coming, The Arcana Coelestia. In fact, the final numbers at the end of that work, 10833-7, are on this subject.  Swedenborg then, not long after he finished publication of the Arcana,  republished almost all the extraterrestrial material in a separate book, The Earths in the Universe (retitled Worlds in Space and Life on Other Planets in a more recent translation), and he refers to that material in others of his published works (Heaven and Hell 321, 192,  418, Married Love 532, 535, Doctrine of Life 0, Apocalypse Revealed 716, The Last Judgment 11, True Christian Religion 32, 846, 851), most extensively in Heaven and Hell 417.  Finally, he reports that the spirits from both Mercury and our moon have correspondential places in the “Greatest Person” organizational form of heaven (Arcana Coelestia 6696, 9236), which could not be the case if people had not first lived on those two places.

It has long been concluded from telescope observation that our moon does not support life as we know it, and that conclusion has been extended by data from the manned landings there. Unmanned probes to the other planets in our solar system and some of their moons have found a similar lack of life in any form. It is impossible for there to be a contradiction between the Divinely created physical operation of the universe, which is studied by science, and Divine revelation about the universe.  How then to explain the apparent inconsistency here? Since the teachings on extraterrestrial life are part of the Word of God, it means that any apparent inconsistencies are due to limitations in our understanding of revelation, of the observations of science, or of both.  The case is similar to that of belief in the Biblical miracles, which also appear to go contrary to what we know from science about the function of the universe.

A further question that might be raised here is why, in view of this perceived inconsistency, such a strong  emphasis is put on the extraterrestrial life teachings? Even common sense suggests that the intent is to draw attention, and that appears to be the case:

  1. In a conversation, angels once asked Swedenborg, “What news from earth?” He replied, “This is new – the Lord has revealed things….surpassing in excellence those hitherto revealed since the beginning of the church!” And his list of things “surpassing in excellence” includes what is revealed about “the inhabitants of the planets and the earths in the universe.” (True Christian Religion 846, Married Love 532)
  2. Swedenborg reports that Earths in the Universe was one of the “small works [that] were sent as a gift to all the bishops, and to many of the nobles or lords.” (Apocalypse Revealed 716)
  3. He also states that “the things which have thus far been shown concerning heaven and hell and the life after death [are] for those few who are in faith. That the rest, however, may be brought to something of acknowledgment, it has been granted that I should relate such things as delight and attract the man who is desirous of having knowledge; and which at present shall be about the earths in the universe.” (Arcana Coelestia 9439, Earths in the Universe 124)
  4. Swedenborg was aware that our moon did not have an atmosphere like other planets. (Earths in the Universe 111, Arcana Coelestia 9235)  Nonetheless, he related the teachings about life there without explaining how that could be possible, a predictably controversial, attention-drawing step.[1]

Looked at more closely, the Arcana Coelestia 9439 statement suggests that the teachings on extraterrestrial life are directed particularly at helping those lacking in faith develop it.  On the face of it, that seems like precisely the wrong goal to choose since, superficially considered, the apparent conflicts with scientific data would appear more likely to cause doubt than belief in revelation.  However, as always, “My thoughts are completely different from yours,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.” (Isaiah 55: 8)  How, then, might these teachings contribute to development of faith?  Certainly one aspect is that they provide the reader much mind-widening thought on the big and fundamental question of God’s purpose in creating the universe, such as the statistics that there are hundreds of thousands of (inhabited) planets (Earths in the Universe 26), that the size of the heavens so far from our earth does not equal even a hundred-millionth part of heaven’s total capacity, and that heaven will never be filled. (Earths in the Universe 168, Heaven and Hell 419)

“The things contained in the little work called The Earths in the Universe were revealed and shown to me for the end that it may be known that the Lord’s heaven is immense, and that it is wholly from the human race; also that our Lord is everywhere acknowledged as the God of heaven and earth.” (Heaven and Hell 417e)

What, then, of the science side of this issue?

  1. Science is supposedly built on the evidence of the senses, but in fact much of modern science is based on evidence far beyond what the senses can detect.  Instruments ranging from the electron microscope and oscilloscope to infrared sensors all detect and measure aspects of  reality that we cannot perceive directly.  In other words, the output of these instruments is a “revelation” about those aspects of reality.
  2. To provide some perspective, it seems worth recalling that there are as many challenges to interpretation of the findings of science as there are of the reports of revelation. Science is not some ultimate authority, but only the best construct its practitioners have managed to come up with to date in explaining physical reality.  It has difficulties, for instance, in explaining its own ultimate building blocks, such as magnetism, gravity and energy, or  where the material of the universe came from and what caused that coming.[2]  More directly to the point, there has been discussion of how life began in the first place, especially in view of what appears to be the almost incomprehensibly tiny statistical likelihood that it would develop.[3] Finally, science  has also been confronted with the apparent inconsistency  between the second “law,” or principle, of thermodynamics, which says that things “run down” into a state of energy homogeneity, and the life process, which does just the reverse (i.e. negative entropy).[4]
  3. There is a key difference between resolving the life on other planets science vs. revelation inconsistency and resolving the similar apparent conflict between the reports of the Biblical miracles and what we know from science about the mechanisms involved.  The miracles require a scientific explanation for events that did happen, while the extraterrestrial life issue is concerned with an event – finding evidence of other human habitation in extraterrestrial bodies of our solar system – that, from a scientific data point of view, apparently hasn’t happened.  The distinction is an important one because it means that the doubter of life outside of earth in our solar system must prove a negative, which can’t be done.  In the words of a famous quote that has been attributed to a variety of people, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” Thus, the scientific doubter cannot say that there is no life outside of earth in our solar system’s planets or moons but only that there is, so far, a lack of data supporting the life “hypothesis.”
  4. Science is not a fixed and monolithic entity. Its conclusions, its models of physical processes, are endlessly changing as new findings and models emerge.  Familiar historical examples are the change from the original incorrect ideas that the earth was flat and at the center of the universe. A more recent example involves what was the planet Pluto. Swedenborg’s revealed account of the solar system has been criticized for failing to mention the existence of the planets beyond Saturn, which were not known in his day.  Now, however, upon recent scientific reconsideration, it turns out that in the opinion of most experts Pluto does not fit the definition of a full planet after all, but is more accurately classified as a new type of “dwarf” planet[5] so that Swedenborg’s classification – i.e. leaving it off the list – was more accurate than originally thought.  And, though originally thought to be completely hostile to life, water, carbon dioxide ice, and hydrocarbons, all signs of possible life chemistry, have been found on Hyperion, one of the moons of Saturn, and ice and liquid water on Jupiter’s moon Europa.  It is also of interest that the Viking landers, which failed to find evidence of carbon chemisty on Mars, may have inadvertently destroyed their samples before they were measured. More recently, evidence has been discovered in the Phoenix Mars lander samples that liquid water has interacted with the Martian surface throughout Mars’ history, and Rover evidence of sub-surface water.  There is also recent evidence of water on both the surface and interior of our moon.

A final example isright here on earth  of what was thought to be life-denying hostile conditions:  Tube worms and other life forms that have been found living in the extreme pressures of over a mile deep in the Pacific ocean, in the complete darkness and near-freezing temperatures found there, with warmth and food provided by volcanic-like vents producing water temperatures of 750 degrees Fahrenheit.  The worms live on iron sulfide precipitates. (see National Geographic articles);[6]

The point is that science continues its history of having its understanding, its “fact” of yesterday, change in the light of new findings into a different set of “facts” today, so that what today may be seen as an inconsistency between revealed and empirically discovered truth may tomorrow be seen as all part of the same plan.

  1. Another pertinent aspect of scientific investigation is the opinion the scientific investigator holds of revelation.  There are two possible approaches that may be taken, termed by the teachings of the Second Coming the affirmative vs. negative principles (2588).  Under the affirmative principle approach, the goal is to be open to interpretations of scientific truth that confirm and support the teachings of revelation.  Under the negative principle the approach is to trust only the evidence of the senses – in this case in the form of scientific data – and disbelieve any aspect of spiritual reality that cannot be proven on that basis.  The availability of both approaches is yet another aspect of the spiritual free will that is all-important (True Christian Religion 480) to human mental and spiritual life.  The object in the case of the affirmative approach, it should be noted, is not to violate scientific objectivity with regard to determining “facts” within its physical reality field of view, but to attempt integration of those facts with understanding of the truths of revelation.

The estimable spirits from Jupiter had some sobering thoughts on this question:

“The inhabitants of the earth Jupiter place wisdom in thinking well and justly of all things that happen in life. Of sciences, such as are on our earth, they know nothing whatever, nor do they wish to know. They call them shadows and compare them to clouds which hide the sun. This idea concerning the sciences they have conceived from some spirits from our earth who boasted that they were wise from sciences. The spirits from our earth who thus boasted were such as defined wisdom as consisting in things having to do merely with the memory, as in languages, especially the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, in  knowledge of the things related in the literary world, in criticism, in mere experiments, and in terms, particularly such as are philosophical, with other things of a like nature. They do not use such things as means leading to wisdom, but define wisdom as consisting in those things themselves. Such persons, because they have not cultivated their rational faculty by the sciences, as means leading to wisdom, have little perception in the other life; for they see only in terms, and from terms, in which case those things are as dust and clouds obstructing the intellectual sight, and they who have been proud of their learning therefrom have still less perception; but they who have used the sciences as means of invalidating and annihilating the things having to do with the church and faith have totally destroyed their intellectual faculty, and like owls they see in the thick darkness falsity for truth, and evil for good.

“The spirits of Jupiter, from the conversation they had with such people, concluded that sciences induce obscurity and blindness. But they were informed that on our earth the sciences are means of opening the intellectual sight, which sight is in the light of heaven; but because such things as relate to the mere natural and sensual life are given priority over spiritual matters, therefore the sciences to the men of our earth are means of becoming insane, namely, of confirming them as believers in mechanisms of nature rather than the Divine, and in favor of the world rather than heaven. They were further informed that the sciences in themselves are spiritual riches, and that they who possess them are like those who possess worldly riches, which in like manner are means of performing uses to your self, your neighbor, and your country, but also means of doing evil. Moreover, that the sciences are like garments, which serve for use and ornament, and also for pride, as with those who would be honored for these alone. The spirits of the earth Jupiter understood these things well; but they wondered that, being men, people should stop their thinking at means, and prefer things leading to wisdom over wisdom itself; and that they could not see that to immerse the mind in such things, and not to elevate the mind above them, was to becloud and blind it. (Earths in the Universe 62)

  1. The teachings of the Second Coming tell us that some spirits of our earth have traveled widely in the spiritual world, and that some often accompanied Swedenborg during his discussions with the spirits he talked to from the various planets. A noteworthy feature of these experiences is Swedenborg’s repeated mention of how bad the spirits from our earth were, and how disliked by people from other planets.  The reasons ranged from the earth spirits confusing other spirits’ understanding of God to preaching false doctrine, injecting doubt, trying to convert other spirits, infesting and abusing them, and attempting dominion over them (Arcana Coelestia 10736, 10785, 10812, Earths in the Universe 64-66, 98, 99 ,102, 159, 162).  Our earth’s spirits, he says, were more interested in bodily and worldly things than spirits on other planets (Arcana Coelestia 6928) and, as well, “not affected with shame when they infest others.” (Arcana Coelestia 7764)

Thus, for instance,

“The spirits of [Jupiter] are utterly unwilling to be in fellowship with the spirits of our earth, because they differ in disposition and manners; for they say that the spirits of our earth are cunning, and are ingenious in plotting evils, and that they know and think little about what is good; also that they do not, as they do, acknowledge the one only Lord.” (Arcana Coelestia 8031)

Spirits from our earth would also represent a threat to the outlook of the inhabitants of Mars, where everyone is satisfied with what they have (Arcana Coelestia 7364) and where they don’t even know what hypocrisy is. (ibid., 7360)  In the case of Saturn,

…when any wish to lead astray the spirits of that earth, and draw them away from faith in the Lord, or from humility toward Him, and from uprightness of life, they say that they wish to die. When they are asked why, they say that they would rather die than be led away from the Lord. Sometimes the spirits of our earth laugh at these things, and infest them with questionings why they do so.” (Arcana Coelestia 8950)

In some cases, spirits from other earths were protected against spirits from our earth (Arcana Coelestia 9282, 9283, Earths in the Universe 148) or lived in conditions which made people from our earth afraid to approach (Arcana Coelestia 10313).  Taken together, these teachings raise the question of whether our failure to find people on other planets might be due to some kind of Divinely-provided protection that has prevented us from contacting them and repeating the history of abuses on their lives and beliefs as has so often been done here on our rather corrupt planet.

  1. Finally, an interesting footnote to Swedenborg’s reports is that he tells us that our planet is the only one in the universe to have science and technology.

“[T]here [are] sciences here [on earth] which are not elsewhere, as astronomy, geometry, mechanics, physics, chemistry, medicine, optics, philosophy: and also arts, which are not known elsewhere, as those of ship-building, of casting metals, of writing upon paper, and of printing what is written by types, and so of communicating it to others on the earth, and also of preserving it for posterity for thousands of years; as I told them had been done with the Word which is from the Lord; and therefore there is a permanent Revelation on our earth.” (Earths in the Universe 136)

On every other planet Divine truth is taught by word of mouth through spirits and angels. But this manifestation is confined within families; for the human race in most earths live arranged according to families; wherefore the Divine truth thus revealed through spirits and angels is not conveyed far beyond the limits of families, and unless a new revelation is constantly given, truth is either perverted or perishes.  It is otherwise on our earth, where the Divine truth, which is the Word, remains forever in its integrity.” (Earths in the Universe 120)

This is explained by the fact that one of the main reasons that Jesus Christ was born on our planet, of all the planets in the universe, was because we had the “technology” of written and printed language, with which the Word could be written down and preserved for the ages (Arcana Coelestia 9350ff., Earths in the Universe 115-118).  From that reference source His teachings could be spread to the rest of the universe, by means of communication from those who learn of the Word in their life here on earth to all inhabitants of heaven. (Arcana Coelestia 9356)[8]

The implication of ours being the only planet with technology is that there will never be either the radio signals or spaceships of extraterrestrial origin that have long been looked for by those interested in this area.  However, there is what might be thought of as an enormous compensation:  Another long-held dream by those interested in the other planets of the universe is that some day a means will be discovered to travel the enormous distances required to reach even the nearest galaxies.  The “compensation” here is that those who get to heaven can, relatively easily, travel to meet the spirits from even the most distant planets in the universe. (Arcana Coelestia 9438)  This is possible because travel in the spiritual world is not done by spatial translation but resembles the “travel” in imagination in your mind; you just think about where you want your awareness to be and you’re there. In other words, in the spritual world, your location is experienced as a function of your (spiritual) state of mind rather than physical space location (Arcana Coelestia 10734).

Footnotes

  1. It might be noted, however, that other of his reports are in keeping with the scientific facts involved, such as moon people communicating by a “thundering.” (Arcana Coelestia 9235.)  That practice would appear to create a low-frequency vibration that could be communicated to others via conduction through the moon surface in the absence of atmosphere.  Another example is Swedenborg’s description of the spirits from Jupiter as walking in a stooped posture and helping propel themselves with their hands (Earths in the Universe 55), as well as their having strong but small horses (Earths in the Universe 60), all of which facts would be consistent with Jupiter’s high gravity.
  2. The “Big Bang” theory of the universe’s origin, for instance, proposes that the universe started out from a high-density mass of material but does not explain where that material came from.
  3. See one calculation.
  4. See Wikipedia entry on this.
  5. See 2006 definition of planet in Wikipedia.
  6. It has, in fact, been proposed that this setting and chemistry was the origin of life on earth.
  7. D. Overbye. “Subsisting on Arsenic, Microbe May Redefine Life” New York Times December 2, 2010

8.This is feasible since in heaven there is a single, universal language. (Arcana Coelestia 9356)

Topics: Issues, News, Theology | 24 Comments »

24 Responses to “The Life on Other Planets Question”

  1. Melinda Johnson Says:
    September 13th, 2007 at 1:49 am

I found the hypothesis about our failure to discover life on other planets fascinating, especially in regards to a possible divine protection of their inhabitants from the predations of the citizens of earth. Even a cursory study of the history of imperialism on our planet, in Africa, for example, or South America, should convince us that this evil is a persistent failing on our planet.

  1. Chad Wooters Says:
    December 22nd, 2007 at 7:45 pm

Swedenborg’s statements about life on other planets closely the follow alchemical and mythological properties associated with those planets up until his time. Perhaps, we ourselves are the metaphorical inhabitants of the planets. Swedenborg makes it very clear that even before death we are in Heaven to the extent we are receptive to influx from the Lord. In this sense the actual planets were placed in their orbits by the Lord correspond to psychic states and qualities.

  1. Jose Martinez Says:
    August 2nd, 2008 at 8:33 pm

I find contradiction in the statement that only the earth has “technology”. This word is very generic and does not mean only electronics and such. Every civilization has had some kind of technology, even in ancient Sumeria! If there are civilizations in other planets they must have their own technology, even if it is very different from ours. I consider a fact that many so called “UFO’s” have been seen for decades all over this earth. Most of these crafts are of extraterrestrial origin and they are proof of extraterrestrial technology. In fact some of our actual technology has been copied from these ufos by scientist of several countries from this earth, whose goverment military and and inteligence agencies have managed to shot down some of these vehicles.

There is a recent book writen by a former NASA employee who had access to all or most of the photographs taken by astronauts of the apollo missions to the moon. In his book he presents ample evidences and testimonies that evidence the moon has been inhabited. Infact the astronauts were received at the moon by alien spacecrafts.
Of course all of this has been hidden by NASA from the public. There are also some evidences that are starting to show up from the photos that are being taken currently by earth crafts sent by nasa to Mars that also show evidence of life in that planet, at least in the past. The famous face on Cydonia is just one of many of these evidences….

  1. Kurt Says:
    August 3rd, 2008 at 2:49 pm

Hi Jose,

I appreciate your feeling about there being technology elsewhere in the universe. All I can say, however, is that is not what the Second Coming teachings say.

And on the book by the former NASA employee – I have heard mention of such a book before, but have never been able to track it down. Do you know the title and publisher?

  1. Shawn Says:
    March 2nd, 2009 at 7:32 pm

I have only read Heaven and Hell so far but I find Swedenborg to have the ring of truth. That’s why Life on Other Planets concerns me. I’m glad someone has asked the question and started to debate it seriously. It also bothers me that he did not reveal Neptune and Uranus. I hope that he was truly divinely inspired and shown the truth in Heaven. A Course in Miracles was claimed to be a revelation from Jesus too but I think anyone looking seriously into that will find that it probably came from cunning devils instead. Let’s always seek the truth and test it along the way.

  1. Kurt Says:
    March 3rd, 2009 at 1:45 am

Although I think the life on other planets issue may be greater in degree of controversy than some other issues, it doesn’t seem to me that different in kind. My thought would be that it’s just another setting raising the question of belief in God.

Faith shouldn’t be blind, but it should be faith!

  1. Shawn Brooks Says:
    May 21st, 2009 at 2:24 pm

I’ve found Swedenborg’s claims about humans on other planets within our solar to be very hard to believe. Ludicrous to be blunt. Humans on other earth-like planets–even that’s quite a stretch for “any reasonable person”.

So much of his work has touched me deeply–changed my life, in fact. I’ve been very conflicted about “other worlds” in many ways. Putting aside the obvious scientific discrepancies, his dissertations on extra-terrestrial life seem largely irrelevant.

All I can do is set my disbelief about this topic on the shelf and move on–certainly there is much more accessible truth within his work. When and if this topic becomes relevant to me, I’m sure it will be made clear. The quality of truth is dependant on the recipient, yes?

  1. Kurt Says:
    May 26th, 2009 at 1:04 am

I would guess that most people who believe in the teachings of the Second Coming at the present day have wrestled with the life on other planets question, myself included. Hence this blog! (Incidentally, the blog on “Religion and Science: No Contradiction”

(http://swedenborgproject.org/2007/06/10/10-religion-and-science-no-contradiction/)

also indirectly addresses the matter.)

My attempt has been to take the “affirmative principle” approach (Arcana Coelestia 2588, 2568), not only because we’re taught to do so, but because I think that approach will ultimately be the path to a full answer. I think your idea of “When and if this topic becomes relevant to me, I’m sure it will be made clear.” is both ingenious and in keeping with that principle. And I had certainly never thought of the idea of the quality of truth being dependent on the recipient as applicable in this context. Thanks for that!

  1. Roberto Genius Says:
    September 21st, 2009 at 12:15 am

ET life is a tough teaching I’ve wrestled with for many years. On the one hand, to me, it does seem there are ETs visiting our planet. How many decades have people seen UFO’s, reportedly been abducted and Col. Corso wrote “the Day After Roswell” in which he claims to have handed out various parts of the Roswell ET craft to military contractors across the US to develop new weapons like Stealth, Kevlar, etc.

I have a hard time believing ALL of these people are lying. Not to mention on the History Channel the other day I watched a 3rd Astronaut claim there were spaceships watching the moon landing. I forget the astronaut’s name at the moment.

The conflict is starting to feel like the Creationist conflict. One in which reality is competing with revelation.

Kurt, I would ask you, if aliens landed on the White House lawn tomorrow in plain sight, would you disregard Swedenborg’s Writings?

Maybe it is possible the “aliens” are actually from the future? Who knows? The truth is I don’t know how to reconcile them.

I do agree with the point above that maybe we aren’t finding alien life as an act of Divine Protection. At least I would hope The Lord is protecting them.

  1. Kurt Says:
    September 27th, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Hi Roberto,

I’ve never read up on the issue of ETs visiting earth and so can’t comment knowledgeably. From a Second Coming teachings point of view, though, such reports at least support the teaching of there being other people in the universe than just us! The usual challenge to the teachings is just the opposite, of a disbelief in there being anybody else.

One interesting question arises if you believe the teachings in number 6, above, about no one else in the universe having technology. If they didn’t use technology how exactly could ETs get here? Some dimension-shifting method or ??

  1. Roberto Genius Says:
    October 3rd, 2009 at 3:26 am

Kurt,

I don’t have a full-proof explanation. To me, there does seem to be credible witnesses saying there are aliens visiting earth and spaceships in space along side ours.

It’s tough for me to swallow that no one else has technology. It may be true, but hard to believe.

As for Earths in the Universe, it seems we would have found life on the moon but haven’t. So things aren’t adding up for me.

So, I really put to the side ET stuff aside in the Writings until an answer reveals itself.

  1. Kurt Says:
    October 4th, 2009 at 6:50 am

Roberto,

I am with you 100% that the best way to handle doubt is to postpone judgment until the necessary data becomes available that will answer that doubt. That’s how the affirmative principle works, as I understand it. And we always have the assurance that we’ll get answers on the other side to any questions left hanging on this side!

  1. Jason Says:
    October 25th, 2009 at 11:04 am

Hello,

I too was troubled for some time with Swedenborgs writings on other worlds.
Recently water was found on our moon. Where there is water there is, was or will be life.
More to the point is the question about there being no technology elsewhere in the Universe.
Swedenborg says that there are no sciences. That does not mean that people can not fashion cloth from nature or make simple tools for farming etc.
Swedenborg means that as here on earth in simple societies we all make things that are useful but we don’t make a science out of it. We are content that we have fashioned a cup from clay and hardened it with fire. Now we can drink water from it. We do not need to go scientific and make a complicated and decorated cup. It will not make the water taste any better.
Science itself recognises that the known Universe is immense. To think for one second that we are the only life in the Universe is utter arrogance and ignorance of the first order.
Those who question Swedenborg for not mentioning other planets like Neptune should remember that well over two hundred years ago Swedenborg wrote that the moon had no atmosphere. It is also more than possible that Our Lord creates new life on new planets as old planets die, much like people on our earth move to new areas when the trees and soil of their current location become less and of poor quality.
The comments about ET life are written as if they are fact. Somebody write a book or a web site publishes its opinions and suddenly people say it must be true and factual. That American defence companies got their technology from downed alien spacecraft is an insult to the people who invented these new technologies and is truly absurd. There are no aliens visiting Earth.
In other worlds people are closer to God and therefore do not feel the need to create sciences.
Much like a Buddist monk throwing away his material goods in order to live free of their influences and temptations. Just because he does that does not mean that he is stupid or crazy. Quite the opposite he is actually more intelligent than those who covet mere material things rather than concentrating on God and the rest of their eternity.
Life on Earth is not what life is about. Indeed one could argue that life doesn’t begin until death. For it is then that we find our eternal home.

  1. Charles Andrews Says:
    March 11th, 2010 at 1:59 pm

I have been studying Swedenborg for several years. I find that his comments about life on other planets correspond closely with both Rudolf Steiner and even Edgar Cayce that those inhabitants, like sprits of earth, are not physically perceptible but exist simultaneously in the spiritual realm. If one accepts the possibility that Swedenborg interacted with spiritual beings while on earth, then the possibility of spiritual inhabitants not subject to physical laws on other planets becomes equally plausible.

  1. Kurt Says:
    March 18th, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Hi Charles,

Thanks for your comment. My thought would be that Swedenborg as to his spirit was in the spiritual realm, as we all are, and he interacted with spirits in that realm. But his physical body remained in the physical world. There was thus no crossing over of the physical into the spiritual, or vice versa, for him, suggesting that there was no such crossing over on other planets either. My understanding is that Swedenborg only communicated with spirits from other planets and not people alive there at the time.

  1. Audrey Phillips Says:
    August 1st, 2010 at 2:40 pm

i think that spiritual life is much more important compared to our earthly life.”,`

  1. Andrew Says:
    August 5th, 2011 at 3:25 am

Hi Audrey,

I’m going to disagree with you – I think that both spiritual and earthly lifes are equally important, and each individual has to develop both sides.

  1. John Jeremiah Conroyuchid Says:
    September 16th, 2011 at 12:16 am

I must say that reading swedenborgs writings on other earths and other people living i those other worlds has confirmed my latter day saint mormon belief i other worlds with inhabitants living i those planets.reading the introduction preface to earths in the universe book by swedenborg has confirmed what the latter day saints scripture in the pearl of great price in the book of moses 1:35-36 mentions about worlds without number have i creted for my own purpose.swedenborg mentions that their are other earths i the universe and that their are other people living in those other earths. in the doctrine and covenants scripture by the mormons mentioned in doctrine and covenants 76:24 about other inhabitants kiving in these other worlds.emanual swedenborg and joseph smith both saw these other worlds and other kingdoms.i have a testimony by the holy ghost i my heart that their is other earths with people living their who worship our lord and saviour jesus christ.its true that there are other earths i the universe. the lord has revealed to me thru the holy ghost that in the bible in hebrews 1:3 and 11:3 mentions worlds i the king james version of the bible. the word worlds refer to the universe and other planets celestial and terrestrial.much of swedeborgs experiences of conversing with spirits and inhabitants of jupitar, satur and mars is dealing with the spiritual world. swedeborg and jospeh smith both refer to the physical and spiritual worlds.in the pearl of great price mentions in the scripture that there would be many worlds that would pass away.in the first chapter of the book of moses in the pearl of great price mormo scripture mentions the spiritual creation and physical creation.i have no problem with reconcilliating swedenborgs experiences of other earths and the prophet joseph smith being revealed od these other worlds with inhabitants mentioned i the doctrine and covennts.the holy bible anciently mentions worlds,and in modrn latterday revelation scripture the lord mentions other worlds. emanul swedenborg isnt the only one that was revealed personal revelation about the other earths i the universe and other planets.in the unarious academy of multidimesional science ruth norman as uriel mentions spiritulal worlds and physical worlds in the universe.i always knew that there were other worlds with inhabitants living their.

  1. John Jeremiah Conroyuchid Says:
    September 16th, 2011 at 12:29 am

i would like to share the similarities oif what jospeh smith saw and was revealed similarly to emanual swedenborg. in joseph smiths writings and brigham youngs journal of discourses mentions life on he moon with inhabitants living i the moon. this is similiar to emanual swedenborg saying there are inhabitanbts living in jupitar nsaturn and mars. my reconcilation answer to jospeh smith and brigham young and emanual swedenborg is that the lord was revealing to these men the spiritual side of these worlds i these planets. theees reasons that the lord doesnt want us on the earth physically see these other inhabitanbts in these spiritual worlds in these other planets. also with swedenborg having to conversw with spirits from hupitar and mars and venus and saturn i can say that there are other earth worlds that would be similar to jupitar, satur and mars.there are millions,trillions, quadrillions of univereses out their that have been created by the lord jesus christ.dont forget in the oaphse kosmon bible a new age bible by john newbrough mentions about other worlds that are ehterea worlds and celestial worlds and terrestreial wor;ds. remember swedenborg mentions three seperate heavens in the same manner as jospeh smith does with his doctrine of three kingdoms of celestial,terrestrial and telestial kingdoms.even the apostle paul mentins about terrestrial and celestial bodies oe glory of the moon, stars and sun.i must say its wonderfuk to knoiw that we kniw there is other worlds out their in the universe with other inhabitants living oin them.the evidence is quite obvouis spiritually, when considering the fact that the lord had opened the yes and vision of ancient and modern prophets of all ages.

  1. Kurt Says:
    September 17th, 2011 at 8:56 am

Hi John,

I’m afraid I am not familiar with most of the Mormon doctrine you mention. However, the most extensive and reasonably objective comparison of Swedenborg and Mormon teaching is, I believe, the one Craig Miller did a few years ago, online at

http://craigwmiller.tripod.com/interest.htm

  1. John Jeremiah Conroyuchid Says:
    September 18th, 2011 at 7:34 pm

yes after i read craig millers article on the similiarities and differances on mormonism and swedenborganism i it actually confirmed my beliefs in both theologies. the main central core to mormon doctrine is the doctrine of three heavens known in mormon theology as three degrres of glory, three seperate kingdoms. in mormon scripture known as the doctrine and covenants section 76 mentions three heravens seperately known as telestial terrestrial and celestial kingdoms. swedenborg mentions in his book heaven and hell and the arcana coelestia that there is three heavens, celestial,spiritual and earthly.mormons also teach in their main doctrine eternal marriage in heaven. swedenborg teaches eternal marriage.these doctrines of eternal marriage and three heavens or three kingdoms goes back much further then joseph smith and swedenborg. the doctrine goes back to the early primitive church and apostolic church fathers such as origin, justin, etc.these teachings i believe are original teachings that have been restored and brought back to earth thru servants such as emanual swedenborg and joseph smith.heavenly father uses all his children on the earth as vessels of the lord.i believe that both worlds the spiritual and earthly lives go hand in hand together and cannot be seperated.both spiritual and earthly lives are important for us to live while we are on this journey

  1. John Jeremiah Conroyuchid Says:
    September 18th, 2011 at 8:00 pm

its not very hard for me to believe in the plurality of other worlds and other earths in swedenborgs book earths in the universe. in earths of the universe by swedenborg confirms my latter day saint belief in modern day revelation mormon scripture in the doctrine and covenants 76:24 about inhabitants living on other worlds.thru study and prayer and pondering ive asked the lord for wisdom and understanding thru the holy ghost and the holy ghost in my spiritual heart is my witness of truth thru prayer and study t hat there exsists other worlds.just because we dont physically see these other earth worlds doesnt mean they dont exisists. look at the spirit world full of the world of spirits. we dont see them doesnt mean they dont exisits. the wind exists and heat and cold exists even though we cant see them physically. the same applies to the spirit world of the world of spirits.trillions and zillions of souls go to the other side even though we physically dont see that.the lord has to open our eyes spiritually.

  1. Lou Says:
    December 29th, 2011 at 10:16 pm

Swedenborg states that other planets must have some use otherwise why are they there. And his contention that they exist because they have human inhabitants makes perfect sense to me.

But any interaction by earthly humans with those from other planets of a much different spiritual state would certainly result in spiritual chaos and cause irreparable harm, thus the Lord would protect against that by separating them. Thus, earthly humans on our moon (for example) would not be allowed to see or interact with each other– Divine protection to me is undoubtedly the reason.

Swedenborg is so dead right on all his other spiritual insights, especially his salvation explanations (sanctification) and heaven and hell, that he must also be right on his other worlds spiritual views. And we all shall see that clearly after we pass from our temporary home, earth, to heaven. Do not let this be a stumbling block.

  1. Swedenborg and Biblical Exegesis – Page 6 – Christian Forums Says:
    March 18th, 2013 at 3:08 pm

[…] own writings were Scripture they would themselves be corrspondential and symbolic in nature. There is debate over the question of if that specific text should be considered among those listed as Scripture though […]