This is a sketch of the idea of happiness. The theme is the competition between two rival views of happiness: the hedonic vs. the eudaimonic. My main point is that the Heavenly Doctrines teach the eudaimonic view of happiness and that this view is superior to the hedonic for several reasons. I will examine the concept of happiness from philosophical, theological, and psychological perspectives. Aware that my professional expertise lies in only the first area, there may be errors in my conclusions in the other two fields. However, I think that the benefits of looking at the subject in a holistic manner outweigh the risks of a purely philosophical treatment.
In Emanuel Swedenborg’s first major theological publication, Arcana Caelestia, we find a simple statement making an amazingly grand claim about the physical reality of the universe: "Where a terrestrial body exists, so does the human being; for the human being is the end for the sake of which a terrestrial body exists, and the Supreme Being has created nothing without that end in view." (AC 9237)
Swedenborg’s Secret is an important new biography of Swedenborg that was well received by the Swedish press when originally published there in 1999. Written by the Swedish diplomat Lars Bergquist, it has been translated into English and published by the Swedenborg Society in 2005. The author relates in the acknowledgements that some of the material has been adapted for an international audience, but upon examination the changes appear to be minor. This is the second book that Bergquist has written about Swedenborg. In 1989 he published Swedenborg’s Dream Diary in Sweden. It was translated by Anders Hallengren and published by the Swedenborg Foundation in 2001.