The New Philosophy Vol 115 No 3-4, July-December 2012
The Annual Meeting of the Swedenborg Scientific Association was held on Saturday, September 29, 2012. President Rev. Dr. Reuben P. Bell opened the meeting at 7:30 PM held in the Pendleton Hall auditorium at the Bryn Athyn College. In addition to board members and officers, there were six members present.
The concept of reception by “influx” is central to Swedenborg’s thought, not only in regard to the creation and sustenance of the physical universe, but also that of human existence. Theories regarding physical creation and its sustenance, as well as of human existence, are found in all cultures from the animist, dating back tens of thousand of years, to reflections in this postmodern era.
Because we live now, in our own setting, within the borders of a system that is unique in terms of communication, labour methods, and a sophisticated scientific enterprise, it is important to re-evaluate what we know or understand concerning this word “influx” within these parameters if it is to be meaningful in a modern context. That is to say, if this word is to be relevant, it is because it provides a means of affecting those parameters in a significant way; it should provide a more specific form of perspective that is capable of application beyond the usual generalisations of materialism and alienation as criticisms of the status quo. The reason for this should be stated clearly at the outset: the current paradigms are both outworn and have become restrictive.
It is not surprising that Emanuel Swedenborg, the brilliant scientifically inclined son of a pietistic Lutheran Bishop, in his philosophical project chose to tackle the dominant and most vexing problem of his day—the relationship between faith and reason and their connection to obtaining the good. Raised in a home that emphasized faith living in works, he was nonetheless passionately attracted by the elegance and power ofreason.