The New Philosophy Vol 118 No 1-4, January-December 2015
The remarkable story of how Jonsson’s portrait sculpture of Swedenborg came to be made, installed in Lincoln Park, stolen, and recast is one of artistic inspiration, serendipity, and the power of the Internet.
On April 11, 2015 Bryn Athyn College hosted, in its beautiful facilities, an open-to-the-public Book Expo to celebrate and explore science, spirituality, and Swedenborgian thought in general. Hundreds of books on a great variety of topics were available, and speakers were engaging attendees throughout the day. Via books and talks, topics included spirituality weaving through ancient history, the sciences, philosophy, medicine, naturalism, abolition of slavery, child labor rights, new spiritual paradigms, envisioning the afterlife, and Swedenborg’s scientific and theological works.
Following on from Karl Birjukov’s article on “Influx,” I have divided this contribution—which considers the neurological basis for Swedenborg’s concept of influx—into several parts, depending on the relevant part of the nervous system involved; I am using a modification ofthe same system as Norman Berridge used in his book The Natural Basis of Spiritual Reality, that is, how different parts of the physical brain provides a framework for, or correspond to, spiritual influx.
This talk consists of three parts: unmasking naturalism, the science wars, and freeing the spirit and how these relate to one another. It is partially based on a chapter I wrote for the book The World Transformed: Swedenborg and the Last Judgment.
Part of it will be concerned with uncovering something of the spiritual structure just referred to, but if it is to mean anything,it will need to be anchored in the physically real. To that end, relativity theory will be the central focus, but the reason for this will not yet beapparent. Suffice it to say that while this may not seem to be promising at this moment, the particular treatment given here will focus on its status ofrealism. No previous knowledge concerning its intricacies is assumed or necessary.