What is order? I quote the relevant definition from Webster’s Dictionary. Order is: a) a condition in which everything is so arranged as to play its proper part; b) the fixed arrangement of phenomena, both physical and psychical. Viewed rather more interiorly, I suggest that it is the qualitative aspect of the elements of reality—whatever they may be, substances, forces, forms of energy, curvatures in the space-time continuum—whereby they conspire to produce the complex universe of which we are aware.
Swedenborg was born in 1688. He died in 1772. His writings on science and philosophy were done before the middle of the Eighteenth Century. Thus over 200 years separate these works from the International Geophysical year of 1957-1958. What is the connection between the studies of a man whose work in physical science took place over two hundred years ago and the studies of the present geophysical year ?
It is not my aim to introduce you to the technicalities of mathematics, nor to indicate, except in a very general way, in which of these technicalities Swedenborg was versed; but rather to tell you something of the effects which I believe the study of the discipline of mathematics had on Swedenborg—how it may have influenced his thought, his philosophy and his style.