SWEDENBORG'S RELATIONSHIP TO THE THEORY OF A PLURALITY OF WORLDSExtraterrestrial Life in Swedenborg's Pre-Theological WorksAs was outlined in chapter one, Cartesian emphasis upon a distinction between spirit and matter, and upon mechanistic explanations of natural phenomena, influenced contemporary philosophy immeasurably. Cosmology was particularly affected by this trend, and as the seventeenth century progressed, more and more philosophers adopted the system outlined in Descartes' Principia. This was important for the debate over a plurality of worlds, because the Cartesian picture of the universe consisted of innumerable solar systems, and thus made it seem rather foolish to suppose that only one corner of this immense universe was inhabited by intelligent beings.
GESTATION AND REGENERATIONOrganization: The Formative ForceHow does the zygote turn into a human being? How do all the organs form at the right times and places? This is the question of organization, often prompted by stunned amazement that this miracle can happen at all, let alone billions of times. We can approach it at many different levels. The Writings answer it at the theological level, as I showed earlier, by explaining the nature and operation of the soul. But the philosophical level, and the scientific one, which can be divided into physical, mechanical, cytological, molecular and even atomic planes of organization, remain to be examined.
In the October-December 1983 issue of The New Philosophy there appeared an article by Rev. Dr. Horand K. Gutfeldt entitled: " 'As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten' (Rev. 3:19)—In Need of a Revision?" Gutfeldt suggested in this article that this clause in Rev. 3:19 would be better translated as: "As many as I love, I convince and educate."