This honor has fallen to me on two accounts: first and foremost, my editorship of Swedenborg's "Diary" under the aegis of the General Church Translation Committee; but second and also important, a long-standing friendship—dating back more than 30 years—with your chairman, Rev. Olle Hjern—a man of intense devotion to and extensive knowledge of Swedenborg and Swedenborgiana, who felt that this project would be of particular interest to people in this country.
Our imagination is impressed by an artist's illustrations of ancient city states, with the citizens moving about their everyday business. Take the Central American city state Tikal; ancient mysteries are transformed by the artist's informed imagination. And scientists explain how these constructions were accomplished, and how modern technology might replicate them. Today, many ancient mysteries are being explained in terms of visitors from outer space, who brought secret knowledge to the earth (see, for example, Erich von Daniken's Chariots of the Gods). It seems that some ancient achievements are just a little too miraculous for credulity! And yet the evidence is there: monuments which seem to defy gravity.The New Church scholar, however, can provide explanations in terms of another frame of reference, the science of correspondences, which was the Science surpassing all other sciences in ancient days. For throughout "post-diluvian" times, in what is called the Ancient Church (the Biblical Noachian period), down to Christ, this science was used to link the metaphysical or spiritual realm to the physical or natural cosmos. And its use now may help to bring those artists' impressions into sharp focus, making the whole ancient world a little more comprehensible.