Swedenborg Scientific Association

Publishers of The New Philosophy Journal

Article Type: paper

The Deep Structure of the Question

The parameters of human expression are quite fully delineated between the concepts of “declaration” and “interrogation.” From his very soul, man experiences the urges both to “tell” and to “ask.” Perhaps the more fundamental of the two is to “ask,” as this is inherent in the infant’s first utterance, the cry, and in the perpetual whining of children for the objects of their wants. How did primitive man learn to ask questions?

Read More »

Sight, the Visual Process, and Doctrine

Part IIIn a previous paper we discussed the right way to approach the Word. After these prerequisites have been fulfilled, and we “as-of-self” approach the Word, light is brought to a focus on the retina. The effort to understand brings it to focus on the most sensitive layer of the retina, the macula. This area, we suggest, represents the Writings; and, inmostly, the fovea the Doctrine of the Lord. Here, by means of the Writings, natural light is converted into spiritual light, and we view the Word as to its letter from the Lord. Man is then able to confess that the Writings are in essence spiritual, and that they constitute the interior life of the letter of the Word. This is the only way that there can be a progression of the church in conjugial partners, and in mankind as a whole.

Read More »

The Three Traditions in Science and the Writings of Swedenborg

The growth of science, according to Hugh Kearney in his book Science and Change, 1500-17002, can be seen in terms of three traditions which he calls the organic, magical, and mechanical. First I shall briefly describe them and trace their paths through history, then show how they relate to one another, and finally examine them in relation to the view of the universe expressed in the theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.

Read More »

The Natural Basis of Spiritual Existence

All Christians, and many others believe the world was created by God. The idea that creation is a continuing process is less widely held, but many people are familiar with the view that the world we see and touch is but the outer garment of a more real world of spirit. Some who believe and feel that it is so do not have any definite and detailed theory as to how this garment is worn or as to how the inner reality expresses itself in the external things which impinge upon our senses. Others have adopted clear ideas and it has been said that the world of the spirit re-presents itself in nature and it does so in a consistent and orderly way. This means that the properties of one may be realistically illustrated by those of the other.

Read More »

Providence and Free Will in Human Actions

Why do human actions take place as they do? Why have the events in history occurred, instead of other events that might have occurred? Why does each individual act as he does, and not in some other way? What are the causes that produce human action? This study arises from an attempt to answer these questions.

Read More »

Some Philosophers and Scientists Look at Nature

The scientific viewpoints of Archimedes and Ptolemy, both implied and stated, illuminate the philosophical ideas of Plato and Aristotle in a striking way, so after outlining some doctrines of the great philosophers, seeing where they agree and where they differ, we will turn to the scientists and let them highlight the particulars.

Read More »

Providence and Free Will in Human Actions

Organic Unity of Man”The action itself gives quality to truths…” Man is a connected whole, not a series of unrelated mental and physical planes. The body and spirit are inextricably interwoven, and so also are the freedom of the spirit and the freedom of the body. Because the will is free, the body also enjoys freedom.

Read More »

Scientific Research — Some Methodological Problems: With Special Reference to the Earth Sciences

Whenever scientists come together in congenial surroundings, as for instance over dinner, or when the port and cigars stage has been reached, it is not uncommon to play the space-or time-capsule game: which five or six men have contributed most to Western science? Whose works would you send to another planet or bury for future generations to rediscover as representing the best, the most crucial, contributions to Western science? Of course, much depends on the interests and backgrounds of the players, but several names are popular choices. Newton, whom Wordsworth described as “Voyaging through strange seas of thought alone”; Darwin, whose grand synthesis forms the framework of all later biological work; Socrates, an adventurer of the mind who rejected as unsatisfactory the then current explanations of nature because they did not tell him how and why, and for that reason transformed philosophy from the study of nature to the study of men’s souls and their interactions in society; and Einstein, for his discovery of the equivalence of energy and matter (E = MC2) as well as his perceptive and frank comments concerning the methods of science, all figure prominently in these short lists of distinguished men of science. Copernicus, too, rates highly for persuading us that the earth is not the center of the solar system, much less the universe, as does Aristotle with his encyclopedic knowledge. James Hutton, of whom it was said that “he discovered…time,” and who was an essential precursor to Darwin, as well as being the founder of geological science, is another popular selection. Popper is nowadays often mentioned as are such men as Faraday, Galileo, and so forth.

Read More »