August 2, 2013
In my assiduous attempt to provide my intellect with quality lectures favoring the breeding of uncountable thoughts I genuinely consider a chief condition for one’s happiness to achieve substance, I rarely came across spiritual themed books. Mysticism’s not really my cup of tea and reading its adepts has yet to attract me, you should know, but while relishing a dose of Borges’ oral speeches the other day (Borges being quite a brilliant modern mind, if you’d ask my opinion) I became unexpectedly intrigued by the man he was talking about, a certain Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772).
Swedenborg who? Apparently, the guy was the proud possessor of a brilliant mind which Kant took some time in studying with expressed regrets he could never meet its owner, dead a decade earlier. Reputed scientist for the first half of one of those lives uncommonly long in the not so healthy 18th century (he managed to survive the age of 80), obedient student and offspring of a wealthy Lutheran bishop quite respected by the Swedish King, he was much appreciated himself for researches (truly ahead of his times) on human brain (developing the “neuron” concept barely occurred as an important matter to Swedenborg’s contemporaries), psychology and complex anatomy, although international recognition came with a treaty on similarities between metallurgy and philosophy. Later, he even took some time in designing a flight machine, reaching the sky otherwise than through death being a dream he had in common with da Vinci.
Great variety in preoccupations, do observe.
But not sufficient to conquer historic immortality.
Until Providence generously opened the gates of a new domain Swedenborg could usefully study in a wholly eccentric perspective: theology. Now, how he came to have the transcendent visions on which his following works were heavily based one may effortlessly find on omniscient Wikipedia without my mentioning it, yet I’d like sketching their content as it explains my decision of boring you with this particular Swede.
Upon experiencing an elevating journey of the type Dante made famous worldwide at the end of a swift adjustment, Swedenborg established a few marvelously novel religious ideas definitely surpassing, in context, Rudolph Steiner’s esoteric movement centuries later.
According to him, our souls are directly responsible for their entry in either hell or Paradise since, here goes the surprise, each man is let to decide where to spend his afterlife. Swedenborg explains that, after an interval spent hanging in a neutral zone where angels and demons could freely pass, we are put to chose the place of our eternity, the only space in which we’re able to find happiness. Shockingly, some actually desire to reside in the fiery depths of infernal terror, which he doesn’t interpret as punishment.
“The life of any one can by no means be changed after death; an evil life can in no wise be converted into a good life, or an infernal into an angelic life: because every spirit, from head to foot, is of the character of his love, and therefore, of his life; and to convert this life into its opposite, would be to destroy the spirit utterly.” Explained, it means a predominantly mischievous spirit, without being damned, can never pass Heaven’s doors because it would condemn him to tremendous misery; it’s not his nature to stay among those essentially good or graceful for he’s destined to hate, spite, breath in torturing vices alongside those assembling his temper, a theory most sophisticated in comparison with Bible’s old-fashioned variant -reminiscent, though, of Shaw’s “Man and Superman” third act.
Evidently, there’s much more to say about Swedenborg regarding his concepts and the authenticity of his mystical connections; I promise to incorporate sometime in a longer post if interested, probably subsequent to reading the “Heaven & Hell” work which won him posterity.
For now, what do you think about his rather strange philosophy? Heresy? Madness? A wild but nevertheless genuine hunch?
December 3, 2012
Splendiferous subtext, if you ask me, and, concomitantly, one of the greatest biblical metaphors ever to be taken from the patrimony of ancient civilizations without other alteration except that concerning the context.
I strongly recommend to muse about it, let it settle gently on your membrane of intellectual sensibility, allow it to make connections with previous thoughts and ruminate until the tangency it has with several impossible-not-to-relate-to issues least comes to reveal a path towards full understanding.
Can the blind lead the blind?
If so, why does our magnificently well- structured society permit such immense a mistake and to which effect, really? How do we still fall under the influence of utterly false gurus, all information to prevent it being internationally available?
To which extent to we plunge in that pit?
June 13, 2012
My geography teacher has this very innovative way of slackening the atmosphere with a chiefly related to culture game whose target is to answer the two given questions for “a 10 [highest mark in the register] and a bar of chocolate”. Most amusing, I assure you.
SO, the reason why I informed you about his habit even if today was a stay-home-and-doze day as my high-school was closed, is because…
While I was just hanging around, laying on the sofa and thinking random subjects, one of my teacher’s premium inquiries simply popped up out of the blue and mysteriously contributed to arousing my appetite for drawing the thing implied: a modern, beauteous Pieta. (the question regarded the number of Pietas done by my favorite sculptor Michelangelo during his life, ta-dah!)
Pieta’s fine features and the simple, slightly austere head-piece which graciously covered her hair, trickling over her thin neck and further, had always drawn me to the otherwise too religious for my tastes statue. There was something in the supple waves of her veil that captured my imagination and let it drift on the velvety waters of river Arno or Tiber, by which I assumed the artist himself was inspired.
Implicitly, the dramatically dead Jesus Virgin Mary holds in her lap was definitely (in the detriment of my piety) eclipsed. But that’s a whole other story, more proper for a separate post.
The main point is that talented little me (I do tend to call myself “little”,despite my age, with a satirical tone) urged her pens and markers to set free the form of a young, alluring Snow White (haloed with tons of lace visible in the picture beneath) from the silent blank paper sheet.
Behold the result of a prolific day off: