New discussion forum is now open, for week 2!
Much looking forward to your comments.
Q1 Like Catherine and Karen I was struck by the intensity with which Swedenborg pursued understanding the mines through personal exploration. I love the image of him down in the mines, poking and probing, examining and observing the rocks, crystals and ore. This rings true with his exploration earlier throughout London. I can see him checking out the acoustics in the whispering galleries and kissing the marble tomb, just as I imagine him using a pick axe to dig out samples in the mines and bring them to the surface for further exploration. In like manner he later examined the mind and inner world of the soul. That is why he had to personally travel to the spirit world rather than spirits come to him to tell him what was there. He had to experience it himself.
I like Benz’s quote that the “inner link between Swedenborg’s scientific and visionary ways of looking at things is attested by the fact that a mystical image of humankind and a mystical theory of knowledge already underlay his scientific researches before conversion.”
There are so many things that jump out of your book, Devin, but one more is Swedenborg’s lifelong set of questions – what is nature, what is divinity and who is man in relation to both? This to me sums up the quest of environmentalism and ecology and brings science and religion together.
Q2 I struggled with the readings from DLW. One thing was a new thought for me, I don’t know how “green” it is. I was drawn to the difference between “use” as a noun and verb. It is a contrasting view to use or be used and to be of use. The first one uses up natural resources and the second preserves and continues them. In the first man is the user (dominion over) and the second man is in conjunction or correspondence with (care taker) the use. This is the difference between the two creation stories in Genesis.
Jane, thanks for this great comment. I am going to cut-and-paste and move it over to the Discussion forum page, where all the other comments are…
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