Here’s the latest of my Thinking Allowed Interviews with Jeffrey Mishlove. This time we look at one of the most fascinating and influential figures in the western esoteric tradition, the Eighteenth Century scientist and spiritual explorer, Emanuel Swedenborg. Swedenborg influenced practically every important intellectual, cultural, and spiritual figure in the Nineteenth Century, from William Blake to Charles Baudelaire, Ralph Waldo Emerson to Honore Balzac – and that’s just for starters. In the interview, I try to do what I aim at in my book, Swedenborg: An Introduction to His Life and Ideas: to show that if you don’t know who Swedenborg is, you really should make an effort to get some idea of his importance, both in the history of ideas, and in our own attempts to make sense of life. He helped August Strindberg get through a bad patch and Helen Keller found joy and meaning in his work. That sounds like a pretty good endorsement.
An excellent new film about Swedenborg, Heaven, Hell, and Other Places, has recently been released by the Swedenborg Society. I’m interviewed in it and I contribute a short essay to the booklet. Swedenborg remains one of the best kept open secrets of the western inner tradition. This film explains why.
Here’s an interview with me on Electric Politics about everyone’s favourite Swedish mystic.
Here’s a review of Swedenborg, my book on him, and me in the Washington Post.
Here’s a link to my guest blog at the Huffington Post, providing several reasons why you should know about Swedenborg.