Swedenborg explains past lives memories

#1
I found this quote on this (pretty interesting) blog: http://leewoof.org/2014/03/07/the-bible-emanuel-swedenborg-and-reincarnation/

From Swedenborg's Heaven and Hell:

No angel or spirit is allowed to talk with one of us from the angel’s or spirit’s own memory, only from that of the individual in question. Angels and spirits actually have memory just as we do. If a spirit were to talk with us from his or her own memory, then it would seem to us entirely as though the thoughts were our own, when they would really belong to the spirit. It is like remembering something that we have never seen or heard. I have been granted knowledge of the truth of this by experience.

This is why some of the ancients were of the opinion that after some thousands of years they would return to their former life and all its deeds, and that they had in fact returned. They gathered this from the fact that sometimes a kind of memory would come up of things that they had never seen or heard. This happened because spirits had flowed from their own memory into the images of these people’s thoughts.
 
#2
Intro to Swedenborg from the blog:

Long before there was widespread knowledge of near-death experiences, and all of the information and experience about the afterlife from them, there was Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772).

As far as I know, no one else in human history has ever even claimed to have the length, depth, and clarity of experience in the spiritual world that Swedenborg did. By his account, for the last twenty-seven years of his life he was able to be fully conscious in the spiritual world while still living in the material world. He didn’t just hear voices like a spirit medium. He lived and moved among angels and spirits as if he were one of them from his mid 50s until the time of his death at age 84.

During those years, he traveled extensively throughout heaven, hell, and the intermediate “world of spirits” (as he called it), fully acclimating himself to the realm that we all pass into after we die. His most popular book, Heaven and Hell offers a verbal map and guided tour of the spiritual world.

While thousands of people have had a brief glimpse of the spiritual world during near-death experiences, and have come back to tell us about it, Swedenborg had several decades to fully experience the other world, and unlock its secrets. From that extensive experience, he made his few brief but illuminating statements about reincarnation.

In most of those statements, he quickly dismisses reincarnation as a mere fantasy. However, in Heaven and Hell #256 he offers more substance about how people came to believe in reincarnation:
 
#3
If a spirit were to talk with us from his or her own memory, then it would seem to us entirely as though the thoughts were our own, when they would really belong to the spirit. It is like remembering something that we have never seen or heard.
This is true, many mediums experience this every day. I experienced it when I took classes in mediumship. You may experience the mental influence of a spirit as if it was your own thought. That is one reason mediumship can be difficult to learn - it can be hard to tell the thoughts of the spirit from your own thoughts. But if you read a history book and imagined a scene from the past, you would not think it was a past life memory. If a spirit showed you a scene from the past you would not mistake it for a past life memory either. You wouldn't have the feeling of "I was there" that you do when you remember something from your current life. But people who remember past lives do have that feeling that they were there and it was happening to them.

My experiences taking classes in mediumship:
http://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/psi_experience
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2012/10/what-is-it-like-to-communicate-with.html

Spirit influence doesn't explain the evidence for reincarnation:
https://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/summary_of_evidence#summary_evidence_reincarnation
  • Children who remember past lives sometimes have birthmarks located on the body at the same place injuries occurred in a previous life.
  • Past life regression has been shown to have immense therapeutic value.
  • During hypnotic regression, subjects recognize people they knew in past lives as incarnating again as people they recognize in their current life.
 
#4
Thanks for your input!

But people who remember past lives do have that feeling that they were there and it was happening to them.
I believe that is exactly what Swedenborg is saying, though.

On birthmarks: I did read a bio on Stevenson's work. I have however yet to hear a good theory on why physical attributes should travel from soul to soul. IMO, the birthmarks do not explain reincarnation very well.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#5
I think anything past the gathering of data is just conjecture when it comes to afterlife hypotheses.

On birthmarks: I did read a bio on Stevenson's work. I have however yet to hear a good theory on why physical attributes should travel from soul to soul. IMO, the birthmarks do not explain reincarnation very well.
Well for anything related to the soul you'd need aspects of reality where the Phenomenal intertwines with or encompasses the Material. Positing ectoplasmic mechanisms just takes you back to materialism involving new kinds of matter and possibly/plausibly invalidates the very idea of souls.
 
#6
perandre,

I agree with Swedenborg that spirit influence is like one's own thought but I disagree that that spirit influence would feel like a memory of one's past. I've known many mediums and I'm pretty sure all of them would agree with me on that.

Birth marks are considered evidence of reincarnation because the spirit body influences the physical body. Spiritual healers and psychic surgeons know this.
http://forum.mind-energy.net/forum/...ritions-discussion-at-his-own-blog#post164961
 
#7
I think anything past the gathering of data is just conjecture when it comes to afterlife hypotheses.
No scientific theory can ever be proved.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Raimund_Popper#Falsifiability.2Fproblem_of_demarcation

Science is about determining the best explanation for the data. Survival after death is the best explanation for the data.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/p/62014-...-afterlife.html#articles_by_subject_afterlife
There is extraordinary evidence for the afterlife.
http://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/summary_of_evidence
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/04/near-death-experiences-and-afterlife.html#facts_evidence

This evidence includes:
Drop-in communicators
shared near-death experiences.
Shared death-bed visions.
Multiple witness apparitions.
Children who remember past lives.

Neither ESP or Super-psi can explain the evidence for the afterlife:
Poltergeist phenomena not associated with a particular person, drop-in communicators, cross-correspondences, etc.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2009/06/survival-and-super-psi.html
Mrs. Piper's Mediumship:
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2009/05/further-record-of-observations-of.html

Nobel Prize winners Max Planck, Erwin Schrödinger, Sir John Eccles, Eugene Wigner and other great scientists and philosophers such as Kurt Gödel, Wernher von Braun, and Karl Popper believed consciousness is non-physical because of the evidence:
http://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/eminent_researchers

Consciousness is not produced by the brain. Consciousness is not an illusion or an epiphenomenon or an emergent property of the brain. Objective measurable physical phenomena cannot produce unmeasurable subjective experience. Correlation does not prove causation, the brain does not produce consciousness it filters consciousness. Natural selection would not produce consciousness. The brain is not a conscious computer.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-materialist-explanation-of.html
 
#8
Birth marks are considered evidence of reincarnation because the spirit body influences the physical body.
I don't think this helps the case for reincarnation; if a spirit is already intruding into your mind, why not your body as well? I understand that since a child was born with a certain birthmark, it's tempting to link it to an incident in a previous life. But what does that mean; that the birthmark is there out of some biological necessity? If no biological hereditary link is present, I'm not sure if I see the link at all.
 
#9
For those who are interested, here you have some links to his books (e-books for free) and a documentary, and a series of videos and interpretations of Swedenborgs books.

Some of his books:
http://www.booksshouldbefree.com/author?author=Emanuel+Swedenborg

A documentary:
Splendors Of The Spirit - Swedenborg's Quest For Insight


A series of six videos on Swedenborgs books and teachings (linked together in a playlist) I haven't seen these yet, but I believe them to be pretty good.

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgtFTXGqZdSmc533BG31I_1beIVVVQTQf

More where that came from:
http://www.youtube.com/user/offTheLeftEye/videos


The book "Our Life after Death - A Firsthand Account from an 18th‑Century Scientist and Seer"

http://www.swedenborg.com/archive/products/our-life-after-death/

In his classic Heaven and Hell, Swedenborg leads the reader on a tour through the afterlife, describing the spiritual realms in vivid, personal detail. Our Life after Death is a collection of passages from Heaven and Hell that describe the soul’s journey from the moment of death through the stages of self-discovery in the world of spirits.

Swedenborg tells us that it is not God who judges and sentences souls to heaven or hell, but that it is we who judge ourselves. In this book Swedenborg reveals the process by which we confront who we were on earth, discover our true selves, and through that knowledge find our eternal homes in the afterlife.

An introduction by near-death researcher Kenneth Ring, PhD, draws parallels between Swedenborg’s observations and those of millions of modern people who have had near-death experiences. This book provides a brief but thought-provoking introduction to Swedenborg’s vision of the afterlife for those who want to delve deeper into this fascinating subject.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#10
Might've been posted elsewhere on the forums:

Intuitions of Our Immortality: Visions of Life Before Conception

Surprisingly, the researchers found the urban and rural children gave pretty much the same answers. By ages seven and eight, they rejected the notion that they had “bodily capacities” such as sight or hearing before conception.

But at that stage of development, urban children endorsed the idea that their emotions functioned during the pre-life period 70% of the time. Rural kids did so 55 percent of the time. The notion that they felt desires before conception (such as the wish to be born) was endorsed by rural seven- and eight-year-olds 62 percent of the time, and their urban counterparts 46 percent of the time.
Also consider:

Life, Extended Mind, and Fundamental Physics

The problem of how life came into existence is a major challenge for biology. I shall argue for an explanation involving the idea that a more elementary form of life, not dependent on matter, existed prior to the big bang, and evolved at the level of ideas in the same way that human societies evolve at the level of ideas. Just as human society discovered how to use matter in a range of technological applications, the hypothesised life before the big bang discovered how to organise energy to make physical universes, and to make fruitful use of the matter available in such universes.
 
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