Divine Providence by Emmanuel Swedenborg is thing short of brilliant. Swedenborg contends that God governs the human race by allowing people to do as they wish. Recognizing that 'He governs best who governs least, ' God governs in a way that is basically invisible, and yet He still governs. According to Swedenborg, God maintains 'control' in myriads of subtle ways, and yet the system is set up in such a way that people really are free. That is, people can ackwledge or t ackwledge God, they can obey or disobey Him, they can think and do as they wish. This provides a pretty good explanation of the existence of evil. It exists in potential as an opposite of God, dictated by the principle of freedom - but t created by God. It also explains why bad things happen to good people--that is, bad things are t caused by God but by the principle of freedom itself. The best part of this book, however, is its articulation of the means God uses so that bad things will stop happening to good people. According to Swedenborg, God is guiding the human race in subtle and miraculous ways towards a happier future. It happens slowly and invisibly so as t to impinge on human freedom. The principle method is information. As people gather kwledge, the kwledge eventually has a great impact on how they act. Kwledge of God is called the Word of God, and it very gradually shapes human actions - but only insofar as people understand, accept, and willingly act on it. This is powerful information. The purpose of all of this, according to Swedenborg, is to bring people to happiness, both in this world and after death in heaven forever. A truly inspired book, highly recommended
Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) was a Swedish scientist, inventor, and theologian who made significant discoveries in many of the natural sciences, including astronomy, anatomy, geology, and mineralogy. At age fifty-five, his intensive search for answers to ultimate questions culminated in an awakening that gave him a unique insight into the workings of the spiritual world. He spent the remainder of his life writing about his experiences and how human beings can come to a deeper awareness of the divine. Swedenborg's ideas have influenced people as diverse as Helen Keller, Johnny Appleseed, William Blake, Henry James, Ralph Waldo Emerson, D.T. Suzuki, Jorge Luis Borges, and Dr. Mehmet Oz. The continuing appeal of his thought undoubtedly lies in his insights into the afterlife, concepts of divine love, and focus on personal and social development.