Main CategoriesWestern Mysticism and PhilosophySwedenborg and Western Cosmology Heaven and Hell

Heaven and Hell

Product no.: 978-0877854760
This new translation of Swedenborg’s most popular work paints a detailed picture of life in the spiritual realms.

Currently out of stock

Additional product information

Publisher's Synopsis
A Swedish Enlightenment scientist of extraordinary accomplishment, Swedenborg underwent a spiritual crisis that led to an unparalleled series of paranormal experiences. He spent his last twenty-seven years in almost daily experience of heaven and hell, recording his observations and conversations, many of which are reported in Heaven and Hell.

Heaven and its Wonders and Hell From Things Heard and Seen is a detailed description of the afterlife into which people awaken after the death of the physical body; about God, heaven, hell, angels, spirits, and devils. The passage to heaven or hell lies through what Swedenborg called the world of spirits, an intermediate realm that roughly accords with the Purgatory of Catholicism.

The world of spirits is rather like our own world, and the newly dead are often unaware of their transition, and linger on, still trying to gratify their carnal desires. Gradually the truth becomes clear, and the dead then come to terms with their "true affections."

Swedenborg writes "the world of spirits is neither heaven nor hell... It is where a person first arrives after death, being, after some time has passed, either raised into heaven or cast into hell, depending on his life in the world." After confronting their true selves, the dead are "opened to their internals" and begin to drift to their rightful places.

Human beings, Swedenborg said, possess two essential qualities or powers: intention and discernment, or love and reason. What is true about us is what we think from "intention" and really do, not merely what we "know." According to Swedenborg, "a person is a person by virtue of his intention and his resulting understanding, and not from understanding apart from intention." In a very real way, for Swedenborg, it is the thought that counts.

This deluxe edition contains an introduction by religious historian Bernhard Lang setting the volume in the context of its time.

"Emanuel Swedenborg's work is a vast, complex, dazzling world, filled with lands and seas of extraordinary beauty and richness... Now George F. Dole has swept away the stuffiness and stiffness of earlier [translations] and given us Swedenborg as he is meant to be: a thrilling visionary, a poetic seer of the first order. In every respect, this is a triumph."      ~Philip Zaleski, The Best Spiritual Writing series

"Anyone interested in Western spirituality and esotericism should read Swedenborg. He is a Master. Western culture after his passage was transformed. Those who read him will likewise be transformed. This new translation—crisp, accessible, and even elegant—is a blessing."      ~Parabola

"When the first rays of the rising sun of spiritual knowledge fell upon the earth they illuminated the greatest and highest human mind before they shed their light on lesser men. That mountain peak of mentality was this great religious reformer and clairvoyant medium, as little understood by his own followers as ever the Christ has been. In order fully to understand Swedenborg one would need to have a Swedenborg brain, and that is not met with once in a century."      ~Arthur Conan Doyle, M.D., LL.D.

"One of the most ingenious, lively, entertaining madmen who ever set pen to paper. His waking dreams are so wild, so remote both from Scripture and common sense, that one might as easily swallow the stories of Tom Thumb or Jack the Giant Killer."       ~Rev. John Wesley, 1770

"Because the angels have no perception of an invisible Divine, which they call a Divine devoid of form, but perceive only a visible Divine in human form, they are accustomed to say that the Lord alone is man, and that it is from Him that they are men, and that each one is a man in the measure of his reception of the Lord. By receiving the Lord they understand receiving good and truth which are from Him, since the Lord is in His good and in His truth, and this they call wisdom and intelligence.

Every one knows, they say, that intelligence and wisdom make man, and not a face without these. The truth of this is made evident from the appearance of the angels of the interior heavens, for these, being in good and truth from the Lord and in consequent wisdom and intelligence, are in a most beautiful and most perfect human form; while the angels of the lower heavens are in human form of less perfection and beauty.

On the other hand, those who are in hell appear in the light of heaven hardly as men, but rather as monsters, since they are not in good and truth but in evil and falsity, and consequently in the opposites of wisdom and intelligence. For this reason their life is not called life, but spiritual death."       ~Chapter 11

Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772)

Swedish philosopher, theologian, chemist, anatomist, and mystic, fluent in eleven languages. Swedenborg devoted the first half of his life to scientific investigations. Thereafter he turned his full attention to theology, metaphysics and started to explore mystical experience.

His spiritual writing influenced Emerson, Goethe, Henry James Sr., Dostoevsky, and William Blake. During his life, Swedenborg published over 50 works. His books have been translated into some thirty languages.

Author Swedenborg, Emanuel
Translator Dole, George
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 544 pp.
Publisher Swedenborg Foundation 2000
Series New Century Edition
Platinum Medal

Platinum Medal


Platinum Medal Essential Reading

Browse these categories as well: Swedenborg and Western Cosmology, Masterworks of the Western Mystery Tradition, Angelology: Watchers and Celestial Intelligences, Demonology: Grays, Reptilians and Inorganic Beings, Mystic and Esoteric Christianity, Death, Grief and the Afterlife, Mediums and Spiritualism, Noteworthy Releases 2000, Platinum Medal Essential Reading

We also recommend