Spiritual Diary
Emanuel Swedenborg


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Complete, in three volumes. With an Introductory essay by Jorge Luis Borges.

The Spiritual Diary was first published in Latin, in 1843, seventy one years after the author’s death. The first entries were found scribbled in the margins of another work, and dated 1745. The last entry was written in April, 1765.

Emanuel Swedenborg was born in Sweden in 1688. At the ge of 21, he began a study of the natural sciences which culminated in the first of his major published works entitled Opera Philosophica et Mineralia. During the next twenty years he travelled widely studying chemistry, engineering, physiology and anatomy. This led to further treatises including a study of the brain showing him to be far in advance of his contemporaries.

At the age of 55, he ceased his scientific studies and entered the second phase of his career. He completed an eight volume biblical exposition entitled Arcana Caelestia and published numerous other theological and philosophical works including Heaven and Hell. Swedenborg died in London in 1772, and was buried at the Swedish Church in East London. In 1908 his remains were moved to his native Sweden and received with state ceremony.

One day I opened The Spiritual Diary of Swedenborg, which I had not taken down for twenty years, and found all there . . .

—W.B. Yeats

You do not read Swedenborg, you are receptive to him.

—August Strindberg

In the Middle Ages, it was thought that the Lord had written two books, one of which we call the Bible and the other of which we call the universe. It was our duty to interpret them. I suspect that Swedenborg began with the exegesis of the first. He conjectured that each word of Scripture has a spiritual sense and eventually prepared a vast system of hidden meanings. Stones, for example, represent natural truths; precious stones, spiritual truths; stars, divine knowledge; etc.

—Jorge Luis Borges, from the Introduction


Spiritual Diary, Emmanuel Swedenborg, The Swedenborg Society, 2002

Paperback. Octavo. Like new.