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Transcendental Roots

Values for Emerson in the Swedenborgian System

From Kenneth Cameron's Young Emerson's Transcendental Vision

(A) The Spiritual Universe

1. God is unity, the complete or greatest man. He is the goal of all spiritual beings.

2. The universe is composed of levels (series and degrees) and a constant progress or retrogression operates throughout the natural and spiritual worlds.

3. Influx is the dynamic force issuing from the spiritual center and it creates in the natural world the forms whose patterns of prototypes first exist in the spiritual world.

4. The universe is divided into good and evil principles; the spiritual world is good and the phenomenal world, apart from influx, is spiritual dead and evil.

(B) Man--the Creator in the Finite

1. Man holds the central position in the universe, standing between the realms of spirit and nature. He is the microcosm.

2. Divine influx creates through him all the lower creation; spirit creates men's bodies. The good and bad thoughts are projected into nature, accounting for useful and malevolent animals and plants. Disorganization in the natural world shows man's evil nature.

3. Each day man builds his own eternal condition and heaven and hells in him change gradually as he offers greater or less resistance to the heavenly influx.

4. The fall of man is a temporary blindness caused by his becoming interested in mere creature rather than the spiritual meaning behind things and departing from spiritual consciousness or "innocency."

5. Human association is spiritual and impersonal at its best.

6. Men are only parts of the "complete man," each having a specialized gift to be developed for the good of the whole.

(C) Nature--and its ministry to man

1. Nature is created by influx as it flows through mankind and sustained by depending on spirit world.

2. Nature's chief value is to provide symbols of spiritual and moral truths (doctrine of correspondences: natural objects outside man correspond to ideas within him). One's education comes from unlocking the language of nature. The all in each.

3. Man has fallen and lost the ability to see through mere things into deep truths, but new-church can give the key to these lost capacities.

4. The external world has suffered since man's fall and obstruction of stream of influx.

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