Worlds in Space #1

By Emanuel Swedenborg

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By the Lord's Divine mercy I have had my interior faculties, which belong to my spirit, opened, so that I have been enabled to talk with spirits and angels, not only those in the vicinity of our earth, but also with those near other worlds. Since therefore I was desirous of knowing whether there were other inhabited worlds, and what they and their inhabitants were like, I was allowed by the Lord to talk and mix with spirits and angels from other worlds. With some this lasted a day, with others a week, with yet others for months. I was informed by them about the worlds they came from and in the vicinity of which they were, about the life, behaviour and religious practices of their inhabitants, and other matters worth relating about them. Since I was allowed to gain my knowledge in this fashion, I can describe them from what I have heard and seen.

[2] It needs to be known that all spirits and angels are from the human race; 1 they are near their own world, 2 and know what happens there; and they can inform someone whose interior faculties are open sufficiently to be able to talk and mix with them. A human being is in essence a spirit, 3 and associates with spirits at the interior level. 4 Consequently anyone whose interior faculties are opened by the Lord can talk with them, exactly as a man can with another man. 5 I have been permitted to do this daily for the last twelve years.


1. [Swedenborg’s Footnote] There are no spirits or angels who are not from the human race (Arcana Caelestia 1880).

2. [Swedenborg’s Footnote] The spirits of each world are in the vicinity of their world, because they come from its inhabitants and share their character. It is also so that they can be of service to them (Arcana Caelestia 9968).

3. [Swedenborg’s Footnote] The soul which lives on after death is a person's spirit, which is his real personality; in the next life it appears in a completely human form (Arcana Caelestia 322, 1880-1881, 3633, 4622, 4735, 6054, 6605, 6626, 7021, 10594).

4. [Swedenborg’s Footnote] A person while still in the world is at the inner level, that is, as regards his spirit or soul, among spirits and angels of similar nature to himself (Arcana Caelestia 2379 [2378 in original], Arcana Caelestia 3645, 4067, 4073, 4077).

5. [Swedenborg’s Footnote] A person can talk with spirits and angels; in ancient times people in our world often did so (Arcana Caelestia 67-69, 784, 1634, 1636, 7802). But nowadays it is dangerous for a person to talk with them, unless he has true faith and is guided by the Lord (Arcana Caelestia 784, 9438, 10751).

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Thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.