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SECRETS OF HEAVEN 1 (NW CENTURY EDITION) Paperback – September 15, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Swedenborg Foundation Publishers (September 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877855048
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877855040
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 7.1 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #912,645 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) was a Swedish scientist, nobleman, and theologian who spent his life investigating the mysteries of the soul. Born in Stockholm to a staunchly Lutheran family, he graduated from the University of Uppsala and then traveled to England, Holland, France, and Germany to study the leading scientists of the time. He gained favor with Sweden’s King Charles XII, who gave him the position of overseer of the Swedish mining industry. Later, he was given a seat on the Swedish House of Nobles by Charles XII’s successor, Queen Ulrika Eleonora. Between 1743 and 1745 he began to have visions of heaven, hell, and Jesus Christ which resulted in a stream of books about the nature of God, the afterlife, and the inner meaning of the Bible. He devoted the last decades of his life to studying Scripture and presenting his own unique theology to the world.

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"The Word's literal meaning alone, when it monopolizes our thinking, can never provide a view of the inner contents. Take, for example, this first chapter of Genesis. The literal meaning by itself offers no clue that it is speaking of anything but the world's creation, the Garden of Eden (Paradise) and Adam, the first human ever created. Who supposes anything else?


"The wisdom hidden in these details (and never before revealed) will be clear enough from what follows. The inner sense of the first chapter of Genesis deals in general with the process that creates us anew--that is to say, with regeneration--and in particular with the very earliest church; and it does so in such a way that not even the smallest syllable fails to represent, symbolize, and incorporate this meaning.


"But without the Lord's aid not a soul can possibly see that this is the case. As a result, it is proper to reveal in these preliminaries that the Lord in his divine mercy has granted me the opportunity for several years now, without break or interruption, to keep company with spirits and angels, to hear them talking, and to speak with them in turn. Consequently I have been able to see and hear the most amazing things in the other life, which have never before come into people's awareness or thought.

"In that world I have been taught about the different kinds of spirits, the situation of souls after death, hell (or the regrettable state of the faithless) and heaven (or the blissful state of the faithful). In particular I have learned what is taught in the faith acknowledged by the whole of heaven. All of these topics will, with the Lord's divine mercy, be explored further in what follows."

More About the Author

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.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By K. Boericke on April 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
This New Century Edition (NCE) of Swedenborg's work is wonderfully refreshing. All the previous translations from the original Latin were hard to read, using sentences that ran on for miles, and jargon that only the indoctrinated few could understand. This brings high-definition to a once gray-scale reading. Now the inquisitive general public can enjoy the benefits of Swedenborg's insight into the things written in the Bible in a way that can be understood. Thank you to all those involved in making this translation!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Customer in Colorado on May 20, 2013
Format: Paperback
Those who wish to assess the value of A. Babbo's criticisms of the New Century Edition might be interested in the following comparisons, which are typical of the difference between the old translation and the new:

Standard Edition: ". . . for before man can know what is true, and be affected with what is good, there must be a removal of such things as hinder and resist their admission; thus the old man must needs die, before the new man can be conceived." (§18)

New Century Edition: "Before we can learn what is true and be affected by what is good, the things that stand in the way and resist have to be put aside. The old self must die before the new self can be conceived." (§18)

A second passage:

Standard Edition: "Man, before he is being regenerated, does not even know that any internal man exists, much less is he acquainted with its nature and quality. He supposes the internal and the external man to be not distinct from each other. For, being immersed in bodily and worldly things, he has also immersed in them the things that belong to his internal man, and has made of things that are distinct a confused and obscure unit." (§24:2)

New Century Edition: "Before we are reborn, we do not know even that an inner being exists, let alone what it is, imagining there is no difference between the two selves. This is because we are absorbed by bodily and worldly interests and merge the concerns of the inner being with those interests. Out of distinct and separate planes we make one dim, confused whole." (§24:2)

Let readers choose from these old and new translations according to their taste; but they should be aware that the archaic nature of the older one does not make it a more accurate representation of the meaning of the original Latin. In fact, just the opposite is usually the case.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A. G. B. on January 3, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Several years ago I had been given a very old beat up copy of this title. I loved it from the start because it was filled with what I would consider genuine revelation. But, that already very old edition had rather small print, was getting very worn and I wanted a nicer copy of it for my shelf. I was happy to have bought this newer edition at first, until I started reading it. I was shocked to find that the translation was comparatively poor. Whole concepts were changed through poorly chosen words and syntax. I could not believe that an organization like the Swedenborg foundation could publish something that looked so "polished" but was so poor in content that to me seemed to be a distortion of the original. The book itself is visually quite beautiful in design and layout but, at least to me, when it comes to matters of spirit I would much prefer accuracy of content over the appearance of professionalism.

I called the Swedenborg Foundation and told them of my findings and they recommended that I buy their "Standard Edition" version of this title. I did, and was very pleased to find the same original translation in a larger font in a rather plain dark green hard cover binding. I would recommend the Standard Editions over any of the newer translations of Swedenborg's work. They may not be as flashy but, if you are after the original content the Standard Editions are the only way to go.
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