From Blondie to Swedenborg: An Interview with Gary Lachman

This is an interview with me by the religious writer Mark Oppenheimer about my new book Swedenborg: An Introduction to His Life and Ideas that appeared in the New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/14/us/gar...

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Rick MG's picture
Member since:
2 May 2004
Last activity:
3 weeks 1 day

I keep bumping into Swedenborg stories recently. It's amazing how Swedenborg predicted the date of his own death; especially how upbeat he was about his imminent move to the great beyond. His maidservant said he announced his predicted death "as if he was going to have a holiday, to go to some merry-making."

~ * ~

@levitatingcat

jupiter.enteract's picture
Member since:
21 January 2005
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2 weeks 6 days

Fantastic article, Gary (and nice picture, too!)--congratulations. It's justly deserved.
--Ray Grasse

emlong's picture
Member since:
18 September 2007
Last activity:
2 hours 44 min

I wrote my BA thesis on the American painter George Inness who was mightily inspired by Swedenborg. Inness' later works done in what the critic John Wilmerding calls the "luminist" style are representations of what Inness though might be the higher world described by Swedenborg where matter was more diaphanous.

Gary Lachman's picture
Member since:
7 September 2010
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5 weeks 2 days

Hi Ray. Many thanks for the warm words. I think this interview is a good sign. I mean, how often does Steiner, Jung, or Swedenborg get a respectable mention in the Times? I'm happy if I can be a 'channel' for their work to get some wider attention.

Gary Lachman
http://garylachman.co.uk

MichaelSeraph's picture
Member since:
23 April 2012
Last activity:
2 years 31 weeks

Dear Gary,

Perhaps you will simply istruct me to purchase your book and read it -- which I will be happy to do, haha.

But as one who myself has a metaphysical and spiritual bent, I really don't know what to do with Swedenborg.

His descriptions of the topography of heaven strike me as strange. His descriptions of the angels and their lives are eccentric. And his biblical interpretation is not exactly what I would find self-evident.

Simply put, Swedenborg is strange.

Yet I have to admit, he was an advanced mind and does have certain helpful insights.

What do you do with him? How "reliable" do you find him as a spiritual guide?

Kind regards
MichaelSeraph

emlong's picture
Member since:
18 September 2007
Last activity:
2 hours 44 min

Swedenborg to me is not strange at all. The painter George Inness was also considered strange, but his paintings are amazing. May I suggest you look at his work in his later years to see what Swedenborg may have been seeing. My father is an art dealer who pretty much founded his business on George Inness back in the 60's and 70's when they were easier to find. I grew up with a parade of Innesses trooping through our home, so perhaps I am biased.
http://www.georgeinness.org/

emlong's picture
Member since:
18 September 2007
Last activity:
2 hours 44 min

I was also very impressed that Lachman was part of "Blondie" which must have been a thrilling ride at times. Other than being able to recall and hum some of that groups bigger hits I was not that knowledgeable about them, but last month there was a good documentary on them playing on the telly. It was fascinating to watch. You guys definitely had the magic, and the magic is always mysterious.