Splendors of the Spirit – Swedenborg’s Quest for Insight

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ProfessorCosmic·41 videos

Produced by Swedenborg Foundation, c2001. 60 min.

Emanuel Swedenborg, the great mystic, is seen in this documentary through archival photographs and reenactments which portray the insightful life led by this extraordinary man. Swedenborg asked many of the deepest questions known to man, and spent his life exploring the possibilities of their answers. Captured along with stunning nature photography, interviews and animation, SPLENDORS OF THE SPIRIT is a rare look at a rare man.

“An engrossing exploration of our immortality through the eyes of a genuine seer.”
— Marianne Williamson, author, Enchanted Love and The Healing of America

Emmy Award-winning producer Penny Price portrays the fascinating life and thought of the Swedish Enlightenment scientist and spiritual visionary Emanuel Swedenborg, whom Zen scholar D.T. Suzuki revered as the “great king of the mystical realm.” Interweaving breathtaking nature photography, expert interviews, computer animation, and rare, archival stills with dramatic re-enactment featuring acclaimed actor Lillian Gish and contemporary documentary footage, this program conveys the essential and ever-relevant insights brought back by Swedenborg from his unprecedented explorations of the spiritual worlds.

Swedenborg documented the death experience as the soul departs its expired material form, awakens into the afterlife realm, and is stripped of every accretion of personality to gravitate to the level of the upper or nether regions that corresponds perfectly to its innermost nature.

Emanuel Swedenborg isn’t exactly a household name in the United States. Yet the 18th century Swede’s writings profoundly influenced some of the world’s greatest and most influential writers thinkers, including Goethe, William Blake, Balzac, Baudelaire, Coleridge, Elizabeth Browning and Robert Browning, Yeats, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Dostoevsky, D.T. Suzuki, and Helen Keller. Directed by Emmy Award winner Penny Price, this documentary biography of Swedenborg the scientist, theologian, visionary, philosopher, and mystic won a second-place Telly Award. Price weaves together nature photography, interviews, and animation not only to tell the life story of this compelling man, but also to convey some of his thinking about death, the afterlife, spirituality, and the meaning of life. Highlights include numerous quotes from Swedenborg.