Swedenborg’s spiritual encounters seem to have begun in 1744, when he was 56. At that point, he was a genius who had excelled as a scientist.
In regard to mining, mathematics, engineering, crystallography, astronomy, etc., he did not merely reiterate the theories of those who had preceded him. Even in such fields as anatomy, psychology, and philosophy, he advanced views that challenged those of his contemporaries, and he anticipated many theories of our own age.
Today, eminent scholars in various fields recognize his contributions, and further comment on my part would be superfluous. But more importantly, it was in the latter part of his life that Swedenborg realized his true nature, establishing his special and enduring position in the religious world and providing unprecedented research topics for psychology.
Entering into this life in one stroke, he dismissed his scientific ambitions and entirely gave up his previous intellectual plans. With all of his talent and spiritual strength, he devoted himself to his new career. Again, this is the main subject of this book.
If it had not been for the life of his latter years, Swedenborg would have been admired in future generations only by eminent scientists. Heaven’s will is always beyond people’s ken, and nothing is settled until the coffin is shut.
from Swedenborg, Buddha of the North by D.T. Suzuki