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A 19th-century Swedenborgian Novel - nhpeacenik
A 19th-century Swedenborgian Novel
My sister just returned my copy of a remarkable 19th-century Swedenborgian novel that I lent her about ten years ago. When I reviewed the Swedenborgian novel The Arrivals a couple of months ago, I referred to this earlier book as I remembered it, but I wasn't able to remember the exact title and author's name.

Swedenborgian novels describe the afterlife as a place that mystics of all traditions would recognize, with multiple heavens and hells and an emphasis on the potential perfection of the human soul through learning  and contemplation both before and after death. In this novel, as in The Arrivals, the hero is a person who dies unfulfilled and learns how to fulfill his destiny in cooperation with other souls who are fated to be his companions. The book takes the novel view that angels are always/usually a male and a female occupying separate bodies but acting in concert as an angel (the author did not foresee the emergence of same-sex unions - I wonder what he would have made of them; - would there be same-sex angels as well as dual-sex angels?). The purpose of evolved souls is to help and educate less-developed souls on earth and in the afterlife. Evil exists, but it is only the fruit of ignorance of Truth and the consequent refusal of souls to accept their destiny. All the great thinkers and great souls of history, Christian and non-Christian,  are at our hero's disposal when he needs instruction. Souls grow brighter and more beautiful as they evolve. My reaction to this genre of writing is more emotional than intellectual, but it is overwhelmingly positive. I'd really love to hear what the reactions of pagans, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, etc are to this kind of writing.

It's always easier to start a new project than to finish all the unfinished older projects, so here are the first few short chapters of the The Discovered Country  by Ernst von Himmel, which is a pseudonym for Carlyle Peterslea (a Boston musician born January 14 1844, died in California June 13, 1903)

The chapters are saved as images in a pdf file, so the download is rather large. If/when I finish scanning in the chapters, I will attempt to turn the images into text and store the book more compactly. More chapters will be added when I get time. There are three other copies of the book, that I know of, for sale at rather high prices on the web.

Current Location: Earth
Current Mood: calm calm
Current Music: Adrienne Jones, "Guardians"

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nhpeacenik From: nhpeacenik Date: December 14th, 2007 08:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

More about Carlyle Petersilea

I find it fascinating that such an incredibly prominent musician had this other secret passion.

The June 14, 1903 New York Times obituary for Carlyle Petersilea said:

Los Angeles, Cal. June 13 - Prof. Carlyle Petersilea, one of America's most noted musicians, pianist and founder of the New England Conservatory of Music of Boston is dead of apoplexy at his country home at Tripico, near here.

Mr. Petersilea was born in Boston Jan. 18, 1844 of German parentage. He showed wonderful talent from childhood and, after receiving a thorough musical education in American went to study in Germany, graduating with honors when remarkably young from Leipsic Conservatory, being prize pupil and leading pianist. He then founded the New England Conservatory, and for five years was its director.

He withdrew and established the Petersilea Academy of Music, Languages, Oratory, and Art of Boston. Later it was consolidated with the New England Conservatory.

Overwork broke down his constitutuon, and he came to California eleven years ago and built an ideal home, shared by Mrs. Petersilea. He was pianist at the local theatre for several years, but his local career was cut short by paralysis. He had accompanied as pianist all the noted vocalists in America, England, and Germany, and was closely associated with all the old masters in Europe.
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