The Path, November, 1887
We have received the following from California:
In the July PATH is an article entitled—”Shall We Know Our Friends in Heaven?” I would like to ask if the Swedish Seer Swedenborg, has not answered that question to the satisfaction of theosophists. If he is accepted as an authority I should think his answer complete and satisfactory.
Inasmuch as theosophists are of all shades of belief, and as Swedenborg was of one sort in regard to the matter referred to, his answer cannot be satisfactory to all theosophists, nor can it be authoritative. The Society, as such, has no authorities. It was founded with the object of breaking down that reliance upon “authority” which has been the bane of man for ages, and it would be strange now if we could admit authority for theosophists. It is true that sometimes the impression has been conveyed by individuals, that the final arbiters in matters of belief are the Mahatmas, but at no time has any Mahatma given out such an idea. We are engaged in trying to develop a truer appreciation of the Light of Life which is hidden in every man, and so the “final authority” is the man himself.
It makes very little difference whether Swedenborg or Mr. Chas. Johnston is right as to the question of meeting our friends in heaven; their beliefs will not alter the fact whatever it may turn out to be; but even if it is not a matter of highest importance, we cannot even in that permit any “theosophical authority.”
Each of us is the master of his own destiny; each one can read Swedenborg or Luther as to these matters; but from all such thinkers it can be gathered that the ancient Bhagavad-Gita is true where it says, that “whatever nature a man thinks on when he abandons the body at last, to that only does he go, having been always conformed to that nature,” and such is the doctrine of Swedenborg.