According to the teachings of the New Church, which are based on the heavenly truths revealed through Emanuel Swedenborg (1688 – 1772), every person born into the world is a new creation. He has not existed before. He is an immortal spiritual being with a mortal physical body. His spirit is made out of the non-molecular substance of the spiritual universe, and his physical body out of the molecular matter of the material universe.

It is as a spirit that a person is a human being. The physical body is an organism which enables him to make contact with the natural world and get certain experiences which he needs on the material level. When the physical body has served its purpose, it is left behind, never to be used again. It returns, “earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”

A person is a spirit right from the start. It is as a spirit that he sees, hears, and experiences every other sensation. The physical eye is a material structure enabling the spirit to see things in the natural world. In fact, all the physical sense organs are channels which the spirit uses to make contact with this universe. It is the spirit which feels, sees, hears, and interprets. The spirit is the lover, the thinker, the doer. Without the spirit, the body is incapable of feeling.

When the spirit the real person is freed from the body by the wholesome process known as death, the body quickly disintegrates. There is no resurrection of the discarded body, nor does the freed spirit ever take on another physical body in order to live on earth again. The immortal spirit continues his life on the spiritual plane, which is his true home.

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