“Swedenborg, following the mystical doctrines of the Hermetic philosophers, devoted a number of volumes to the elucidation of the “internal sense” of Genesis. Swedenborg was undoubtedly a “natural-born magician”, a seer; he was not an adept.
Thus, however closely he may have followed the apparent method of interpretation used by the alchemists and mystic writers, he partially failed; the more so, that the model chosen by him in this method was one who, albeit a great alchemist, was no more of an adept than the Swedish seer himself, in the fullest sense of the word.
Eugenius Philalethes had never attained “the highest pyrotechny”, to use the diction of the mystic philosophers. But, although both have missed the whole truth in its details, Swedenborg has virtually given the same interpretation of the first chapter of Genesis as the Hermetic philosophers.
The seer, as well as the Initiates, notwithstanding their veiled phraseology, clearly show that the first chapters of Genesis relate to the regeneration, or a new birth of man, not to the creation of our universe and its crown work – MAN.
The fact that the terms of the alchemists, such as salt, sulphur, and mercury are transformed by Swedenborg into ens, cause, and effect, does not affect the underlying idea of solving the problems of the Mosaic books by the only possible method – that used by the Hermetists – that of correspondences. His doctrine of correspondence, or Hermetic symbolism, is that of Pythagoras and of the Kabalists – “as above, so below.”
It is also that of the Buddhist philosophers, who, in their still more abstract metaphysics, inverting the usual mode of definition given by our erudite scholars, call the invisible types the only reality, and everything else the effects of the causes, or visible prototypes – illusions.
However contradictory their various elucidations of the Pentateuch may appear on their surface, every one of them tends to show that the sacred literature of every country, the Bible as much as the Vedas or the Buddhist Scriptures, can only be understood and thoroughly sifted by the light of Hermetic philosophy.”
H. P. Blavatsky