Wilson Van Dusen: The Man Who Opened the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg to Many
by Rev. Jane Siebert
A couple of memories to share…
Sitting in the home of Van and Marge, talking about Swedenborg, religion, mysticism, God, was the most holy experience I have ever encountered. It was not Van directly sharing his spiritual thoughts, it was Van truly being with whomever he was talking to, asking pertinent questions, probing the other’s spiritual experiences and commenting on them. He was the consummate therapist, friend and spiritual director.
Van told me everything he had ever written began with his own questioning. He called himself a spiritual scholar and his papers were written to himself. If it answered his question at a deep level, he could make things clear for others.
He often found his answers while sleeping. When he went to bed with a question on his mind, often in the middle of the night the answer would come. He would get up and write it down and the next morning it was clear.
One special evening, Van shared about his gift of tears. He asked God for a sign that he was onto the Truth. He got his sign, uncontrollable tears when something he said or intuited was truth. He added with a laugh that it was not exactly what he would have preferred because people get anxious when someone cries. It interfered with his ability to lecture, as people would get uncomfortable. But there it was, not only for him to know but for everyone around him to experience, the Truth that was given to him.
Van surmised that he was in contact with the mystical from birth. He could see angels. He often saw an angel in the one to whom he was speaking. It was like he was lifting up all that was good and true within you, to help you to see it too. And then his admonishment, “Make the gifts God has given you useful.”
Rev. Jane Siebert is the current president of the Swedenborgian Church of North America. She lives in Pretty Prairie, Kansas, and enjoys the opportunities to visit Swedenborgian churches scattered around the United States and and Canada.