the passage I recently cited from Swedenborg, in which he relates the arising of inner phenomena to the outer expression of them through movement.
A good friend of mine recently indicated that she thought Swedenborg hadn't really said anything new, but only spoke of truths that are well known. This idea is profoundly unfortunate; Swedenborg was, for his time, at least as original and unusual as Carl Jung, who he influenced, and displayed subtleties of understanding that can only be properly appreciated after reading and pondering many hundreds of pages of his work — an exercise few people undertake. Almost everyone I know prefers to read short passages from major works, rather than sitting down and reading the entire work. It is a function of the terrifically short attention spans currently developing in humanity, which will not serve us well over the long run.
In the (now, ironically) brief passage at the link, one notes the clear connection that Swedenborg drew between the nature of outer movement and the inner forces that create it. Gurdjieff created the vehicle of his movements in order to study this question as exactly as possible; and the outer form of the movements was, above all, constructed to reflect inner truths, as well as serve as an active expression of their implementation in the transition from inner Being to outward motion.
We should not presume that Swedenborg, because of his interest in physiology, failed to understand the spiritual implications of these actions; far from it, the passage in question is directly related to Gurdjieff's studies, and in fact serves as a foundation for them. We cannot understand the movements without understanding that they arise from the same inner forces examined in Swedenborg's investigations: that is to say, every outward expression is formed initially by an inner energy that springs from a Divine force.
Some four or five years ago, one of the most prominent movements teachers from the Paris foundation paid a rare (and perhaps final) visit to New York. During her class, she repeatedly emphasized the need for the connection to the energy — everything, absolutely everything, was undertaken in relationship to an inner energy, and there was relatively little discussion of exactly how the outward form ought to be arranged or engaged in. It is not that the outward form was ignored; quite the contrary. But it was to be understood from the beginning and repeatedly driven home that the outward form was not the point. The inward form was the point; the connection to the energy.
This is not just true in movements; it is true in life itself. Swedenborg was not speaking of dance forms when he wrote what he wrote; but he well understood that when we see movement in life, we mistake it as an end in itself, rather than seeing movement as an action that arises from a divine source of life and energy that motivates everything, puts everything into motion, and ultimately governs its behavior.
The study of inner Being is a study of this energy; not of the forms that arise from it, which are secondary, but tend to easily usurp our attention.