@LeakyNun As long as we're in our physical body, the soul is connected to it, and can only communicate with the physical world through its structures and functions. If those structures and functions are damaged, the soul's ability to operate in the physical world is also damaged. The soul is not formless, but structured, and it requires complex physical structures to express itself in the physical world.
The other day I donated to a Christian "get kids off drugs" charity. The Quran says to do good deeds, and the charity seemed consistent with Muslim values, so when they asked for a donation, I obliged.
Question: Is it acceptable for Muslims to donate to Christian charities?
Maybe I'm overthink...
@LeakyNun I think you're working with an overly simplistic idea of what a person is. We're not unitary points, but complex aggregates of many components.
@alvoutila Genesis starts out, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." So it seems clear enough that God is first, followed by the heavens and the earth. Swedenborg's cosmology has God successively creating the spiritual then the material worlds.
However, this is not really a creation progressively in time, because time as we know it doesn't exist outside the physical universe. It's a creation from prior to posterior in causation. Another way of looking at it is that it's a creation from the inside out.
If this is true, it means that "the beginning" is not a temporal beginning, but rather a beginning of causation. And from a Swedenborgian perspective, creation is not something that happened "in the past" and progressed from there, but rather something that happens from the timeless center of the universe (God) out into time and space in the physical universe. So it is a process that is happening now at every point of time and space.
Back to the soul and the body, Swedenborg stated that the soul forms the body from within throughout its period of development in the womb, and gives it life throughout its lifetime on earth. So the soul is prior and the body is posterior. However, as I said above, the soul requires a functioning body in order to express itself in this world. If that body is damaged in any way, it correspondingly damages the soul's ability to express itself during the person's life in the material world.