June 29, 2017

Becoming Charities, Not Hatreds

Selection from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
With the man who is being regenerated there are two states: the first when the truths which are of faith are being implanted in the good which is of love and are being conjoined, and the second when the man acts from the good of love.

The like was eminently the case in the Lord; the first state of the glorification of His Human was to make it Divine truth, and to conjoin it with the Divine good which was in Him and is called the "Father," and thereby to become the Divine good of the Divine love, which is Jehovah. The second state of His glorification was to act from the Divine good of the Divine love, which is effected by means of the Divine truth that proceeds from this good.

As regards man, in the first state he is imbued with those things which must be of faith, and according as he is imbued with them from good, that is, through good from the Lord, so is his understanding formed. When those truths that belong to the understanding have been implanted in and conjoined with good, he then comes into the second state, which consists in acting from good by means of truths. From this it is plain what is the quality of the second state of the man who is being regenerated, in that it is to think and act from good, or what is the same, from love, or what is also the same, from the will; for that which a man wills he loves; and that which he loves, he calls good. But the man for the first time comes into the second state when he is wholly from head to heels such as his love is, thus such as his will is and the understanding thence derived. Who can possibly believe that the whole man is an image of his will and of his understanding thence derived, consequently an image of his good and the truth thence derived, or an image of his evil and the falsity thence derived? For good or evil forms the will, and truth or falsity forms the understanding. This secret is known to all the angels in the heavens; but the reason why man does not know it is that he has no knowledge of his soul, consequently no knowledge that the body is formed after the likeness of the soul, and hence that the whole man is such as his soul is.

That this is so, is clearly seen from the spirits and angels in the other life; for all of them are human forms, and such forms as their affections are, which are of love and faith; and this to such a degree that they who are in the good of love and charity may be said to be loves and charities in form; and on the other hand that those who are in evils from the loves of self and the world, thus in hatreds and the like, are hatreds in form.

That this is so can also be seen from these three things which in universal nature follow in order; namely effect, cause, and end. The effect has its all from the cause; for an effect is nothing else than the cause in outward form, because when a cause becomes an effect it clothes itself with such things as are without, in order that it may appear in a lower sphere, which is the sphere of effects. The case is similar with the cause of the cause, which in the higher sphere is called the final cause, or the end. This end is the all in the cause, in order that it may be a cause for the sake of something; for a cause which is not for the sake of something cannot be called a cause, for to what purpose would it then be? The end is for the sake of something, and the end is the first in the cause, and is also its last. Hence it is plain that the end is as it were the soul of the cause, and is as it were its life, consequently is also the soul and life of the effect. For if there is not something in the cause and in the effect that brings forth the end, all this is not anything, because it is not for the sake of anything; thus it is like a dead thing without soul or life, and such a thing perishes as does the body when the soul departs from it.

The case is similar with man: his very soul is his will; the proximate cause by which the will produces the effect, is his understanding; and the effect which is brought forth is in the body, thus is of the body. That this is so is very manifest from the fact that what a man wills and thence thinks presents itself in a suitable manner in an effect in the body, both when he speaks and when he acts. From this it is again evident that such as is a man's will, such is the whole man. Whether you say the will, or the end, or the love, or the good, it is the same, for everything that a man wills is regarded as an end, and is loved, and is called good. In like manner whether you say the understanding, or the cause of an end, or faith, or truth, it is also the same; for that which a man understands or thinks from his will, he holds as a cause, and believes, and calls truth. When these things are apprehended, it can be known what is the quality, in the first state, of a man who is being regenerated, and what it is in the second.

From all this some idea can be had how it is understood that when the Lord was in the world and glorified His Human, He first made it Divine truth, and by degrees the Divine good of the Divine love; and that thereafter from the Divine good of the Divine love He operates in heaven and in the world, and gives life to angels and men; which is effected by means of the Divine truth that proceeds from the Divine good of the Divine love of His Divine Human; for from this the heavens [*which are from the human race] have come forth, and from it they perpetually come forth, that is, subsist; or what is the same, from it the heavens have been created and from it they are perpetually being created, that is, preserved; for preservation is perpetual creation, as subsistence is perpetual coming-forth.

Such things are also involved by these words in John:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. And the Word was made flesh (John 1:1, 3, 14);

"the Word" denotes the Divine truth; the first state is described by "in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word;" and the second state by "all things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made." It was the same when the Lord came into the world and reduced the heavens into order, and as it were created them anew. ...

(Arcana Coelestia 10076)
*emphasis by editor