March 18, 2018

Man's Thoughts and Affections — Spiritual or Natural or Sensual

Selection from Apocalypse Explained ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
What is Meant by Man's Ultimate Sensual
It does not mean the sensual of sight, of hearing, of smell, of taste, and of touch, for these things are proper to the body, but the ultimate of thought and affection, which is the first to be opened with infants, and which is such that they think of nothing else and are affected by no other objects than what make one with the senses just named. For infants learn to think by means of the senses, and to be affected by objects that are in accord with the things that are pleasing to the senses; consequently the first internal that is opened with them is the sensual that is called man's ultimate sensual, or the corporeal-sensual. But afterwards, as the infant grows older and becomes a boy, a more interior sensual is opened, from which he thinks naturally, and is also affected naturally. Later, in youth and early manhood, a still more interior sensual is opened, from which he thinks rationally, and if he is in the good of charity and faith, he thinks spiritually, and is also affected rationally and spiritually. This thought and affection is what is called the rational and spiritual man, while the former is called the natural man, and the first the sensual man.

With every man the interiors that are of his thought and affection are opened successively, and this by a continuous influx out of heaven from the Lord. By this influx the sensual that most nearly adheres to the body is first formed, and from this man becomes sensual; afterwards the natural from which he becomes natural; and after this the rational and with it the spiritual, from which he becomes a rational and spiritual man; but this he becomes only so far as he thinks about God and about the Divine things that are from God, and this is formed and perfected so far as he is affected by these things, that is, so far as he wills and lives according to them. If he does not do this the spiritual man is opened in a general way, but is not formed, still less perfected. By the general opening of his spiritual man, man has the faculty of thinking, and from thought of speaking rationally; this is the general effect of the influx of heaven with every man. This makes clear that man's thoughts and affections may be spiritual, or natural, or also sensual.

Spiritual thoughts and affections are with those who think from God respecting God and Divine things; while there are only natural thoughts and affections with those who do not think from God respecting God and Divine things, but think only from themselves or from the world respecting themselves or the world. But it should be known that to think from self or from the world is to think not from these but from hell; for whoever does not think from God thinks from hell — no one can think from both at the same time.
The Thought of the Sensual Man
Those who deny God, and thence the Divine things of heaven and the church, and confirm themselves against these, all become sensual men more or less, according to confirmations. When they are thinking about spiritual things they think falsities only, and are affected by evils; and if they think any truths, whether spiritual, moral, or civil, it is only from the knowledge (scientia) of such things as are in the memory; and they see nothing beyond the nearest causes which they also are able to prove; and if they are affected by goods, it is only from a delight for the sake of self or the world, thus from a cupidity belonging to the love of self or the love of the world. The thought of the sensual man is what is called material thought, and its affection is what is called corporeal affection, which is cupidity.

Furthermore, it is to be known that all the evils that man derives from his parents, which are called hereditary evils, have their seat in his natural and sensual man, but not in the spiritual — consequently the natural man, and especially the sensual man, is the opposite of the spiritual. For the spiritual man from infancy is closed, and is opened and formed only by Divine truths received by the understanding and will-
so far in extent and quality as the spiritual man is opened and formed, the evils of the natural and sensual man are removed, and goods are implanted in place of them.
As all evils have their seat in the natural and sensual man, it follows that falsities do also, because all falsities are of evil; for when man lusts and wills from evil, he thinks and speaks from falsity. For the evil of the will, when it so forms itself in thought that it is manifest to others or to oneself as to its quality, is called falsity; thus falsity is the form of evil, as truth is the form of good — From this it can be seen who and of what quality the man is who is called a sensual man; also that a man becomes sensual when he follows out in act the evils into which he is born, and adds more to them from himself. So far as he does this and confirms himself in these evils, so far the spiritual man is kept closed; and when it is closed the natural and sensual man denies the Divine things that belong to heaven and the church, and acknowledges such things only as belong to the world and nature; and indeed, the sensual man is then so blind as to believe nothing but what he sees with his eyes and touches with his hands. Such are many of the learned, however intelligent and wise they may be thought to be from their ability of speaking from the knowledges [scientia] that are in the memory, and this apparently as the rational man speaks, since the spiritual mind is opened with them, as it is in every man in a general way, as has been said above.
(from Apocalypse Explained 543:2-5)

March 16, 2018

When Appearances are Converted into Fallacies

Selection from Divine Providence ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
The Lord conjoins Himself with uses by means of correspondences, and thus by means of appearances in accordance with the confirmations of these by man. As this must needs seem obscure to those who have not yet gained a clear notion of what correspondence is and what appearance is, they must be illustrated by example, and thus explained.

All things of the Word are pure correspondences of spiritual and celestial things, and because they are correspondences they are also appearances; that is, all things of the Word are the Divine goods of the Divine love and the Divine truths of the Divine wisdom, which in themselves are naked, but in the sense of the letter of the Word are clothed. They therefore appear like a man in clothing that corresponds to the state of his love and wisdom.

All this makes evident that when a man confirms appearances it is the same as asserting that the clothes are the man. It is thus that appearances are converted into fallacies. It is otherwise when man is seeking for truths and sees them in the appearances.
(from Divine Providence 220:6)

March 15, 2018

Why Man Ought To Be In Internal Things

Selection from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Everyone who reflects is able to know that it is by means of internal things that man has communication with heaven, for the whole heaven is in internal things, and unless a man is in heaven in respect to his thoughts and affections, that is, in respect to the things of his understanding and of his will, he cannot go to heaven after death, because he has no communication with it. This communication is acquired by a man during his bodily life by means of truths that belong to his understanding and goods that belong to his will, and unless he acquires it then he cannot do so afterwards, because after death his mind cannot be opened toward interior things unless it has been opened during the life of the body.

A man is not aware that he is encompassed with a certain spiritual sphere that is in accordance with the life of his affections, and that to the angels this sphere is more perceptible than is the sphere of an odor to the finest sense on earth. If a man's life has been passed in mere external things, that is to say in the pleasures that come from hatred against his neighbor, from the consequent revenge and cruelty, from adulteries, from the exaltation of self and the attendant contempt for others, from clandestine robberies, from avarice, from deceit, from luxury, and from other like evils, then the spiritual sphere which encompasses him is as foul as is in this world the sphere of the odor from carcasses, dung, stinking garbage, and the like. The man who has lived such a life carries with him after death this foul sphere, and as he is wholly in it he must needs be in hell, the place of spheres of this character.

But those who are in internal things, that is to say those who have felt delight in benevolence and charity toward the neighbor, and above all those who have felt blessedness in love to the Lord, are encompassed with a grateful and pleasant sphere which is the heavenly sphere itself, and therefore they are in heaven. All the spheres which are perceived in the other life originate from the loves and the derivative affections in which the men have been, consequently from their life — for the loves and derivative affections make the life itself. As the spheres in question originate from the loves and their derivative affections, they originate from the intentions and ends for the sake of which the man so wills and acts — for everyone has for his end that which he loves — therefore a man's ends determine his life and constitute its quality, and this is the main source of his sphere. This sphere is most exquisitely perceived in heaven, because the universal heaven is in the sphere of ends. We can now see of what quality is the man who is in internal things, and also of what quality is he who is in external things, and also the reason why it is necessary to be in internal things and not in external things only.

But these are matters of perfect indifference to the man who is in external things only, no matter how clever he may be as regards the things of civil life, or what may be the reputation for learning he has acquired on account of what he knows, for he is the kind of man who believes in nothing that he cannot see with his eyes and feel with his touch, consequently not in heaven or hell; and if he were told that he will enter the other life immediately after death, and will then see, hear, speak, and enjoy the sense of touch more perfectly than in the body, he would reject the statement as a paradox or fancy, although such is actually the case; and it would be the same if he were told that the soul or spirit which lives after death is the man himself, and not so the body which he carries about in the world.

It follows from this that they who are in external things alone care nothing for what is said of internal things, although it is these which make men blessed and happy in the kingdom into which they are about to come, and in which they will live to eternity. Most Christians are in such unbelief, as I am permitted to know from those who have come from the Christian world into the other life, and with whom I have spoken; for in the other life they cannot conceal what they have thought, because the thoughts there show themselves openly; nor can they conceal what they have had as their ends, that is, what they have loved, because this manifests itself by their sphere.
(Arcana Cœlestia 4464)

March 13, 2018

Why There is No Affection of Good and No Affection of Truth

Excerpt from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Few are solicitous or wish to know what spiritual truth is; and what truth (not) spiritual. They are so far from being solicitous about it as to be scarcely willing to hear the word spiritual, for at the bare mention of it gloom assails them, together with sadness, and loathing is excited, and so it is rejected. That this really happens has also been shown me.

While my mind was dwelling on such things, there were spirits present from Christendom, who were then let into the state in which they had been in the world; and they were not only affected with sadness at the mere thought of spiritual good and truth, but were also seized with so great a loathing, from aversion, that they said they felt within them the like of that which in the world excites vomiting. But it was given me to tell them that this was in consequence of their affections having been fixed upon merely earthly, bodily, and worldly things — for when a man is immersed in these he loathes the things of heaven. They had frequented places of worship where the Word is preached, from no desire to know the things which are of heaven, but from some other desire contracted from the time of early childhood. From this it was plain what is the quality of Christendom at this day.

The cause — to speak generally — is that the Christian Church at this day preaches faith alone and not charity, and thus doctrine but not life.
When life is not preached, a man comes into no affection of good; and when he is in no affection of good, he is also in no affection of truth.
It is for this reason that it is contrary to the delight of the life of most persons to hear anything more about the things of heaven than what they have known from infancy.

Why is man in this world?

And yet the fact is that man is in this world in order to be initiated by his activities there into the things which are of heaven, and that his life in this world is hardly a moment in comparison with his life after death, for this is eternal. But there are few who believe that they will live after death; and for this reason also, heavenly things are of no account to them. But this I can declare with certainty: that man immediately after death is in the other life, and that his life in this world is wholly continued there, and is of the same quality as it had been in this world. This I can assert, because I know it; for I have talked after their decease with almost all with whom I had been acquainted in the life of the body, and thus by living experience it has been given me to know what lot awaits everyone, namely, a lot according to his life; yet those who are of such a quality do not believe even these things.
(from Arcana Cœlestia 5006:2-4)

March 12, 2018

The Divine Man Made Comprehensible

Excerpt from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
"the celestial of the spiritual," ... is meant the Lord; the same may also be said abstractedly of Him, because He [the Lord] is the celestial itself and the spiritual itself, that is, good itself and truth itself.

As regards man, these cannot indeed be conceived of abstractedly from person, because what is natural is adjoined to everything of his thought; nevertheless, when we consider that everything in the Lord is Divine, and that the Divine is above all thought, and altogether incomprehensible even to the angels, consequently if we then abstract that which is comprehensible, there remains being and coming-forth itself, which is the celestial itself and the spiritual itself, that is, good itself and truth itself.

Nevertheless, as man is such that he can have no idea of thought whatever about abstract things unless he adjoins something natural which has entered from the world through the senses (for without some such natural thing his thought perishes as in an abyss and is dissipated), therefore lest what is Divine should perish in man when he is wholly immersed in bodily and earthly things, and with whomsoever it remained it should be defiled by an unclean idea, and together with what is Divine everything celestial and spiritual thence derived should also perish, it pleased Jehovah to present Himself such as He actually is, and such as He appears in heaven, namely, as a Divine Man. For everything of heaven conspires to the human form, as may be seen from what has been shown at the end of the chapters [in the works: Arcana Cœlestia] concerning the correspondence of all things of man with the Grand Man, which is heaven. This Divine, or this of Jehovah in heaven, is the Lord from eternity. The same the Lord took also upon Him when He glorified or made Divine the human in Himself, as is very evident from the form in which He appeared before Peter, James, and John, when He was transfigured —
And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.  (Matt. 17:1, 2)
and also in which He at times appeared to the prophets. It is from this that everyone is able to think of the Divine Itself as of a Man, and at the same time of the Lord, in whom is all the Divine, and a perfect Trinity, for in the Lord the Divine Itself is the Father, this Divine in heaven is the Son, and the Divine thence proceeding is the Holy Spirit. That these are a one, as He Himself teaches, is hence manifest.
(from Arcana Cœlestia 5110:2,3)

March 10, 2018

Becoming Rational to the Third Degree

Selection from Heaven and Hell ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
How the rational faculty may be cultivated shall also be told in a few words. The genuine rational faculty consists of truths and not of falsities; whatever consists of falsities is not rational.

There are three kinds of truths, civil, moral, and spiritual.
  • Civil truths relate to matters of judgment and of government in kingdoms, and in general to what is just and equitable in them.
  • Moral truths pertain to the matters of everyone's life which have regard to companionships and social relations, in general to what is honest and right, and in particular to virtues of every kind.
  • Spiritual truths relate to matters of heaven and of the church, and in general to the good of love and the truth of faith.
In every man there are three degrees of life.

The rational faculty is opened to the first degree by civil truths, to the second degree by moral truths, and to the third degree by spiritual truths. But it must be understood that the rational faculty that consists of these truths is not formed and opened by man's knowing them, but by his living according to them; and living according to them means loving them from spiritual affection
to love truths from spiritual affection is to love what is just and equitable because it is just and equitable, what is honest and right because it is honest and right, and what is good and true because it is good and true — while living according to them and loving them from the bodily affection is loving them for the sake of self and for the sake of one's reputation, honor or gain.
Consequently, so far as man loves these truths from a bodily affection he fails to become rational, for he loves, not them, but himself; and the truths are made to serve him as servants serve their Lord; and when truths become servants they do not enter the man and open any degree of life in him, not even the first, but merely rest in the memory as knowledges under a material form, and there conjoin themselves with the love of self, which is a bodily love.

All this shows how man becomes rational, namely, that he becomes rational to the third degree by a spiritual love of the good and truth which pertain to heaven and the church; he becomes rational to the second degree by a love of what is honest and right; and to the first degree by a love of what is just and equitable. These two latter loves also become spiritual from a spiritual love of good and truth, because that love flows into them and conjoins itself to them and forms in them as it were its own semblance.
(Heaven and Hell 468)

March 7, 2018

With Interest Looking

Selections from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
What a man knows and understands to be so, he calls truth; and what he does from will, thus what he wills, he calls good. These two faculties [will and understanding] should constitute a one.

This may be illustrated by comparison with the sight of the eye, and with the pleasantness and delight that are experienced by means of this sight. When the eye sees objects, it experiences a pleasantness and delight from them in accordance with their forms, colors, and their consequent beauties both in general and in their parts; in a word, in accordance with the order or dispositions into series. This pleasantness and delight are not of the eye, but of the animus and its affection; and insofar as the man is affected with them, so far he sees them and retains them in memory, while the things that the eye sees from no affection, are passed over and are not implanted in the memory, thus are not conjoined with it.

From this it is evident that the objects of the external sight are implanted in accordance with the pleasantness and delight of the affections; and that they are in this pleasantness and delight; for when a similar pleasantness or delight recurs, such objects also recur; and in like manner when similar objects recur, such pleasantness and delight also recur, with variety according to the states. It is the same with the understanding, which is the internal sight - its objects are spiritual, and are called truths; the field of these objects is the memory; the pleasantness and delight of this sight is good; and thus good is that in which truths are inseminated and implanted....
The man who is born within the church, from earliest childhood learns from the Word and from the doctrinal things of the church what the truth of faith is, and also what the good of charity is. But when he grows up to manhood he begins either to confirm or to deny in himself the truths of faith that he has learned
for he then looks at these truths with his own sight, and thereby causes them either to be made his own or else to be rejected
for nothing can become one's own that is not acknowledged of one's own insight, that is, which the man does not know to be so from himself, and not from somebody else; and therefore the truths learned from childhood enter no further into the man's life than the first entrance, from which they can either be admitted more interiorly, or else be cast out.
(from Arcana Cœlestia 4301:3,4; also no. 5376:1)

March 6, 2018

He Who Regards Himself In Everything

Selection from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
The people is said to be one, and their lip one, when all have as their end the common good of society, the common good of the church, and the kingdom of the Lord; for when this is the case the Lord is in the end, and all are a one from Him.

But the Lord cannot possibly be present with a man whose end is his own good; the own itself of man estranges the Lord, because thereby the man twists and turns the common good of society, and that of the church itself, and even the kingdom of the Lord, to himself, insomuch that it is as if it existed for him.
He thus takes away from the Lord what is His, and puts himself in His place.
When this condition reigns in a man, there is the like of it in every single thought he has, and even in the least particulars of his thoughts; for such is the case with whatever is regnant in any man.

This does not appear so manifestly in the life of the body as it does in the other life, for there whatever is regnant in anyone manifests itself by a certain sphere which is perceived by all around him, and which is of this character because it exhales from every single thing in him.
The sphere of him who has regard to himself in everything, appropriates to itself, and, as is said there, absorbs everything that is favorable to itself, and therefore it absorbs all the delight of the surrounding spirits, and destroys all their freedom, so that such a person has to be banished from society.
But when the people is one, and the lip one, that is, when the common good of all is regarded, one person never appropriates to himself another's delight, or destroys another's freedom, but insofar as he can he promotes and increases it. This is the reason why the heavenly societies are as a one, and this solely through mutual love from the Lord; and the case is the same in the church.
(from Arcana Cœlestia 1316)

March 3, 2018

The Nature of the Correspondence Between the Soul and the Body

Selections from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
What is the nature of the correspondence between the soul and the body, or between the things of the spirit which is within man and those of his body which are without him, may be plainly seen from the correspondence, influx, and communication of the thought and perception, which are of the spirit, with the speech and hearing, which are of the body. The thought of a man who is speaking is nothing but the speech of his spirit, and the perception of the speech is nothing but the hearing of his spirit. When man is speaking, his thought does not indeed appear to him as speech, because it conjoins itself with the speech of his body, and is in it; and when man hears, his perception appears merely like hearing in the ear. This is the reason why most persons who have not reflected know no otherwise than that all sense is in the organs of the body, and consequently that when these organs fall to decay by death, nothing of sense survives, whereas the man (that is, his spirit) then comes into his veriest life of sensation.
Man is a spirit, and that his body serves him for uses in the world ... the spirit is man's internal, and the body his external.
They who do not apprehend how the case is with man's spirit and with his body, may suppose from this that thus the spirit dwells within the body; and that the body as it were encompasses and invests it. Be it known however that the spirit of man is in the whole and every part of his body, and that it is its purer substance, both in its organs of motion and in those of sense, and everywhere else; and that the body is the material part that is everywhere annexed to it, adapted to the world in which it then is. This is what is meant by man's being a spirit, and by his body serving him for uses in the world; and by the spirit's being his internal, and the body his external. From this also it is evident that after death man is in an active and sensitive life, and also in the human form, in like manner as in the world, but in greater perfection.
(from Arcana Cœlestia 4652; 4659)

March 2, 2018

Intellectual Sight

Selections from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
The eye is the noblest organ of the face, and communicates more immediately with the understanding than do the rest of man's organs of sense. It is also modified by a more subtle atmosphere than the ear, and therefore the sight penetrates to the internal sensory, which is in the brain, by a shorter and more interior way than does the speech which is perceived by the ear. Hence also it is that certain animals, being devoid of understanding, have as it were two subsidiary brains within the orbits of their eyes, for their intellectual depends on their sight.

But with man this is not the case, for he enjoys the use of an ample brain, in order that his intellectual may not depend on the sight, but the sight on the intellectual. That the sight of man depends on the intellectual is very evident from the fact that his natural affections portray themselves representatively in the face, but his more interior affections, which pertain to the thought, appear in the eyes, from a certain flame of life and a consequent vibration of light, which flashes out in accordance with the affection in which is the thought; and this a man knows and observes, without being taught by any science, for the reason that his spirit is in society with spirits and angels in the other life, who know this from a plain and clear perception.
Every man as to his spirit is in society with spirits and angels
There is a correspondence of the sight of the eye with intellectual sight, plainly appears to those who reflect; for the objects of the world, all of which derive something from the light of the sun, enter through the eye, and bestow themselves in the memory, and this evidently under a like visual figure, for whatever is produced therefrom is seen inwardly. This is the source of man's imagination, the ideas of which are called by philosophers material ideas. When these objects appear still more interiorly they present thought, and this also under some visual figure, but more pure, the ideas of which are called immaterial, and also intellectual. That there is an interior light, in which there is life, and consequently intelligence and wisdom, and that this light illumines the interior sight, and meets the things which have entered in through the external sight, is very evident; and also that the interior light operates according to the disposition of the things present there from the light of the world. The things that enter through the hearing are also inwardly turned into forms like those of the visual images that come from the light of the world.

As the sight of the eye corresponds to intellectual sight, it also corresponds to truths, for all things that are of the understanding bear relation to truth, and likewise to good, in this way - that a man may not only know what is good, but also be affected by it. Moreover all things of the external sight also bear relation to truth and to good, because they bear relation to the symmetries of objects, consequently to their beauties and the derivative charms. A clear-sighted observer can see that each and all things in nature bear relation to truth and to good, and thereby he can also know that universal nature is a theater representative of the Lord's kingdom.
(Arcana Cœlestia 4407 - 4409)

February 27, 2018

Angelic Description of Conscience

Selection from True Christian Religion ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
We have heard in heaven that you have presented in succession your opinions about conscience, and that you have all regarded it as some mental pain which infests the head with heaviness, and from that the body, or infests the body and from that the head.
But conscience viewed in itself is not a pain, but a spiritual desire to act in accordance with whatever pertains to religion and faith.
Hence it is that those who feel delight in conscience are in the tranquillity of peace and interior blessedness when they are acting in accordance with their conscience, and in a kind of perturbation when they are acting contrary to it.
But the mental pain which you have believed to be conscience, is not conscience but temptation, which is a conflict of the spirit with the flesh
this conflict, when it is spiritual, has its origin in conscience; but if it is natural merely, it has its origin in those diseases which the physicians have just recounted. [TCR 665]

"But what conscience is may be illustrated by examples:

• A priest who has a spiritual desire to teach truths in order that his flock may be saved, has conscience; but he who has any other end in view, does not have conscience.
• A judge who regards justice exclusively, and executes it with judgment, has conscience; but a judge who looks primarily to reward, friendship, or favor, has not conscience.

• a man who has in his possession the property of another, the other not knowing it, and who is thus able without fear of the law or loss of honor and reputation, to keep it as his own, and yet, because it is not his, restores it to the other, has conscience, since he does what is just for the sake of what is just.

So again,
• one who can obtain an office but who knows that another who is also seeking it would be more useful to society, and yields the place to him for the sake of the good of society, has a good conscience. So in other things.
All who have conscience say whatever they say from the heart, and do whatever they do from the heart; for not having a divided mind they speak and act according to what they understand and believe to be true and good.
From all this it follows that a more perfect conscience may exist with those who have more of the truths of faith than others, and who have a clearer perception than others, than is possible with those who are less enlightened and whose perception is obscure.
A true conscience is the seat of man's spiritual life itself, for there his faith is conjoined with charity
therefore when such act from conscience they act from their spiritual life, but when they act contrary to conscience they act contrary to that life.

Moreover, does not everyone know from common speech what conscience is? When it is said of anyone: 'He has conscience,' does not that also mean that he is a just man? But on the other hand, when it is said of anyone, 'He has no conscience' does it not mean that he is also unjust?"
(True Christian Religion 666)

February 25, 2018

Man's Book of Life

Selection from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
And Moses wrote all the words of Jehovah. (Exodus 24:4) That this signifies an impressing thereafter on the life, is evident from the signification of "writing," as being to impress on the life....From this it is evident that by Moses wrote all the words of Jehovah, are signified truths Divine impressed on the life by the Lord.

Truths are said to be impressed on the life, when they become of the will and from this of the act. So long as they stay merely in the memory, and so long as they are looked at only intellectually, they have not been impressed on the life; but as soon as they are received in the will, they become of the life, because the very being of man's life is to will, and from this to act; and before this they have not been appropriated to the man.

That "to write" denotes to impress on the life, is because the purpose of writings is remembrance to all posterity. So is it with the things impressed on a man's life.

Man has as it were two books, in which have been written all his thoughts and acts. These books are his two memories, the exterior and the interior. The things written on his interior memory remain to all eternity, and are never blotted out, and are chiefly those which have become of the will, that is, of the love; for the things of the love are of the will. It is this memory which is meant by every man's book of life.
(from Arcana Cœlestia 9386)
All things whatever that a man hears and sees, and by which he is affected, are, unknown to the man, insinuated as to ideas and ends into his interior memory; and they remain in it, so that not anything perishes; although the same things are obliterated in the exterior memory. Such therefore is the interior memory that there are inscribed on it all the single, nay, the most singular things that the man has ever thought, spoken, and done; nay, even those which have appeared to him as but a shade, with the minutest particulars, from his earliest infancy to the last of old age. The memory of all these things the man has with him when he comes into the other life, and he is successively brought into full recollection of them. This is his Book of Life, which is opened in the other life, and according to which he is judged. He then can scarcely believe this, but yet it is most true. All the ends, which to him have been in obscurity, and all the things he has thought; together with everything that from these he has spoken and done, down to the smallest point, are in that Book, that is, in the interior memory, and whenever the Lord grants, are made manifest before the angels as in clear day. This has several times been shown me, and has been attested by so much experience that not the least doubt remains.
(from Arcana Cœlestia 2474)

February 23, 2018

Freedom to Speak and Publish

Selections from True Christian Religion ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Thought is like the inflowing stream, and speech therefrom is like the basin. In a word, influx adapts itself to efflux, and in like manner the understanding from above adapts itself to its measure of freedom to speak and publish its thoughts.

[Free nations], as regards the spiritual things of the church called theological, are like eagles which rise to whatever height they please; while nations that are not free are like swans in a river.

Again, free nations are like the larger deer with lofty horns, that roam the fields, groves, and forests at perfect liberty; while nations that are not free are like the deer kept in parks to please a prince.

And still again, free peoples are like the winged horse which the ancients called Pegasus, that flew not only over the seas, but over the so called Parnassian hills, and also over the hills of the Muses beneath them; while a people not freed are like noble horses handsomely caparisoned in kings' stables. There are like differences in their judgments regarding the mysterious matters of theology.
such as the state of man's mind is in the natural world, such it is in the spiritual world; for man's mind is his spirit, or the posthumous man that lives after his departure from the material body.
(from True Christian Religion 814-816)

February 20, 2018

From Things External 'Seeing Things Internal'

Passage from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
The Sight of the Interior Man
which from
Things External Sees Things Internal
Things internal are led forth, when with the eyes of the body a man contemplates the starry heaven, and thence thinks of the Lord's kingdom. Whenever a man sees anything with his eyes, and sees the things that he looks upon as if he saw them not, but from them sees or thinks of the things which are of the church or of heaven, then his interior sight, or that of his spirit or soul, is "led forth abroad." The eye itself is properly nothing but the sight of his spirit led forth abroad, and this especially to the end that he may see internal things from external; that is, that he may, from the objects in the world, reflect continually upon those which are in the other life; for this is the life for the sake of which he lives in the world. Such was the sight in the Most Ancient Church; such is the sight of the angels who are with man; and such was the Lord's sight.
  • A Representation of the Lord's Kingdom in a Mental View of the Universe
"Heaven" in the Word, in the internal sense, does not signify the heavens which appear to the eyes; but the Lord's kingdom, universally and particularly. When a man who is looking at internal things from external sees the heavens, he does not think at all of the starry heaven, but of the angelic heaven; and when he sees the sun, he does not think of the sun, but of the Lord, as being the Sun of heaven. So too when he sees the moon, and the stars also; and when he sees the immensity of the heavens, he does not think of their immensity, but of the immeasurable and infinite power of the Lord. It is the same when he sees all other things, for there is nothing that is not representative.

In like manner as regards the things on the earth; as when he beholds the dawning of the day he does not think of the dawn, but of the arising of all things from the Lord, and of progression into the day of wisdom. So when he sees gardens, groves, and flower-beds, his eye remains not fixed on any tree, its blossom, leaf, and fruit; but on the heavenly things which these represent; nor on any flower, and its beauty and pleasantness; but on what they represent in the other life. For there is nothing beautiful and delightful in the skies or on the earth, which is not in some way representative of the Lord's kingdom....

The reason why all things in the sky and on earth are representative, is that they have come forth and do continually come forth, that is, subsist, from the influx of the Lord through heaven. It is with these things as it is with the human body, which comes forth and subsists by means of the soul; on which account all things in the body both in general and in particular are representative of the soul. The soul is in the use and the end; but the body is in the performance of them. All effects, whatever they may be, are in like manner representatives of the uses which are the causes; and the uses are representative of the ends which belong to the first principles.

They who are in Divine ideas never come to a stand in the objects of the external sight; but from them and in them constantly see internal things. The veriest internal things themselves are those which are of the Lord's kingdom, thus those which are in the veriest end itself. It is the same with the Word of the Lord; he who is in Divine things never regards the Lord's Word from the letter; but regards the letter and the literal sense as being representative and significative of the celestial and spiritual things of the church and of the Lord's kingdom. To him the literal sense is merely an instrumental means for thinking of these....
(Arcana Cœlestia 1806, 1807)

February 19, 2018

The Divine Lies Hidden in the Word

Selection from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
The Word is wonderful in this respect — it is Divine as to every jot, for every word corresponds to some spiritual thing which may be said to be stored up within it, because the spiritual of the Word is made manifest with the angels, when the Word is read by man.

The case herein is this: Each and all things in the natural world have a correspondence with those which are in the spiritual world, and this down to every word. And the Word has been so written that its words in their series involve series of spiritual things, which do not appear to a man unless he is acquainted with correspondences. In this way what is Divine lies hidden in the Word. From this the Word is spiritual, as also it is called.
(from Arcana Cœlestia 10633)

February 17, 2018

What is Meant by the Coming of the Lord

Selection from Emanuel Swedenborg's The Athanasian Creed
Where the Lord, in the presence of His disciples, speaks about the consummation of the age, which is the last period of the Church, towards the end of the predictions regarding its successive states with respect to love and faith, He says this:
Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.   Matthew 24:29-31
Those who understand these words in accordance with the sense of the letter have no other belief than that at the final period which is called the Last Judgment, all those events will occur as described in that sense. Therefore, they believe not only that the sun and moon will be darkened and the stars will fall from heaven, that the sign of the Lord will appear in the sky and that He Himself will be seen in the clouds as well as angels with trumpets, but also, as is foretold elsewhere, that the whole visible earth will be destroyed, after which a new heaven with a new earth will come into being. Such is the opinion of most men within the Church at the present day.

But those who so believe do not know the arcana which lie concealed in every particular of the Word. For, in every particular of the Word there is an internal sense in which are discerned, not the natural and worldly matters such as are in the sense of the letter, but spiritual and heavenly things. Moreover, this is true not only of the meaning of groups of words but it is also true of every single word. For the Word has been written by means of pure correspondences to the end that the internal sense may be in every particular....

It is in accordance with that sense that the words of the Lord, quoted above, concerning His coming in the clouds of heaven, are to be understood. In that passage, by the "sun" which is to be darkened is signified the Lord as to love, by the "moon" the Lord as to faith, by the "stars" cognitions of good and truth or of love and faith, by the "sign" of the Son of man in heaven the manifestation of Divine Truth, by the "tribes of the earth which shall mourn", all things relating to truth and good or to faith and love, by "the coming of the Lord in the clouds of heaven with power and glory", His presence in the Word and revelation; by "clouds" is signified the sense of the letter of the Word, and by "glory" the internal sense of the Word, by "angels with a trumpet and great voice" is signified heaven whence comes Divine Truth.

Thence it is evident that by those words of the Lord is meant that in the end of the Church when there is no longer any love and consequently no faith, the Lord will open the Word in its internal sense and reveal arcana of heaven....

The man of the Church at this day knows scarcely anything about heaven and hell or about his life after death, although they are all set forth and described in the Word. Indeed, many people born within the Church even deny them, saying in their hearts, "Who has come from that world and told us?" Lest, therefore, such a negative attitude, which prevails especially with those who have much worldly wisdom, should also infect and corrupt the simple in heart and the simple in faith, it has been granted to me to associate with angels and to talk with them as man with man, also to see the things in the heavens as well as in the hells, and this for thirteen years (1747-1758). Now, therefore, from what I have seen and heard I am permitted to describe these things, in the hope that thus, ignorance may be enlightened and unbelief dispelled. Such immediate revelation is now made because that is what is meant by the Coming of the Lord.
(Heaven and Hell 1)
That that [revelation] is the Coming of the Lord, and that it is in consequence of this that the arcana concerning heaven and hell, concerning man's life after death, concerning the Word, concerning the Last Judgment, have been opened by the Lord - this is the doctrine of the church. All these things have been written out in the Latin language, and they have been sent to all the archbishops and bishops of this kingdom [Great Britain], and to some of the nobility; and still not a word has been heard - a sign that they do not interiorly care for the things of heaven and of the church, and that it is now the very end of the church, and indeed that the church is not; for the church is where the Lord is worshiped, and the Word is read with enlightenment, and there are yearly examinations from the assembly.
(from Emanuel Swedenborg's The Athanasian Creed 2)

February 13, 2018

Two Kinds of Affections

Selection from Apocalypse Explained ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
In general, there are affections of truth from two sources, namely, from a natural and from a spiritual source. Those who are in the affection of truth from a natural source look first to self and the world, and thence are natural; but those who are in the affection of truth from a spiritual source look first to the Lord and to heaven, and thence are spiritual.
Man's affection or love looks either downwards or upwards; those who look to self and the world look downwards, but those who look to the Lord and to heaven look upwards.
A man's interiors, which are of his mind, actually look in the same direction as his love or affection does — for love determines them; and such as is the determination of man's interiors, which are of his mind, such after death does the man remain to eternity.

Looking downwards or upwards is looking from love through the understanding, thus through the things that form and make the understanding, which are the knowledges of truth and good.
... no one can be introduced into the church and formed for heaven, except by knowledges from the Word. Without these man does not know the way to heaven, and without these the Lord cannot dwell with him.

It can be seen that without the knowledges of truth and good from the Word no one can know anything of the Lord, of the angelic heaven, or of charity and faith; and that which a man does not know he cannot think, thus cannot will, and accordingly cannot believe and love.
It is evident, therefore, that by means of knowledges man learns the way to heaven.
It can also be seen that without the knowledges of truth and good from the Word the Lord cannot be present with man and lead him — for when man knows nothing of the Lord, of heaven, of charity and faith — his spiritual mind, which is the higher mind, and is intended to see by the light of heaven, is empty, and has nothing from the Divine in it. But the Lord cannot be with man except in His own with man, that is, in the things that are from Him. For this reason it was said that unless a man is in the knowledges of truth and good from the Word and in the life thereof, the Lord cannot dwell with him. From this, taken together, it follows that the natural man can by no means become spiritual without the knowledges of good and truth from the Word.

...those who are in the spiritual affection of truth are also in the life of charity, for from that they have spiritual affection. The spiritual comes to man from no other source than from charity. Those who are in spiritual affection are interested in the Word, and desire nothing more earnestly than to understand it. But as there are innumerable things therein that they do not understand, because the Word in its bosom is spiritual and the spiritual includes infinite arcana, therefore, so long as man lives in the world and then sees from the natural man, he can be but little in the knowledges of truth and good, and in generals only, in which, however, innumerable things may be implanted when he comes into the spiritual world or heaven.

A man who is in the affection of truth from a spiritual origin knows many more things than he knew before; for the general knowledges that he has are like vessels that can be filled with many things, and they are also actually filled when he comes into heaven. That this is so can be seen merely from this, that all the angels in heaven are from the human race, and yet they possess wisdom such as could be described only by what is unutterable and incomprehensible, as is well known.... This fullness of intelligence and wisdom is what is meant by the words of the Lord in Luke:
Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, shall be given into your bosom (Luke 6:38)
and in Matthew:
Whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundantly (Matt. 13:12; 25:29)
and in Luke:
The lord said to the servant who from the pound given him gained ten pounds, Because thou hast been faithful in a very little, thou shalt have authority over ten cities (Luke 19:16, 17).
(from Apocalypse Explained 112)

The Affection of Truth from the Delight of 'Natural' Affection

Selection from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
By natural delight is meant the delight that flows forth from the love of self and the love of the world.

They who are in the affection of truth from this, are they who learn the doctrinal things of the church, which are called the truths of faith, either for the sake of gain, or for the sake of honors, and not for the sake of life. ...
everything which has its origin from the love of self, or from love of the world, is not free, but servile
How the case is with the affections of truth that originate from these loves, is described in the internal sense in what now follows.

Bear in mind that the genuine affection of truth is willing and longs to know the veriest truths of faith for the sake of good use as the end, and for the sake of life; but the affection of truth that is not genuine desires and longs for truths for the sake of self, thus for seeking honors, and for hunting gains. They who are in the affection of truth from this origin do not care whether the truths they know are genuine, provided they are such as they can pass off as truths; and therefore they stick in the mere confirmation of the doctrinal things of the church in which they were born, whether these be true or not true. They are also in darkness in respect to truths themselves; for worldly ends which are gains, and bodily ends which are honors, completely blindfold them.

But they who are in the genuine affection of truth, that is, who long to know truths for the sake of good use, and for the sake of life, also abide in the doctrinal things of the church until they arrive at the age when they begin to think for themselves; then they search the Scriptures and supplicate the Lord for enlightenment, and when they are enlightened they rejoice from the heart. For they know that if they had been born where there is another doctrine of the church, nay, the greatest heresy, without searching the Scriptures from the genuine affection of truth, they would have remained in that doctrine....

From this it is plain who and of what quality they are who are in the genuine affection of truth, and who and of what quality they are who are in an affection of truth that is not genuine.
(from Arcana Cœlestia 8993:2-4)

February 11, 2018

The Face of Truth Turned into the Face of Good

Selection from Apocalypse Revealed ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
It is to be known that no man has any spiritual good from the Lord, except through truths from the Word; for the truths of the Word are in the light of heaven, and its goods are in the heat of that light; wherefore, unless the understanding is in the light of heaven through the Word, the will cannot come into the heat of heaven.
Love and charity cannot be formed except through truths from the Word
a man cannot be reformed except through truths therefrom. The church itself with man is formed by them; but not by those truths in the understanding alone, but by a life according to them; the truths thus enter into the will, and become goods. Thus the face of truth is turned into the face of good; for that which is of the will and thus of the love is called good, and everything which is of the will or love is also of man's life.
(from Apocalypse Revealed 832:2)

February 10, 2018

The Destructive Nature of the Love of Self and the Love of the World

Selection from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
They who are in the loves of self and of the world cannot possibly believe that they are in things so filthy and unclean as they actually are in, for there is a certain pleasure and delight that soothes, favors, and allures, and causes them to love that life, to prefer it to all other life, and thereby to suppose that there is nothing of evil in it — for whatever favors anyone's love and the life thence derived is believed to be good. Hence also the rational consents, and suggests falsities which confirm and cause such blindness that they see nothing of the nature of heavenly love; and if they were to see it they would say in their hearts that it is a wretched affair, or a thing of naught, or something of the nature of a phantasy that takes hold of the mind, as in sickness.

But that the life of the love of self and of the world, together with its pleasures and delights, is filthy and unclean, may be seen by everyone who is willing to think from the rational faculty with which he is gifted. The love of self is the source of all the evils that destroy civic society. From it as from an unclean pit spring all hatreds, all revenges, all cruelties, nay, all adulteries — for he who loves himself, despises, vituperates, or hates, all others who do not serve him, or do him honor, or favor him; and when he hates, he breathes nothing but revenges and cruelties, and this in proportion to the degree in which he loves himself, so that this love is destructive of society and of the human race. That in the other life the love of self is most filthy, and that it is diametrically opposite to the mutual love in which heaven consists....

And as the love of self is the source of hatreds, revenges, cruelties, and adulteries, it is the source of all things that are called sins, wickednesses, abominations, and profanations, and therefore when this love is in the rational part of man, and is in the cupidities and phantasies of his external man, the influx of heavenly love from the Lord is continually repelled, perverted, and contaminated. It is like foul excrement, which dissipates, nay, defiles, all sweet odor; it is like an object that turns the continually inflowing rays of light into dark and repulsive colors; and it is like a tiger, or a serpent, which repels all fondling, and kills with bite and poison those who offer it food; or like a vicious man who turns even the best intentions of others, and their very kindnesses, into what is blameworthy and malicious....
(from Arcana Cœlestia 2045)

February 8, 2018

Life Appears as Man's Own

Selection from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
the goods which are of faith and of charity cannot be given to man nor to angel so as to be their own, for men and angels are only recipients, or forms accommodated to receive life, thus good and truth, from the Lord. Life itself is from no other source, and as life is from the Lord, it cannot be appropriated otherwise than as appearing to be man's own; but they who are in the Lord plainly perceive that life flows in, consequently good and truth, for these belong to life. The reason why life appears as man's own is that the Lord from Divine love wills to give and to conjoin all His own to man, and as far as it can be effected, does conjoin it. This "own" which is given by the Lord, is called the heavenly own.
(from Arcana Cœlestia 8497)

February 7, 2018

Two Ways to Rationality

Selection from True Christian Religion ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
One who has never repented or has never looked into and searched himself, finally ceases to know what damning evil or saving good is.

As few in the Reformed Christian world practice repentance, this is here added, that he who has not looked into and searched himself, finally ceases to know what damning evil or saving good is, because he has no religion from which to know it
for the evil that a man does not see, recognize, and acknowledge — remains
and whatever remains becomes more and more enrooted, until it obstructs the interiors of the mind, whereby man becomes first natural, then sensual, and finally corporeal, and in such states he knows not any damning evil or saving good. He becomes like a tree growing on a hard rock, which spreads its roots among the crevices and finally withers away from lack of moisture.

Every man rightly educated is rational and moral; but there are two ways to rationality — one from the world and the other from heaven. He who has become rational and moral from the world only, and not from heaven, is rational and moral in word and gesture only, but is inwardly a beast, and even a wild beast, because he acts as one with those who are in hell, where all are wild beasts. But he who is rational and moral from heaven also, is truly rational and moral, because he is so at once in spirit, word, and body — the spiritual being within these two latter like a soul actuating the natural, sensual, and corporeal; it also acts as one with those who are in heaven. Therefore there can be a spiritual-rational and moral man, and also a merely natural-rational and moral man. These two are not distinguished from each other in the world, especially if the man has by practice become imbued with hypocrisy; but they are distinguished by the angels in heaven as easily as doves from owls or sheep from tigers.

The merely natural man can see good and evil in others, and also rebuke others; but not having looked into and examined himself, he does not see any evil in himself, and if any is discovered by another, he cloaks it by means of his rationality; as a serpent hides his head in the dust, and immerses himself in it, as a hornet buries himself in mud. This is done by the delight of evil, which encompasses him as a fog does a marsh, absorbing and extinguishing the rays of light. Infernal delight is no other. It is exhaled from hell, and flows into every man, into the soles of his feet, his back, and his occiput. And when it is received by the head in the forehead and by the body in the breast, man is made a slave to hell; and for the reason that the human cerebrum is devoted to the understanding and the wisdom it contains, but the cerebellum to the will and its love. This is why there are two brains. But that infernal delight can be corrected, reformed, and inverted solely by the spiritual-rational and moral.
(True Christian Religion 564)

February 6, 2018

A Brief Description of the "Merely" Natural-rational and Moral Man

Selection from True Christian Religion ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
There shall now be given a brief description of the merely natural-rational and moral man, who viewed in himself is sensual, and if he goes on, becomes corporeal or fleshly; but the description shall be sketched in separate statements.

• The sensual is the outmost of the life of man's mind, adherent to and coherent with his five bodily senses.
• He is called a sensual man who judges of everything from the bodily senses, and believes nothing but what he can see with his eyes and touch with his hands, calling that something real, and rejecting everything else.
• The interiors of his mind, which have their vision from the light of heaven, are closed, so that he sees nothing of the truth that relates to heaven and the church.
• Such a man thinks in outermosts, and not interiorly from any spiritual light, because he is in gross natural light; therefore he is interiorly opposed to the things that pertain to heaven and the church, although outwardly he can speak in favor of them, even zealously, in proportion to his hope of gaining power and wealth by means of them.

Men of learning and erudition, who have confirmed themselves deeply in falsities, and still more those who have confirmed themselves against the truths of the Word, are more sensual than others.

• Sensual men reason acutely and skillfully, because their thought is so near to speech as to be almost in it, as it were, on the lips; also because they ascribe all intelligence to the speech that is from memory alone. Moreover, they can dexterously confirm falsities, and after confirming them they believe them to be true; but their reasoning and confirmation are from the fallacies of the senses, which captivate and persuade the common people.
• Sensual men are more cunning and malicious than others.
• The avaricious, adulterous, and crafty are especially sensual, although to the world they seem talented.
• The interiors of their minds are vile and filthy; by these they communicate with the hells; in the Word they are called dead.
• Those who are in the hells are sensual, and more so the more deeply they are in them; and the sphere of infernal spirits conjoins itself from behind with man's sensual. In the light of heaven their occiput seems hollow.
• Those who reasoned from sensual things only, were called by the ancients serpents of the tree of knowledge.

• Sensual things ought to occupy the last place, not the first; and in a wise and intelligent man they do occupy the last place, and are subordinate to things interior; but in a foolish man they occupy the first place, and are predominant.
• When things sensual occupy the last place, a way is opened by means of them to the understanding, and truths are perfected by the method of extraction.
• Such sensual things stand most near to the world, and admit what flows to them from the world, and, as it were, sift it.
• By means of sensual things man communicates with the world, and by means of rational things with heaven.
• Sensual things supply what is of service to the interiors of the mind.
• There are sensual things that supply what is serviceable both to the intellectual and to the voluntary part.

Unless thought is raised above sensual things man has but little wisdom. When man's thought is raised above sensual things, he comes into a clearer light, and at length into heavenly light, and then he has a perception of such things as flow down from heaven.

The outmost of the understanding is the natural knowing faculty, and the outmost of the will is sensual delight.
(True Christian Religion 565)

February 5, 2018

The "Merely" Natural-rational and Moral Man

Selection from True Christian Religion ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
As to his natural man, man is like a beast; he acquires the image of a beast by means of life. Consequently in the spiritual world there appear about such a man beasts of all kinds, which are correspondences. For man's natural, viewed in itself, is purely animal; but because there is a spiritual superadded, he can become a man; and if he does not become a man from the capacity to become so, he can counterfeit one, although he is then only a talking beast; for he talks from the natural-rational, but thinks from spiritual insanity, and he acts from natural morality, but loves from a spiritual satyriasis. His actions, seen by a spiritually rational man, are but little different from the dance of one bitten by a tarantula, or that called St. Vitus' dance, or the dance of St. Guy.

Who does not know that a hypocrite can talk about God, a robber about honesty, an adulterer about chastity, and so on. But unless man had the ability to shut and open the door between his thoughts and his words, and between his intentions and his actions, and unless prudence or cunning were the doorkeeper, he would rush into crimes and cruelties more fiercely than any wild beast. But in every man after death that door is opened; and then what he has been is apparent; but he is kept under restraint by punishments and confinements in hell. Therefore, kind reader, look into yourself, and find out one or another evil that is in you, and from religion dismiss it. If you dismiss evils from any other purpose or end, you do so only that they may not appear before the world.
(True Christian Religion 566)

February 4, 2018

"The Righteous," "Righteousness," "To Be Made Righteous"

Selection from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Mention is often made in the Word of "the righteous," of "righteousness," and of "to be made righteous;" but what is specifically signified by these expressions is not yet known.

The reason why it is not known is that hitherto it has been unknown that every expression in the Word signifies such things as belong to the internal church and to heaven, thus to the internal man (for the internal of the church, and heaven, are in the internal man), and also that these interior things in the Word differ from the exterior things which are of the letter, as spiritual things differ from natural, or as heavenly things differ from earthly — the difference of which is so great that to the natural man there scarcely appears any likeness — although there is full agreement. As this has been unknown, it could not be known what is signified in the Word, in its spiritual and celestial senses, by "the righteous," by "righteousness," and by "to be made righteous."

It is believed by the heads of the church that he is righteous, and has been made righteous, who is acquainted with the truths of faith from the doctrine of the church and from the Word, and consequently is in the trust and confidence that he is saved through the Lord's righteousness, and that the Lord has acquired righteousness by fulfilling all things of the Law, and that He acquired merit because He endured the cross, and thereby made atonement for and redeemed man. Through this faith alone a man is believed to be made righteous; and it is believed further that such are they who are called in the Word "the righteous."

Yet it is not these who are called "righteous" in the Word; but those who from the Lord are in the good of charity toward the neighbor; for the Lord alone is righteous, because He alone is righteousness. Therefore a man is righteous, and has been made righteous, insofar as he receives good from the Lord, that is, insofar, and according to the way, in which he has in him what belongs to the Lord. The Lord was made righteousness through His having by His own power made His Human Divine. This Divine, with the man who receives it, is the Lord's righteousness with him, and is the very good of charity toward the neighbor; for the Lord is in the good of love, and through it in the truth of faith, because the Lord is Divine love itself.

The good of charity toward the neighbor is exterior good, which is signified by "the righteous;" and the good of love to the Lord is interior good, which is signified by "the innocent"... That the good of love toward the neighbor from the Lord is "the righteous" in the proper sense, can be seen from the passages in the Word where mention is made of "the righteous," of "righteousness," and of "to be made righteous;" as in Matthew:
Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying, When saw we Thee a hungered, and fed Thee? or thirsty, and gave Thee drink? When saw we Thee a stranger, and took Thee in? or naked, and clothed Thee? When saw we Thee sick, or in prison, and came unto Thee? But the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily, I say unto you, Insomuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye did it unto Me. And the righteous shall go into eternal life (Matt. 25:37-40, 46)
those are here called "the righteous" who have performed the goods of charity toward the neighbor, which are here recounted. And that the goods of charity are the Lord with them is said openly: "insomuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me." These are also called "the sheep," for by "sheep" are signified those who from the Lord are in the good of charity; whereas by "the goats" which are on the left hand, and are condemned, are signified those who are in faith separate from charity. The same are signified by "the righteous" in another passage in Matthew:
The angels shall go forth, and shall sever the evil from the midst of the righteous (Matt. 13:49)
and in Luke:
Thou shalt be recompensed in the resurrection of the righteous (Luke 14:14).

From this it is evident what is signified by,
The righteous shall shine forth as the sun in heaven (Matt. 13:43)
namely, that they are in the good of love from the Lord; for the Lord is the sun in the other life, and that which is from the Lord as the sun there is the good of love. Hence the Lord is called "the Sun of Righteousness" (Mal. 4:2). In Daniel:
The intelligent shall shine as the brightness of the expanse, and they that make many righteous as the stars for ever and ever (Dan. 12:3)
"the intelligent" denote those who are in the truth and good of faith; and "they that make many righteous" denote those who lead to the good of charity through the truth and the good of faith; "to shine forth as the stars" denotes to be in the intelligence of truth and the wisdom of good, consequently in eternal happiness; for the "stars" denote the knowledges of truth and good, from which are intelligence and wisdom.

"The righteous" is thus described in David:
Jehovah upholdeth the righteous; the righteous showeth mercy, and giveth. Every day the righteous showeth mercy, and lendeth. The righteous shall possess the land. The mouth of the righteous meditateth wisdom, and his tongue speaketh judgment; the law of his God is in his heart (Ps. 37:17, 21, 26, 29-31)
these things are goods of charity, which belong to "the righteous." The church knows that these goods of charity are from the Lord, insomuch that they are the Lord's in the man. "The righteous" is also described in Ezekiel 18:5-9, 21; 33:15-20.

From all this it can be seen what is signified by "the righteous," and by "righteousness," in the following passages of Matthew:
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled (Matt. 5:6).
He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward (Matt. 10:41).
Many prophets and righteous men have desired to see the things which ye see, but have not seen them (Matt. 13:17).
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye build the sepulchers of the prophets, and garnish the tombs of the righteous; upon you shall come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel (Matt. 23:29, 35)"the prophets" denote those who teach the truths and goods of faith, and in the abstract sense, the doctrines of faith; and "the righteous" denote those who live a life of charity, and in the abstract sense the good of charity. (That Abel, who is called "righteous," represented the good of charity.)
(from Arcana Cœlestia 9263:1-7)

February 3, 2018

Truths Divine Impressed on the Life by the Lord

Selection from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Truths are said to be impressed on the life, when they become of the will and from this of the act. So long as they stay merely in the memory, and so long as they are looked at only intellectually, they have not been impressed on the life; but as soon as they are received in the will, they become of the life, because the very being of man's life is to will, and from this to act; and before this they have not been appropriated to the man.
(from Arcana Cœlestia 9386)

February 2, 2018

The Progression of Truth

Selection from Emanuel Swedenborg's Spiritual Diary
The progression of truth, or faith, from science, to understanding; after that, from understanding to will, and from will to act: from conversation with angels.

I spoke with angels about the progression of truth to good, thus of faith to charity [to the effect] that angels experience joy when man, as infant and boy, learns and imbibes truths from affection, thus when truths become of knowledge; and that they experience still greater joy when they becomes of the understanding: at such time the joy is experienced by the angels in the Lord's spiritual kingdom. There is still greater joy, when truth, from the understanding, becomes of the will: the joy then is to the angels in the Lord's celestial kingdom. And when, from will, it becomes of act, then is there joy with the angels of the three heavens. How much joy, and how great delights, dwell in that progression, cannot be described, because it is ineffable; for thus man enters more and more into heaven, and becomes a heaven in the least form. This I perceived, while I spoke with the angels, from the progression of the delights of conjugial love [the marriage of truth and good], even to the very ultimate effect, from which man is procreated. Such is the progression of conjunction with heaven, that is, with the Lord, and such is the new creation of man, and the formation of heaven, or of the angel, in him; for heaven is the form of Divine Truth thus progressing. Hence man becomes a love; and in no other way is the marriage of truth and good established in him.
(Spiritual Diary 6011)

February 1, 2018

The Thief Does Not Come Except to Steal and to Kill and to Destroy

Selection from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
'Theft' means an alienation caused by evil that happens in the place which such evil takes possession of; for it expels everything good and true and fills up that place with evils and falsities.

'Theft' also means its laying claim to what belongs to others; for it takes to itself everything good and true in that place and makes such its own as well as attaching it to evils and falsities.

But to enable anyone to know what is meant by 'theft' in the spiritual sense, a statement must be made about what happens to evils and falsities when they enter in and take possession of a place, and also when they lay claim to everything good and true there.

From infancy to childhood, and sometimes on into early youth, a person is absorbing forms of goodness and truth received from parents and teachers, for during those years he learns about those forms of goodness and truth and believes them with simplicity - his state of innocence enabling this to happen. It inserts those forms of goodness and truth into his memory; yet it lodges them only on the edge of it since the innocence of infancy and childhood is not an internal innocence which has an influence on the rational, only an external one which has an influence solely on the exterior natural.

When however the person grows older, when he starts to think for himself and not, as previously, simply in the way his parents or teachers do, he brings back to mind and so to speak chews over what he has learned and believed before, and then he either endorses it, has doubts about it, or refuses to accept it. If he endorses it, this is an indication that he is governed by good, but if he refuses to accept it, that is an indication that he is governed by evil. If however he has doubts about what he has learned and believed before, it is an indication that he will move subsequently either into an affirmative attitude of mind or else into a negative one.

The truths that a person learns and believes in his earliest years when he is a young child but which later on he either endorses, has doubts about, or refuses to accept, are in particular these:
    There is God, and He is one
    He created everything
    He rewards those who do what is good and punishes those who do things that are bad
    There is life after death, when the bad go to hell and the good go to heaven, and so there is a hell and a heaven
    The life after death lasts for ever
    People ought to pray every day and to do so in a humble way
    They ought to keep the Sabbath day holy
    Honour parents
    Not commit adultery
    Not kill
    Not steal
and many other truths like these.

Such truths are learned and absorbed by a person from earliest childhood; but if, when he starts to think for himself and to lead his own life, he endorses them, adding to them further truths of a more interior kind, and leads a life in conformity with them, all is well with him.

But if he starts to disobey them, refusing at length to accept them, then even though outwardly he leads a life in conformity with them, because the law and society expect him to do so, he is governed by evil.

This evil is what is meant by 'theft', to the extent that thief-like it usurps the position held previously by good.  With many people it is thief-like to the extent that it takes away the forms of goodness and truth previously there and uses them to lend support to evils and falsities. So far as is possible with these people the Lord removes the forms of goodness and truth absorbed in early childhood from where these are to a more internal position, where - within the interior natural - He stores them away for future use. These forms of goodness and truth that are stored away within the interior natural are meant in the Word by 'the remnant'.  But if evil steals the forms of goodness and truth there and uses them to lend support to evils and falsities, especially if it does so by the use of deceit, it destroys those remnants; for in this case it mingles evil with good, and falsity with truth, to such an extent that one cannot be separated from the other; and then a person is done for.

The fact that 'theft' means the kinds of things mentioned above may be seen from the mere use of that word to refer to what constitutes a person's spiritual life:-
For the only riches in that life are cognitions of good and truth, and the only possessions and inheritances are the different forms of happiness in life which are gained from forms of good and from truths deriving from these.
(from Arcana Cœlestia 5135

January 31, 2018

The Cupidity of Gain and the Avaricious

Selection from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Ye are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father ye will to do. He was a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44)
[T]he cupidity of gain and avarice has within it the desire not only to possess the whole world, but also to plunder and even to kill everyone for the sake of gain; indeed one impelled by such cupidity would commit murder for but little were not the laws a hindrance. Moreover, such a man in his possession of gold and silver regards himself as the greatest in power, however in external appearance he may seem otherwise, which shows that there is in avarice not only the love of the world, but also the love of self, and indeed the filthiest love of self. For elevation of mind, or pride, in those who are sordidly avaricious, is not so conspicuous outwardly, because it is sometimes unconcerned about wealth for the sake of display; nor is it that kind of the love of self which is usually conjoined with pleasures; for such have little concern about the body, and its food and clothing. But it is a love entirely earthly, having no other end than money, in the possession of which it believes itself, not actually but potentially, above all others. It is evident from this that in avarice there is the lowest and vilest love of self, for which reason in the other life the avaricious appear to themselves to be among swine, and they above all others are against all good whatever. Consequently they are in such thick darkness that they are utterly unable to see what is good and what is true; they do not at all apprehend that there is any internal belonging to man which lives after death, and at heart they laugh at those who say so.
(from Arcana Cœlestia 4751)

January 30, 2018

The Evil of the Love of Self Defined

Selection from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
The evil of the love of self is not, as is generally thought, that external elation which is called pride; but it is hatred against the neighbor, and thence a burning desire for revenge, and delight in cruelty. These are the interiors of the love of self. Its exteriors are contempt for others in comparison with self, and an aversion to those who are in spiritual good, and this sometimes with manifest elation or pride, and sometimes without it; for one who holds the neighbor in such hatred, interiorly loves no one but himself and those whom he regards as making one with himself; thus he loves them in himself, and himself in them, for the sole end of self.
(from Arcana Cœlestia 4750:5)

January 29, 2018

Concerning the State of Perception of the Most Ancient Church

Selection from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
[T]hey had perception of all things that belong to faith, almost as have the angels with whom they had communication; for the reason that their interior man, or spirit, by means also of the internal respiration, was joined to heaven; and that love to the Lord and love toward the neighbor are attended with this; for man is thus conjoined with angels through their veriest life, which consists in such love.

They said that they had the law written upon them, because they were in love to the Lord and love toward the neighbor; and such being the case, whatever the laws prescribe was in agreement with their perception, and whatever the laws forbid was contrary to it. Nor did they doubt that all laws, human as well as Divine, are founded in love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor, and regard these as their fundamental.

Wherefore, as they had this fundamental in them, from the Lord, they could not but know all things that were from it. They believe too that those who live in the world at this day, who love the Lord and the neighbor, have also the law written upon them, and are acceptable citizens everywhere on earth, as the same are in the other life.
(from Arcana Cœlestia 1121)

January 28, 2018

Spiritual Love or Charity Defined

Selection from Apocalypse Explained ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Charity, itself, viewed in itself, is the affection of truth and good, and where that affection is, there is a life according to truths and goods — for there is no affection without a life according to the truths and goods for which there is affection. If such affection is thought to be possible and to be present, it is a natural not a spiritual affection. These two kinds of affection differ in this:—
natural affection has self and the world for an end; thus the truths and goods by which it is affected are loved for the sake of reputation, that honors and wealth may be acquired, and then a life according to the doctrinals that have been learned is put on merely from self for the sake of appearance, which is thus a feigned life and inwardly hypocritical
spiritual affection has the Lord, heaven, and eternal life for an end, and has regard to these in truths and goods; thus it loves truths and goods spiritually.
When this affection [spiritual] is with man he loves to think and to will these truths and goods, and consequently to live according to them. To live according to truths and goods is what is meant in the Word by "doing," and the life itself is meant by "deeds" and "works" which are so often mentioned in the Word....
(from Apocalypse Explained 444a)

January 26, 2018

Truth Wishes to be In The Light

Selection from Apocalypse Explained ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
About God and about Divine things, which are called in heaven celestial and spiritual, and in the world ecclesiastical and theological, there is thought from light; there is also thought not from light about them. Those have thought not from light who know about these things but do not understand them. Such are all those at the present day who wish the understanding to be kept under obedience to faith, holding even that a thing must be believed and not understood, and claiming that intellectual faith is not true faith. But these are such as are not interiorly in the genuine affection of truth, and consequently are in no enlightenment — many of them are in the pride of self-intelligence, and in the love of ruling over the souls of men by means of the holy things of the church, not knowing that
truth wishes to be in the light
since the light of heaven is the Divine truth, and that a truly human understanding is moved by that light and sees from it. When the understanding does not see from that light it is the memory that has faith and not the man; and such faith is blind, because without an idea from the light of truth; for the understanding is the man, and the memory introduces.

If what is not understood must be believed a man might be taught like a parrot to speak and to remember, even that there is holiness in the bones of the dead and in sepulchers, that carcasses perform miracles, that man will be tormented in purgatory if he does not consecrate his wealth to idols or to monasteries, that men are gods because heaven and hell are in their power, with other like things which man must believe from a blind faith and from a closed understanding, and thus from the light of both extinguished. But be it known:
all the truths of the Word, which are the truths of heaven and of the church, can be seen by the understanding — in heaven spiritually, in the world rationally
for a truly human understanding is the sight itself of these truths, for it is separated from what is material, and when separated, it sees truths as clearly as the eye sees objects; it sees truths as it loves them, for as it loves them it is enlightened.

The angels have wisdom in consequence of seeing truths; when, therefore, it is said to any angel that this or that must be believed although it is not understood, the angel answers, Do you think that I am insane, or that you are God whom I am to believe if I do not see? It may be falsity from hell.
(Apocalypse Explained 1100:23)

January 25, 2018

Faith in the Understanding; Faith in the Will

Selection from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Regarded in itself, faith is a faith in the understanding and a faith in the will; to know and understand the truth which is of faith is called faith in the understanding; but to will the truth which is of faith is called faith in the will. ... That faith in the understanding, or the understanding of truth, precedes faith in the will, or the willing of truth, must be evident to everyone; for when anything is unknown to man (such as heavenly good), he must first know that it exists, and understand what it is, before he can will it.
(from Arcana Cœlestia 3863:3)

January 19, 2018

Pharisaic and Hypocritical Good

Selection from Apocalypse Explained ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
It is known that man's interior must be purified before the good that he does is good; for the Lord says:
Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup and of the platter, that the outside may be clean also (Matt. 13:26).
Man's interior is purified only as he refrains from evils, in accordance with the commandments of the Decalogue. So long as man does not refrain from these evils and does not shun and turn away from them as sins, they constitute his interior, and are like an interposed veil or covering, and in heaven this appears like an eclipse by which the sun is obscured and light is intercepted; also like a fountain of pitch or of black water, from which nothing emanates but what is impure. That which emanates therefrom and that appears before the world as good is not good, because it is defiled by evils from within, for it is Pharisaic and hypocritical good. This good is good from man and is meritorious good. It is otherwise when evils have been removed by a life according to the commandments of the Decalogue.

Now since evils must be removed before goods can become goods, the Ten Commandments were the first of the Word, being promulgated from Mount Sinai before the Word was written by Moses and the Prophets. And these do not set forth goods that must be done, but evils that must be shunned. For the same reason these commandments are the first things to be taught in the churches; for they are taught to boys and girls in order that man may begin his Christian life with them, and by no means forget them as he grows up; although he does so. The same is meant by these words in Isaiah:
What is the multitude of sacrifices to Me? Your meal-offering, your incense, your new moons, and your appointed feasts, My soul hateth. And when you multiply prayer I will not hear. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before Mine eyes; cease to do evil. Then though your sins be as scarlet they shall be white as snow; though they be red as purple they shall be as wool (1:11-19.
"Sacrifices," "meal-offerings," "incense," "new moons," and "feasts," also "prayer," mean all things of worship. That these are wholly evil and even abominable unless the interior is purified from evils is meant by Wash you, make you clean, put away the evil of your doings, and cease to do evil. That afterwards they are all goods is meant by the words that follow.
(Apocalypse Explained 939)

January 18, 2018

Truths Which Only Regard Faith And Not Life

Selection from Last Judgment and Babylon Destroyed ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
... in it [the church] there is no faith because there is no charity; and where there is no charity, there is no spiritual good, for that good exists from charity alone. It was said from heaven that there is still good with some, but that it cannot be called spiritual, but natural good, because Divine truths themselves are in obscurity, and Divine truths introduce to charity, for they teach it, and regard it as their end and aim; whence no other charity can exist than such as the truths are which form it.

The Divine truths from which the doctrines of the churches are derived, respect faith alone, on which account they are called the doctrines of faith, and do not look to life.
Truths which only regard faith and not life, cannot make man spiritual; for so long as they are out of the life they are only natural, being merely known and thought of like other things.
Hence it is that spiritual good is not given at the present day, but only natural good with some.

Moreover every church in the beginning is spiritual, for it begins from charity; but in the course of time it turns aside from charity to faith, and then from being an internal church it becomes an external one, and when it becomes external its end is, since it then places everything in knowledge, and little or nothing in life. Thus also as far as man from being internal becomes external, spiritual light is darkened within him, until he no longer sees Divine truth from truth itself, that is from the light of heaven, for Divine truth is the light of heaven, but only from natural light; which is of such a nature, that when it is alone, and not illumined by spiritual light, it sees Divine truth as it were in night, and recognizes it as truth for no other reason than that it is so called by the leader, and is received as such by the common assembly. Hence it is, that their intellectual faculty cannot be illustrated by the Lord, for as far as natural light shines in the intellectual faculty, in so far spiritual light is obscured. Natural light shines in the intellectual faculty, when worldly, corporeal, and earthly things are loved in preference to spiritual, celestial, and Divine things; so far also man is external.
(from Last Judgment and Babylon Destroyed 38)