February 22, 2015

Inversion of Good and Truth During Regeneration

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
The end of regeneration is that man may be made new as to his internal man, thus as to his soul or spirit; but man cannot be made new or regenerated as to his internal man unless he is regenerated as to his external man also; for although after death man becomes a spirit, he nevertheless has with him in the other life the things which are of his external man, namely, natural affections, and also doctrinal things, and even memory-knowledges; in a word, all things of the exterior or natural memory (see n. 2475-2483); for these are the planes in which his interiors are terminated; and therefore according to the disposition that has been made of these things is the character of interior things when they flow into them, because they are modified in them. This shows that man must be regenerated or made new not only as to his internal or rational man, but also as to his external or natural man; and unless this were the case there would not be any correspondence. ... there is a correspondence between the internal man and its spiritual things, and the external man and its natural things....

... the quality of man's first state while he is being regenerated, or before he has been regenerated; for this state is entirely inverted in respect to that in which man is when he has been regenerated. For in the former state, during regeneration, or before he has been regenerated, intellectual things which are of truth apparently act the first part; but when he has been regenerated, the things of the will, which are of good, act the first part. ... for in this state rational truth not yet thus conjoined with rational good, or what is the same, the understanding not thus conjoined with the will, in this manner inflows and acts into the natural, and disposes inversely the things which are there.

... a man is able to observe in the understanding, and thereby his natural can know, many things which are good and true, and yet the will cannot as yet act in accordance with them; as for instance that love and charity are the essential in man: this the intellectual faculty of man can see and confirm, but until he has been regenerated the will faculty cannot acknowledge it: there are even those who are in no love to the Lord whatever, and in no charity toward the neighbor, who well apprehend this. In like manner that love is the very life of man, and that such as the love is, such is the life; and likewise that everything delightful and everything pleasant is from love, consequently all joy and all happiness; and therefore also such as the love is, such is the joy and such the happiness. A man is also able to apprehend in his understanding, even should his will dissent or go contrary thereto, that the happiest life is from love to the Lord and from charity toward the neighbor, because the very Divine flows into it; and on the other hand that the most miserable life is from the love of self and the love of the world, because hell flows into it; and from this it may be perceptible to the understanding, yet not to the will, that love to the Lord is the life of heaven, and that mutual love is the soul from this life; and therefore insofar as a man does not think from the life of his will, nor reflect upon his life derived therefrom, so far he perceives this in his understanding; but insofar as he thinks from the life of his will, so far he does not perceive, nay denies it.

Also to the understanding it may clearly appear that it is into the humiliation with a man that the Divine can inflow; for the reason that in this state the loves of self and of the world, and consequently the infernal things which oppose, are removed; but yet so long as the will is not new and the understanding has not been united to it, the man cannot be in humiliation of heart; nay, insofar as the man is in a life of evil, that is, insofar as his will is toward evil, so far this state is not possible; and what is more, so far the matter is obscure to him, and so far he even denies it. Hence also a man can perceive in his understanding that the humiliation of man is not for the sake of the Lord's love of glory, but for the sake of His Divine love, and in order that He can thereby inflow with good and truth and make the man blessed and happy; nevertheless so far as the will is consulted, so far this is obscured. The same is true in very many other cases.

This faculty of man of being able to understand what is good and true although he does not will it, has been given to man in order that he may have the capacity of being reformed and regenerated; on which account this faculty exists with the evil as well as with the good; nay, with the evil it is sometimes more acute, but with this difference, that with the evil there is no affection of truth for the sake of life, that is, for the sake of the good of life from truth, and therefore they cannot be reformed; but with the good there is the affection of truth for the sake of life, that is, for the sake of the good of life, and therefore they can be reformed. But the first state of the reformation of these is that the truth of doctrine appears to them to be in the first place, and the good of life in the second, because they do what is good from truth; and their second state is that the good of life is in the first place, and the truth of doctrine in the second, for then they do what is good from good, that is, from the will of good; and when this is the case, because the will has been conjoined with the understanding as in a marriage, the man has been regenerated....

(Arcana Coelestia 3539:2-6)