February 19, 2015

Whether Sensuous Things are in The First or Last Place

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
(those [things] which have entered from the world through the external organs of sensation)

... with the regenerate these sensuous things are in the last place; but with the unregenerate are in the first place.

Whether sensuous things are in the first or last place can easily be perceived by man if he pays attention. If he sanctions everything to which the sensuous prompts or which it craves, and disapproves of everything that the intellectual part dictates, then sensuous things are in the first place, and the man is governed by the appetites, and is wholly sensuous. Such a man is but little removed from the condition of irrational animals, for they are governed in the same way; nay, he is in a worse condition if he abuses the intellectual or rational faculty to confirm the evils and falsities to which sensuous things prompt and which they crave. But if he does not sanction them, but from within sees how they stray into falsities and incite to evils, and strives to chasten them and thus reduce them to compliance (that is, subject them to the intellectual and will parts which are of the interior man), then sensuous things are reduced into order, that they may be in the last place. When sensuous things are in the last place, a happy and blessed feeling flows from the interior man into the delights of these things, and increases them a thousandfold. The sensuous man does not believe that this is so, because he does not comprehend it; and as he is sensible of no other delight than sensuous delight, and thinks there is no higher delight, he regards as of no account the happy and blessed feeling which is within the delights of sensuous things; for whatever is unknown to anyone is believed not to be.
(Arcana Coelestia 5125)