May 18, 2015

When the Doctrine of Life and The Life of Doctrine are One

A portion of an article from Apocalypse Explained ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
  • God created man into His image, into the image of God created He him. Male and female created He them (Gen. 1:27).
  • Male and female created He them, and blessed them, and called their name Man, in the day when they were created (Gen. 5:2).
What is involved in the things that are related in the first chapters of Genesis respecting the creation of heaven and earth, paradise, and eating from the tree of knowledge, no one can know except from the spiritual sense, for these historical things are made-up historicals, and yet they are holy, because every least particular is inwardly or in its bosom spiritual.

It describes the establishment of the Most Ancient Church, which surpassed all the churches on this earth; its establishment is meant by the creation of heaven and earth, its intelligence and wisdom by the garden in Eden, and its decline and fall by eating from the tree of knowledge. From this it is clear that "Man," who is called "Adam and Eve," means that church, for it is said "male and female created He them, and called their name Man;" and as that church is meant by the two, it follows that "the male" means its truth, and "the female" its good, so too, "male" means doctrine, and "female," the life, since the doctrine of truth is also the doctrine of love and charity, thus the doctrine of life; and the life of good is also the life of love and charity, thus the life of doctrine, that is, life according to doctrine. These two are meant by "male [and female]," and these taken together and conjoined in marriage are called "Man" [Homo], and also constitute the church, which is meant by "Man," as has been said above. So, again, Adam is from a word that means ground, and ground from its reception of seeds signifies the church in respect to the truths of doctrine, for in the Word seeds signify truths; while Eve is from a word that means life, as it is said: Because she was to be the mother of all living (Gen. 3:20).
    These two, doctrine and life, when taken together and joined as it were in marriage, are called "Man," and also constitute the church, because man is man from the understanding of truth and from the will of good, consequently from the doctrine of life, since this is of the understanding, and from the life of doctrine, because this is of the will. It is similar with the church, for the church is in man, and is the man himself.
That these two, which are signified by "male and female," are not to be two but one, the Lord teaches in the Gospels: Jesus said, Have ye not read that He who made them from the beginning of creation made them male and female, and they twain shall be one flesh? Therefore they are no more twain, but one flesh (Matt. 19:4-6; Mark 10:6, 8). This, like every particular of the Word, must be understood not only naturally, but also spiritually, and unless it is also understood spiritually no one can know what is signified by "male and female [or husband and wife] shall be no more twain but one flesh" (as it is also said in Gen. 2:24). Here, as above, "male and female" signify in the spiritual sense truth and good, consequently the doctrine of truth, which is the doctrine of life, and the life of truth, which is the life of doctrine; these must be not two but one, since truth does not become truth with man without the good of life, nor does good become good with anyone without the truth of doctrine, for good becomes spiritual good only by means of truths, and spiritual good is good, but natural good without it is not good. When these are one, then truth is of good and good is of truth, and this one is meant by "one flesh." It is similar with doctrine and life; these also constitute one man of the church when the doctrine of life and the life of doctrine are conjoined with him, for doctrine teaches how one must live and do, and life lives the doctrine and does it. From this it can also be seen that "a son, a male" signifies the doctrine of love and charity, consequently the doctrine of life.
(Apocalypse Explained 725:1-3)