June 24, 2015

When Man's 'Self-hood' is Foremost ...

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
... 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.

(Arcana Coelestia 1316)