June 26, 2015

When the Worship of Self Succeeds

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
... That they hear not a man the lip of his fellow. That this signifies that all are at variance, or that the one is against the other, is evident from the words themselves. "Not to hear one another's lip," is not to acknowledge what another says, and in the internal sense not to acknowledge what another teaches, that is, his doctrine, for "lip" is doctrine .... They acknowledge it indeed with the mouth, but not with the heart; but agreement with the mouth is nothing when there is disagreement of the heart.

The case in this respect is the same as it is with evil spirits in the other life, who, in like manner as the good, are distinguished into societies, but are kept conjoined together by being attached by the like phantasies and cupidities, so that they act as a one in persecuting truths and goods. Thus there is a certain common interest by which they are held together; but as soon as this common bond is dissolved, they rush one upon another, and then their delight consists in tormenting their associate or associates.

The case is similar with such doctrine and worship in this world; those in it acknowledge what pertains to doctrine and ritual harmoniously enough; but the common interest that holds them together is the worship of self; and so far as they can share in this common interest, they acknowledge; but so far as they cannot share or hope to share in it, they are disunited; for the reason given just above, that no one of this character possesses any truth, but everyone has falsity in the place of truth, and evil in the place of good.
(Arcana Coelestia 1322)