August 25, 2015

Influx from within meets influx from without

From Apocalypse Explained ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
... man is only a recipient of good and truth from the Lord, and of evil and falsity from hell ...

It is illustrated by the following comparisons. The sensories of the body are merely recipient and percipient as if from themselves. The sensory of sight, which is the eye, sees objects out of itself, as it were in close contact with them, although it is the rays of light that, with the wings of ether, convey their forms and colours to the eye; these forms, being perceived by the internal sight, which is called the understanding, are examined in the eye and thus distinguished and known according to their quality. Similarly the sensory of hearing perceives sounds - whether they are words or tones of music - from the place whence they proceed, as if it were there, although the sounds enter from without, and are perceived in the ear by the understanding within. The sensory of smell, also, perceives from within what enters from without, sometimes from a great distance. The sensory of taste also is excited by the food, which externally moves over the tongue. The sensory of touch has no sensation unless it is touched. These five sensories of the body, by virtue of an influx from within, are sensible of the things which enter by influx from without; the influx from within is from the spiritual world, and the influx from without is from the natural world.

With these facts, the laws inscribed on the nature of all things are in agreement, and these laws are as follows:

 (1.) That nothing exists, subsists, is acted upon and moved, by itself, but by something else; whence it follows, that every thing exists, subsists, is acted upon and moved, from the First, who is not from another, but is in Himself the living force, which is life.

 (2.) That nothing can be acted upon and moved, unless it be intermediate between two forces, one of which acts and the other re-acts, thus, unless one acts on the one part, and one on the other; and further, unless one acts from within, and the other from without.

 (3.) And since these two forces, while they are at rest, are in equilibrium, it follows, that nothing can be acted upon or moved, unless it is in equilibrium, and that when it is acted upon, it is not in equilibrium; and further, that every thing acted upon or moved seeks to return to equilibrium.

 (4.) That all activities are changes of state and variations of form, and that the latter are the result of the former.

By state in man we mean his love, and by changes of state the affections of love; by form in man we mean his intelligence, and by variations of form his thoughts; the latter also are from the former.

(Apocalypse Explained 1146 b)