August 16, 2015

Revelation from Perception or from Speech with Angels Through Whom the Lord Speaks

Selections from the Writings for the New Church ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Who that is of the church does not know that there are Divine things in each and all things of the Word? But who can see Divine things in these laws about oxen and asses falling into a pit, and about oxen striking with the horn, if they are regarded and explained merely according to the sense of the letter? Nevertheless they are Divine even in the sense of the letter, provided they are regarded and unfolded at the same time in respect to the internal sense; for in this sense each and all things of the Word treat of the Lord, of His Kingdom, and His church, thus of Divine things. For in order that anything may be Divine and holy, it must treat of Divine and holy things. The subject that is treated of effects this. The worldly and public affairs, such as are the judgments, statutes, and laws promulgated by the Lord from Mount Sinai, which are contained in this and in the following chapters of Exodus, are Divine and holy by inspiration; yet inspiration is not dictation, but is influx from the Divine. That which inflows from the Divine passes through heaven, and there is celestial and spiritual; but when it comes into the world it becomes worldly, within which is what is celestial and spiritual. From this it is plain whence and where is the Divine that is in the Word; and what is inspiration.
(Arcana Coelestia 9094:4)

I have been told how the Lord spoke with the prophets through whom the Word was given. He did not speak with them as He did with the ancients, by an influx into their interiors, but through spirits who were sent to them, whom the Lord filled with His aspect, and thus inspired the words which they dictated to the prophets. So it was not influx but dictation. As the words came forth immediately from the Lord, therefore, each one of them was filled with the Divine and contains within it an internal sense, which is such that the angels of heaven perceive the words in a heavenly and spiritual sense, while men do so in a natural sense. Thus has the Lord conjoined heaven and the world by means of the Word. How spirits are filled with the Divine from the Lord by aspect has also been shown. A spirit filled with the Divine from the Lord does not know otherwise than that he is the Lord, and that it is the Divine that is speaking; and this continues until he has finished speaking. Afterwards he perceives and acknowledges that he is a spirit, and that he spoke from the Lord and not from himself. Because this was the state of the spirits who spoke with the prophets, they said that it was Jehovah who spoke; the spirits even called themselves Jehovah, as can be confirmed not only from the prophetical but also from the historical parts of the Word.
(Heaven and Hell 254)

In regard to revelations being either from perception, or from speech with angels through whom the Lord speaks, it is to be known that they who are in good and thence in truth, and especially they who are in the good of love to the Lord, have revelation from perception; whereas they who are not in good and thence in truth, can indeed have revelations, yet not from perception, but through a living voice heard within them, and thus through angels from the Lord. This revelation is external, but the former is internal. The angels, especially the celestial, have revelation from perception, as also had the men of the Most Ancient Church, and some too of the Ancient Church, but scarcely anyone at this day; whereas very many, even those who have not been in good, have had revelations from speech without perception, and also by means of visions or dreams.

Such were most of the revelations of the prophets in the Jewish Church; they heard a voice, they saw a vision, and they dreamed a dream; but as they had no perception, these were merely verbal or visual revelations without any perception of what they signified. For genuine perception comes through heaven from the Lord, and affects the intellect spiritually, and leads it perceptibly to think as the thing really is, together with internal assent, the source of which it knows not. It supposes that it is in itself, and that it flows from the connection of things; whereas it is a dictate through heaven from the Lord, flowing into the interiors of the thought, about such things as are above the natural and sensuous, that is, about such things as are of the spiritual world or of heaven. From what has now been said it may be seen what revelation from perception is. But the revelation from perception which the Lord had ..., was from the Divine in Himself, thus was from Himself.
(Arcana Coelestia 5121:2-3)