October 16, 2015

The Quality of the Natural Mind

Selection from Divine Love and Wisdom ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
(1) The natural mind may be raised up to the light of heaven in which angels are, and may perceive naturally, thus not so fully, what the angels perceive spiritually; nevertheless, man's natural mind cannot be raised into angelic light itself.

(2) By means of his natural mind, raised to the light of heaven, man can think, yea, speak with angels; but the thought and speech of the angels then flow into the natural thought and speech of the man, and not conversely; so that angels speak with man in a natural language, which is the man's mother tongue.

(3) This is effected by a spiritual influx into what is natural, and not by any natural influx into what is spiritual.

(4) Human wisdom, which so long as man lives in the natural world is natural, can by no means be raised into angelic wisdom, but only into some image of it. The reason is, that elevation of the natural mind is effected by continuity, as from shade to light, or from grosser to purer. Still the man in whom the spiritual degree has been opened comes into that wisdom when he dies; and he may also come into it by a suspension of bodily sensations, and then by an influx from above into the spiritual parts of his mind.

(5) Man's natural mind consists of spiritual substances, together with natural substances; thought comes from its spiritual substances, not from its natural substances; these recede when the man dies, while its spiritual substances do not. Consequently, after death, when man becomes a spirit or angel, the same mind remains in a form like that which it had in the world.

(6) The natural substances of that mind, which recede (as was said) by death, constitute the cutaneous covering of the spiritual body which spirits and angels have. By means of such covering, which is taken from the natural world, their spiritual bodies maintain existence; for the natural is the outmost containant: consequently there is no spirit or angel who was not born a man. ...
(Divine Love and Wisdom 257)