November 30, 2015

Higher Thought ~ Lower Thought

From Apocalypse Revealed ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
The Word in the purely spiritual sense does not derive anything from the idea of time nor from the idea of space, because times and spaces in heaven do indeed appear like times and spaces in the world, but still they are not there; wherefore the angels cannot measure times and spaces, which there are appearances, otherwise than by states, according to their progressions and changes; from which it may appear that in the purely spiritual sense by "quickly" and "at hand" is not meant quickly and near as to time, but quickly and near as to state; this may indeed appear as if it were not so, the reason is because with men, in every idea of their lower thought, which is merely natural, there is something from time and space; but it is otherwise in the ideas of the higher thought, in which men are when they revolve natural, civil, moral, and spiritual things in interior rational light, for then spiritual light, which is abstracted from time and space, flows in and enlightens. You may experience this and thus be confirmed, if you will, by only attending to your thoughts; when you will also be convinced that thought is higher and lower, inasmuch as simple thought cannot survey itself, except from some higher thought; and if man did not have a higher and a lower thought, he would not be a man but a brute.
(Apocalypse Revealed 947:2)

November 28, 2015

Deluded are They Who Remain in the Sense of the Letter Alone

Selection from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
How greatly they are deluded who remain in the sense of the letter alone, and do not search out the internal sense from other passages in the Word in which it is explained, is very evident from the many heresies, every one of which proves its dogmas from the literal sense of the Word; especially is this manifest from that great heresy which the insane and infernal love of self and the world has drawn from the Lord's words to Peter:
    I say unto thee that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of the heavens, and whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth shall be bound in the heavens, and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth shall be loosed in the heavens (Matthew 16:15-19).
They who press the sense of the letter think that these things were said of Peter, and that power so great was given him; although they are fully aware that Peter was a very simple man, and that he by no means exercised such power; and that to exercise it is contrary to the Divine. Nevertheless, as owing to the insane and infernal love of self and the world they desire to arrogate to themselves the highest power on earth and in heaven, and to make themselves gods, they explain this according to the letter, and vehemently defend it; whereas the internal sense of these words is, that Faith itself in the Lord, which exists solely with those who are in love to the Lord and in charity toward the neighbor, has that power; and yet not faith, but the Lord from whom faith is. By "Peter" there is meant that faith, as everywhere else in the Word. Upon this is the Church built, and against it the gates of hell do not prevail. This faith has the keys of the kingdom of the heavens, and it shuts heaven lest evils and falsities should enter in, and opens heaven for goods and truths. This is the internal sense of these words.

The twelve apostles, like the twelve tribes of Israel, represented nothing else than all the things of such faith .... Peter represented faith itself, James charity, and John the goods of charity .... in like manner as did Reuben, Simeon, and Levi, the firstborn sons of Jacob, in the representative Jewish and Israelitish Church, which is plain from a thousand passages in the Word. And as Peter represented faith, the words in question were said to him. From this it is manifest into what darkness those cast themselves, and others with them, who explain all things according to the letter; as those who so explain these words to Peter, by which they derogate from the Lord and arrogate to themselves the power of saving the human race.
(Arcana Coelestia 2759a) 

November 27, 2015

The Inexpressible Power of the Word

Selection from True Christian Religion ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Hardly anyone at this day knows that there is any power in truths; for truth is supposed to be nothing more than a statement uttered by someone in authority, which ought for that reason to be obeyed; thus truth is supposed to be like a mere breath from the mouth or sound in the ear; and yet truth and good are the principles of all things in both worlds, the spiritual and the natural; also they are the means by which the universe was created, and through which the universe is preserved, and the means as well by which man was created; therefore these two are the all in all things. That the universe was created by Divine truth, is clearly declared in John:
In the beginning was the Word, and God was the Word; by It were all things made that were made and by It the world was made (John 1:1, 3, 10).
And in David:
By the Word of Jehovah were the heavens made (Ps. 33:6).
In both of these passages "The Word" means the Divine truth. As the universe was created by this truth, so also was the universe preserved by it; for as subsistence is perpetual existence, so preservation is perpetual creation.

It was by means of Divine truth that man was made, because all things in man have relation to understanding and will, the understanding being the receptacle of Divine truth, and the will of Divine good; therefore, the human mind, which consists of those two principles, is nothing but a form of Divine good and Divine truth spiritually and naturally organized. The human brain is that form. And as the whole of man depends upon his mind, so all things of his body are appendages, which are moved by these two principles, and life from them.

From all this it can now be seen why God came into the world as the Word, and became Man, namely, that the work of redemption might be accomplished; for God then, by means of His Human, which was Divine truth, put on all power, overthrew the hells (which had grown up even as far as to the heavens where the angels were), and subjugated them, and reduced them to obedience to Himself, and this was done not by a spoken word but by the Divine Word which is Divine truth. Afterward He opened a great gulf between the hells and the heavens, which no one from hell can cross; if anyone attempts it, at the first step he is tortured like a serpent laid on a sheet of hot iron, or on an ant hill. For at the first approach of the odor of Divine truth the devils and satans instantly cast themselves into the abyss and throw themselves into caves and stop them up so closely that not a crevice is visible. This is because the will of such is in evils, and the understanding in falsities, that is, in what is opposite to the Divine good and the Divine truth. And because the whole of man, as just said, consists of these two principles of life, they are thus from head to foot, completely and grievously overpowered in consequence of their sensation of the opposite.

From all this it can be seen that the power of Divine truth is inexpressible. And as the Word which the Christian church possesses is the containant of Divine truth in three degrees, that Word is evidently what is meant in John (1:1, 3, 10). That its power is inexpressible I could prove by many evidences of experience in the spiritual world; but as these evidences would surpass belief, or appear incredible... The following will serve to keep these truths in remembrance: That a church that is in Divine truths from the Lord has power over the hells, and that the Lord's words to Peter refer to such a church:
Upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Matt. 16:18).  This the Lord said after Peter had confessed, That He was the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matt. 16:16).
"Rock" here means such truth, for everywhere in the Word "rock" means the Lord in respect to Divine truth.

(True Christian Religion 224)

November 24, 2015

Influx is Varied According to the Form of the Receiving Vessel

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
The spiritual in its first origin is the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord's Divine Human; which truth has in it Divine good, because the Divine truth comes forth from the Lord's Divine Human, which is Divine good. The Divine truth, in which is Divine good, is the spiritual itself in its origin, and is the life itself which fills heaven, nay, which fills the universe; and where there is a subject, there it flows in. But in its subjects it is varied according to their form. In the subjects which agree with good, it presents spiritual life; but in the subjects which disagree with good, it presents life opposed to spiritual life, which in the Word is called "death." From this it is now plain what spiritual life is, namely, that it is to be in truths from good, which proceed from the Lord.
(Arcana Coelestia 6685)
===='s regeneration is an image of the Lord's glorification. A man who is being regenerated, like the man who is born, passes through the ages - infancy, childhood, youth or early manhood, and adult age; for a man who is being regenerated is born anew. When he is an infant, the truths in him have indeed life, but not yet spiritual life. It is only general truths without particulars and singulars with which good is then conjoined; consequently there is only exterior conjunction, not interior. Interior conjunction is effected successively, as the man advances into the following ages. It is the state of this infancy which is signified by the children being tender, and also by the words which now follow: "and the flocks and the herds are suckling with me, and if they drive them on in one day, all the flocks will die."
(Arcana Coelestia 4377)

November 23, 2015

The Quality of Men Within the Church When They Make Prudence to Consist in Cunning

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
The evil, who have been alienated from truth and good, as being cunning;
for that which the evil do from cunning, and also from deceit, they call prudence.

Of the cunning which is signified by "prudence," something may here be related. All who are in evil call cunning "prudence," and make intelligence and wisdom to consist in nothing else. They who are of this character in the world become worse in the other life, and there act continually from cunning against things good and true; and those are recognized as intelligent and wise among them who seem to themselves able to invalidate and destroy truths by falsities, no matter by what art or wickedness.
From this it can be seen what is the quality of men within the church when they make prudence to consist in cunning: that they have communication with the hells.
Those who are true men of the church are so far removed from cunning that they absolutely abhor it; and those of them who are as the angels, desire that if it were possible their minds should be open, so that what they think may be manifest to everyone; for they intend nothing but good toward their neighbor, and if they see evil in anyone they excuse it.

It is otherwise with those who are in evil; these are afraid lest anything which they think and will should show itself; for they intend nothing but evil to the neighbor; if good, it is for the sake of self; and if they do what is good, it is only in the outward form, that they may appear good for the sake of gain and honor; for they know that what is good and true, just and fair, and also what is honorable, have a strong hidden power of attracting minds, even of those who are evil.
(Arcana Coelestia 6655)

November 21, 2015

In Delight there is Life

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Pleasure not only affects man, but also sustains him, like food

Pleasure without delight is not pleasure, but is something without life, and only from delight is and is called pleasure. Such also as is the delight, such is the pleasure. Corporeal and sensuous things are in themselves only material, lifeless, and dead; but from delights which come in order from the interiors, they have life. From this it is evident that such as is the life of the interiors, such is the delight in the pleasures, for in the delight there is life. The delight in which there is good from the Lord is alone living, for it is then from the very life of good; ...

Some think that no one ought ever to live in the pleasures of the body and its senses who wishes to be happy in the other life, but that all these should be renounced on the ground that they are corporeal and worldly, withdrawing man and keeping him away from spiritual and heavenly life. But those who think so and therefore reduce themselves to voluntary misery while they live in the world, are not well-informed as to what the real case is. No one is forbidden to enjoy the pleasures of the body and its senses, that is, the pleasures of possession of lands and wealth; the pleasures of honor and office in the state; the pleasures of conjugial love and of love for infants and children; the pleasures of friendship and of interaction with companions; the pleasures of hearing, or of the sweetness of singing and music; the pleasures of sight, or of beauties, which are manifold, as those of becoming dress, of elegant dwellings with their furniture, beautiful gardens, and the like, which are delightful from harmony of form and color; the pleasures of smell, or of fragrant odors; the pleasures of taste, or of the flavors and benefits of food and drink; the pleasures of touch. For these are most external or bodily affections arising from interior affections, as already said.
Interior affections, which are living, all derive their delight from good and truth; and good and truth derive their delight from charity and faith, and in this case do so from the Lord, thus from life itself; wherefore the affections and pleasures therefrom are living. And since genuine pleasures have this origin, they are denied to no one. Indeed, when they are from this origin their delight indefinitely surpasses delight not from this source, which is in comparison unclean.
For example, the pleasure of conjugial love, when it has its origin from true conjugial love, surpasses immeasurably pleasure that has not this origin, so much so that those who are in true conjugial love are in heavenly delight and happiness, since it comes down from heaven. This was acknowledged by the men of the Most Ancient Church. The delight from adulteries felt by adulterers was to those men so abominable that when they thought of it they shuddered. From all this it is evident what is the nature of the delight that does not flow from the true fountain of life, or from the Lord.

That the pleasures above mentioned are never denied to man, and that so far from being denied they are then first really pleasures when they come from their true origin, may also be seen from the fact that very many who have lived in power, dignity, and opulence in the world, and who had all pleasures in abundance, both of the body and of the senses, are among the blessed and happy in heaven, and with them now the interior delights and happinesses are living, because they have had their origin in the goods of charity and the truths that are of faith in the Lord. And since they had regarded all their pleasures as coming from charity and faith in the Lord, they regarded them from use, which was their end. Use itself was the most delightful thing to them, and from this came the delight of their pleasures.
(Arcana Coelestia 995)

November 20, 2015

Goods and Truths are Either of the Lord or Not of the Lord

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Goods and truths are either of the Lord or not of the Lord. Those which are of the Lord are those which the man does for the sake of his neighbor, for the sake of his country, for the sake of the church, and for the sake of the Lord's kingdom, thus for the sake of good and truth itself, and especially for the sake of the Lord. These goods and truths are those which are of the Lord; but the truths and goods which are not of the Lord are those which a man does for the sake of himself as the end, and for the sake of the world as the end. These latter sometimes appear like the former in the outward form, but in the inward form they are quite different; for these lead to self, but those away from self. The truths and goods which are not of the Lord are also for the most part those which a man does in a state of misfortune, of sickness, of grief, and of fear, and not in a free state, for these also are for the sake of self. All truths and goods do indeed flow in from the Lord, but when the goods and truths of the Lord are bent with a man to himself, they then become the man's and belong to him to whom they are bent, for they become goods of the love of self and of the world. Such are the goods of all the evil among themselves. From all this it is evident what goods and truths are meant by those which are of the Lord, and by those which are not of the Lord.
(Arcana Coelestia 7564)

November 19, 2015

Man's Mind is the Man Himself.

From Divine Love and Wisdom ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Man's mind is the man himself.  For the primary texture of the human form, that is, the human form itself with each and every thing thereof, is from first principles continued from the brain through the nerves, in the manner described above. It is this form into which man comes after death, who is then called a spirit or an angel, and who is in all completeness a man, but a spiritual man. The material form that is added and superinduced in the world, is not a human form by itself, but only by virtue of the spiritual form, to which it is added and superinduced that man may be enabled to perform uses in the natural world, and also to draw to himself out of the purer substances of the world a fixed containant of spiritual things, and thus continue and perpetuate life. It is a truth of angelic wisdom that man's mind, not alone in general, but in every particular, is in a perpetual conatus toward the human form, for the reason that God is a Man.
(Divine Love and Wisdom 388)

November 17, 2015

Created to Perform Uses

Selection from Apocalypse Explained ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
As man was created to perform uses, and this is to love the neighbor, so all who come into heaven, however many there are, must do uses. All the delight and blessedness of these is according to uses and to the love of uses. Heavenly joy is from no other source. He who believes that such joy is possible in idleness is much deceived. No idle person is tolerated even in hell. Those who are there are in workhouses and under a judge who imposes tasks on the prisoners that they must do daily. To those who do not do them neither food nor clothing is given, but they stand hungry and naked; thus are they compelled to work there. The difference is that in hell uses are done from fear, but in heaven from love; and fear does not give joy, but love does. Nevertheless it is proper to vary occupations in different ways in company with others, and these serve as recreations, which are also uses. It has been granted me to see many things in heaven, many things in the world, and many things in the human body, and to consider at the same time their uses; and it has been revealed that every particular thing in them, both great and small, was created from use, in use, and for use; and that the part in which the ultimate that is for use ceases is separated as harmful and is cast out as condemned.
(Apocalypse Explained 1194)
see a previous post on entitled: Loving Uses for the Sake of Uses

The Use the Lord Performs through Man

Passages from Divine Love and Wisdom ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Inasmuch as the end of creation is an angelic heaven out of the human race, and thus the human race itself, all other created things are mediate ends, and these, as having relation to man, with a view to his conjunction with the Lord, refer themselves to these three things in him, his body, his rational, and his spiritual. For man cannot be conjoined to the Lord unless he be spiritual, nor can he be spiritual unless he be rational, nor can he be rational unless his body is in a sound state. These three are like a house; the body like the foundation, the rational like the superstructure, the spiritual like those things which are in the house, and conjunction with the Lord like dwelling in it. From this can be seen in what order, degree, and respect uses (which are the mediate ends of creation) have relation to man, namely:
    (1) for sustaining his body
    (2) for perfecting his rational
    (3) for receiving what is spiritual from the Lord. 
  • Uses for sustaining the body relate to its nourishment, its clothing, its habitation, its recreation and enjoyment, its protection and the preservation of its state. ... in like manner, the uses for habitation, also for recreation, enjoyment, protection, and preservation of state. ... There are many things, to be sure, which are not used by man; but what is superfluous does not do away with the use, but ensures its continuance. Misuse of uses is also possible, but misuse does not do away with use, even as falsification of truth does not do away with truth except with those who falsify it.
  • Uses for perfecting the rational are all things that give instruction about the subjects above mentioned, and are called sciences and branches of study, pertaining to natural, economical, civil and moral affairs, which are learned either from parents and teachers, or from books, or from interaction with others, or by reflection on these subjects by oneself. These things perfect the rational so far as they are uses in a higher degree, and they are permanent as far as they are applied to life. ...
  • Uses for receiving the spiritual from the Lord, are all things that belong to religion and to worship therefrom; thus all things that teach the acknowledgment and knowledge of God and the knowledge and acknowledgment of good and truth and thus eternal life, which are acquired in the same way as other learning, from parents, teachers, discourses, and books, and especially by applying to life what is so learned; and in the Christian world, by doctrines and discourses from the Word, and through the Word from the Lord.  These uses in their full extent may be described under the same heads as the uses of the body, as nourishment, clothing, habitation, recreation and enjoyment, and preservation of state, if only they are applied to the soul; as nutrition to goods of love, clothing to truths of wisdom, habitation to heaven, recreation and enjoyment to felicity of life and heavenly joy, protection to safety from infesting evils, and preservation of state to eternal life. All these things are given by the Lord according to the acknowledgment that all bodily things are also from the Lord, and that a man is only as a servant and house-steward appointed over the goods of his Lord.

  • That such things have been given to man to use and enjoy, and that they are free gifts, is clearly evident from the state of angels in the heavens, who have, like men on earth, a body, a rational, and a spiritual. They are nourished freely, for food is given them daily; they are clothed freely, for garments are given them; their dwellings are free, for houses are given them; nor have they any care about all these things; and so far as they are rational-spiritual do they have enjoyment, protection, and preservation of state. The difference is that angels see that these things, - because created according to the state of their love and wisdom, - are from the Lord; but men do not see this, because their harvest returns yearly, and is not in accord with the state of their love and wisdom, but in accord with the care bestowed by them.

    These things are called uses, because through man they have relation to the Lord; nevertheless, they must not be said to be uses from man for the Lord's sake, but from the Lord for man's sake, inasmuch as in the Lord all uses are infinitely one, but in man there are no uses except from the Lord; for man cannot do good from himself, but only from the Lord, and good is what is called use. The essence of spiritual love is doing good to others, not for the sake of self but for the sake of others; infinitely more is this the essence of Divine Love. It is like the love of parents for their children, in that parents do good to their children from love, not for their own sake but for their children's sake. This is especially manifest in a mothers love for her offspring. Because the Lord is to be adored, worshiped and glorified, He is supposed to love adoration, worship, and glory for His own sake; but He loves these for man's sake, because by means of them man comes into a state in which the Divine can flow in and be perceived; since by means of them man puts away that which is his own, which hinders influx and reception, for what is man's own, which is self-love, hardens the heart and shuts it up. This is removed by man's acknowledging that from himself comes nothing but evil and from the Lord nothing but good; from this acknowledgment there is a softening of the heart and humiliation, out of which flow forth adoration and worship.

    From all this it follows, that the use which the Lord performs for Himself through man is that Man may be able to do good from love, and since this is the Lord's love, its reception is the enjoyment of His love. Therefore, let no one believe that the Lord is with those who merely worship Him, He is with those who do His commandments, thus who perform uses; with such He has His abode, but not with the former.
    (Divine Love and Wisdom 330 - 335)

    November 15, 2015

    To What Love Has The Soul Become

    From Divine Providence ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
    ... no thought is possible to man except from some affection of his life's love; and that thought is nothing but the form of affection. Since, then, man sees his thought, but cannot see his affection, for that he feels, it follows that it is from sight, which is in the appearance, and not from affection, which comes into feeling and not into sight, that man concludes that his own prudence does all things. For affection is evident only through a certain delight in thought and satisfaction in reasoning about it; and this satisfaction and delight then make one with the thought in those who from self-love or love of the world believe in their own prudence; and thought floats on in its delight like a ship in the current of a stream, to which the master pays no attention, regarding only the sail he spreads.

    ... a man may reflect upon a delight of his external affection while that delight is acting as one with the delight of some bodily sensation. Nevertheless, he does not reflect upon the fact that this delight is from a delight of his affection in his thought. For example: when a fornicator sees a lewd woman his eye glows with the fire of lasciviousness, and from that fire he feels a delight in the body. And yet in his thought he feels no delight of his affection or lust except a certain longing connected with the body. So a robber in a forest when he sees travelers; or a pirate on the sea when he sees vessels; and so on. Evidently it is these delights that rule the man's thoughts and the thoughts are nothing apart from them; yet they seem to him to be nothing but thoughts; when in fact, thoughts are nothing but affections so composed into forms by his life's love as to be presented in light; for all affection is in heat, and thought is in light.

    Such are the external affections of thought, which manifest themselves in bodily sensation, but rarely in the thought of the mind.  But the internal affections of thought, from which the external affections have their existence, never manifest themselves before man. Of these man knows no more than one sleeping in a carriage knows of the road, or than one feels the revolution of the earth. Considering, then, that man knows nothing of the things that are going on in the interiors of his mind, which are too limitless to be numbered, and yet those few externals that do come within the view of his thought are produced from the interiors, and the interiors are governed by the Lord alone by His Divine providence, and only those few externals by the Lord and man together, how can any one say that his own prudence does all things? If you were to see but one idea of thought laid open you would see wonderful things, more in number than tongue can express.

    That in the interiors of man's mind there are things too limitless to be numbered is clear from the infinite things in the body, from which nothing comes to sight or feeling except action only in much simplicity; and yet in this thousands of motor or muscular fibers concur, thousands of nerve fibers, thousands of blood-vessels, thousands of lung cells, all of which must co-operate in every action, thousands of cells in the brains and spinal cord, and many more yet in the spiritual man, which is the human mind, in which all things are forms of affections and of their perceptions and thoughts. Does not the soul, which directs the interiors, direct also the actions from them?  Man's soul is nothing else than the love of his will and the love therefrom of his understanding. The quality of that love is the quality of the whole man; and that is determined by the way in which the externals are disposed, in which man and the Lord co-operate. Consequently, if man attributes all things to himself and to nature the love of self becomes the soul; but if he attributes all things to the Lord, love to the Lord becomes the soul; and this love is heavenly, while the other is infernal.
    (Divine Providence 198 - 199)

    November 11, 2015

    The Whole Man is in Every One of the Ideas of His Thought, Which Are Of His Worship

    From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
    Man is not man from his face, nor even from his speech, but from understanding and will; such as are his understanding and his will, such is the man. It is known that when he is born he has nothing of understanding and nothing of will; and also that his understanding and his will are formed by degrees from infancy; from this a man becomes a man, and such a man as are the understanding and the will that have been formed in him. The understanding is formed by means of truths, and the will by means of goods, insomuch that his understanding is nothing else than a composition of such things as bear relation to truths, and his will is nothing else than the affection of such things as are called goods. From this it follows that a man is nothing but the truth and good from which his two faculties have been formed.

    Each and all things of his body correspond to these, as can be seen from the fact that the body instantly does that which the understanding thinks and the will wills; for the mouth speaks in accordance with the thoughts, the face changes in accordance with the affections, and the body makes movements in accordance with the commands of both. From this it is evident that a man is wholly such as are his understanding and his will, thus such as he is in respect to truths and in respect to goods; for as before said, truths constitute his understanding, and goods his will; or what is the same, a man is his own truth and his own good.

    That this is so appears openly with spirits; these are nothing else than their own truths and their own goods which they had put on when they lived in the world as men; and yet they are human forms. Consequently from their face shines forth the quality of the truths and goods which they have; and this is also perceived from the sound and disposition of their speech, and from their gestures, especially from their spoken words; for their spoken words are not such as are with men in the world, but are in perfect harmony with their truths and goods, so as to proceed from these quite naturally. In this speech are spirits and angels when they are conversing together; and in respect to his spirit, man is in a like speech during his life in this world, although he is then unaware of it; for he thinks from similar ideas, as has also been observed by some learned men who have called these ideas immaterial and intellectual. After death, when the man becomes a spirit, these ideas become words. From all this it is again evident that a man is not anything else than his own truth and his own good. Hence it is that after death a man remains such truth and good as he has become.

    It is said "such truth and good as he has become," and thereby is also meant such falsity and evil as he has become; for evil men call falsity truth and evil good. This is a secret which must by all means be known, in order that it may be known how the case is with Divine worship; but besides this there is one secret more, namely, that in every idea of thought proceeding from a man's will there is the whole man. This moreover follows from the former, for a man thinks from his truth and wills from his good, which are himself. That this is so can be seen from the following experience. When the angels perceive a single idea of a man, or a single idea of a spirit, they at once know the quality of the man or of the spirit.

    These things have been said in order that it may be known how the case is with Divine worship ... namely, that the whole man is in each and all things of his worship, because his truth and good are there, which are himself. ... From all this it also follows that it is the same whether you say that Divine worship consists of these truths and goods, or that man consists of them, because as before said the whole man is in every one of the ideas of his thought, which are of his worship.

    (Arcana Coelestia 10298)

    November 5, 2015

    Man's OWN is Nothing but the Love of Self and of the World

    From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
    There are two so-called loves and their cupidities that obstruct the influx of heavenly love from the Lord; for when these loves reign in the interior and in the external man, and take possession thereof, they either reject or suffocate, and also pervert and contaminate, the inflowing heavenly love; for they are utterly contrary to heavenly love.... But insofar as these loves are removed, so far the heavenly love flowing in from the Lord begins to appear, nay, to give light in the interior man; and so far he begins to see that he is in evil and falsity; next that he is actually in uncleanness and filthiness; and finally that this has been his Own. They who are becoming regenerate are those with whom these loves are being removed.

    Observation of this removal is possible also with the unregenerate, for when the cupidities of these loves are quiescent in them, as sometimes occurs when they are in holy meditation, or when the cupidities are lulled, as happens when they are in misfortunes, in sicknesses, and diseases, and especially at the moment of death, then, because bodily and worldly things are lulled and as it were dead, they observe something of heavenly light and the consequent comfort. But with these persons there is not removal of the cupidities in question, but only a lulling of them, for when they return into their former state, they at once relapse into the same cupidities.

    With the evil also, bodily and worldly things can be lulled, and they can then be as it were uplifted into a kind of heavenliness, as sometimes takes place with souls in the other life, especially those newly arrived, who intensely desire to see the glory of the Lord, because they had heard so much about heaven while they lived in the world. The external things above referred to are then lulled in them, and in this way they are carried into the first heaven and enjoy their desire. But they cannot remain long, because there is only a quiescence of the bodily and worldly things, and not a removal of them, as with the angels.

    Be it known that heavenly love is continually inflowing into man from the Lord, and that nothing else obstructs and impedes it, and causes its reception by the man impossible, except the cupidities of those loves and the falsities derived from them.
    (Arcana Coelestia 2041)

    November 3, 2015

    When Use is in the First Place and Rules

    Selection from Apocalypse Explained ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
    The uses through which men and angels have wisdom
    To love uses is nothing else than to love the neighbor, for use in the spiritual sense is the neighbor. This can be seen from the fact that everyone loves another not because of his face and body, but from his will and understanding; he loves one who has a good will and a good understanding, and does not love one with a good will and a bad understanding, or with a good understanding and a bad will. And as a man is loved or not loved for these reasons, it follows that the neighbor is that from which everyone is a man, and that is his spiritual. Place ten men before your eyes that you may choose one of them to be your associate in any duty or business; will you first find out about them and choose the one who comes nearest to your use? Therefore he is your neighbor, and is loved more than the others. Or become acquainted with ten maidens with the purpose of choosing one of them for your wife; do you not at first ascertain the character of each one, and if she consents betroth to you the one that you love? That one is more your neighbor than the others. If you should say to yourself, "Every man is my neighbor, and is therefore to be loved without distinction," a devil-man and an angel-man or a harlot and a virgin might be equally loved. Use is the neighbor, because every man is valued and loved not for his will and understanding alone, but for the uses he performs or is able to perform from these. Therefore a man of use is a man according to his use; and a man not of use is a man not a man, for of such a man it is said that he is not useful for anything; and although in this world he may be tolerated in a community so long as he lives from what is his own, after death when he becomes a spirit he is cast out into a desert.

    Man, therefore, is such as his use is. But uses are manifold; in general they are heavenly or infernal. Heavenly uses are those that are serviceable more or less, or more nearly or remotely, to the church, to the country, to society, and to a fellow-citizen, for the sake of these as ends; but infernal uses are those that are serviceable only to the man himself and those dependent on him; and if serviceable to the church, to the country, to society, or to a fellow citizen, it is not for the sake of these as ends, but for the sake of self as the end. And yet everyone ought from love, though not from self-love, to provide the necessaries and requisites of life for himself and those dependent on him.

    When man loves uses by doing them in the first place, and loves the world and self in the second place, the former constitutes his spiritual and the latter his natural; and the spiritual rules, and the natural serves. This makes evident what the spiritual is, and what the natural is. This is the meaning of the Lord's words in Matthew:
    Seek ye first the kingdom of the heavens* and its justice, and all things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33).
    "The kingdom of the heavens" means the Lord and His church, and "justice" means spiritual, moral, and civil good; and every good that is done from the love of these is a use. Then "all things shall be added," because when use is in the first place, the Lord, from whom is all good, is in the first place and rules, and gives whatever contributes to eternal life and happiness; for, as has been said, all things of the Lord's Divine providence pertaining to man look to what is eternal. "All things that shall be added" refer to food and raiment, because food means everything internal that nourishes the soul, and raiment everything external that like the body clothes it. Everything internal has reference to love and wisdom, and everything external to wealth and eminence. All this makes clear what is meant by loving uses for the sake of uses, and what the uses are from which man has wisdom, from which and according to which wisdom everyone has eminence and wealth in heaven.
    (Apocalypse Explained 1193)

    * Photolithograph has "kingdom of the heavens." Schmidius also has it. The Greek is "Kingdom of God."

    November 2, 2015

    The Great Gulf Fixed

    Selection from True Christian Religion ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
    The friendship of love among the evil is intestine hatred of each other.
    ... every man has an internal and an external ... his internal is called the internal man and his external the external man. To this may be added, that the internal man is in the spiritual world, and the external in the natural world. Man was so created in order that he might be associated with spirits and angels in their world, and might thereby be able to think analytically, and after death be transferred from his own world to another. By the spiritual world both heaven and hell are meant. As the internal man is in company with spirits and angels in their world, and the external man with men, it is evident that man can be affiliated both with the spirits of hell and with the angels of heaven. By this capacity and power man is distinguished from beasts. Man is essentially [in se] such as he is in his internal man, not such as he is in his external, for the internal man is his spirit, and this acts through the external. The material body with which his spirit is clothed in the natural world, is an accessory for the sake of procreation and for the sake of the formation of the internal man; for the internal man is formed in the natural body as a tree in the soil, or as seed in fruit. ...

    But what the evil man is as to his internal man, and what the good man is as to his, may be seen from the following brief description of hell and heaven, for the evil man's internal is conjoined with the devils in hell, and the good man's with angels in heaven. Hell from its loves is in the delights of all evils, that is, in the delights of hatred, revenge, murder, plunder and theft, of railing and blasphemy, of denial of God and profanation of the Word. Such delights lurk in lusts upon which man does not reflect. These lusts blaze in these delights like lighted torches; and are what is meant in the Word by infernal fire. But the delights of heaven are the delights of love towards the neighbor and of love to God.

    Inasmuch as the delights of hell are opposite to the delights of heaven, there is between them a great interspace, into which the delights of heaven flow from above, and those of hell from beneath. While man is living in the world he is in the middle of this interspace, in order that he may be in equilibrium, and thus in a state of freedom to turn either to heaven or to hell. This interspace is what is meant by "the great gulf fixed" between those who are in heaven and those who are in hell (Luke 16:26).

    From this it can be seen what the friendship of love is among the evil, namely, that in their external man it is posturing and mimicry and pretenses of morality, in order that they may spread their nets and discover opportunities for gratifying their loves' delights, with which their internal man is on fire. Nothing but fear of the law and consequent fears for their reputation and life withholds them and restrains their actions. Consequently their friendship is like a spider in sugar, a viper in bread, a young crocodile in a cake of honey, or a snake in the grass.

    Such is the friendship of the evil with everyone. But among those confirmed in evil, such as thieves, robbers, and pirates, friendship is intimate so long as they are with one mind bent on acquiring plunder; for they then embrace each other like brothers, enjoy themselves with feasting, singing, and dancing, and conspire to destroy others; yet each one within himself regards his companion as one enemy regards another; this, too, is what a cunning robber sees and fears in his fellow. Evidently, therefore, among such there is no friendship, but intestine hatred.

    Any man who has not openly connected himself with evildoers and committed robberies, but has led a civil moral life for the sake of various uses as ends, and yet has not curbed the lust residing in his internal man, may suppose that his friendship is not of such a nature. Nevertheless, from many exemplifications in the spiritual world, it has been granted me to know with certainty that it is such, in different degrees, with all who have rejected faith and despised the holy things of the church, regarding those as nothing to them, but only for the common herd. In some of these the delights of infernal love have lain hidden like fire in smoldering logs covered with bark; in some like coals under ashes; in some like waxen torches that blaze up when fire is applied to them; and in others in other ways. Such is every man who has rejected from his heart the things of religion. The internal man of such is in hell; but being ignorant of this because of their pretended morality in externals so long as they live in the world they acknowledge no one as their neighbor except themselves and their own children; they regard others either with contempt - and then they are like cats lying in wait for birds in their nests - or with hatred, and then they are like wolves when they see dogs that they may devour. These statements are made to show from its opposite what charity is.

    (True Christian Religion 454 - 455)