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)