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)