December 29, 2015

Moving Things To The Circumference

From Divine Providence ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
 Whatever a man does from freedom in accordance with his thought
is appropriated to him as his, and remains.
This is because man's own (proprium) and his freedom make one. Man's own belongs to his life; and what a man does from his life he does from freedom. Again, man's own belongs to his love, for every one's life is his love; and what a man does from his life's love he does from freedom. From his freedom man acts in accordance with his thought, for the reason that whatever belongs to one's life or love becomes a subject of thought and is confirmed by his thought; and when it has been confirmed he does it from freedom in accordance with his thought.

For whatever a man does, he does from the will by means of the understanding; and freedom belongs to the will, and thought to the understanding. Moreover, from freedom man is able to act contrary to reason, also to act in accordance with reason and not from freedom; but what is so done is not appropriated to the man; it belongs merely to his lips and body, not to his spirit and heart. But whatever is from his spirit and heart, when it comes to be also of the lips and body, is appropriated to him. ...
To be appropriated to man means to enter into his life, and to become a part of his life, consequently to become his own. Yet there is nothing ... that is man's own, it merely seems to him as if it were. Here it needs only to be said that every good that a man does from freedom in accordance with reason is appropriated to him as his, because in the thinking, the willing, the speaking, and the doing, it appears to him to be his; nevertheless, the good is not man's but the Lord's in man.
It is said that whatever one does from freedom in accordance with his thought remains, since nothing that a man has appropriated to himself can be eradicated; for it has come to be of his love and at the same time of his reason, or of his will and at the same time of his understanding, and consequently of his life. It can be removed, but it cannot be eliminated; and when removed it is as it were transferred from the center to the circumference, and there it stays. This is what is meant by its remaining.
For instance, if a man in his boyhood and youth has appropriated to himself a certain evil by doing it from the enjoyment of his love, like fraud or blasphemy or revenge or whoredom, as these things have been done from freedom in accordance with his thought, he has appropriated them to himself; but if he afterwards repents of them, shuns them, and looks upon them as sins that must be hated, and thus refrains from them from freedom in accordance with reason, then the good things to which those evils are opposed are appropriated to him. These goods then constitute the center and remove the evils toward the circumferences further and further, to the extent that he loathes and turns away from them. Nevertheless, they cannot be so cast out as to be said to be extirpated, although by such removal they may appear to be extirpated, which is effected by man's being withheld from evils and held in goods by the Lord. This is true both of all man's inherited evil and of all his actual evil.
Let it be understood, therefore, that these goods are appropriated to man only in the sense that they are always the Lord's in man; and that so far as man acknowledges this the Lord grants that the good may appear to man to be his, that is, that it may appear to man that he loves the neighbor or has charity as if from himself, that he believes or has faith as if from himself, that he does good and understands truths and thus is wise as if from himself. From all this any one who is enlightened can see the nature and strength of the appearance in which the Lord wills man to be; and this the Lord wills for the sake of man's salvation; for without this appearance no one could be saved. ...
(Divine Providence 78 - 79)