January 8, 2016

Put Yourself to the Test

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
The Reciprocal Application to Good of these Affections of Truth
... these things are of such a nature that they do not fall into any understanding except that which has been instructed, and which perceives delight in the memory-knowledge of such things, and which therefore has spiritual knowledges as its end. Others care nothing for such things, and cannot even apply their minds to them. For they who have worldly and earthly things as their end, cannot withdraw their senses from them; and even if they did so, they would perceive what is undelightful; in which case they would be departing and withdrawing from the things they have as their end, that is, which they love.

Let anyone who is of such a nature put himself to the test, as to whether he desires to know how good adjoins itself to the affections of truth; and how the affections of truth apply themselves to good; and whether knowing this is irksome to him or not; and he will say that such things are of no benefit to him, and that he apprehends nothing about them.

But if such things are told him as relate to his business in the world, even though they are of the most abstruse character, or if he be told the nature of another man's affections, and how he may thereby join the man to himself by adapting himself both mentally and orally, this he not only apprehends, but also has a perception of the interior things connected with the matter. In like manner he who studies from affection to investigate the abstruse things of the sciences, loves to look and does look into things still more intricate. But when spiritual good and truth are in question, he feels the subject irksome and turns his back on it. These things have been said in order that the quality of the existing man of the church may be known.

(Arcana Coelestia 4096:2,3)