January 18, 2016

The Elevation of Truths and of The Affections of Them, and Their Orderly Arrangement

Selection from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg

The truths and the affections are elevated when the things of eternal life and of the Lord's kingdom are set before those which belong to life in the body and to the kingdom of the world. When a man acknowledges the former as the principal and primary, and the latter as the instrumental and secondary, then with him truths and the affections of them are elevated; for in the same proportion the man is carried away into the light of heaven, within which there are intelligence and wisdom; and in the same proportion the things which are of the light of the world become to him images and as it were mirrors in which he sees the things of the light of heaven. The contrary happens when the man sets the things of the life of the body and of the kingdom of the world before those of eternal life and the Lord's kingdom; as when he believes that the latter have no existence because he does not see, them, and because no one has come from there and made them known; and also when he believes that if they do exist, nothing worse will happen to him than to others; and when he confirms himself in these ideas, and lives the life of the world, and utterly despises charity and faith. With such a man, truths and the affections of them are not elevated, but are either suffocated, or rejected, or perverted; for he is in natural light, into which nothing of heavenly light inflows. From all this it is evident what is meant by the elevation of truths and of the affections of them.

As regards their orderly arrangement in generals, this is a necessary consequence; for insofar as a man sets heavenly things before worldly ones, so far are the things in his natural arranged in order according to the state of heaven, so that as before said they appear therein as images and mirrors of heavenly things, for they are corresponding representatives. It is the ends that effect the arrangement into order, that is, the Lord through the ends in the man. For there are three things that follow in order, namely, ends, causes, and effects. Ends produce causes, and through causes, effects. Such therefore as are the ends, such come forth the consequent causes, and such the consequent effects. Ends are the inmost things with man; causes are middle or mediates, and are called mediate ends; and effects are ultimates, and are called last or ultimate ends. Effects are also what are called generals. From all this it is evident in what consists orderly arrangement in generals, namely, that when the things of eternal life and of the Lord's kingdom are regarded as the end, all the middle ends or causes, and all the ultimate ends or effects, are arranged in order in accordance with the end itself; and this in the natural, because the effects are there; or what is the same, the generals are there.

Every man of adult age who possesses any judgment, and will give the matter any consideration, is able to know that he is in two kingdoms, namely, in a spiritual kingdom and in a natural kingdom; and also that the spiritual kingdom is interior, and the natural kingdom exterior; and consequently that he can set one before the other, that is, he can regard one as the end in preference to the other; and thus that the one which he regards as his end, or prefers, rules with him. If therefore he regards the spiritual kingdom as his end, and prefers it (that is, the things that belong to this kingdom), he then acknowledges as the principal and primary, love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor, and consequently all things that confirm this love and charity, and are said to be of faith; for these belong to that kingdom; and in this case all things in his natural are arranged and set in order in accordance therewith, in order that they may be subservient and obedient. But when a man has as his end and sets first the natural kingdom (that is, the things it contains), he then extinguishes all that is of love to the Lord and of charity toward the neighbor, and all that is of faith, insomuch that he makes them of no account whatever; but makes the love of the world and of self, and all that belongs thereto, to be everything. When this is the case, all things in his natural are arranged in order in accordance with these ends, thus in utter contrariety to the things of heaven; and in this way he makes hell in himself. To regard as an end is to love, for every end is of the love, because whatever is loved is regarded as the end.

(Arcana Coelestia 4104:3-5)