January 16, 2016

The 'Infinite' Nexus

Selection from Divine Providence ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
The Divine can look only to the Divine; and it can look to this nowhere but in things created by Itself. That this is true is evident from this, that one can look to another only from what is his own in himself. He that loves another looks to him from his own love in himself; and he that is wise looks to another from his own wisdom in himself. He may see that the other loves him or does not love him, and is wise or not wise, but this he sees from the love and wisdom in himself; and therefore he conjoins himself with the other so far as the other loves him as he loves the other, or so far as the other is wise as he is wise; for thus they make one.

It is the same with the Divine in itself, for the Divine in itself is not able to look to itself from another, that is, from a man or a spirit or an angel; for there is nothing in them of the Divine in itself from which [all things are], and to look to the Divine from another in whom there is nothing of the Divine would be to look to the Divine from what is not Divine, which is not possible. For this reason the conjunction of the Lord with a man or a spirit or an angel is such that every thing that has relation to the Divine is not from them, but from the Lord. For it is known that all the good and all the truth that any one has is from the Lord and not from himself, and that no one can even mention the Lord, or His names, "Jesus," and "Christ," except from Him.

From this, then, it follows, that the Infinite and Eternal, which is the same as the Divine, looks to all things in the finite infinitely, and conjoins Itself with them in accordance with the degree of reception of wisdom and love in them. In a word, the Lord can have an abode in man or angel and dwell with them, only in His own, and not in what is their own (proprium), for that is evil; and if it were good it would still be finite, which in itself and from itself cannot contain the Infinite. All this makes clear that it is impossible for a finite being to look to the Infinite; but it is possible for the Infinite to look to what is infinite from Himself, in finite beings.

There is an appearance that the Infinite cannot be conjoined with the finite, because there is no possible ratio between them, and because the finite cannot contain what is infinite; nevertheless, such a conjunction is possible, both because the Infinite created all things from Himself (as is shown in the work on The Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom, n. 282-284), and because the Infinite in things finite can look only to what is infinite from Himself, and with finite beings this infinite from Himself can appear as if it were in them, whereby a ratio between the finite and the infinite is provided, not from the finite, but from the infinite in the finite; and by this also the finite being becomes capable of containing what is infinite, not the finite being in himself, but as if in himself from what is infinite from itself in him. ...

(Divine Providence 53-54)