February 22, 2016

Influx is According to Efflux

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.   Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.  Therefore, whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.  And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it  (Matthew 7:15-27)

The two faculties with man from the Lord that are inviolable – freedom and rationality – the freedom to act according to reason; yet these two faculties can be abused by man. 

The good which continually flows in from the Lord with man, does not perish except by evils and the derivative falsities, and by falsities and the derivative evils. For as soon as this good, continuous through the internal man, comes to the external or natural man, it is met by evil and falsity, by which the good is torn in pieces and extinguished in various ways as by wild beasts. By this the influx of good through the internal man is checked and stayed, and consequently the inner mind, through which is the influx, is closed, and only so much of the spiritual is admitted through it as to enable the natural man to reason and speak, but this only from earthly, bodily, and worldly things, and indeed contrary to good and truth, or in accordance with them from pretense or deceit. It is a universal law that influx adjusts itself according to efflux, and if efflux is checked influx is checked. Through the internal man there is an influx of good and truth from the Lord, and through the external there must be an efflux, namely into the life, that is, in the exercise of charity. When there is this efflux then there is continual influx from heaven, that is, through heaven from the Lord; whereas if there is no efflux, but resistance in the external or natural man (that is, evil and falsity which tear to pieces and extinguish the inflowing good), it follows from the universal law just mentioned that the influx adjusts itself to the efflux, consequently that the influx of good draws back, and thereby the internal through which is the influx is closed; and through this closing there comes stupidity in spiritual things, even until the man who is such neither knows nor is willing to know anything about eternal life, and at last becomes insane, so that he opposes falsities against truths, calling them truths and the truths falsities, and evils against goods, making them goods and the goods evil. Thus he tears good completely to pieces.”  (Arcana Coelestia 5828:2-3)

For there to be a church ‘in man’ there must be what is internal and external, a higher mind and a lower mind which are concordant, discussed in the passage from True Christian Religion 595.  The Lord does not allow anything to be divided; consequently it must be in good and also in truth, or it must be in evil and also in falsity.  (Divine Providence 16) The passage goes on to say: But inasmuch as man can be, while he is living in the world, in good and in falsity at the same time, also in evil and in truth at the same time, and even in evil and in good at the same time, and thus be as it were a double man, and inasmuch as this division destroys that image, and thereby destroys the man, the Lord's Divine providence, in each and every particular of it, has as its end that this division shall not be. It is this conflict between these two minds that is discussed in the passage in True Christian Religion 596, which is defined as spiritual temptation.  However, before spiritual temptation can occur with anyone, the higher mind has to be reformed and regenerated; a conscience insinuated by the Lord through remains (those things that survived while the lower mind dominated by hereditary evils); for until that (higher mind) is enlightened by the Lord there is no reformation, thus no church with man. (Apocalypse Explained 527)

Conscience is not the nagging little voice of the lower mind that the words or actions we have engaged are wrong; conscience is the illumination and what has been received by the higher mind shinning down on the lower mind, recognizing how depraved and out of order it is.  This is spiritual temptation; the war between the higher mind’s will and thought and the lower mind’s will and thought.

We recall the great temptation Peter faced at the judgment hall when He denied the Lord three times.  Jesus had told Peter when he argued about his feet being washed, ‘you have no part with Me’ unless the lower mind be purified and agree with the higher mind (which the Lord had made clear to Peter that the higher mind, its will and thought was in order - He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean … John 13:10).  There is going to be a struggle and without it and victory in it – spiritual temptation – there is no regeneration.  What flows out of a man’s life in words and actions, (efflux), must not only represent, but also agree with the reformed and regenerated internal, and this is achieved with man speaking and acting as if of self and shunning evil heredity and evils acquired as sin against God (it is the lower mind from which we speak and act – for every word we speak and every deed we do is derived of the lower mind – everyone speaks and everyone does).  Though the higher mind has will and thought from doctrine, it is abused when the will and thought of the lower mind, from which we act and speak has the dominion, e.g., the universal law of influx – Influx is according to efflux.

For man to sit back and do nothing, not participating in the affairs of life, with his hands hanging down awaiting influx, is a sure bet that thorns and thistles will be what dominates the lower mind – what flows in will be turned into evils and falsities, resulting in like deeds in his outward life.  Doing nothing is his deed!  Therefore, it is incumbent that the lower mind be cultivated (brought into correspondence with the higher mind) to receive from the higher mind in order to bring forth in the lower mind the speaking and actions of genuine goods and truths (Hebrews 6:7,8)

“… we would not be human if it did not seem to us that we lived on our own and that we therefore thought, intended, spoke, and acted on our own [DP 71-99, 174, 176]. It follows from this that unless we seemed to be managing everything that has to do with our occupations and our lives by our own prudence, we could not be led and managed by divine providence. It would be as though we stood there with our hands hanging limp, mouths open, eyes closed, holding our breath and waiting for something to flow into us.  In this way we would divest ourselves of everything human, which we get from the sense and feeling that we live, think, intend, speak, and act on our own; and as we did so, we would also divest ourselves of those two abilities called freedom and rationality by which we are differentiated from animals. Earlier in this work [Divine Providence] and also in Divine Love and Wisdom I have explained that if it were not for this appearance we would be incapable of receptivity and reciprocity, and therefore of immortality.

[2] So if you want to be led by divine providence, use your prudence as a servant and employee who faithfully manages the employer's assets. Prudence is the "talent" that was given to servants for business purposes, with an accounting required (Luke 19:13-25 [19:12-25]; Matthew 25:14-31).  [I might note here: it is not an egalitarian principle that is applied, but each received according to their several ability, that ability being their manner of life, their efflux.]

Prudence itself seems to be something we possess, and we believe that it is, as long as we keep that deadliest enemy of God and divine providence, love for ourselves, shut in. It lives in the depths of each one of us from birth. If we do not recognize it--and it does not want to be recognized--then it lives in perfect safety and guards the door to prevent us from opening it so the Lord can evict it.

We open the door by abstaining from evils as sins, apparently on our own, but admitting that it is being done by the Lord. This is the kind of prudence with which the divine providence can cooperate. (Divine Providence 210)

What use would all these passages be, if a person were to stand with his hands hanging down like a carved puppet fitted with movable joints, and wait for God to act upon him? It is what we SPEAK AND DO in this earth (from the lower mind) as if of self, knowing that the sap from the vine by contiguity with the branch that has been grafted in bears the fruit (usefulness).  As stated above, ‘influx adjusts itself to the efflux.’

The present state of our world and it’s moral depraved condition in which it has drifted, in part, is due to the so called Christian’s unwillingness to struggle to bring the earth (his lower mind), from which fruit is born, from which every word and deed is done, into correspondence with the revelation of the three-fold Word.  Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. (See Matthew 5:13-27)

The first heaven, the church on earth, is the heart and lungs for the surrounding viscera and organs of the world.  Therefore, as a church, we should be the light of the world and not bury it in a napkin or hide it under a bushel.  We should be activist toward right order and not think that right order will autonomously occur without our participation.  But right order can only be known from revelation of God’s eternal purpose (Sacred Scriptures 115); otherwise, self from self will try to fix itself with an external pretense or deceit of moral life and Christianity – the result will be a kingdom divided against itself which will surely fall.  (Matthew 12:25-37)  However, when the internal (higher mind) is first established in the revelation of the first principle of why creation – an angelic heaven from the human race - it will bind the strong man of the external (lower mind) and spoil his goods, when we as if of self cooperate; for influx is according to efflux.

[Passages from KJV Bible, Arcana Coelestia, Apocalypse Explained, Divine Providence, Sacred Scriptures, True Christian Religion]