March 8, 2016


Passages from Doctrine of Life ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Faith and life are distinct from each other in the same way as are thinking and doing; and as thinking is of the understanding and doing is of the will, it follows that faith and life are distinct from each other in the same way as are the understanding and the will. He who knows the distinction between the two latter knows that between the two former; and he who knows the conjunction of the two latter knows that of the two former. ...

Man possesses two faculties, one of which is called the Will, and the other the Understanding. They are distinct from each other, but are so created that they may be a one, and when they are a one they are called the Mind, so that the human mind consists of these two faculties, and the whole of man's life is in them. ...  It is of the utmost importance to know how the will and the understanding make one mind. They do so in the same way that good and truth make a one, for there is a like marriage between the will and the understanding to that which exists between good and truth. ... 

... just as good is the very being [esse] of a thing, and truth is its derivative manifestation [existere], so the will in man is the very being of his life, and the understanding is its derivative manifestation, for the good that is of the will shapes itself forth in the understanding, and presents itself to view within fixed and settled outlines [certo modo].

... it is the province of faith to know and to think, and still more to understand, that a thing is true, a man may well believe that he has faith and yet not have it.  The reason why he has it not, is that he is in evil of life, and evil of life and truth of faith cannot possibly act as a one. The evil of life destroys the truth of faith, because the evil of life is of the will and the truth of faith is of the understanding, and the will leads the understanding and makes it act as a one with itself, so that if there is anything in the understanding that is not in accord with the will, and the man is left to himself, and thinks from his own evil and the love of it, he then either casts out the truth that is in the understanding, or else by falsifying it forces it into oneness.

Quite different is it with those who are in the good of life: such when left to themselves think from what is good, and love the truth that is in the understanding because it is in accord. In this way there takes place a conjunction of faith and life such as is that of truth and good, and both these conjunctions are like that of the understanding and the will.

From all this then it follows that just insofar as a man shuns evils as sins, just so far has he faith, because just so far is he in good, as shown above. This is confirmed also by its contrary: that he who does not shun evils as sins, has not faith because he is in evil, and evil inwardly hates truth. Outwardly indeed he may act as a friend to truth, and suffer it to be in the understanding, may even love to have it there; but when what is outward is put off, as is done after death, he first casts out truth his friend in this world, then denies that it is truth, and finally feels aversion for it.

(Life 42 - 45)