July 24, 2016

Men - Human Forms Receptive of Life

Selection from Apocalypse Explained ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Life regarded in itself, which is God, cannot create another that shall be the only life; for the life that is God is uncreate, continuous, and inseparable; and from this it is that God is ONE.

But the life that is God can create forms out of substances that are not life, in which it can be, and give to them the appearance of living. Such forms are men; and since they are receptacles of life they could not when first created be anything else than images and likenesses of God; images from the reception of truth and likenesses from the reception of good; for life and its recipient are fitted to each other as the active and passive, but do not mingle. For this reason human forms, which are recipients of life, live, not from themselves, but from God who alone is life; consequently, as is well known, every good of love and every truth of faith is from God, and nothing of these is from man; for if man had the least portion of life as his own he would be able to will and do good from himself, and to understand and believe truth from himself, and thus to claim merit; and yet if he so believes, the form recipient of life closes itself above and becomes perverted, and intelligence perishes.

Good and its love and truth and its faith are the life that is God, for God is good itself and truth itself; and therefore in these God dwells in man. And from all this it follows, that man of himself is nothing, and is something only so far as he receives from the Lord, and at the same time acknowledges that it is not his own but is the Lord's; then the Lord gives him to be something; yet not from himself but from the Lord.

(Apocalypse Explained 1121:3)