November 15, 2016

The Origin of Things

Selection from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
[T]here are genera and species of all goods, both spiritual and natural, and also of the derivative sensuous and corporeal goods. So many genera are there of spiritual goods, and so many genera likewise of spiritual truths, that they cannot be numbered; still less can the species of the genera.

In heaven all goods and truths, celestial and spiritual, are so distinct in their genera, and these in their species, that there is not the least of them which is not most distinct; and so innumerable are they, that the specific differences may be said to be unlimited. From this it may be seen how poor and almost non-existent is human wisdom, which scarcely knows that there is such a thing as spiritual good or spiritual truth, much less what it is.

From celestial and spiritual goods and their derivative truths, issue and descend natural goods and truths. For there is never any natural good and truth that does not spring from spiritual good, and this from celestial, and also subsist from the same. If the spiritual should withdraw from the natural, the natural would be nothing. The origin of all things [rerum] is in this wise: all things, both in general and in particular, are from the Lord; from Him is the celestial; from Him through the celestial comes forth the spiritual; through the spiritual the natural; through the natural the corporeal and the sensuous. And as they all come forth from the Lord in this way, so also do they subsist from Him, for, as is well known, subsistence is a perpetual coming into existence. They who have a different conception of the coming into existence and rise of things, like those who worship nature and deduce from her the origins of things, are in principles so deadly that the phantasies of the wild beasts of the forest may be called far more sane. Such are very many who appear to themselves to excel others in wisdom.

(Arcana Coelestia 775)