March 10, 2017

All Uses have for a Basis the Natural World

Selection from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
The doctrinal things of memory-knowledges are doctrinal things from the literal sense of the Word, and are especially serviceable to those who are being initiated for the first time into more interior truths of the church, such as that widows, orphans, and the poor in the streets are the especial objects of beneficence; and also the precepts of the Decalogue.These and more are doctrinal things of memory-knowledges ...

Such doctrinal things, being the first that a man learns, afterward serve him as an ultimate plane; for when progress is being made to more internal things, they become ultimates. Moreover celestial and spiritual things actually terminate in these, for they as it were stand and rest upon them; because the spiritual world has as it were its feet and soles of the feet in the natural world, and with man in respect to his spiritual life has them in the doctrinal things of memory-knowledges, in like manner as the internal sense of the Word has them in its literal sense.

Lower things ought to serve interior ones. The lower things are the truths of the church in the natural, which are represented by the sons of Jacob; but that which is interior is spiritual good, which is represented by Israel their father. This being more interior, or what is the same, higher, ought to be served by exterior or lower things.
For lower things are formed for nothing else than to be things of service, for they are formed for the interior to live and act in them and through them, and indeed so that if the interior is taken away from them, they are nothing but vessels without life and action, thus altogether dead.
This is the case with the body relatively to its spirit, and therefore when the spirit withdraws, the body at once dies. Such also is the case with the external man relatively to the internal, and also with the internal man relatively to the Lord; for the internal man has been formed to receive life from the Lord, and is nothing else than an organ of His life. Consequently it is formed to serve the Lord for all the uses that love to Him and charity toward the neighbor demand, first in the natural world, and afterward in the spiritual world.
(Arcana Coelestia 5945;5947)