July 31, 2017

Evils of Life Rule When Spiritual Life Is Extinct

Excerpt for Apocalypse Explained ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Where there is no spiritual life there life is merely natural, and natural life apart from the spiritual is full of lusts from the love of self and the world, thus is infernal....

Moreover, in respect to the evil life ... such may be the life as well with those who lead a good moral life, if they have no spiritual life; for such do good and speak truth and practice sincerity and justice but only because of reputation, honor, gain, and the laws, thus for the sake of appearance, that they may emulate those who are spiritual, while inwardly they have no will of good and no thought of truth, and laugh at sincerity and justice, unless for the causes mentioned above; consequently they are infernal within. This is also clearly manifest when such persons become spirits, which takes place immediately after death; then the external bonds mentioned above are taken away from them, and they then rush without restraint into evils of every kind. But it is otherwise with those who have led a good moral life from a spiritual origin.

This has been said to make known what is meant by an evil life, namely, that it is not the external life that pertains to the body and has reference to the world where men are, which is called the natural world, but is the internal life that pertains to the spirit and has reference to the world where angels are, which is called the spiritual world. For in respect to his body, its gestures and speech, man is in the natural world, but in respect to his spirit, that is, in respect to thought and affection, man is in the spiritual world; in fact, as the bodily sight has extension into the natural world and sweeps about there, so the sight of the spirit, which is thought from affection, has extension into the spiritual world and sweeps about there. That this is so is known to few; and it is therefore supposed that thinking evil and willing evil is of no consequence if only one does not do evil and speak evil; and yet every thought and volition affects the spirit of man and makes up his life after death.

(Apocalypse Explained 388:2)