August 9, 2017

That Which is Loved is Regarded as The End

Selection from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.  (Matt 6:19-21 KJV)
... the affection of spiritual truth is an internal affection, or is in the interior man; whereas the affection of truth from natural delight is in the external man.

The internal affection which is of the spiritual man is constantly conjoined with the external affection which is of the natural man, but still in such a way that the internal affection of truth is the ruling affection, and the external affection is subservient; for it is according to Divine order that the spiritual man should rule over the natural. Moreover when the spiritual man rules, the man looks upward, which is represented by having the head in heaven; but when the natural man rules, the man looks downward, which is represented by having the head in hell.

To throw more light on this subject something further shall be said. Most men by the truths which they learn, and the goods which they do, do indeed think of a consequent advantage, or of honor in their country; but if these things are regarded as the end, the natural man rules and the spiritual serves; if however they are not regarded as the end, but only as means to the end, the spiritual man rules and the natural man serves, according to what has been already said (in the previous article entitled, When Good and Truth are Regarded as 'The Means'). For when gain or honor is regarded as a means to an end, and not as the end, the gain or honor is not regarded, but the end, which is use. As for example he who desires and procures for himself riches for the sake of use, which he loves above all things, is not in this case delighted with riches for the sake of riches, but for the sake of uses. Moreover the very uses make the spiritual life with men, and riches merely serve as means. From this it can be seen what must be the quality of the natural man in order that it may be conjoined with the spiritual, namely, that it must regard gains and honors, thus riches and dignities, as means, and not as the end; for

that which is regarded by a man as the end makes his veriest life, because he loves it above all things, for that which is loved is regarded as the end.
He who does not know that the end, or what is the same, the love, makes the spiritual life of a man, consequently that a man is where his love is —in heaven if the love is heavenly — in hell if the love is infernal — cannot comprehend how the case is in regard to this. He may suppose that the delight of natural loves, which are the love of self and the love of the world, cannot agree with spiritual truth and good; for he does not know that in the course of regeneration a man must be wholly inverted, and that when he has been inverted he has his head in heaven, but that before he has been inverted he has his head in hell. He has his head in hell when he regards the delights of the love of self or of the love of the world as the end; but he has his head in heaven when these delights are as means to the end.
For the end, which is the love, is the only thing with man that is alive; the means to the end are of themselves not alive, but they receive life from the end.
Consequently the means from the ultimate end are called mediate ends; and these, insofar as they regard the ultimate end which is the principal end, are so far alive.

From this it is that when a man has been regenerated, consequently when he has as the end to love the neighbor and to love the Lord, he then has as means the loving of himself and the world. When man is of this character, then when he looks to the Lord he accounts himself as nothing, and also the world; and if he regards himself as anything, it is that he may be able to serve the Lord. But previously the contrary had been the case; for when he looked to himself, he had accounted the Lord as nothing, or if as anything, it was that thereby he might have gain and honor.

(Arcana Cœlestia 8995:2-4)