All Things of the Created Universe viewed from Uses, represent Man in an Image

All Things of the Created Universe viewed from Uses, represent Man in an Image

Man was called a microcosm by the ancients, because he resembled the macrocosm, which is the universe in the whole complex. But at this day it is not known why man was so called by the ancients; for there appears in him nothing more of the universe or the macrocosm than that he is nourished and lives, as to his body, from its animal and vegetable kingdoms, and that he is kept in a living state by its heat, sees by its light, and hears and breathes by its atmospheres. These, however, do not make man a microcosm, as the universe with all things therein is a macrocosm. The ancients called man a microcosm, or little universe, from the knowledge of correspondences which the most ancient people possessed, and from their communication with the angels of heaven; for the angels of heaven know, from the visible things about them, that all things in the universe, viewed as to uses, represent man in an image.

But that man is a microcosm, or little universe, because the created universe viewed as to uses is man in an image, cannot enter the thought and knowledge of any one, except from an idea of the universe as seen in the spiritual world. It cannot therefore be shown but by some angel in the spiritual world, or by some one to whom it has been granted to be in that world, and to see the things therein. As this has been granted to me, I am enabled, by what I have seen there, to reveal this arcanum.

Be it known that the spiritual world, in external appearance, is altogether similar to the natural world. Lands, mountains, hills, valleys, plains, fields, lakes, rivers and fountains appear there, consequently all things of the mineral kingdom; also paradises, gardens, groves, woods, with trees and shrubs of all kinds, fruits and seeds, also plants, flowers, herbs and grasses, thus all things of the vegetable kingdom and animals, birds, and fishes of all kinds, thus all things of the animal kingdom appear there. Man, there, is an angel and a spirit. This is premised that it may be known that the universe of the spiritual world is altogether similar to the universe of the natural world; only that things there are not fixed and stationary, like those in the natural world, because in the spiritual world nothing is natural, but everything is spiritual.

That the universe of that world resembles a man in image, may be clearly seen from the fact that all the things just mentioned appear to the life, and exist about an angel and about angelic societies, as produced or created from them; they remain about them, and do not go away. That they are as things produced or created from them, is evident from the fact that when an angel goes away, or a society departs to another place, they no longer appear; also, that when other angels come in their place, the face of all things about them changes; the paradises change as to trees and fruits, the gardens as to flowers and seeds, the fields as to herbs and grasses; and the kinds of animals and birds likewise change. Such things exist and so change because all these exist according to the affections and derivative thoughts of the angels; for they are correspondences. And as things which cor­respond make one with him to whom they correspond, therefore they are a representative image of him. The image does not indeed appear when all these are seen in their forms, but only when they are seen in their uses. It has been given me to see, that the angels, when their eyes have been opened by the Lord, and they have beheld these things from the correspondence of uses, have acknowledged and seen themselves in them.

Now, as the things that exist about the angels according to their affections and thoughts resemble a kind of universe, in the fact that there are earths, vegetables and animals, and these form a representative image of an angel, it is clear whence it was that the ancients called man a microcosm. (DLW n. 319-323)

Creation began from the highest or inmost, because from the Divine, and went forth to the ultimates or extremes and then first subsisted. The ultimate of the creation is the natural universe; and in it the terraqueous globe and all things thereon. When these were completed man was created, and into him were gathered all things of Divine order, from the first to the last. In his inmost parts were gathered those things which are in the first [degrees] of that order, and in his ultimates those which are in the last. So that man was made Divine order in form. (LJ n. 9)

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