IV. THAT FORM IS A FORM OF USE IN ITS WHOLE COMPLEX. That form is a form of use in its whole complex, since a form of love is a form of use; for the subjects of love are uses, because love wills to do goods, and goods are nothing else than uses; and since the Divine love infinitely transcends, its form is a form of use in its whole complex. That it is actually the Lord Himself who is with angels in the heavens and with men on earth and in those with whom He is conjoined by love, and that He is in them although He is infinite and uncreate, while angel and man are created and finite,-this cannot be comprehended by the natural man until by enlightenment from the Lord he can be withdrawn from the natural idea respecting space, and be brought thereby into light respecting spiritual essence, which, viewed in itself, is the proceeding Divine itself adapted to every angel, as truly to the angel of the highest heaven as to the angel in the lowest, and to every man, both the wise and the simple. For the Divine that proceeds from the Lord is Divine from first things even to ultimates. Ultimates are what are called “flesh and bone.” That even these were made Divine by the Lord, He taught the disciples when He said that He hath flesh and bones which a spirit doth not have (Luke 24:39); moreover, He entered through doors that were shut, and became invisible; and this clearly proves that the ultimates of man in Him were made Divine, and that from this there is correspondence with the ultimates of man. [2] But how the Divine proceeding, which is the very and only life, can be in things created and finite, shall now be told. This life applies itself not to man, but only to uses in man. Uses themselves, viewed in themselves, are spiritual; while the forms of use, which are members, organs, and viscera, are natural. But yet these are series of uses; to such an extent that there cannot be a particle, or the least of any particle, in any member, organ, or viscus, that is not a use in form. The Divine life applies itself to the uses themselves in every series, and thereby gives life to every form; from this man has the life that is called his soul. With men this truth seems beyond comprehension, but it is not so with angels; yet it does not so far transcend the human understanding but that it may be seen as through a lattice, by those who wish to see. It does not transcend my understanding, which is an enlightened rational understanding.


II. THE LORD ALONE IS LOVE ITSELF, BECAUSE LIFE ITSELF; WHILE MEN AND ANGELS ARE ONLY RECIPIENTS. This has already been illustrated by many things, to which the following only are to be added. The Lord, because He is the God of the universe, is uncreate and infinite, but men and angels are created and finite. The uncreate and infinite is the Very Divine in itself. Out of this man cannot be formed, for in such case he would be the Divine in itself; but he can be formed out of things created and finite, in which the Divine can be, and to which it can communicate its own life, and this by heat and light from itself as a sun, thus from its own Divine love; comparatively as it is with germinations in the earth, which cannot be formed from the very essence of the sun of the world, but must needs be formed out of created things of which soil is composed, within which the sun can be by its heat and light, and to which it can communicate its life. From this it is plain that a man and an angel are not in themselves life, but are only recipients of life. From all this it also follows, that the conception of man from his father is not a conception of life, but only of a first and purest form capable of receiving life; to which, as a stamen or initiament, substances and matters, succeeding one another, add themselves in the womb, in forms adapted to the reception of life in their own order and their own degree, even to the last, which is suited to the modes of the nature of the world.


III. LIFE, WHICH IS THE DIVINE LOVE, IS IN A FORM. The Divine love, which is life itself, is not simply love, but it is the proceeding Divine; and the proceeding Divine is the Lord Himself. The Lord is indeed in the sun which appears to angels in the heavens, and from which proceed love as heat and wisdom as light; yet outside of that sun, love with wisdom is also the Lord. The distance is only in appearance; for the Divine is not in space, but is without distance, as was said above. There is an appearance of distance because the Divine love, such as it is in the Lord, cannot be received by any angel for it would consume them; for in itself it is hotter than the fire in the sun of the world; for this reason it is lessened gradually by infinite circumvolutions, until, tempered and accommodated it reaches the angels, who moreover, are veiled with a thin cloud lest they should be injured by its intensity. This is the cause of the appearance as of distance between the Lord as a sun, and heaven where angels are; nevertheless, the Lord Himself is present in heaven, but in away suited to reception. The Lord’s presence is not like the presence of a man who occupies space, but it is a presence apart from space; that is, He is in things greatest and least, so that in things greatest He is Himself, and in things least is Himself. It is difficult, I know, for man to comprehend this, because it is difficult for him to remove space from the ideas of his thought; but it can be comprehended by angels, in whose ideas there are no spaces. In this respect spiritual thought differs from natural thought. Since, therefore, love proceeding from the Lord is a sun is the Lord Himself, and this love is life itself, it follows that the love itself which is life, is Man; thus that it contains in infinite form the things that are in man, one and all. These are conclusions from what has been said about the life of all things from the Lord, and about His providence, omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience.

Divine Love

Divine Love


THE DIVINE LOVE I. IN THE WORLD IT IS LITTLE C0MPREHENDED WHAT LOVE IS; AND YET IT IS MAN’S VERY LIFE. That this is little comprehended is evident from the common saying “What is love?” What it is, is not known for the reason that love is not manifest to the understanding, and the understanding is the receptacle of the light of heaven. What comes into that light is interiorly seen, for what a man thinks, that he has knowledge of. For this reason a man says that this or that is in the light of his understanding, also that he sees this to be so; likewise he prays that he may be enlightened and illumined by God. Moreover, there is spiritual light to which natural light corresponds, and it is from this that one says, with reference to his understanding, that he sees. and a wise man prays to be enlightened and to be illumined by God, that is, that he may understand. Man, therefore, can form no idea concerning love, for this reason, that although the understanding, by means of the thought, presents itself to be seen, love does not. And yet love is the very soul or life of thought, and if love be taken away thought grows cold and dies, like a flower deprived of heat; for love enkindles, vivifies, and animates thought. Set your mind at work and consider whether you can think apart from some affection that is of love; and you will find in your own case that it is impossible. From this it is plain that love is the life of the understanding and of thought therefrom; and what is the life of the understanding and of thought therefrom is also the life of the whole man; for it is the life of all the senses and of all motions, thus the life of the organs by means of which senses and motions exist. That it is also the life of the rest of the viscera, will be seen in what follows. It is not known what love is, for the further reason that man’s love is universal life. By universal life is meant life that is in most minute particulars; for of these the term universal is used, as the term general is of parts. What is thus universal is perceived simply is a one; and a one without a particular perception of the particulars is obscure, comparatively as it is with an intense light that blinds the eye. Such also is the universal Divine in the most minute particulars of the world; consequently this Divine is so obscure to man as not to be manifest to the eye when opened, but only to the eye, when closed; for the whole of the world is a work of the Divine love and the Divine wisdom; and wisdom in its most minute particulars is, as was said before, an intense Divine light that blinds.