THE CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE
Excerpts from the True Christian Religion
by Emanuel Swedenborg
As the subject of this first chapter is “God the Creator”, the creation of the universe by Him must also be considered; as in the next chapter on the Lord the Redeemer, redemption will also be treated of. But no one can gain a right idea of the creation of the universe until his understanding is brought into a state of perception by some most general knowledges previously recognized, which are as follows:
(i) There are two worlds, a spiritual world where angels and spirits are, and a natural world where men are.
(ii.) In each world there is a sun. The sun of the spiritual world is nothing but love from Jehovah God who is in the midst of it. From that sun heat and light go forth; the heat that goes forth therefrom in its essence is love, and the light that goes forth in its essence is wisdom; and these two affect the will and understanding of man- the heat his will and the light his understanding. But the sun of the natural world is nothing but fire, and therefore its heat is dead, also its light; and these serve as a covering and auxiliary to spiritual heat and light, to enable them to pass over to man.
(iii) Again, these two which go forth from the sun of the spiritual world, and in consequence all things that have existence in that world by means of them, are substantial, and are called spiritual; while the two like things that go forth from the sun of the natural world, and in consequence all things here that have existence by means of them, are material, and are called natural.
(iv.) In each world there are three degrees, called degrees of height, and in consequence three regions; and in accordance with these the three angelic heavens are arranged, and also in accordance with them human minds are arranged, which thus correspond to those three angelic heavens; and the same is true of everything else in both worlds.
(v.) There is a correspondence between those things that are in the spiritual world and those in the natural world.
(vi.) There is an order in which each thing and all things belonging to both worlds were created.
(vii.) It is necessary that an idea of these things should first be gained, for unless this is done the human mind from mere ignorance of these things easily falls into a notion of a creation of the universe by nature; while on mere ecclesiastical authority it asserts that nature was created by God; and yet, because it does not know how creation was effected, as soon as it begins to look interiorly into the matter, it plunges headlong into the naturalism that denies God. But it would be truly the work of a large volume to explain and demonstrate these statements properly one by one; moreover, the matter does not properly enter into the theological system of this book as a theme or argument; therefore I will merely relate some memorable occurrences from which an idea of the creation of the universe by God may be conceived, and from such a conception some offspring that will represent it may be born.