Mystics – Can we learn from them?

Spiritual Questions & Answers

Discovering inner health and transformation

I do often find the books written by mystics as mystifying! And so put them down quick; and I don’t think I’m the only one.  For mysticism is often viewed as confused, irrational thinking.

Tantilising insights amidst the paradox

Sometimes I feel mystics intentionally obscure the meaning of something to make it more difficult to grasp and that’s when I long for the clear albeit doctrinaire statements of orthodox religion or for that matter the dogmas of materialistic science. At least they do not so obviously contain contradiction and paradox. Yet occasionally I do get glimpses of something in the writing of mystics that I can only describe as giving me sudden deep moments of intuition.

mystics
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Pierre Telihard de Chardin – one of the mystics

Still keen to get a handle on the mystics, I recently started reading Hymn of the Universe by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin whose words are said to be part of the treasury of mystical literature.

I sensed here a heavenly perception of the warmth and light of the creative Spirit

“Over there, on the horizon, the sun has
just touched with light, the outermost fringe of the eastern sky. Once again,  beneath this moving sheet of fire, the living surface of the earth wakes and  trembles”

A love and respect for so many people trying to fulfill what he calls the creative Energy.

“The whole vast anonymous army of living humanity; those who surround me and support me though I do not know them … who today will take up again their impassioned pursuit of the light.”

I felt a universal humanity with all its separate parts working together complementing each other to bring about heaven on earth.

As well as those “despite their error”, “confused or orderly”. “All of them, Lord, I will try to gather into my arms”

Is this not a love for his fellow man whom he asks God to “receive” and with whom he asks “Lord make us one”?

Mystics have more in common despite varying religious backgrounds

Mystics come from different religious backgrounds and there are mystic traditions which form sub-currents such as Kabbalah within Judaism, Sufism within Islam, Vedanta within Hinduism, and Christian mysticism within Christianity.

A scientist can also be one of the mystics

Teilhard de Chardin comes from a Roman Catholic background and demonstrates the basic Christian attitude that of ourselves we are lifeless but that we can be in-filled with the divine Life if we turn to it.

As for us creatures, of ourselves we are but emptiness and obscurity. But you, my God, are the inmost depths, the stability of that eternal milieu, without duration or space.”

Here we have the characteristic of mystical writing – poetry disguised as prose. Little or no attempt to provide rational coherence and structure but rather we get a subjective expression of devotional emotion.

Nevertheless in other of his writing he was a leading proponent of the idea that evolution occurs in a directional, goal driven way rather than due to the accidents of natural selection. Trained as a paleontologist and geologist as well as a Jesuit priest, he had a reverence for the natural world and a continual awareness of the spiritual.

“Like the pagan I worship a God who can be touched; and I do indeed touch him – this God – over the whole surface and in the depths of that world of matter which confines me.”

But he adds that it is more than the emotion felt by the pagan as he lies prostrate before a tangible divinity. “Through your own incarnation, my God, all matter is henceforth incarnate.

This reminds me of the mystical idea of the whole of creation as mirroring the
Divine soul operating in the world of people. Where accepted it is shown in the
beauty of nature.  Every single thing within the natural order should be cared for because it is an image of the Divine. In each thing we see in the forest, on the mountain and in the sea, something that meaningfully represents the spiritual dimension.

Esoteric secrets or mystical insights available to all

It is difficult to find words to express and describe meaningful insights. And so
the perceptions of the mystics are often regarded as ‘hidden secrets’, or ‘esoteric knowledge’ – and for the initiated only. Yet mystics themselves often seem to think that what is out of sight can be found by every person. It is said to be there in all of us, it is just that but we may not yet be able to recognize it.

Likewise according to Emanuel Swedenborg — who also came from a Christian background, and who also had mystical experiences — no matter how well educated and intelligent you are, you need inner enlightenment from the Lord to perceive spiritual matters.

He claimed this inspiration is the illumination that the angels of heaven enjoy and comes to those who are closely linked in their hearts and minds with the spirit of love and truth. The ideas of natural thought, to do with place, time, person or material objects, cannot provide the deep insights of the mystic.

In his book Heaven and Hell, Swedenborg wrote:

At times I have entered into the state in which angels are, and in that state have talked with them, and then understood everything. But when I was brought back into my former state, and thus into the natural thought proper to man, and wished to recall what I had heard, I could not. For there were thousands of things not on a level with the ideas of natural thought, and therefore only to be expressed by variegations of heavenly light, and thus not at all by human words.

Copyright 2011 Stephen Russell-Lacy
Author of  Heart, Head & Hands  Swedenborg’s perspective on emotional problems

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Posted on 13th October 2011Categories Consciousness, Mystical experienceTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Leave a comment

The God We Worship

The God We Worship
A Sermon by the Rev. Peter M. Buss, Jr.

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“Philip said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient
for us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you
have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the
Father’” (John 14:8-9).
Jesus and His disciples. If we look closely at the Lord’s
relationship with His disciples, one of the primary things He tried to do
for them was teach them who He was (and still is). He wanted them
to know that He was Divine. Through His miracles, His
transfiguration, His walking on the water, His raising of Lazarus from
the dead, and finally His own resurrection, He was working to get
them to understand that He was (as one teaching in the Writings for
the New Church puts it), “Infinite, Uncreate, Almighty, God and Lord,
altogether equal to the Father” (Doctrine of the Lord 55)-at least as
far as they could understand these things.

He has some success. Speaking for the disciples, Peter once
said: “We have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the
Son of the living God” (John 6:69; cf. Matthew 16:16). And after
Thomas saw that Jesus had indeed risen as He said, he professed
His faith by saying, “My Lord, and My God” (John 20:28).
There is but one God. And yet, when it comes right down to it,
even these disciples didn’t quite understand the central message
Jesus was trying to convey. They could not comprehend that He was
the one God of heaven and earth. They could believe that He was the
Son of God, but not God Himself, Jehovah came down on earth.

They are not to blame for their misunderstanding. After all they talked
with Jesus, ate with Him, traveled with Him-He was a Person to them.
They also heard Him talk about God His Father, as if He was talking
about someone else. So Jesus led them as far as He could in the
right direction-that He was the Son of the living God. Anything beyond
that was “wholly incomprehensible” to them (see Arcana Caelestia
6993:2). We have to remember that at the time of the Lord’s birth
there was extreme darkness in all the world about spiritual things.
Jesus brought about the dawning of a new church which would see
more clearly. And at such a dawning, there was a beginning of
understanding, a beginning of belief and worship, with many things
yet to be said and comprehended. As Jesus Himself said: “I still have
many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However,
when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all
truth” (John 16:12-13).

We now live in an era where that new truth is available. The
Lord has revealed the truth He promised to reveal. He has opened up
for us the Scriptures, and in them we may now see the truth about
Him-the truth He taught so long ago, and yet was not completely
understood. He wants us to be absolutely clear about things those
people were just beginning to understand. There are not two
Persons, or three in the God-head. There is one God, the Lord Jesus
Christ, and He is the one we are to believe in and worship. This is
why He was so blunt with Philip when he requested in innocence
(and perhaps even frustration): “Lord, show us the Father and it is
sufficient for us” (John 14:8).

As we read, He said to Philip: “Have I been with you so long,
and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has
seen the Father, so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you
not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in Me? Believe Me
that I am in the Father and the Father in Me” (John 14:9-11).
The central truth of the Word of God, the truth that Jesus tried
so hard to get people to believe while on earth is that there is but one
God. He is not only the Son of God, but the God of heaven and earth,
and one with the Father (see True Christian Religion 379). This is
what we are all called upon to believe.

The importance of a correct idea of God. There is a teaching in
the work of the Writings called True Christian Religion, a work
appropriately named for this topic, which describes how important it is
for us to understand who our God is: A correct idea of God is to the
congregation like the sanctuary and alter in a church, or like a crown
on the head and a scepter in the hand of a king, as he sits upon his
throne. From this hangs the whole body of theology, like a chain from
its anchor-point. If you are prepared to believe me, the idea everyone
has of God determines his place in the heavens (True Christian
Religion 163).

Why is it so important for us to have a correct idea about God?
Why is it that this one teaching-this one facet of belief will determine
our welfare to eternity? Why is it like the sanctuary and altar in a
church, or like the crown and scepter of a king? Why is it the most
important concept in all of religion? If I were to ask of all of you here
today, “How do you get to heaven?” I’d probably get responses such
as this: “Live a good life”, “Obey the Lord’s commandments”, “Shun
evils as sins against the Lord and then live a good life” or something
along those lines. And these would be correct answers.

But a correct idea and belief in the Lord is even more basic
than these statements. It is no accident that there are two great
commandments. The second one is: “You shall love your neighbor as
yourself” (Matthew 22:39). In general this is a command to live a
good life. But the first and great commandment in the Law is to love
the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our
mind (see Matthew 22:37-38). The reason for this is that we need to
know who is asking us to live a good life. For religion to make sense,
we have to know what kind of God the Lord is. Why is He asking us
to act in certain ways? If we don’t understand why He needs us to act
according to His commandments, what’s to convince us to do so
when the going gets tough, when temptation sets in and we feel like
doing something else? The truth about God is indeed the starting
point from which all the other facets of religion hang as links of a
chain from an anchor point.

Father/Son imagery. Now some people might raise a legitimate
complaint about the way the Lord has put His Word together. If it is so
important for us to know who the Lord is, and specifically to
acknowledge that He, the Lord Jesus Christ, is the one God of
heaven and earth, why didn’t He just say so? Why in the world would
He leave anything in His Word which would confuse us, or cause
many people to misunderstand this most central teaching? Why
would He speak to the Father as if to another? Why would He call
Himself the Son of God, and yet expect us to believe that He is more
than that?

We already discussed one reason: the people alive during His
life on earth could not believe anything further than that He was the
Son of God, and not God Himself. This is an important reason, for the
Lord always accommodates Himself to the understanding of the
people He is trying to lead. He is constantly trying to make Himself
accessible and knowable to the extent possible. And He did just that
for the people He taught and healed while He was on earth.
But, as you have probably already realized, there is a much
deeper and more profound reason for the way the gospels were put
together. There is a truth about the Lord our God which is played out
for us in the stories about Father and Son which we could not know
otherwise. There are three ideas I’d like to share with you today
which illustrate how the Father / Son imagery can help us, rather than
be a source of confusion.

1. Many names for one God. First, let us remember that when
we’re discussing the Lord, we’re discussing the Infinite. And, as one
teaching so eloquently points out: “The human mind, for all its
loftiness and superb analytical power, is finite, and there is no way of
rendering it anything but finite. Therefore it is incapable of seeing the
infinity of God as it is in itself, and so of seeing God (True Christian
Religion 28).

It goes on to say that we can see God in shadow-in other
words, as He has revealed Himself in Scripture. This is where the
various names of the Lord help us out tremendously. We cannot
know everything there is to know about God; indeed we would be
foolish to try. But the Lord has made it easier for us to know some
things. He has given us an ability to look at different facets of Him,
different Divine qualities that He possesses. And He labels each one
of these qualities with a different name for Himself. So we have
Jesus, which means “Savior,” and we have “Christ” which means
“King;” and Jehovah, which literally means “the One who Is, or
exists;” and “Immanuel” which means “God with us.” We also have
some of His activities categorized under different names: He is the
Creator and Redeemer, He is our Preserver and Comforter. All
of these things help us to look at one aspect of God at a time, to
understand it, and put it together with the other things we know about
Him, so that our faith in Him can develop.

The same is true of the three most dominant names for God,
which are Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These also are different
aspects of the one God, highlighting certain of His Divine qualities, so
that we can come to understand our God more fully. So the first idea
about the imagery of the trinity is that, although it may seem like a
source of confusion for people, it is actually designed to help us
understand our God more fully.

2. The Trinity. The second idea which will help us see the value
in the imagery of the Trinity, is to see in concept how these three
make one. There is one teaching which is extremely helpful in this
regard. It goes like this: These three, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, are
the three essentials of a single God, which make one as soul, body
and activity do with a person (True Christian Religion 166).
The beauty of this teaching is that it makes so much sense. We
all have a soul-a life force within us. We all have a body. And these
two together make it possible for us to do things-to think and speak
and act, to walk, to express love, to reason, and to serve other
people. Working from this fundamental way in which we have been
created, we can come to realize that it works the same way for God,
for we are created in His image and in His likeness (see Genesis
1:26-27). That means that God has a soul, a body, and that He acts
by means of these two. The conclusion then is that “Father” is the
name which describes the Soul of the Lord, or His life-force-why He
acts, what He cares about, who He is at His core; “Son” is the name
of God which describes His body-the Human form we see in our Lord
Jesus Christ, showing forth or revealing to all who He is, and what He
wants for us; and “Holy Spirit” is the name given to what God doesthe
effect He has on us, the providence, enlightenment, comfort, and
eventual salvation He can bring to us.

3. The soul, body, and activity of God. With this construct of
soul, body and activity of the Lord, we turn to our third idea about the
Father / Son imagery of the gospels-specifically to one story where all
these ideas come together. The story is the one of Philip asking to be
shown the Father, to which Jesus responded, “He who has seen Me
has seen the Father.” Jesus began this teaching episode by saying to
His disciples: “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not
so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you” (John
14:2).

We can now understand what He was really saying to them. If
we think about the “Father” as the soul or life-force of God, we can
see that His inmost desire is to bring us into heaven. What drives
God at His very core, and causes Him to do every single thing He
does, is love-a love for us, and a desire to make us happy from
Himself (see True Christian Religion 43). This is God in Himself: love
for all people, and that love is described by the name “Father.” What
better image could we be given of God’s love, than that of a Divine
Parent who cares for His children with infinite mercy?

And yet, Jesus says that He would prepare this place in heaven
for us; that He would return and lead us there. Further He explained
to the disciples (and to us), that we know how to get there: where He
goes, we know, and the way we know (see John 14:3-4). Thomas
reacted to this statement by saying: “Lord, we do not know where
You are going, and how can we know the way?” And Jesus replied: “I
am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but
by Me” (John 14:5-6).

These words describe Jesus Christ, who called Himself the Son
of God. “No one comes to the Father, except through Me.” “I am the
Way the Truth and the Life.” This is why Jesus came on earth in the
first place-to reveal to people through His actions and His teachings
what kind of God He is and what He expects from us. We have many
teachings about our Lord, and all of them help us to understand Himall
of them point to the fact that He is a God of love-a God who cares
for us with more compassion and mercy than any human being could
ever do. This is what Jesus Christ showed to us. This is the God
teaching us about Himself, showing us what His plans are for us, and
explaining why He asks us to act in certain ways. The Son teaches us
this, and through the Son, we see the love of the Father, or through
the body of our Lord, we see His soul. As a teaching in the work True
Christian Religion says:

“By means of the Human, Jehovah God brought Himself into
the world and made Himself visible to human eyes, and thus
accessible (True Christian Religion 188:6).

And once we realize that He is accessible, we can see that He
can make a difference in our lives: He can affect us. This is His
operation, which is described under the name of the Holy Spirit.
Conclusion. The beauty of these concept of our God is that they
makes Him believable. He has a singularity of focus: all His energy is
directed towards making us happy to eternity in heaven. Everything
He teaches leads us towards that goal. In everything He does, He
works to bring us closer to Him so that He can be a bigger part of our
lives. He wants us to understand that He, the Lord Jesus Christ, is
our one and only God. He wants us to understand the way He has
put the gospels together that we can see more about Him through the
Father/Son imagery than we could without it. By means of the stories
of Jesus Christ, living in this world, teaching people and healing them,
He offers us a real picture of the kind of God He is-not merely an
intercessor between us and God the Father, but God Himself who
has the ability to teach us and heal our lives. He is one with the
Father. This is the truth that Jesus was trying so hard to get His
disciples to understand. There is but one God, and we are to place
our lives in His hands. It is the first and great commandment,
expressed in this way: “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is
One. You shall love the Lord Your God with all your heart, with all
your soul, and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5).
Amen.
The Lessons: Deuteronomy 6:1-9; John 14:1-11; True Christian
Religion 379

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DAILY INSPIRATION

“Before a person can know what truth is, or be moved by good, the things that hinder and offer resistance must be removed.”

Arcana Coelestia 18

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What Precedes and What Follows

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From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg

Jesus said about Himself, I went out and am come from God (John 8:42).

The Father loveth you, because ye have loved Me, and have believed that I went out from God. I went out from the Father, and am come into the world; again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.His disciples said, We believe that thouwentest out from God (John 16:27-30).

For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.(John 17:8)

To illustrate what is meant by “going out” or proceeding, let us take the following examples. Truth is said to “go out” or proceed from good, when truth is the form of good, or when truth is good in a form that the understanding can apprehend. The understanding also may be said to “go out” or proceed from the will, when the understanding is the will formed, or when it is the will in a form perceivable by the internal sight.

So in regard to the thought of the understanding, this may be said to “go out” or proceed when it becomes speech; and of the will, that it “goes out” when it becomes action. Thought clothes itself with another form when it becomes speech, but still it is the thought that so goes out or proceeds; for the words and tones with which it is clothed are mere additions that cause the thought to be appropriately perceived.

In like manner the will becomes of another form when it becomes action, but still it is the will that is presented in such a form; the gestures and movements that are put on are merely additions that cause the will to appear and affect the beholder appropriately.

So also it may be said of the external man, that it “goes out” or proceeds from the internal man, nay, that it does so substantially, because the external man is nothing else than the internal man so formed that it may act suitably in the world in which it is.

From all this it is evident what “to go out” or proceed is in the spiritual sense, namely, that when predicated of the Lord it is the Divine formed as a Man and thereby accommodated to the perception of those who believe; nevertheless both of these are one.

(Arcana Coelestia 5337)
May 31, 2017
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Unique expressions of God’s love

 

Unique expressionsHave you ever been so appreciative of a quality in another person that you had to tell them immediately because you felt you might burst otherwise? Or have you ever participated in an group exercise of naming characteristics you love in each other? I recently led an exercise in a church service where I called on someone in the room, and everyone else in the room spoke of the positive qualities they saw in that person. It was a powerful, even sacred experience. These are amazing experiences, because something holy happens in those moments of expressing love. Something changes as we focus our love for one another and speak it aloud.

One of the things that has been striking me profoundly in the last couple years is what the New Church tells us about love. A beautiful teaching is that love, by its very definition can’t keep itself to itself, it has to be shared.

“The essence of love is loving others than oneself, wishing to be one with them and devoting oneself to their happiness…. The third essential of God’s love, to devote Himself to the happiness of others, is to be recognized in everlasting life, which is blessedness, bliss and happiness without end, which He gives to those who receive His love into themselves. For God, just as He is Love itself, is also blessedness itself. For every love breathes out an aura of joy from itself, and the Divine Love breathes out the very height of blessedness, bliss and happiness forever” (Emanuel Swedenborg, True Christianity 43).

Love cannot exist unless there is something that it loves; it needs a receptacle.

“The hallmark of love is not loving ourselves but loving others and being united to them through love. The hallmark of love is also being loved by others because this is how we are united. Truly, the essence of all love is to be found in union, in the life of love that we call joy, delight, pleasure, sweetness, blessedness, contentment, and happiness. The essence of love is that what is ours should belong to someone else. Feeling the joy of someone else as joy within ourselves—that is loving” (Emanuel Swedenborg, Divine Love and Wisdom 47).

God is love, and His love is the reason we were created. So you were breathed into existence out of God’s love, for the purpose of God’s love. That is the reason you exist, so that God can love you. What an amazing thought! And if any of us were not here, there would be some unique expression of God’s love which we are each an instrument of in someone else’s life that would be missing from their life and from the world. That is an incredible thing to think about. Each of our lives is meant to be an instrument of that love which would be missing in other people’s lives without us.

It is up to us to share that love, share that expression of the Lord that we were created for, with others. We need to carry that same conviction into our interactions with all the people in our lives so that when we use the words “God is Love,” and when we talk about how the Lord loves all His children, everyone we come in contact with will come to really believe it. We need to make sure people feel and trust that our love for them is coming from a heartfelt conviction and that we care more about them than we do about what’s comfortable for us. Not just for our friends, but everyone around us, on both an individual and a global scale.

The Lord has called each of us by name and is lifting us up to new lives. This is where all hope comes from.


 Reflection

Take this challenge:

  • Think of someone you love, feel neutral about, or are in conflict with.
  • Speak/write the positive qualities you see in them.
  • Hold them in a loving place in your heart.
  • Observe any shifts that occur within you as you do this.

 

Ethan McCardell is the pastor at the Light for Life New Church in Seattle, WA. Visit www.lightforlifenewchurch.org for more information.

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Full issue

DAILY INSPIRATION

“In its essence, marriage love is nothing else than the willing of two to be one, that is, their desire that the two lives shall become one life.”

Married Love 215

 

The Primary Thing of the Church, by which There is Conjunction

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From Apocalypse Explained ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
For Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood … Rev 5:9
… the signification of “thou didst redeem us to God in Thy blood,” as being that He conjoined us to the Divine by the acknowledgment of Him, and by the reception of Divine truth from Him; for “to redeem” signifies to liberate from hell, and thereby to appropriate men to Himself, and thus enjoin them to the Divine …. The “blood of the Lord” signifies Divine truth proceeding from Him; and because man by the reception of Divine truth from the Lord is liberated from hell and conjoined to Him, therefore “Thou didst redeem us to God in Thy blood” signifies conjunction with the Divine by the reception of the Divine truth from the Lord.
…the angels who are with men have no perception of these things according to that sense [of the letter], but according to the spiritual sense, for they are spiritual and therefore think spiritually and not naturally. To angels, “redeeming man in His blood” means liberating man from hell, and thus claiming and conjoining man to Himself by the acknowledgment of Him, and by the reception of Divine truth from Him. Moreover, the church may know that this is so; for it may know that no one is conjoined to the Divine by blood, but by the reception of the Divine truth, and the application of it to the life.

Liberation from hell by the Lord was accomplished by His assuming the Human, and through it subjugating the hells, and reducing to order all things in the heavens, which could have been done in no way except by the Human; for the Divine operates from firsts through ultimates, thus from Himself through the things that are from Himself in ultimates, which are in the Human. This is the operation of Divine power in heaven and in the world.

Liberation from hell by the Lord was also accomplished by His glorifying His Human, that is, making it Divine; for thus and not otherwise could He hold the hells in subjection forever; and as the subjugation of the hells and the glorification of His Human was accomplished by means of temptations admitted into his Human, His passion of the cross was His last temptation and complete victory. That “He bore the sins of all” signifies that He admitted into Himself all the hells when He was tempted, for from the hells all sins or evils ascend, and enter into man and are in him; therefore the Lord’s “bearing sins” signifies that He admitted the hells into Himself when tempted; and His “taking away sins” means that He subjugated the hells, in order that evils may no more rise up from them, with those who acknowledge the Lord and receive Him, that is, who receive in faith and life the Divine truth proceeding from Him, and who are thus conjoined to the Lord.

It was said that “Thou didst redeem us to God in Thy blood” signifies conjunction with the Divine by the acknowledgment of the Lord, and the reception of Divine truth from Him; and as the church is founded on this, I will state briefly how conjunction is thereby effected:

The primary thing is to acknowledge the Lord, to acknowledge His Divine in the Human, and His omnipotence to save the human race; for by that acknowledgment man is conjoined to the Divine, since there is no Divine except in Him; for the Father is there; for the Father is in Him, and He in the Father, as the Lord Himself teaches; consequently they who look to another Divine near Him, or at His side, as those are wont to do who pray to the Father to have mercy for the sake of the Son, turn aside from the way and worship a Divine elsewhere than in Him.

Moreover, they then give no thought to the Divine of the Lord, but only to the Human, when yet these cannot be separated; for the Divine and the Human are not two, but a single person, conjoined like soul and body, according to the doctrine received by the churches from the Athanasian Creed.

Therefore to acknowledge the Divine in the Lord’s Human, or the Divine Human, is the primary thing of the church, by which there is conjunction; and because it is the primary it is also the first thing of the church. It is because this is the first thing of the church, that the Lord, when He was in the world, so often said to those whom He healed, “Believest thou that I can do this?” and when they answered that they believed, He said, “Be it done according to thy faith.” This He so often said that they might believe, in the first place, that from His Divine Human He had Divine omnipotence, for without that belief the church could not be begun, and without that belief they could not have been conjoined with the Divine, but must have been separated from it, and thus would not have been able to receive anything good from him.

Afterwards the Lord taught how they were to be saved, namely, by receiving Divine truth from Him – Truth is received when it is applied to the life and implanted in it by doing it; therefore the Lord so often said that they should do His words. From this it can be seen that these two things, namely, believing in the Lord and doing His words, make one, and can by no means be separated; for he who does not do the Lord’s words does not believe in Him; so also he who thinks that he believes in Him and does not do His words does not believe in Him, for the Lord is in His words, that is, in His truths, and by them He gives faith to man.

From these few things it can be known that conjunction with the Divine is effected through the acknowledgment of the Lord and the reception of Divine truth from Him. This, therefore, is what is signified by “the Lamb redeeming us to God in His blood.”

(A portion of Apocalypse Explained 328:2, 4-7)
May 29, 2017
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The Lord

HR90 THE SCIENCE OF CORRESPONDENCE

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THE LORD >> The Word >> Good >> Truth >> Love >> Wisdom >> Glory
>> Bridegroom >> Father of Eternity >> Divine Human >> Jehovah

GOD ALONE, CONSEQUENTLY THE LORD, IS LOVE ITSELF,

BECAUSE HE IS LIFE ITSELF AND ANGELS AND MEN ARE RECIPIENTS OF LIFE.

sunpThis will be fully shown in treatises on Divine Providence and on Life; it is sufficient here to say that the Lord, who is the God of the universe, is uncreate and infinite,  whereas man and angel are created and finite.  And because the Lord is uncreate and infinite, He is Being [Esse] itself, which is called “Jehovah,” and Life itself, or Life in itself. From the uncreate, the infinite, Being itself and Life itself, no one can be created immediately, because the Divine is one and indivisible; but their creation must be out of things created and finited, and so formed that the Divine can be in them. Because men and angels are such, they are recipients of life. Consequently, if any man suffers himself to be so far misled as to think that he is not a recipient of life but is Life, he cannot be withheld from the thought that he is God. A man’s feeling as if he were life, and therefore believing himself to be so, arises from fallacy; for the principal cause is not perceived in the instrumental cause otherwise than as one with it. That the Lord is Life in Himself, He Himself teaches in John:

As the Father hath life in Himself, so also hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself (5:26)

He declares also that He is Life itself (John 11:25; 14:6). Now since life and love are one (as is apparent from what has been said above, n. 1, 2), it follows that the Lord, because He is Life itself, is Love itself. [DLW4]

But that this may reach the understanding, it must needs be known positively that the Lord, because He is Love in its very essence, that is, Divine Love, appears before the angels in heaven as a sun, and that from that sun heat and light go forth; the heat which goes forth therefrom being in its essence love, and the light which goes forth therefrom being in its essence wisdom; and that so far as the angels are recipients of that spiritual heat and of that spiritual light, they are loves and wisdoms; not loves and wisdoms from themselves, but from the Lord. That spiritual heat and that spiritual light not only flow into angels and affect them, but they also flow into men and affect them just to the extent that they become recipients; and they become recipients in the measure of their love to the Lord and love towards the neighbor. That sun itself, that is, the Divine Love, by its heat and its light, cannot create any one immediately from itself; for one so created would be Love in its essence, which Love is the Lord Himself; but it can create from substances and matters so formed as to be capable of receiving the very heat and the very light; comparatively as the sun of the world cannot by its heat and light produce germinations on the earth immediately, but only out of earthy matters in which it can be present by its heat and light, and cause vegetation. In the spiritual world the Divine Love of the Lord appears as a sun, and from it proceed the spiritual heat and the spiritual light from which the angels derive love and wisdom, as may be seen in the work on Heaven and Hell (n. 116-140). [DLW5]

Since, then, man is not life, but is a recipient of life, it follows that the conception of a man from his father is not a conception of life, but only a conception of the first and purest form capable of receiving life; and to this, as to a nucleus or starting-point in the womb, are successively added substances and matters in forms adapted to the reception of life, in their order and degree. [DLW6]

GOD IS VERY MAN.

In all the heavens there is no other idea of God than that He is a Man.  This is because heaven as a whole and in part is in form like a man, and because it is the Divine which is with the angels that constitutes heaven and inasmuch as thought proceeds according to the form of heaven, it is impossible for the angels to think of God in any other way. From this it is that all those in the world who are conjoined with heaven think of God in the same way when they think interiorly in themselves, that is, in their spirit. From this fact that God is a Man, all angels and all spirits, in their complete form, are men. This results from the form of heaven, which is like itself in its greatest and in its least parts. That heaven as a whole and in part is in form like a man may be seen in the work on Heaven and Hell (n. 59-87); and that thoughts proceed according to the form of heaven (n. 203, 204). It is known from Genesis (1:26, 27), that men were created after the image and likeness of God. God also appeared as a man to Abraham and to others. The ancients, from the wise even to the simple, thought of God no otherwise than as being a Man; and when at length they began to worship a plurality of gods, as at Athens and Rome, they worshiped them all as men. What is here said may be illustrated by the following extract from a small treatise already published:

The Gentiles, especially the Africans, who acknowledge and worship one God, the Creator of the universe, have concerning God the idea that He is a Man, and declare that no one can have any other idea of God. When they learn that there are many who cherish an idea of God as something cloud-like in the midst of things, they ask where such persons are; and on being told that they are among Christians, they declare it to be impossible. They are informed, however, that this idea arises from the fact that God in the Word is called “a Spirit,” and of a spirit they have no other idea than of a bit of cloud, not knowing that every spirit and every angel is a man. An examination, nevertheless, was made, whether the spiritual idea of such persons was like their natural idea, and it was found not to be so with those who acknowledge the Lord interiorly as God of heaven and earth. I heard a certain elder from the Christians say that no one can have an idea of a Human Divine; and I saw him taken about to various Gentile nations, and successively to such as were more and more interior, and from them to their heavens, and finally to the Christian heaven; and everywhere their interior perception concerning God was communicated to him, and he observed that they had no other idea of God than that He is a man, which is the same as the idea of a Human Divine (C.L.J. n. 74). [DLW11]

The common people in Christendom have an idea that God is a Man, because God in the Athanasian doctrine of the Trinity is called a “Person.” But those who are more learned than the common people pronounce God to be invisible; and this for the reason that they cannot comprehend how God, as a Man, could have created heaven and earth, and then fill the universe with His presence, and many things besides, which cannot enter the understanding so long as the truth that the Divine is not in space is ignored. Those, however, who go to the Lord alone think of a Human Divine, thus of God as a Man. [DLW12]

How important it is to have a correct idea of God can be known from the truth that the idea of God constitutes the inmost of thought with all who have religion, for all things of religion and all things of worship look to God. And since God, universally and in particular, is in all things of religion and of worship, without a proper idea of God no communication with the heavens is possible. From this it is that in the spiritual world every nation has its place allotted in accordance with its idea of God as a Man; for in this idea, and in no other, is the idea of the Lord. That man’s state of life after death is according to the idea of God in which he has become confirmed, is manifest from the opposite of this, namely, that the denial of God, and, in the Christian world, the denial of the Divinity of the Lord, constitutes hell. [DLW13]

IN GOD-MAN ESSE AND EXISTERE* ARE ONE DISTINCTLY**

Where there is Esse [being] there is Existere [taking form]; one is not possible apart from the other. For Esse is by means of Existere, and not apart from it. This the rational mind comprehends when it thinks whether there can possibly be any Esse [being] which does not Exist [take form], and whether there can possibly be Existere except from Esse. And since one is possible with the other, and not apart from the other, it follows that they are one, but one distinctly. They are one distinctly, like Love and Wisdom; in fact, love is Esse, and wisdom is Existere; for there can be no love except in wisdom, nor can there be any wisdom except from love; consequently when love is in wisdom, then it EXISTS. These two are one in such a way that they may be distinguished in thought but not in operation, and because they may be distinguished in thought though not in operation, it is said that they are one distinctly.*** Esse and Existere in God-Man are also one distinctly like soul and body. There can be no soul apart from its body, nor body apart from its soul. The Divine soul of God-Man is what is meant by Divine Esse, and the Divine Body is what is meant by Divine Existere. That a soul can exist apart from a body, and can think and be wise, is an error springing from fallacies; for every man’s soul is in a spiritual body after it has cast off the material coverings which it carried about in the world. [DLW14]

Esse is not Esse unless it Exists, because until then it is not in a form, and if not in a form it has no quality; and what has no quality is not anything. That which Exists from Esse, for the reason that it is from Esse, makes one with it. From this there is a uniting of the two into one; and from this each is the others mutually and interchangeably, and each is all in all things of the other as in itself. [DLW15]

From this it can be seen that God is a Man, and consequently He is God-Existing; not existing from Himself but in Himself. He who has existence in Himself is God from whom all things are. [DLW16]

IN GOD-MAN INFINITE THINGS ARE ONE DISTINCTLY.

That God is infinite is well known, for He is called the Infinite; and He is called the Infinite because He is infinite. He is infinite not from this alone, that He is very Esse and Existere in itself, but because in Him there are infinite things. An infinite without infinite things in it, is infinite in name only. The infinite things in Him cannot be called infinitely many, nor infinitely all, because of the natural idea of many and of all; for the natural idea of infinitely many is limited, and the natural idea of infinitely all, though not limited, is derived from limited things in the universe. Therefore man, because his ideas are natural, is unable by any refinement or approximation, to come into a perception of the infinite things in God; and an angel, while he is able, because he is in spiritual ideas, to rise by refinement and approximation above the degree of man, is still unable to attain to that perception. [DLW17]

That in God there are infinite things, any one may convince himself who believes that God is a Man; for, being a Man, He has a body and every thing pertaining to it, that is, a face, breast, abdomen, loins and feet; for without these He would not be a Man. And having these, He also has eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and tongue; also the parts within man, as the heart and lungs, and their dependencies, all of which, taken together, make man to be a man. In a created man these parts are many, and regarded in their details of structure are numberless; but in God-Man they are infinite, nothing whatever is lacking, and from this He has infinite perfection. This comparison holds between the uncreated Man who is God and created man, because God is a Man; and He Himself says that the man of this world was created after His image and into His likeness (Gen. 1:26, 27). [DLW18]

That in God there are infinite things, is still more evident to the angels from the heavens in which they dwell. The whole heaven, consisting of myriads of myriads of angels, in its universal form is like a man. So is each society of heaven, be it larger or smaller. From this, too, an angel is a man, for an angel is a heaven in least form. (This is shown in the work  Heaven and Hell, n. 51-86.) Heaven as a whole, in part, and in the individual, is in that form by virtue of the Divine which angels receive; for in the measure in which an angel receives from the Divine is he in complete form a man. From this it is that angels are said to be in God, and God in them; also, that God is their all. How many things there are in heaven cannot be told; and because the Divine is what makes heaven, and consequently these unspeakably many things are from the Divine, it is clearly evident that there are infinite things in Very Man, who is God. [DLW19]

From the created universe a like conclusion may be drawn when it is regarded from uses and their correspondences. But before this can be understood some preliminary illustrations must be given. [DLW20]

Because in God-Man there are infinite things which appear in heaven, in angel, and in man, as in a mirror; and because God-Man is not in space (as was shown above, n. 7-10), it can, to some extent, be seen and comprehended how God can be Omnipresent, Omniscient, and All-providing; and how, as Man, He could create all things, and as Man can hold the things created by Himself in their order to eternity. [DLW21]

That in God-Man infinite things are one distinctly, can also be seen, as in a mirror, from man. In man there are many and numberless things, as said above; but still man feels them all as one. From sensation he knows nothing of his brains, of his heart and lungs, of his liver, spleen, and pancreas; or of the numberless things in his eyes, ears, tongue, stomach, generative organs, and the remaining parts; and because from sensation he has no knowledge of these things, he is to himself as a one. The reason is that all these are in such a form that not one can be lacking; for it is a form recipient of life from God-Man (as was shown above, n. 4-6).  From the order and connection of all things in such a form there comes the feeling, and from that the idea, as if they were not many and numberless, but were one. From this it may be concluded that the many and numberless things which make in man a seeming one, a Very Man who is God, are one distinctly, yea, most distinctly. [DLW22]

THERE IS ONE GOD-MAN, FROM WHOM ALL THINGS COME.

All things of human wisdom unite, and as it were center in this, that there is one God, the Creator of the universe: consequently a man who has reason, from the general nature of his understanding, does not and cannot think otherwise. Say to any man of sound reason that there are two Creators of the universe, and you will be sensible of his repugnance, and this, perhaps, from the mere sound of the phrase in his ear; from which it appears that all things of human reason unite and center in this, that God is one. There are two reasons for this. First, the very capacity to think rationally, viewed in itself, is not man’s, but is God’s in man; upon this capacity human reason in its general nature depends, and this general nature of reason causes man to see as from himself that God is one. Secondly, by means of that capacity man either is in the light of heaven, or he derives the generals of his thought therefrom; and it is a universal of the light of heaven that God is one.  It is otherwise when man by that capacity has perverted the lower parts of his understanding; such a man indeed is endowed with that capacity, but by the twist given to these lower parts, he turns it contrariwise, and thereby his reason becomes unsound. [DLW23]

Every man, even if unconsciously, thinks of a body of men as of one man; therefore he instantly perceives what is meant when it is said that a king is the head, and the subjects are the body, also that this or that person has such a place in the general body, that is, in the kingdom.  As it is with the body politic, so is it with the body spiritual. The body spiritual is the church; its head is God-Man; and from this it is plain how the church thus viewed as a man would appear if instead of one God, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, several were thought of.  The church thus viewed would appear as one body with several heads; thus not as a man, but as a monster. If it be said that these heads have one essence, and that thus together they make one head, the only conception possible is either that of one head with several faces or of several heads with one face; thus making the church, viewed as a whole, appear deformed. But in truth, the one God is the head, and the church is the body, which acts under the command of the head, and not from itself; as is also the case in man; and from this it is that there can be only one king in a kingdom, for several kings would rend it asunder, but one is able to preserve its unity. [DLW24]

So would it be with the church scattered throughout the whole globe, which is called a communion, because it is as one body under one head.  It is known that the head rules the body under it at will; for understanding and will have their seat in the head; and in conformity to the understanding and will the body is directed, even to the extent that the body is nothing but obedience. As the body can do nothing except from the understanding and will in the head, so the man of the church can do nothing except from God. The body seems to act of itself, as if the hands and feet in acting are moved of themselves; or the mouth and tongue in speaking vibrate of themselves, when, in fact, they do not in the slightest degree act of themselves, but only from an affection of the will and the consequent thought of the understanding in the head.  Suppose, now, one body to have several heads and each head to be free to act from its own understanding and its own will, could such a body continue to exist? For among several heads singleness of purpose, such as results from one head would be impossible. As in the church, so in the heavens; heaven consists of myriads of myriads of angels, and unless these all and each looked to one God, they would fall away from one another and heaven would be broken up. Consequently, if an angel of heaven but thinks of a plurality of gods he is at once separated; for he is cast out into the outmost boundary of the heavens, and sinks downward. [DLW25]

Because the whole heaven and all things of heaven have relation to one God, angelic speech is such that by a certain unison flowing from the unison of heaven it closes in a single cadence – a proof that it is impossible for the angels to think otherwise than of one God; for speech is from thought. [DLW26]

When, however, the Lord appears in heaven, which often occurs, He does not appear encompassed with a sun, but in the form of an angel, yet distinguished from angels by the Divine shining through from His face, since He is not there in person, for in person the Lord is constantly encompassed by the sun, but He is present by look.  For it is a common occurrence in heaven for persons to appear to be present in a place where their look is fixed or is terminated, even when this place is far away from where they really are. This presence is called the presence of internal sight, which will be treated of further on. I have also seen the Lord out of the sun in an angelic form, at a height a little below the sun; also near by in a like form, with shining face, and once in the midst of angels as a flame-like radiance.[HH121]

As it is from the Divine love that is in and from Him that the Lord appears in heaven like a sun, so all in the heavens are turned constantly to Him those in the celestial kingdom to Him as a sun and those in the spiritual kingdom to Him as a moon. But those that are in hell turn themselves to an opposite darkness and dense darkness, that is, they turn backwards, away from the Lord; and for the reason that all in the hells are in love of self and the world, thus antagonistic to the Lord. Those who turn themselves to the dense darkness that is in the place where this world’s sun is are in the hells behind, and are called genii; while those that turn themselves to the darkness that is in the place of the moon are in the hells more in front, and are called spirits. This is why those in the hells are said to be in darkness, and those in the heavens in light, “darkness” signifying falsity from evil, and “light” truth from good.  They so turn themselves because all in the other life look towards what rules in their interiors, thus to their loves; and with angels and spirits the interiors determine the face; and in the spiritual world quarters are not fixed, as in the natural world, but are determined by the face. In respect to his spirit man turns himself in like manner as a spirit does, backwards from the Lord if he is in love of self and the world, and towards the Lord if he is in love to the Lord and the neighbor. But of this man is ignorant, because he is in the natural world where quarters are determined by the rising and setting of the sun. But as this cannot be easily comprehended by men it will be elucidated hereafter when Quarters, Space, and Time in Heaven are treated of. [HH123]

Because the Lord is the sun of heaven and everything that is from Him looks to Him, He is also the common center, the source of all direction and determination.{1} So, too, all things beneath are in His presence and under His auspices, both in the heavens and on the earths.[HH124]

From all this what has been said and shown in previous chapters about the Lord may now be seen in clearer light, namely:

That He is the God of heaven (n. 2-6).

That it is His Divine that makes heaven (n. 7-12).

That the Lord’s Divine in heaven is love to Him and charity towards the neighbor (n. 13-19).

That there is a correspondence of all things of the world with heaven, and through heaven with the Lord (n. 87-115).

Also that the sun and moon of the world are correspondences (n. 105). [HH125]

Author: EMANUEL. SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)

http://www.scienceofcorrespondences.com/white-horse.htm

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Copyright © 2007-2013 A. J. Coriat All rights reserved.

 

 

INFLUX

HR90 THE SCIENCE OF CORRESPONDENCE

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INFLUX

influx8p_500_327 The truth of the matter is this. From the Lord through the spiritual world into the subjects of the natural world there is a general influx and also a particular influx–a general  influx into those things which are in order, a particular influx into those things which are not in order.  Animals of every kind are in the order of their nature, and therefore into them there is general influx.  That they are in the order of their nature is evident from the fact that they are born into all their faculties, and have no need to be introduced into them by any information.  But men are not in their order, nor in any law of order, and therefore they receive particular influx; that is, there are with them angels and spirits through whom the influx comes.  And unless these were with men, they would rush into every wickedness and would plunge in a moment into the deepest hell.  Through these spirits and angels man is kept under the auspices and guidance of the Lord.  The order into which man was created would be that he should love the neighbor as himself, and even more than himself.  Thus do the angels.  But man loves only himself and the world, and hates the neighbor, except in so far as he favors his commanding and possessing the world.  Therefore as the life of man is altogether contrary to heavenly order, he is ruled by the Lord through separate spirits and angels. [AC 5850]

The same spirits do not remain constantly with a man, but are changed according to the man’s states, that is, the states of his affection, or of his loves and ends, the former being removed and others succeeding.  In general there are with man spirits of such a quality as is the man himself.  If he is avaricious, there are spirits who are avaricious; if he is haughty, there are haughty spirits; if he is desirous of revenge, there are spirits of this character; if he is deceitful, there are the like spirits. Man summons to himself spirits from hell in accordance with his life. The hells are most exactly distinguished according to evils of cupidities, and according to all the differences of evil. Thus there is never any lack of spirits like himself to be called out and adjoined to a man who is in evil. [AC 5851]

But influx is of such a nature that there is an influx from the Divine of the Lord into every angel, into every spirit, and into every man, and that in this way the Lord rules everyone, not only in the universal, but also in the veriest singulars, and this immediately from Himself, and also mediately through the spiritual world.  In order to make known  the existence of this influx, much has already been said about the correspondence of man’s parts with the Grand Man, that is, with heaven; and at the same time about the representation of spiritual things in natural; at the close of chapters 23 to 43, and afterward about the angels and spirits with man, at the close of chapters 44 and 45; and this is now to be followed with a specific exposition of the subject of influx and the intercourse of the soul and the body.  But this subject must be illustrated by experiences, for otherwise things so much unknown and rendered so obscure by hypotheses cannot be brought forth into the light. The illustrative experiences shall be presented at the close of some of the following chapters. Let what has been said thus far, serve as an introduction. [AC 6058]

As the subject here treated of is Influx, and this is mentioned so frequently, it is necessary to say in advance what influx is.  What is meant by spiritual influx cannot be better seen than by means of the natural influxes which take place and appear in this world – as by the influx of heat from the sun into all things of the earth, with all variety in accordance with the seasons of the year and the climates of the earth; and by the influx of light into the same, with all variety likewise in accordance with the times of the days and also of the years, also in a varied manner according to the climates. From the influx of heat from the sun into all things of the earth, whence comes vegetative life; and from the influx of light into the same, whence comes support to that life, and also colors and displays of beauties; in like manner from the influx of the same heat into the surface of our bodies, and also of light into the eye; likewise from the influx of sound into the ear; and from other instances of a similar kind, it may be comprehended what is the influx of life from the Lord, who is the Sun of heaven, from whom come heavenly heat, which is the good of love, and heavenly light, which is the truth of faith. The influx of these is also plainly felt, for heavenly heat which is love produces the vital heat which is in man, and heavenly light which is faith produces his understanding, because the truth of faith which proceeds from the Lord enlightens his intellectual; but in both cases with much variety, for it is according to the reception on the part of man. [AC 6190]

0094aThat man is governed by the Lord by means of angels and spirits, has been given me to know by experience so manifest as not to leave even the smallest doubt concerning it; for now through a course of many years all my thoughts and all my affections, even to the most minute of all, have flowed in by means of spirits and angels.  This it has been given me to perceive so plainly that nothing could be more plain; for I have perceived, I have seen, and I have heard, who they were, what was their quality, and where they were. And when anything adverse fell into my thought or will, I have spoken with them and chided them.  And I have also observed that the power they had of infusing such things was restrained by the angels; and also in what manner; and likewise often that they were driven away, and that then new spirits were present in their place, from whom again there was influx. It has also been given me to perceive whence those spirits came, or of what societies they were the subjects; and an opportunity of speaking with those societies themselves has likewise frequently been granted.  And notwithstanding that everything, even to the most minute, of the thoughts and affections, flowed in through the spirits and angels, still I thought as before, and willed as before, and conversed with men as before, no difference from my former life being observed by anyone I am aware that scarcely anyone will believe that such is the fact, but still it is an eternal verity. [AC 6191]

It has been shown me to the life in what manner spirits flow in with man.  When they come to him, they put on all things of his memory, thus all things which the man has learned and imbibed from infancy, and the spirits suppose these things to be their own.  Thus they act as it were the part of the man in the man. But they are not allowed to enter further with a man than to his interiors which are of the thought and will, and not to the exteriors which are of the actions and speech; for these latter come into act by means of a general influx from the Lord without the mediation of particular spirits and angels.  But although the spirits act the part of the man with a man in respect to those things which are of his thought and will, they nevertheless do not know that they are with a man, for the reason that they possess all things of his memory, and believe that these are not another’s, but their own; and this for the reason also that they may not injure the man. For unless the spirits from hell who are with a man believed these things to be their own, they would attempt in every way to destroy the man both body and soul, because this is the infernal delight itself. [AC 6192]

How the case is with the influx of each life, namely, of the life of the thought and the life of the will from the Lord, has been given to know by revelation; namely, that the Lord inflows in two ways: through heaven mediately, and from Himself immediately; and that from Himself He flows both into man’s rational things, which are his interior things, and into his natural things, which are his exterior ones.  That which flows in from the Lord is the good of love and the truth of faith, for that which proceeds from the Lord is the Divine truth in which is the Divine good; but these are variously received with man, namely, in accordance with his quality.

[2] The Lord does not compel man to receive what flows in from Himself; but leads in freedom, and so far as man allows, through freedom leads to good.  Thus the Lord leads man according to his delights, and also according to fallacies and the principles received therefrom; but gradually He leads him out from these; and this appears to the man as if it were from himself. Thus the Lord does not break these things, for this would be to do violence to freedom, which however must needs exist, in order that the man may be reformed (n. 1937, 1947, 2875, 2876, 2881, 3145, 3146, 3158, 4031). That the Lord flows in with man in this manner, namely, not only mediately through heaven, but also immediately from Himself, both into the interior and the exterior things in the man, is a secret hitherto unknown. [AC 6472]

That the Lord rules the last things of man equally as his first, can be seen from the fact that the order from the Lord is successive from first things to last, and in the order itself there is nothing but what is Divine; and this being so, the presence of the Lord must needs be in the last things equally as in the first, for the one follows from the other according to the tenor of order. [AC 6473].

Whenever I have been reading the Lord’s prayer, I have plainly perceived an elevation toward the Lord which was like an attraction, and at the same time my ideas were open, and from this there was effected a communication with some societies in heaven; and I noticed that there was an influx from the Lord into every detail of the prayer, thus into every idea of my thought that was from the meaning of the things in the prayer.  The influx was effected with inexpressible variety, that is, not the same at one time as another; hence also it was made evident how infinite are the things contained in the prayer, and that the Lord is present in everyone of them. [AC 6476]

For many years I have observed the general sphere of the influxes around me.  It consisted on the one hand of a perpetual endeavor by the hells to do evil, and on the other of a continual endeavor by the Lord to do good; by these endeavors opposite to each other I have been constantly kept in equilibrium.  Such endeavors and consequent equilibrium are with everyone; from this all have freedom to turn whithersoever they please; but the equilibrium varies in accordance with the good or evil that reigns with the man. From this also it could be seen that the Lord flows in universally, and therefore also singularly.  And I have been informed that the opposite endeavor, which is from hell, is nothing but the perversion into evil of the good that proceeds from the Lord. [AC 6477]

When an angel does good to anyone, he also communicates to him his own good, good fortune, and bliss, and this with the desire to give the other everything, and to retain nothing.  When he is in such communication, then good flows in unto him together with good fortune and bliss much more than be gives, and this with continual increase. But as soon as the thought occurs that he desires to communicate what he has for the sake of obtaining in himself this influx of good fortune and bliss, the influx is dissipated; and still more so if any thought comes in of recompense from him to whom he communicates his good.  This it has been given me to know from much experience; and from this also it may be seen that the Lord is in every single thing, for the Lord is such that He wills to give Himself to all, and hence good fortune and bliss are increased with those who are images and likenesses of Him. [AC 6478]

Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)

 

 

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