Lasting Memories

Lasting Memories

There are other important influences which contribute to our rebirth from above. They are good states of our emotions starting in infancy and going right through to old age, which make us able to have a positive reaction to Divine influences.

Swedenborg describes these helpful states as “lasting memories,” meaning conditions deeply impressed on our nature. They are emotions which form a holy remnant deep inside us and are called on and strengthened as our lives develop.

These “lasting memories” are described as “not just the good and true things learned from childhood out of the Lord’s Word and impressed on the memory, but also all the states of being which come from this, such as innocent times from infancy; times of love toward parents, brothers and sisters, teachers and friends; times of kindness to other people, and also of pity for poor and needy people; in a word, every experience of goodness and truth.”

Swedenborg also says and his statement can be proved by observation that “these lasting memories are saved up in the person by the Lord and stored in his inner self while he has no consciousness of it. They are carefully separated from the things which belong to the person’s ego, that is, from evils and falsities.”

In another place Swedenborg says, “It is impossible for any person to live, and especially to live as a human being, if he does not have something alive inside of him, that is, unless he has at least some innocence, kindness, and mercy, or something from them which is like them. The person receives this share of innocence, kindness, and mercy from the Lord during infancy and childhood. What the person receives then is saved up inside him. It is these saved-up impressions which make a person capable of becoming a truly human being when he reaches adulthood.” We are also told that while we are being reborn, we receive new “lasting memories” in addition to the ones kept from early life. These “lasting memories” which “are carefully separated from the things that belong to the person’s ego” form what is known in modern psychological terminology as a “complex.” They are arranged into a unified whole which, under the Divine eye, is valuable in our rebirth process. They are a very powerful factor in our rebirth one which is not usually recognized by psychologists.