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THE DEGREES OF HEIGHT ARE IN FULLNESS AND IN POWER IN THEIR OUTMOST DEGREE
DLW 217. In the preceding chapter it is shown that the outmost degree is the complex and containant of prior degrees. From this it follows that prior degrees are in their fullness in their outmost degree, for they are in their effect, and every effect is the fullness of causes.
DLW 218. That these ascending and descending degrees, also called prior and subsequent, likewise degrees of height or discrete degrees, are in their power in their outmost degree, may be confirmed by all those things that have been adduced in the preceding chapters as confirmations from objects of sense and perception. Here, however, I choose to confirm them only by the conatus, forces and motions in dead and in living subjects. It is known that conatus does nothing of itself, but acts through forces corresponding to it, thereby producing motion; consequently that conatus is the all in forces, and through forces is the all in motion; and since motion is the outmost degree of conatus, through motion conatus exerts its power. Conatus, force, and motion are no otherwise conjoined than according to degrees of height, conjunction of which is not by continuity, for they are discrete, but by correspondences. For conatus is not force, nor is force motion, but force is produced by conatus, because force is conatus made active, and through force motion is produced; consequently there is no power in conatus alone, nor in force alone, but in motion, which is their product. That this is so may still seem doubtful, because not illustrated by applications to sensible and perceptible things in nature nevertheless, such is the progression of conatus, force, and motion into power.
DLW 219. But let application of this be made to living conatus, and to living force, and to living motion. Living conatus in man, who is a living subject, is his will united to his understanding; living forces in man are the interior constituents of his body, in all of which there are motor fibers interlacing in various ways; and living motion in man is action, which is produced through these forces by the will united to the understanding. For the interior things pertaining to the will and understanding make the first degree; the interior things pertaining to the body make the second degree; and the whole body, which is the complex of these, makes the third degree. That the interior things pertaining to the mind have no power except through forces in the body, also that forces have no power except through the action of the body itself, is well known. These three do not act by what is continuous, but by what is discrete; and to act by what is discrete is to act by correspondences. The interiors of the mind correspond to the interiors of the body, and the interiors of the body correspond to the exteriors, through which actions come forth; consequently the two prior degrees have power through the exteriors of the body. It may seem as if conatus and forces in man have some power even when there is no action, as in sleep and in states of rest, but still at such times the determinations of conatus and forces are directed into the general motor organs of the body, which are the heart and the lungs; but when their action ceases the forces also cease, and, with the forces, the conatus.
DLW 220. Since the powers of the whole, that is, of the body, are determined chiefly into the arms and hands, which are outmosts, " arms" and " hands," in the Word, signify power, and the "right hand" signifies superior power. And such being the evolution and putting forth of degrees into power, the angels that are with man and in correspondence with all things belonging to him, know merely from such action as is effected through the hands, what a man is in respect to his understanding and will, also his charity and faith, thus in respect to the internal life pertaining to his mind and the external life derived therefrom in the body. I have often wondered that the angels have such knowledge from the mere action of the body through the hands; but that it is so has been shown to me repeatedly by living experience, and it has been said that it is from this that inductions into the ministry are performed by the laying on of the hands, and that "touching with the hand" signifies communicating, with other like things. From all this the conclusion is formed, that the all of charity and faith is in works, and that charity and faith without works are like rainbows about the sun, which vanish away and are dispersed by a cloud. On this account "works" and "doing works" are so often mentioned in the Word, and it is said that a man's salvation depends upon these; moreover, he that doeth is called a wise man, and he that doeth not is called a foolish man. But it should be remembered that by " works" here are meant uses actually done; for the all of charity and faith is in uses and according to uses. There is this correspondence of works with uses, because the correspondence is spiritual, but it is carried out through substances and matters, which are subjects.
DLW 221. Two arcana, which are brought within reach of the understanding by what precedes, may here be revealed. The First Arcanum is that the Word is in its fullness and in its power in the sense of the letter. For there are three senses in the Word, according to the three degrees; the celestial sense, the spiritual sense, and the natural sense. Since these senses are in the Word according to the three degrees of height, and their conjunction is effected by correspondences, the outmost sense, which is the natural and is called the sense of the letter, is not only the complex, containant and base of the corresponding interior senses, but moreover in the outmost sense the Word is in its fullness and in its power. This is abundantly shown and proved in (Sacred n. 27-35, 36-49, 50-61, 62-69). The Second Arcanum is that the Lord came into the world, and took upon Him the Human, in order to put Himself into the power of subjugating the hells, and of reducing all things to order both in the heavens and on the earth. This Human He put on over His former Human. This Human which He put on in the world was like the human of a man in the world. Yet both Humans are Divine, and therefore infinitely transcend the finite humans of angels and men. And because He fully glorified the natural Human even to its outmosts, He rose again with the whole body, differently from any man. Through the assumption of this Human the Lord put on Divine Omnipotence not only for subjugating the hells, and reducing the heavens to order, but also holding the hells in subjection to eternity, and saving mankind. This power is meant by His "sitting at the right hand of the power and might of God." Because the Lord, by the assumption of a natural Human, made Himself Divine Truth in outmosts, He is called "the Word," and it is said that "the Word was made flesh;" moreover, Divine Truth in outmosts is the Word in the sense of the letter. This the Lord made Himself by fulfilling all things of the Word concerning Himself in Moses and the Prophets. For while every man is his own good and his own truth, and man is man on no other ground, the Lord, by the assumption of a natural Human, is Divine Good itself and Divine Truth itself, or what is the same, He is Divine Love itself and Divine Wisdom itself, both in Firsts and in Lasts. Consequently the Lord, since His advent into the world, appears as a sun in the angelic heavens, in stronger radiance and in greater Splendor than before His advent. This is an arcanum which is brought within the range of the understanding by the doctrine of degrees. The Lord's omnipotence before His advent into the world will be treated of in what follows.
|Divine Love and Wisdom||previous · next||Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||www.TheisticScience.org|