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DLW 242. It is evident from what has been shown above that from the sun of heaven, which is the first proceeding of Divine Love and Divine Wisdom (treated of in Part Second), light and heat proceedlight from its wisdom, and heat from its love; also that light is the receptacle of wisdom, and heat of love; also that so far as man comes into wisdom he comes into that Divine light, and so far as he comes into love he comes into that Divine heat. From what has been shown above it is also evident that there are three degrees of light and three degrees of heat, that is, three degrees of wisdom and three degrees of love, and that these degrees have been formed in man in order that he may be a receptacle of the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom, thus of the Lord. It is now to be shown that spiritual light flows in through these three degrees in man, but not spiritual heat, except so far as man shuns evils as sins and looks to the Lord or, what is the same, that man is able to receive wisdom even to the third degree, but not love, unless he flees from evils as sins and looks to the Lord; or what is still the same, that man's understanding can be raised into wisdom, but not his will, except so far as he flees from evils as sins.

DLW 243. That the understanding can be raised into the light of heaven, that is, into angelic wisdom, while the will cannot be raised into the heat of heaven, that is, into angelic love, unless man flees from evils as sins and looks to the Lord, has been made plainly evident to me from experience in the spiritual world. I have frequently seen and perceived that simple spirits, who knew merely that God is and that the Lord was born a man, and who knew scarcely anything else, clearly apprehended the arcana of angelic wisdom almost as the angels do; and not these simple ones alone, but many also of the infernal crew. These, while they listened, understood, but not when they thought within themselves; for while they listened, light entered from above, and when they thought within themselves, no light could enter except that which corresponded to their heat or love; consequently when they had listened to and perceived these arcana, as soon as they turned their ears away they remembered nothing, those belonging to the infernal crew even rejecting these things with disgust and utterly denying them, because the fire of their love and its light, being delusive, induced darkness, by which the heavenly light entering from above was extinguished.

DLW 244. The same thing happens in the world. A man not altogether stupid, and who has not confirmed himself in falsities from the pride of self-intelligence, hearing others speak on some exalted matter, or reading something of the kind, if he is in any affection of knowing, understands these things and also retains them, and may afterwards confirm them. A bad man as well as a good man may do this. Even a bad man, though in heart he denies the Divine things pertaining to the church, can still understand them, and also speak of and preach them, and in writing learnedly prove them; but when left to his own thought, from his own infernal love he thinks against them and denies them. From which it is obvious that the understanding can be in spiritual light even when the will is not in spiritual heat; and from this it also follows that the understanding does not lead the will, or that wisdom does not beget love, but only teaches and shows the way,--teaching how a man ought to live, and showing the way in which he ought to go. It further follows that the will leads the understanding, and causes it to act as one with itself; also that whatever in the understanding agrees with the love which is in the will, the love calls wisdom. In what follows it will be seen that the will does nothing by itself apart from the understanding, but does all that it does in conjunction with the understanding; moreover, that it is the will that by influx takes the understanding into partnership with itself, and not the reverse.

DLW 245. The nature of the influx of light into the three degrees of life in man which belong to his mind, shall now be shown. The forms which are receptacles of heat and light, that is, of love and wisdom in man, and which are in threefold order or of three degrees, are transparent from birth, transmitting spiritual light as crystal glass transmits natural light; consequently in respect to wisdom man can be raised even into the third degree. Nevertheless these forms are not opened except when spiritual heat conjoins itself to spiritual light, that is, love to wisdom; by such conjunction these transparent forms are opened according to degrees. It is the same with light and heat from the sun of the world in their action on plants on the earth. The light of winter, which is as bright as that of summer, opens nothing in seed or in tree, but when vernal heat conjoins itself to that light then the heat opens them. There is this similarity because spiritual light corresponds to natural light, and spiritual heat to natural heat.

DLW 246. This spiritual heat is obtained only by fleeing from evils as sins, and at the same time looking to the Lord; for so long as man is in evils he is also in the love of them, for he lusts after them; and the love of evil and the lust, abide in a love contrary to spiritual love and affection; and such love or lust can be removed only by fleeing from evils as sins; and because man cannot flee from evils from himself, but only from the Lord. He must look to the Lord. So when he flees from evils from the Lord, the love of evil and its heat are removed, and the love of good and its heat are introduced in their stead, whereby a higher degree is opened; for the Lord flowing in from above opens that degree, and then conjoins love, that is, spiritual heat, to wisdom or spiritual light, from which conjunction man begins to flourish spiritually, like a tree in spring-time.

DLW 247. By the influx of spiritual light into all three degrees of the mind man is distinguished from beasts; and, as contrasted with beasts, he can think analytically, and see both natural and spiritual truth; and when he sees them he can acknowledge them, and thus be reformed and regenerated. This capacity to receive spiritual light is what is meant by rationality (referred to above), which every man has from the Lord, and which is not taken away from him, for if it were taken away he could not be reformed. From this capacity, called rationality, man, unlike the beasts, is able not only to think but also to speak from thought; and afterwards from his other capacity, called freedom (also referred to above), he is able to do those things that he thinks from his understanding. As these two capacities, rationality and freedom, which are proper to man, have been treated of above (n. 240), no more will be said about them here.

Divine Love and Wisdom previous · next Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). www.TheisticScience.org