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EVILS AND FALSITIES ARE IN COMPLETE OPPOSITION TO GOODS AND TRUTHS, BECAUSE EVILS AND FALSITIES ARE DIABOLICAL AND INFERNAL, WHILE GOODS AND TRUTHS ARE DIVINE AND HEAVENLY
DLW 271. That evil and good are opposites, also the falsity of evil and the truth of good, everyone acknowledges when he hears it. Still those who are in evil do not feel, and therefore do not perceive, otherwise than that evil is good; for evil gives enjoyment to their senses, especially sight and hearing, and from that gives enjoyment also to their thoughts, and thus their perceptions. While, therefore, the evil acknowledge that evil and good are opposites, still, when they are in evil, they declare from their enjoyment of it that evil is good, and good evil. For example:--One who abuses his freedom to think and to do what is evil calls that freedom, while its opposite, namely, to think the good which in itself is good, he calls bondage; when, in fact, the latter is to be truly free, and the former to be in bondage. He who loves adulteries calls it freedom to commit adultery, but not to be allowed to commit adultery he calls bondage; for in lasciviousness he has a sense of enjoyment, but of the contrary in chastity. He who is in the love of ruling from love of self feels in that love an enjoyment of life surpassing other enjoyments of every kind; consequently, everything belonging to that love he calls good, and everything contrary to it he declares to be evil; when yet the reverse is true. It is the same with every other evil. While everyone, therefore, acknowledges that evil and good are opposites, those who are in evils cherish a reverse conception of such opposition, and only those who are in good have a right conception of it. No-one so long as he is in evil can see good, but he who is in good can see evil. Evil is below as in a cave, good is above as on a mountain.
DLW 272. Now as many do not know what the nature of evil is, and that it is entirely opposite to good, and as this knowledge is important, the subject shall be considered in the following order:--(1) The natural mind that is in evils and in falsities therefrom is a form and image of hell. (2) The natural mind that is a form and image of hell descends through three degrees. (3) The three degrees of the natural mind that is a form and image of hell, are opposite to the three degrees of the spiritual mind which is a form and image of heaven. (4) The natural mind that is a hell is in every respect opposed to the spiritual mind that is a heaven.
DLW 273. (1) The natural mind that is in evils and in falsities therefrom is a form and image of hell. The nature of the natural mind in man in its substantial form cannot here be described, that is, its nature in its own form woven out of the substances of both worlds, in the brains where that mind in its first principles, has its seat. The universal idea of that form will be given in what follows, where the correspondence of the mind and body is to be treated of. Here somewhat only shall be said of its form as regards the states and their changes, whereby perceptions, thoughts, intentions, volitions, and their belongings are manifested; for, as regards these states and changes, the natural mind that is in evils and their falsities is a form and image of hell. Such a form supposes a substantial form as a subject; for without a substantial form as a subject, changes of state are impossible, just as sight is impossible without an eye, or hearing without an ear. In regard, then, to the form or image wherein the natural mind images hell, that form or image is such that the reigning love with its lusts, which is the universal state of that mind, is like what the devil is in hell; and the thoughts of the false arising out of that reigning love are, as it were, the devil's crew. By "the devil" and by "his crew" nothing else is meant in the Word. Moreover, the case is similar, since in hell there is a love of ruling from love of self, a reigning love, called there the "devil;" and the affections of the false, with the thoughts arising out of that love, are called " his crew." It is the same in every society of hell, with differences resembling the differences of species in a genus. And the natural mind that is in evils and in falsities therefrom is in a similar form; consequently, a natural man who is of this character comes, after death, into a society of hell similar to himself, and then, in each and every particular, he acts in unison with it; for he thus enters into his own form, that is, into the states of his own mind. There is also another love, called " satan," subordinate to the former love that is called the devil; it is the love of possessing the goods of others by every evil device. Cunning villainies and subtleties are its crew. Those who are in this hell are generally called satans; those in the former, devils: and such of them as do not act in a clandestine way there do not disown their name. From this it is that the hells, as a whole, are called the Devil and Satan. The two hells are generically divided in accordance with these two loves, because all the heavens are divided into two kingdoms, the celestial and the spiritual, in accordance with two loves; and the devil-hell corresponds, by opposites, to the celestial kingdom, and the satan-hell corresponds, by opposites, to the spiritual kingdom. That the heavens are divided into two kingdoms, the celestial and the spiritual, see (HH n. 20-28). The reason why a natural mind of such a character is in form a hell, is that every spiritual form is like itself both in what is greatest and in what is least; therefore every angel is, in lesser form, a heaven, see (HH n. 51-58); from which it follows that every man or spirit who is a devil or a satan is, in lesser form, a hell.
DLW 274. (2) The natural mind that is a form or image of hell descends through three degrees It may be seen above (n. 222-229) that both in the greatest and in the least of all things there are degrees of two kinds, namely, degrees of height and degrees of breadth. This is also true of the natural mind in its greatest and its least parts. Degrees of height are what are now referred to. The natural mind, by its two capacities called rationality and freedom, is in such a state as to be capable of ascending through three degrees, or of descending through three degrees; it ascends by goods and truths, and descends by evils and falsities. When it ascends, the lower degrees which tend to hell are shut, and when it descends, the higher degrees which tend to heaven are shut; for the reason that they are in reaction. These three degrees, higher and lower, are neither open nor shut in man in earliest infancy, for he is then ignorant both of good and truth and of evil and falsity; but as he lets himself into one or the other, the degrees are opened and shut on the one side or the other. When they are opened towards hell, the reigning love, which is of the will, obtains the highest or inmost place; the thought of the false, which is of the understanding from that love, obtains the second or middle place; and the result of the love through the thought, or of the will through the understanding, obtains the lowest place. The same is true here as of degrees of height treated of above; they stand in order as end, cause, and effect, or as first end, middle end, and last end. The descent of these degrees is towards the body, consequently in the descent they wax grosser, and become material and corporeal. If truths from the Word are received in the second degree to form it, these truths are falsified by the first degree, which is the love of evil, and become servants and slaves. From this it can be seen what the truths of the church from the Word become with those who are in the love of evil, or whose natural mind is in form a hell, namely, that they are profaned because they serve the devil as means; for the love of evil reigning in the natural mind that is a hell, is the devil.
DLW 275. (3) The three degrees of the natural mind that is a form and image of hell, are opposite to the three degrees of the spiritual mind which is a form and image of heaven. It has been shown above that there are three degrees of the mind, called natural, spiritual, and celestial, and that the human mind, made up of these degrees, looks towards heaven, and turns itself about in that direction. From this it can be seen that the natural mind, looking downwards and turning itself about towards hell, is made up in like manner of three degrees, and that each degree of it is opposite to a degree of that mind which is a heaven. That this is so has been made very clear to me by things seen in the spiritual world; namely, that there are three heavens, and these distinct according to three degrees of height; that there are three hells, and these also distinct according to three degrees of height or depth; that the hells are opposed to the heavens in each and every particular; also that the lowest hell is opposite to the highest heaven, and the middle hell to the middle heaven, and the uppermost hell to the lowest heaven. It is the same with the natural mind that is in the form of hell; for spiritual forms are like themselves in things greatest and least. The heavens and hells are thus opposite, because their loves are opposed. In the heavens, love to the Lord, and consequent love to the neighbor, constitute the inmost degree; in the hells, love of self and love of the world constitute the inmost degree. In the heavens, wisdom and intelligence, springing from their loves, constitute the middle degree; in the hells folly and insanity, springing from their loves and appearing like wisdom and intelligence, constitute the middle degree. In the heavens, the results from the two other degrees, either laid up in the memory as knowledges, or determined into actions in the body, constitute the lowest degree; in the hells, the results from the two other degrees, which have become either knowledges or acts, constitute the outermost degree. How the goods and truths of heaven are turned, in the hells, into evils and falsities, thus into what is opposite, may be seen from this experience: I heard that a certain Divine truth flowed down out of heaven into hell, and that in its descent by degrees it was converted on the way into what is false, until at the lowest hell, it became the exact opposite of that truth; from which it was manifest that the hells according to degrees are in opposition to the heavens in regard to all goods and truths, these becoming evils and falsities by influx into forms turned the reverse way; for all inflowing, it is well known, is perceived and felt according to recipient forms and their states. This conversion into the opposite was made further evident to me from this experience: it was granted me to see the hells as they are placed relatively to the heavens; and those who were there appeared inverted, the head downward and the feet upward; but it was said that they nevertheless appear to themselves to be upright on their feet; comparatively like the antipodes. By these evidences from experience, it can be seen that the three degrees of the natural mind, which is a hell in form and image, are opposite to the three degrees of the spiritual mind which is a heaven in form and image.
DLW 276. (4) The natural mind that is a hell is in complete opposition to the spiritual mind which is a heaven. When the loves are opposite all things of perception become opposites; for out of love, which makes the very life of man, everything else flows like streams from their source; the things not from that source separating in the natural mind from those which are. Whatever springs from man's reigning love is in the middle, and other things are at the sides. If these latter are truths of the church from the Word, they are transferred from the middle further away to the sides, and are finally exterminated; and then the man, that is, the natural mind, perceives evil as good, and sees falsity as truth; and conversely. This is why he believes perfidy to be wisdom, insanity to be intelligence, cunning to be prudence, and evil devices to be ingenuity; moreover, he makes nothing of Divine and heavenly things pertaining to the church and worship, while he regards bodily and worldly things as of the greatest worth. He thus inverts the state of his life, making what is of the head to be of the sole of the foot, and trampling upon it; and making what is of the sole of the foot to be of the head. Thus from being alive he becomes dead. One is said to be alive whose mind is a heaven, and one is said to be dead whose mind is a hell.
|Divine Love and Wisdom||previous · next||Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||www.TheisticScience.org|