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DLW 285. Those who have a corporeal natural idea of God as a Man, are wholly unable to comprehend how God as a Man could have created the universe and all things thereof; for they think within themselves, How can God as a Man wander all over the universe from space to space, and create? Or how can He, from His place, speak the word, and as soon as it is spoken, creation follow? When it is said that God is a Man, such ideas present themselves to those whose conception of the God-Man is like their conception of a man in the world, and who think of God from nature and its properties, which are time and space. But those whose conception of God-Man is not drawn from their conception of a man in the world, nor from nature and its space and time, clearly perceive that unless God were a man the universe could not have been created. Bring your thought into the angelic idea of God as being a Man, putting away, as much as you can, the idea of space, and you will come near in thought to the truth. In fact, some of the learned have a perception of spirits and angels as not in space, because they have a perception of the spiritual as apart from space. For the spiritual is like thought, which although it is in man, man is nevertheless able by means of it to be present as it were elsewhere, in any place however remote. Such is the state of spirits and angels, who are men even as regards their bodies. In whatever place their thought is, there they appear, because in the spiritual world spaces and distances are appearances, and make one with the thought that is from their affection. From all this it can be seen that God, who appears as a sun far above the spiritual world, and to whom there can belong no appearance of space, is not to be thought of from space. And it can then be comprehended that He created the universe out of Himself, and not out of nothing; also that His Human Body cannot be thought great or small, that is, of anyone stature, because this also pertains to space; consequently that in things first and last, and in things greatest and least, He is the same; and still further, that the Human is the inmost in every created thing, though apart from space. That the Divine is the same in things greatest and least, see (n. 77-82); and that the Divine apart from space fills all spaces (n. 69-72). And because the Divine is not in space, it is not continuous (nec est continuum), as the inmost of nature is.

DLW 286. That God unless He were a Man could not have created the universe and all things thereof, may be clearly apprehended by any intelligent person from this, that he cannot deny that in God there is Love and Wisdom, mercy and clemency, and also goodness itself and truth itself, inasmuch as these are from God. And because he cannot deny this, neither can he deny that God is a Man; for abstractly from man not one of these is possible; for man is their subject, and to separate them from their subject is to say that they are not. Think of wisdom, and place it outside of man--is it anything? Can you conceive of it as something ethereal, or as something flaming? You cannot; unless perchance you conceive of it as being within these; and if within these, it must be wisdom in a form such as man has; it must be wholly in the form of man, not one thing can be lacking if wisdom is to be in that form. In a word, the form of wisdom is man; and because man is the form of wisdom, he is also the form of love, mercy, clemency, good and truth, because these make one with wisdom. That love and wisdom are not possible except in a form, see above (n. 40-43).

DLW 287. That love and wisdom are man is further evident from the fact that the angels of heaven are men in beauty in the measure in which they are in love and its wisdom from the Lord. The same is evident from what is said of Adam in the Word, that he was created into the likeness and into the image of God (Gen. 1:26), because into the form of love and wisdom. Every man on earth is born into the human form as regards his body, for the reason that his spirit, which is also called his soul, is a man; and this is a man because it is receptive of love and wisdom from the Lord; and so far as these are received by the spirit or soul of man, so far it becomes a man after the death of the material body which it had drawn about it; and so far as these are not received it becomes a monster, which derives something of manhood from the ability to receive.

DLW 288. Because God is a Man, the whole angelic heaven in the aggregate resembles a single man, and is divided into regions and provinces according to the members, viscera, and organs of man. Thus there are societies of heaven which constitute the province of all things of the brain, of all things of the facial organs, and of all things of the viscera of the body; and these provinces are distinct from each other, just as those organs are in man; moreover, the angels know in what province of Man they are. The whole heaven is in this image, because God is a Man. God is also heaven, because the angels, who constitute heaven, are recipients of love and wisdom from the Lord, and recipients are images. That heaven is in the form of all things of man is shown in the Arcana Coelestia, at the end of various chapters.

DLW 289. All this makes evident how empty are the ideas of those who think of God as something else than a Man, and of the Divine attributes as not being in God as a Man, since these separated from man are mere figments of reason. That God is very Man, from whom every man is a man according to his reception of love and wisdom, see (n. 11-13). This truth is here corroborated on account of what follows, that the creation of the universe by God, because He is a Man, may be perceived.

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