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DLW 319. By the ancients man was called a microcosm, from his representing the macrocosm, that is, the universe in its whole complex; but it is not known at the present day why man was so called by the ancients, for no more of the universe or macrocosm is manifest in him than that he derives nourishment and bodily life from its animal and vegetable kingdoms, and that he is kept in a living condition by its heat, sees by its light, and hears and breathes by its atmospheres. Yet these things do not make man a microcosm, as the universe with all things thereof is a macrocosm. The ancients called man a microcosm, or little universe, from truth which they derived from the knowledge of correspondences, in which the most ancient people were, and from their communication with angels of heaven; for angels of heaven know from the things which they see about them that all things of the universe, viewed as to uses, represent man as an image.

DLW 320. But the truth that man is a microcosm, or little universe, because the created universe, viewed as to uses is, in image, a man, cannot come into the thought and from that into the knowledge of anyone on earth from the idea of the universe as it is viewed in the spiritual world; and therefore it can be corroborated only by an angel, who is in the spiritual world, or by some one to whom it has been granted to be in that world, and to see things which are there. As this has been granted to me, I am able, from what I have seen there, to disclose this arcanum.

DLW 321. It should be known that the spiritual world is in external appearance, wholly like the natural world. Lands, mountains, hills, valleys, plains, fields, lakes, rivers, springs of water are to be seen there, as in the natural world; thus all things belonging to the mineral kingdom. Paradises, gardens, groves, woods, and in them trees and shrubs of all kinds bearing fruit and seeds; also plants, flowers, herbs, and grasses are to be seen there; thus all things pertaining to the vegetable kingdom. There are also to be seen there, beasts, birds, and fishes of every kind-; thus all things pertaining to the animal kingdom. Man there is an angel or spirit. This is premised that it may be known that the universe of the spiritual world is wholly like the universe of the natural world, with this difference only, that things in the spiritual world are not fixed and settled like those in the natural world, because in the spiritual world nothing is natural but every thing is spiritual.

DLW 322. That the universe of that world represents man in an image can be clearly seen from this, that all things just mentioned (n. 321) appear to the life, and take form about the angel, and about the angelic societies, as if they were produced or created by them; they are about them permanently, and do not pass away. That they are as if they were produced or created by them is seen by their no longer appearing when the angel goes away, or when the society passes to another place; also when other angels come in place of these the appearance of all things about them is changed in the paradises the trees and fruits are changed, in the flower gardens the flowers and seeds, in the fields the herbs and grasses, also the kinds of animals and birds are changed. Such things take form and are changed in this manner, because all these things take form according to the affections and consequent thoughts of the angels, for they are correspondences. And because things that correspond make one with that to which they correspond they are an image representative of it. The image itself is not seen when these things are viewed in their forms, it is seen only when they are viewed in respect to uses. It has been granted me to perceive that angels, when their eyes were opened by the Lord, and they saw these things from the correspondence of uses, recognized and saw themselves therein.

DLW 323. inasmuch as these things which have existence about the angels, corresponding to their affections and thoughts, represent a universe, in that there are lands, plants, and animals, and these constitute an image representative of the angel, it is evident why the ancients called man a microcosm.

DLW 324. That this is so has been abundantly confirmed in the Arcana Coelestia, also in the work on Heaven and Hell, and occasionally in the preceding pages where correspondence is treated of. It has been there shown also that nothing is to be found in the created universe which has not a correspondence with something in man, not only with his affections and their thoughts, but also with his bodily organs and viscera; not with these however as substances, but as uses. From this it is that in the Word, where the church and the man of the church are treated of, such frequent mention is made of trees, such as " olives," "vines," and "cedars;" of " gardens," "groves " and "woods;" and of the "beasts of the earth," "birds of the air," and "fish of the sea." They are there mentioned because they correspond, and by correspondence make one; consequently, when such things are read in the Word by man, these objects are not perceived by angels, but the church or the men of the church in respect to their states are perceived instead.

DLW 325. Since all things of the universe have relation in an image to man, the wisdom and intelligence of Adam are described by the "garden of Eden," wherein were all kinds of trees, also rivers, precious stones, and gold, and animals to which he gave names; by all of which are meant such things as were in Adam, and constitute that which is called man. Nearly the same things are said of Ashur, by whom the church in respect to intelligence is signified (Ezek. 31:3-9); and of Tyre, by which the church in respect to knowledges of good and truth is signified (Ezek. 28:12, 13).

DLW 326. From all this it can be seen that all things-in the universe, viewed from uses, have relation in an image to man, and that this testifies that God is a man. For such things as have been mentioned above take form about the angelic man, not from the angels, but from the Lord through the angels. For they take their form from the influx of the Lord's Divine Love and Divine Wisdom into the angel, who is a recipient, and before whose eyes all this is brought forth like the creation of a universe. From this they know there that God is a Man, and that the created universe, viewed in its uses, is an image of God.

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