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DLW 358. The Divine Love and Divine Wisdom of God the Creator, who is the Lord from eternity, and also the creation of the universe, have been treated of; something shall now be said of the creation of man. We read that man was created "in the image of God, after His likeness. (Gen. 1:26)." By "image of God" is there meant the Divine Wisdom, and by "likeness" of God the Divine Love; since wisdom is nothing but an image of love, for in wisdom love presents itself to be seen and recognized, and because it is seen and recognized in wisdom, wisdom is an image of it. Moreover love is the esse of life, and wisdom is the existere of life therefrom. In angels the likeness and image of God clearly appear, since love from within shines forth in their faces, and wisdom in their beauty, and their beauty is a form of their love. I have seen and know.

DLW 359. Man cannot be an image of God, after His likeness, unless God is in him and is his life from the inmost. That God is in man and, from the inmost, is his life, follows from what has been shown above (n. 4-6), that God alone is life, and that men and angels are recipients of life from Him. Moreover, that God is in man and that He makes His abode with him, is known from the Word; for which reason it is customary for preachers to declare that men ought to prepare themselves to receive God, that He may enter into them, and be in their hearts, that they may be His dwelling-place. The devout man says the same in his prayers, and some Speak more openly respecting the Holy Spirit, which they believe to be in them when they are in holy zeal, and from that zeal they think, speak, and preach. That the Holy Spirit is the Lord, and not a God who is a person by Himself, has been shown in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Concerning the Lord (L n. 51-53). For the Lord declares:--

In that day ye shall know that ye are in Me, and I in you (John 14:20; 15:4, 5; 17:23).

DLW 360. Now because the Lord is Divine Love and Divine Wisdom, and these two essentially are Himself, it is necessary, in order that He may abide in man and give life to man, that He should create and form in man receptacles and abodes for Himself; the one for love and the other for wisdom. These receptacles and abodes in man are called will and understanding; the receptacle and abode of love is called the will, and the receptacle and abode of wisdom is called the understanding. That these two are the Lord's in man, and that from these two man has all his life, will be seen in what follows.

DLW 361. That every man has these two, will and understanding, and that they are distinct from each other, as love and wisdom are distinct, is known and is not known in the world. It is known from common perception, but it is not known from thought and still less from thought when written out; for who does not know from common perception that the will and the understanding are two distinct things in man? For everyone perceives this when he hears it stated, and may himself say to another, This man means well, but does not understand clearly; while that one's understanding is good, but his will is not; I like the man whose understanding and will are both good; but I do not like him whose understanding is good and his will bad. Yet when he thinks about the will and the understanding he does not make them two and distinguish them, but confounds them, since his thought then acts in common with the bodily sight. When writing he apprehends still less that will and understanding are two distinct things, because his thought then acts in common with the sensual, that is, with what is the man's own. From this it is that some can think and speak well, but cannot write well. This is common with women. It is the same with many other things. Is it not known by everyone from common perception that a man whose life is good is saved, but that a man whose life is bad is condemned? Also that one whose life is good will enter the society of angels, and will there see, hear, and speak like a man? Also that one who from justice does what is just and from what is right does right, has a conscience? But if one lapses from common perception, and submits these things to thought, he does not know what conscience is; or that the soul can see, hear, and speak like a man; or that the good of life is anything except giving to the poor. And if from thought you write about these things, you confirm them by appearances and fallacies, and by words of sound but of no substance. For this reason many of the learned who have thought much, and especially who have written much, have weakened and obscured, yea, have destroyed their common perception; while the simple see more clearly what is good and true than those who think themselves their superiors in wisdom. This common perception comes by influx from heaven, and descends into thought even to sight; but thought separated from common perception falls into imagination from the sight and from what is man's own. You may observe that this is so. Tell some truth to anyone that is in common perception, and he will see it; tell him that from God and in God we are and live and are moved, and he will see it; tell him that God dwells with man in love and in wisdom, and he will see it; tell him further that the will is the receptacle of love, and the understanding of wisdom, and explain it a little, and he will see it; tell him that God is Love itself and Wisdom itself, and he will see it; ask him what conscience is, and he will tell you. But say the same things to one of the learned, who has not thought from common perception, but from principles or from ideas obtained from the world through sight, and he will not see. Then consider which is the wiser.

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