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WILL AND UNDERSTANDING, WHICH ARE THE RECEPTACLES OF LOVE AND WISDOM, ARE IN THE BRAINS, IN THE WHOLE AND IN EVERY PART OF THEM, AND THEREFROM IN THE BODY, IN THE WHOLE AND IN EVERY PART OF IT
DLW 362. This shall be shown in the following order:
1 Love and wisdom, and will and understanding therefrom, make the very life of man.
2 The life of man in its first principles is in the brains, and in its derivatives in the body.
3 Such as life is in its first principles, such it is in the whole and in every part.
4 By means of first principles life is in the whole from every part, and in every part from the whole.
5 Such as the love is, such is the wisdom, consequently such is the man.
DLW 363. (1) Love and wisdom, and will and understanding therefrom, make the very life of man. Scarcely anyone knows what life is. When one thinks about life, it seems as if it were a fleeting something, of which no distinct idea is possible. It so seems because it is not known that God alone is life, and that His life is Divine Love and Divine Wisdom. From this it is evident that in man life is nothing else than love and wisdom, and that there is life in man in the degree in which he receives these. It is known that heat and light go forth from the sun, and that all things in the universe are recipients and grow warm and bright in the degree in which they receive. So do heat and light go forth from the sun where the Lord is; the heat going forth therefrom is love, and the light wisdom (as shown in Part Second). Life, therefore, is from these two which go forth from the Lord as a sun. That love and wisdom from the Lord is life can be seen also from this, that man grows torpid as love recedes from him, and stupid as wisdom recedes from him, and that were they to recede altogether he would become extinct. There are many things pertaining to love which have received other names because they are derivatives, such as affections, desires, appetites, and their pleasures and enjoyments; and there are many things pertaining to wisdom, such as perception, reflection, recollection, thought, intention to an end; and their are many pertaining to both love and wisdom, such as consent, conclusion, and determination to action; besides others. All of these, in fact, pertain to both, but they are designated from the more prominent and nearer of the two. From these two are derived ultimately sensations, those of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch, with their enjoyments and pleasures. It is according to appearance that the eye sees: but it is the understanding that sees through the eye; consequently seeing is predicated also of the understanding. The appearance is that the ear hears: but it is the understanding that hears through the ear; consequently hearing is predicated also of attention and giving heed, which pertain to the understanding. The appearance is that the nose smells, and the tongue tastes but it is the understanding that smells and also tastes by virtue of its perception; therefore smelling and tasting are predicated also of perception. So in other cases. The sources of all these are love and wisdom; from which it can be seen that these two make the life of man.
DLW 364. Everyone sees that the understanding is the receptacle of wisdom, but few see that the will is the receptacle of love. This is because the will does not act at all by itself, but only through the understanding; also because the love of the will, in passing over into the wisdom of the understanding, is first changed into affection, and thus passes over; and affection is not perceived except by something pleasant in thinking, speaking, and acting, which is not noticed. Still it is evident that love is from the will, for the reason that everyone wills what he loves, and does not will what he does not love.
DLW 365. (2) The life of man in its first principles is in the brains, and in its derivatives in the body. In first principles means in its firsts, and in derivatives means in what is brought forth and formed from its firsts. By life in first principles is meant will and understanding. These two are what are in their first principles in the brains, and in their derivatives in the body. It is evident that the first principles or firsts of life are in the brains:
1 From the feeling itself; since man perceives, when he exerts his mind and thinks, that he thinks in the brain. He draws in as it were the sight of the eye, contracts the forehead, and perceives the mental process to be within, especially inside the forehead and somewhat above it.
2 From man-s formation in the womb; in that the brain or head is first developed, and continues for some time larger than the body.
3 In that the head is above and the body below; and it is according to order for the higher to act upon the lower, and not the reverse.
4 In that, when the brain is injured in the womb or by a wound or by disease, or by excessive application, thought is weakened and sometimes the mind becomes deranged.
5 In that all the external senses of the body sight, hearing, smell, and taste, with touch (the universal sense) as also speech, are in the front part of the head, which is called the face, and communicate immediately through fibers with the brains, and derive therefrom their sensitive and active life.
6 It is from this that affections, which are of love, appear imaged forth in the face, and that thoughts, which are of wisdom, are revealed in a kind of sparkle of the eyes.
7 Anatomy teaches that all fibers descend from the brains through the neck into the body, and that none ascend from the body through the neck into the brains. And where the fibers are in their first principles or firsts, there life is in its first principles or firsts. Will anyone venture to deny that life has its origin where the fibers have their origin?
8 Ask anyone of common perception where his thought resides or where he thinks, and he will say, In the head. Then appeal to some one who has assigned the seat of the soul to some gland or to the heart or somewhere else, and ask him where affection and thought therefrom are in their firsts, whether they are not in the brain? and he will answer, No, or that he does not know. The cause of this ignorance may be seen above (n. 361).
DLW 366. (3) Such as life is in its first principles, such it is in the whole and in every part. That this may be perceived, it shall now be told where in the brains these first principles are, and how they become derivative. Anatomy shows where in the brains these first principles are; it teaches that there are two brains; that these are continued from the head into the spinal column; that they consist of two substances, called cortical substance and medullary substance; that cortical substance consists of innumerable gland-like forms, and medullary substance of innumerable fiber-like forms. Now as these little glands are heads of fibrils, they are also their first principles. For from these, fibers begin and thereupon go forth, gradually bundling themselves into nerves. These bundles or nerves, when formed, descend to the organs of sense in the face, and to the organs of motion in the body, and form them. Consult anyone skilled in the science of anatomy, and you will be convinced. This cortical or glandular substance constitutes the surface of the cerebrum, and also the surface of the corpora striata, from which proceeds the medulla oblongata; it also constitutes the middle of the cerebellum, and the middle of the spinal marrow. But medullary or fibrillary substance everywhere begins in and proceeds from the cortical; out of it nerves arise, and from them all things of the body. That this is true is proved by dissection. They who know these things, either from the study of anatomical science or from the testimony of those who are skilled in the science, can see that the first principles of life are in the same place as the beginnings of the fibers, and that fibers cannot go forth from themselves, but must go forth from first principles. These first principles, that is, beginnings, which appear as little glands, are almost countless; their multitude may be compared to the multitude of stars in the universe; and the multitude of fibrils coming out of them may be compared to the multitude of rays going forth from the stars and bearing their heat and light to the earth. The multitude of these little glands may also be compared to the multitude of angelic societies in the heavens, which also are countless, and, I have been told, are in like order as the glands. Also the multitude of fibrils going out from these little glands may be compared to the spiritual truths and goods which in like manner flow down from the angelic societies like rays. From this it is that man is like a universe, and like a heaven in least form. From all which it can now be seen that such as life is in first principles, such it is in derivatives; or such as it is in its firsts in the brains, such it is in the things arising therefrom in the body.
DLW 367. (4) By means of first principles life is in the whole from every part, and in every part from the whole. This is because the whole, which in the brain and the body together, is originally made up of nothing but fibers proceeding from their first principles in the brains. It has no other origin, as is evident from what has been shown just above (n. 366); consequently, the whole is from every part; and by means of these first principles life is in every part from the whole, because the whole dispenses to each part its task and needs, thereby making it to be a part in the whole. In a word, the whole has existence from the parts, and the parts have permanent existence from the whole. That there is such reciprocal communion, and conjunction thereby, is clear from many things in the body. For the same order prevails there as in a state, commonwealth, or kingdom; the community has its existence from the individuals which are its parts, and the parts or individuals have permanent existence from the community. It is the same with every thing that has form, most of all in man.
DLW 368. (5) Such as the love is, such is the wisdom, consequently such is the man. For such as the love and wisdom are, such are the will and understanding, since the will is the receptacle of love, and the understanding of wisdom, as has been shown above; and these two make the man and his character. Love is manifold, so manifold that its varieties are limitless; as can be seen from the human race on the earths and in the heavens. There is no man or angel so like another that there is no difference. Love is what distinguishes; for every man is his own love. It is supposed that wisdom distinguishes; but wisdom is from love; it is the form of love; love is the esse of life, and wisdom is the existere of life from that esse. In the world it is believed that the understanding makes the man; but this is believed because the understanding can be elevated into the light of heaven, giving man the appearance of being wise; yet so much of the understanding as transcends, that is to say, so much as is not of the love, although it appears to be man's and therefore to determine man's character, is only all appearance. For so much of the understanding as transcends is, indeed, from the love of knowing and being wise, but not at the same time from the love of applying to life what man knows and is wise in. Consequently, in the world it either in time passes away or lingers outside of the things of memory in its mere borders as something ready to drop off; and therefore after death it is separated, no more of it remaining than is in accord with the spirit's own love. Inasmuch as love makes the life of man, and thus the man himself, all societies of heaven, and all angels in societies, are arranged according to affections belonging to love, and no society nor any angel in a society according to anything of the understanding separate from love. So likewise in the hells and their societies, but in accordance with loves opposite to the heavenly loves. From all this it can be seen that such as the love is such is the wisdom, and consequently such is the man.
DLW 369. It is acknowledged, indeed, that man is such as his reigning love is, but only in respect to his mind and disposition, not in respect to his body, thus not wholly. But it has been made known to me by much experience in the spiritual world, that man from head to foot, that is, from things primary in the head to the outmosts in the body, is such as his love is. For all in the spiritual world are forms of their own love; the angels forms of heavenly love, the devils of hellish love; the devils deformed in face and body, but the angels beautiful in face and body. Moreover, when their love is assailed their faces are changed, and if much assailed they wholly disappear. This is peculiar to that world, and so happens because their bodies make one with their minds. The reason is evident from what has been said above, that all things of the body are derivatives, that is, are things woven together by means of fibers out of first principles, which are receptacles of love and wisdom. Howsoever these first principles may be, their derivatives cannot be different; therefore wherever first principles go their derivatives follow, and cannot be separated. For this reason he who raises his mind to the Lord is wholly raised up to Him, and he who casts his mind down to hell is wholly cast down thither; consequently the whole man, in conformity to his life's love, comes either into heaven or into hell. That man's mind is a man because God is a Man, and that the body is the mind's external, which feels and acts, and that they are thus one and not two, is a matter of angelic wisdom.
DLW 370. It is to be observed that the very forms of man's members, organs, and viscera, as regards the structure itself, are from fibers that arise out of their first principles in the brains; but these become fixed by means of such substances and matters as are in earths, and from earths in air and in ether. This is effected by means of the blood. Consequently, in order that all parts of the body day be maintained in their formation and rendered permanent in their functions, man requires to be nourished by material food, and to be continually renewed.
|Divine Love and Wisdom||previous · next||Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||www.TheisticScience.org|