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DLW 7. That the Divine, that is, God, is not in space, although omnipresent and with every man in the world, and with every angel in heaven, and with every spirit under heaven, cannot be comprehended by a merely natural idea, but it can by a spiritual idea. It cannot be comprehended by a natural idea, because in the natural idea there is space; since it is formed out of such things as are in the world, and in each and all of these, as seen by the eye, there is space. In the world, everything great and small is of space; everything long, broad, and high is of space; in short, every measure, figure and form is of space. This is why it has been said that it cannot be comprehended by a merely natural idea that the Divine is not in space, when it is said that the Divine is everywhere. Still, by natural thought, a man may comprehend this, if only he admit into it something of spiritual light. For this reason something shall first be said about spiritual idea, and thought therefrom. Spiritual idea derives nothing from space, but it derives its all from state. State is predicated of love, of life, of wisdom, of affections, of joys therefrom; in general, of good and of truth. An idea of these things which is truly spiritual has nothing in common with space; it is higher and looks down upon the ideas of space which are under it as heaven looks down upon the earth. But since angels and spirits see with eyes, just as men in the world do, and since objects cannot be seen except in space, therefore in the spiritual world where angels and spirits are, there appear to be spaces like the spaces on earth; yet they are not spaces, but appearances; since they are not fixed and constant, as spaces are on earth; for they can be lengthened or shortened; they can be changed or varied. Thus because they cannot be determined in that world by measure, they cannot be comprehended there by any natural idea, but only by a spiritual idea. The spiritual idea of distances of space is the same as of distances of good or distances of truth, which are affinities and likenesses according to states of goodness and truth.

DLW 8. From this it may be seen that man is unable, by a merely natural idea, to comprehend that the Divine is everywhere, and yet not in space; but that angels and spirits comprehend this clearly; consequently that a man also may, provided he admits into his thought something of spiritual light; and this for the reason that it is not his body that thinks, but his spirit, thus not his natural, but his spiritual.

DLW 9. But many fail to comprehend this because of their love of the natural, which makes them unwilling to raise the thoughts of their understanding above the natural into spiritual light; and those who are unwilling to do this can think only from space, even concerning God; and to think according to space concerning God is to think concerning the expanse of Nature. This has to be premised, because without a knowledge and some perception that the Divine is not in space, nothing can be understood about the Divine Life, which is Love and Wisdom, of which subjects this volume treats; and hence little, if anything, about Divine Providence, Omnipresence, Omniscience, Omnipotence, Infinity and Eternity, which will be treated of in succession.

DLW 10. It has been said that in the spiritual world, just as in the natural world, there appear to be spaces, consequently also distances, but that these are appearances according to spiritual affinities which are of love and wisdom, or of good and truth. From this it is that the Lord, although everywhere in the heavens with angels, nevertheless appears high above them as a sun. Furthermore, since reception of love and wisdom causes affinity with the Lord, those heavens in which the angels are, from reception, in closer affinity with Him, appear nearer to Him than those in which the affinity is more remote. From this it is also that the heavens, of which there are three, are distinct from each other, likewise the societies of each heaven; and further, that the hells under them are remote according to their rejection of love and wisdom. The same is true of men, in whom and with whom the Lord is present throughout the whole earth; and this solely for the reason that the Lord is not in space.

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