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Divine Love and Wisdom, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1763], tr. by John C. Ager [1890] at

Divine Love and Wisdom


PART FIRST. LOVE IS THE LIFE OF MAN. Man knows that there is such a thing as love, but he does not know what love is. He knows that there is such a thing as love from common speech, as when it is said, he loves me, a king loves his subjects, and subjects love their king, a husband loves his wife, a mother her children, and conversely; also, this or that one loves his country, his fellow citizens, his neighbor; and likewise of things abstracted from person, as when it is said, one loves this or that thing. But although the word love is so universally used, hardly anybody knows what love is. And because one is unable, when he reflects upon it, to form to himself any idea of thought about it, he says either that it is not anything, or that it is merely something flowing in from sight, hearing, touch, or interaction with others, and thus affecting him. He is wholly unaware that love is his very life; not only the general life of his whole body, and the general life of all his thoughts, but also the life of all their particulars. This a man of discernment can perceive when it is said: If you remove the affection which is from love, can you think anything, or do anything? Do not thought, speech, and action, grow cold in the measure in which the affection which is from love grows cold? And do they not grow warm in the measure in which this affection grows warm? But this a man of discernment perceives simply by observing that such is the case, and not from any knowledge that love is the life of man.


What the life of man is, no one knows unless he knows that it is love. If this is not known, one person may believe that man's life is nothing but perceiving with the senses and acting, and another that it is merely thinking; and yet thought is the first effect of life, and sensation and action are the second effect of life. Thought is here said to be the first effect of life, yet there is thought which is interior and more interior, also exterior and more exterior. What is actually the first effect of life is inmost thought, which is the perception of ends. But of all this hereafter, when the degrees of life are considered.


Some idea of love, as being the life of man, may be had from the sun's heat in the world. This heat is well known to be the common life, as it were, of all the vegetations of the earth. For by virtue of heat, coming forth in springtime, plants of every kind rise from the ground, deck themselves with leaves, then with blossoms, and finally with fruits, and thus, in a sense, live. But when, in the time of autumn and winter, heat withdraws, the plants are stripped of these signs of their life, and they wither. So it is with love in man; for heat and love mutually correspond. Therefore love also is warm.


GOD ALONE, CONSEQUENTLY THE LORD, IS LOVE ITSELF, BECAUSE HE IS LIFE ITSELF AND ANGELS AND MEN ARE RECIPIENTS OF LIFE. This will be fully shown in treatises on Divine Providence and on Life; it is sufficient here to say that the Lord, who is the God of the universe, is uncreate and infinite, whereas man and angel are created and finite. And because the Lord is uncreate and infinite, He is Being [Esse] itself, which is called "Jehovah," and Life itself, or Life in itself. From the uncreate, the infinite, Being itself and Life itself, no one can be created immediately, because the Divine is one and indivisible; but their creation must be out of things created and finited, and so formed that the Divine can be in them. Because men and angels are such, they are recipients of life. Consequently, if any man suffers himself to be so far misled as to think that he is not a recipient of life but is Life, he cannot be withheld from the thought that he is God. A man's feeling as if he were life, and therefore believing himself to be so, arises from fallacy; for the principal cause is not perceived in the instrumental cause otherwise than as one with it. That the Lord is Life in Himself, He Himself teaches in John: As the Father hath life in Himself, so also hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself (5:26) He declares also that He is Life itself (John 11:25; 14:6). Now since life and love are one (as is apparent from what has been said above, n. 1, 2), it follows that the Lord, because He is Life itself, is Love itself.


But that this may reach the understanding, it must needs be known positively that the Lord, because He is Love in its very essence, that is, Divine Love, appears before the angels in heaven as a sun, and that from that sun heat and light go forth; the heat which goes forth therefrom being in its essence love, and the light which goes forth therefrom being in its essence wisdom; and that so far as the angels are recipients of that spiritual heat and of that spiritual light, they are loves and wisdoms; not loves and wisdoms from themselves, but from the Lord. That spiritual heat and that spiritual light not only flow into angels and affect them, but they also flow into men and affect them just to the extent that they become recipients; and they become recipients in the measure of their love to the Lord and love towards the neighbor. That sun itself, that is, the Divine Love, by its heat and its light, cannot create any one immediately from itself; for one so created would be Love in its essence, which Love is the Lord Himself; but it can create from substances and matters so formed as to be capable of receiving the very heat and the very light; comparatively as the sun of the world cannot by its heat and light produce germinations on the earth immediately, but only out of earthy matters in which it can be present by its heat and light, and cause vegetation. In the spiritual world the Divine Love of the Lord appears as a sun, and from it proceed the spiritual heat and the spiritual light from which the angels derive love and wisdom, as may be seen in the work on Heaven and Hell (n. 116-140).


Since, then, man is not life, but is a recipient of life, it follows that the conception of a man from his father is not a conception of life, but only a conception of the first and purest form capable of receiving life; and to this, as to a nucleus or starting-point in the womb, are successively added substances and matters in forms adapted to the reception of life, in their order and degree.


THE DIVINE IS NOT IN SPACE. 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.


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.


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.


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.


GOD IS VERY MAN. In all the heavens there is no other idea of God than that He is a Man. This is because heaven as a whole and in part is in form like a man, and because it is the Divine which is with the angels that constitutes heaven and inasmuch as thought proceeds according to the form of heaven, it is impossible for the angels to think of God in any other way. From this it is that all those in the world who are conjoined with heaven think of God in the same way when they think interiorly in themselves, that is, in their spirit. From this fact that God is a Man, all angels and all spirits, in their complete form, are men. This results from the form of heaven, which is like itself in its greatest and in its least parts. That heaven as a whole and in part is in form like a man may be seen in the work on Heaven and Hell (n. 59-87); and that thoughts proceed according to the form of heaven (n. 203, 204). It is known from Genesis (1:26, 27), that men were created after the image and likeness of God. God also appeared as a man to Abraham and to others. The ancients, from the wise even to the simple, thought of God no otherwise than as being a Man; and when at length they began to worship a plurality of gods, as at Athens and Rome, they worshiped them all as men. What is here said may be illustrated by the following extract from a small treatise already published: The Gentiles, especially the Africans, who acknowledge and worship one God, the Creator of the universe, have concerning God the idea that He is a Man, and declare that no one can have any other idea of God. When they learn that there are many who cherish an idea of God as something cloud-like in the midst of things, they ask where such persons are; and on being told that they are among Christians, they declare it to be impossible. They are informed, however, that this idea arises from the fact that God in the Word is called "a Spirit," and of a spirit they have no other idea than of a bit of cloud, not knowing that every spirit and every angel is a man. An examination, nevertheless, was made, whether the spiritual idea of such persons was like their natural idea, and it was found not to be so with those who acknowledge the Lord interiorly as God of heaven and earth. I heard a certain elder from the Christians say that no one can have an idea of a Human Divine; and I saw him taken about to various Gentile nations, and successively to such as were more and more interior, and from them to their heavens, and finally to the Christian heaven; and everywhere their interior perception concerning God was communicated to him, and he observed that they had no other idea of God than that He is a man, which is the same as the idea of a Human Divine (C.L.J. n. 74).


The common people in Christendom have an idea that God is a Man, because God in the Athanasian doctrine of the Trinity is called a "Person." But those who are more learned than the common people pronounce God to be invisible; and this for the reason that they cannot comprehend how God, as a Man, could have created heaven and earth, and then fill the universe with His presence, and many things besides, which cannot enter the understanding so long as the truth that the Divine is not in space is ignored. Those, however, who go to the Lord alone think of a Human Divine, thus of God as a Man.


How important it is to have a correct idea of God can be known from the truth that the idea of God constitutes the inmost of thought with all who have religion, for all things of religion and all things of worship look to God. And since God, universally and in particular, is in all things of religion and of worship, without a proper idea of God no communication with the heavens is possible. From this it is that in the spiritual world every nation has its place allotted in accordance with its idea of God as a Man; for in this idea, and in no other, is the idea of the Lord. That man's state of life after death is according to the idea of God in which he has become confirmed, is manifest from the opposite of this, namely, that the denial of God, and, in the Christian world, the denial of the Divinity of the Lord, constitutes hell.


IN GOD-MAN ESSE AND EXISTERE 14-1 ARE ONE DISTINCTLY 14-2 Where there is Esse [being] there is Existere [taking form]; one is not possible apart from the other. For Esse is by means of Existere, and not apart from it. This the rational mind comprehends when it thinks whether there can possibly be any Esse [being] which does not Exist [take form], and whether there can possibly be Existere except from Esse. And since one is possible with the other, and not apart from the other, it follows that they are one, but one distinctly. They are one distinctly, like Love and Wisdom; in fact, love is Esse, and wisdom is Existere; for there can be no love except in wisdom, nor can there be any wisdom except from love; consequently when love is in wisdom, then it EXISTS. These two are one in such a way that they may be distinguished in thought but not in operation, and because they may be distinguished in thought though not in operation, it is said that they are one distinctly. 14-3 Esse and Existere in God-Man are also one distinctly like soul and body. There can be no soul apart from its body, nor body apart from its soul. The Divine soul of God-Man is what is meant by Divine Esse, and the Divine Body is what is meant by Divine Existere. That a soul can exist apart from a body, and can think and be wise, is an error springing from fallacies; for every man's soul is in a spiritual body after it has cast off the material coverings which it carried about in the world.


Esse is not Esse unless it Exists, because until then it is not in a form, and if not in a form it has no quality; and what has no quality is not anything. That which Exists from Esse, for the reason that it is from Esse, makes one with it. From this there is a uniting of the two into one; and from this each is the others mutually and interchangeably, and each is all in all things of the other as in itself.


From this it can be seen that God is a Man, and consequently He is God-Existing; not existing from Himself but in Himself. He who has existence in Himself is God from whom all things are.


IN GOD-MAN INFINITE THINGS ARE ONE DISTINCTLY. That God is infinite is well known, for He is called the Infinite; and He is called the Infinite because He is infinite. He is infinite not from this alone, that He is very Esse and Existere in itself, but because in Him there are infinite things. An infinite without infinite things in it, is infinite in name only. The infinite things in Him cannot be called infinitely many, nor infinitely all, because of the natural idea of many and of all; for the natural idea of infinitely many is limited, and the natural idea of infinitely all, though not limited, is derived from limited things in the universe. Therefore man, because his ideas are natural, is unable by any refinement or approximation, to come into a perception of the infinite things in God; and an angel, while he is able, because he is in spiritual ideas, to rise by refinement and approximation above the degree of man, is still unable to attain to that perception.


That in God there are infinite things, any one may convince himself who believes that God is a Man; for, being a Man, He has a body and every thing pertaining to it, that is, a face, breast, abdomen, loins and feet; for without these He would not be a Man. And having these, He also has eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and tongue; also the parts within man, as the heart and lungs, and their dependencies, all of which, taken together, make man to be a man. In a created man these parts are many, and regarded in their details of structure are numberless; but in God-Man they are infinite, nothing whatever is lacking, and from this He has infinite perfection. This comparison holds between the uncreated Man who is God and created man, because God is a Man; and He Himself says that the man of this world was created after His image and into His likeness (Gen. 1:26, 27).


That in God there are infinite things, is still more evident to the angels from the heavens in which they dwell. The whole heaven, consisting of myriads of myriads of angels, in its universal form is like a man. So is each society of heaven, be it larger or smaller. From this, too, an angel is a man, for an angel is a heaven in least form. (This is shown in the work Heaven and Hell, n. 51-86.) Heaven as a whole, in part, and in the individual, is in that form by virtue of the Divine which angels receive; for in the measure in which an angel receives from the Divine is he in complete form a man. From this it is that angels are said to be in God, and God in them; also, that God is their all. How many things there are in heaven cannot be told; and because the Divine is what makes heaven, and consequently these unspeakably many things are from the Divine, it is clearly evident that there are infinite things in Very Man, who is God.


From the created universe a like conclusion may be drawn when it is regarded from uses and their correspondences. But before this can be understood some preliminary illustrations must be given.


Because in God-Man there are infinite things which appear in heaven, in angel, and in man, as in a mirror; and because God-Man is not in space (as was shown above, n. 7-10), it can, to some extent, be seen and comprehended how God can be Omnipresent, Omniscient, and All-providing; and how, as Man, He could create all things, and as Man can hold the things created by Himself in their order to eternity.


That in God-Man infinite things are one distinctly, can also be seen, as in a mirror, from man. In man there are many and numberless things, as said above; but still man feels them all as one. From sensation he knows nothing of his brains, of his heart and lungs, of his liver, spleen, and pancreas; or of the numberless things in his eyes, ears, tongue, stomach, generative organs, and the remaining parts; and because from sensation he has no knowledge of these things, he is to himself as a one. The reason is that all these are in such a form that not one can be lacking; for it is a form recipient of life from God-Man (as was shown above, n. 4-6). From the order and connection of all things in such a form there comes the feeling, and from that the idea, as if they were not many and numberless, but were one. From this it may be concluded that the many and numberless things which make in man a seeming one, a Very Man who is God, are one distinctly, yea, most distinctly.


THERE IS ONE GOD-MAN, FROM WHOM ALL THINGS COME. All things of human wisdom unite, and as it were center in this, that there is one God, the Creator of the universe: consequently a man who has reason, from the general nature of his understanding, does not and cannot think otherwise. Say to any man of sound reason that there are two Creators of the universe, and you will be sensible of his repugnance, and this, perhaps, from the mere sound of the phrase in his ear; from which it appears that all things of human reason unite and center in this, that God is one. There are two reasons for this. First, the very capacity to think rationally, viewed in itself, is not man's, but is God's in man; upon this capacity human reason in its general nature depends, and this general nature of reason causes man to see as from himself that God is one. Secondly, by means of that capacity man either is in the light of heaven, or he derives the generals of his thought therefrom; and it is a universal of the light of heaven that God is one. It is otherwise when man by that capacity has perverted the lower parts of his understanding; such a man indeed is endowed with that capacity, but by the twist given to these lower parts, he turns it contrariwise, and thereby his reason becomes unsound.


Every man, even if unconsciously, thinks of a body of men as of one man; therefore he instantly perceives what is meant when it is said that a king is the head, and the subjects are the body, also that this or that person has such a place in the general body, that is, in the kingdom. As it is with the body politic, so is it with the body spiritual. The body spiritual is the church; its head is God-Man; and from this it is plain how the church thus viewed as a man would appear if instead of one God, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, several were thought of. The church thus viewed would appear as one body with several heads; thus not as a man, but as a monster. If it be said that these heads have one essence, and that thus together they make one head, the only conception possible is either that of one head with several faces or of several heads with one face; thus making the church, viewed as a whole, appear deformed. But in truth, the one God is the head, and the church is the body, which acts under the command of the head, and not from itself; as is also the case in man; and from this it is that there can be only one king in a kingdom, for several kings would rend it asunder, but one is able to preserve its unity.


So would it be with the church scattered throughout the whole globe, which is called a communion, because it is as one body under one head. It is known that the head rules the body under it at will; for understanding and will have their seat in the head; and in conformity to the understanding and will the body is directed, even to the extent that the body is nothing but obedience. As the body can do nothing except from the understanding and will in the head, so the man of the church can do nothing except from God. The body seems to act of itself, as if the hands and feet in acting are moved of themselves; or the mouth and tongue in speaking vibrate of themselves, when, in fact, they do not in the slightest degree act of themselves, but only from an affection of the will and the consequent thought of the understanding in the head. Suppose, now, one body to have several heads and each head to be free to act from its own understanding and its own will, could such a body continue to exist? For among several heads singleness of purpose, such as results from one head would be impossible. As in the church, so in the heavens; heaven consists of myriads of myriads of angels, and unless these all and each looked to one God, they would fall away from one another and heaven would be broken up. Consequently, if an angel of heaven but thinks of a plurality of gods he is at once separated; for he is cast out into the outmost boundary of the heavens, and sinks downward.


Because the whole heaven and all things of heaven have relation to one God, angelic speech is such that by a certain unison flowing from the unison of heaven it closes in a single cadence - a proof that it is impossible for the angels to think otherwise than of one God; for speech is from thought.


Who that has sound reason can help seeing that the Divine is not divisible? also that a plurality of Infinites, of Uncreates, of Omnipotents, and of Gods, is impossible? Suppose one destitute of reason were to declare that a plurality of Infinites, of Uncreates, of Omnipotents, and of Gods is possible, if only they have one identical essence, and this would make of them one Infinite, Uncreate, Omnipotent, and God, would not the one identical essence be one identity? And one identity is not possible to several. If it should be said that one is from the other, the one who is from the other is not God in Himself; nevertheless, God in Himself is the God from whom all things are (see above, n. 16).


THE DIVINE ESSENCE ITSELF IS LOVE AND WISDOM Sum up all things you know and submit them to careful inspection, and in some elevation of spirit search for the universal of all things, and you cannot conclude otherwise than that it is Love and Wisdom. For these are the two essentials of all things of man's life; everything of that life, civil, moral, and spiritual, hinges upon these two, and apart from these two is nothing. It is the same with all things of the life of the composite Man, which is, as was said above, a society, larger or smaller, a kingdom, an empire, a church, and also the angelic heaven. Take away love and wisdom from these, and consider whether they be anything, and you will find that apart from love and wisdom as their origin they are nothing.


Love together with wisdom in its very essence is in God. This no one can deny; for God loves every one from love in Himself, and leads every one from wisdom in Himself. The created universe, too, viewed in relation to its order, is so full of wisdom coming forth from love that all things in the aggregate may be said to be wisdom itself. For things limitless are in such order, successively and simultaneously, that taken together they make a one. It is from this, and this alone, that they can be held together and continually preserved.


It is because the Divine Essence itself is Love and Wisdom that man has two capacities for life; from one of these he has understanding, from the other will. The capacity from which he has understanding derives everything it has from the influx of wisdom from God, and the capacity from which he has will derives everything it has from the influx of love from God. Man's not being truly wise and not loving rightly does not take away these capacities, but merely closes them up; and so long as they are closed up, although the understanding is still called understanding and the will is called will, they are not such in essence. If these two capacities, therefore, were to be taken away, all that is human would perish; for the human is to think and to speak from thought, and to will and to act from will. From this it is clear that the Divine has its seat in man in these two capacities, the capacity to be wise and the capacity to love (that is, that one may be wise and may love). That in man there is a possibility of loving [and of being wise], even when he is not wise as he might be and does not love as he might, has been made known to me from much experience, and will be abundantly shown elsewhere.


It is because the Divine Essence itself is Love and Wisdom, that all things in the universe have relation to good and truth; for everything that proceeds from love is called good, and everything that proceeds from wisdom is called truth. But of this more hereafter.


It is because the Divine Essence itself is Love and Wisdom, that the universe and all things in it, alive and not alive, have unceasing existence from heat and light; for heat corresponds to love, and light corresponds to wisdom; and therefore spiritual heat is love and spiritual light is wisdom. But of this, also, more hereafter.


From Divine Love and from Divine Wisdom, which make the very Essence that is God, all affections and thoughts with man have their rise-affections from Divine Love, and thoughts from Divine Wisdom; and each and all things of man are nothing but affection and thought; these two are like fountains of all things of man's life. All the enjoyments and pleasantnesses of his life are from these-enjoyments from the affection of his love, and pleasantnesses from the thought therefrom. Now since man was created to be a recipient, and is a recipient in the degree in which he loves God and from love to God is wise, in other words, in the degree in which he is affected by those things which are from God and thinks from that affection, it follows that the Divine Essence, which is the Creator, is Divine Love and Divine Wisdom.


DIVINE LOVE IS OF DIVINE WISDOM, AND DIVINE WISDOM IS OF DIVINE LOVE. In God-Man Divine Esse [Being] and Divine Existere [Taking Form] are one distinctly (as may be seen above, n. 14-16). And because Divine Esse is Divine Love, and Divine Existere is Divine Wisdom, these are likewise one distinctly. They are said to be one distinctly, because love and wisdom are two distinct things, yet so united that love is of wisdom, and wisdom is of love, for in wisdom love is, and in love wisdom Exists; and since wisdom derives its Existere from love (as was said above, n. 15), therefore Divine Wisdom also is Esse. From this it follows that love and wisdom taken together are the Divine Esse, but taken distinctly love is called Divine Esse, and wisdom Divine Existere. Such is the angelic idea of Divine Love and of Divine Wisdom.


Since there is such a union of love and wisdom and of wisdom and love in God-Man, there is one Divine Essence. For the Divine Essence is Divine Love because it is of Divine Wisdom and is Divine Wisdom, because it is of Divine Love. And since there is such a union of these, the Divine Life also is one. Life is the Divine essence. Divine Love and Divine Wisdom are a one because the union is reciprocal, and reciprocal union causes oneness. Of reciprocal union, however, more will be said elsewhere.


There is also a union of love and wisdom in every Divine work; from which it has perpetuity, yea, its everlasting duration. If there were more of Divine Love than of Divine Wisdom, or more of Divine Wisdom than of Divine Love, in any created work, it could have continued existence only in the measure in which the two were equally in it, anything in excess passing off.


The Divine Providence in the reforming, regenerating and saving of men, partakes equally of Divine Love and of Divine Wisdom. From more of Divine Love than of Divine Wisdom or from more of Divine Wisdom than of Divine Love, man cannot be reformed, regenerated and saved. Divine Love wills to save all, but it cam save only by means of Divine Wisdom; to Divine Wisdom belong all the laws through which salvation is effected; and these laws Love cannot transcend, because Divine Love and Divine Wisdom are one and act in unison.


In the Word, Divine Love and Divine Wisdom are meant by "righteousness" and "judgment," Divine Love by "righteousness," and Divine Wisdom by "judgment;" for this reason "righteousness" and "judgment" are predicated in the Word of God; as in David: Righteousness and judgment are the support of Thy Throne (Ps. 89:14). Jehovah shall bring forth righteousness as the light, and judgment as the noonday (Ps. 37:6). In Hosea: I will betroth thee unto Me for ever, in righteousness, and in judgment (2:18). In Jeremiah: I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, who shall reign as King and shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth (23:5). In Isaiah: He shall sit upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it in judgment and in righteousness (9:7). Jehovah shall be exalted, because He hath filled the earth with judgment and righteousness (33:5). In David: When I shall have learned the judgments of Thy righteousness. Seven times a day do I praise Thee, because of the judgments of Thy righteousness (Ps. 119:7, 164). The same is meant by "life" and "light" in John: In Him was life, and the life was the light of men (1:4). By "life" in this passage is meant the Lord's Divine Love, and by "light" His Divine Wisdom. The same also is meant by "life" and "spirit" in John: Jesus said, The words which I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life (6:63).


In man love and wisdom appear as two separate things, yet in themselves they are one distinctly, because with man wisdom is such as the love is, and love is such as the wisdom is. The wisdom that does not make one with its love appears to be wisdom, but it is not; and the love that does not make one with its wisdom appears to be the love of wisdom, but it is not; for the one must derive its essence and its life reciprocally from the other. With man love and wisdom appear as two separate things, because with him the capacity for understanding may be elevated into the light of heaven, but not the capacity for loving, except so far as he acts according to his understanding. Any apparent wisdom, therefore, which does not make one with the love of wisdom, sinks back into the love which does make one with it; and this may be a love of unwisdom, yea, of insanity. Thus a man may know from wisdom that he ought to do this or that, and yet he does not do it, because he does not love it. But so far as a man does from love what wisdom teaches, he is an image of God.


DIVINE LOVE AND DIVINE WISDOM ARE SUBSTANCE AND ARE FORM. The idea of men in general about love and about wisdom is that they are like something hovering and floating in thin air or ether or like what exhales from something of this kind. Scarcely any one believes that they are really and actually substance and form. Even those who recognize that they are substance and form still think of the love and the wisdom as outside the subject and as issuing from it. For they call substance and form that which they think of as outside the subject and as issuing from it, even though it be something hovering and floating; not knowing that love and wisdom are the subject itself, and that what is perceived outside of it and as hovering and floating is nothing but an appearance of the state of the subject in itself. There are several reasons why this has not hitherto been seen, one of which is, that appearances are the first things out of which the human mind forms its understanding, and these appearances the mind can shake off only by the exploration of the cause; and if the cause lies deeply hidden, the mind can explore it only by keeping the understanding for a long time in spiritual light; and this it cannot do by reason of the natural light which continually withdraws it. The truth is, however, that love and wisdom are the real and actual substance and form that constitute the subject itself.


But as this is contrary to appearance, it may seem not to merit belief unless it be proved; and since it can be proved only by such things as man can apprehend by his bodily senses, by these it shall be proved. Man has five external senses, called touch, taste, smell, hearing and sight. The subject of touch is the skin by which man is enveloped, the very substance and form of the skin causing it to feel whatever is applied to it. The sense of touch is not in the things applied, but in the substance and form of the skin, which are the subject; the sense itself is nothing but an affecting of the subject by the things applied. It is the same with taste; this sense is only an affecting of the substance and form of the tongue; the tongue is the subject. It is the same with smell; it is well known that odor affects the nostrils, and that it is in the nostrils, and that the nostrils are affected by the odoriferous particles touching them. It is the same with hearing, which seems to be in the place where the sound originates; but the hearing is in the ear, and is an affecting of its substance and form; that the hearing is at a distance from the ear is an appearance. It is the same with sight. When a man sees objects at a distance, the seeing appears to be there; yet the seeing is in the eye, which is the subject, and is likewise an affecting of the subject. Distance is solely from the judgment concluding about space from things intermediate, or from the diminution and consequent indistinctness of the object, an image of which is produced interiorly in the eye according to the angle of incidence. From this it is evident that sight does not go out from the eye to the object, but that the image of the object enters the eye and affects its substance and form. Thus it is just the same with sight as with hearing; hearing does not go out from the ear to catch the sound, but the sound enters the ear and affects it. From all this it can be seen that the affecting of the substance and form which causes sense is not a something separate from the subject, but only causes a change in it, the subject remaining the subject then as before and afterwards. From this it follows that seeing, hearing, smell, taste, and touch, are not a something volatile flowing from their organs, but are the organs themselves, considered in their substance and form, and that when the organs are affected sense is produced.


It is the same with love and wisdom, with this difference only, that the substances and forms which are love and wisdom are not obvious to the eyes as the organs of the external senses are. Nevertheless, no one can deny that those things of wisdom and love, which are called thoughts, perceptions, and affections, are substances and forms, and not entities flying and flowing out of nothing, or abstracted from real and actual substance and form, which are subjects. For in the brain are substances and forms innumerable, in which every interior sense which pertains to the understanding and will has its seat. The affections, perceptions, and thoughts there are not exhalations from these substances, but are all actually and really subjects emitting nothing from themselves, but merely undergoing changes according to whatever flows against and affects them. This may be seen from what has been said above about the external senses. Of what thus flows against and affects more will be said below.


From all this it may now first be seen that Divine Love and Divine Wisdom in themselves are substance and form; for they are very Esse and Existere; and unless they were such Esse and Existere as they are substance and form, they would be a mere thing of reasoning, which in itself is nothing.


DIVINE LOVE AND DIVINE WISDOM ARE SUBSTANCE AND FORM IN ITSELF, THUS THE VERY AND THE ONLY. That Divine Love and Divine Wisdom are substance and form has been proved just above; and that Divine Esse [Being] and Existere [Taking Form] are Esse and Existere in itself, has also been said above. It cannot be said to be Esse and Existere from itself, because this involves a beginning, and a beginning from something within in which would be Esse and Existere in itself. But Very Esse and Existere in itself is from eternity. Very Esse and Existere in itself is also uncreated, and everything created must needs be from an Uncreate. What is created is also finite, and the finite can exist only from the Infinite.


He who by exercise of thought is able to grasp the idea of and to comprehend, Esse and Existere in itself, can certainly perceive and comprehend that it is the Very and the Only. That is called the Very which alone is; and that is called the Only from which every thing else proceeds. Now because the Very and the Only is substance and form, it follows that it is the very and only substance and form. Because this very substance and form is Divine Love and Divine Wisdom, it follows that it is the very and only Love, and the very and only Wisdom; consequently, that it is the very and only Essence, as well as the very and only Life: for Life is Love and Wisdom.


From all this it can be seen how sensually (that is, how much from the bodily senses and their blindness in spiritual matters) do those think who maintain that nature is from herself. They think from the eye, and are not able to think from the understanding. Thought from the eye closes the understanding, but thought from the understanding opens the eye. Such persons cannot think at all of Esse and Existere in itself, and that it is Eternal, Uncreate, and Infinite; neither can they think at all of life, except as a something fleeting and vanishing into nothingness; nor can they think otherwise of Love and Wisdom, nor at all that from these are all things of nature. Neither can it be seen that from these are all things of nature, unless nature is regarded, not from some of its forms, which are merely objects of sight, but from uses in their succession and order. For uses are from life alone, and their succession and order are from wisdom and love alone; while forms are only containants of uses. Consequently, if forms alone are regarded, nothing of life, still less anything of love and wisdom, thus nothing of God, can be seen in nature.


DIVINE LOVE AND DIVINE WISDOM MUST NECESSARILY HAVE BEING [Esse] AND HAVE FORM [Existere] IN OTHERS CREATED BY ITSELF. It is the essential of love not to love self, but to love others, and to be conjoined with others by love. It is the essential of love, moreover, to be loved by others, for thus conjunction is effected. The essence of all love consists in conjunction; this, in fact, is its life, which is called enjoyment, pleasantness, delight, sweetness, bliss, happiness, and felicity. Love consists in this, that its own should be another's; to feel the joy of another as joy in oneself, that is loving. But to feel one's own joy in another and not the other's joy in oneself is not loving; for this is loving self, while the former is loving the neighbor. These two kinds of love are diametrically opposed to each other. Either, it is true, conjoins; and to love one's own, that is, oneself, in another does not seem to divide; but it does so effectually divide that so far as any one has loved another in this manner, so far he afterwards hates him. For such conjunction is by its own action gradually loosened, and then, in like measure, love is turned to hate.


Who that is capable of discerning the essential character of love cannot see this? For what is it to love self alone, instead of loving some one outside of self by whom one may be loved in return? Is not this separation rather than conjunction? Conjunction of love is by reciprocation; and there can be no reciprocation in self alone. If there is thought to be, it is from an imagined reciprocation in others. From this it is clear that Divine Love must necessarily have being (esse) and have form (existere) in others whom it may love, and by whom it may be loved. For as there is such a need in all love, it must be to the fullest extent, that is, infinitely in Love Itself.


With respect to God: it is impossible for Him to love others and to be loved reciprocally by others in whom there is anything of infinity, that is, anything of the essence and life of love in itself, or anything of the Divine. For if there were beings having in them anything of infinity, that is, of the essence and life of love in itself, that is, of the Divine, it would not be God loved by others, but God loving Himself; since the Infinite, that is, the Divine, is one only, and if this were in others, Itself would be in them, and would be the love of self Itself; and of that love not the least trace can possibly be in God, since it is wholly opposed to the Divine Essence. Consequently, for this relation to be possible there must be others in whom there is nothing of the Divine in itself. That it is possible in beings created from the Divine will be seen below. But that it may be possible, there must be Infinite Wisdom making one with Infinite Love; that is, there must be the Divine Love of Divine Wisdom, and the Divine Wisdom of Divine Love (concerning which see above, n. 35-39)


Upon a perception and knowledge of this mystery depend a perception and knowledge of all things of existence, that is, creation; also of all things of continued existence, that is, preservation by God; in other words, of all the works of God in the created universe; of which the following pages treat.


14-1 To be and to exist. Swedenborg seems to use this word "exist" nearly in the classical sense of springing or standing forth, becoming manifest, taking form. The distinction between esse and existere is essentially the same as between substance and form.

14-2 For the meaning of this phrase. "distincte unum," see below in this paragraph, also n. 17, 22, 34, 223, and DP 4.

14-3 It should be noticed that in Latin, distinctly is the adverb of the verb distinguish. If translated distinguishably, this would appear.

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