Temptation as to Truth vs Natural Anxieties

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg

Temptation itself is nothing else than a wrestling or combat; for truth is assaulted by evil spirits and is defended by the angels who are with the man. The perception of this combat by the man is the temptation.

But no temptation can take place unless the man is in the good of truth, that is, in the love or affection of it.

For he who does not love his truth, or is not affected by it, cares nothing for it; but he who loves it is in anxiety lest it should suffer injury.

Nothing else produces the understanding life of man except that which he believes to be true, nor his will life except that which he has impressed upon himself as being good; and therefore when that is assaulted which he believes to be true, the life of his understanding is assaulted; and when that which he has impressed upon himself as being good is assaulted, the life of his will is assaulted; so that when a man is being tempted, his life is at stake.

That the first of combat is as to truth, or concerning truth, is because this is what he principally loves, and that which is of anyone’s love is that which is assaulted by evil spirits; but after the man loves good more than truth, which takes place when the order is being inverted, he is tempted as to good.


But what temptation is few know, because at this day few undergo any temptation, for no others can be tempted than those who are in the good of faith, that is, in charity toward the neighbor. If they who are not in this charity were to be tempted, they would succumb at once; and they who succumb come into the confirmation of evil and the persuasion of falsity; for the evil spirits with whom they are thus associated then conquer within them. This is the reason why at this day few are admitted into any spiritual temptation, but only into some natural anxieties, in order that they may thereby be withdrawn from the loves of self and of the world, into which they would otherwise rush without restraint.

(Arcana Coelestia 4274)
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About mike

Finding out that the Lord is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last, and from the human race the angelic heaven would be formed, my entire focus on life changed. The reason for my creation was to perform Divine uses - The Divine Providence looks to eternal ends. My gain, honor or reputation no longer could be the focal point of what drives the engine. One day I will lay aside this material body and will wake up in the spiritual world never to return; there will be a continuation of life, and my ruling love will be what guides me to my final situation. 'Where a tree falls, there will it lay' (Ecc 11:3) We only have a few years in these bodies compared to eternity. What is fossilized on our souls in this short period is important to how we spend eternity. We are not left to blind faith, The Lord has come in His Word to reveal rationally how we can be made 'a vessel of honor, able for the master's use.' I truly hope the post create a thirst. If I can be of service, please do not hesitate to email me. --Mike
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