From What Source is the Action?

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
What is meant by good and truth natural not spiritual, and good and truth spiritual natural.

Good in man is from a twofold source – from what is hereditary and hence additional, and also from the doctrine of faith and of charity, or with the Gentiles from their religiosity.

Good from the former origin is good natural not spiritual, while good from the latter origin is good spiritual natural. From a like origin is truth, because all good has its own truth adjoined to it.

Good natural from the former origin, that is, from what is hereditary and hence adventitious*, has much that is akin to good natural from the second origin, that is, from the doctrine of faith and charity, or from some religiosity, but only in the external form, being entirely different in the internal form.

Good natural from the former origin may be compared to the good that exists with gentle animals; but good natural from the second origin is proper to the man who acts from reason, and consequently knows how to dispense what is good in various ways in accordance with uses. This dispensing of what is good is taught by the doctrine of what is just and fair, and in a higher degree by the doctrine of faith and charity, and with those who are truly rational is also confirmed in many ways by reason.

They who do good from the former origin [good natural], are borne blindly along as it were by instinct into the exercise of charity; but they who perform what is good from the second origin [good spiritual natural] are borne along by an internal obligation, and as it were with their eyes open.

In a word, they who do what is good from the former origin [good natural], do it from no conscience of what is just and fair, still less from any conscience of spiritual truth and good; whereas they who do what is good from the second origin [good spiritual natural], do it from conscience.

But how the case is with these things can by no means be explained to the apprehension; for everyone who is not spiritual, or who has not been regenerated, sees good from its external form, and this for the reason that he does not know what charity is, or what the neighbor is; and the reason why he does not know these things is that he has no doctrinals of charity. In the light of heaven these things appear most distinctly, and hence they appear distinctly also with the spiritual or regenerate, because these are in the light of heaven.

(Arcana Coelestia 4988)

[*adventitious – coming from another source and not inherent or innate]


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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