[M]an’s self it is to be known that it is nothing but evil and falsity therefrom; the voluntary self [proprium voluntarium] is evil, and the intellectual self therefrom [proprium intellectuale] is falsity. This self man derives mainly from parents, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers, in a long series back, so that at length the hereditary, which is his self, is nothing but evil gradually heaped up and condensed.
For every man is born into two diabolical loves – the love of self and the love of the world – from which loves all evils and all falsities therefrom pour forth as from their own fountains; and as man is born into these loves he is also born into evils of every kind.
Because man, in respect to his self is such, means have been given by the Divine mercy of the Lord, by which man can be withdrawn from his self; these means are given in the Word; and when man cooperates with these means, that is, when he thinks and speaks, wills and acts, from the Divine Word, he is kept by the Lord in things Divine, and is thus withheld from self; and when this continues there is formed with man by the Lord as it were a new self, both voluntary and intellectual, which is wholly separated from man’s self; thus man becomes as it were created anew, and this is what is called his reformation and regeneration by truths from the Word, and by a life according to them.
To repent is to actually turn oneself away from evils, because every man is such as his life is, and the life of man consists mainly in willing and consequent doing; and from this it follows that repentance which is merely of the thought and of the lips, and not at the same time of the will and of action therefrom, is not repentance, for then the life remains the same afterwards as it was before. This makes evident that to repent is to actually turn oneself away from evils, and to enter upon a new life.