A Man is Wholly Such as is The Ruling Principle of His Life

Selection from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg

Every man has something of his own which he loves above all things. This is called that which rules, or if you will, that which reigns universally with him. This is constantly present in his thought, and also in his will, and makes his veriest life.

As for example, he who loves wealth above all things, whether money or possessions, is continually revolving in his mind how he may procure it; he inmostly rejoices when he acquires it; he inmostly grieves when he loses it; his heart is in it. He who loves himself above all things is mindful of himself in everything, thinks of himself, speaks of himself, acts for the sake of himself; for his life is a life of self.


A man has as the end that which he loves above all things; in each and all things he has regard to this; it is in his will like the hidden current of a river which draws and bears him away, even when he is doing something else, for it is what animates him. It is this which one man searches out in another, and also sees, and according to it either leads him, or acts with him.


When a man is being regenerated, charity is implanted by means of faith, even until it becomes that which rules and when charity has become this, he has a new life, for it is then continually present in his thought, and continually in his will, nay, in every single thing of them, even when he is meditating about other things, and when he is engaged in business.


The case is the same with love to the Lord. When this love is that which rules, it is present in every single thing of the man’s life; as for instance with him who loves his king, or his parent, his love toward them shines forth in their presence from every feature of his face, it is heard in every expression of his speech, and is seen in his every gesture. This is meant by having God continually before the eyes, and by loving Him above all things, with all the soul and with all the heart.


A man is wholly such as is the ruling principle of his life; by this he is distinguished from others; according to this is formed his heaven if he is good, and his hell if he is evil; for it is his veriest will, and thus the very being of his life, which cannot be changed after death. From all this it is evident what is the nature of the life of one who is regenerate, and what is the nature of the life of one who is not regenerate.

(Arcana Coelestia 8853-8858)
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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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