Changes and Variations of State and Form

Selection from Divine Providence ~ Emanuel Swedenborg

• Those who so believe know nothing whatever about what evil is or what good is.

For they do not know that evil is the delight of the lust of acting and thinking contrary to Divine order, and that good is the delight of the affection of acting and thinking in accordance with Divine order, and that there are myriads of lusts that enter into and compose every single evil, and myriads of affections in like manner that enter into and compose every single good, and that these myriads are in such order and connection in man’s interiors that no one can be changed unless at the same time all are changed. Those who do not know this may hold the belief or opinion that evil, which seems also to them to be a single thing, can easily be removed; and good, which also appears to be a single thing, can be brought in in its place. As such do not know what evil is and what good is they must needs be of the opinion that instant salvation and mercy apart from means are possible ….

• Those who believe in instant salvation and mercy apart from means do not know that affections, which belong to the will, are nothing but changes of the state of the purely organic substances of the mind; and that thoughts, which belong to the understanding, are nothing but changes and variations in the form of these substances; and that memory is the state of these changes and variations that remains permanent.

• Who does not acknowledge, when it is stated, that affections and thoughts are possible only in substances and their forms, which are subjects?

And as these exist in the brains, which are full of substances and forms, the forms are called purely organic. No one who thinks rationally can help laughing at the fancies of some that affections and thoughts do not exist in substantiated subjects, but are exhalations modified by heat and light, like images appearing in the air and ether; and yet thought can no more exist apart from a substantial form than sight apart from its form which is the eye, or hearing apart from its form which is the ear, or taste apart from its form which is the tongue. Examine the brain, and you will see innumerable substances, and fibers likewise, and that there is nothing there that is not organized. What other evidence than this ocular proof is needed?

• But it is asked, What is affection there, and what is thought there?

This may be inferred from all things and each thing in the body; in it are many viscera, each fixed in its place, and these perform their functions by changes and variations of state and form. That each is engaged in its own operations is known-the stomach in its own, the intestines in theirs, the kidneys in theirs, the liver, pancreas, and spleen in theirs, and the heart and lungs in theirs; and all of these are moved to their work solely from within, and to be moved from within is to be moved by changes and variations of state and form. All this makes clear that the operations of the purely organic substances of the mind must resemble these, with the difference that the operations of the organic substances of the body are natural, while those of the mind are spiritual; and that the two make one by correspondences.

The nature of the changes and variations of state and form in the organic substances of the mind, which are affections and thoughts, cannot be shown to the eye; nevertheless they may be seen as in a mirror in the changes and variations in the state of the lungs in speaking and singing. There is also a correspondence; for the tone of the voice in speaking and singing, and also its articulations, which are the words of speech and the modulations of singing, are made by the lungs, and tone corresponds to affection and speech to thought. They are also produced therefrom; and this is done by changes and variations in the state and form of the organic substances in the lungs, and from the lungs through the trachea or windpipe in the larynx and glottis, and then in the tongue, and finally in the lips. The first changes and variations of the state and form of the tone take place in the lungs, the second in the trachea and larynx, the third in the glottis by the varied openings of its orifices, the fourth in the tongue by its various adaptations to the palate and the teeth, the fifth in the lips by their varied forms. All this makes clear that mere changes and variations, successively continued, in the state of organic forms, produce tones and their articulations, which are speech and singing. Inasmuch, then, as tone and speech are produced from no other source than the affections and thoughts of the mind (for they exist from these, and never apart from them), it is evident that the affections of the will are changes and variations in the state of the purely organic substances of the mind, and that the thoughts of the understanding are changes and variations in the form of those substances, the same as in the pulmonary substances.

• As affections and thoughts are mere changes in the state of the forms of the mind it follows that memory is nothing else than the state of these changes that is permanent. For all changes and variations of state in organic substances are such that having once become habitual they are permanent. Thus the lungs are habituated to produce various sounds in the trachea, and to vary them in the glottis, to articulate them with the tongue, and to modify them with the mouth; and these organic activities, having once become habitual, are in the organs and can be reproduced. That these changes and variations are infinitely more perfect in the organic structures of the mind than in those of the body … all perfections increase and ascend with degrees and according to degrees.

(from Divine Providence 279)
Advertisements

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
This entry was posted in Christian, Church, Emanuel Swedenborg, Jesus Christ, Religion, Spiritual Growth and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.