Charity and Good Works (pt. 9)

Selection from True Christian Religion ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Charity and Good Works (pt.9)
v Doctrinal Series v
I. THERE ARE THREE UNIVERSAL LOVES:
THE LOVE OF HEAVEN, THE LOVE OF THE WORLD, AND THE LOVE OF SELF.

(5) The internal and external man.

1. Man was created so as to be at the same time in the spiritual world and in the natural world. The spiritual world is where angels are, and the natural world where men are. And as man was so created, there was given him an internal and an external – an internal whereby he is in the spiritual world, and an external whereby he is in the natural world. His internal is what is called the internal man, and his external the external man.

2. Every man has an internal and an external, but with a difference between the good and the evil. With the good the internal is in heaven and its light, and the external in the world and its light; and this light of the world in them is illumined by the light of heaven, and therefore in them the internal and external act as one, like cause and effect, or like the prior and the posterior. But with the evil the internal is in hell and its light, and this light, in comparison with the light of heaven is thick darkness, although their external may be in a light like that in which the good are; thus there is an inversion. On this account the evil, just like the good, can talk and teach about faith, charity, and God, but not from faith, charity, and God.

3. The internal man is what is called the spiritual man, because it is in the light of heaven, which is a spiritual light; while the external man is called the natural man, because it is in the light of the world, which is a natural light. The man whose internal is in the light of heaven, and his external in the light of the world, is a spiritual man in regard to both, because spiritual light from the interior illumines the natural light, and makes it as its own. But the reverse is true of the evil.

4. The internal spiritual man viewed in himself is an angel of heaven, and while living in the body is in association with angels, although he does not know it; and when released from the body he goes among angels. But with the evil the internal man is a satan, and while living in the body is in association with satans, and when released from the body goes among them.

5. With those who are spiritual men, the interiors of the mind are actually elevated towards heaven, for they look primarily to that; but with those who are merely natural, the interiors of the mind are turned away from heaven and towards the world, because they look primarily to the world.

6. Those who cherish a merely general idea of the internal and external man, believe that it is the internal man that thinks and wills, and the external that speaks and acts, because thinking and willing are internal, while speech and action are external. But let it be understood that when a man thinks and wills rightly respecting the Lord and the things pertaining to the Lord, and respecting the neighbor and what pertains to the neighbor, he thinks and wills from a spiritual internal, because from a belief in truth and a love of good; but when his thought and will respecting these things are evil, his thought and will are from an infernal internal, because from a belief in falsity and a love of evil. In a word, so far as man is in love to the Lord and love towards the neighbor, he is in a spiritual internal, and from that internal thinks and wills and also speaks and acts; while so far as he is in the love of self and the world, he thinks and wills from hell, even when he speaks and acts otherwise.

7. It has been provided and arranged by the Lord, that so far as man thinks and wills from heaven, the spiritual man is opened and formed, the opening being into heaven even to the Lord, while the forming is in conformity to the things of heaven. But on the contrary so far as man thinks and wills, not from heaven but from the world, so far the internal spiritual man is closed, and the external is opened and formed, the opening being into the world, while the forming is in conformity to the things of hell.

8. Those in whom the internal spiritual man is opened into heaven to the Lord are in the light of heaven, and in enlightenment from the Lord, and thereby in intelligence and wisdom; these see truth from the light of truth and perceive good from the love of good. But those in whom the internal spiritual man is closed do not know what the internal man is, neither do they believe in the Word or in a life after death, or in the things pertaining to heaven and the church; and because they are in merely natural light, they believe nature to be from itself and not from God; they see falsity as truth, and have a perception of evil as good.

9. The internal and external here treated are the internal and external of man’s spirit; his body is only an additional external within which the former exist; for the body in no way acts from itself, but acts only from the spirit that is in it. It must be understood that the spirit of man, after its release from the body, thinks and wills and speaks and acts, just as before. Thinking and willing are its internal, while speech and action then constitute its external.

(True Christian Religion 401)

To be continued …

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About mike

The Lord is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last, and from the human race, an angelic heaven would be formed. 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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