The Connection of Angles with Man

From Last Judgment ~ Emanuel Swedenborg

• The human race is the foundation on which heaven is built, because man is the final creation; and what is created last is the foundation of all that precedes. Creation began with the highest or inmost, because it came from God, and advanced to the lowest or outermost, and there it first halted. The lowest level of creation is the natural world, containing the globe with its lands and seas together with everything on it. On completion of this stage, man was created; and on him was conferred the whole of God’s order from first to last. The first principles of that order were conferred upon his inmost nature, the last expressions of it upon his ultimate nature. Thus man was made as a model of God’s order. Hence it is that everything in and present with man is of both heavenly and worldly origin. His mental attributes derive from heaven, his bodily attributes from the world. For influences from heaven act upon his thoughts and affections and dispose them in keeping with the way his spirit receives those influences. Influences from the world act upon his senses and appetites and dispose them in keeping with the way his body receives them, but they are adapted to suit the thoughts and affections of his spirit.
• From this ordering of creation, it can be seen that the coherent linkage from first things to last is such that taken together they make up a single unit; in this, prior cannot be separated from posterior, just as cause cannot be separated from the effect produced by it. Thus the spiritual world cannot be separated from the natural world, nor this from the spiritual. In the same way the heaven where the angels are cannot be separated from the human race, nor the human race from that heaven. It has therefore been provided by the Lord that one should perform services for the other, that is, the heaven of angels should perform services for the human race, and the human race for the heaven of angels.

• So it is that the dwellings of angels are in heaven, to all appearance separate from the places where people on earth live; but the angels are still present with human beings in their affections for good and truth. …

The following words of the Lord mean that the dwellings of angels are with human beings in their affections for good and truth:

He who loves Me, keeps My word, and My Father will love him; and We shall come to him and make Our dwelling with him. John 14:23.

The Father and the Lord also there mean heaven, for where the Lord is, there is heaven. The Divine proceeding from the Lord makes heaven …

These words of the Lord also mean the same:

The comforter, the spirit of truth, remains among you and is in you. John 14:17.

The Comforter is Divine Truth proceeding from the Lord, which is why He is also called the Spirit of truth. Divine truth makes heaven, and also the angels, because they receive that truth. For the Divine proceeding from the Lord being Divine Truth, the source of the heaven of angels….

These words of the Lord too have a similar meaning: The kingdom of God is within you. Luke 17:21.

The kingdom of God is Divine good and truth, which angels receive. The presence of angels and spirits with human beings and in their affections has been granted me to see a thousand times from their presence and dwelling with me. But angels and spirits do not know with which human beings they are, neither do human beings know with which angels and spirits they live; the Lord alone knows and arranges this.

• In short, all affections for good and truth reach out into heaven, and there is thus connexion and linking with those there who have similar affections. All affections for evil and falsity reach out into hell, and there is thus connexion and linking with those there who have similar affections. Affections reach out into the spiritual world, almost as the range of sight reaches out into the natural world. The connexions in either place are much alike, the difference being that in the natural world they are with things, in the spiritual world with communities of angels.

• This makes it plain that the connexion between the heaven of angels and the human race is such that the existence of one is dependent upon the other. The heaven of angels without the human race would be like a house without a foundation, for heaven comes to an end in humanity and rests upon it. The situation is parallel to that in the individual person: his spiritual side, which is where his thoughts and will reside, acts upon his natural side, which is where his sense – impressions and actions take place, and in this they come to an end and stop. If a person did not have a natural side as well as a spiritual, and so was without those final and last stages, his spiritual side, the thoughts and affections of his spirit, would be dissipated, like things lacking boundaries.

• There is a similar event when a person passes from the natural world into the spiritual, which happens at death. Then, since he is a spirit, he stands not on his own base, but upon the common base, namely, the human race. Anyone unfamiliar with the secrets of heaven might think that angels can exist without human beings and human beings without angels. But I can emphatically state from all my experience of heaven, and from all my conversations with angels, that there is no angel or spirit who exists without a human being, and no human being without a spirit or angel; there is a mutual and reciprocal link. These considerations establish firstly that the human race and the heaven of angels make up a single unit, and depend on each other for their continued existence, so that one cannot be taken away from the other.

(Last Judgment 9)
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Believing … How Life is Lived

Excerpt from Heaven and Hell ~ Emanuel Swedenborg

… charity is everything that pertains to life, and faith everything that pertains to doctrine; consequently, charity is willing and doing what is just and right in every work, and faith is thinking justly and rightly; and faith and charity are conjoined, the same as doctrine and a life in accordance with it, or the same as thought and will; and faith becomes charity when that which a man thinks justly and rightly he also wills and does, and then they are not two but one.

(From Heaven and Hell 364)
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Understanding the Lord’s Omnipresence Denuded of Time and Space

Selection from Apocalypse Explained ~ Emanuel Swedenborg

• Spaces and times must be removed from the ideas, in order that the Lord’s Omnipresence with all men, collectively and severally, as well as his omniscience of things present and future may be understood.

• Since however spaces and times can be removed with difficulty from the ideas of thought in the natural man, it is better that the simple should not think of the Divine Omnipresence and Omniscience from the reasoning of the understanding; it is sufficient for them to believe in simplicity from religion.

If such a man thinks from reason, let him acknowledge in his own mind that they exist, because they belong to God, God being everywhere and infinite; and because the Word also teaches this.

If again he thinks of them from nature, and from the spaces and times belonging to it, let him acknowledge again in his own mind that they have a miraculous origin.

But because at the present day naturalism has almost deluged the church, and can be dispersed only by means of rational arguments which will enable man to see that this is the case, these Divine [attributes] shall therefore be placed in their true light, and cleared of the darkness with which nature overspreads them. This can be done moreover, because, as previously said, the understanding with which man is endowed, is capable of elevation into the interior light of heaven, provided only, from love he desires to know truths.

All naturalism arises from thinking of Divine subjects from the properties of nature, which are matter, space, and time. The mind which clings to these properties, and unwilling to believe anything that it does not understand, is bound to obscure its understanding, and from the thick darkness into which it has plunged it, deny that there is any such thing as Divine Providence, and affirm as a consequence that omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience have no existence. These attributes are, nevertheless, precisely as religion teaches, both within nature and above it, but they cannot be comprehended by the understanding unless space and time are removed from its ideas in thinking on the subject; for these properties of matter are, in some way or other, inherent in every idea of thought. If therefore they are not removed, no other thought can be formed than that nature is everything, that it is self-existent, that life is from it, that its inmost is that which is called God, and that all beside it is imaginary.

I know that men will also be astonished to hear that there is any existence possible where there is neither time nor space; that the Divine itself exists apart from them; and that spiritual beings are not in them, but merely in the appearances of them – though Divine spiritual things are nevertheless the very essences of all things that have ever existed or that do exist – and that natural things without spiritual things are like bodies without souls, which become mere carcases.

• Every man who has become a naturalist, by means of thought from nature, remains such also after death; and he calls all the objects that he sees in the spiritual world natural, because they are similar to those in the natural world. Men of this kind are however enlightened and taught by angels that these objects are not natural, but that they are the appearances of natural things, and they are convinced so far as to affirm that this is the case. Still they relapse and worship nature, as they had done in the world, until at length, separating themselves from the angels, they fall into hell, and cannot be rescued from it to eternity (in aeternum). The reason of this is that their souls are not spiritual but natural, like that of the beasts, with the faculty nevertheless of thinking and speaking, because they were born men. Now because the hells at this day, more than at any former period, are filled with men of this class, it is of importance that darkness so dense caused by nature closing and barring up the entrance to men’s understandings, should be removed by means of rational light derived from spiritual.

(Apocalypse Explained 1220:2, 3)
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The Substances or Forms are the Determining Subjects

Selection from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
All things in the mind of man have been arranged into series, and as it were into bundles; and into series within series, or into bundles within bundles. That there is such an arrangement, is plain from the arrangement of all things in the body, where fibers are seen arranged into bundles, and glandules into clusters, and this everywhere in the body, and still more perfectly in the purer parts not discernible by the naked eye. This bundling is especially to be seen in the brain, in the two substances there, one of which is called cortical and the other medullary. It is not dissimilar in the purer things, and finally in the purest of all, where the forms which receive them are the very forms of life.
• That forms or substances are recipient of life can be seen from every single thing that appears in living creatures; and also that recipient forms or substances are arranged in the way most suitable for the influx of life. Without the reception of life in substances, which are forms, there would be no living thing in the natural world, nor in the spiritual world. Series of the purest filaments, like bundles, constitute these forms. It is the same with those things therein which are highly modified; for modifications receive their form from the forms which are the substances in which they are, and from which they flow, because the substances or forms are the determining subjects.
• The reason why the learned have regarded the things belonging to man’s life, that is, to his thought and will, as being devoid of recipient substances or forms, has been that they believed life or the soul to be something either flamy or ethereal, thus such as after death would be dissipated; hence comes the insane notion of many, that there is no life after death.
(Arcana Cœlestia 7408)
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‘Turning About’ Man’s Freedom, Man’s Good, Man’s Mind, Man’s Understanding and Will

Selection from Apocalypse Explained ~ Emanuel Swedenborg

So far as man is removed from evils he is removed from hell – for evils and hell are one; so far as he is removed from these he enters into goods and is conjoined with heaven – for goods and heaven are one.  Man thus becomes another man; his freedom, his good, his mind, and his understanding and will, are turned about, for he becomes an angel of heaven.

• His freedom, which before had been a freedom to think and will evil, becomes a freedom to think and will good, which in itself is essential freedom. Until a man is in this freedom he does not know what freedom is, for from the freedom of evil he felt the freedom of good to be slavery; but now from the freedom of good he feels the freedom of evil to be slavery, as it is in itself.

• The good that man had before done, since it was from the freedom of evil, could not be good in itself, for it had in it the love of self or of the world. Good can have no other, origin than love; therefore such as the love is such is the good; yet even when the love is evil its delight is felt as good, although it is evil. But after this change the good that man does is good in itself, because it is from the Lord who is good itself, as has been said above.

• The mind of man, before it was conjoined to heaven was turned backwards, because it had not been led out of hell. When it is in a state of reformation, it looks from truth to good, thus from left to right, which is contrary to order. But when the mind has been conjoined to heaven it is turned forwards and lifted up to the Lord and looks from right to left, that is, from good to truth, which is according to order. Thus a turning is brought about.

• It is the same with the understanding and will, since the understanding is a recipient of truth, and the will a recipient of good. Before man has been led out of hell the understanding and will do not act as one; for man then sees and acknowledges from the understanding many things that he does not will, because he does not love them. But when man has been conjoined to heaven the understanding and will act as one, for the understanding then becomes the will’s understanding; for when the turning has been effected whatever a man wills he loves, and whatever he wills from love he thinks. Thus when a man has been removed from evils by resistance and combat against them as if from himself, he comes into the love of truth and good; and then everything that he wills and consequently does he also thinks and consequently speaks.

(Apocalypse Explained 1168)
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See Truths in Appearances

Selection from Divine Providence ~ Emanuel Swedenborg

• The Lord conjoins Himself with uses by means of correspondences, and thus by means of appearances in accordance with the confirmations of these by man. As this must needs seem obscure to those who have not yet gained a clear notion of what correspondence is and what appearance is, they must be illustrated by example, and thus explained.

All things of the Word are pure correspondences of spiritual and celestial things, and because they are correspondences they are also appearances; that is, all things of the Word are the Divine goods of the Divine love and the Divine truths of the Divine wisdom, which in themselves are naked, but in the sense of the letter of the Word are clothed. They therefore appear like a man in clothing that corresponds to the state of his love and wisdom. All this makes evident that when a man confirms appearances it is the same as asserting that the clothes are the man. It is thus that appearances are converted into fallacies. It is otherwise when man is seeking for truths and sees them in the appearances.

• Since, then, all uses, that is, the truths and goods of charity that a man does to the neighbor, may be done either in accordance with these appearances or in accordance with the truths themselves in the Word, when he does them in accordance with the appearances confirmed in himself he is in fallacies; but when he does them in accordance with truths he does them as he ought. All this makes clear what is meant when it is said that the Lord conjoins Himself with uses by means of correspondences, and thus by means of appearances in accordance with the confirmations of these by man.

(Divine Providence 220:6 ,7)
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Matters of Real Belief

Selection from The Doctrine of Faith ~ Emanuel Swedenborg

The knowledges of truth and of good are not matters of real belief until the man is in charity but are the storehouse of material out of which the faith of charity can be formed.

From his earliest childhood man has the affection of knowing, which leads him to learn many things that will be of use to him, and many that will be of no use. While he is growing into manhood he learns by application to some business such things as belong to that business, and this business then becomes his use, and he feels an affection for it. In this way commences the affection or love of use, and this brings forth the affection of the means which teach him the handling of the business which is his use. With everybody in the world there is this progression, because everybody has some business to which he advances from the use that is his end, by the means, to the actual use which is the effect. But inasmuch as this use together with the means that belong to it is for the sake of life in this world, the affection that is felt for it is natural affection only.

But as every man not only regards uses for the sake of life in this world, but also should regard uses for the sake of his life in heaven (for into this life he will come after his life here, and will live in it to eternity), therefore from childhood everyone acquires knowledges [cognitiones] of truth and good from the Word, or from the doctrine of the church, or from preaching, which knowledges are to be learned and retained for the sake of that life; and these he stores up in his natural memory in greater or less abundance according to such affection of knowing as may be inborn with him, and has in various ways been incited to an increase.

But all these knowledges [cognitiones], whatever may be their number and whatever their nature, are merely the storehouse of material from which the faith of charity can be formed, and this faith cannot be formed except in proportion as the man shuns evils as sins. If he shuns evils as sins, then these knowledges become those of a faith that has spiritual life within it. But if he does not shun evils as sins, then these knowledges are nothing but knowledges [cognitiones], and do not become those of a faith that has any spiritual life within it.

This storehouse of material is in the highest degree necessary, because faith cannot be formed without it, for the knowledges [cognitiones] of truth and good enter into faith and make it, so that if there are no knowledges, faith cannot come forth into being, for an entirely void and empty faith is impossible. If the knowledges are scanty, the faith is consequently very small and meager; if they are abundant, the faith becomes proportionately rich and full.

Be it known however that it is knowledges[cognitiones] of genuine truth and good that constitute faith, and by no means knowledges of what is false, for faith is truth, … and as falsity is the opposite of truth, it destroys faith. Neither can charity come forth into being where there are nothing but falsities, for … charity and faith make a one just as good and truth make a one. From all this it follows that an absence of knowledges of genuine truth and good involves an absence of faith, that a few knowledges make some faith, and that many knowledges make a faith which is clear and bright in proportion to their abundance. Such as is the quality of a man’s faith from charity, such is the quality of his intelligence.

There are many who possess no internal acknowledgment of truth, and yet have the faith of charity. These are they who have had regard to the Lord in their life, and from religion have avoided evils, but have been prevented from thinking about truths by worldly cares and by their businesses, as well as by a lack of truth on the part of their teachers. But inwardly, that is, in their spirit, they still are in the acknowledgment of truth, because they are in the affection of it, and therefore after death, when they become spirits and are instructed by angels, they acknowledge truths and receive them with joy. Very different is the case with those who have had no regard to the Lord in their life, and have not from religion avoided evils. Inwardly, that is, in their spirit, they are in no affection of truth, and consequently are in no acknowledgment of it, and therefore after death, when they become spirits and are instructed by angels, they are unwilling to acknowledge truths, and consequently do not receive them. For evil of life inwardly hates truths, whereas good of life inwardly loves them.

Knowledges [cognitiones] of good and truth that precede faith appear to some to be things of faith (or real belief), but still are not so. Their thinking and saying that they believe is no proof that they do so, and neither are such knowledges things of faith, for they are matters of mere thought that the case is so, and not of any internal recognition that they are truths; and the faith or belief that they are truths, while it is not known that they are so, is a kind of persuasion quite remote from inward recognition. But as soon as charity is being implanted, these knowledges become things of faith, but no further than as there is charity in the faith. In the first state, before charity is felt, faith appears to them as though it were in the first place, and charity in the second; but in the second state, when charity is felt, faith betakes itself to the second place, and charity to the first. The first state is called Reformation, and the second Regeneration. In this latter state a man grows in wisdom every day, and every day good multiplies truths and causes them to bear fruit. The man is then like a tree that bears fruit, and inserts seeds in the fruit, from which come new trees, and at last a garden. He then becomes truly a man, and after death an angel, in whom charity constitutes the life, and faith the form, beautiful in accordance with the quality of the faith; but his faith is then no longer called faith, but intelligence. From all this it is evident that the whole sum and substance of faith is from charity, and nothing of it from itself; and also that charity brings forth faith, and not faith charity. The knowledges of truth that go before are like the store in a granary, which does not feed a man unless he is hungry and takes out the grain.

We will also say how faith is formed from charity. Every man has a natural mind and a spiritual mind: a natural mind for the world, and a spiritual mind for heaven. In respect to his understanding, man is in both minds, but not in respect to his will, until he shuns and is averse to evils as sins. When he does this his spiritual mind is opened in respect to the will also; and when it has been opened there inflows from it into the natural mind spiritual heat from heaven (which heat in its essence is charity), and gives life to the knowledges of truth and good in the natural mind, and out of them it forms faith. The case here is just as it is with a tree, which does not receive any vegetative life until heat inflows from the sun, and conjoins itself with the light, as takes place in spring time. There is also a full parallelism between the quickening of man with life and the growing of a tree, in this respect, that the latter is effected by the heat of this world, and the former by the heat of heaven. It is for this reason also that man is so often likened by the Lord to a tree.

From these few words it may be considered settled that the knowledges of truth and good are not really things of faith until the man is in charity, but that they are the storehouse of material out of which the faith of charity can be formed. With a regenerate person the knowledges of truth become truths, and so do the knowledges of good, for the knowledge of good is in the understanding, and the affection of good in the will, and what is in the understanding is called truth, and what is in the will is called good.

(Doctrine of Faith 25-33)
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