A Series of Doctrinal Lectures
By Hugo Lj. Odhner, D. Th.
II. THE GRAND MAN OF HEAVEN
III. TWO ASPECTS OF THE GRAND MAN
IV. THE RACIAL MAN
V. THE GRAND MAN AND ITS FUNCTION IN PROPHECY
VI. THE GRAND MAN AND ITS FUNCTION IN MANS CREATION
VII. THE RELATION OF THE EVIL TO THE GRAND MAN OF USES
VIII. SITUATION IN THE SPIRITUAL WORLD IN RESPECT TO THE GRAND MAN
IX. THE CHURCH SPECIFIC AND ITS FUNCTION IN THE GRAND
X. THE ARCANA OF THE HEAVENLY MARRIAGE
Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania
We are living within a civilization in which the use of mechanical tools is effectively increasing the material results or human labor. Artificial illumination has lengthened the day. Machines and engines have facilitated the contacts of all cities and nations with each other; the spoken word is sent broadcast over the world; the stores or human knowledge are made available to multitudes by the press; and routinized education reaches rich and poor alike. The horizons or the physical universe have widened incredibly both as to time and space, through the use of the mechanical means which research can now command. Calculating machines speed the human brain, spectacles improve the eyes; and we resort to chemical artifices to make our poor bodies stand a strain for which it was evidently not originally intended. And because our hands are not strong enough, we have extended their power by steam shovels and rifles; while our unfortunate lack or fins and wings is more than compensated for by ocean liners and aircraft.
Centuries ago, the human form--the body and brain of man--was without question taken as the perfect summit or organic life in the best of all possible worlds! But now we are swayed from that comfortable position by winds of contrary opinions. Biologists regret many of our inadequate organs as useless and clumsy vestiges of a questionable past, and instruct the surgeons to cut out our appendix or our tonsils. Barbers shave off our hair, and even artists try to improve on the natural human form.
We live under artificial conditions, and quite naturally our thinking is apt to be a bit mesmerized by mechanics. It is common today to think or the human body as a machine; and materialistic philosophy has made such desperate efforts to hide the fact of our living at all as free spiritual agents, that some have even denied consciousness itself. There have been elaborate attempts to explain mans body as the result of an evolution due to natural forces in adaptation to a shifting environment which by chance obtained on our planet. Many evolutionists therefore seriously believe that on some other planetsif any of them are inhabited--the type or organic life which became dominant might just as well have been of the insect-order, as or the human; and that the human form cannot be claimed as intrinsically superior, apart from the fact that it happens to be adapted for survival on our earth, under present conditions.
The extreme naturalistic thinker will or course entirely eliminate the idea of an intelligent Creator from the scheme of any such evolution from the primeval slime. In his mind, man is but born of mud--formed by some incredible combinations or inter-actions of material forces. But few can feel any real satisfaction in such a militant credo which goes counter even to the laws or probability. The position seems to be evasive or the major facts or consciousness, and leaves the heart cold.
Many leaders or materialistic thought have therefore temporized by admitting that the evolution of organic forms of life, with man as the noblest apex, was stimulated by a force intrinsic in matter itself--a driving-power not indeed conscious of any specific end, but blindly endeavoring to release its energy under whatever forms circumstances will permit, and finding its fulfillment in a series of temporary spurts of consciousness, or which mans mind is but a fortuitous result which will soon--in its turn--flicker out and be lost. And most or these philosophers--whom the Writings designate among the worshippers of nature--are willing, if pressed, to call this infinite driving-force in the inferiors of nature, God. They may even turn poetical, and speak or the need to attune ourselves to the Infinite, by which they usually mean the laws of nature; and may speak of the soul of man as a spark of Divinity, or of mans consciousness as a part of God.
But over against those who think from sensual appearances, there stands still the spirit of religion; which is fortified by all the uncounted members of the Church Universal, unbounded by race or creed; and which is maintained by an influx into the souls of all men which predisposes them to accept as in accord with reason the thought that God is, and that He is one. For the spirit of religion is inseparable from the acknowledgment that God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them; and that it was by the breath of the Lords life that the dust of the ground was made a living soul.
The concept of man as the image and likeness of God is utterly antithetical to the samples or contemporary thought which we have alluded to. It creates an entirely different point or view from which to regard the universe. It makes man central to creation, the means through which the end of the Creator is to be accomplished. It endows the human form and shape with a certain sanctity, which even the ugly facts of evil, disease and perversion cannot take away.
From this approach, the body and mind of man are recognized as the focus of all the purposes and uses of creationa microcosm representative of all planes and powers finally cooperate for, their common end; the harmonic rhapsody or life, the joy and beauty of truth, the holiness of love.
From this approach all nature,--with its spontaneous offerings, its birds and beasts, its unknown deeps, its homely surroundings, or its distant mysteries of whirling planets and blazing stars,--is brought into a strange kinship with man. God is the common origin or both nature and man. Hence we have the teachings that as the created universe is from God His image is in it, as the image of a man is in a mirror; in which the man does indeed appear, although there is nothing of man in it (W 59); and that every created thing ... is as it were (such) an image of God. (W 56); the universe as a whole presenting an image or the love and wisdom or God-Man, when its uses are regarded (W 52). Indeed, all and every thing which appears upon earth, are correspondences or the infinite affections and perceptions or the Lord (T 78). The universe is therefore also likened to a theater representative of uses, or representative of the Lords kingdom--the spiritual world--which in turn is a representation of the Lord Himself (T 67) (A 3483, 3518:3, 5173:2).
Let us note that this implies also that--in a less sublime sense--the universe, regarded as to uses, is man in an image (W 317). There is the remote likeness or man in the beast, the bird, the fish; in the tree and in the earth and in the solar-system; yea, in the starry firmament with its many spheres. And all that man uses and produces,--from field or sea or mine--all that he builds around him--comes to represent man or becomes an extension or his personality. Even the dead implements and engines which mans brain calls into being through the magic formulas or knowledge, are but further developments of the power of mans body,--arms or legs or eyes or stomach--and represent the uses or these human members, in their struggle to overcome the handicaps of matter, space and time, which bind the spirit on earth,
It is as if the modern Adam, long banished from Eden, but still searching for some help (meet for him in his low estate), was permitted again to name the creatures and elements or the world: and whatsoever Adam names them, that is the name thereof.
And if we remember to see in all things--dead or animate--a reflection or the human form, it is no longer a sacrilege to liken the human body to a machine, yet a living machine; as did Swedenborg himself in his Philosophical Works. The body is an intricate mechanism, obedient to the laws of physics and chemistry--but here these laws have been put to the most exalted or uses, to harbor and express the human spirit.
As a matter of fact, no machine exists which does not represent the human need, the human yearning from which it originated. The body (if it is to be classed as a machine) represents the unconscious instincts and ends of the human soul--and corresponds to all the wise foresight and power or the creative soul.
And the soul is nothing but a finite vessel or lire that is moulded by the Lord the Creator to represent and subserve His designs.
The prime concept within all New Church thought (as indeed, in a measure, in all religious thought), is that the human form is derived from the form of God-Man; that what is human proceeds from Him; and that whatever proceeds from God is or the human form, because God is Himself Man (Ipse Homo) (Inv. 48); so that the human is inmostly within every created thing--but this, we are warned, must be understood apart from space. (W 285:3).
From inmosts, it is the endeavor towards the human that pulsates as an effort or purpose within all creation--ordering each and all things into the semblance of that order or use which, in its fullness and completion and full balance, is represented within the bodily form or man.
Now, as long as we think only from the spatial concept of the human body, its average size, its shape, its two eyes and four extremities, we would find difficulty in seeing the image of man in the universe around us. We would meet a stumbling block in the presence or many eyes and varied forms or extremities in the lower types or creatures--and the absence or any human shape in the great universe as a whole. We would be confused by the multitudinous varieties among living and inanimate things. Among the mystic philosophers, who from ancient time had recovered and preserved the truth that man was a microcosm, some actually believed that the stars were arranged in a human shape.
But the New Church doctrine is not concerned with shape, but with functions. We believe that the law that organizes nature is one law, everywhere the same in purpose, the same in use; and that this creative law is due to the influx and operation of the Divine Truth itself, which is that from which nature had its origin (Ath. Cr. n. 191).
It is because the things or nature differently receive the influx or the Divine law, that each form becomes an exaggerated image of some one of those uses which in fullness or balance are round in man. The use or sight may thus be represented by many eyes, the function or locomotion by many legs. But besides this, all human functions, are reflected in every form or creation, often in so general and undifferentiated a way that they appear absent. Nothing in the universe could exist unless it imaged in some limited way the uses or the GOD-MAN, and transmitted such uses. In the natural universe such forms and uses are natural, but nonetheless they have a relation to the spiritual uses, to which they are said to correspond. Thus New Church men are familiar with the statement that, all things in the universe which are according to Divine order have relation (or reference) to good and truth. For good (will) and truth (understanding) are universals, and are the two essentials which make up the human, or the human use. We see this law reflected everywhere in physical correspondences: in the heat and light of the sun; in the fact that matter itself must have substance and form--substance being regarded as internal activity, and form as the external or passive phase or substance; in the laws or chemical affinities; in the positive and negative forces or the electric and magnetic fields; in the occurrence of what corresponds to sex in all organic things; in the motor and sensory functions in living beings; and in the relation or suns and planets.
It is not for us, here, to outline the tremendous range or the field or correspondences--by which we might see mans spiritual functions reflected in the three kingdoms or nature. But we would call attention to the fact that it is only when these three kingdoms or earth are taken together with the spheres of other earths and with the mazes or the stars, that the complete correspondent representation or the human form is obtained.
The doctrine or correspondences is entirely essential to bring into a logical whole the scheme or creation. If there is a Purpose, an end, in the universe, everything in it must correspond to that original end-in-view, and at least partially represent it. If a single like were missing in this plastic chain of correspondences, the Purpose of God would be thwarted and defeated! And if there is a Purpose in creation, it is equally sure that the Creator must be Divinely Human--Love and Wisdom in their infinite source-form! Nothing positive can spring from God-Man which does not represent something in Him; a stone could not be hard, unless the Divine Truth was eternal; a child could not be born, unless the Divine Love was forever creative; a man could not attain wisdom, unless the Creator was omniscient.
The only philosophy which logically follows out the law that every effect has its cause, is that which sees that the Creator and source of all things must be the infinite GOD-MAN--Divinely Human. For the source or life must be higher than the highest product of life; and in the universe no law exists which is not presented in its highest manifestation, its spiritual form, in man.
Now every vital religion of the past has been based on the conception that God is personal, human; and the ancients admitted that a likeness of the human was impressed on everything created. But in the Old Testament this personal aspect or God is presented in accommodation to the sensual minds or the Jews, and Jehovah is thus pictured as a Divine Person possessing much the same passions as an arbitrary monarch among men,--anger, vengeance, change or mind; He is described as bargaining with Abraham and Jacob, as permitting bloody sacrifices, slavery, polygamy and a code of cruel retaliation. Not understanding--or willing to understand--the spirit or this accommodation, hostile critics have used such instances or material and corporeal conceptions or God as an objection to any concept of God as personal and human, and scornfully labeled such a belief as anthropomorphism. They have classed the more lovable picture of God as the Heavenly Father--given in the New Testament--as merely a futile attempt to refine a superstition dating back to the savage days or primitive man.
The New Church doctrine that all creation is inmostly human, and filled with a conatus towards the human form, is--in one sense--only the consistent completion or the line of thought that there is an end, a purpose, an intelligent design, behind the fact or the natural world existing; which accounts for the universality or law, and for the homology or likeness of structure, in created forms. So considered, it is of utmost value as a philosophy to be applied to the fields or Biology and Economics.
But this doctrine--as presented in the Writings--is also a Revelation, Divinely given for the sake of instructing, men in their obligations of charity and their relationship to each other and to their Maker. Swedenborg, by his preparatory philosophic studies had been prepared to receive this Doctrine; but its revelation actually took place by the opening of his spiritual senses to see from experience, and from special illustration to perceive, the order of heaven as a Grand Human Form which, derived its reality from the presence of the Lord as Divine Man.
Even as the natural universe must be viewed from its inward Soul and Purpose as an organism rather than as a machine, so the spiritual world,--the infilling of which with individually conscious human souls is the end of creation, is in the order or the human form. Heaven is a Grand Man, a Maximus Homo.
In a series of doctrinal classes this season we intend to study the character or this human order in the heavens, the development of this grand human form. For even heaven has its history!
Only the Lord possesses the Human Form--which is that or Infinite Love in absolute unity with Infinite Wisdom. In finite creation there can be no entire union of love and wisdom, but only more or less of conjunction of these two or of their physical counterparts. Good and truth, discerned as heat and light, proceed conjoined from the Sun or Heaven, and remain conjoinedin varying degrees of perfection--in heaven. In order that anything of life shall be born on earth, there must be something of that same conjunction. Nothing is produced even in a physical or mechanical sense, except from an image of such a conjunction. But the further a thing is from the Divine, i. e., the more it is finited and limited, the less does that conjunction appear. In the dead ultimates or the natural earth, it has reached its minimum, its nadir.
Yet the end and conatus of creative development is present in ultimates still, And even the minerals of earth are plastic to spiritual ends and serviceable to build something that emulates the human form (references). The lichens, the ferns, the herbs and the trees increasingly reflect the human term which comes from the influx of good conjoining itself with its truth. In the animal world that form is still more surely outlined--and in the creation of man it becomes effective as a conscious endeavor towards the spiritual conjunction of good and truth. But the individual man is still inadequate. Male man alone or woman alone cannot suffice to restore the human--the likeness of God in Whom good and truth are united. But both together--through the reciprocal uses of love--can come to represent the form or MAN, and in their common life the presence of the Lord can be felt, creative or the family, the state, the church, and finally, of the Grand Man of the universal Heavens.
We may thus see that as to his bodily form with its various powers, man--into whom are collected all things or Divine order from firsts to ultimates (J. 9, T. 67)--is but the ultimate fulcrum from which there can begin the evolution or the human form in its gradually ascending perfections. The Lord alone is MAN, and the human race can attain to the approximation of human form only through uses--by the specialized uses of one power to another, whereby good and truth within the complex whole or society are freely conjoined and organized into a fabric of common faith, and worship, and understanding. This can be done amongst human beings only, and therefore only man is immortal. But man begins this building up from below--and by the conjunction of new goods and new truths. It can never attain to a states of unityonly to a more perfect conjunction. Even eternal progress could never make the heavens Divinely Human. They will ever remainan image and a likeness of God.
THE GRAND MAN OF HEAVEN
God alone is Man. When Divine order is represented in form (in the spiritual world) it appears as a Man. For the Lord, from Whom it is, is the only Man; ... and to the extent that angels, spirits, and men receive from Him, that is, so far as they are in good and thence in truth, thus so far as they are in Divine order, to that extent are they men. Hence it is that the universal heaven represents one man, which is called the Grand Human (Maximus Homo*) and that to it correspond all and single things that are with man (AC 4839).
* The term maximus in Latin carries the idea of greatest (the superlative) but also the idea of very great, or grand.
The human form is the form of the conjunction of goad and truth, or of love and wisdom. Even the ultimate human body--with its developed forebrain--testifies that this is the purpose within it. For while the animal world abounds with forms which are moved by powerful affections and instincts, it is in man alone--the rational animal--that a free, deliberate, and conscious effort is present for the conjunction of love with wisdom, or for guiding ones life in freedom according to reason.
What makes heaven is the same thing that makes man: the conjunction of good with truth: the heavens therefore correspond as in an image to the Divine Man. In the Arcana Celestia, Swedenborg, the anonymous author, astounded the learned world by saying: It is now permitted to relate and describe wonderful things, which, so far as I know, have not yet been known to anyone, namely, that the universal heaven is so formed as to correspond to the Lord, to His Divine Human; and that man is so formed as to correspond to heaven in regard to each and all things in him, and, through heaven, to the Lord. This is a great mystery which is now to be revealed... (n. 3624). And he then proceeds to treat in detail of how the organs and parts or the human body answer to the corresponding groups of spirits in the vast society of the after-life.
It is certainly most surprising that--until then--the connections of uses within the frame of human society had apparently never been seriously studied in the light or its quite obvious resemblance to the coordinated functions or the human body; and this in spite of the fact that the resemblance has often been pointed out.* It seemed never to have occurred to anyone that here we have a universal law all ready for our use a law, far-reaching in its applications. One reason no doubt is, that no society has been round where the order which obtains in the body is truly reflected in any perfect or ideal way: human society is usually so infested by the diseases of the love or the world and the love or dominion and self-seeking, that it presents a contrast to the smooth cooperation that the soul maintains in a healthy body. Indeed, the Writings mention only as it were off-hand, the fact that every human society, great or small, on earth, is in a human form; but for the study or a truly human society, we are referred to that into which Swedenborg was introduced in the spiritual world the Grand Man of the heavens.
* Compare Hobbes Leviathan, published in 1651.
And secondly, the knowledge or the order or the human body is--in this our age--most imperfect or one sided, being built up from an outward or experimental research which ignores the presence of the soul as an organizing substance and force. Swedenborg, as a philosopher, was guided to make a minute study of the human body as the temple or the soul--and was thus prepared in a special way. And when--after his illumination--he was reflecting on anatomical subjects, he was sometimes led to conclusions as to the functions and connections or the bodily organs, by angels who were reflecting solely on the spiritual correspondences (AC 2992). If the science or correspondences had not been lost, the learned or the Christian world who had acquired to themselves some knowledge respecting the form of the human body, might have been in some intellectual light, and so in some idea of heaven, we are told. This light will be extinguished with all those who have not a distinct knowledge of those things which are in the human body... (AC 9632).
Without the knowledge of correspondences, and the related knowledge or discrete degrees, there can be no clear conception of the spiritual world and or its influx into the natural world, nor any knowledge or the spirit or man and or its operation in the body (H 88). And on the other hand, the instance is given that from the correspondence of the heart with the will and of the lungs with the understanding, everything may be known that can be known about the will and the understanding, or about love and wisdom, thus about the soul or man (W 394, heading); and it might have been added, about the organization or the corresponding heavens.
A superficial reading of the Writings yield us a general picture or what the heavens are like in appearance; for we are frequently taught that there are three heavens, each or them furnished like the surface or our earth, but with surpassing perfection and reality of detail. These three heavens appear one above the other, the lowest situated in plain lands, the next on hilly country, the highest on more inaccessible mountain tops. Yet sometimes the heavens appear in entirely different spheres--as if one was in the sky above the other, in a higher expanse, and thus entirely beyond any social contact, or any intercourse except by what is called an influx of the higher into the corresponding lower. Nonetheless we are given instances where angels are brought--by certain mediations from one sphere or plane into another, so as to converse face to face.
It is or course explained that these separations between the heavens are not matters of spaces intervening, but that differences or state are so seen and felt. The separation into expanses is for the sake or the protection of each state--lest it be disturbed in its development, lest the wisdom or the higher be confused and lost in an unfamiliar and relatively impure field or thought and life. But--when these discrete states can be bridged--when the state of a higher angel is accommodated by certain correspondent and harmonious things which may obtain in a lower heaven, he can commune with the lower angels without losing his wisdom; and the angels of the lower heaven can be elevated to grasp something or that wisdom.
Yet the matter is further complicated by the introduction or a new term--the kingdoms. For we are told that the three heavens--discrete among themselves--are also transected, along a somewhat different line, into two great kingdoms--the Celestial and the Spiritual--which are practically co-extensive with the two higher heavens and their externals, the spiritual-natural and the celestial-natural. Sometimes a third kingdom is mentioned, in which the angels of the lowest heaven (that is, the celestial-natural and spiritual-natural) are included, together with man in the world (T 195:2, 212, W 232, S 24; J. post., 303-316, passim).
There are also teachings in the Spiritual Diary (4627(3), 5547f). which inform us or seven heavens or mental planes. And their relationships--when studied closely--become so intricate as to elude all visualization. On the one hand, it appears that every society or heaven is composed of angels of all the three heavens--so discretely different that they can communicate only by influx, or according to correspondences. On the other hand, their collaboration in uses is complete and without break.
For the heavens are bound together by means of intermediate angels. Three groups of such intermediates are mentioned (D 4627, 5547, H 27, E 831:2, A 3969:10, D 5523). There are celestial-spiritual angels who belong to the spiritual or middle heaven (A 4286), but whose use--which is frequently that of preaching--takes them into the third or celestial heaven (De Verbo 9, compare D 5519), in order that the celestial may be perfected, through the hearing of truths which do not originate with their own good. There are also celestial angels, who are sent among the spiritual, to learn in silence through a reflective observance or spiritual modes of truth (D 5529). These two groups are the only means or communication between the celestial heaven and the spiritual. But a third group is made up or the spiritual-celestial. These are so-called because they are typically spiritual in type, but enjoy an influx from the celestial-spiritual angels mentioned above; and their especial function is to mediate between the spiritual (or internal) man and the natural or external; thus between the spiritual heaven and the lowest natural (D 4627; compare, however, AC 4592:2).
The continual presence or intermediary angels seems to break down the picture of that isolation which the discrete differences between the heavens builds up in our minds. As a matter of fact, however, that discrete separation is still maintained. It is not such as can be visualized through a diagram: but it is reflected in the marvelous system or communications which the human body displays to the eye or a student. Every organ of the body is distinct and self-contained as to its intrinsic and pertinent structures, being adequately protected by membranes. At the same time, no organ is independent or disconnected; but the flux of life, the gifts of nutriment, the vibrant calls or sensation, and the motions or the active will or mind and soul--course through the entire body in ordered ways, that reflect a government inconceivably wise.
Let us then briefly glance at the kingdoms or the Heavens with the help or the pattern or the human frame such as we believe Swedenborg conceived it--the natural body with its natural, but life-carrying fluids, and its obedient vessels responsive to their creative and stimulative forces.
We rind, first or all, three groups of viscera or organs, separated in varied manner with coverings or muscles and bones; organs made firm by being placed upon and within a skeleton or jointed bones; the whole made mobile and efficient and forceful by extremities--arms and legs like mighty levers jointed and mechanized with yielding muscle and stabilizing bone; and the whole body is covered with skin for protection; as Dr. Wilkinson put it--to make us world--tight.
The three groups or viscera answer to the uses or the three heavens, and each have their ultimates--or externals. The lowest--the abdominal viscera--are the entrance court of the body, maintaining contact with the food, which is received through the lips, throughout its process or absorption or digestion. And since the spirit of man, passing by death into the spiritual world, is like food for the Grand Man or heaven, it is possible for the New Churchman, without difficulty, to trace every state which he may have to experience in the world or spirits, by studying the functions or the mouth and the throat, the stomach and intestines, and the contributory organs or the liver and pancreas and mesentery and chyle-duct. Novitiate spirits--in their third state, or that of instruction--actually correspond to the food when it enters the veins or the liver and into the mesentery and chyle-ducts.
It is under the charge or natural angels--that the instruction or newcomers is usually carried on. And the abdominal region represents this heaven.
But the next group of viscera, that of the thoracic cavity, with its two vital functions carried out by the heart and the lungs, represents the uses or the second heaven. For the food offered to the body is in the heart and the lungs converted into blood--and blood, the vital fluid which distributes nourishment to every tissue in the whole body, signifies the things of spiritual love, or Charity--and supremely, the Divine Celestial-Spiritual which, in heaven, distributes to all there, the food or the soul, and creates the societies or heaven, in perfect response to every need.
The third heaven--we are told in the Doctrine--is represented by the head, and its viscera, the brain. This is the seat of government. All the uses of heaven are conducted with its consent, guidance, and assistance, by its commanding influx, or under its unobservable control. It understands instinctively the state of the heavens. It welcomes--by its angels of death--the newly risen soul, and guides his way unseen. It inspires the natural angels to inform him so far as is wise; its influx or love opens the spiritual heaven to him, and awakens in him his ruling love. And it perfects its own wisdom from the intelligence or truth brought forth into purity by the lungs or the spiritual kingdom. It adopts and utilizes the finest and the best or spiritual perceptions to build the heavens into an ever truer likeness or God-Man: even as the brain interprets the sensations that reach it, and converts them into act, motive-impulse! And, like the brain, it perceptively and swiftly selects--from the stream of richest charity--what is most precious, and joins it with its own outpouring, practical spirit-essence or love to the Lord: turning it to the glory or God. The Function of this third heaven is even more specific. For as the brain pours out its spirit into the returning venous bloodstream to vitalize the blood and to combine its nourishing essences harmoniously in proper proportions into blood-globules; and even furnishes the inmost essence that in the genital organs is to produce the seeds or future generations; so the third heaven pours out the sphere or love truly conjugial by which the Divine Celestial is conveyed, and which--inspiring the motive or love to the Lord into the most intimate form of mutual love--promotes the union or good and truth, the wedding of charity and faith, in every angel of heaven, so that good works--uses--may be born each day afresh.
But let us note, that these specific uses or the three discrete heavens are not confined to any one or them. Each heaven is a center and home or its peculiar use, even as the three groups or viscera are the laboratories or the three products--chyle, blood, and nervous spirit. When we speak or the heavens as identical with the kingdoms, I believe we may think or these uses in their wider ramifications. And so the Writings definitely state that the celestial kingdom or third heaven is that or the provinces or the heart and the cerebellum, taken together; and that the spiritual kingdom or middle heaven is that or the lungs and the cerebrum (A 9670:2).
Seemingly, this is in contradiction with the first teaching, that the head corresponds to the inmost heaven and the thorax to the middle heaven; at least, it seems to break down the emphatic and discrete distinctions formerly drawn between these two heavens.
But, after all, the uses or the body all are initiated in the brain; and the uses or heaven as a Grand Man are essentially all present from the first in the celestial heaven, and as outgrowths from it. The Heart is an organ within the breast, yet it is governed entirely by involuntary fibres, which originate from the cerebellum. It is the vice-regent or the cerebellum--or of the Souls unconscious will, and performs in the thorax the use of the cerebellum. It thus answers to a part of the celestial kingdom--the kingdom through which the vital love of the Lord sends its currents or unifying motive-force through all the heavens.
The Lungs serve a different purpose, that of purifying the blood and feeding it with finer substances, of which we moderns--thinking in terms of chemistry--know at least one--Oxygen. The lungs, in their motion, are dependent on the air outside of us--its pressure and consistency. Their rhythm is thus somewhat released from following the hearts pulse. And strange to say, the front brain--the cerebrumresponds to the state of the lungs, while the heart is responsive to the cerebellum and its nerves. No sensation or consciousness is possible in the cerebrum--the seat or the conscious mind--unless the lungs are operating; as we may confirm in cases of fainting and drowning, and also by the unconscious state of the living infant before the opening or its lungs.
The center of the uses of the spiritual kingdom is therefore in the second heaven, to which the breast corresponds. For the spiritual receive Divine Truth in the understanding, from without like air is received in the Lungs, and thus in order that the whole or the Grand Man might be purified.
But we are instructed that each or the heavens is threefold in degrees. The spiritual heaven reaches up towards, and into, the celestial. All the experience and instruction which reaches the spiritual heaven, is first of all purified, falsities are removed, and the loftier perceptions are offered to the service or the celestial uses which Love to the Lord creates in the spiritual heaven. The cerebrum represents this internal and truly rational sphere of the Spiritual kingdom or the Spiritual church,--a sphere of thought and charity which can truly respond to the mutual love which pours out or the celestial heaven; even as the cerebrum and the cerebellum are cooperatively united by mesh works or nervous fibrils.
The lesson to be drawn from a study of the human form of the heavens seems to us to be that what the Writings call discrete heavens and kingdoms are not compartments separated in an external sense, but spheres of thought and motivation. It is a fact of human nature that two who have discretely different motives or loves cannot understand each other in any full sense; if you change a higher motivation for a lower, your wisdom perishes, and your illustration is lost; if you try to think from a motive that is higher than your own, you fail to see the implications, your mind swoons.
It is so with the angels or the different kingdoms, or heavens: they cannot leave their own sphere or motivation, lest they become confused.
But still there are exceptions to this rule; and these exceptions imply the presence or intermediating factors. We therefore find it stated that the richness or the mental life of angels depends on the extension of their thoughts and affections into other societies; and it is the same with man. And it is also stated that each angelic society in its own place, forms three heavens (LJ 27), although it is indicated that these three heavens are one above the other, as if in separate expanses. What binds them into a society, is a single common use. And because or the use, there is no doubt frequent contact, but only when there is correspondence in the lower sphere.
This is illustrated by the celestial-spiritual angels, who intermediate between the two higher heavens. They are in a charity which perceives deeply the truths or life; and therefore they respond to the influx of mutual love, which is the external life or the celestial kingdom; although the mutual love of the celestial is motivated by a Love to the Lord such as only the celestials can have.
This correspondence of state on the part of intermediates is what unites the heavens. And in a large sense, the serving or this function is more or less universal to all the angels, and should be the use or all men within human society.
When the Lord said, Blessed are the peace-makers for they shall be called the children of God, He referred to the need or mediations as the paramount necessity for the maintenance of society in the human form. There is need or each man being a peace-maker in his own sphere or use. Only by an open and understanding heart can there be established a just balance among the uses of men. For the ruling love of a man is such that it attaches to its own function or sphere an importance which blinds him to the uses or others. He champions a cause, he aims for an accomplishment; and all other things--however important to others--fade into insignificance. There is need for intermediates--intermediary spirits, who perceive not only their own uses but the uses of others. By these the human form of society and or heaven is bound into a whole--into the body or a commonwealth, or body politic.
And let us not forget that the adequate performance of any use rests in the health and strength of ultimates. The Grand Man or Heaven consists not or the viscera alone--or brain, heart-and lungs, and abdominal viscera! But the whole is protected and bound together by muscles, skin, bones! The hurt or which may sap the entire life of the body. These are represented in heaven by the externals of each heaven: by the practical, willing workers; by the superficial, but useful delvers into external knowledge; by the fulcrum of those who are bound by blind loyalties and habits, who--like the skeletal bones--resist all change, but mechanically respond in perfunctory mass-actions.
All these must be guided by the loves which the three kingdoms represent. But no one or these three loves can order the whole unless the highest love rules by the use or intermediaries, whose minds and hearts are open, and who make out of Society--here and in heaven--an image or God-Man.
TWO ASPECTS OF THE GRAND MAN
It is a doctrine well confirmed by common perception, that the Lord could not have created the universe unless He were God Man (W 285, Ang. Idea), i. e. unless He were Love, infinitely wise. The diversities of the created universe come from the fact that there are infinite things in God-Man (W 155). The Creator is the infinite complex or all uses, being in His essence Love, and in His form Man--in Whom that complex is (D. Love, viii).
The Lord from Eternity was Man (A 9315), and even before the Advent--before the Lord had actually entered into His Divine Natural by incarnation (W 293)everything proceeding from the Divine was in the human form, so that from the very first the Divine in heaven must have been the Divine Human (D 4846).
The Divine is infinite and unchanging. It cannot differ in perfection or completeness from age to age. Yet we are instructed that while from Eternity there were within the Divine three infinite degrees, still before the Advent two of these infinite degrees (the Divine Celestial, and the Divine Spiritual) were actuallyi.e. in active proceeding while the third degree (the Divine Natural) was in potency,--i.e., it resided in Him as a power not yet expressed (W 233, 221, ii).
The same teaching is found in statements that the Creator should be conceived of as a Divine Man in firsts (Ath. 120), while afterwards--as incarnate Redeemer, He should be thought of as Man in ultimates also (E 1112).
It could not be said that the Lord before the Advent had not a trine--the Divine Esse, the Divine Existere (or Divine Human) and the Divine Proceeding; or that He was not then likewise Man! But the Divine Natural did then not manifest itself as Divinely Human, either to angels or to men. Hence the Divine Human was not then Divine even to ultimates, whereas now God is Man more than an angel is; for He is now also natural Man, having glorified even His flesh and bones. (E 1112). He was Man from eternity, and natural Man in time; for He willed to become a natural Man and thus a full Man (God the Savior nos. 8, 39).
From these abstruse teachings we gather that it may be said that from eternity the Lord had the three Divine and infinite degrees in His Divine Esse; but thatbefore the Incarnationonly the Divine Celestial and the Divine Spiritual manifested themselves as the Divine Human or proceeded as the Spirit of God, whereas the Divine Natural wasbut did not yet exist, i.e., stand forth or proceed.
In the Memorabilia the matter is put in a different way: for the Diary states that the Divine Itself must have been MAN in endeavor or in course of becoming, whence it was as it were Man, thus Man reflexively; successively this Man in endeavor (or potency) became MAN born: the Divine Natural now became actualwhence came the Holy Spirit, or MAN proceeding, which is the whole heaven (SD 4847).
Heaven--as a whole consideredis here identified with the Holy Spirit, or with the Divine Man proceeding. We are left to infer that the Grand Man of Heaven is the Divine proceeding from the Divine Human. The whole force of all the teachings is that the humanizing Soul of the heavens--that which organizes them into a Maximus Homo--is the influx from the Divine.
The Grand Man or the heavens is therefore the infinite Divine considered as an infinite complex of uses. Heaven--in this aspect--must be thought or as the very Body of God, of which it cannot be said that it is finite, or that it can develop and grow or mature. It was perfect from the first--even as the Soul within a mans body is perfect from conception, and is a formative substance which cannot be said to learn or to grow: It is omnisciently wise as to whatever occurs within its finite realm.
The Lord from eternity was MAN, and perfect Man. And, the Doctrine goes so far as to add, because He is Man, He has a body and everything belonging to the body; thus He has a race, a breast, an abdomen, loins, feet; for without these HE would not be Man. And having these, He has also eyes, ears, nostrils, mouth, tongue; as also the things which are within a man as heart, lungs, and their appendages; all or which taken together make man to be man. In a created man, these are many, and in their detail or structure they are innumerable; but in God-Man they are infinity, nothing being wanting, and therefore He has infinite perfection... (W 18, compare 989). In the Word such body-parts are often mentioned as the nostrils or Jehovah. To the minds of children and the simple, they are thought or as spatial, material parts. Yet thoughts or space and time must be put away from our minds. His Human Body cannot be thought or as either great or small (W 285(3)). But we must think spiritually, and realize that God, being, LOVE ITSELF is Man, and thus contains, in infinite form, everything in man--both general and particular (Div. Love, iii).
From this we may gain some idea of the Lords glorified Human,--the Divine Natural--with which and in which He rose and ascended to the Father: for when the Lords Human, assumed by birth, was made Divine, it was no longer an organ or life, or a recipient of life, but was Life itself (A 2658(2)). Rejecting the finite nature from the mother, His Body became like His Soul, thus infinite, (J. Post, 129). With the Lords glorified Human, the Divine Love Itself, which was the Esse or His life, formed the Body ... to its reception, even so far that all things should be forms or Divine Love. And when it (the body) was made Divine, they are Divine Love. Nothing there is closed (est clausum) as in finite things, but all things are formed to the idea of an infinite heaven (SD 4845).
The Divine which makes heaven is thus MAN, but infinite Man, and its influx and operation is with a view to an infinite heaven--not to heaven as it is at any point in time or any stage in its progress, but to heaven as the complex of infinite uses. This heaven consists not of persons, but of uses; it is got merely human, but Divinely Human; not finite, but infinite! (Div. Love, xiii). In such a sense Heaven and the Church are the same as the Divine Proceeding (E 1166:3), and the church is therefore likened by Paul to the Body of Christ.
And the regenerate spirit or man may enter into this sphere of Divine uses, into this Body of the Lord, and thus into the Grand Man. The angelic heavens--which increase from age to age--are constituted or those who, as or themselves, in their finite uses, cooperate with the infinite currents of Providential purposes and are thus incorporated into a society which more and more perfectly reflects the reciprocal union or Divine Love and Divine Wisdom which exists only in the Divine Human. This society or uses is finite, and human; yet its existence causes the Grand Man--the Divine Organism or infinite and eternal uses--to stand out in correspondent finite relief, and reveals the purpose of God-Man to create in His own likeness.
Heaven is constituted or angels, although it is not made by the angels. It is the only delineation in finite form or the Grand Man, and the angelic heavens are therefore called the Grand Man. The angels are actually described as if they were the parts which made up the Grand Man. Nevertheless, there are not the Grand Mans!, one Divine and the other finite! For the form--the Human Form--or the heavens, is solely due to the presence of the Lord. Therefore the phrasing is usually employed, that the angels have reference to this or that province or part or the Grand Man.
Neither is there any difference between (a) the Divine which makes heaven and essentially is Heaven, and (b) the Word, or the Divine Truth which is the Divine Proceeding. For we are taught: The Word, in its whole complex, is as one MAN as to all and everyone of its constituents, within and without; and that MAN is like the Lords Human was in the world; wherefore the lord is called the WORD--the Logos which was in the beginning. And we are even told that angels can sometimes perceive what in the Word corresponds to various parts of the human form (SD 5131).
In order that the relation or the Divine to the angels may be clarified, it is sometimes stated that the Lord is the very Life of the Grand Man--this term being then applied to the angelic constituents of heaven. The Grand Man is then compared to the membraneous organics of the body--a passive force, dead in itself; while the Lord alone is the active force or living force. Inasmuch as He is life, He vivifies and actuates these things, wherefore He is represented also by the animal spirits or bloods in the ultimate nature or the body: for His life is as well in ultimates, as in firsts, or primaries (SD 3419).
Even the Church on earth is included within this Grand Man. Indeed, the Church makes the exteriors or that MAN,the cartilaginous and bony parts; and this because the men of the earth are provided with bodies in which the lowest spiritual is clothed with the natural (E 1222). The Writings here do not suggest that the men on earth as to their very bones constitute the bones of the Grand; Man; but rather that earth-men perform the lowliest or spiritual uses through their earthly bodies: and when men so do they answer to the lowly ultimates or the Grand Man.
Viewed as an aggregation or angels, the Grand Man of Heaven grows in perfection.. If we let our imagination take us back to the beginning or creation--for all finite things must have a beginning--before the race of man commenced on any earth, we would have to conceive God-Man as eternally perfect. Our thoughts must be divested here or ideas that partake of time and space, for we stand before the mystery of the eternal Infinite--which may cause our minds to be engulfed in insanities unless we leave the gross ideas of material experience behind us. Yet doctrine permits us to rest in the thought that the Creator as Infinite Love is also Infinite Substance--and that the first creation was the finiting or His infinity, by substances emitted from Himself, from which there exists His nearest encompassing sphere which makes the Sun of the Spiritual World (T 33). From this Sun descended Spiritual atmospheres, which are substantial, and which were created one from another (T 76) successively. These three atmospheres were the primal forms or, and basis for, the three heavens. Yet no angels were created immediately into the spiritual world.
The spiritual atmospheres--though our natural minds can but picture them as it pictures the atmospheres or dead nature--are not dead, but from their origin living; being the finite ground of substance through which the gifts or Infinite Love and Infinite Wisdom can continue to pour into the heavens, even like heat and light are conveyed to the earth by the ethers or nature.
We are leading up to the thought that even as God-Man in Himself is infinitely perfect, these spiritual atmospheres gave no resistance to the perfect expression or the Divine Human in each or their three finite spheres. They indeed only accommodated the Divine good and the Divine truth--the Divine life and the Divine order--to future reception, to future responsive reception, such as is possible only with man and angel.
Mans spirit cannot live in the purely infinite. Man is born on earth, in the fixed ultimates of space and matter and time. His mind--or spiritbelongs however to a different realm and despite appearances to the contrary is actually at home in the spiritual world. The spiritual atmospheres therefore were provided as a finite sphere for human life, human reception and response. The creative powers--the generative forces--within the spiritual atmospheres, are released or revealed in the spiritual world in forms of spiritual creations according as a man or an angel receives the heat or love and the light or wisdom through these accommodating atmospheres. In the mind of man those spiritual creations are sensed only as mental moods and ideas and as mental imagery, ever changing. But to the released spirit, they are also sensed as actual objects, as an environing world, furnished with spiritual ultimates such as the ground on which the spirits stand, the houses in which they live, yea, as flowers and fields, insects and animals, as every detail of scenery and as a fullness or sensory life.
All spiritual creation, in the past and at present, and all that can possibly come to exist to all eternity in the widening heavens, comes to pass by means of the spiritual spheres which from first creation proceeded from God-Man. These progressive spheres or atmospheres or the spiritual Sun are the pathway or the Divine life in and through the heavens: and therefore they have reference to an infinite heaven, and the heat and light which they convey is in itself not theirs, but Gods, not finite, but infinite--although accommodated to their finite degree and plane (See TCR 40, 472).
The influx or the life or God-Man through these living atmospheres is like the influx or the soul through the life-bearing bloods into the body. What is perceived as atmosphere in connection with the outward phenomena or the spiritual world, is differently perceived when we view the heavens as a kingdom of uses: for then the same may be seen as the inflowing life-bloods of the Grand Man. The outward view of heaven gives us a phenomenal world, much like that or nature. The inner view gives us a Human Form or spiritual contacts and relations, all organized by the Divine Human. (Div. Love XIII).
And while the Divine Human from eternity was perfect; while the power of all angelic perfections was latent in the eternal pattern or uses which the spiritual atmospheres from first creation contained; yet the society or angels filled in this pattern in a very slow and finite manner--in the manner of growth,--in the manner in which the human body is formed by the power or the soul; a growth which is limited and qualified by the material which is offered to the Soul in this work.
As a Divine pattern, the Grand Man was always perfect. But as a growing society, heaven was once in an embryonic and rudimentary state, and took on by definite steps and degrees, the delineaments of the human form.
We cannot escape this conclusion. But to see a principle is one thing, and to recognize its applications is another. Swedenborg was apparently prevented from presenting certain arcana known to him except in a very general way, because confirmatory knowledge was lacking. Thus he wrote: A full idea of creation or of the existence or all things in their order from the Life which is the Lord, cannot be given from (propter) the arcana which are known in heaven and which have in fact been communicated to me. But because they are full of such things as are more deeply hidden in the sciences, they cannot be described, except by volumes, and hardly then so as to be understood (ad intellectum) (Div. Wis. XIIe).
Nevertheless, we are given some very definite instruction both about the development or the human body and about the growth of the heavens; and although we are told that the Lord alone sees Heaven as a whole as one Man (H 62), yet it is given to angels and men to infer much from what has been revealed; and the angels consider the nature of the correspondence or the heavens to the Divine Human as the chief thing of their intelligence (A 4318). Further reference will therefore be made to the development or the heavens, in later classes if opportunity affords.
The heavens are formed from spirits from all the earths in the universe, Before we trace the development or the Grand Man, we must consider the relation of our earth to the rest in the universe.
So far as we know there is nothing in the Writings to suggest that our earth was the first to be inhabited; and on the other hand it is shown that the comparatively few men of one globe are quite insufficient to compose such a Grand Man or Uses as would correspond to all the organs, viscera, affections and faculties or the human body (EU 5, 9, A 6807). Indeed, for the maintenance of the balance of uses in heaven, the Lord summons from one or another earth such spirits as may supply the deficiency in the quality or quantity or the correspondence (EU 9, cp. SD 5003). The spirits of each earth relate to some special province in the Grand Man (A 7358).
Thus, while the spirits of the Moon are said to relate to the ensiform or zyphoid cartilege in the chest, (U l11), and those or our own earth to various functions of the exterior parts or the body, including the external sense, thus the corporeal sensual (U 64, 148), those of an unidentified earth outside or our solar system correspond to something in the spleen (U 132) and another to the faculty or sight (U 140). The spirits or Venus relate to the memory of material things which harmonize with the memory or things immaterial or abstract to which those or Mercury correspond (U 107, 10).
Jupiters inhabitants come to serve the function or the imaginative or thought (U B4), and those or Mars relate to thought from affections and thus also to a middle province between the cerebrum and the cerebellum (U 88). The spirits or Saturn relate to a sense intermediate between the spiritual and the natural which yet tends to recede from the natural (U 102); and an unidentified planet serves the use or conjoining natural and heavenly things (U 156).
In the days of Swedenborg, the knowledge or the stars was small compared to that of the present day. And it was no part of Divine Revelation to endow us with new scientific facts, Swedenborg speaks of the number of earths in the universe as innumerable, (H 417), immense, (A 6698) and cites the angels for his conviction that an earth without a human race could not subsist. (A 9287, D 3420). The spirits or Mercury, in their search, are said to have been acquainted with more than 600,000 inhabited orbs. (A 6927, D 3264).
From this we may see what a small part the spirits of our globe must play in the Grand Man as a whole. It is an external role--comparable to that of the exterior skins and membranes of the body (D 1435, 1741). For relatively to others, the spirits or our earth are gross and dull, polluted with corporeal cupidities, and averse to any knowledge which is abstracted from material things. (D 4782). Yet this was not always so (D 1742), and need not have been so but for the fact of our racial perversities, resulting from the use of our free will. We were untrue to the celestial use of our racial infancy, and so chose a coarser life, and a harder path or salvation which must lead through long periods or spiritual vastation.
And when the Most Ancient Church here fell--through profanation unspeakable--no doubt new earths took up the use we forsook.* The Grand Man or Uses grows by a free, yet Divinely guided, specialization: even as the ease is with the embryonic tissues or the forming body of man.
* It is insinuated, that if the inhabitants of Mars were not to remain in their own state or integrity, there would succeed others from a new earth who would be like them; for when one perishes, another succeeds (D 3250, compare EU 85).
Thus Swedenborg relates that the pitying angels call this earth a stagnant pit (D 1558); and the better-angels from this earth, in their evening-states, at times wish that they bad been born from a different planet! (D 3164). And in the crises or impending judgments, the races or this earth have several times been threatened with a destruction such as is pictured in the Word by the Flood or Noah and by the literal prophecies or a Last Day! In July of 1748, Swedenborg noted the signs or the consummation of the age and wrote that the human race will perish on this earth, unless they repeat, and turn to faith in the Lord (D 2578).
The spirit or our globe, with its inquisitiveness, its eagerness for the fruits of science and external arts, is unique in its surrender to the senses. Its uses have been likened to those of the skin. But let us remember that the skin has its specialized uses--or direct service to the mind. The five senses as it were grow out or the skin-tissues to subserve the brain, and instruct the mind about the bodys environment.
The knowledges of the truths of faith, made permanent by the written Word, can serve as the soil in which spiritual and celestial Truths can be inseminated ... wherefore (the men of this earth) can easily come into the interior and inmost Heaven, after their exteriors have been devastated; and as some bring with them such things from the life of the body, they serve as ministries for the instruction of others (D 1531) in the Grand Man, whenever need arises. And the same teaching states that therefore the Lord has loved our earth above others; not only because our need of His Love was greater, since to him that has sinned, more can be forgiven; but because order is more perfect, when celestial and spiritual truths are rooted in natural truths.
The Lord willed to be born of this earth because otherwise this earth itself would have perished (D 4376); and because through the written Word (embodied and fulfilled in His glorified Human) there is an ultimate conjunction established which affects all the Grand Man (D 4663:10, 4780). And unless this had been done, the heavens or this earth would have been translated elsewhere, and all mankind on this earth would have perished in eternal death (E 726:7).
The salvation or this race of ours lies then in a realization of the humble uses to the Grand Man which are yet possible to us; and in the process of which even the interior heavens can be opened to men of our race. But let us dismiss the idea that from this earth a Grand Man can be formed, even though the image or a grand human form may be seen in every little society therein. The spirits or our earth can only fill in, in a feeble way, the infinite form or God-Man. But besides the uses that are performed by men, the Lord in His omnipotence operates His infinite uses, His presence, as Divine Natural Man, became an actuality through the testimony of mens senses on this earth. Through the eternal fabric or our racial memory the power or seeing the Divine as Natural Man--Man born--is now open to all spirits in the whole universe; a Divine use which the Lord operates perpetually from Firsts through Ultimates, for the perfecting of the Grand Man of the angelic heavens.
THE RACIAL MAN
In a preceding treatment we endeavored to show that when considered as a Divine Pattern--a creative field or force which attracts and swings into its gyre of order all the uses of created things--the Grand Man was always perfect, from eternity to eternity identical with the Spirit and operation of the one God; while--as a growing society considered--the heaven of angels was once in an embryonic and rudimentary state, and took on the delineations or the human form, the form of the Grand Man, only by definite progressive steps and degrees.
We also pointed out from the Writings, that in the Grand Man or the heavens the spirits and angels which at the present day some from our own puny earth, by virtue of their characteristically external uses formed only what would correspond to the exterior skins and membranes and sense-organs or this universal Grand Man; the doctrine being that this Grand Human form could in no wise be sufficiently filled in or composed from any one earth, but only by the cooperative uses or all the earths in their totality. Indeed, if the quality of some celestial love would perish upon some earth--as is the present possibility on the planet Marsa New Earth would be called in to fill such a use (See AC 7749, 7622, SD 3250).
But there is a universal law known in ancient and classical times and advocated by Swedenborg even in his preparatory works: that Nature is the same in greatests and in leasts. This law takes on a new meaning when it is used in the Writings not only in reference to natural things, but to spiritual things. We are thus told that each society of heaven, yea, every human mind, is an image of the Grand Man. Moreover, the human race on our own specific earth, images the same Human Forma racial unity, a spiritual Man which before the Lord is seen as a growing individuum, beginning as a forming infant and growing towards maturity and regenerate racehood.
This seems to follow as a corollary from the doctrinal statement that the spirits and angels who are from different earths, are all separated from each other (in the spiritual world) according to the earths, and do not appear together in one place; the reason of which is, that the inhabitants of one earth are of an entirely different genius from those of another; nor are they consociated together in the heavens, except in the inmost or Third Heaven, where--seemingly c the planetary boundaries break down (AC 6701).
But the most definite teaching is given in the Apocalypse Explained. We quote: As regards the successive states of the churches on our globe, they have evidently been similar to the successive states of a man who is being reformed and regenerated, namely, that to become a spiritual man, he is first conceived, next is born, then grows up, and is afterwards led on further and further into intelligence and wisdom. The church, from the Most Ancient times to the end of the Jewish Church, progressed like a man who is conceived, born, and grows up, and is then instructed and taught; but the successive states of the church after the end or the Jewish Church, or from the time or the Lord even to the present day, have been like a man increasing in intelligence and wisdom, or becoming regenerate. For this end the interior things of the Word, or the Church, and of worship, were revealed by the Lord when He was in the world; and now again things still more interior are revealed; and in the measure that interior things are revealed, man can become wiser; for to become interior is to become wiser, and to become wiser is to become more interior. (AE 641e).
Frequently, the Writings refer to a similarity in the progression or each or the Four Dispensations with the growth and decline or a man, from birth to death, Here, however, in (AE 641), we find that there is a racial man composed of all the successive churches. And this--apparently--was a growing Man, growing from exteriors towards interiors, from ignorance towards wisdom!
That the human race on earth has grown and developed in an external and material sense, men of today love to acknowledge with much proprial gratification! So far as the relies of the past can demonstrate, history seems to prove that mankind has risen from an infantile and (same claim) almost animal ignorance into a well-defined intelligence or its natural environment, and a culture which has increasingly utilized natures laws and riches for its own comfort and aggrandizement.
The Writings admit that there were men upon this planet before the time or Adam, or of the Most Ancient Church. These are referred to as those who lived like wild animals (ferae), but at length became spiritual men; after whom followed those who became celestial men, and constituted the Most Ancient Church (AC 286). Here a rise from ignorance to wisdom, and from relative animality to some sort or pastoral culture, is indicated. But the usual descriptions of the states of the Most Ancient Church and the Ancient, or spiritual Church, show that the Most Ancient Church had a wisdom based on the perception of inmost Divine truths (AE 948), received in a tender love to the Lord; which endowed them with a life or blessedness and love truly conjugial and led them after death into the inmost or celestial heaven,--into a heaven or such supremely pure delight and innocence that it is closed to men of later ages (D 1200). And to the Ancient Church, truths more exterior were given, comparable to those which the Christian Church was later offered, but did not receive. The Ancient Church, however, gave rise to a Spiritual Heaven, which is also described as more interior than and superior to the heaven of Christians; and at the time of the Lord this heaven was in its turn as it were completed and closed, or separated from the later Christian heaven, or the Natural Expanse of heaven, organized after the Last Judgment of 1757.
All the teachings visibly agree that the Churches after the Lords First Advent mark an ascent from the Natural into the Spiritual and the Celestial. But there is an apparent contradiction in respect to the Pre-Advent Churches: For according to the general teaching, the highest heavens are formed out or the Most Ancient and Ancient Churches; while in the passage before us (AE 641e) these Churches are likened to man as he is conceived and born and as he grows up toward maturity--an ascending process preceding regeneration; and the regeneration of the racial man is not pictured by the pre-advent churches; but by the Christian Church, to whom first interior truths are revealed.
Even as we consider this paradox, the solution suggests itself. The racial Man is no differently furnished than is the individual man. It grows from its first corporeal and sensual state even like the infant. It is built up by experience, by natural adjustments. But it is in its most mentally undeveloped period, in the sensual age or tender infancy, that the most precious states are built up by the Lord--in the form of those remains or celestial good which are thereafter guardedas it were closed off, and watched by cherubim with flaming swords--lest they should be profaned and lost.
The Most Ancient Church--we believe--was but among a relatively few. Archeology, or paleontology, have round no records or a golden age, except in vague race-memories, or in legends and myths. Yet a profound impress was made upon well-nigh every race on earth, even the most primitive: an impress vaguely traceable to a common origin in the unknown past. We do not assert that every race, in its first beginnings, had necessarily any direct or indirect contacts with this Most Ancient Church, indeed, this would appear most unlikely. Only a part of the surviving pre-adamite races are likely to have developed under its impulse. And at the close of the golden age, only a few could convert the story or its beauty and peace into an intellectual ideal suitably symbolized and formulated, lest it perish. But the heaven of the Most Ancient Church did not perish when its earthly paradise was lost! The celestial heaven was still active, and was the source which mediated the influx or the Lords life, the medium through which the voice of Jehovah could still be heard by prophets of the later, spiritual church which is meant by Noah and his progeny.
The racial Man of our earth includes the Church universal, or all salvable souls. In this racial Man, during its infancy, the Church specific, or the Most Ancient Church, served as a center and yet the race as a whole was unconscious of this fact; even as the babe is unaware of the gifts or celestial love which the Lord is storing up within its mind in the form of celestial remains.
With a growing infant, the celestial goods or remains is never quite its own, and passes out or sight as soon as innocence departs. They are withdrawn interiorly into the natural, to the inner depths or his mind. There they remain--as the future basis or his faculty or rationality, and as the ground work or his eventual regeneration.
Throughout life, these celestial remains are active in varying ways. They are the means through which angels are present with the infant and the child and the youth, and echoes, or revelations, or this state of innocence give to the whole or the adolescent period a charm which usually passes away in adult life.
For the racial Man, the heaven or the Most Ancient Church served--we believe--exactly the same purpose as do celestial remains for the adolescent man. Up to the Lords Advent, the race as it were looked back to the Golden Age for its inspiration, for its ideals, for its motivation; and at the same time they looked forward to the Coming of a Divine Savior and in this prophetic thought they round their hope, their strength to persist.
Now we know that even as celestial remains are implanted in infancy, so spiritual remains are stored--as states of charity or spiritual good--in the years of childhood. These states, as remains considered, are very interior. They are not appropriated by the child, nor understood as to their essence. Their external effects are of course seen, and the mode by which they are implanted is more obvious, being the mode of religious and moral training. But the child remains in its symbolism only--in the representations or what is spiritually good.
The remains themselves of a spiritual good are preserved by the Lord in the interiors of the future rational, which is as yet not developed; and indeed these remains are still so closely linked to the superior Celestial remains that there can be no separation or adequate final organization of spiritual good until adult age sets in.
The Ancient or Noahtic Church--which was in spiritual good served for a long period a wide and important use as the center of the racial Man on our earth, The remnants or its symbolism is spread over the globe, being at least coextensive with the heliolithic culture typical or the Ancient Church. Yet its myths and sagas, its imagery and customs, convey but a faint echo or the religious realities and the doctrine or spiritual good, which gave birth to such representations. The body and the mind or Racial Man went on to forget all but the forms and the external customs or spiritual good; and--although external knowledge steadily increased and the grandeur or one empire out-shone the previous one--these forms of good became more and more divorced from any spiritual meaning and purpose, until finally, at the opening of the Christian era, not even genuine natural good was anywhere to be found (AC 10955:5 et al.)
It is even so that the remains of spiritual good implanted by means of religious knowledge in childhood, becomes lost while youth--dreaming or eager conquests or a material world--denies its childish beliefs and wanders from the Saga-world into the actual tests or natural uses.
Yet nothing is really lost. The Most Ancient Church still exists--in the heavens--and has been active in every infant heart ever since its earthly existence! The Ancient Church is still as active as it ever was--is in ever growing power and intelligence and its basis on earth will no doubt increase with the progress or the New Church. And these heavens--at the time of the Lord, when the racial Man became adult,--served it precisely like the two great planes of Remains are ready to serve the adolescent when he comes or age.
The regeneration or the Racial Man could thus have begun only after the Lords Advent. But this in no-wise precludes the regeneration of men who lived before the Advent. The Racial Man was made up--in its internal aspect--only of those men and women and infants who were salvable and saved, i.e., those who belonged to the Church Universal. The evil and profane did not enter the structure of uses--although they, too had a relation to the uses of the Racial Man, by opposing, perverting, or infesting them.
So viewed, then, mankind on earth--as to its uses and relationships--at any point or its history represents a complete Man as to his body and the natural ultimates or his mind (compare, however, AE 1222); while those who have passed into the spiritual world to become spirits and angels or the heavens, form the Mind or that Racial Man, spirits forming the natural mind, and the angels of the two superior heavens serving as the spiritual mind proper. It is a matter or revealed record that the celestial heaven was organized at the time or the Flood or Noah. The spiritual kingdom, however, was not finally ordered until the judgment upon the Ancient Churches was wrought during the Lords life-time on earth. Before this judgment, the spiritual--those of the Ancient Church--formed temporarily ordered heavens which were as it were externals for the celestial kingdom.
The parallel is complete with the development of a mans mind. The confused wealth of symbolism and representation which a child acquires throughout adolescence is not digested and arranged in any final categories until the rational mind matures into judgment. Nonetheless, the infantile remains of celestial innocence keep this knowledge of the externals or decent living--the ritual or social behavior--in a certain temporary order--and permit the dawning meaning and perceived value or living according to truths of faith, to form a ground-work or affection deep in the unconscious mind of the youth; which is the same as to say, that a new plane of Remains, now or spiritual good, is forming as a nucleus for future regeneration.
The regeneration of: mans Natural cannot begin until adult judgment commences to reveal itself. It comes, strange to say, not from any conscious resolve on the part or man. It comes as a gift from the Lord, as a fulfillment of a hope long cherished; even as the Redemption wrought by the Lord at His Advent was not due to human determination, or because mankind had become worthy or such a deliverance.
The Lord came because or the desperate need that the Spiritual be saved: and adult judgment comes at its proper time for each individual because or a desperate need that the spiritual remains or childhood be salvaged and ordered, and its confirmatory states and knowledges be placed in the light of TRUTH, lest they should be rejected as mere sentimentality or formalistic conformism.
Yet let us note that the adolescent is not regenerated merely by becoming adult. What happens is only that the Remains or spiritual good--the plane or his future spiritual rational--are prepared, separated, ordered, and functionally stimulated in order to put him into a spiritual freedom which otherwise would perish!
Similarly, the Church Universal, or the Racial Man, was not regenerated by the Advent of the Lord. It was only redeemed, and placed into a new freedom to advance naturally and spiritually. Hence the Writings teach that the states of the Church from the time of the Lord even to the present day, have been like a man increasing in intelligence and wisdom, or becoming regenerate, and this because interior truths were revealed by the Lord, and now--at His Second Advent--truths still more interior, (AE 641e). For interior truths are necessary to the regeneration of the Natural.
The Christian era is referred to here as one of commencing regeneration, and is made superior to the pre-Christian eras. This seems perhaps strange and anomalous, in view of the fact that the result of Christian regenerative effort was only the formation of a Natural heaven, a lowest expanse of the heavens; while the pre-Christian ages produced the two higher expanses! Besides which, the Most Ancient Church was given the very inmost Divine truths! (AE 948).
Let us note, however, that the Writings speak of a process which is only commenceda gradual re-birth of all the things of the Natural degree. Regeneration, is, in fact, predicated especially of the Natural. Only so far as regenerate states affect the Natural of a man can they become permanent. It is the realm or practical life, of external uses, which is the focus or regeneration. Multitudes of men--from a thousand successive generations--might enter heaven, and be saved because of their resistance to evils as sins; yet the Racial Man is not thereby regenerated, unless the impulse or regenerate minds have actually impressed the uses or men with the order of regenerate life, and earth at last becomes an image or heaven, and the natural minds of men be freed from the burden of hereditary evils which--so far from being broken, are still in process or accumulating.
The regeneration of the Natural is in itself a descent or celestial and spiritual things into the Natural--the realm or the natural mind. But before this descent or influx can take place, there must be a gradual ascent, which is effected by truths.
Out or the natural state which precedes regeneration, man is lifted by an affection of interior truths--such as the Lord revealed to the Christian Church, interior natural truths from the Word, or--what is the same--genuine truths which give a spiritual quality to his mature natural rational mind. This is the process or Reformation, and involves the regeneration of his rational. And such a man, when he dies, would--because he has spiritual morality--be received into the natural heaven. But an elevation into still more interior truths is needed during earth-life, if mans to become actually regenerated, i.e., if his natural delights and reactive affections are to become reborn.
The New Christian Church descends from the natural expanse or heaven--that expanse which was formed around the salvable or the Christian era. But it cannot be seriously held that in the untold ages or the future the states of the New Church--now to become the center or the progress or the Racial Man,--shall ever be confined to the limits or the former Christian heavens; for to the New Church is in mercy revealed truths still more interior--truths, we are given to understand, which are even more interior than those known in the Ancient Church!
In the light of what has been said it appears plain that the relation of the New Church to the Ancient Churches, and especially to the heavens or the Golden Age and the Silver Age, is the same as the relation between an adult regenerating man and the celestial and spiritual Remains of infancy and childhood.
Remains are the goods, instilled by the Lord--as a basis for (a) a spiritual conscience of good and truth and (b) for a celestial perception or good. These remains are shut off, hidden, and are not accessible to man. But when man through natural instruction receives spiritual truths, and from love uses them in life, the Remains of spiritual good are remitted into the natural, and the truths at the same time are elevated and go to reinforce and strengthen the Remains.
We believe that the same order of growth will take place in the Grand Man or the human race of our earth. The New Church is rounded in the natural, and will be based therein forever. Yet this pre-destination does not preclude an unending development, which reaches inwardly to receive with unparalleled strength and conviction the influence or celestial and spiritual goods from the Lord as He operates by means or the Most Ancient and Ancient Heavens.
There are indications in the Writings that every Racial Man, or the race from each of the planets, will reach a state or maturity in their own way. The race or our earth will, however, nature into a regenerate state by means or the knowledges of the truths or faith; and after their exteriors have been devastated, the people of this earth may easily come into the interior and inmost heaven (D 1531). We are told that because or the contribution which this earth can give to the universal Grand Man--by serving as ministries of instruction--the Lord has loved our earth above others; for, in order that Order may be perfect, celestial and spiritual truths must be rooted in natural truths (Ibid.)
The Racial Man will come to its perfection in somewhat the same way. For the Ancient Heavens will need to be founded in regenerate externals, before they can become perfected and before their uses can become rooted in natural truths such as the New Church in its progress will more and more cultivate, and view in more and more clear spiritual light.
We need not suppose that the genius or this earth--with its external sciences and arts--will essentially change. The promise is rather that swords shall be turned into plowshares; that, by the consent of all, the combats of falsities will cease, and the truths or the church be used for the cultivation of the good or life, and thus for the reception of influx from the Lord through the Ancient Heavens; whereby, at last, the unity and mature usefulness or the Racial Man shall become actual: involving, not a confusion, but a conjunction of the New Heaven with the superior Expanses formed in the Infancy and Childhood of the race,--that is, an integration of the racial mind, which in its turn induces a conjunction between Heaven and the Church Universal, through the conscious labors, the spiritual uses, of the New Church specific. However, far off such an end might be, it is the end toward which Providence looks. Let us not entertain the thought that the Lord loves our race for anything intrinsic in it: but through the uses of our earth a unique ultimate perfection or His Divine Order can come to pass--which is needed for the maturation and completeness of the Grand Man of the Universe.
THE GRAND MAN AND ITS FUNCTION IN PROPHECY.
In a preceding class we spoke of the human race on this earth as a RACIAL MAN which reached its maturity and commenced its racial regeneration with the opening of the Christian Era. The pre-Advent churches were likened to the states of infancy and childhood, wherein two planes of Remains are implanted, in the form of the heavens of the Most Ancient and Ancient Churches which served as the living centers in the growing racial structure.
Infancy is prophetic of the innocence or wisdom, which is the final goal of human life. But when the external innocence of the babe is gradually lost, the energies of life are concentrated to restore its lost paradises. The long way or childhood becomes prophetic of the means which are now necessary in order to regain the peace and bounty or infancy--regain it in natural actuality and with conscious spiritual realization. Thus the child, in his docile learning as well as in his recurrent states or recalcitrancy, reflects the progress which the adult must make, and also the problems and temptations of mature life. In his play, the child constructs in realistic mimicry the world or his future uses.
The progress that is prophesied in childhood life the progress to a restoral or peace and unity of spirit--is not obtainable in childhood. For it is achieved only through rational thought; and this implies a natural experience and a mature freedom of judgment and choice which is impossible to the unripe mind. Instead or using rational thought, which grasps principles and abstractions, childhood thinks in imagery, or imaginatively, from the idea or person and appearance. Moreover, the child thinks not from himself, but from others. (cp. H. 352:2). Hence we read, in children there is indeed an appearance or rationality, yet it is not rationality, but is only a kind or rudiment or it (AC 1893).*
* See, however, AC 5126.
Similarly, throughout the Ancient Church, which was the childhood or the Racial Man, there prevailed a form of thinking which was based in imagery--and found its expression in representative worship and in prophecies of a Redemption to come. Speaking to the Jewish multitudes as a remnant from the pre-Advent churches, the Lord uses parables, natural stories with a hinted inner meaning, a mystery of the Kingdom of Heaven, appealing to the imagination rather than to the reason. For the Ancient Church was prophetic in its whole character.
The heavens or the Ancients were ordered by the Lord at His First Advent, when these prophecies were fulfilled. But so inherent was the habit or their thought that they did not forsake or abrogate their representations even though these had been seen in the light of spiritual realities. When Swedenborg visited these Ancient Heavens, he round everywhere an abundance of imagery and sculptures and hieroglyphs, by which moral virtues and spiritual truths were represented as men and animals and symbolic objects,--yet these things for them were neither mystical nor arcane, since their correspondences were known.
The change or state within these heavens, before and after the Advent, is described in the Word by the promise. The light or the moon shall be as the light of the Sun, and the light or the Sun shall be seven-fold, as the light or seven days, in the day when the Lord shall bind up the breach of His people, and shall heal the wound or their stroke (Isa, 30:26). For the light of prophecy is ever obscure. Even though the angels or the Ancient Church were sustained by the fore-knowledge or the Lords Advent and of the fuller life that He could give, the greater order and freer scope which He would provide--yet they could not hasten the judgment that He would perform in the fullness of His good time, or taste the fruits or Redemption and deliverance from infestation before He actually came. The ultimates of their heavens were in disorder, their field of uses incomplete; and thus they were often defenseless against invading fallacy and unhappiness.
The central fact; concerning the Ancient Spiritual Heavens before the Advent seems to us to be that they were adjoined as an external to the Celestial Kingdom (AC 6372), or to the heaven from the Most Ancient Church.
The Heavens from our earth, in this their stage or Childhood, depended, for their essential inspirations and their influx, upon the celestial: even as a child, draws--although decreasingly--from the innocent states or infancy the inner essence or his motivations and impulses, so far as his proprial loves are not aroused. It is the qualifying innocence within him which enables him to progress. And it is this which gives him an appearance or rationality--a rudiment or the rational.
At the risk or appearing to repeat, let us stress that what the coming or adult judgment or Reason is to the growing individual man, that the Advent of the Lord, and thus the revelation of the Divine Human, was to the Racial Man. We may expect therefore, that even as a prophetic rudiment of the rational appears with children; so a rudimentary revelation of the Divine Human must have taken place in the Ancient, pre-Advent, church, And as the development or the rudimentary rational in childhood is utterly impossible except through the remains or innocence, so the prophetic presentation or the Divine Human could in no wise have taken place except through the celestial kingdom or the heavens.
It is well known that before the Advent, the Lord Jehovah spoke to angels, spirits and prophets, by some angel which He then filled with His Divine--an angel who was called the angel (or messenger) or Jehovah. The Lord--by this means--could appear representatively, or in a Representative Human (Q. vi). But we are told that while this representative Human, before the actual Advent or the Lord, could appear in vision to the prophets, it was not of such efficacy that it could spiritually enlighten men; wherefore illustration was then given only through types and figures, i. e. by symbolic means (Q. vi). It was a mediate enlightenment through the angelic heavens (W 233).
In the Arcana (6371) we are further told that it was the Divine which flowed through the celestial kingdom that presented the Divine Man by such a mode; but this transflux or the Divine through the celestial kingdom could not be pure, because heaven is not pure. And hence there was intranquillity when the Divine Man was presented, nor could the things in heaven or in hell be reduced into order thereby (6375).
In general, the Writings speak of the Divine Human as being from eternity--for God was always God-Man, But there is also the teaching repeatedly given that there was not any Divine Human before the Incarnation (Q. vi). A similar paradox appears in man. For man is human from his soul thus from birth. The faculty or rationality is from the soul; yet there is no Rational degree until adult age.
The explanation therefore is relatively simple: the Divine Human was from eternity, but within His Being we must distinguish what answers to three degrees or height, all infinite and uncreate and thus transcending similar degrees with man. Before the advent, the Lord had the two prior of these degrees, (or the Divine Celestial and the Divine Spiritual), in actuality; but the third or the Divine Natural, was in Him potentially, or as a faculty not yet expressed (DLW 233). Hence the teaching is stated that from eternity there was with Him the Divine Celestial and the Divine Spiritual, but not the Divine Natural before He had assumed the Human. And it is added that since the Rational is only predicated of the Celestial and Spiritual Natural, He put on this Rational only by assuming the Human (Q. ii, AC 5110). Before this event, there was to Him a Divine Rational, but by influx into the angelic heaven thus while He manifested Himself in the world, through an angel.... For the purely Divine Essence, which ... was the purely Divine Celestial and Divine Spiritual, transcended the Rational of both angels and men but was given through influx (Q. ii).
Let us reflect carefully on the apparent implication that the temporary or rudimentary Divine Rational which was caused By influx into the angelic heaven, was not from the Divine Natural, but from the Divine Celestial and Divine Spiritual. It would seem that the Lord as it were borrowed the organism or angels to serve a temporary need of Revelation, to express the idea of God as Divine Man (in a form comprehensible to the rational of the angels and spirits and men of the pre-Christian churches); and that this their use of representing the Divine Human as in a manner visible and approachable, lent to the celestial heavens an added power, which the Lord in His Divine Natural would later take upon Himself.
Now the Divine makes heaven, and is the all in all of heaven. And Heaven is therefore in form a Grand Man, and this form, in itself regarded, is purely Divine--an infinite form or eternal and infinite uses, into which the angels gradually enter by cooperating in a finite way. Before the Advent, the Divine Celestial and the Divine Spiritual operated as the Soul or this Divine Grand Man (Q. V.). And men worshiped this Divine as Jehovah, so far as they could discern it through representatives. This Divine, then, inflowed into the heavens as a Divine proceeding, but its operation--like that or the Soul--was imperceptible* (Q. V.). It was received by the celestial in the good or love, and created its own forms of expression in the very lives or the celestial.
* In a sense, therefore all the pre-advent churches worshipped an invisible God (T 786).
In order to distinguish this operation or influx or the Lord with the celestial from the later operation of the Lords Divine Natural (which is also called the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Divine Human after glorification), the Writings, in a few passages, call this influx the Human Divine, a Human Divine which ceased when the Lord Himself made the Human in Himself Divine (AC 6371).
Now--as we understand it--this operation of the Human Divine in Heaven is that former Human over which He superinduced the Human in the world (DLW 221). For the Divine in Heaven--although but feebly represented among the angels and thus before men--was in Itself infinite and contained in it all the infinite possibilities and potentialities of the Divine Mind which would by glorification become manifested in the Lord on earth. The Divine in Heaven, therefore, or Heaven in its abstract, was the Lords Interior Man (AC 1733), or His Rational, as yet potential only.
We are even told that when the Lord was conceived and born, His Soul was Jehovah God above the heavens. Even His Interior Man (that intermediate which in its evolution is called the rational) was as to good Divine from birth and conjoined with the Divine Itself (A 6720, 1707). For the Divine in heaven was the inborn plane for His Divine Rational. But the teaching continues, that as to truth, the Lords Interior Man was Human, because adjoined to--and thus dependent upon--the External Man, even as is the case with men; wherefore the Lord could be tempted--not as to the good of His Interior Man, but as to truth Divine in His Human Divine. For this truth Divine He did not assume from within, or by His Divine conception and Incarnation, but from without by the medium or men and angels (AC 2814 and series).
Truth Divine underwent temptations, Divine Truth could not be subject to assault, for it is united with the Divine Good. It is indeed a product of the Glorification of the Lord, and is of the Divine Human. But the truth Divine here spoken of is truth in forms or human appearances--rational truth such as angels have, for angels cannot perceive truths except through appearances.
We may have same difficulty in clearly viewing these important doctrines, which are called very profound arcana. But from them something may be seen of the need that the Divine Man, or this Human Divine of Jehovah in the Heavens,--the same which the Lord afterwards took upon Him when He glorified or made Divine the human in Himself (AC 5110)--should also be prophetically expressed in heaven by transflux through the celestial heaven. For nothing or the Divine Mind could then be expressed immediately as natural truth. There was no knowledge of the Divine Natural, or the Divine Man, from experience with His Divine Person, But the perfection of God was seen only through the perfection of the celestial, who transmitted the perception of His love through their lives which correspondently expressed a submission and love that could represent His love and wisdom.
And when on earth celestial love--with its creative perception of the Human Divine and or the mutual uses or heaven--waned; then came the need of prophecy building in the descending degrees a sufficiently comprehensible and adapted representation or the Divine Man, as to retain, in all the lower heavens and on earth, a concept or the life, the ideals, the purposes or heavenly uses: lest the Grand Man disintegrate and--as it were--die.
Hence it is that it is said, that before the Incarnation there was not any Divine Human except a representative one through some angel whom the Lord Jehovah filled with His Spirit (Q. vi), a representative which--limited to and colored by angelic states--did not have sufficient efficacy to cause spiritual illustration with men; and this because the transflux through heaven made such a representation necessarily impure (AC 6978).
Let us note that it was not this representative Human which as a Divine Soul took form in the womb or Mary. What descended through conception was Jehovah, the Divine Celestial and Divine Spiritual, operating into heaven as the invisible Human Divine, This it was that became flesh, and by that act the Divine Natural became actual.
The representative Human had--as we understand it--quite another function,--a use to spirits and men--the use of prophecy and preparation.
Our first concept or this representative Human must necessarily be that or the Angel or Jehovah appearing before the prophets in human form. This concept, however, is considerably widened, when we reflect that this appearing of the Divine Man took place again and again, through different angels; and that one of these instruments, the angel Gabriel who spoke to Daniel and to Mary, actually was but a subject-spirit or representative or a whole society in heaven which was in the function of announcing the approaching Advent or the Lord. Indeed we can think no otherwise than that all the heavens were moulded thereby into various states or prophecy and expectancy, reflecting in their very life the Hope of the Redeemer, about which hope the heavens were oriented; eagerly seeing in every circumstance--and thus in every human ritual performed among men--a representation and foreshadowing or the life and work and glorification of the Lord to come. And in the church on earth--the Ancient and the Jewish--were not the very rites symbolic of future Redemption? was not the sanctity of Divine representation cast over kings and priests and prophets? and this in every ancient nation long after the reign of charity was forgotten? Did not the hero-myths, the legends or demi-gods walking the earth and of Avatars and or divine sonship, echo--distortedly and faintly--the hoary prophecies or the Divine Coming?
Did not the sacrifices and festival oblations or Jewry weave their part of the pattern of representation and look in its every least detail of law and prophecy towards the day when its Messiah would come; so that the people, in their confusion or hopes, raised a mighty cry or welcome to their King, until almost the stones or their Temple cried out in greeting?
Surely, the ancient heavens and the churches on earth built up and--in process or time--externalized the picture of the promised seed or the Woman, into a more and more precise yet also more and more worldly representation. So clearly is this building-up of prophecy seen in the Hebrew Scriptures, that the scoffing historian can account for it in his philosophy only by supposing. that the idea of the Redeemer was at last responsible for the creation of the figure or Jesus Christ in the mind or the race.
But it was not so. The Lord was not begotten by human hopes, was not fathered by the angelic heavens, was not the Incarnation or the representative Human which prophetically revealed His future visible Personality. What this wealth of prophecy did, was to prepare for His reception--prepare the state of the angels, prepare the church and the races of earth, and prepare and protect the mind and body of the Virgin Mary for the descent of the Divine. The minds or angels and men had to be betrothed to the humanly received and humanly adapted prophecies, or to the representative Human, even as Mary--as the symbol or the Church--had to be betrothed to Joseph, who was to be her protector at Bethlehem and in Egypt; yet, with this use accomplished, the representative, prophetic Human fades away and is forgotten--even as Joseph is lost to view in the Gospel account, when Jesus entered into manhood.
For the Lord fulfilled the prophecy involved in the representative Human. He took on--from without--the forms or the prophetic forecasts, and as it were recalled into His mind the concepts of men and or angels, with all the human appearances in which these representative ideas had been couched. He endured, on this account, all the temptations to which flesh was liable. Even from the angels did He endure a subtle temptation--for the ideas or the angels were not pure! Yet within Him the Human Divine as to good--which had yearned to reveal itself to the heavens--was now able to pierce through the representation and through the rational appearances or the angels, to purify such human concepts from all fallacy, and to organically reveal Itself in the form of Divine Truth--the Truth or Divine Good: reveal Itself as Immanuel, God-with-us, immediately teaching the way or love.
Yet, awaiting the day when mens minds would be prepared to see Divine Truth, or the Divine Human, in spiritual-rational light, He spoke on earth in parables, and disclosed only to a few some or the mysteries or the Kingdom. These parables--to Christians--were not veilings of the invisible Divine--the Human Divine--as had been the prophesies of the representative age. In the teachings of the New Testament the Divine Man--the Divine Human--was made visible and through them could be worshiped.
With the Lords glorification, the representative function of the Grand Man or the angelic heavens therefore drew to a close. The center of reference remained no longer the celestial heaven or the celestial way of life, but the direct reference was to what the Lord had taught, by His words and His life. This did not prevent the Lord--the Divine Human, who is the organizing Soul and Life or the Grand Man or the angelic heaven--from using still an angel as an instrument for His appearing under given conditions. The Lord uses human instrumentalities still--in governing the uses within the Societies of men. Representation in art and ritual and government still has its place and its confirmative function but no longer is it the basis or doctrine and salvation!
The sceptre has departed from Judah, for Shiloh has come. The power has departed from the celestial kingdom, for the Lord in His Divine Human opens the way to celestial judgment and life through Himself as the Door. The Racial. Man has reached that epoch of maturity, when it must progress not on the basis or childhood remains given through others, but from Divine appointment must see spiritual things rationally, in the light or Truth itself.
THE GRAND MAN, AND ITS FUNCTION IN MANS CREATION.
In the Spiritual Diary, Swedenborg writes: The states of spirits and angels, with all their varieties, can nowise be understood without a knowledge or the human body; for the Lords kingdom is like a man; and without such a kingdom, which is compared to a true man ... no man can possibly live, since all things in heaven conspire to the conservation of the singulars in the body; as can be manifestly shown. And if thou art still willing, thou shalt hear even more arcane things! (SD 1145 1/2). The Arcana also describes how spirits are distinguished according to their influx into various parts or the body, and that not one but many societies or angelic spirits inflow into each least part; without which man could not live.
Further on in the Diary there is an article concerning The Existence and Subsistence of human bodies from the Lord, through the Grand Man (SD 1708-1714). Under this heading it is shown that whatever inflows from the Lord, inflows into the whole Grand Man ... so that there is no spirit or angel who is exempted from its effect. This influx is likened to the way in which every operation of the human soul affects the universal body of man; since the soul acts from inmosts, and thus influences every single thing or its body; so that all its members and least parts depend exclusively upon the soul, and are brought into a consent to common uses, although their functions are all diverse.
Even so it is with the Lords influx into the Grand Man. It is very different, however, with what proceeds from men, spirits and angels: for since they are external to each other, all influx from them is from without, and has only a limited effect, not reaching so intimately; for interiors are external to it. In other words, human beings cannot affect the inmosts and internals or their fellows; any more than the various body parts, as such considered, can influence each other, except from without.
Reflection will confirm this general law, that the determination of a form comes from the inmost. A human being is such from his soul. The body, as it grows, is modified by the environment; and the mind of man, also. But the soul directs these processes or growth into a human end, and this internal direction never ceases, even with death. The souls effort is creative, and persistently maintains the human form, building body and mind into a likeness or its own form. The human form of the body and of the external or the mind (i. e., the spiritual body) is therefore maintained within a race throughout the succeeding generations. And since the soul is beyond the sphere or mans free will, and thus beyond perversion, it has the same powers in the babe as in the wisest man, the same in the devil as in the highest angel; and the body in every case is human, although modified by age, by environment, by heredity, by sin. But no external circumstance is able to modify the soul or take its powers away. Even the so-called influx or angels or of evil spirits cannot affect the souls of men; but what proceeds from these can only from the outside approach mans mind, and influence or stir it or nourish it with its particular spheres.
Here I believe we should be reminded that the human soul is finite; and thus we must conceive that no two souls are alike since in all creation there are no two things precisely the same. This is no doubt seen by the fact that the soul or the man is male, and that or the woman is female, and thus the prevision by the Lord of conjugial pairs begins with their unborn souls. And since the inmost or Divine Providence is to lead human souls to definite uses or places in the Grand Man of human uses, it must be that each human soul is from its creation specially designed for an especial use.
The finite souls of all men are said to constitute a heaven or human internals which is above the angelic heavens (AC 1999:3) and thus spiritually nearest the Lord, so that the human race is most present under the Lords eyes. By evil and sin mens minds or spirits are as if separated from these their human internals which are the Lords and with the Lord (Ibid). The soul is therefore called a superior spiritual substance, (which) receives influx immediately from God. But the human mind, being an inferior spiritual substance, receives influx from God mediately by the spiritual world. The body, finally, which is composed of the substances of nature, which are called matter, receives influx from God mediately by the natural world (Infl. 8),
Much had been written by the learned in the century preceding Swedenborg, about the intercourse or soul and body. But our Doctrine points out that they had not paid attention to the prior influx into the soul (Infl. 8). The life from God flows into the soul and by that into the mind and body.
Let us note this, that it is not the soul which gives life to the body; but the Lord gives of His Life to the body by the Soul. The human form does not come from the Soul, but from the Lord, or Whom we are told that all that proceeds from Him is in the human form; so that the life inflowing from Him through the soul can have no extension into any other then the human form (E 1119:2, D. Wis, iii 4:2).
The soul is then, the means by which the Lord forms the body. Not only so, however: for we read that the material body receives influx from God mediately by the natural world.
We take this to mean that the Lord in creating a body for the soul, proceeds in His own Divine order, acting indeed through the soul, but permitting no interference from the imperfections, lacks and distortions which exist in the spiritual world, or in heaven and in hell. Man is born human and body-perfect, even in spite of all the hereditary evils which as tendencies may be latent in his substance. This creation of the body is by means of natural substances, availableor not--in the womb of the mother; and the perfection of the body is thus safeguarded as long as nature provides its share of material.
And nature does its share in another way also, or rather, God acts through nature directly in a different way, also. For the body of man is formed in a perfect adaptation to the forces or the natural universe. His eye is fashioned in entire response to the modifications or the ether, His ear is formed to obey the laws governing the vibrations or the air. His body is, exteriorly and as to all the viscera, formed with reference to the pressure of the air and ether around him.
All animal bodies and vegetative forms are indeed formed adapted to their intended environments: fishes to swim, birds to fly, flowers to catch the dewdrops! In appearance, it were sufficient to say that bodies are formed such to fit into some environment: that they grow into the straight-jackets of circumstance; or that their forms are the results or their environments. Such a thought was indeed insinuated into Swedenborgs mind, as he considered the problem. But he then perceived that even nature and all its dead forms and forces, had a spiritual cause and origin: that the natural could not exist or subsist without a spiritual influx, or cause; that spiritual influxes from God governed everything therein. Spiritual things therefore, he wrote, are necessary, with which natural things may correspond. Thus the atmospheres (or nature) must be such as they are in order that the organs may be such as they are (SD 4066). In other words, the atmospheres were formed by the Lord to perform those very uses, and to adapt the intended organic bodies to those uses. The Divine influx into bodies was mediated by the natural world, which is thus Divinely directed to serve organic forms.
Nonetheless, the Doctrine is clear, that human bodies exist and subsist from the Lord by yet another means: through the Grand Man. Indeed, unless the whole man, with his two brains, and the viscera of the body, or the whole animated machine, were formed in relation to the influx or the Lord, thus or the Grand Man; in a word, unless all and singular things of the body, exterior and interior, corresponded to some such Grand Man, the body could by no means exist and subsist, or live such as it is (SD 4064).
Inmostly considered, the Lord God is the only MAN, or the only Grand Man--the Divine Human. All created forms in heaven or on earth, are the tools of His Divine uses and thus represent Divine ends.* The Sun of heaven and the emerging atmospheres or the spiritual world, and the corresponding sun and atmospheres or the natural world, are created representations of the Divine, proceeding to give or its substance for the eventual creation or an angelic heaven.
* Therefore it is said, that the human form is inmostly present within everything or creation (W 285).
It is clear, that in the beginning or creation, these elemental spheres or finite creation contained and represented in themselves all the infinite things or the Divine Human GOD-MAN. There was as yet no angelic heaven--or any Grand Man in the sense or a society or human uses. The forces of Divine creation were thus determined only through the spiritual atmospheres, which indeed bore within them the possibilities of all uses, the pattern of all the laws or God, and the currents or all the forms of possible organic life. In the substance or this prior world of spiritual causes were contained as it were potentially the souls of all living forms of uses, souls or fluent life-gyres endeavoring to clothe themselves into permanent forms--organic forms--of use and thus express some infinitesimal part of the Divine Human Form; and all striving to perfect the image of that Human Form, to serve that form, and to minister to its maintenance.
The Word and the Writings tell us, however, that man was created last, as the crowning product or creation, in whom there would be the image and likeness of God. The first natural organic forms animated with the influx or life from the spiritual world, are called vegetative souls, and pertain to the plant kingdom. These are said to be souls or use which are the ultimate effect or life (D. Wis. xii. 5).
And from the Apocalypse Explained (n. 1208) we learn that there are degrees or things spiritual, and that in every degree there are the forces or acting, of creating, and or forming; for everything spiritual is living.* Thus the spiritual has its three degrees, the lowest or which is the spiritual natural. This last is the degree which contains the living forces which later produced in man the natural mind with its affection. This degree also has its highest, intermediate and ultimate parts. And it is particularly explained that the forces or creation from God which are active in this very ultimate or the spiritual, which there retains no more or life than is sufficient to produce a semblance of being alive, are what make the souls of plants.
* AE 1206:2.
The souls of plants are thus indeed spiritual; and when the creation of the globe was completed, this ultimate spiritual inflowed into nature; and these spiritual forces, by a continual operation into the natural forces which are atmospheres and are called ethers, and through them into the materials or the earth, gave rise to the vegetable kingdom; which is in a natural form from the conatus and flow of the natural atmospheres, but has an inner conatus to emulate the animal form (E 1208).
The animal soul is also spiritual, but is from the living intermediates or the spiritual-natural degree (E 1212). And it is stated that all animal forms are therefore in accord with the flow of spiritual substances and forces, (AE 1208), and thus there is, from an inner conatus, a tendency of animal bodies to emulate the human bodily structure.
Man was created last. As to his body he is said to be an animal; yet he is called not a living soul, as is the animal; but a soul or life. And this is said because his soul is a superior spiritual substance which includes a celestial and a spiritual degree as well as a spiritual-natural. The creation of the first man was effected by spiritual forces from the three spiritual degrees. He was an epitome of the entire world or living formative substance which had been the cause of all the things of the natural world in which he was now born; he was an image or the God-Man. Whose ends of use were potentially involved in that spiritual realm and were now in process or being evolved as forms of actual uses in the natural world.
Now it is taught us that all and everything that appears upon the earth are correspondences of the Lords own infinite affections of love and infinite perceptions or wisdom (T 78). And it is also clear that, since the natural world in its first creation drew its mediate cause from the spiritual world, the spiritual spheres, which were the origins of natural things and the souls of natural forms of use, were also and still more perfectly the correspondences or those Divine affections and perceptions. Before the advent of man upon the scene, there were on earth herbs and trees, there were water animals and birds and mammals--and some were huge and elemental in form. None were what the Writings call evil animals. All had a part in giving form to the spiritual forces or the spiritual-natural degree, and to represent the order of natural affections and their balance among themselves. Apparently, the first forms or life were more crude or general, that is to say, less specialized, in their organic forms.
At the time of mans first creation no societies composing a Grand Man existed in the spiritual world,--a Grand Man of which the Lord was the Soul and life. Yet the living spiritual substance in its several degrees and with its creative and formative forces, answered at that; time to the need of a medium for creation, and constituted the finite replica of such a society or souls--even as man, when born, is furnished with all the substantial degrees of the mind, though as yet their special powers have not been opened, and they can thus exert but a general action.
In the light of that parallel we will therefore again turn to the teaching, That the human body is entirely formed from the Grand Man, (D 3148), or that human bodies exist and subsist from the Lord through the Grand Man (D 1708, heading). For after this teaching the following is said:
Nor could the soul thus flow into the forms of its body according to all varieties, and thus operate diversely in every single (part), were there not a Grand Man of which the Lord is the life, (and) which corresponds with the single things or the human body; thence are the varieties of the general forms in human bodies, or the viscera; thence the ordination of everything to uses and ends: thence the functions of all things ... from the Lord. Thence now is the existence of bodies and of their operations; thence subsistence, which is perpetual existence; thence conservation which is perpetual creation; thence (also is) the existence and subsistence of the bodies or all animals, even of the least animalculae; thence is the existence and subsistence of all vegetable with their varieties, which in their own way, in a type, represent the bodies or living things; thence for the sake or correspondences, representations of spiritual and celestial things by corporeal and material things; thence the agreements or organs with spiritual and celestial things, (for) the organs correspond to their active powers, their uses of life, otherwise no effect (would result) (SD 1713, 1714).
It is similarly stated elsewhere; that if the Lord should flow in immediately, apart from the Grand Man, man could by no means live for a single moment or time... (D 4065).
Now, as to all its active forces, the Grand Man was as complete before the formation or the angelic heavens as afterwards. And, I believe we may agree that as to all its mediating degrees, the spiritual world was complete at the time or mans first creation. Being created in the true order of their life, the first men could be ruled by general influx directly from the Lord alone through the ordered degrees or the spiritual world. A tender scruple once occurred to Swedenborg on this point, how the first men could have existed, without a Grand Man composed or angels and spirits. But the answer was convincing: that the endeavors which; from the Grand Man, are active wherever power and opportunity is given, all come from the Lord; and that man, as to all his degrees, existed similarly before his birth as after. And so, before the angelic heavens were formed, He ruled man immediately, even as He now rules by mediating angels and spirit, (SD 2591).
But it is different now, Because the human race is such that its endeavor is only evil ... therefore the Lord acts mediately through heaven and the world of spirits, yet diversely according to each mens nature and genius... And it is under these circumstances that it is utterly necessary that the Lord should now rule men by means or particular spirits and not immediately, or apart from the Grand Man: Otherwise man could by no means live for a single moment of time! Good and truth from the Lord must be tempered through the influx or angels and spirits (D 4065).
But we are here speaking of creation--especially of the fact that the body is from the Grand Man. We believe that we have shown from the Doctrine that it is not from angels or spirits, that the body is made human in form. The souls of men, indeed, are above the angelic heavens, and are created by the Lord, with a view to specific and eternal uses in the heavens, and with a view to an, as it were, infinite heaven.
But when the Grand Man has once begun to be (so to speak) infilled with angels and spirits, it is clear that an intermediate plane is here formed through which the Lord will--if He sees wise--act, and which may not be disregarded even in the creation or new mortals! The various races or men, for instance as the pre-adamites, the paleolithicaces, the Negroes, etc., and the Jovians and the inhabitants of other earths and moons,--do they not signify a difference of spiritual origin as well as an adaptation to a different environment? We believe that the principle here holds true, that the bodies or men could not exist, and the soul could not flow into the forms of its body according to all its varieties ... were there not a Grand Man ... which corresponds in all its minute details with human bodies (D 1713). The mediation or the angelic heavens and or the hells varies with their growth and their state, and the creative influx is tempered not alone by the finite soul but also by this mediation.
It is common to think or hereditary evils as coming from the father and the mother,--which is true. Yet paternal heredity is always from an active state or disorder in the spiritual world, to which the rather has freely laid his mind open. Wherefore it is stated that at a decline or a church, when hereditary evils have multiplied, the multitudes of evil spirits--like obstructing clouds--rule the world or spirits and cut off heaven from mankind, affecting not only those who pass out from the world but also every man coming into the world (Doc. Lord).
Most striking, however, is the fact that when the hells arose in the spiritual world, there began to arise on earth evil animals. The creative forces of the Lord were then mediated by the hells as well as by the heavens, and the results were animals with which the wicked loves of the infernal societies communicate (E 1201:3) and thus in correspondence with hell and with perverted natural affections; animals which indeed tended to upset the balance of uses and which represented the state or fallen mans natural emotional life.
And thus the state of the Grand Man--and or the Grand Monster of hell, also--will ever be reflected correspondentially in the natural world, especially so far as they become actively expressed in the world or spirits. In the spiritual world this truth or mediations in creation is vividly seen, for in that world the Lord creates an environment around each society which corresponds to its state, or correspondences or the affectionsi. e., the spiritual-natural affectionsof the love of the angels or spirits or that vicinity. We are told that the sphere of life of the spirits is the secondary medium of such creation, but the primary medium is the living substance of the spiritual realm.
The law has often been stressed that the Lord does not operate from primes through mediates into ultimates, but from primes through ultimates, and thus into mediates (AE 1086:5); or that the direction or the Lord is in primes and in ultimates; from this mediates flow in their order; ultimates being as much directed as primes (SD 4605).
But it must not be forgotten, that while the Divine influx never stops or terminates in the intermediates, yet there are perpetual mediations from firsts to ultimates (DLW 303). Thus we read: All order proceeds from primes to ultimates, and the ultimates become the primes of some following order; moreover, all things of the middle order are the ultimates or the prior and the primes of the following one (CL 311). Wherefore in every Divine work there is a first, a middle and an ultimate; and the first goes through the middle to the ultimate, and thus comes into existence and subsists. Also, the first is in the middle, and, through the middle, in the ultimate (S. 27). The same is true in creation: The creative force ... reaches from the First through intermediates to the last ... intermediates are things spiritual, afterwards things natural, also things terrestrial, from which are productions (AE 1209). And this procedure holds true on every plane of creation thus also in the spiritual world, where the Lord creates from primes through the ultimates of heaven which are the lands there. There is this difference, that the lands there are spiritual from their origin, but here they are natural; and the productions from our lands are effected from the spiritual by means or nature, but in those lands without nature (AE 1211e).
Thus it is or order, that all organic creations should be mediated by the Grand Man. Plants and animals derive their souls and the varying forms of their bodily structure and functions from specific powers, in the ultimates or this Grand Man, and therefore have a conatus toward use and life. Thus we may understand why the very plants and animals appearing in the other world are said to be the origins or similar plants and animals in this world!! For the presence of human spirits in the Grand Man modifies, although to small extent, these variant forms on earth. Men also are born, their bodies corresponding in detail to the general functions, powers, uses, forces, of the Grand Man. No one man--save only the ones first created was possessed or a form unmodified, by the mediation or others, as to the lower degrees of their mental powers and equipment. Yet all immortal men--be they black or white, Jovians or Martians, pre-adamites or modern--are given a human soul from above the angelic heavens, a soul in the image or God, unqualified by the fates and choice of men, spirits or angels; and through this soul the Divine Creator over rules all mediations, all heredities, all specialized human effort for good or ill, and forms and reforms the body unceasingly into the instrument or human life.
THE RELATION OF THE EVIL TO THE GRAND MAN OF USES.
The Lord created mankind in the order of life, in the image of God, and in a state of freedom, so that man could reciprocate the Lords love by a life or usefulness--i. e. by assuming, more and more, the human form which is the form of love conjoined with wisdom in uses to the neighbor and the Lord.
The common form or the Uses represented in the lives of angels and men is, when spiritually viewed, a MAN in far greater perfection than the individual; for the uses of mankind on all the earths in the universe combine to fill in--in a gradual and finite sense--the eternal pattern of Divine and infinite Uses, which is the form or the proceeding Divine. The Heaven of angels and the Church of men therefore together are said to constitute a Grand Man.
But because man was free not only to accept and use the gifts of human life, but also to reject and abuse the goods and the truths offered to him, it was inevitable that perversions could not be prevented by the Lord. Yet the Lord--from the first--drew His laws around human life with the view to limit and circumscribe the area of such perversion.
Only in man could such inversion of order and use originate. For no Divine gift could be perverted to an evil use, unless it was first freely received as consciously ones own: what was not received could not be perverted. And only man can consciously respond in freedom to the influx of the Divine gifts.
And since mans conscious choice and cooperative reception and response to spiritual goods and truths takes place only in the natural degree of his life, and this while he lives in the world; therefore the only degree or his life which he can pervert, is that lowest spiritual degree which is active and conscious in the world, and which we call the natural mind (W 345, 270). This Lowest spiritual--the spiritual-natural--can in men, by its own power of freedom (a se, W 345), be separated from its superior degrees, and thus act negatively towards the two higher degrees, or in opposition to the spiritual mind. The natural mind thus becomes closed against, the spiritual, and is as it were curved in contrary direction to heavenly or eternal uses; and it then becomes the seat of evils and falsities, and the potential plane of all the hells. Its very substance may therefore be said to be perverted.
It is clear that the matter created by the Lord to be the substance of the natural world, is not here referred to as affected by mans choice of evil. Matter can indeed become the means of evil, and can be imbued with a pervert order, so as to serve impure and negative uses; but in itself it cannot be called evil, nor has it the power of freedom. It is rather the lowest spiritual substance, which is the subject which thinks, that can be perverted as to its essential tendency, conatus, and order, and this when it is in organic adjunction with natural substance and thus serves as a natural mind. The natural mind of a man the delights of whose love are evil, is therefore said to consist inwardly or spiritual substances such as are in hell (TCR 38).
We conclude that the substance or hell is the direct perversion or the spiritual-natural substance or degree which is the ground of the natural mind or man, and alsoin particular--the ground of life for the angels of the first heaven. All the hells, therefore, are perversions of the spiritual-natural degree; evil cannot reach up to contort the spiritual and the celestial degrees properly so called, yet evil can, by aversion to these two higher degrees, imitate its opposites also. For the evil man may know and understand the external order or the spiritual and the celestial heavens as these express themselves in the natural degree. By opposition, therefore, there are three hells as well as three heavens.
And, indeed, it is on this account that the entire hell, like the entire heaven, is before the Lord as one man; but as a man-Devil, or a man-Monster, in which all things are in opposition to those that are in the man-Angel; consequently everything that is in hell can be known from what is in the Grand Man or heaven, for evil is known from the good that it seeks to destroy, and falsity from the truth which it attacks (E 1226:3, :6).
The statement is, that every society in heaven has a society opposite to it in hell, and this for the sake of equilibrium (H 541, A 5798:7); but this need not mean that for every angel there must be a devil! Far from it! All that it refers to is the law that hell is organized with reference to the human form, or in opposition to the general organism of heavenly uses.
It is the opposition to the Grand Man which in hell conjoins all so as to form one monstrous Devil--a monstrous Giant (T 68, 32:6, P 190, 293). There is nothing in evils and falsities to make them cohere or be united. From evil passions, the hells are in continual turmoil and dissension. Self-love destroys the bonds of society; and where self-rule is universal, it is only by reason or common opposition or common hatred or common jealousies, and by reason of some law or necessity which is grudgingly realized, that there exists any stability or cohesion at all.
Nor was there ever any angel, man or spirit who saw the hells unitedly represented as such a monstrous Devil; anymore than any angel ever could see the entire Grand Man of heaven. A society of heaven or of hell; a church, like the church NOAH; a nation; might be so seen represented in the spiritual world. But only the Lord can see all the heavens as in His own image--or as a Grand Man; far He alone sees the pattern or all possible human uses and how these uses fit into the whole. And likewise, it is only in the sight of the Lord that all the hells can appear as a Grand Monster. For it is only with reference to the Divine Human that all the hells are united in apposition. (P 190). The Lord alone could act against all the hells, to resist, subdue and bind them (T 68, 123e).
Even man, when he attempts to resist a single evil, is pitted against the whole or hell, and can do nothing without the Lord fighting his battle for him (T 68). We cry to the Lord in our temptations--or, in our prayers--because we must recognize this fact. Evils are connected into an organic whole--one evil being a derivative from the other, and leading to another; and from these evils flow falsities, and thence new broods of evils. A purge of envy leads to a little theft and this leads to a lie and this leads on to further dishonesty, faithlessness, deceit and hypocrisy. Evils are bound into bundles, like organic fibres, by falses; and thus act in common with each other (T 38). Still, there is nothing creative, nothing real, in the form or hell that is not born from continual opposition to what is good and orderly. There is no food in hell which does not come from heaven; hell would not subsist without such food, anymore than a diseased man could survive except by good nourishment. He could not live only on poisons, even though he craved narcotic drugs that he might indulge in his phantasies; and even though good food turned also--eventually--into poisons in his system.
Because or the opposition of heaven and hell, hell appears, in the spiritual world, to be far removed from heaven yea, as antipodal to it. And therefore Abraham is represented as saying to the rich man in the parable, Between us and you there is a great gulf fixed (Luke 16:26); and this gulf is called in the Writings the world of spirits, across which there are no ways leading from heaven direct to hell or vice versa (H 583e, 428-9, A 6626e). The hells are said to be underneath the world or spirits, while the heavens are often seen only as the mists or clouds or the sky above it.
These things so appear, because only so can the real relationships of human life in the spiritual world be represented, as to the contrasts or states--the states of the consciousness or angels, spirits, and devils. Similarly, when angels or spirits reflect on the opposition or good and evil, and on the common origin and nature and coherence or all evils, they are given to think or hell as a monstrous organism or as a Gigantic Monster, having nothing in common with the Grand Man of the heavens.
Nevertheless, there is another human reality which must also be realized: and that is, that unless the devils in the various hells--as human beings regarded--had some connection with the Grand Man, they could not exist nor subsist. And this is to say that so far as there is still any appearance or what is human with an evil spirit--there must be something with him which is still able to communicate with the Grand Man. Nor car we deny that there is something human left even with the worst devil. He does have--remotely within him--a human soul: he does have the general forms and organs of a human body--eternally maintained such by the soul in the race of all the perverting tendencies of his evils. Besides, the degree differs to which each devil is perverted and therefore appears lifeless, deformed, or monstrous--some fiery, some black, some pallid; and also the degree in which their natural reason, their imaginative thought, and their abilities and skills can be developed or retained. Nobody has time, in this short life-time, to pervert all the gifts or natural affections with which heredity endows him.
Now nothing is more clear than that the evil are outside or the Grand Man or heaven. They cannot enter a heavenly society--even the lowest--without feeling utterly repelled and nauseated and without admitting that for them the angelic heaven--with its sphere of use and love and intelligence--would be a hell; (AC 4226) or, that they would a thousand times rather live in hell than out of it (D 5830).
But what is meant by being out of the Grand Man? Every spirit, good or evil, enters by death into the world of spirits, which is compared to the mouth, stomach and alimentary canal or the Grand Man. Of the profane it is said that they are as it were spewed out; of the mouth; and it is explained that they are rejected not only from heaven, but (in a sense) even from hell, and are kept below the hells until the conflicting elements of their lives are vastated away and they appear as almost devoid or life. Of spirits who are interiorly good it is taught that they are absorbed, like good food, into the blood-stream and finally into the tissues of the Grand Man of heaven. But the evil spirits are rejected like waste material, after their external semblance or goodness and usefulness has been broken down and their real character revealed by the spiritual digestive process of exploration and judgment.
The evil are thus outside or the tissues and functions of the Grand Man not only while they are as yet in the world or spirits; but when they are rejected into hells. Therefore the evil or the hells, are said not to correspond to any organs and members in the body, but to various corruptions and diseases induced in them (AC 4225). A close interpretation of this group or teachings suggests that the diseases here referred to are not necessarily diseases in the Grand Man of heaven--but diseases in human bodies of men on earth; for diseases correspond not to anything in the Grand Man, but to things in the hells, i.e., to states in the Grand Monster (AC 5712).
We therefore read that those who despise and ridicule the Word in the letter and doctrinal teachings thence, and this from self-love, have reference to the vitiated particles in the blood, which circulate through all the veins and arteries, and taint the whole mass (AC 5719). Other evil spirits who by art and deceit seek to rule others and who secretly regard the Lord as a mere man, correspond to the corruptions of mans purer blood (called the animal spirit), into which corruptions enter in a disorderly manner (AC 4227). It is clear that, since the Lord is the only life-blood of the Grand Man of heaven, such poisons could scarcely be predicated of the Grand Man (SD 8419).
Yet all the teachings about the spiritual world do not sustain so narrow or exclusive a definition of the Grand Man. Interiorly, the evil are indeed poles apart from the good; but in externals the good and the evil cooperate. Here on earth, where men are in externals, this is particularly marked, since society recognizes all as citizens who perform uses and maintain themselves in outward order; without inquiring into .their private evils. And this law operates also in the spiritual world, wherever societies are formed around mutual uses. Whenever spirits flock together, there develop common uses, without which no society can be maintained, even in hell.
This need for uses and for order even in hell expresses the truth that the Lord is omnipresent, and that as to Divine Truth--seen as separate from the Divine Good--He is present and rules even in the hells.
His kingdom therefore extends far beyond the heavens. And although none but the good are in His Body; i. e., none but those in whom there is good conjoined with truth, which conjunction makes them human as to their interiors; still even the wicked are externally within the framework of His Law of Divine Truth or within the Grand Body or His Human Order, and partake outwardly in its necessities.
And when we view the Grand Man in this extended sense as the Body or Divine Order--even the uses performed by the Lord through the unwilling, unwilling, or selfish cooperation or the wicked, may be seen as having a place in it. And in the currents of this Grand Man--or the Divine Proceeding as to Truth--not only angels but also spirits or all sorts are carried, some permanently, same temporarily, to make a sort of finite approach to a society or uses in the human form. And of such a society (from our earth) which necessarily passes through its ages or growth and its states of temptation and purification, it may even be said that, by the corruption of the church on earth, this Grand Man may be entirely perverted--as is once stated in the Spiritual Diary (n. 488). Of such a Grand Man it may be said that it was in danger or destruction, as to the feet and loins, by the seceding or the church on earth; as to the gastric region, by the seceding of the lowest heaven; as to the breast, by the seceding or the second heaven; and then the head, having no correspondence with the body, would fall into a swoon (TCR 119).
Such a danger is or course averted bye the Lord. Its cause, however, lay in the need for a delay in the judgment or those evil spirits who are externally good and who perform uses necessary for the Grand Man. The world or spirits--before a judgment--is filled with such spirits; they enter into the societies of the good, and sometimes rule there; until the lower heavens were partly seduced or misled or overpowered and reduced to subordination.
This establishment of fictitious heavens is permitted, because when there are uses to be performed, society--here and hereafter--permits the evil to step in if there are not enough of the good to carry them out. Society--like nature--permits no vacuum. The body, if starved, will attempt to draw nourishment from almost anything. Therefore we read: Those in that Grand Body who are evil, behave like bad parts in the body, which by various modes are brought to be adjoined; wherefore they are exterminated, dissolved, and made to pass into the blood; the noxious parts are rejected, and serve for uses in a way to the blood, and thus are purified by innumerable modes; and because they are in the body, they cannot but have life also (D 1711).
They have life--stolen life, like that or parasites. They enter into same field of use and dominate it for their own ends. This was particularly the case with the spirits who defended the dogma that faith alone saves--defended it to procure power and gain. These spirits were seen represented before Swedenborg as a great red Dragon. And when Swedenborg was introduced to the spirits of the province of the Spleen in the Grand Man, he found that this Province was practically made up of such spirits, who commixed profane with holy things: and he notes, As yet I do not know whether the Spleen be not the office or the Dragon! (D 1005).
By the presence or these evil spirits--subdued and purified or their external evils--negative uses are served, even as poisonous drugs serve such a purpose for the body. But the Lord also, through their selfish deeds of actual use, does good to the good. And as their judgment must be delayed for the sake or such uses, we are told that the evil in the interior sphere (of the world or spirits) cannot be inspected by angels, or they are turned into serpents, etc. Indeed, their presence causes a general externalization of the uses in those societies where they are. For through externals they have a communication with the Grand Man (D 3640).
It is of the Lords mercy to the evil, that judgment is thus averted as long as they are still capable or some external use. Yet, when their presence endangers the state or the good, and no longer is needed to advance the states of vastation with the good, then these evil poseurs are unmasked, and their interiors are exposed; they forsake external order, and plunge into their evils.
Yet many things are mentioned in the Doctrine to show that even when evil spirits have become accepted denizens or some hell, they will yet return again and again into a sphere of use. Their first period in the hells is apparently one of open indulgence in wickedness and phantasies and mutual persecutions, followed always by repeated punishments. But after many ages of. such alternations between infernal delights and torments, their corporeal delights can be laid asleep to some extent and they are then from time to time elevated into the world of spirits, that they may serve for the vilest uses, with very little life and scarcely any delight; for ... no one is tormented or punished unless that some use may arise out of it ... (D 4471). And the Law is given in the Arcana (n. 6977) that while an evil spirit is no longer capable of being reformed, or his nature amended as to the interiors, be can be amended as to exteriors, and this by the compulsion of punishments. And because the Lords kingdom is a kingdom of uses, the devils are not in so great a state of torment while they promote the lowly uses of which they are still capable. But on the cessation of such uses, they are again cast into hell (AC 696).
Interiorly viewed, they never left their hell. But they were brought into the fringe of the kingdom of uses, which thus extends even into hell, they thereby became again like spirits in the world of spirits--coming into external contact with the heavens, to taste a reality which is basic to their life, even like food and warmth and sleep; a reality which they soon pervert into their own phantasies and delights of evil.
Therefore it is said that There is this sole remedy for their insanity: to be put to work in hell under a judge. So long se they are at work there, they are not insane; for the works with which they are occupied hold the mind, as it were, in prison and bonds, to prevent its wandering into the delirious fancies of their lusts. Their tasks are done for the sake of food, clothing and a bed, thus unwillingly from necessity, and not freely from affection (Div. Love xv).
The evil spirit is actually in hell even while performing uses; but he is not in the state of hell, i. e., not in alternate phantasy and torment. Societies of evil spirits can therefore be reduced--eventually--into something of external order. Each punishment operates to remove something of his open evils--his lying, theft, violence. The devils become broken men--the wreckage of society; yet amenable to something of discipline, to a self-control born of fear.
Whence comes this capacity for self-control with the devils?
They were once born men--raised through the tender age of infancy and childhood. And throughout this period the Lord insinuated remains, goods and truths stored up within, and these are reserved by the Lord even with the evil (AC 7556), and this in order that there may still be something human left (AC 7560). For the good and truth which have not been adjoined to evils and falsities, are not vastated, but are afterwards brought forth for use (7556), to temper their evil lives, and assure that there is indeed a communication with heaven or the evil, even of those who are in hell (7560).
Spiritual punishments are not purposeless--but aim to lessen a spirits enjoyment of evil and instead give him a faculty of speaking truth and doing good, which faculty is something superadded, as a gift from the Lord; for if evils were taken away from a man without giving him with a faculty or doing good, there would be nothing left in him... (D 1039).
The salvation or the good and the amelioration of the lot or the evil, are both obtained by their introduction into the order of uses.
Despite all appearances to the contrary, the Grand Man of heaven is never harmed by the usurpations of uses by infesting spirits, which takes place especially before a general judgment. Actually this is part of the preparation of good spirits and angels for their places in the Grand Man. If those good spirits had been in no need of vastation, evil could not have had any power to deceive them or usurp their uses.
But a study or the spirits which were actually admitted into the uses of the various organs of the Grand Man or uses, good spirits, forming parts of heaven--will soon convince the reader of the Writings that the Lord--even in heaven--can make use of human material which many people in the world would think unfit for the kingdom of God. This is particularly the case with many spirits whose functions correspond to certain of the abdominal viscera, the office of which is to purify the body and the blood, and also to the province or the skin and the bones.
Spirits serving in the Province or the Bones, for instance, have little spiritual life in them (5560), and when they speak--and they love to talk--they echo the opinions of others. Into such, a state are those reduced who have led an evil life, and yet have had some remains of good stored up in them. These remains make that little of spiritual life, after the vastations of many ages ... By spiritual life is meant the life which the angels in heaven have (AC 556).
The spirits of the Province of the Skin are very external, yet they have charge of the entrance to heaven because of their given perception of the quality of newcomers (5553). Nonetheless they are easily persuaded in matters of spiritual life, and unreasonably obstinate in their opinions when these are confirmed from the literal sense or the Word (5554).
The spirits of the Province of the Bileducts are also useful in preparing novitiate spirits for heaven, but especially in excluding the evil. Their delight is to chastise and in this way to do good. Nor do they abstain from filth! (5185). When punishments are needed, they present themselves and want to direct them--and some have to be threatened before they will stop. Then they are frightened into making almost any promises. Yet they are most stubborn--not so much from evil of life as from natural depravity (5185). When we read of unbidden intruders into some heavenly society being stripped naked and cast out, we might believe that such external zealots as the bile-duct spirits had charge or the operation! (CL 10).
The soul in the body dictates the need or constant purification--a defense against evil and disorder. The charity or preserving the order and usefulness or the Grand Man when this is threatened, is as necessary as is the charity of tolerating evil spirits who perform a use, and accepting even potential devils into the orderly routines of the sphere of use which makes society. And therefore there are purificatory modes even in heaven, which are ministered by such spirits in all the degrees of heaven as are qualified to make discriminating judgments. In the lowest sphere this use is served, among others, by the spirits or the Province of the Kidneys. These wish nothing more than to explore and search out the quality of others; and there are some or them who are eager to chastise and punish, provided there is some justice in the case. Some are indeed fault-finders--heresy-hunters!; and by this desire they communicate with the hells; while by the justness or their cause they communicate with heaven. Some sit as judges in the hells (AC 5381-5384).
These examples may suffice to show that salvation lies in use. This is what gives the order which protects from evils and falsities. And one who has acquired something of spiritual life, can always find a function in the Grand Man--even if he must first be vastated or much or his externals. But an interior progress in the province of his use* is possible--and this by the slow modes or purification. There will never be any scarcity or those who can perform external and protective functions. Regeneration continues therefore for the angels, in whatever Province they may be,--a growth spiritual mercy and in the broad wisdom which can truly see that uses are really performed not by men or angels or spirits, but through them; that uses belong not to the unworthy tool, but are or the Lords Divine Providence--or of the Grand Man.
* And even into more noble provinces ... (D 668, 669).
SITUATION IN THE SPIRITUAL WORLD IN RESPECT TO THE GRAND MAN.
Swedenborg was prepared, without knowing it, for the unique office of a spiritual explorer. The world had no need or yet another prophet to write, by blind dictation, pregnant allegories which he could not understand, or to describe symbolic visions or unknown meaning. The Lord therefore raised up a Swedenborg--a man who had sought for truths of natural experience, sought to learn facts in order to see in them the inner laws and causes the order and the intent.
Swedenborg was therefore--by orderly stages and degrees--intromitted into the spiritual world, that his testimonies in the form of a Divine Revelation, might serve to build anew the waning faith or men, and display the realities of the life after death in a rational, intelligible way.
The Writings therefore may be said to bring the spiritual world before us in a twofold way, or to display it under two aspects.
One aspect we find in the pictures which are drawn of the communities or the other world--of the life or spirits together in what appears as natural environments, in abodes where they perform uses resembling those of men in objective reality, and surrounded by externals--cities, gardens, forests, hills, and skies--such as the world of nature also offers; and such as are necessary for conceiving the sensory life and social communion even of spiritual beings.
The second aspect reveals the inner law and meaning within this objectively coherent spiritual world: and in this interior aspect we become aware how utterly different this world of life is from the world or nature. The laws which govern the phenomenal externals are different in the two worlds. The sequence and meaning of these sensual appearances is entirely different. And this means that as to substance and essence the two worlds are such that they have nothing in common however they may be conjoined by correspondences. And this difference is in general expressed by the statement, that since objects cannot be seen except in space, therefore in the spiritual world ... there appear to be spaces like the spaces on earth; yet they are not spaces but appearances.... Because these cannot be determined in that world by measure, they cannot there be comprehended by any natural idea, but only by a spiritual idea. The spiritual idea of distances of space is the same as distances of good or distances of truth, which are affinities and likenesses according to their states (DLW 7).
Now when Swedenborg was gradually (AC 1972) introduced by the Lord into the spiritual world and his senses were opened to his spiritual environment, these two aspects were presented to him together from the very beginning. The spiritual world was not disclosed to him all at once--heavens above heavens, hells under hells, but his first experience was with groups or spirits, of different types; later, by continued acquaintance and widening contacts, he discerned a certain order and connection amongst these groups; at the same time as isolated spiritual representations bound themselves together into the visioning or broader sights or the abodes or these spirits. It was not with him as with a newly-risen spirit, that he found himself in a perfectly connected spiritual environment. For be was a man, not a spirit, The spirits who at first were with him, were to a large part such spirits as are with men--many of them corporeal spirits, subject to the phantasy that they were still men. These spirits seem to have appeared to him apart from their own environment and were seen as to their personal relationship to Swedenborg--and were therefore seen as if projected into the field of the Seers natural vision or sight-memory.
Gradually Swedenborg began to note certain laws governing their appearance. And being a man, he could do what spirits and angels have no ability to do; viz., to reflect on the contrast between the spiritual and the natural worlds (CL 327, Div. Wis., vii 5). And this reflection, in ever clearer spiritual light, was what prepared him for the reception of a Divine--rational revelation.
Among the laws which he was brought to observe, was this that the place or situation or the spirits which approached him, was dependent on their character. His first notices or the fact are vague, (SD 260, 266), and seem--in a way--phantastic: for he notes, in a matter of fact fashion, that certain spirits were outside and conversed with him; yet some of the same crowd were in the head, either within or without the brain, which--he writes--I was permitted to observe by manifest experience. When those outside were cast down, those who were in the head flowed out, like a kind of sound going out or being expelled from the left ear. From which he concluded that they are both within and without a man, and can to a certain extent exclude the operation or the angels who are operating to give an. endeavor to understand what is good and true (SD 266, dated Nov. 24, o. s., 1747).
Thus he was permitted to think concerning the order or situation or the mansions of one or the heavens--and discerned that their situation was both in a higher sphere and in a lower, reminding him of the orbits in mans brain (D 278), and convincing him that the sphere or vortices of the heavenly mansions, correspond to the parts or man. Afterwards this became confirmedfor certain spirits were round to form the kidneys, others the liver, and the heart, etc, (D. 366-369).
A few months later the Diary makes the revelation That it may be known from the quarters who and of what quality spirits are (n. 696): When spirits and angels act, whether remotely or near at hand, it could be known where they were, or in what quarter, in respect to my race, whichever way it was turned; for directions are taken from the face. Those on the right side obliquely forwards are good, but those who are obliquely to the left are evil. Thus at a distance from the left, below, is Gehenna; forwards a bit to the right is a swamp; below the feet is the lower earth; to the left is hell. Above the head are those who are proud, and who elevate themselves in phantasy; the higher they are, the more inflated are they with haughtiness; and there also are they arranged according to the quarters. Those who love to govern man come to the back, those who punish to the left. But above the head are angels who rule all the rest, and on the right are also angels (n 636, 637).
After this description he adds, Those who are within man are arranged in like manner; especially when they fill the whole man they then protect man against any injuries which threaten him. Those in the head had been observed, but as yet not so that he could know their significance (D 637, cp. A 1115).
Sometimes, he notes, many spirits appeared thus in one space, so that if they were all there, he thought at first that they must be within one another, or must pass through each other (SD 2338). If spirits turned themselves about, they vanish and become invisible, a subterfuge used by the deceitful (D 5531). However, if a number of spirits viewed between them some spirit as an object of their attention, he would not appear from behind one and in front or another, but he would appear no otherwise to one than to another (D 1103).* That is, the spirit would appear to each as racing him! Just as when many people think of the same person!
* (A spiritual law of relativity! in which light would travel in curves!!!)
In the Arcana Coelestia this remarkable spiritual law is further clarified. First of all, it is emissary spirits, which are subjects and representatives and media or whole societies either of heaven or of hell, which came to man and thus appear according to certain situations in relation to mans race and body (AC 4403, 7112:2); whence it follows that the whole orientation or the spiritual world is fixed or determined in a permanent field about him--however he may turn and twist! In no sense is this dependent on natural space, but upon mans spirit, and its state in respect to the whole complex of spiritual states which in the other world is ordered with respect to all mental relations (AC 1274).
And the reason for this does not lie in man. The spiritual cosmos is centered in the Lord, and arranged according to reception of the Lords life. The angels, we read, are at the Lords right hand; on His left are evil spirits; in front are those or a middle kind; at the back are the malignant; above the head are those of a self-exalted spirit who aspire to high things; under the feet are the hells which correspond to those who are on high. Thus all have their situation determined relatively to the Lord; in all directions and at all altitudes, in a horizontal plane and in a vertical one, and in every oblique direction. This kind of ordered situation is constant, and does not vary to eternity (AC 1276).
Spirits, as their states change, alter their positions: the self-exalted, who in phantasy exalt themselves above the Lord, are eventually cast down below the feet; infants and children, as they mature, move from in front towards the sides. Yet the relation to the Lord--as to willing reception of His good of love or as to unwilling submission to His laws of truth--causes the situation or all before this Divine judgment throne (Matth. 25:3).
And because the Lord is omnipresent, it is evident that this description is not a description or the visible spiritual world, with its communities, its Sun (which is the Lords first proceeding), its lands, its heavenly expenses. But it is the description or the spiritual law which operates as the invisible soul within the Grand Man-form or uses, and also within every man-spirit which is created in the image of God. And therefore every man, spirit, or angel is also a center for all the influxes or the Grand Man and even or the Grand Monster--and his spirit turns its face towards the source or his ruling love, in whatever spiritual quarter this may be. Men distant from each other by thousands or miles, may spiritually be together in a spiritual society so as to touch each other, and if they had been like Swedenborg whose internal senses were open, they might even converse together as to their spirits (AC 1216, 1277).
Thus every spirit sees others in the spiritual world in reference to his own ruling love, which for him is the center to which he looks and from which he judges others. Every society in heaven or in hell is therefore seen, in this manner as on the right, on the left, etc., in a certain direction; and also in a certain plane--as in the plane of the knee, or the shoulder, or the back or the head--at any angle of obliquity! And (though our imagination may rail even to reconstruct this description actually), spirits know immediately from these very situations not only to what provinces of the Grand Man the society belongs, but also what the society is: and this in all cases infallibly! More, however, may of course be known by closer acquaintance with the Society (AC 3639).
These are wonderful things, scarce capable of being believed; but yet they are true, writes Swedenborg (D 2335).
To angels, these appearances tell the quality of spirits, infallibly. Yet Swedenborg, at first, was often uncertain. The confusion came from spirits appearing overhead, and in other fallacious positions according to their phantasies; until it was given him to see that there are two kinds of mutations of place in the other life; one being the appearance of the spirit in his real and constant place in the Grand Man; while the other is a fallacious appearance of a spirit in a place where he really is not (AC 1376). Angels see the spirit in his real place. And indeed, eventually all spirits lose the power to be anywhere else.
Certain recently arrived spirits who from natural disposition were dubious refused to believe the testimony of Swedenborg and that or their own experience in this matter of seeing spirits always in relation to their own states and the turning of their interiors to their ruling love. And Swedenborg then said that unless the experience or ones senses be believed, one could not but remain in fallacies. And this warning applies the same with us. We have no visual experience, indeed, in this matter. But we do know that in the field of our minds thoughts, the same law operates. There we turn our backs upon what we dislike, and our face to what agrees with our ruling love.
Nor do we--perhaps fortunately--possess so great a sensitiveness to spiritual spheres as do those in the after-life. Swedenborg as a spirit could actually sense the effects of the influx of spirits into the corresponding organs or his body--as actual sensations. And in certain cases when the influx of spirits was unable to stir up any effect inside his body, but as it were a pulsation upon the outmost skin from the outside, in one case above the heart, Swedenborg concluded that the spirits then active were not in but out of the Grand Man (D 3673).
Spirits in the introductory world or spirits are likened to impure chyle circulating in the serum of the blood in man and such spirits can appear by phantasy in various places (D 2336, A 1381), as it were breaking the law generally in force. But the hells are constant in their situations. They appear beneath man--under foot, in planes in every direction; even though by persuasive and deceptive phantasy some spirits from them may at times appear above the head (A 3640). To angelic vision they are below the feet, and also inverted--as if living in the antipodes of heaven--and are racing away from the Sun or heaven. Their reversal is so complete that their destructive influx acts into man or spirit as if they were from a province or the Grand Man. And from this, we read, it is in some degree manifest how heaven may as it were make a one with hell; or how they may together present a one in situation and position. The choral action or angelic spirits, Swedenborg once noticed, penetrated also toward hell, into which it was continued, insomuch that they appeared as it were to act as a one with the infernals; but the reason was that the good and truth with the angels was by a wonderful turning changed with the infernals into evil and falsity, and this by degrees as it flowed down, where hell acted as a one by persuasions of falsity and by cupidities of evil. That is, the hells, from a different motive, were brought to cooperate with heaven. Notwithstanding that the hells are out of the Grand Man, they are nevertheless in this manner reduced as it were into a one, and thereby are kept in order, according to which are consociations: thus the Lora from His Divine directs the hells also (AC 3641, 9642).
You might wonder how a consistent universe could exist, if--however a spirit may turn--he yet sees a given society in a constant relation to himself, to the left, below; in the plane of the right shoulder, etc.? How can there be any conversation--as there is--between good and evil spirits, or any free social intercourse between those whose ruling loves are the same, and who therefore turn their races always to the same quarter?
The Writings are not oblivious to these problems. A spirit, we gather, may approach an angel from a certain quarter. And even though he come from behind, yet there is the perception exactly whence he comes, and at what spiritual distance his home society is situated. The angels ... see to the sides and at the back, while they turn the face to the Lord; consequently they see to the south, west and north, at the same time as to the east, but--inwardly in themselves. It is as if their sight was all around-- this, too, has been granted to me--for the light from the Lord, with an angel, sends rays in every direction; but still, indistinctly towards the other quarters! (SD 552:8)
They see these other quarters from their interior sight, (H 144), orinwardly in themselves. They are not bound, there, to a world of space and matter.
But when a spirit has approached, and the angel reflects upon the position, this position, we are told, is then sometimes wont to be varied; while yet, by a certain spiritual idea, he knows (the spirits) position relatively to the body (SD 1703-1/2). The spirit is then seen, by direct scrutiny, as we see each other, when in company; and this--we are left to infer--by external spiritual sight, and in the external spiritual environment in which he was (Compare AC 10189).*
* By this internal sight a spirit or angel can project himself into the field of his use--perhaps far away--without leaving his own society--the permanent abode of his ruling love. It is called presence by internal sight (H 121).
For the angels have an internal sight, which is of their mind, and an external sight, which is or their eyes, and since the light or heaven is such, that it simultaneously illuminates both (H 266), they can see with both, as if with their eyes. Their external sight makes one with their ruling love, which sees the Lord--or the East--ever before them, (AC 10189), but their interior sight perceives their entire environment, and measures and judges or alien states that may obtrude, and enables that they may be present both with spirits and men, and thereby perform uses in the Grand Man--in a sense even outside of their own society. It is by this interior sight that they can turn themselves to the quarters, and thereby receive variations of illustration by contact with the field of mens minds (D 5610).
We may see, then, that the arrangement of all spirits and angels with reference to the human body, or according to their province and function and state in the Grand Man of uses, is perfectly fixed and consistent--an order which in no wise interferes with the external life or spirits and angels--or with their freedom or turning and moving about in their own society. It is simply the interior spiritual relationship of uses--which all spirits learn to recognize by instinctive perception or by a spiritual idea: and a spiritual idea always regards others not as persons, but as uses (Div. Love, xii, end). The fact must be realized, however, that in the other world spiritual ideas result in an ever-flowing series or representations and visualized appearances which make mental life into a living experience, infilling their external environment with a richness of meaning of which we on earth can have no conception. The law about the situation and appearance of spirits and angels in planes (horizontal and oblique) about the organs of the body or the beholder in the after-life, is taught in a great profusion of passages throughout the Spiritual Diary and the Arcana Coelestia and also in the Earths of the Universe (which is a republication or extracts from the Arcana); and it is referred to in one solitary passage in the work on Heaven and Hell (n. 332), published at that same time.
It is so much the more astonishing, therefore, to find that all the Writings written after the time or the Last Judgment--with negligible exceptions--no longer employ this mode of describing the situation or spirits, nor give examples of this law or the appearing or spirits according to planes in the Grand Man or of the human bodies, to indicate their quality. We indeed read in the Writings composed in the next fifteen years about the fact that the relation or the quarters to each angelic body is permanent with all whose ruling love has been established; the North being always to the left of an angel, the West behind him, etc. We also read much about the various provinces of the Grand Man. And while these teachings involve the same underlying law, we must infer that there was some reason why the emphasis of doctrine now lies less upon the relation of spirits to Swedenborgs body and more upon the order and life or the communities or angels and spirits which--to the external senses of these spirits and angels--exist in a permanent and objective form, as a scenic environment, with its abodes and tools of use.
It could hardly suffice to point out that the law governing the strange mode of approach or spirits to Swedenborg had by this time grown so familiar as to become almost unnoticed, and instinctively accepted. We could suggest that the real cause may lie in the revolutionary change or state in the spiritual world about the time of the Last Judgment.
Before the Last Judgment, there was confusion even in the borders of heaven. The good and the evil of the Christian Era were mingled in the regions or the lowest heaven, of the corresponding hell and or the world of spirits. Unjudged societies abounded. The evil appeared as highly esteemed, the good were often treated as unworthy. From its social organization no spirit could see the character or a group of spirits. And Swedenborgs contact with these societies was at first mainly by means of subject-spirits sent out from the societies--spirits who appeared to him in situations relative to the human body.
Yet in the Lords view there was an inner order in all this chaos. With reference to Him, all were inwardly connected into an organic web of spiritual uses--or into a Grand Man. And those who had faith in Him had also--in varying measure--a perception, or inward sight, or spiritual idea, whereby they instinctively knew of the relation of an approaching spirit to the provinces or the Grand Man, and the quality of the society from which he came. Therefore it is said, that despite external and false appearances, the quarters of the Grand Man still are permanent to eternity before those who are in faith; for it is impossible for phantasies to effect anything as regards the Grand Man (D 3413). And thus there enters in the spiritual law that the purification of societies is possible when they put on the human form.
Before the final judgment, the only protection lay in seeing this inward order of the Grand Man, and examining the manner and the directions in which spirits approached. But at the time or the impending reorganization of the world or spirits, we read of various nations being arranged in the center of that world and outward according to their light or spiritual intelligence from the Word; and finally, when the cloud or judgment broke, there were mountains in the East which were transferred to the South, and some which sank into the plain; and communities of spirits were broken up and caused to migrate from West to East, etc. And all this resulted in new heavens and a new corresponding order in the spirit-world, an order which even in externals reflected the inner states of the inhabiting spirits and was subservient to the order of the Grand Man.
Thus, after the judgment, there could be a revelation by the Lord through Swedenborg of the ordered states of the spiritual world,--descriptions or the heavens in their order and degrees, and in their objective reality of living creations which are seen to correspond to the ruling loves of those there.
The outer reality and the external aspect or spiritual things take form in appearances of space and time and thus in more glorious replicas of the natural things which we know; for such real appearances or spiritual things are the only perceptual forms or consciousness by which human relations are seen and human uses can be carried on; and into these forms angelic consciousness is determined. In this phase of the spiritual world also, lies the only orderly ultimate or our human thought about the after-life.
But within these permanent--yet changing--worlds which are the ultimates of the ruling loves or the angelic societies, lies the vaster world of Divine Law, which provides the internal connective or the internal force (AC 3627-3628) that bind the heavens together into a Human Organism of uses. That inner world has no appearances of space and time, and can be seen only by a spiritual ideas (D 1703-1/2).
THE CHURCH SPECIFIC AND ITS FUNCTION IN THE GRAND MAN.
There is a well known teaching, that if the Lords church were completely extinguished on the earth, the human race could not at all exist ... For the Church is like the heart; ... from it the human race, even that which is outside the Church, has life (AC 631). The reason for this is, that without the Church there would be no conjunction of mankind with heaven; and if left thus to himself, man-would become worse than a brute and would rush--from insane self-love--into destruction and ruin. It is the presence of heaven and the Lord with man which causes him to live and to be human, But this man does not know (Ibid.).
According to the appearance, man lives from himself. It is of course seen that man depends on others, and is bound up in a visible network of social influences, which resembles an organic form in which man is but a part. Philosophers of all ages have reflected much on this social dependency, and on the responsibilities and moral rights which grow out of it. They frequently have even stressed the need of the Churches as mainsprings of a social consciousness--a stimulus to the effort towards strength and unity, towards idealism, morality and loyalty, towards altruism and order, in a country. And up to recent times, therefore, the institutions of religious life have usually been supported largely from the bounty of the State, by reason of the visible use of the Church as a civilizing agency.
Neither religion or philosophy, however, have gone beyond the visible effects of the teaching and discipline or the Church, in seeing its relation to mankind. But the doctrine of the New Church states what man does not known (because man cannot see what is beyond the border or practical experience); viz., that mankind on earth is governed from the spiritual world and, indeed, is an intrinsic one with the world of spiritual beings which inhabit that realm, so that the human race in both worlds are linked together by invisible organic bonds which can be disclosed only through Revelation.
We have called these bonds organic. For matter is in itself dead, motiveless, and devoid or order. Whenever we recognize something alive, or growing, or something expressing a living conatus and purpose, we know that; a spiritual force is present to express its design or to organize a use. What is spiritual is living from the Lord and is in the conatus towards His human form--which is the truly Spiritual form, the true organic inmostly involved within all uses, great or small, it is this which connects and binds all uses together in ever more perfect images or the human form.
Hence it is that the whole human race on earth is as a body with its parts, wherein the Church is as a heart (AC 637),--a body dependent upon the spiritual world as upon its soul and life. Every part or this body has its connection, with the Soul--or with the heavens; for, as is known, the soul inflows into every part or the body. But the life of the whole body depends on the functioning of the vital organs or heart and lungs. If these should fail, the influx of the soul into the other organs and members would not suffice, but death would set in upon the whole, and with the stopping of the heart and the respiration, the interiors of the whole body would soon grow cold, and the spirit would depart, never to return.
Similarly, the Writings, state, without a Church somewhere on earth the human race could not subsist (A 2853). It is through the Church that those are saved who are outside of the Church (Ib.). Without a Church somewhere in the earth, there is no communication possible of Heaven with man (A 4423); wherefore, when any Church has reached its consummation, and is no longer in the faith of charity, a new Church is of the Divine Providence raised up, to make conjunction with. heaven possible. Thus Noah was called with his sons when the Most Ancient Church decayed, and later Abraham at the close of the Ancient Church; and when the Jewish Church fell, the Lord raised the Christian Church; and this is now to be displaced by the New Church called the New Jerusalem. The last of the Church with one nation is always the first of the Church with another (4901:4).
From the experience of history, it may indeed be confirmed that these successive churches have all exerted a certain influence upon the world around them. The Ancient Church ramified far and wide, and its truths and ways of life indeed were inscribed upon most of the races of the earth. It was truly a heart and lungs for mankind. The Christian Church also--especially in the days of its decadence--has extended its influence upon many peoples, perhaps almost all! Yet of the Jewish Church this cannot be said, nor--as yet--of the New Church. The human race has been dispersed over islands and continents which cannot be supposed always to have been interlinked by contacts of commerce, even if it be granted that in Christian times there grew up, by the Divine Providence of the Lord ... a universal commerce of the nations of Europe (and chiefly of those were the Word is read) with the nations out of the Church (S 108).
Yet the Writings do not make the use of a Church as the heart and lungs of the race, conditional upon a universal contact with all peoples of the globe (A 104). A church may be confined to one race, or be among a few only, and yet perform that function--for it is a spiritual function which is performed in its fullest extent only in the spiritual world.
Before we go further, however, it is necessary to examine what is said of the relation of the Church to the race. The Church, as heart and lungs or as to its inmost (E 318:3), is not the visible or institutional organization of the church; thus it is not where the Word is and the Lord is known; but the Church Specific is only from those who at heart acknowledge the Lords Divine, and who learn truths from the Lord through the Word, and do them; the rest do not constitute the Church (E 388). Through the Word, those who compose the Church Specific have direct communication with heaven (A 41892), and thus the nearest conjunction with the Lord, and are in direct good while living in the world, because they are in truths Divine (A 4197:2).
The body which the Church Specific serves is not strictly the human race as a whole, but is composed only of those men who are parts of the Lords universal kingdom, or the Church Universal. All except the wicked, all who are salvable--children and adults--compose this Universal Church. But those outside are only remotely conjoined with heaven. Thus Gentiles have no direct good, because no truths Divine direct from the Divine fountain (that is, from the Word) (A 4187); they have only good that is aside or collateral good.
There is no nation or people with whom there is not something both of good and of truth. We cannot think but that every race has had at least something of an indirect contact with the Most Ancient or the Ancient Churches, and thus some remnant of religious knowledge or perception. And thus some external truths, same laws of worship and conduct widely various are present with them as a rule of life,--laws which the wise amongst them observe not only in the external form but also is the internal. The Lord also insinuates the good or remains in all human beings, and this leads not only to innocence, but to natural good and moral good, and to a species of conscience, and thus to mutual charity and obedience.
The ignorance and gross fallacy and the sometimes revolting practices which are present in gentile regions, must therefore not blind us to the fact that within these veils of their minds there can still be present a conscience of what is just and right, which is a ground of salvation and a basis of heavenly influx. But such salvation cannot come in this world--if they remain gentile. Nor can it come from the evolution or development of the truths which these nations possess, it must come from instruction, and--in the ether life.
The uses of the Specific Church, which are so limited and circumscribed by geographical and material aspects here on earth, are therefore extended into the spiritual world, where no such obstacles impede. There, as here, those uses are rounded on the possession of the Word and the knowledge of the Lord; and are--in general--two. The first is Worship and this implies the life of purification and regeneration. The second is instruction or evangelization. Both these uses affect the gentile nations in the spiritual world, and this not only from the Church in the spiritual world, but from the Church in this world.
Indeed, when we speak or the spiritual uses of the Church on earth, we really refer to the souls or men and the changes or their spiritual state and their position relatively to each other in the spiritual world; to their judgment and their progress through the societies or the other world.
A man enters into the Specific Church of the Lord by repentance and reformation, by progressive regeneration and periodic purification from falsities and evils. And since all this can take place only by the light of the Word, therefore those from the Specific Church are set apart in the afterlife in a central position in the spiritual world, according to the light which they enjoy from the Word. Christians among whom the Word is read, i. e., Protestants, constitute the breast of the Grand Man of the Lords kingdom (S 105). Indeed their societies--according to nations--Swedenborg testifies, were seen as in the midst of all spirits; and around them, in widening circuits more and more remote, are arranged the Papists, then the Mohammedans, then the Africans, and finally the rest of the peoples of Asia and the Indies. And we may note the teaching that all who are in the Grand Man also look towards the middle region where the Christians are (Ibid.).
The light or heaven is from the Lord a the Word, the Divine Truth. Those who read the Word are in the greatest spiritual light; and from the center, where these are, the light extends itself around, into all circumferences, even to the outermost; and hence there is an enlightenment of nations and peoples out of the Church, through the Word (S 106); which is likened to the purification of the blood in the lungs, and its outpouring to the furthest circumferences of the body-tissues.
Even as all organs and tissues live from the functions of heart and lungs, so all in the whole earth who constitute the Church Universal, live from the Church where the Word is.... This diffusion of light is effected in heaven by the Lord, and what is done in heaven flows also into the minds of men, for the minds of men make one with the minds of spirits and angels (E 351).
The quality and quantity of the blood determines the state of health in the various tissues, and it is not beyond a student to trace out the actual pathways by which the blood is distributed. Here, however, we meet with a spiritual communication through the Grand Man, which is more difficult to understand. And in attempting to do so, it must ever be borne in mind that spiritual light does not pass through spaces, like the light of the world, but through the affections and perceptions of truth, thus in an instant to the last limits of the heavens. From these (affections and perceptions) arise the appearances of spaces in the spiritual world (C. J. 14).
It is also necessary to know what spiritual light effects. It does not teach, gives no new knowledge. But it opens in man or spirit the faculty of understanding truths, insofar as their religions allow them to be receptive (C. J. 14).
A further reflection is needful. The Lord does not form the mind of a man immediately, or from within, but merely maintains each man in spiritual freedom; and all formations of the mind come about through his environment, natural and spiritual, i. e., by means of his contact with others, and thus through his place in the Grand Man of the human race.
Finally, it must be remembered that spirits in the other life continue to be associated with those of their own kind in this world--and especially with those of the religion or genius whence they sprung--and this applies even to those who die in infancy, Christians form Christian Heavens--Mohammedans theirs, Africans theirs. But as to universal uses, all these groups ale dependent upon each other, knit into a common Human Form, in which all contribute to the common good, and are centers of special uses. Each province of the Grand Man modifies and passes on the influx which it receives.
Perhaps the most easily comprehended function of the nations of the Church Specific is that of serving as the means of judgment. So long as the Church in the midst of the world of spirits performs the work of regeneration, so long their societies are in order, and the judgment of recently arrived spirits, i. e., the separation of the good and the evil, is a continuous and normal process. All new spirits entering that world come--we are told--as it were by a road from the north, which terminates in this center (T 160); and this may mean that they enter into the light of truth at once sufficiently to see the direction of their love and genius and capacity, and find their place--in whatever quarter this may be and however remotely. Certainly the arrangement of those in the circumfercences follows according to the order in which those are who are in the center (E 651e); and equally certain it is that this finding of their quarter is instinctive--in that no instruction is needed.
This seems to be the reason why, before a Last Judgment when confusion has arisen in the world of spirits and in the lower heavens, the first preparation for judgment consists in the ordination of the heavens; and this is followed by the arrangement of the nations of the Church in the world of spirits according to their light from the Word--the inmost or most central of all being those who, from the Word, have the most interior intellectual light (J 48, 58, J post., 2, 126, 176; C. J, 40, T. 807). Nor was this arrangement completed for a long time (J. Post. 178).
Yet it appears from the Writings that the formation of the New Heaven began by a separation and collection of those of the Reformed Christians (or Protestants) who were in goods and truths of doctrine from the Word, before the Judgment; and that this was accompanied by a clearer enlightenment and a truer order within the Christian center or middle in the world of spirits--the region which represented the heart and lungs, the Church specific. And it is stated that this new light in the middle region caused the judgment to begin upon the Papists, or Babylonians, round about. For when the center is new, there is at the same time something new produced in the circumferences.... The Divine light propagates itself ... to the circumferences, and reduces the things that are there also into order (R 631).
It was in the middle-space, where were those truly Christian, that Swedenborg found, in the very midst, the New Jerusalem, four square, (SD 5471)--the kernel or nucleus of the New Church to be! But little mention is made of it--then, in the midst of the Judgment. It was as yet a submerged remnant, souls under the alter, living on and about a hill in the lower earth (D 5347), and surrounded, above and below and around, by evil and false spirits. Its part in the judgment does not appear in the description. Yet somehow, was not this the center of light? the heart and lungs? the Church Specific within the world of spirits, the axle of the Grand Man, the medium by which the already partly formed new heavens of the Christian ages could communicate with the remnant of the Specific Church on earth?
This is true. It was, however, not from this submerged remnant in the world or spirits that the judgment commenced, but from the already forming Christian heavens, which were connected by influx with that unseparated nucleus in the s. c. lower earth. After the judgment, the use of the liberated New Jerusalem just spoken of could commence; but not before. The Christian heavens, formed in preparation for the judgment, were a source of light, however, and this even to the distant gentiles.
Therefore, months before the Last Judgment broke forth, Swedenborg witnessed a state of great expectancy among the spirits from Africa. These spirits were seen not only to be the best among the gentiles, but to have a greater faculty for interior and more spiritual thought than all others. They were found by Swedenborg to be awaiting a revelation from heaven; and indeed their instructors were actually taught by angels from the Christian heavens, shout the heavenly doctrine concerning the Lord, which they then began to relay to their people. It was seen that they were mole receptive of the Heavenly Doctrine than any others on this earth. And the angels rejoiced that the Lords Advent is now at hand, and that the Church which now perishes in Europe, will be established in Africa, and that this will take place from the Lord alone through revelations, and not through emissaries from Christians (SD 4777, J. Post. 118). They were also premised a Bible, but a new Bible, from the Lord. And after the judgment has passed over these gentiles, causing considerable reordering according to quarters, Swedenborg with angelic escort, no doubt, again visits the spiritual Africa, (despite the fact that Europeans were not admitted amongst them). And he reports that they received the Word and read it with a growing sense of its holiness and of its spiritual sense. Their instructors professed already possessing the Word, and having dictated it--as the Lord guided them--to men in Africa with whom they were in communication. And afterwards some of the Writings--Heaven and Hell, Earths in the Universe, Last Judgment, White Horse and the Heavenly Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, all fresh from the press in London--were given them, that they might take thence the things which they considered of use! (D 5946).
Let us note the procedure: The gentiles were not taught by the Christian missionaries, but by instructors who received their doctrine from those Christian heavens, which had been formed at the same time that Swedenborg on earth was being given the spiritual sense--from the ultimate Word, in the Arcana. And later, after the judgment, the Christian heavens (of which Swedenborg undoubtedly was a member) gave to the Africans the actual books of the Writings, and this for an eclectic use--i. e, that they may use therefrom what was adapted to their state and need without injury toward their former faith.
The diffusion or light from the Church Specific is thus effected by the Lord in heaven, and thus by means of angels. It is therefore said that the Lord made His Advent to the Africans through angels who teach (J. post. n. 118), or through Revelations from heaven. And Revelations thus took place in both worlds (E 641:3), at the same time, although in different manner and to different peoples.
This was done, however, on the basis of the Word which was read in the Christian world on earth. For it is from the Word that the angels of the heavens receive their light of thought. And the Church is on this account called the foundation of heaven. When the church decays and the literal sense of Revelation is perverted by falsities of evil, the angels are said to lament, because their own mental light grows somnolent (AC 4060:4, R 645, Coro. 19:6). And the Lord then revealed the interior meaning of the word form Himself out of heaven, both to Swedenborg, on earth, and to those receptive of it in the other life; and while few in the Christian world received the Heavenly Doctrine, the Gentiles in the other world did receive. And this was in accord with a rule that has not yet failed: that a new Church is seldom, if ever, established with the men or the former church (AC 2910, 9407, etc.).
Whether this spiritual renaissance among the Gentiles in the other world means a transfer of the New Jerusalem, as the spiritual center or middle region, to the Africa of the other world, and a consequent reorientation of the Grand Man around a new heart and new lungs, we cannot say. Certainly, there is never any violent or sudden transfer. The Grand Man of heaven and the church must live through the crises. The vital uses of the heart and the lungs must go and on the basis of the church on earth where the Word exists in its ultimate power and fullness; and at present this still means, with the white race.
To provide for the continuity of this function, the Lord makes His Advent and performs His judgment before the former church is entirely destroyed. Unless the Church should come to an end before its time, it would altogether perish (R 4). Not in the night, but at eventide it shall be Light,--before the remnant which can receive the Heavenly Doctrine is exhausted. The Lord therefore made His new Revelation, to the end that the Christian Church, which is founded upon the Word, and is now at its end, may again revive and draw breath through heaven from the Lord (CL 532). It is a remnant in Christendom, which, by breathing the air of the new revelation, can gradually take on the functions of the heart and the Lungs for the Church Universal. The New Church will at first be among a few, and afterwards will spread on earth with the scattered remnants and wherever there are receptive gentile states, among young and old, white or colored. Always, however there will be those in ignorance who will belong to the Church Universal. And even as the Last Judgment in the spiritual world was made possible an the basis of the Word with the Specific Church, so that judgment has been extended and continued by the truths disseminated by the New Church since 1757. Old dogmas have fallen, faltering faith--here and there within the Christian world--has been strengthened by rational thoughts emanating from the New Church. Yet the old church has drifted, as a whole, into ever grosser denials and into greater externalism.
But New Churchmen have asked, What then are the promised effects or the Second Advent? Is there not an increased influx now from the new heavens inwardly into mens minds? Are not the various churches or Christendom being made new in secret, unconsciously trending toward the New Jerusalem--and this without the help of the doctrines of the New Church?
Such vain wish-thoughts are overruled by the Writings themselves. Still it is true that the new heavens not only serve to inspire and strengthen the Specific New Church, but alsoin proportion to their growth in the spiritual world--the way is opened for the New Church on earth to grow in numbers! As this new heaven ... increases, so far ... the New Church comes down from that heaven (T 784). And what could this mean, except that there is an opening of the perceptive faculty of those in the Church Universal on earth proportionate to the diffusion or light from the new heavens into the world of spirits?
Certain strange statements are made in the Writings about the relation of African spirits to those on earth; which has led many to believe that the New Church doctrine was being given, at Swedenborgs time, to Africans on earth, by actual oral communion with spirits. Indeed, it is stated that these doctrines are orally dictated by angelic spirits to the inhabitants of that district (telluris) (C. J. 76). Again, at this day some speak with (certain) Africans in the world, instructing them orally; this speech falls with them into their interior perception, and they perceive the influx, and thus receive revelations with illustration and that it is such a speech as takes place with their instructors... (J. Post. 124).
There is some difficulty in determining whether it is actually in our natural world or in the world or continent of the spiritual realm (the world of spirits), that this revelation takes place; for the context of the original notes is somewhat confusing. The last sentence, however, points to the possibility that the oral speech of the angelic spirits is not perceived as dictation. For it is not so with the angelic teaching which--in spiritual Africareaches the instructors this is not effected by speech, but by interior perception (SD 5946:2).
Allowing for the possibility that in central Africa there may yet be tribes whose prophets might be effected by some sort of perceptive illustration, even as the various races upon the earths in the universe do have various kinds of intercourse with guiding spirits; yet this does not mean that the knowledge of the Heavenly Doctrine is actually theirs, as is the ease with those in the spiritual Africa, to whom the Writings were actually givens Nor does it mean that other races on earth which are not of a celestial genius could be conscious of any influx from the new heavens.
What is clearly true, however, is that after the Last Judgment the man of the Specific Church can, from restored liberty, better perceive truths if he will; and that these truths are revealed in the new Doctrine. And the man of the Church Universal profits by this: in the other life, by instruction from heaven; and in this life, by the influx of life through the spiritual world, which is now orderly; and by the direct promulgation--when and if it reaches him--of the Word and the Heavenly Doctrine, which he may then receive without the false interpretations imposed by a decadent Church.
For it is essential that the life-blood or the Grand Man (which is the Divine Truth of the Word) shall reach into all its tissues unperverted. Hence, when the Lungs begin to fail and he Heart to be diseased, the blood must be sent up into the brain, and be purified on the way. In the brain the spiritual essence of this blood is extracted, and thence this spiritual essence is diffused--flashing to all parts of the body through the ray-like fibres, and at the same time pouring its energizing spirit into the blood and the heart and the lungs, that these may give life to the body by supplying actual nourishment.
This is the pregnant story of the failing Church, of the Last Judgment and of the effect of Divine Revelation and the consequent functions of the new Heavens and of the Church Specifics!
THE ARCANA OF THE HEAVENLY MARRLAGE
When the Lord told the sensual minded Sadducees that in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given into marriage, but are as the angels ... in heaven, being sons of God,* it was a warning--to us as well as to them--lest we introduce gross corporeal ideas into our thought about heavenly life. And, taken in its internal sense, these words teach that no belated conjunction between charity and faith can commence after death, but that unless a man, like the wise virgins, provide the oil of charity in his lamp of faith, he will be shut out from the wedding. That only the sons of God are, worthy for heaven, suggests the nature of that other, purely spiritual marriage relation, the offspring of which people the heavens.
* Matt. xxii. 23-32, Mark xii. 18-27, Lu. xx. 27-38; CL 41.
In the effort to understand what The Writings teach concerning the heavenly marriage, which is a mutual conjunction of good and truth, and which is given as the origin, not only of the love that is truly conjugial, but of all conjunctions, affinities, and relationships in both worlds, even down to the chemical affinities of matter, it is important to acknowledge that our conceptions of the qualities of the higher must not be patterned upon our ideas of the lower. Thus we must not measure human faculties by the powers of the animals, or think of the spirit in terms which can describe only the body. So also, while it is indeed true that the beginnings of time and of space are from God--from His eternity and His immensity--yet in God there is nothing of space or of time (TCR 31, 27).
For a similar reason, we are required to think of the Lords Person from His Essence, which is infinite Love and infinite Wisdom (AR 611); thus not as if He were a mere Man or even a supreme Angel, but as Divine love in human form. His essence is love itself and wisdom itself; and since in Him these are not two, but one, it is said that The Lord is the marriage itself of truth and good; and of good and truth (AC 2588). From this state of the unition of the Lords Divine Spiritual in His Divine Celestial which is the Divine marriage there descends the heavenly marriage, which is the Lords kingdom in the heavens and an earth, and thus all conjugial love, and through this all celestial and spiritual love (AC 2018).
As we see from these teachings The Divine marriage is distinguished from the heavenly marriage, and the Divine marriage is further defined as the union of the Divine of the Lord with His Human, and of His Human with His Divine, which is the union of the Father and the Son in the one God (AC 2649, 3960, 3952). The inadequate word marriage is here used; but in a unique sense. Human language fails, get some word must be chosen, and this one at least bears a correspondence. If truths from a Divine origin--such as the arcana concerning Godwere set forth nakedly, they would never be received, but would altogether transcend mans comprehension and belief.... Some idea from worldly things, or analogous to these, must always adhere so that they can be retained and reproduced in the thought (AC 2520). But it behooves man to see beyond the symbol and dwell on the universal idea within it.
The Divine marriage of the Divine Human and the Divine itself in the Lord was one with the process of the Lords glorification, which took place when He was on earth. But it cannot be denied that there was a Divine union of good and of truth in the Lord, even from eternity, before the world was; even as we, must conceive of the Divine Trine of love, wisdom, and use, or of the Divine itself, the Divine Human, and the Divine Proceeding, as existing before the Lords Advent or before the existence of the Trinity of Father, son, and Holy Spirit (AE 1112:3). But this external union of good and truth in God, was revealed by the Lords descent into the world; it was displayed as a process taking place in time, so that men might comprehend the order of life. Good and truth are utterly one in God. But when the Divine proceeds into created things, there appears a distinctionas if they were receive separately. And somewhat as light may be seen refracted into colors in a prism, so the Divine Truth, or the Logos-Word by which the world was made, descended into the flesh to be re-united to the Divine Good by the Glorification of the Human.
This descent of the Divine Truth into the world of human life began in the days of the celestial church His goings forth are from of old, from the days of eternity (Mic. V. 2). And it was effected by a gradual accommodation of the infinite truth, or by its veiling in human appearances. The Word was first revealed simply in terms of the order of celestial affections, in men and angels who were not under the yoke of hereditary evils, but whose rational degree was formed immediately from within and not, through the arduous discipline of sense-experience (AC 1902). But after the Fall, the Divine truth was constrained to adapt itself in less subtle and more remote veilings--and to reveal itself in the representative things of the written Word, thus in interior-natural or spiritual appearances such as mark the thought of the spiritual heavens. And finally--when spiritual thought vanished on earth--the Word descended further and was present with men in its purity only in the order of representative rites and external acts, that is, only in the sensual symbolism which utterly veiled its meaning and its purpose, as was the case in the world in the ages immediately before the Lords Advent.
This descent of the Divine Truth before the Advent was in a manner a clothing--or involution of the proceeding Word in adaptation to the declining states of the human race. This clothing was not a permanent or final embodiment. It was prophetic, as the seed of a tree is prophetic of the tree. It is said, therefore, that the Lord before the Advent did not have a Divine Rational or a Divine Natural except by influx into the angelic heavens and by His representative Human which was His presence in angelic and human appearances (9 Q). It is further said that when the Lord, at last, was born on earth, in a body of material nature, He assumed all these representative things of the Word and of the heavens as knowledge, until He was Truth Divine incarnate, both as to mind and body, or the incarnate WORD. His Divine Soul was the Divine Good itself, or Jehovah, called the Father. His body and mindcalled the Sonwere Truth Divine. And the process by which there came about the union of these two, was one of an evolution, an unveiling and discarding of the appearancessensual, natural, and rational--which had been borrowed from the finite planes of the heavens and thus from the planes on which finite human life was carried on; the result being, that the Lord saw--on each plane--in an infinite and omniscient way, what men and angels had seen finitely. In Him, the Divine Truth was therefore seen as one with the Divine Good, and by this perception all limitations fell away and He--as to the Divine Good of the Human essence--was united into an identity with the Divine essence, or the Divine Good. This was the Divine marriage, from which the Holy Spirit--the Divine truth proceeding infinitely from the Divine Human or the Divine Natural--comes forth as if by a Divine generation. In this marriage and in that generation, nothing material, nothing merely human, has any part or function: no angelic medium could be utilized, nor did Mary the mother have anything to do with these Divine events.
For if we should dare to make analogies, the Divine Good was at once the Father and the Soul of the Divine Man; and the holy Body of Divine Truth--which was the Son--received this Soul and thus exercised the only maternal function. We may here see a universal which is above and beyond the analogy of marriage, yet applies to all life: namely, that the original from which the paternal function: descends, is the Soul, while the universal function of the body is maternal. But because this Divine Truth was the very form of the Divine Good, it is taught that the Lord was not only conceived by Jehovah but, by glorification, was also born of Jehovah (AC 2628, 2649, 2798). Hence His Body, to which the bread of the Holy Supper corresponds, is Divine Good.
It could hardly be overemphasized that there is a sharp distinction between the marriage relation--even the heavenly marriageand that union with the Divine which is the origin and thus the prototypethe law, the universal--from which lower conjunctions are as it were patterned, and from which their general or common features and the order of the processes which they display, are derived. The distinction is not only sharp, or discrete, but it is infinite.
It is therefore of utmost importance to note that the masculine and the feminine arise only in finite creation. It would be monstrous and profane to try to introduce into our idea of the Divine Human any notion of some combination of a masculine Divine and a feminine Divine. For the Lord is alone the Active itself, the agent or living force (D. 3419). There is nothing passive in His essence. The Divine Wisdom is not passive to His Love.
Male and female are both only vessels receptive of life, created vessels entirely passive in themselves. The Lordas the Only Active--inflows into these vessels variously in accommodation to their variant forms, and makes them act out--as from themselves--the ends of His Providence. To the male sex He gives the function of furnishing new vessels for the transmission of His life to new generations. The conception of a man from his father is not a conception of life, but only a conception of the first and purest form receptive of life, to which, as to a stamen or starting-point (initiamento), are successively added, in the womb (of the mother), substances and matters in forms adapted to the reception of life, in their order and degree (DLW 6). That the first form is a spiritual substance, and that it is called the soul, of the offspring, does not change, the fact that the earthly father is a father only in respect to lifes coverings, which is the body (DP 330). Thus human paternity, in the deeper sense and in the last analysis, is merely a maternal function; and therefore you can truly call no man your father upon earth; for One is your Father, who is in heaven (Matt. xxiii. 9).
When the Lord, therefore, is called the heavenly Father, and when He was born on earth as the Son of God, in masculine form; it confers upon the male sex no special dignity as being more fully formed in the image of God! For as respects God, both men and women age only instruments in His hands to clothe and transmit His life.
From the Divine marriage which is in the Lord, there descends the heavenly marriage which is the Lords kingdom. For the Divine marriage of good and truth inflows into all created things. It proceeds as a One, good and truth in unity, but man receives truth, because truth is in the light of the understanding, and be is conscious of it, appropriating it to himself as his own, not seeing the influx (CL 122). But although man cannot grasp good as of himself, (because good is not seen by him, but only vaguely felt), yet the Lord adjoins good to the truth if he applies this truth to use, by willing to think and live wisely (CL 123).
On this account, the Lord is called the Bridegroom and Husband and the Church is called the Bride and Wife. The Lord as to Divine good is the Bridegroom, and the Church in both worlds is called the Bride because it receives the Lords influx of good in the Divine truths which are from Him. It is as if the Divine marriage was reenacted within man, and from this flow the states of reception or of the conjunction of mans will and mans understanding, which are the heavenly marriage, or the Lords kingdom. For no states which are not conjunctions of good and truth are of the Lords kingdom.
The Church is represented as the Bride or Wife because it receives the Divine truth, through the Word. The Word is therefore compared to seed which is sown. Indeed, the Divine truth comes to the man of the Church clothed in appearances--its essence, or internal Spirit, being veiled. It comes in the form of the sense of the Letter; and this is a seed which--if it is to be fruitful--must fall into the good ground and as it were die--before it can have the power to quicken new life. Mans mind must receive this seed as into a womb, receive it tenderly as if every word was holy and a nourishment for the soul. When man reads the Word with this sense of sanctity, the angels attend and see the spiritual and the celestial senses, and imprint the contents of these senses upon the interiors--the unconscious interiors--of mans understanding and will. Each heaven--and each degree opened in mansuccessively take own truth and their own good from what is in mans conscious thought, unravelling the interior meaning, with the delights that are contained therein. And in this elevation, fallacies and appearances are discarded until the end of good is discerned within the truth that is received.
In the Arcana Coelestia, it is shown in many places that the truths which are implanted in the memory through eight or hearing, are drawn up into active thought during mans regeneration; but only those which are loved become of the will, and thence bear fruit in life (10057:3), or commence a new circle of life, a new generation. So, also, the reception of the seed is not complete unless an ovum is prepared for it. Then only can conception take place, and a new individual soul commence.
Now, in the mind of man there is a faculty which answers to the receptive ovum, or egg-cell. It is the Rational, which is in the inmosts of the natural mind, and is made possible by the implantation by the Lord of certain loan-states, called Remains of celestial and spiritual good. These remains allow the child, and later the man, to see his experiences in a light other than that of his own selfish wishes and conceits. Just like the ovary, the Rational is slow to mature. But when it does it has the power to see the ends of good within the truths it hears or reads. And when the state is ripe, it can recognize the truth for which it is waiting, can conceive its intent and its powers, and be quickened thereby into new being. The Arcana, speaking of the starting-point of a mans regeneration, uses the following words:
The new soul which then receives is the end of good, which commences in the rational, at first as in an ovum there, and afterwards is there perfected as in a womb; the tender body with which this soul is encompassed is the natural and the good therein, which becomes such as to obediently in accordance with the ends of the (new soul); the truths therein are like the fibres in the body, for truths are formed from good... (AC 3570).
Truths, become as it were woven into a body of faith (AC 8530, T 38). And the source of these truths are the Church outside of man. The Church is in a wider sense the mother, the spiritual womb, which protects and nourishes the regenerating states of its individuals. It extends like tenderly restraining membranes--in guarding spheres of charity and concern and friendship which are bound up with the mutual love and worship of the celestial kingdom. It feeds the spirit of its offspring with fruits of its own gatheringwith its life-blood of truth, its doctrine and traditional points-of-view, surcharged with the revealed truth as humanly received. And at this first period, of womb-life, the new spirit of the regenerating man wholly depends upon the Churchs judgment of what doctrinal truth is. For his own spiritual lungs are not yet opened, and he is unable to sift the truths he hears from the dross of fallacy.
This period of spiritual gestation is therefore sometimes, identified with the period called Reformation, which is preparatory to the state of Regeneration itself. For man is spiritually born only so far as his faith is not taken from that of others, but is imbibed from the free air of heaven itself, that is, is seen in the Word, not in the light of others, but in the light of truth itself. Before this is the case, his will and his understanding are not conjoined, his spiritual lungs do not cooperate freely for the purification of the hearts blood. The birth of his spirit is therefore attended, first, by a certain separation from states which he has borrowed from the sphere of the Church, and which he has used, yet never appropriated; and, secondly, by an assumption of the responsibility and the sense of an individual spiritual existence in which he applies to uses the truths of charity which he perceives; and this even though he continues still to suckle at the breast of his spiritual mother.
The new will and the new understanding are already being formed within the embryonic spirit, in the period of Reformation. And, if you will believe, the Writings add, by such a process man becomes a new man; not only is a new will given to him, and a new understanding, but also a new body for his spirit. The former things are not indeed abolished, but are removed so that they do not appear; while, in the regenerate, new things are formed, as it were in a womb, by means of love and wisdom, which are the Lord... (Div. Wis. iv. end).
The marriage of the Lord and the Church thus produces, as its offspring, new regenerate minds, spirits who are adopted as children of God. It is these who constitute the kingdom of the heavens, and who compose together a maximus homo or a grand human form of uses. This kingdom is, in one aspect, the Church as the Bride and Wife which receives the Divine truth and brings forth spiritual offspring, which are states of good and of truth. But these expressions are adequate to describein correspondences and analogiesonly a phase of its uses. The thought about the Church, or about the Grand Man must not rest in any physical analogies. This is clearly indicated by the frequent teaching that both the sets of organs which differentiate the two sexes, are represented by corresponding provinces in that Grand Man, orproperlyGrand Human (AC 5052 et seq., 5060, E 985, D 875, 3152, De Conj. 100). Those angels who belong to these provinces, are most interior, mostly of the third heaventhat of Innocenceand are in the heavenly marriage of good and truth more than others (D 6051e, E 985:2).
To divorce our ideas from space and various other preconceptions, and help us to understand that the Grand Man must be thought of spiritually, and can be seen under various aspects, we sometimes are presented with t he statement that the whole human race constitutes a Grand Body in which the wicked are present as diseased or bad parts somehow adjoined to it (T 119, D 1711). At other times, we read of the hells constituting by themselves a Grand Monster (p. 293, T 32, 68). Heavenwith the Churchis also compared to the Body of God which lives from Him as the body does from the soul (D 1710, Inv. 28, T 379, 608, 719, W. 24, etc.). But when this is said, it is shown by the context that this Divine Body is the Divine of Use proceeding from the Lord, and consists not of persons but of the functions or uses in which the angels are, taken in the abstract. This is the Divine which makes heaven, and when the angels in finite measure fill out the Divine patter of uses, they are in the Lord, or in His Body (Div. Love xiii).
The doctrine that the Church in heaven and on earth constitutes a mystical Body of Christ, originates from the Pauline epistles, where the faithful are called the members of this Divine Body (I Cor. 6:15, 12:5, 12, 27; Rom. 13:5; Eph. 1:23, 4:12, 25, 5:23, 30). The Writings quote and refer to this doctrine with approval as the basis on which Christians could be brought to the more exact and philosophical concept of the Grand Man given for the New Church.
Paul does not distinguish between the two aspects of this Grand Man; and therefore the Writings do not always do so. This has led some clergymen and laymen to say and believe that the angels must also be Divine, if they together make up the Divine Body.*
* See The Hague Position, by the Rev. Albert Bjorck, 1933, pp. 19, 20; and the review in New Church Life, 1934, p. 17.
But if we examine carefully the teaching on which this fatal conclusion is based we find that it only states that the Divine things that make the angels ... to be angels, are, when taken together, God (E 1096). This Divine which makes heaven is the Divine proceeding therein and it is the Divine Human, wholly infinite and wholly Divine; while the Grand man, so far as it is regarded as the sum total of angelic reception, is finite and limited.
It should therefore be clear that it is as to reception that the Church is called the Bride of God, the Wife of the Lamb. And the Grand Man in this respect is indeed the eternal feminine in its supreme sense. This is not Divine, but is the human reciprocation founded in the appearance that life is in man and in the consequent as-of-itself response. Human response comes from the reception of Divine truthfor it is in and from truth that man has consciousness and can reciprocate the love of God.
In the individual, the conjunction of good and truth is progressive, and yields, as its offspring, new states of faith and of charity, of wisdom and of use, in ever-coming generations; which in turnby new marriagescause the angelic mind to grow and become enriched to eternity; yet all such conjunctions are based upon those parent-states which were formed here on earth.
But we learn from the Arcana that the heavenly marriages which take place within the mind are not conjunctions between goods and truths which are both of the same degree (AC 3952). There are other relations among the states within the mind than those which can become truly conjugial partners. There are relations, also, like that of sister and brotherblood-relations; on which account natural good and natural truth are frequently represented in the Word by two brothers, or by a brother and a sister. And a natural good, as, for instance, the temperamental inclination to take pleasure in study and reading, may be associated with a great deal of knowledgeor natural truth. But this does not make a heavenly marriage; the likelihood being that delights of self will conjoin themselves with the knowledge of truth, and turn it into conceit of opinion, and that a merely natural pleasure of reading will turn to falsities instead of truths. In order to bring about a heavenly marriage, and thereby an advance in state, a spiritual affection of truth must inflow and motivate the natural curiosity, so that the knowledge of truth may be courted and won and wed and ennobled and become spiritually fruitful by producing states which conjoin the natural man with the spiritual! (AC 3952).
The heavenly marriage can therefore be established only between goods and truths of two degrees, as between the good of the natural and the truth of the spiritual, or between the good of the spiritual man and the truth of the celestial man; yea, between the good of the celestial man and the truth Divine which proceeds from the Lord; and thus, supremely, between the good of the Divine Human and the Divine itself which is called the Father (AC 3952). The heavenly marriage is therefore sometimes described as the conjunction of the spiritual man with the natural man (AC 3971e).
These are among the arcana of the heavenly marriage. And they manifest the true purpose of earthly marriage, also. For the origin of love truly conjugial is from the marriage of good and truth (CL 83-102). This must be within the minds of the two partners, if they, together, are to progress in the life of regeneration, which is never fully entered into except in a state of true marriage. The love of evil and falsity, which is the internal of the love of adultery, cannot be converted and changed into spiritual love ... except by the marriage of good and truth from the Lord, and not fully except by the marriage of two minds and two bodies! (AE 984:3).
Neither man alone, nor woman alone, can present the image and likeness of God. Husband and wife together represent a Church; and may be a Church, if the Church is in them. Paul as in grievous error when he said that as the Lord is the head of the Church, so the husband was the head of the wife. For the husband does not represent, and certainly does not correspond to the Lord. It is true that, with partners, where true order prevails, the Church is first implanted in the man, and through the man in the wife; because the man receives its truth in the understanding, and the wife from the man... (CL 125). But even so, it is only a matter of appearance that truth is the primary thing of the Church because it is its first in time while actually love, or charity, is the first in end and in reality (CL 126).
The conjunction of good and truth in conjugial partners is from a state of mutual interactions. Each represents to the other qualities which are higher than his or her own. The wife conjoins her natural affections with something spiritual which she recognizes within the husbands rational wisdomwhich, in brief, is the wisdom of shunning evils as hurtful to soul, society, and health, and of doing goods as an aid to soul, society, and bodily weal (CL 130). And the husband finds a spiritual inspiration from the conjugial love of the wife, with its perceptions. Each has something spiritual to which something natural in the other responds. And thus their conjunction emulates the heavenly conjugial of good and truth, which is a conjunction of the internal man with the external, through goods and truths of different degrees (CL 100, AC 3952).
This provision is made, in order that both may elevate each other, according to the order of creation, for the production of every more interior states of conjunction with the Lord.