A STUDY BY
Rev. Willard L. D. Heinrichs
TABLE OF CONTENTS
WHAT IS HEALTH 1
Health of Mind as Provided For by the Lord 1
Health of Mind as Consciously Perceived by the Individual in a Given
Stage of Development 16
Health of Mind as It Can Be Seen Objectively by Others Associated
with the Individual 30
The Fundamental Importance to Mental Health of Maintaining Sound
Bodily Health 37
Sound Mental Health for the Purpose of Eternal Reception of What Is
Celestial and Spiritual 46
THE HUMAN MIND AND ITS ENVIRONMENT--HEREDITY 48
1) Where do we get our hereditary evil? 49
2) Is there a difference between the heredity received through the
father and that received through the mother? If so, what are the
3) What is the cause of this difference in what is received from the
father by heredity and what is received from the mother? 50
4) Where in the mind do all hereditary evils have their seat? Is our
soul all bad from birth, or is there something good about it? 52
5) How do evils become impressed or imprinted on the external of
our soul so as to become a part of our childrens heredity? 54
6) When the Word speaks of hereditary evils, what is meant? What
is it that children receive from parents? 54
7) As a result of hereditary tendencies to evil being transmitted from
parents to children over many successive generations, what is the
quality at birth of the natural man at this day? 54
8) While a person at this day may be inclined from heredity to
every genus and species of evil, what factors may cause a certain
genus or species of evil to be excited more than others? 55
9) To what genus or species of evil will we most likely be inclined? 55
10) In view of the above teachings, may a different genus or species of
evil than prevailed in our parents become dominant in us? 56
11) As a result of our natural heredity having become as depraved and
distorted as it is at this day, what important faculty do we not naturally
or spontaneously possess that was enjoyed by people in most ancient
12) If we dare not trust our instinctual or natural affections and thoughts
to acknowledge what is good and true, what hope is there that we may
ever come to embrace what is good and true and be led to heaven? 57
13) If our heredity is as bad as the Word teaches, where do infants and
little children get their obvious innocence? 57
14) In general nothing can exist that cannot be turned to some use.
Can we then regard our heredity as totally useless, or can it too be
turned to some use? 58
15) If hereditary evil, and principally the tendencies to love self more
than others and the world more than heaven, can be turned by the
Lord to serve for use in a childs development, what attitude should
we take towards its manifestation in the young? What should we do
with it? 58
16) If parents and teachers have a responsibility to try to temper,
bend and correct hereditary inclinations, what evils in the young
should be of special concern? 59
17) From the latter part of the above passage the teaching is clear that
there are some forms of love of self and of the world which, although
internally corrupt, may nevertheless serve an important use prior
to regeneration. How shall we respond to teaching such as this? What
bearing has this teaching on the movement in western society to
promote self love, self esteem or a good self image? 60
18) While other people may see indications of the character of our
heredity in almost any period of our life, when are we likely to first
begin to notice our hereditary evil as being evil? 69
19) When it becomes possible to identify for ourselves our hereditary
evils, to what should we direct our attention? 69
20) What are some of the indications or symptoms that we should be
alert to if we are serious in our intention to discover and resist our
hereditary inclinations? 70
21) Is it really that necessary to deliberately examine ourselves in
order to become aware of our hereditary evils? Do not people usually
recognize when their inclinations and delights are evil and opposed
to heavenly loves? 71
22) When do we begin to be able to make what is hereditary actual
with ourselves? 73
23) How shall we know when an evil from being hereditary with us,
has become actual and can be considered as a sin? 74
24) When, if ever, might we discover how much of our hereditary evil
has become actual? 80
25) Do we bear any blame or do we suffer any punishment for those
evils which we have not made actual? 80
26) What hope is there for the recovery of mans spirit from the
effects of hereditary and actual evil? How may the evil heredity
of man begin to be broken and changed? 81
27) If people do respond to the Lords call for sincere repentance,
what hereditary tendencies to evil are first to be broken and rooted out? 82
28) In shunning evils as sins against the Lord, is there any one evil
to which we especially might direct our attention so as to cooperate
with the Lord in breaking up our hereditary evil and rendering it
milder in offspring? 82
29) Can our personal hereditary and actual evils, through regeneration,
be exterminated in us so as to vanish or become null and void? 85
30) How does the Lord then provide that angels may not be bothered
by these evils? What awareness do the angels have of the evils
which affected them before they entered into the heavenly state? 86
Heredity and Natural Good 86
31) Can there be at this day such a thing as hereditary good or
inherited tendencies to naturally love what is good and think what is
32) If so, does this mean that the appearance of a natural good tendency
in a child indicates that the natural heredity of that child is somewhat
recovered, that it is not altogether interiorly corrupt? 87
33) How may we cone to possess as a part of our heredity the natural
good which properly deserves to be called natural good, either
natural good from the love of good, or natural good from the love
of truth? 87
34) How might a person come to possess as a part of their heredity
those natural goods which only outwardly appear good: the
natural good of the love of evil and the natural good of the love of
35) Are there any symptoms or indications that one might look for in
oneself in order to discover the presence of either or both of the
misleading natural goods? 88
36) Is it very probable that we might be affected by such deceptive,
evil tendencies? 89
37) While giving careful attention to the sobering teaching regarding
so-called natural goods, what other teaching might we bear in
mind so as to he inspired and encouraged to renounce such
pseudo-good in ourselves and soften its impact on our children? 89
38) In what form might such an hereditary trait be expected to appear? 89
39) It is said that from their parents offspring derive such natural
inclinations and faculties, but is this the true origin of these most
desirable hereditary traits? 90
40) Is there any important distinction between natural good, as it has
been described in the teachings that have just been presented, and
spiritual good in the natural of man? 91
THE HUMAN MIND AND ITS ENVIRONMENTREMAINS
ENVIRONMENT AND REMAINS 92
1) From whom do we receive remains? 95
2) Why then in the church do we so often refer to angels when we
are discussing the implantation of remains? 95
3) Do spirits in the world of spirits who are associated with our
exterior or natural mind, have any role in the implantation of remains? 96
4) Do parents and other people have any role in the implantation of
remains or is this a process that is of primary concern to those in the
spiritual world? 97
5) Just how important is it that we have remains, or could we get along
without them? 99
6) When we speak of remains what is that we are talking about? 100
7) Why does the Word for the New Church usually refer to remains as
states of love or affection but occasionally speak of them as things
learned from the Word? 101
8) What does the Lord do with our remains as they are being implanted? 102
9) Why does the Lord store up or treasure up our remains in this manner? 103
10) What awareness might we have of this process of implanting and
storing up remains? 103
11) Does the storing up of remains beyond our ability to interfere with
them therefore mean that they are of no real use until such time as
we are in a holy state wherein we will not defile or profane them? 104
12) Hereditary tendencies to love what is evil and to think what is false
are said to be impressed upon the natural or external man, especially
in the sensual. Where are remains implanted? 105
13) Before reaching maturity, in which period of our life are we most
receptive to the implantation of remains? 107
14) What are meant by the first remains that are sometimes mentioned
in the heavenly doctrines? 107
15) What is different about the implantation of first remains from that
of later states of affection? 108
16) When are our remains as good affections of the will and truths of
the understanding first brought to our consciousness so as to be
recognized and subsequently enjoyed? 108
17) When man can be regenerated to what use does the Lord then put
our remains? 109
18) Having once been introduced into our natural mind during the
process of regeneration, can we expect our remains to continue to be
consciously present in the states that follow? 110
19) Are there any times, other than when we are being regenerated,
that remains may have a perceptible, conscious effect on our external
life in this world? 111
20) Besides the first remains, which are the remains of infancy, and
the later remains that are implanted in childhood, the Word mentions
still other remains which are referred to as new remains. When
and how may we acquire these remains? 112
21) How are these new remains as to their implantation and their
quality to be compared to the remains of earlier states? 113
22) Are all the remains that a person receives in adult life goods of
23) Is there any particular period in life when an individual, acting in
freedom according to reason, should give especial attention to
receiving goods of intelligence? 116
24) Is the quantity and quality of our remains a matter of any importance? 119
25) While we are still in the world, what ability, if any, do we have to
evaluate or judge the quality and quantity of remains within
ourselves and with other people? 119
26) What essential quality must be present in the life of anyone, of
whatever religion they may be, in order for them to continue being
gifted by the Lord with remains for their eventual salvation? 120
27) What is the relationship between remains and the Ten Commandments? 120
28) Are there, however, any specific evils involved in the ten precepts
that especially threaten remains, evils that especially need to be
29) If those evils which destroy remains are shunned, when might we
be able to experience a full awareness of and delight in our remains? 122
30) If all of a persons states return to his consciousness in the other
life, will not the evil states, including those that have been rejected
through repentance, return also? Would not the evil states then
defile and destroy all the delight of the good states? 123
31) What of those people who have chosen the life of evil in this world,
what happens to their remains when they betake themselves into
eternal life in hell? 124
32) In contrast to the evil, how does the Lord introduce remains into
conscious and active service with those who are being prepared for
heaven, who are regenerate or are becoming regenerate? 125
33) What is the relationship between remains and the new will and
34) What is the relationship between the new will and conscience,
that are begun from remains and the three degrees of the human mind? 134
35) What is the essential character and operation of the new will and
understanding as they appear as either perception or conscience in the
degrees of the human mind? How are these manifestations to be
distinguished from a false conscience? 138
SPIRITUAL ENVIRONMENT AND EQUILIBRIUM 142
THE LORDS LIFE AND MANS PERCEPTION OF IT: THE AS IF
FROM SELF 162
APPENDIX I--CONDITIONS FOR FREEDOM OF CHOICE 175
APPENDIX II--TENTATIVE DIAGRAMS OF THE HUMAN SOUL
AND MIND 178
It is to be acknowledged from the outset that men since the dawn of recorded history to the present day have struggled with little success to produce an adequate definition and description of the human mind. This being the case, it is not surprising that people have experienced the utmost difficulty in coming to any sort of general agreement as to what constitutes a state of health in the human mind. Does this then mean that it is vain to think that anyone will ever adequately define and describe the essential constituents of mental health? I think no t. It is my conviction that the Lord is Divinely equal to the task. After all it is He who created the human mind, and it is He Who provides for its health. I believe that the Lord wants us to know as much as we can about our minds and this for the reason that He wants to engage us as fully as possible in a cooperative venture of producing and sustaining a state of health, that is, a state of wholeness, a state of holiness or a state of heaven in our minds now and forever. I further believe that it is in the Word for the New Church and especially in the Heavenly Doctrines that we can find the most complete and satisfying explanation from the Lord as to what it is to be mentally healthy.
In the study that follows I have tried to draw out and organize some of the teachings of the Heavenly Doctrines that seem most relevant to this important subject. Also, from a conviction that the Lord can speak to this topic much more convincingly than mere finite intelligence, I have sought, whenever possible, to proceed with the discussion through resorting to direct quotations from the Heavenly Doctrines.
The initial impetus to make this study arose out of a research project sponsored by the Academy of the New Church. The research team included T. Dudley Davis and Lynne D. Griffin from the secondary school faculties and myself from the theological school faculty. The objective of the project was to produce a statement of aims and a syllabus for a health education course to be offered in the secondary schools. My role in this project was essentially supportive. I would seek to draw out from the Word for the New Church teachings which seemed to have direct relevance to the various aspects of the subject of mental health as it was to be developed from the course outline. Most of the teaching so drawn was expected to be of greatest use to the instructor seeking the guiding principles from the Word which should be implicit in the course to be offered. Some teachings, whose significance could be easily grasped by the students would, of course, be introduced explicitly into the classroom presentation and discussion.
From that beginning a five part study slowly evolved whose central concern is to seek to define from the Word what is involved in a state of mental health and how the Lord provides for and is able to sustain such a state. In part one the primary focus is a response to the most general question: What is health? In addressing this most general inquiry five subordinate questions were raised and used to guide the development of the subject. First, how has the Lord provided for our mental health? Second, if the Lord is able to provide for such a state, how will individuals within themselves consciously perceive this state in any given stage of development? From this concern the focus then shifts to the outward manifestation of a state of mental health. How might other people be able to assess objectively the state of another persons mental health? Since the mind of man during his natural life functions within the physical body, another question must be raised: What is the relationship between sound mental health and the health of ones body? In view of the fact that the natural mind, at least as to its external, will cease to be conscious with the death of the body, the further question must be addressed: What is the final or eternal purpose in seeking to achieve and sustain a state of health in the natural mind?
A search of the Heavenly Doctrines, seeking answers to these questions, brought to light a series of Divine provisions that are absolutely necessary if people are to experience enduring health or wholeness in the natural mind. These might be summarized as follows: Human beings are created to act from freedom in accordance with reason. This of necessity involves being able to act from ones own freely chosen loves or affections and their delights, for all freedom is of love. If this condition is to become permanent, producing what is called the state of heaven, one should chose to act from real or heavenly freedom in accordance with true reason, or reason that is enlightened from Divine truth. For this state to come into being one must Se led into the acknowledgment that all life, love and its free and rational use are from the Lord. This will be accompanied by the further acknowledgment that all good affections and true thinking that appear in our conscious mind are generated there by the Lord through association with unseen spiritual companions who have chosen the eternal state of heaven, and that all evil or destructive lusts with their fantasies and false thinking are aroused into consciousness by spiritual companions who have chosen the eternal state of hell.
When one chooses to act from these acknowledgments, the mind is able to be kept by the Lord in a marvelous equilibrium between contending spiritual forces. In this state of spiritual equilibrium the Lord can grant to people a perceptible state of mental peace and tranquility, of delight and inward joy. He can retard and remove such leading constituents of mental illness as anxiety and agitation, of depression or melancholy, and dejection.
Further, the context in which these developments can occur and appear objectively to others is clearly established. Health of the natural mind should not be expected in a state of withdrawal from other people, but in a state of out ward-looking useful interaction with others. It will achieve its fullest expression especially in that activity which we call our job or occupation.
Fundamental to such interaction and a full enjoyment in it is sound bodily health. The doctrines repeatedly assert the well known principle of a sound mind in a sound body, explaining that this is in accordance with the underlying reality which exists in all relationships between what is spiritual and what is natural: Influx is in accordance with the state or form of the receiving vessel.
Finally there are those Divine teachings which remind us that the cultivation of a state of soundness in the natural mind must have an end or purpose that reaches beyond this life and this natural world. Health in the natural mind is given by the Lord in order that we may eternally receive what is celestial and spiritual, what is loving and wise, and be conjoined with the Lord in a state of heavenly use and joy forever.
With some of the fundamental principles requisite for mental health established in part one, the focus of the second and third parts of this study is on two of the most significant elements imprinted in the human mind which influence mental health. Implicitly these parts are directed toward resolving the age old psychological controversy of nature versus nurture. The Lord alone can resolve this controversy and He does so in the teaching of revelation relating to the two elements just referred to which are heredity and remains. If one is to avoid a doctrine of determinism in regard to mental and spiritual health, avoid too heavy an emphasis on the impact of either heredity or environment, there must be an adequate appreciation of the teaching of the Word relating to hereditary inclinations and what are known as remains. These are the principle elements impressed in the human mind by means of which the Lord provides for that equilibrium of spirit in which alone man can act in freedom in accordance with reason.
In part two that element which is innate in the very organics of the mind, hereditary inclination, is systematically explored. Since the table of contents provided for this study represents very fully the content and direction of the discussion on heredity, not much more needs to be said here by way of introduction. It should be observed, however, that while the central focus of part two is hereditary tendencies to evil, there is also some discussion from the Word of other related and very important issues. These issues include such things as the place or use of self love, of self esteem, the distinction between hereditary and actual evil, the distinction between actual evil that is of our own fault and that which is not of our own fault, the existence and variety in character of hereditary or natural good, and the distinction between such good and genuine, spiritual good.
Part three of this study, as already indicated, is concerned with remains, the other vital element which must exist in the human mind if that mind is ever to experience a state of equilibrium, if it is to be free to act in real freedom or from a love of good, in accordance with an enlightened reason that affirms what is Divinely true. Part three then involves a systematic discussion of how the Lord, acting directly from Himself and indirectly through our spiritual and natural environments, provides that remains, states of affection and necessary spiritual knowledge, will be imprinted in the interior organics of the human mind. These states are not innate, but begin to be implanted at birth and may continue to be introduced into the mind even to the end of life in this world. These states called remains are what the Lord uses to offset or balance the influence of our hereditary inclinations to evil. Out of remains the Lord in adult life may gradually fashion a new will and new understanding in our mind which appear in our consciousness as conscience. Again, since the table of contents accompanying this study represents fully the content and direction of the discussion on remains, nothing further needs to be noted here in the introduction.
Having dealt with heredity and remains, the two most dynamic factors which especially influence the states of the developing human mind, in part four of this study we focus on the spiritual mechanism which the Lord uses to balance the impact of these contending influences. As already observed, where there is this balance there is equilibrium and a person can act in freedom in accordance with reason, can enjoy health of mind. The spiritual mechanism that the Lord employs to produce this state of equilibrium and health involves the whole panorama of spiritual associations that constitute the environment of our spirit. Thus, in part four, in a summary fashion we explore some of those many teachings which explain how the hells, acting through evil genii and spirits, seek to arouse our inclinations to evils of every kind, and how they occupy or operate into those evils which have become actual with us. Of necessity, on the other hand, our discussion explores some of the many passages which describe how the heavens, acting through angels in every degree and through good spirits in the world of spirits, seek to stir up our remains and so assist the Lord in the formation of a new will and understanding within us. It is through these competing spiritual influences of heaven and hell then that the Lord provides for an equilibrium in which mankind can experience that freedom so necessary for mental health and the full enjoyment of human life.
The fifth and final part of this study seeks to bring the discussion of health and the human mind full circle. We return to that most fundamental provision that the Lord has made for mental health: that man should act from freedom in accordance with reason. Now, however, the focus is shifted slightly to a companion provision, presented in the Apocalypse Explained as the first law of the Divine Providence. This companion provision is concerned with that most basic condition of human consciousness which enables man to enjoy freedom and reason, or liberty and rationality. Very simply stated, the Lord has provided that from sense and perception man cannot know otherwise then that life is in him;... (AE 1138:2). The Lord has so created the human soul and mind that it can consciously experience His life as if it were its own. Indeed it can use His life as if it were its own. It can even use that life to act against the very Source of Life. Still if that life from the Lord is to produce a state of health, wholeness or heaven in the mind, man should acknowledge that the goods and truths which belong to love and faith which he thinks, wills, speaks, and acts, are not from him but from the Lord (AE 1138:2). The final portion of this study then is concerned with the most basic condition for human consciousness and the perception of health in that consciousness, it is concerned with what is often called the as if from self.
Before passing on from an introduction to the study itself, some observations should be included relative to the various formats used in presenting the teaching in the five successive portions of Health And The Human Mind. The most prominent format used in this study, especially in the first three parts, is one that progresses by means of questions and answers. I propose what appear to be a series of relevant questions and seek to answer these questions by direct reference to teachings of Divine revelation. The use of such a format would seem to have authorization in a number of passages in the Heavenly Doctrines, but especially in the following from the Arcana Coelestia: In all perception whatever there is both a propounding and a reply (AC 2080).
In part one the questions are of a general character and are, for the most part, implicit in the discussion. In parts two and three, however, the questions are much more particular and are quite explicit. This format seemed especially appropriate in these parts due the manner in which the teachings on heredity and remains are presented in the Heavenly Doctrines. While there are numerous passages touching on these subjects, there are no extended series systematically presenting the particulars of doctrine that are involved. In fact, most of the particulars of doctrine included in these subjects are concentrated in a relatively small number of passages. It was thought that these particulars might be drawn out most effectively and appear most distinctly if I were to approach these passages with a series of questions arranged in some sort of rational and developmental progression.
Parts four and five do not employ in any noticeable way the question and answer format. In respect to part four especially, such a format did not appear to be either necessary or particularly appropriate in presenting the relevant teaching. The subject of mans spiritual associations appears in numerous, extended and systematic presentations in the Heavenly Doctrines. Rather than seeking in this instance to draw out the particulars of doctrine so as to appear in bolder relief, the challenge seemed to be to seek to consolidate the many series of teachings on mans spiritual associations into as simple and coherent a statement of the doctrine as possible. As regards part five, the doctrine relating to the as if from self is quite plainly and systematically presented in at least two series in the Heavenly Doctrines, namely in the Apocalypse Explained and in The Divine Providence. Again, it did no t appear necessary to emphasize the particulars of doctrine in these series through a question and answer format. Instead there is a reliance on extended direct quotation and a brief commentary highlighting some of the more important and relevant aspects of the teaching.
Enough has now been said by way of introduction. Let us proceed to the central focus of this study--how the Lord provides for a state of health in the conscious human mind.
Willard L.D. Heinrichs
WHAT IS HEALTH
WHAT IS HEALTH
HEALTH OF MIND AS PROVIDED FOR BY THE LORD
The Lords most fundamental provision for mental health is expressed in the very first law of the Divine Providence: It is a law of the Divine Providence that man should act from freedom in accordance with reason (DP 71 and following).
This teaching especially relates to freedom of spirit, and not so much to freedom of the body. The Lord provides especially for the freedom to will and to think as one pleases. This freedom is to be distinguished from freedom to act and to speak as one pleases. Freedom of spirit can be sustained while freedom of body may be restricted to a greater or lesser degree. In a state of order, however, the two freedoms make one. What one wills, he can do, and what one thinks he can speak (cf. DP 129, 136:2, 4, 139:3).
Without the freedom to act in accordance with ones reason nothing can be attributed to a person as their own, they can have no sense of identity.
Whatever a man does from freedom in accordance with his thought is appropriated to him as his, and remains. (DP 72)
In order to act in freedom in accordance with reason the Lord endows every human being with two faculties or capacities. From the faculty of rationality or reason man can understand, and from the faculty of liberty or freedom man can think, will, speak and do what is understood, (see DP 73)
When we associate health of mind with the fundamental provision of being able to act in freedom according to reason, we must immediately realize that this involves being able to act from ones chosen loves and to enjoy so acting.
It must be known that all freedom is a property of love, insomuch that love and freedom are one. And as love is the life of man, freedom also belongs to his life. For every enjoyment that man has is from his love; no enjoyment is possible from any other source; and acting from loves enjoyment is acting from freedom; for man is lead by enjoyment as a thing is borne along by the current of a river (DP 75).
The importance of possessing the capacities of freedom or liberty and rationality or reason is clear from many teachings of the Word. These capacities distinguish man from beast. Upon them mans very humanity depends, also his eternal life.
Man has these two capacities from the Lord, and they are from Him every moment; nor are they taken away, for if they were, mans human would perish. In these two capacities the Lord is with every man, good and evil alike; they are the Lords abode in the human race: from this it is that all men live forever, both the good and evil (DLW 240, and DLW 263).
While both the good and the evil enjoy the capacities of freedom and reason we should carefully distinguish between their exercise in the good and in the evil.
Still it is of critical importance for people to be able to use their two God-given faculties in these diametrically opposite ways.
Nevertheless they are both of the Divine Providence; for if freedom to will evil, and to make it appear by confirmations to be in accordance with reason were taken away from the natural man, liberty and rationality, and will and understanding with them would perish, and he would have no ability to be withdrawn from evils and reformed, and thus conjoined with the Lord and live forever. Consequently, the Lord guards freedom in man, as man guards the pupil of his eye. And yet by means of freedom, the Lord continually withdraws man from evils; and so far as he is able to withdraw him by means of freedom, He implants what is good by means of freedom (DP 97).
People should realize, however, that using their two faculties improperly has very far-reaching consequences as regards the state of their spiritual health, mental health, and even bodily health.
The origin of evil is from the abuse or the capacities proper to man, that are called rationality and freedom (DLW 264 title)
The most obvious abuse of these two faculties involves the exercise of them to confirm (make firm in ones love and life) what is evil and false.
What are the consequences of this abuse?
Evils and falsities confirmed in man are permanent, and come to be of his love, consequently of his life. Such things as have come to be of the love and life are engendered in offspring as hereditary tendencies toward evil (DLW 265, 268, 269).
Quite apart from the spiritual and natural mental consequences, which will be discussed shortly, there are serious physical consequences of the abuse of ones faculties of freedom and rationality. The first three teachings noted below describe how the body can be corrupted from within by a natural mind that is involved in abuses of various kinds.
As death is from no other source than sin, and sin is all that which is contrary to Divine order, therefore evil closes the very smallest and most invisible vessels, of which are composed the next larger ones, also invisible for the vessels which are the smallest of all and wholly invisible are continued from mans interiors. Hence comes the first and inmost obstruction, and hence the first and inmost vitiation into the blood. When this vitiation, increases, it causes disease, and finally death. If, however, man had lived a life of good, his interiors would be open into heaven, and through heaven to the Lord; and so too would the very least and most invisible little vessels (the traces of the first threads may be called little vessels, on account of the correspondence). In consequence man would be without disease, and would merely decline to extreme old age, even until he became again a little child, but a wise one; and when the body could no longer minister to his internal man or spirit, he would pass without disease, out of his earthly body into a body such as the angels have, thus out of the world directly into heaven (AC 5726).
What are the evils, or abuses of freedom and rationality that generate these physical consequences? They are indefinite in number, as many as there are evils. Still the following two passages note some of the more general evils that cause problems in the body.
Diseases ... correspond to the cupidities and passions of the lower mind, which are also their origins; for the origins of diseases are, in general, intemperance, luxury of various kinds, mere bodily pleasures, as also feelings of envy, hatred, revenge, lewdness, and the like, which destroy mans interiors; and when these are destroyed the exteriors suffer, and drag man into disease, and so into death. It is known in the church that the death of man is from evils, or on account of sin; and it is the same with diseases, for these belong to death (AC 5712).
All diseases, with man, exist from no other source [than that just described, i.e. adulteries, strifes, revenges, cruelties, etc.], and very many only from cupidities, as for instance, from excessive indulgence of various vices, and from the number of them, as from the various bodily delights from lascivious practices, and from anxiety about the future. These are the real causes of all diseases. Nor is death itself from any other source, than by reason of sin. These things vitiate the blood: when this is vitiated, they obstruct and choke up the very small vessels--wherefore diseases break out. Hence it is that diseases correspond to those spheres which are from hell. If mankind had lived in a state of good, then a man would wane, even to the utmost feebleness of age; and then, when the body could no longer minister to the internal man, that man would pass away from its earthly body, without disease (SD 4592).
Besides the more general teachings there are some which are quite specific when treating of abuses of freedom and rationality which damage not only the lower mind but also the body.
I spoke with spirits concerning drunkenness, and it was confirmed by them that it is an enormous sin, as well as that man becomes a brute, (and) no longer a man; because that man is a man lies in his intellectual faculty, thus he becomes a brute, besides which he brings damage on his body, and so hastens his death, besides wasting in extravagance what might be of use to many.--1748, June 27. And it appeared to them so filthy that they abhorred such a life, which mortals nevertheless have introduced amongst themselves as a civil life (SD 2422).
(As to the evils of spirit with which drunkenness corresponds see AC 1072, 5120:8, 9, 9553:2, 8904:5; AR 721, 376:31)
Not only can disorder in the natural mind cause problems in the body from within, but it can also cause problems from without. A perverted state of the lower mind spontaneously disposes the body to draw into itself disease producing agents from the natural environment.
That the blood in the lungs purifies and nourishes itself correspondently to the affections of the mind is as yet unknown; but in the spiritual world it is very well known, for angels in the heavens find delight only in the odors that correspond to the life of their wisdom, while the spirits in hell find delight only in the odors that correspond to a love opposed to wisdom; these are foul odors, but the former are fragrant. It follows that men in the world impregnate their blood with similar things according to correspondence with the affections of their love; for what the spirit of a man loves, his blood according to correspondence craves and by respiration attracts. From this correspondence it results that man as regards his love is purified if he loves wisdom, and is defiled if he does not love it.
Fundamental to an adult, healthy use of our two essential faculties is the recognition and acknowledgment that all life, love and its free and rational use are from the Lord. We can freely use what is the Lords as our own, but it is the Lords with us, and we should humbly and cheerfully acknowledge this. When the Most Ancient people ceased to acknowledge this, they ceased to enjoy the Garden of Eden state. As represented in the third chapter of Genesis, when these people turned from this truth they brought upon themselves extreme unhappiness both spiritual and natural. Surely what is revealed about the fall of the church with the most ancient people, and what is explained in the following passage, applies to all people.
It shall now be explained how it comes that an angel perceives and feels as his, and thus receives and retains that which yet is not his; for, as was said above, an angel is not an angel from what is his, but from those things which he has from the Lord. The essence of the matter is this: Every angel has freedom and rationality; these two he has to the end that he may be capable of receiving love and wisdom from the Lord. Yet neither of these, freedom nor rationality, is his, they are the Lords in him. But since the two are intimately conjoined to his life, so intimately that they may be said to be joined into it, they appear to be his own. It is from them that he is able to think and will, and to speak and act; and what he thinks, wills, speaks, and does from them, appears as if it were from himself. This gives him the ability to reciprocate, and by means of this, conjunction is possible.
Many passages in the Heavenly Doctrine forcefully draw our attention to the fact that the basis for enjoying health of mind in every degree is the humble acknowledgment that not only is all that is good, both spiritual and natural, from the Lord, but also that all that is evil, both spiritual and natural, is aroused in us from hell. Health therefore depends upon the proper reaction to this reality.
Spirits who reason much in the other life have little perception of what is true and good, and therefore they cannot be admitted into interior angelic societies; for nothing of intelligence can be communicated to them there. These spirits also have reasoned among themselves about the influx of all thoughts and affections, and said, If this be so, no one can become guilty and suffer the penalty of any fault. But they received for answer that if a man would believe as the case really is, namely, that all that is good and true is from the Lord, and all that is evil and false is from hell, he then could not become guilty of any fault, nor could evil be imputed to him;
In the following passage we sec how Swedenborg was led into the acknowledgment of the true origin all that was aroused into his consciousness.
I was told from heaven that, like others, I believed that I thought and that I willed from myself, yet in fact nothing was from myself, but if good it was from the Lord, and if evil it was from hell. That this was true I had a living proof in various thoughts and affections induced upon me, and gradually it was granted me to perceive and to feel it; and thereafter as soon as any evil glided into my will, or any falsity into my thought, I inquired into its source, and this was disclosed to me, and I was permitted to speak with those from whom it came, to reprove them, and to compel them to withdraw, and thus to take back their evil and their falsity and to keep them to themselves, and no longer to infuse any such thing into my thought. This I have done a thousand times; and I have now continued in this state for several years, and continue in it still; and yet I seem to myself to think and to will from myself, like others, with no difference; for it is of the Lords providence that it should so appear to every one, as has been shown above in its proper place. Novitiate spirits wonder at this state of mine, for it seems to them that I have no thought or will at all from myself, and am therefore like an empty something.
It should be clearly understood that although we should acknowledge that all evil is from hell this does not mean that we avoid responsibility for that evil that we have freely embraced and made of our love and life. For such evil we must acknowledge guilt and then shun it and send it back to hell.
Actual repentance is to examine oneself, to recognize and acknowledge ones sins, to hold oneself guilty, to confess sins before the Lord, to pray for help and power to resist them, and thus refrain from them and begin a new life; and all this you must do as if of yourselves. Do so once or twice a year, when you come to holy communion; and afterward, whenever the sins of which you have found yourselves guilty recur yourselves, We will not do this because it is a sin against God. This is actual repentance. Who cannot understand that he who does not examine and see his sins remains in them? For every evil is delightful to a man from his birth; it is delightful to him to take revenge, to commit whoredom, to defraud, to blaspheme, and especially to exercise dominion from self-love; and does not this delight prevent your seeing these sins? And if, perchance, you are told that they are sins, do you not from their delight excuse them, and even prove to yourselves by means of falsities that they are not sins? And, therefore, you remain in them, and afterward commit them more frequently than before, and this even until you do not know what sin is, or indeed whether there is any such a thing. With any one who actually repents, it is different. His evils, such as he has recognized and acknowledged, he calls sins, and therefore begins to shun them and turn away from them; and finally to feel their delight to be undelightful. And so far as this is done he sees and loves good, and at length feels the delight of good, which is the delight of the angels of heaven. In a word, so far as any one puts the devil behind him, he is accepted by the Lord, and is taught, led, withheld from evil, and kept in good by Him; and this is the way, and the only way, from hell to heaven (TCR 567).
(For a summary discussion of the teachings presented on pages 8 through 11 see DP 320-21.)
Before leaving the subject of what health of mind is as provided by the Lord, it might be useful to return briefly to a teaching in The Divine Providence which stresses the intimate connection between freedom and love: It must be known that all freedom is a property of love, insomuch that love and freedom are one (DP 73:2). Health of mind, obviously is to be associated with acting from ones chosen loves and to enjoy so acting. But just as acting from freedom in accordance with ones reason, by itself, does not produce lasting health and happiness of mind, so acting from just any chosen Love and its delight does not ensure lasting health and happiness. This can only result from seeking to act from the fords love. The following passages beautifully describe the quality of that love which should actively and perceptibly move all people. These teachings reveal the very key to eternal health and happiness.
DIVINE LOVE AND WISDOM MUST NECESSARILY HAVE BEING (esse) AND HAVE FORM (existere) IN OTHERS CREATED BY ITSELF.
It is the essential of love not to love self but to love others, and to be conjoined with others love. It is the essential of love, moreover, to be loved by others, for thus conjunction is effected. The essence of all love consists in conjunction; this, in fact, is its life, which is called enjoyment, pleasantness, delight, sweetness, bliss, happiness and felicity. Love consists in this, that its own should be anothers; to feel the joy of another as joy in oneself, that is loving. But to feel ones own joy in another and not the others joy in oneself is not loving; for this is loving self, while the former is loving the neighbor.
That He makes His sun to rise on the good and on the evil, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust (Matt. v. 45).
That He wishes them to be one, He in them and they in Him, and that the love of God might be in them (John xvii. 21-23, 26).
The third essential of the love of God, which is to render others blessed from Himself, is recognized in eternal life, which is the endless blessedness, happiness, and felicity that God gives to those who receive into themselves His love. For as God is love itself, so is He blessedness itself; for all love breathes forth delight from itself, and the Divine love breathes forth blessedness itself, happiness, and felicity to eternity. Thus God from Himself renders the angels blessed, and men after death; and this He does by conjunction with them.
That such is the nature of the Divine love is known from its sphere, which pervades the universe, and affects every one in accordance with his state. It especially affects parents, and is the source of their tender love for their children (who are outside of themselves), and their desire to be one with them, and to render them blessed from themselves. This sphere of Divine love affects not only the good, but also the evil, and not only men but also birds and beasts of every kind. What else does a mother think about when she has brought forth her child than uniting herself with it, as it were, and providing for its good? What other concern has a bird, when she has hatched her young from the egg, than to cherish them under her wings, and through their little mouths put food into their throats.
From these very central teachings in the Word for the New Church, it is clear what kind of love is necessary to produce a useful, healthful and happy life to eternity. From the following teaching it is equally clear what loves, if they are confirmed, will ultimately produce a useless, sick and unhappy life to eternity. It will be observed in a later discussion in this essay, however, that not all forms of love of self and the world are evil and destructive. (See DLW 396; AE 1144:2; AC 6933-6938)
From this description of the essence of the Divine love (TCR 43, 44) the essential nature of diabolical love can be seen. This can be seen as being an opposite. Diabolical love is the love of self. That is called love, although viewed in itself it is hatred; for it loves no one outside of itself; neither does it desire to be joined with others in order to benefit them, but only to benefit itself. From its inmost it continuously aspires to rule over all and to possess the goods of all, and finally to be worshiped as God.
HEALTH OF MIND AS CONSCIOUSLY PERCEIVED BY THE INDIVIDUAL IN A GIVEN STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT.
In speaking of health of mind here, our concern continues to be with acting in freedom according to ones reason which involves being able to act from ones love and, at least temporarily, enjoy so acting. It should be observed at the outset, that there are certain conditions, and states, which either wholly or partially preclude such health of mind for a portion or, perhaps, for all of ones earthly life. Severe physical impairment is one such condition, however it may have been induced.
The development of mental illness in a condition of physical impairment is according to the well known principle of the Word for the New Church that influx is according to the state of the receiving vessel. It is the mind that acts upon the body and not the reverse. The mind, however, cannot function properly if its receiving vessel is in a perverted condition.
Nature cannot dispense life to anything, since nature in itself is wholly inert. For what is dead to act upon what is living, or for dead force to act upon living force, or, what is the same for the natural to act upon the spiritual, is entirely contrary to order, therefore so to think is contrary to the light of sound reason. What is dead, that is, the natural, may indeed in many ways be perverted or changed by external accidents, but it cannot act upon life; on the contrary life acts into it, according to the induced change of form. It is the same with physical influx into the spiritual operations of the soul; this, it is known, does not occur, for it is not possible (DLW 166)
Apart from those who suffer severe physical impairment, especially where the brain is affected, it should be noted that there is a significant period in the life of each one of us where, independent of the guiding care and influence of mature people, we could not achieve and enjoy any measure of mental health.
Although ones dependence on adults for the maintenance of mental health surely diminishes as one grows toward maturity, that dependence in some measure continues until at least the twentieth year. While many passages in the Word do not speak in terms of years, others do, associating developing states with quite specific time frames. Arcana Coelestia 10225, which serves as something of a summation for many preceding passages relating to states, teaches that
when a man attains the age of twenty years he begins to think from himself. Of the preceding age, which is childhood, it is said that it is a state of instruction and of memory-knowledge and not as yet a state of intelligence, because at that time the child does not form any conclusions from himself, neither does he from himself discriminate between truths, nor even between truths and falsities, but from others;
Since there may be many, and also conflicting, authorities and sources of instruction, it is often not clear that the child is thinking from others. There may be every appearance that the child is thinking from himself and is capable of taking full responsibility for himself when this is not yet the case. He may be thinking for himself, but he is still in some measure thinking from others, in accordance with their reason or rationality.
Only in the period of life from twenty to sixty years of age, that period which includes adolescence, young manhood or womanhood, and manhood or womanhood, does one begin to think from self and thus begin to act in accordance with ones own reason.
This state is called a state of intelligence, because the man then thinks from himself, and discriminates and forms conclusions; and that which he then concludes is his own, and not anothers. At this time faith begins, for faith is not the faith of the man himself until he has confirmed what he believes by the ideas of his own thought. Previous to this, faith was not his, but anothers in him, for his belief was in the person, not in the thing. From this it can be seen that the state of intelligence commences with man when he no longer thinks from a teacher, but from himself, which is not the case until the interiors are opened toward heaven. Be it known that the exteriors with man are in the world, and the interiors in heaven; and that in proportion as light flows in from heaven into what is from the world, the man is intelligent and wise; and this according to the degree and quality of the opening of his interiors, which are so far opened as the man lives for heaven and not for the world (AC 10225:5).
When mans interiors can be opened with the onset of maturity, then there can be inflowing of spiritual light into all three degrees of the mind. With this comes the ability to act in freedom according to ones own reason. With this comes responsibility for ones own mental health and the enjoyment or lack of enjoyment experienced in the chosen state.
By the influx of spiritual light into all three degrees of the mind man is distinguished from beasts; and, as contrasted with beasts, he can think analytically, and see both natural and spiritual truth; and when he sees them he can acknowledge them, and thus be reformed and regenerated. This capacity to receive spiritual light is what is meant by rationality (referred to above), which every man has from the Lord, and which is not taken away from him, for if it were taken away he could not be reformed. From this capacity, called rationality, man, unlike the beasts, is able not only to think but also to speak from thought; and afterwards from his other capacity, called freedom (also referred to above), he is able to do those things that he thinks from his understanding (DLW 247).
In order to appreciate how in adult life people are able to act in freedom in accordance with their own reason it is important to call to mind the fact that the natural conscious mind has both an internal and external. There is an internal and external thought. Up to the onset of adult life a person operates primarily from the plane of external thought. This thought is stimulated from within by the affection of knowing, which arises from remains, and also by natural affections and inclinations which arise from parental heredity. When a person mentally grows to adult life a communication is opened between the interiors of the natural mind and the rational above or within it. (See AC 5126, AC 3701; TCR 42) This makes possible an influx of light from the rational or spiritual into the natural.
The following passages from The Divine Providence provide us with the fundamental teaching relating to this capacity for double thought and how it may be both used and abused in according with ones freedom.
EVERY MAN HAS AN EXTERNAL AND AN INTERNAL OF THOUGHT
By the external and the internal of thought are here meant the same as by the external and the internal man, and by these are meant the external and the internal of the will and of the understanding, for the will and the understanding constitute man; and as these both manifest themselves in thoughts the terms the external and the internal of thought are used. Now, since it is not the body but the spirit of man that wills and understands and consequently thinks, it follows that this external and internal are the external and internal of mans spirit. The action of the body, whether in word or in deed, is only an effect from the internal and external of mans spirit;
Moreover, many question within themselves, when they listen to others speaking, whether these interiorly within themselves are thinking the thoughts which they are expressing in speech, and whether they are to be believed or not, and also what their intentions are. It is well known that flatterers and hypocrites have a double thought; for they can restrain themselves and take care not to disclose their interior thought; and some can conceal it more and more interiorly and, as it were, block up the doors lest it should appear. That both exterior and interior thought are given to man is clearly evident from this fact, that from his interior thought he can view his exterior thought, reflect upon it and pass judgment on it, deciding whether it is evil or not evil. The mind of man owes this characteristic feature to the faculties which he has from the Lord, called liberty and rationality. Unless man had from these an external and an internal of thought he would not be able to perceive and view any evil in himself and be reformed; in fact, he would not be able to speak, but only to utter sounds like a beast (DP 104).
(For the full presentation of this teaching and its application in repentance, reformation and regeneration, see DP 100-128.)
Having observed the great distinction that exists between the conditions under which the immature, as opposed to the mature, may enjoy mental health, we draw attention to the three general kinds of loves or freedoms from which people may enjoy acting. While the following teaching has primary application to adults, it also has application to children, depending on the kind of influence that is predominant in a childs environment in any given state. With this in mind we might reflect on what is said about natural freedom, rational freedom, and spiritual freedom.
Natural freedom every one has by inheritance. From it man loves nothing but self and the world; his first life is nothing else. And as from these two loves all evils spring, and thus it comes that evils belong to the love, it follows that thinking and willing evils is mans natural freedom; and when he has confirmed evils in himself by reasonings he does evils from freedom in accordance with his reason.
In regard to the immature, the individual would not be acting from a confirmed freedom or love, natural, rational, or spiritual, because no independent rationality and reason is as yet possible. In respect to natural and rational freedom, he or she would be acting primarily from inherited tendencies to love self and the world and from the adult examples to which the child is exposed. In regard to spiritual freedom, the action would be from remains, states of affection imprinted in the mind by the Lord by means of the childs environment, spiritual and natural. As to the thought or reason accompanying the freedom or love that was active, this, as noted before, would be borrowed from others, although to the immature, it would appear to be his or her own.
When we speak of a persons perception of mental health, inevitably we must speak of a perception of peace and tranquillity and of joy and delight, those things which stand in contrast to such leading constituents of mental illness as anxiety and depression or melancholy. Again, we find from many teachings of the Word that perceptions of peace, tranquillity, joy and delight are inexorably associated with acting in freedom in accordance with reason, with action in agreement with ones freely chosen love.
These teachings describe at length the wonderful states of mind and life enjoyed by those in good loves and their delights. At the same time they contrast these states with those experienced by people who are in evil loves and their delights. In sympathy with teachings noted earlier (i.e. DLW 47; TCR 43-46) it is obvious that peace in inmosts, rest of the interior mind, tranquillity in the exterior mind, and joy therefrom can only he given by the Lord to those who predominantly love and seek to serve others outside of themselves--their God and the neighbor. Where love of oneself and of mere worldly things predominates there can be no enduring peace, rest, tranquillity and joy. There is no peace for the wicked and so for them there is no enduring health of mind.
I have also spoken with the angels about peace, saying that it is called peace in the world when wars and hostilities cease between kingdoms, and when enmities or discords cease among men; also that internal peace is believed to consist in rest of mind when cares are removed, especially in tranquillity and delight due to success in business. But the angels said that rest of mind and tranquillity and delight due to the removal of cares, and success in business appear to be peace, but really are peace only with those who are in heavenly good, for only in that good is peace possible. For peace flows in from the Lord into the inmost of such, and from their inmost descends and flows down into the lower faculties, producing rest of the interior mind (mens), tranquillity of the exterior mind (animus), and joy therefrom.
1 (The lusts that originate in love of self and of the world wholly take away peace (AC 3170, 5662). There are some who think to find peace in restlessness, and in such things as are contrary to peace (AC 5662).
There can be no peace unless the lusts of evil are removed (AC 5662).
All delights flow forth from love, for that which a man loves he feels to be delightful. No one has any delight from any other source. From this it follows that such as the love is, such is the delight. The delights of the body or of the flesh all flow forth from the love of self and love of the world, consequently they are lusts and their pleasures; while the delights of the soul or spirit all flow forth from love to the Lord and love towards the neighbor, consequently they are affections of good and truth and interior satisfactions. These loves with their delights flow in out of heaven from the Lord by an inner way, that is, from above, and affect the interiors; while the former loves with their delights flow in from the flesh and from the world by an external way, that is, from beneath, and affect the exteriors. Therefore, as far as the two loves of heaven are received and make themselves felt, so far the interiors of man, which belong to his soul or spirit and which look from the world heavenwards, are opened, while so far as the two loves of the world are received and make themselves felt, to that extent his exteriors, which belong to the body or flesh and look away from heaven towards the world, are opened. As loves flow in and are received, their delights also flow in, the delights of heaven into the interiors and the delights of the world into the exteriors, since all delight, as has been said belongs to love (HH 396).
HEALTH OF MIND AS IT CAN BE SEEN OBJECTIVELY BY OTHERS ASSOCIATED WITH THE INDIVIDUAL
One of the common symptoms associated with mental illness is withdrawal. The individual tends to mentally withdraw, but may also withdraw physically from normal interaction with others. In terms of our previous definition of mental health, acting from freedom in accordance with reason is diminished, and, in some states almost disappears, as in the case of a catatonic schizophrenic.
In many, many passages faith in the Lord is inexorably associated with the life of use, exercising ones freedom and rationality in an outward looking, useful interaction with other people. So we find the clear teaching that unless use be the affection or occupation of man, he is not of sound mind (Divine Love XV). The reference here is principally to spiritual insanity, but the application to natural insanity seems obvious.
But on the other hand, all those who in the world have loved uses and who have performed uses from the love of them, think sanely in their spirits, and their spirits think sanely in their bodies; for with such, interior thought is also exterior thought, and from the former through the latter is their speech, and likewise their action. Affection of use has kept their mind in itself, nor does it suffer them to stray into vanities, into what is lascivious and filthy, into what is insincere and deceitful, into the mockeries of various lusts. After death they are of a like character; their minds are in themselves angelic; and when the outer thought is taken away, they become spiritual, and angels, and thus recipients of heavenly wisdom from the Lord.
From all that has been said, it is now plain that unless use he the affection or occupation of a man, he is not of sound mind (Divine Love XV).
Surely the following teachings, which specifically relate to use as it is considered in the spiritual world, showing how one should reward ones self in the performance of use for the common good, and the happiness a life of use produces, have application in human society in the natural world.
That love is the fundamental principle from which and by which heaven exists and subsists, is evident from the circumstance, that there must be such harmony and unanimity, and hence so universal a consociation, that the whole heaven, the whole world of spirits, that is, the whole human race from its first creation, should form a ONE, as all and every particular in man, in whom there are indefinite things, forms one body, and thus constitutes one man; in which body if anything were to prefer itself to any other thing, and not to love another thing better than itself (it could not subsist).
I conversed with spirits concerning use. They were indignant that I had so much to say on this subject; but it was said in reply that use is all in all that in the world, in a kingdom, the main question is in regard to use: and so in respect to a man (we ask) what use does he subserve? If he is not useful he is rejected as worthless. How much more then in the Lords kingdom, where use is everything. There was then represented, according to the ideas of angelic spirits, a sphere as an aura of uses, and it was said that in the Lords kingdom there is nothing but use. (One of the above mentioned class) being in such a sphere began to hurry away, saying that he could not respire there.--1749, March 12 (SD 4173).
THAT EVERY ONE IN THE OTHER LIFE MUST PERFORM USE, AND FROM USE, POSSESS HAPPINESS.
Hence it was spoken concerning those in the other life that (they) all must perform use, so that there must be no one who does not perform use to this world, the human race the world of spirits (and) to heaven: finally, that in heaven their felicity consists in the performance of use, so that thence they obtain felicity from the Lord. That (their) felicity (springs) from performing use is evident from this, that the Lord grants them to love ends, which are uses, etc. --1748, September 13 (SD 3147).
The severe debilitating effect on mind and body caused by a lack of determination to any useful pursuit is especially clear from the following teaching which specifically speaks to cold and
unhappiness in marriage.
XIII. OF THE EXTERNAL CAUSES OF COLD, THE FOURTH IS LACK OF DETERMINATION TO ANY STUDY OR BUSINESS, WHENCE COMES WANDERING LUST.
Man was created for use because use is the containant of good and truth, and from the marriage of these is creation and also conjugial love, as shown in the chapter on the Origin of Conjugial Love. By study and business is meant every application to uses; for while a man is in some study and business, that is, in some use, his mind is limited and circumscribed as by a circle, within which it is successively co-ordinated into a form truly human. From this as from a house he sees the various concupiscences as outside himself, and from sanity of reason within, banishes them and consequently banishes also the beastly insanities of scortatory lust. With such men, therefore, conjugial heat remains in greater fullness and for a longer period than with others. The contrary is the case with those who give themselves up to sloth and idleness. Their mind is unrestrained and unbounded, and the man then admits into the whole of his mind a manner of vain and frivolous thin s which flow in from the world and the body and carry him along into the love of them. That conjugial love also is then cast into exile is evident; for from sloth and idleness, the mind is rendered stupid and the body torpid r and the whole man becomes insensible to ever vital love, especially to conjugial love, it being from this love as from a fountain that the activities and alacrities of life emanate. The conjugial cold with such men is, however, different from that cold with others. It is indeed the privation of conjugial love, but from defect (CL 249).
In yet another teaching the proper use of rationality is not only associated with insight in respect to ones inborn character and the will to take remedial action, but also and especially with ones life in ones use or function.
It is to be known concerning the rational man in general that it is said to receive life, to be in the womb, and to be born, when the man begins to think that the evil and falsity in himself is that which contradicts and is opposed to truth and good, and still more is this the case when he wills to remove and subjugate this evil and falsity.
Lest, however, we should gain the impression that the sane and healthy life looks only to the steadfast performance of useful work, and excludes any concern for self and the world, the Lord provides us with other teachings which direct our attention to a broader view of our relations with other people in society. The life of a healthy Christian is full and rich, but always guided by an acknowledgement of the Lord and attention to His commandments.
WHAT IT IS TO LIVE AS A CHRISTIAN. THAT IT IS NOT DIFFICULT IN THE HEAVENLY DOCTRINE, AS IT WAS IN BABYLON DESTROYED.
Two things are requisite: (1) To believe in the Lord, that is, to believe that all good and truth is from Him. (2) To live an honest life, consequently, to shun outward evils, which also are contrary to the civil laws.
A Christian lives as anyone else in external form; he may grow rich, but not by craft and trickery; he may eat and drink well, but not place his very life in those things, and find his delight in superfluities and also in drunkenness, that is, live for appetite; he may be well, and even, according to his condition, handsomely, housed; he may associate with others, like other men, amuse himself in their society;
The Heavenly Doctrines, as will be seen from teaching presented in the next portion of this discussion, provide both general and particular standards whereby some sort of objective assessment can be made of a persons health of mind. Our attention is drawn to three general and related areas of use which ought to he integral parts of life: uses for sustaining the body, uses for perfecting the rational, and uses for receiving what is spiritual. More particularly, in regard to first and third areas, we are invited to take note of seven constituents of a healthy life internal and external: nourishment, clothing, habitation, recreation, enjoyment, protection, and preservation of state. (See DLW 330-333) To what degree and in what balance do these areas of use and their constituent parts appear in the life of a given individual?
THE FUNDAMENTAL IMPORTANCE TO MENTAL HEALTH OF MAINTAINING SOUND BODILY HEALTH
In keeping with the root meaning of the word health, the Heavenly Doctrine clearly associates health with wholeness (see for example AC 2581). For one to be whole or healthy the spiritual mind, the natural mind, and the body must all be in a sound condition, capable of functioning in correspondence and harmony with one another. This necessary relationship and the final use or purpose implicit in this relationship are presented in summary form in the following passages.
Inasmuch as the end of creation is an angelic heaven out of the human race, and thus the human race itself, all other created things are mediate ends, and these, as having relation to man, with a view to his conjunction with the Lord, refer themselves to these three things in him, his body, his rational, and his spiritual. For man cannot be conjoined to the Lord unless he be spiritual, nor can he be spiritual unless he be rational, nor can he be rational unless his body is in a sound state. These three are like a house; the body like the foundation, the rational like the superstructure, the spiritual like those things which are in the house, and conjunction with the Lord like dwelling in it. From this can be seen in what order, degree, and respect uses (which are the mediate ends of creation) have relation to man, namely, (1) for sustaining his body, (2) for perfecting his rational, (3) for receiving what is spiritual from the Lord (DLW 330).
Uses for sustaining the body relate to its nourishment, its clothing, its habitation, its recreation and enjoyment, its protection and the preservation of its state. The uses created for the nourishment of the body are all things of the vegetable kingdom suitable for food and drink, as fruits, grapes, grain, pulse, and herbs; in the animal kingdom all things which are eaten, as oxen, cows calves, deer, sheep, kids, goats, lambs, and the they yield; also fowls and fish of many kinds. The uses created for the clothing of the body are many other products of these two kingdoms;
In order to appreciate the importance of having a sound body, if the mind is to be sound, one must have a right conception of what the mind is and how it is related to the body. Many teachings could be noted, but the following is sufficient to indicate very clearly that the mind, which involves mans will and understanding, while spiritual and discretely different from what is material, nevertheless is composed of organized substances and is not some abstract thing, airy or ethereal, without substance and form.
Because the will and understanding are the receptacles of love and wisdom, these two are organic forms, or forms organized out of the purest substances; for such they must be to be receptacles....
...How can love and wisdom, which are life from the Lord, act upon what is not a subject, or upon what has no substantial existence? Without organic forms, how can thought inhere; and from thought inherent in nothing can one speak? Is not the brain, where thought comes forth, complete and organized in every part?....
Do not, I pray, think of these things from an idea of vacuum. Vacuum is nothing, and in nothing nothing takes place, and from nothing nothing comes forth. (On the idea of vacuum, see above, n. 82) (DLW 373) (See DLW 40-43, 209, 257, 260; DP 279, 319; Div. Wis. V; AC 2487, 3318:2, 6326; AE 775)
As to how the organized spiritual substances of the mind affect the material substances of the body, which provides them with a natural clothing, let us note what is said in the following common teaching,
It is well known that the will and understanding rule the body at pleasure, for what the understanding thinks, the mouth speaks, and what the will wills, the body does. From this it is plain that the body is a form corresponding to the understanding and will.
In other passages relating the manner in which the mind, that is, mans willing and thinking affect and rule the body, our attention is drawn especially to the physical brains. Who could conclude otherwise than that the health of the brains must be a matter of central concern if the body as a whole is to be effectively governed by the mind? (cf. DLW 259)
Love and wisdom, and the will and understanding therefrom, make the very life of man (n. 363, 364). The life of man is in first principles in the brains, and in derivatives in the body (n. 365). Such as life is in first principles, such it is in the whole and in every part (n. 366). By means of these first principles life is in the whole from every part, and in every part from the whole (n. 367) (DLW 375).
In further explaining the manner in which the mind acts into and with the body our attention, in many passages is drawn to the overriding, dynamic correspondence that exists between the spiritual activities of will and understanding and the natural motions of the heart and lungs of the body. This important concept is introduced in the following teaching.
Lest there be any doubt about this vital, corresponding relationship a whole series of passages is devoted to illustrating how the affections of our will affect our heart and pulse rate, the vital heat in the body, and even the color of our blood. In regard to the thoughts of our understanding, our attention is called to the obvious link between these and the respiration of our lungs, and the speech which comes forth from our lungs (see DLW 378-383).
While the Word constantly emphasizes the fact that all the life of the body and all of its sensation, motion, speech and action are from the mind acting in the body, still the body and its health are a matter of great consequence. This was shown in a previous discussion where the effect of bodily impairment on rationality was under consideration (see DLW 259, 166; also DLW 330). The principle involved here is stated many times in the Word in various forms. The following are but two examples.
The mind ... behaves according to the state of the recipient parts that belong to the body, just as the sight is according to the state of the eye. (AC 8378)
Every ... influx is circumstanced in its subjects, or objects, according to their disposition, nature,
form... (SD 2149).
The general principle is that the influx or operation of the spiritual in the natural is according to the state or condition of the natural (See AC 3484; ISB 1, 12e, 13e; AE 349:3, 6; DP 98; SD 3635).
On this account it should not surprise us at all to find that the Word repeatedly announces the principle of a sound mind in a sound body.
A man must by all means care for his body, as that it may be nourished, and clothed, and may enjoy the delights of the world; but all these not for the sake of the body, but for the sake of the soul, namely, that the soul may act in a sound body correspondently and rightly, and may have the body as an organ entirely compliant to it.
In speaking to the principle of sound mind in a sound body a number of subordinate principles are provided. Those people who are considering fasting or dieting would do well to bear in mind
such teaching as the following.
...The nutrition of a man ... has as its end that he may have a sound mind in a sound body. If man deprives his body of its nourishment, he deprives himself also of the condition needed for his end; and therefore he who is a spiritual man does not despise nourishment, nor even its pleasures; and yet he does not hold them as his end, but only as a means that is of service to his end. From this as an example we can judge of all other things (AC 3951:3).
Every one ought to take care of his body in respect to its food and clothing. This must come first, but to the end that there may be a sound mind in a sound body. And every one ought to take care of his mind in respect to its food, namely, in respect to such things as belong to intelligence and wisdom, to the end that his mind may thus be in a state to serve the Lord: he who does this, takes good care of himself for eternity. But he who takes care of his body merely for the sake of the body, and does not think of soundness of mind, and who does not take care of his mind in respect to such things as are of intelligence and wisdom, but in respect to such things as are contrary thereto, takes bad care of himself for eternity. From all this it is evident in what way every one ought to be neighbor to himself, namely, not in the first place but in the last; for the end must not be for himself, but for others; and where the end is, there is the first (AC 6936).
The teaching just referred (AC 6936), in addition to emphasizing the need to take care of the body, establishes the principle that taking care of the body is not an end in itself. Just as one must avoid depriving the body of what it needs, so one must avoid making bodily well-being an overriding concern or mental health and spiritual health will suffer.
While, on the one hand, the principle of a sound mind in a sound body forbids the neglect of the body, so, on the other hand, it forbids the over-indulgence of the bodily appetites.
Take the nourishment of the body and the nourishment of the soul: one who is in merely external pleasures, makes much of himself, indulges his stomach, loves to live sumptuously, and makes the height of pleasure to consist in eatables and drinkables. One who is in internal things also finds pleasure in these things, but his ruling affection is to nourish his body with food pleasurably for the sake of its health, to the end that he may have a sound mind in a sound body, thus chiefly for the sake of the health of the mind, to which the health of the body serves as a means (AC 4459:6).
A new state begins in the man who is being regenerated, when the order is changed, as takes place when interior things obtain dominion over exterior things, and the exterior things begin to serve the interior, both as to the things of the intellect and as to those of the will. With those who are being regenerated, this is observed from the fact that something within dissuades them from allowing sensuous delights and bodily or earthly pleasures to reign, and to draw over to their side the things of the intellect to confirm them; and when this is the case the prior state is at its last, and the new state is at its first (AC 5159).
Such teachings as the following illustrate how over-indulgence of the bodily appetites not only undermines physical well being, but also erodes mental and spiritual health (See also AE 617a:2).
CONTINUATION CONCERNING THE INHABITANTS OF JUPITER
As regards the taste of foods; they do not prepare their foods according to the taste, but according to the use afforded to the body. That which is more useful to the body is likewise to them the more savory and as it were the sweeter; in consequence, they are not carried away by the sense of taste into luxury by which the health of the body is undermined, and hence the mind, which is healthy in a healthy body, suffers. If the well-being of the body is consulted it is for the sake of the interior man. On our earth where the sense of taste rules, the case is different, and so the body becomes sick and the mind insane (SD 596).
They said moreover that they do not prepare their food with reference to the taste, but chiefly with reference to use; adding that the food which is useful is to them savory. There was a discourse among the spirits on this subject, and it was said that this is advantageous for man, because in this way he has at heart a sound mind in a sound body; otherwise than with those with whom the taste rules, for then the body sickens, at the least is inwardly languid, and consequently also the mind, because this behaves according to the state of the recipient parts that belong to the body, just as the sight is according to the state of the eye. Hence the insanity of placing all the delight of life, and what they call the summum bonum, in luxury and pleasure. From this also comes corpulence in matters of thought and judgment; and quickness in the things of the body and the world. This results in the man having a likeness to a brute animal, with which also such persons do not unsuitably compare themselves (AC 8378).
The dangers involved in over-indulging the senses of smell, taste and touch are of such a magnitude that we are told that in heaven these....
senses with the angels are less exquisite than the senses of seeing and hearing, for the reason that seeing and hearing serve their intelligence and wisdom, but the rest do not; and if the other senses were equally exquisite they would detract from the light and joy of their wisdom, and would let in the delight of pleasures pertaining to various appetites and to the body;
The critical relationship between mental health and bodily health is summed up very concisely in the work on The Divine Providence,
No one is reformed in a state of bodily disease, because the reason is not then in a free state; for the state of the mind depends upon the state of the body. When the body is sick the mind is also sick, because of its separation from the world if for no other reason (DP 142).
Speaking specifically of food, the essential mind-body relationship relative to health is simply expressed as follows:
Material food does not penetrate to the mind, but only to the things of the body, which that food sustains to the end that this mind may enjoy its food while the body enjoys its food, that is, that this mind may be sound in a sound body (AC 5293).
SOUND MENTAL HEALTH FOR THE PURPOSE OF ETERNAL RECEPTION OF WHAT IS CELESTIAL AND SPIRITUAL.
In most of the teachings presented above, relating to the principle of a sound mind in a sound body, an even more important principle is either openly stated or clearly implied. Health of body and health of the natural mind have no other enduring purpose than to serve as a foundation and habitation for a spiritual mind that is eternally healthy and happy. This is beautifully outlined in The Divine Love and Wisdom (DLW 330-333).
THE HUMAN MIND AND ITS ENVIRONMENTHEREDITY
THE HUMAN MIND AND ITS ENVIRONMENT
For a person to enjoy a full and proper use of his Divinely given faculties of freedom and rationality, it is important that he have some idea of the substance and form of the human mind in its various degrees, discrete and continuous. Rationality demands that we understand in some measure how we are related, and how we ought to be related, to our Lord and to our human associates, spiritual and natural. In order to lay something of a foundation for this understanding, we have included as appendices a brief summation of the Conditions for Freedom of Choice and several tentative diagrams of the human soul and mind from the time of conception to the period of spiritual maturity.
Such summations and diagrams, however, cannot begin to adequately describe the structure and functioning of the human mind, unless a more specific idea is gained of the two most dynamic factors affecting the conscious mind, heredity and environment. From the Word alone will we discover what we need to know about our spiritual heredity and the spiritual environment which serves in the implantation of remains or states of love from the Lord.
In what follows, by means of a series of questions and answers, we will seek to draw from the Heavenly Doctrine the leading teachings relating to heredity and remains. It is hoped that such a discussion will lead to a clearer understanding of what is from the Lord in our mind, what is from others, and what may be regarded as our own.
In the present discussion, while the central focus will be hereditary tendencies to evil, other related issues will be introduced such as the place of self-love, of self-esteem, the distinction between hereditary and actual evil, and the existence and character of hereditary or natural good.
While there are exceptions, most passages in the Word for the New Church, when discussing our spiritual heredity, speak of hereditary evil. The simple reason for this is that since the end of the Most Ancient Church the spiritual heredity of mankind on this earth is predominantly evil. The following description of the Most Ancient Church at its end describes very well the predominant character of mans heredity at this day.
And Jehovah saw that the evil of man was multiplied in the earth, and that all the imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil every day (Genesis 6:5; cf. Genesis 8:21).
1) WHERE DO WE GET OUR HEREDITARY EVIL?
The Word notes that it is believed in the church at this day that all hereditary evil is from the first parent, and that all are therefore condemned in regard thereto (AC 4317). It is thought that because Adam sinned, man at this day is dead in sin. According to this concept our more immediate ancestors bear no responsibility one way or another for the condition of our heredity today.
The Heavenly Doctrine, however, shows that everyone, in every generation, male or female, contributes very directly, either in a negative or positive way, to the hereditary condition of their offspring.
The infirm nature which a man derives hereditarily from his mother, is something corporeal [relating to the body] that is dispersed when he is being regenerated, while that which a man derives from his father remains to eternity (AC 1414, see AC 1444, 1573).
Man is born into interior evil from his father, and into exterior evil from his mother (AC 4644).
The affections of the father and mother are connate and innate in the offspring; but those of the father are interior and therefore unfold themselves after a longer time, while those of the mother are exterior and therefore unfold themselves within a shorter time (SD 83).
3) WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF THIS DIFFERENCE IN WHAT IS RECEIVED FROM THE FATHER BY HEREDITY AND WHAT IS RECEIVED FROM THE MOTHER?
In order to understand the distinction between mans two heredities, we must understand what each parent contributes to the conception of a child in its mothers womb.
...the conception of a man from his father is not a conception of life, but only a conception of the first and purest form capable of receiving life; and to this, as to a nucleus or starting-point in the womb, are successively added substances and matters in forms adapted to the reception of life, in their order and degree (DLW 6).
In brief, the heredity of the father is impressed upon the outer structure of the soul itself in the seed, whereas, the heredity of the mother is impressed upon the ovum and what is used to clothe the soul with the material body. Does this mean that the maternal heredity is of no consequence? Not at all! The teaching regarding what the Lord received from Mary, and its effect, should certainly remove any doubt in this respect (see AC 1573, 1444).
Also it should be recalled from the discussion on health of mind and body that influx is according to the state, disposition, nature or form of its receiving vessel. The maternal heredity, impressed as it is on everything of the body, has a very great influence as regards how the spirit of man is able to act into the body, and through the body, produce its effects.
In order that we may see our soul and mind in proper perspective and correctly appreciate the conditions that the Lord has provided for the exercise of freedom and rationality, we must know that hereditary evils are not impressed on the interior degrees of our soul. They are not in the internal or inmost of man, which is the Lords own dwelling place with us, nor are they in the interior or rational man where remains, states of affection from the Lord, are imprinted from birth onwards. Hereditary evils are impressed upon the outer structures of the soul, they reside in the outermosts of the exterior or natural degree (see DLW 432).
Hereditary evils have their seat in his natural and sensual, but not in the spiritual; consequently the natural man, and especially the sensual man, is the opposite of the spiritual.... As all evils have their seat in the natural and sensual man it follows that falsities do also, because all falsities are of evil; for when man lusts and wills from evils, he thinks and speaks from falsity (AE 543b:4; AE 739:3; see also SD 2157).
...the evils of parents, which are called hereditary evils, especially lie hidden in children ... in ultimates or in the sensual man (AE 556:10).
All evils and their falsities, both engendered and acquired, have their seat in the natural mind. Evils and their falsities have their seat in the natural mind, because that mind is, in form or image, a world; while the spiritual mind in its form or image is a heaven, and in heaven evil cannot be entertained. The spiritual mind, therefore, is not opened from birth, but is only in the capability of being opened. Moreover, the natural mind derives its form in part from substances of the natural world; but the spiritual mind from substances of the spiritual world only; and this mind is preserved in its integrity by the Lord, in order that man may be capable of becoming a man;
These teachings are of tremendous significance in helping us to appreciate how a person in adult life can act in freedom in accordance with reason. Since hereditary tendencies are impressed only in the outermosts of the exterior or natural degree of the mind, or in the sensual especially, when the interiors of the natural mind are opened and developed to their highest point which is the rational, a person in their natural thinking can be raised above hereditary inclination with its characteristic false thought. Then by means of light out of the spiritual degrees of the mind the person can enjoy an interior thought from which he can view his exterior thought, reflect upon it and pass judgment on it, deciding whether it is evil or not evil (DP 104). In short, with hereditary evils seated in the exteriors of the mind, a person, if they will, can look down on them from an elevated perspective and choose whether or not they will become of their life. As will be noted in a subsequent part of the discussion, this Divinely provided arrangement in the human mind makes possible the implantation of remains in a situation of safety. For remains are not lodged in mans exteriors, but in his interiors. They are able, in childhood, to be kept quite separate from hereditary inclinations and therefore can be used by the Lord to offset the influence of ones perverse heredity.
Other passages modify the above teaching in some degree, speaking in terms of, most people etc. (see for example AC 3469:4).
Several passages bring both teachings together, speaking to the general state of our natural man at this day before regeneration but also noting that there are exceptions.
The will of man has continually been depraved, and at last so that evil has taken entire possession of it, insomuch that nothing sound (integer) has remained there.... There are few with whom there is anything sound left in the will part [of the external or natural man] (AC 6296:2; SD 4719).
8) WHILE A PERSON AT THIS DAY MAY BE INCLINED FROM HEREDITY TO EVERY GENUS AND SPECIES OF EVIL, WHAT FACTORS MAY CAUSE A CERTAIN GE~NUS OR SPECIES OF EVIL TO BE EXCITED MORE THAN OTHERS?
Further that there is an inclination in every man to every genus and species of evil, because there is such a multiplication; wherefore, when man grows up, then by his actuality are excited those genera or those species of evil, that happen according to his societies, actions, thoughts. Wherefore, man by nature inclines to every genus and species of evil, and from the determination of actuality is borne into this or that, and so multiplies (his) genus and species, according to generations and families (SD 2425; see TCR 120:2).
It is clear that we have some responsibility in the matter of what evils will be aroused. The kind of company we keep, the evils we allow to come into act, and the phantasies we indulge all have their effect.
9) TO WHAT GENUS OR SPECIES OF EVIL WILL WE MOST LIKELY BE INCLINED?
[We] are more prone and ready for one genus or one species of evil because it has prevailed in parents (SD 2426)
The effect on children of the fathers heredity, and especially of his ruling love, has already been noted in answer to question number three (see DLW 269; DP 277a). It need only be noted in addition what is taught in many other passages regarding the effect of the heredity of both parents.
The ruling love of parents by means of an offshoot is derived from them and transcribed into the offspring and becomes its nature (AE 989:2, AE 1002:a).
10) IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE TEACHINGS, MAY A DIFFERENT GENUS OR SPECIES OF EVIL THAN PREVAILED IN OUR PARENTS BECOME DOMINANT IN US?
...Still a man can be bent to a genus or species of another evil (SD 2426).
The factors that may so bend us were noted in answer to question number eight: his societies, actions, thoughts.
11) AS A RESULT OF OUR NATURAL HEREDITY HAVING BECOME AS DEPRAVED
AND DISTORTED AS IT IS AT THIS DAY, WHAT IMPORTANT FACULTY DO WE NOT NATURALLY OR SPONTANEOUSLY POSSESS THAT WAS ENJOYED BY PEOPLE IN MOST ANCIENT TIMES?
Hereditary evil like a root lies deeply hidden, for the very inward form [of the natural man] that receives from heaven (that is through heaven from the Lord) what is good and true, is depraved, and so to speak, distorted; so that when good and truth flow in from the Lord, they are either reflected, or perverted, or suffocated. It is from this cause that no perception of good and truth exists at this day (AC 4317:5; see AC 3701:2).
Again the familiar teaching regarding influx applies. Influx is according to the state of the receiving vessel. Unlike the Most Ancients in their state of integrity, our natural mind, corrupted as it is by a predominant inclination to selfishness and worldliness, does not properly receive and respond to what inflows from the Lord.
The answer to this question will be involved in almost everything that is said in a subsequent discussion of remains. For the present let us merely note that through the implantation of remains from the Lord in our interior man, and through the knowledges from the Word introduced into our external man by means of teachers and masters, the beginnings of a new will or conscience can be built up in our understanding. From this we are able to acknowledge what is good and true from the Lord. This is the hope of the great majority of the people born today. (see AC 4317 and many other teachings) (Regarding Conscience see AC 4167, 6207; SD (minor) 4545, 46.)
13) IF OUR HEREDITY IS AS BAD AS THE WORD TEACHES, WHERE DO INFANTS AND LITTLE CHILDREN GET THEIR OBVIOUS INNOCENCE?
Hereditary evil does not manifest itself until the man becomes an adult and acts from his understanding and the derivative will, and meanwhile it lies hidden, especially during infancy. Infants are led by the Lord by means of infants and angels from Him in heaven and hence they appear in a state of innocence while hereditary evil still lurks in everything they do (AC 4563:2).
Still other passages report that the influence of hell is largely withheld from infants and children. As a result hereditary inclinations are not aroused in the measure that they will be in a later state of life (see AC 2295, 5857).
14) IN GENERAL NOTHING CAN EXIST THAT CANNOT BE TURNED TO SOME USE. CAN WE THEN REGARD OUR HEREDITY AS TOTALLY USELESS, OR CAN IT TOO BE TURNED TO SOME USE?
Speaking of infants and children the Word reveals that this hereditary evil yields them nourishment, or is as a nurse, until the time when they judge for themselves (AC 4563:2; see AC 4063).
Again in the same passage it is said that hereditary evil acts as a nurse from earliest infancy to the age of new infancy... [or the beginning of the regenerate life when it is to be expelled] (AC 4563:2, 3).
How this is to be understood is explained in various passages where it is described how our perverted natural tendencies to love ourselves and the world can be used by the Lord before regeneration not only to provide for the maintenance and development of the body, but also for the maintenance and development of the natural mind.
15) IF HEREDITARY EVIL, AND PRINCIPALLY THE TENDENCIES TO LOVE SELF MORE THAN OTHERS AND THE WORLD MORE THAN HEAVEN, CAN BE TURNED BY THE LORD TO SERVE FOR USE IN A CHILDS DEVELOPMENT, WHAT ATTITUDE SHOULD WE TAKE TOWARDS ITS MANIFESTATION IN THE YOUNG? WHAT SHOULD WE DO WITH IT?
It is obvious that the ten commandments as explained in the Arcana Coelestia, the Apocalypse Explained and the True Christian Religion provide us with the dearest possible guide in this matter.
There are however, numerous other teachings which focus on specific evils in a most powerful manner. What responsible adult, having charge of children, can fail to note the implications of the following teachings?
These three things, especially,... adulteries, the love of ruling, and deceit ... those shun who will be of the New Jerusalem (SD 6053).
A few words shall be added to further explain how the case herein is. In man there is no pure good, that is, good with which evil is not mingled; nor pure truth, with which falsity is not mingled.
On one hand it is clear that while we must firmly discourage the more damaging forms of selfish and worldly love, we must deal more gently with the less damaging so as not to extinguish the fire of the childs first life.
What then is an appropriate expression of love of self and love of the world?
It has been said that the love of self and the love of the world are hell, but the source of those loves shall now be explained. Man was created to love self and the world, to love the neighbor and heaven, and to love the Lord. For this reason when a man is born he first loves himself and the world, and afterwards, so far as he becomes wise, he loves the neighbor and heaven, and as he becomes still wiser he loves the Lord. Such a man is in the Divine order, and is actually led by the Lord although apparently by himself. But so far as he is not wise he stops in the first degree, which is to love himself and the world; and if he loves the neighbor, heaven, and the Lord it is for the sake of self before the world. But if is wholly unwise he loves himself alone, and the world and also the neighbor for the sake of self; while heaven and the Lord he either despises or denies or hates in heart, if not in words. These are the origins of the love of self and of the love of the world, and as these loves are hell, it is evident whence hell is (AE 1144:2).
The reason why the love of self and love of the world are infernal loves, and yet man has been able to come into them and thus subvert the will and understanding within him, is as follows:
It is clear from these teachings that love of self and love of the world cannot be ignored nor can they be wholly suppressed. Prior to their deliberate corruption by the most ancient people, they were naturally good loves. Today from birth they are hell with man, and if they are permitted to dominate in the human mind they will destroy a person eternally. Still they are the first of life with a person prior to regeneration and, as such, are a reality that must be dealt with, indeed, bent to service or use. What use? As noted in the Divine Love and Wisdom (396) they are to serve spiritual loves as a foundation serves a house. For man, from the love of self and the world, seeks the welfare of his body, desires food, clothing, and habitation, is solicitous for the welfare of his family, and to secure employment for the sake of use, and even, in the interest of obedience, to be honored according to the dignity of the affairs which he administers, and to find delight and refreshment in worldly enjoyment; yet all this for the sake of the end, which must be use.
Speaking more generally we might say that these loves are to be bent to the uses of sustaining the body (ones own and that of others), to perfecting the rational (ones own and that of others), and to receiving what is spiritual from the Lord (for oneself and for others) (cf. DLW 327-335). We might therefore conclude that while the self per se deserves no love, respect or esteem, still love, respect, esteem and a good image are in order for an individual when and to the degree that the self has been bent to the performance of these uses.
Still, remembering the teachings noted in respect to question sixteen (SD 6053; AC 3993:8, 9) this conclusion must be modified. While bending the love of self and the world to the various uses mentioned above, certain evils must be shunned altogether, such as adulteries of various kinds, unlawful manipulation or domination of others, and malignant deceit (See SD 6053), also hatreds, revenges, cruelties, and consequent arrogance or contempt for others in comparison with oneself; also the false persuasions that arise from these attitudes and actions (see AC 3993:8, 9). As noted in the teachings, these evil and false things are of such a diabolical character that the Lord cannot associate or mingle anything of good and truth with them. They are wholly contrary to love the Lord and service to the neighbor.
The following series of teachings from the Doctrine of Charity deliberately addresses the issue of self concern and places it in its proper relation to concern for the neighbor as the neighbor exists in various degrees and contexts.
It is a common saying that every one is neighbor to himself, that is, that one should take care of himself first of all. The doctrine of charity teaches how the case herein is. Every one is neighbor to himself, not in the first, but in the last place. In a prior place are others who are in good; in a still prior place is a society of many; in a place still prior is our country; in a place still prior is the church; in a place still prior is the Lords kingdom; and above all men and all things is the Lord.
The saying that every one is neighbor to himself and that he must take care of himself first of all, is to be understood in this way. Every one must make provision for himself so as to have the necessaries of life, as food, clothing, a place to dwell in, and other things which are necessarily required in the civil life where he is;
Considering what is said of the dominant state of the human mind before regeneration, we might wonder how it is possible to bring the loves of self and the world into a state of subordination such that they truly serve the neighbor in the first place and oneself in the last. The following powerful teaching describes how the Lord in His mercy has provided for a process of regeneration whereby step by step, state by state, we may be led from a predominant state of selfishness and worldliness to a state of genuine love and charity. This is clearly a lifelong process (see AC 5354:3, 4063:3, 4136), but, fortunately for man, the Lord has infinite patience. Surely parents, teachers, and adults generally should give special attention to teachings such as this. Here is the Divine wisdom needed to help us guide the child and adolescent and to be led ourselves by the Lord toward a life of charity, all the while having realistic expectations in regard to the motivation, thought and activity of which a person is capable in any given state of development.
Even in the spiritual world this development can be expected. In noting the purpose for this manifestation there, our attention is called to one of the important reasons why our tendencies are allowed to appear in this world.
It is not therefore for the sake of punishment that the little children on becoming adult are remitted into the state of their hereditary evil; but that they may know that of themselves they are nothing but evil, and that it is of the Lords mercy that they are taken away from the hell that is with them into heaven (AC 2308).
It is to be observed that a child, while thinking from others, may be aware of hereditary traits, but a sustained awareness of the real nature of their heredity is possible only when some degree of maturity is achieved and young adults are able to think from themselves and initiate for themselves some self-examination (See AC 3701:2, 3; DP 104, 105).
19) WHEN IT BECOMES POSSIBLE TO IDENTIFY FOR OURSELVES OUR HEREDITARY EVILS, TO WHAT SHOULD WE DIRECT OUR ATTENTION?
But what hereditary evil is, few know; it is believed to consist in doing evil; but it consists in willing and hence thinking evil;
Many teachings could be cited hut the following is sufficient to establish what the Word generally reveals.
It is from hereditary evil to love self more than others, to will evil to others if they do not honor us to perceive delight in revenge, and also to love the world more than heaven. Again: It is known by the delight that is felt when evil befalls another (AC 4317; 5, See AC 3701).
It is clear that if we would gain an awareness of our heredity we do well to give special attention to what brings us delight, pleasure or satisfaction and then note what the Word teaches relating to those delights (See HH 487).
Besides noting what brings delight we should also reflect on what generates a negative reaction in us.
By virtue of the reaction which is in him from birth the natural mind, or man, when he loves himself and the world above all things, acts against the things that are of the spiritual mind or man. Then also he has a sense of enjoyment in evils of every kind, as adultery, fraud, revenge, blasphemy, and other like things; he then also acknowledges nature as the creator of the universe; and confirms all things by means his rational faculty; and after confirmation he either perverts or suffocates or repels the goods and truths of heaven and the church, and at length either shuns them or turns his back upon them or hates them. This he does in his spirit, and in the body just so far as he dares to speak with others from his spirit without fear of the loss of reputation as a means to honor and gain (DLW 262; see DLW 271, 278, 267; CL 461; DLW 316).
Not only do people who are in evil, without self-examination, fail to recognize their evil, they actually perceive it as good, and good they perceive as evil.
That evil and good are opposites, also the falsity of evil and the truth of good, every one acknowledges when he hears it. Still those who are in evil do not feel, and therefore do not perceive, otherwise than that evil is good; for evil gives enjoyment to their senses, especially sight and hearing, and from that gives enjoyment also to their thoughts, and thus their perceptions. While, therefore, the evil acknowledge that evil and good are opposites, still, when they are in evil, they declare from their enjoyment of it that evil is good, and good evil. For example:--One who abuses his freedom to think and to do what is evil calls that freedom, while its opposite, namely, to think the good which in itself is good, he calls bondage; when, in fact, the latter is to be truly free, and the former to be in bondage. He who loves adulteries calls it freedom to commit adultery, but not to be allowed to commit adultery he calls bondage;
From many, many teachings it is obvious that evils, hereditary or actual, will not become apparent to a person unless they deliberately search them out and are prepared to candidly acknowledge their presence. This is especially true of the two most sinister evils that infest human nature at this day.
There are two loves which have long been enrooted in the human race the love of ruling over all and the love of possessing the goods of all. The former love, if free rein is given to it, rushes on even so far as to wish to be the God of heaven: and the latter, if free rein is given to it, rushes on even so far as to wish to be the God of the world. To these two loves are subordinated all other evils loves, of which there are hosts; but to examine these two is exceedingly difficult, because they reside most deeply within and hide themselves; for they are like vipers concealed in a cloven rock, which retain their poison, so that when one lies down upon the rock they give their deadly stroke, and again withdraw to their hiding-places. They are also like the sirens of the ancients, who allured men by their song, and by that means slew them. These two loves also decorate themselves in splendid attire, as a devil by magical hallucinations does among his own, or among those whom he wishes to delude.  But it must be clearly understood that these two loves may bear rule among the humble more than among the great, among the poor more than among the rich, among subjects more than among kings;
It is to be noted however, that although hereditary evils may not become actual as the term is used in these passages, still, by commission in childhood, evils from ones heredity may be strengthened in the immature mind, becoming more resistant to removal (see AC 8403). This sad fact is especially evident in the following teaching in which the Lord issues a stern warning to adults not to encourage evil loves in children. It would appear that, at least temporarily, the aggravation of evil tendencies can severely damage the association with the angels of heaven that children ordinarily enjoy.
I was in the street of a large city, and saw little boys fighting with each other; a crowd flocked around and looked on with much pleasure; and I was told that little boys are incited to such fights by their own parents. Good spirits and angels who saw this through my eyes were so revolted at it that I felt their horror; and especially that parents should incite their children to such things, saying that in this way parents extinguish in the earliest age all the mutual love and all the innocence that children have from the Lord, and initiate them into the spirit of hatred and revenge;
Evils of heredity thus become actual when we willingly consent to their presence in our thought, and especially when we do them and delight in doing them. But making evils actual should be seen as something progressive, becoming more serious the more it is actualized. This unhappy development is fully described as follows.
In regard to the origin of the influx of evil from hell, the case is this. When a man first from consent, then from purpose, and at last from the delight of affection, casts himself into evil, then a hell is opened which is in such evil (for the hells are distinct from one another according to evils and all their varieties), and there afterward takes place an influx from that hell. When a man comes into evil in this way, it clings to him, for the hell in the sphere of which he then is, is in its very delight when in its evil; and therefore it does not desist, but obstinately presses in, and causes the man to think about that evil, at first occasionally, and afterward as often as anything presents itself which is related to it, and at last it becomes with him that which reigns universally. And when this takes place, he then seeks for such things as confirm that it is not an evil, and this until he wholly persuades himself;
This more general teaching relating to the addictive character of evil acts is confirmed and illustrated by the two teachings which follow, describing the frightening consequences of deliberately committing some form of adultery.
The sirens, moreover, are such that no man who has once esteemed adulteries and such things as nothing, and has thus involved himself as to the thought in the companionship of those who are such in the other life, can ever escape being held captive by them to the end of his life; for they bend the least things of the thoughts in innumerable ways, and make them delightful, and thus operate for the destruction of the man. This is yet more the case at the present time, when this crew is greatly increased, and also because evil spirits are tolerated in the world of spirits. Wherefore let men beware of actual evils; in this way only can any one at last abstain from them; for actualities bring on habits, and put on a kind of nature, as happens with those who have exercised themselves in thefts, and thus evils are increased, together with their delights, and men are carried away by an increasing number of sirens, like a piece of wood in a rapid stream. Such a wandering crowd of sirens is multiplied at the present day far beyond their numbers in former times (SD 4479)
It was said by the adulterer before spoken of, that he could not possibly be in the sphere of spirits who were in conjugial love, because he was thereby pained and, as it were, constricted. He said also that he could by no means desist (from his adulterous actings): whence I perceived that those who become such as he was or otherwise evil, by once giving way to actual evil, as thieves for instance, cannot afterwards desist, as there is henceforward a certain continual actuality in thought, by which he is excited to the commission, and as often as the act recurs, something is added (to the power of the propensity) till at last it becomes a nature, and then no external bond is scarcely at all regarded.
These and other like teachings present us with a sobering truth that while evil in the mind is a serious matter, evil brought forth from the will into action is even more serious. We would do well to heed such general admonitions as the following Concerning Actuality.
It was perceived, that before any evil becomes actual with man, he should be on his guard against doing it; for as soon as it becomes actual it becomes customary and habitual, and at length natural; and is thus transmitted to the offspring and to posterity. 1748, November 26(SD 4080).
Such teachings as these relating the addictive power in evils actually done arise out of the more general principles of doctrine which explain how the outmost degree of anything is the complex, containent and base of the prior degrees and how degrees of height are in fullness and in power in their outmost degree (See DLW 209-221, 277-281; cf. HH 475; SD 6079).
It is important to realize, however, that hereditary evils may become actual with a person, actual in the mind, without being brought into bodily acts.
CONCERNING THOSE WHICH (BELONG) TO THE WILL (BUT) NOT TO THE ACT.
Certain spirits, as was previously the case, wish to be justified because they have done no evil, although they have thought (it): wherefore it was insinuated into me that the matter stands thus, that whatever comes into (enters) the thought (and) not into the will this is not a sin: then if (it comes) (enters) into the will or (what is) like the will, and he thinks that this is a sin, contrary to the Lords Word, (and) will burden (his) conscience, and so shakes it off: this cannot be a sin but (is) a temptation. But if anything comes into (enters) the thought and the will, so that he desires to cause only the external bonds may not hinder, this is a sin: like as the Lord says, he who looks on a girl with lust, has already committed whoredom.--1748, September 16. (SD 3178; see SD 3415)
The general doctrine relating to interior acts, actions of the will that may not immediately appear before people in this world, is fully explained and illustrated in the Divine Love.
To love is to do because it is to will; for whatever a man loves that he wills; and what he wills that he does if it is possible; and if he does not do it because it is not possible, it still comes into interior act, which is not made manifest. For no endeavor or volition can exist in man unless it comes into ultimates; and when it is in ultimates it is in interior act, although this act is not perceived by any one, not even by the man himself because it exists in his spirit. From this it Is that volition and act are a one, and that the volition is counted as the act. This does not apply to the natural world, because in that world the interior act of the will does not appear, but it applies to the spiritual world, for there it is seen. For all in the spiritual world act according to their loves; those who are in heavenly love act sanely; those who are in infernal love act insanely; and if because of any fear they do not act, their will is interiorly active, but is restrained by them from breaking forth; nor does this action cease until the volition ceases.
In still another series of passages a further important distinction is made regarding actual evils, a distinction that should be observed carefully when reflecting on the character of evil brought into act by those who have not yet reached maturity, a distinction that should profoundly influence the adult who seeks to briny comfort and correction to the life of a despondent child or adolescent.
There is actual evil which one receives from others through no fault of his own.
In contrast to evil not of ones own fault there is evil that is ones own fault which is represented in the Word by a carcass. This is evil that a person receives of their own accord. It is the evil which a person has contracted by actual life, and has also confirmed in thought even to belief and persuasion (see AC 4171-4174) (see AC 9064-9103 for another important series presenting similar teaching).
It should be observed that while actual evil not of ones own fault does not by itself condemn a person, still it must be removed from our thought and life.
There are many teachings which relate how through self-examination in the light of the Word we may be brought to realize whether or not certain evils have become actual with us. At the same time it is clear that we will not have a full view of our spiritual condition until, by the death of the body, we enter consciously into the life of our spirit.
...It is manifestly shown in the other life, how much of evil from what is hereditary each one has drawn to himself by actual life, and also how far he has removed himself from heaven by evil affections from this source (AC 4317).
25) DO WE BEAR ANY BLAME OR DO WE SUFFER ANY PUNISHMENT FOR THOSE EVILS WHICH WE HAVE NOT MADE ACTUAL?
Divine Revelation and common perception clearly answer, no!
...Of the Lords mercy no one is blamed for what is hereditary, but for what is actual (AC 4563:2, see AC 966).
No one suffers punishment in the other life on account of hereditary evil, because it is not his, and therefore he is not to blame for being of such a nature; but everyone suffers on account of the actual evil which is his own, and consequently for so much of the hereditary evil as he has appropriated to himself by actual life (AC 2308; see AC 9009:3, 9069; AE 556:10; AC 1667, 2307, 8806).
The response to such questions occur many times in many forms throughout the Word for the New Church. The following are but a small sample of the teachings.
There is no recovery from this in posterity except through their fleeing from evils as sins by the help of the Lord. In this and in no other way is the spiritual mind opened, and by means of such opening the natural mind is brought back into correspondent form (DLW 269).
Evil and falsity when confirmed cannot be uprooted after death; they are only uprooted by means of repentance in the world (DLW 262e).
It was perceived that such consequences [i.e. evil becoming a nature which is transmitted to offspring (SD 4080)] are never removed except through the bond of conscience, and thus by a thorough repentance in order to the receiving of faith from the Lord (SD 4091)
This continuous derived [hereditary] nature is not broken and changed, except by the Lord through a life of faith and charity (AC 8550).
In summary, the Lord through His Word urges each individual in every generation to enter into actual repentance as it is so clearly and frequently defined in every work of the Heavenly Doctrines.
The Word indicates that there is such an evil--adulteries of various kinds. This is not a popular teaching in the Christian world of today where adulteries are so prevalent, and often are not regarded as serious evils.
That heaven is from marriages and hell from adulteries has been shown above. What this means shall now be told. The hereditary evils into which man is born are not from Adams having eaten of the tree of knowledge, but from the adulteration of good and the falsification of truth by parents, thus from the marriage of evil and falsity, from which the love of adultery exists. The ruling love of parents by means of an offshoot is derived from them and transcribed into the offspring and becomes its nature. If the love of the parents is the love of adultery it is also the love of evil for falsity and of falsity for evil. From this source man has all evil, and from evil he has hell. All this makes clear that it is from adulteries that man has hell, unless he is reformed by the Lord by means of truths and a life according to them. And no one can be reformed unless he shuns adulteries as infernal and loves marriages as heavenly. In this and in no other way is hereditary evil broken and rendered milder in the offspring (AE 989:2).
From what has been thus far presented what the good is that results from chastity in marriage can be inferred, consequently what the good works of chastity are that a man does who shuns adulteries as sins against God.
When the Heavenly Doctrines single this evil out for particular attention it should be realized that much more is being condemned than what is ordinarily regarded as adultery. In the True Christian Religion (313) it is indicated that the sixth commandment prohibits all the evils discussed in Conjugial Love beginning at number 423 and proceeding to number 531. In general scortatory love, as there defined is condemned. Associated with it are certain kinds of fornication, and concubinage. Single, double and triple adultery in their various degrees are included. The lust of defloration, the lust for variety, the lust of violation and the lust of seducing innocences are all named.
THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY.
In the natural sense, this commandment means not only not to commit adultery, but it refers also to willing and doing obscene things and thinking and speaking about lascivious things. That merely to lust is to commit adultery, is evident from the Lords words:--
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery. But I say unto you, that every one that looketh on another mans wife to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart (Matt. v. 27, 28).
The reason of this is that when lust enters the will it becomes, as it were, deed; for allurement enters into the understanding only, but into the will, intention; and the intention of a lust is a deed (TCR 313)
In singling adultery out as an evil that is especially to be shunned if ones heredity is to be softened, we should not neglect the association of this evil with all other grievous evils.
The angel then departed, and the new spirits went away sorrowful. (CL 356)
The other more serious evils that are to be shunned especially have been discussed in relation to questions sixteen and seventeen. These include such evils as the lust of ruling from the love of self, malignant deceit, hatreds, revenges, cruelties and contempt for others in comparison with oneself.
29) CAN OUR PERSONAL HEREDITARY AND ACTUAL EVILS, THROUGH REGENERATION, BE EXTERMINATED IN US SO AS TO VANISH OK BECOME NULL AND VOID?
The case herein is this: Evil both hereditary and actual in a man who is being regenerated is not exterminated so as to vanish or become null and void, but is only separated, and by the Lords disposal is rejected to the circumferences (AC 4551, 4552);
To eternity, therefore, with those in heaven, evils are progressively removed beyond the boundaries of their angelic consciousness. As this is done then heavenly joy and happiness increases in equal measure.
HEREDITY AND NATURAL GOOD
When the Word speaks of the character of the natural man as to its heredity at this day the teachings usually focus on hereditary inclinations to love what is evil and to think what is false. We are taught that with regeneration this heredity can be broken, softened, rendered milder and even, to some degree, rooted out. We are promised that if man will from the Lord flee from evils as sins there can be some recovery from our hereditary condition in posterity such that the spiritual mind may again be opened and the natural brought back into a correspondent form.
In response, the Word confirms what common observation shows us. Yes, there is such a thing as natural good. Everyone knows what natural good is, namely, that it is the good into which man is born.... The good into which man is born he derives from his parents, either father or mother; for all that which parents have contracted by frequent use and habit, or have become imbued with by actual life until it has become so familiar to them that it appears as if natural, is transmitted into their children, and becomes hereditary (AC 3469:3) (cf. AC 6208).
32) IF SO, DOES THIS MEAN THAT THE APPEARANCE OF A NATURAL GOOD TENDENCY IN A CHILD INDICATES THAT THE NATURAL HEREDITY OF THAT CHILD IS SOMEWHAT RECOVERED, THAT IT IS NOT ALTOGETHER INTERIORLY CORRUPT?
Such a conclusion is not justified. There are four kinds of natural good that appear before men from heredity, two kinds that are, indeed, naturally good, and two that are not good, but only outwardly appear to be good. The latter two are also called goods by reason of their appearing in outward form as good in those persons in whom they are, although they are the very reverse of goods (AC 3469:4).
There are four kinds of natural good, that is, of the good that is born with man, namely, natural good from the love of good, natural good from the love of truth, and also natural good from the love of evil, and natural good from the love of falsity (AC 3467:2).
33) HOW MAY WE COME TO POSSESS AS A PART OF OUR HEREDITY THE NATURAL GOOD WHICH PROPERLY DESERVES TO BE CALLED NATURAL GOOD, EITHER NATURAL GOOD FROM THE LOVE OF GOOD, OR NATURAL GOOD FROM THE LOVE OF TRUTH?
The teaching given is wholly in agreement with the passages presented in response to questions 26 through 28, and merely constitutes a further development of the principles there revealed.
From the teaching that is given we conclude that the natural tendency to appear outwardly good from a love of evil is inherited when at the time an offspring is conceived, the parents are inwardly in evil, but for the purpose of self-advantage and exploitation of others, delight in outwardly posing as innocent and good. The case would be similar with the natural tendency to appear outwardly good from a love of falsity.
35) ARE THERE ANY SYMPTOMS OR INDICATIONS THAT ONE MIGHT LOOK FOR IN ONESELF IN ORDER TO DISCOVER THE PRESENCE OF EITHER OR BOTH OF THE MISLEADING NATURAL GOODS?
The Word provides very direct instruction in this regard. They who are in the natural good of the love of evil are pliant and prone to evils of every kind; for they suffer themselves to be easily led astray, and from this good are compliant, especially to foul pleasures, to adulteries, and also to cruelties;....
Such teachings as this should give us reason to pause an reflect before we, on the basis of observed behavior, make judgments about the goodness and badness of children and young people. It just might be that the child who appears to have a naturally good and easy disposition may have a more malignant heredity than the child who appears to have a naturally mean and difficult nature.
37) WHILE GIVING CAREFUL ATTENTION TO THE SOBERING TEACHING REGARDING SO-CALLED NATURAL GOODS, WHAT OTHER TEACHING MIGHT WE BEAR IN MIND SO AS TO BE INSPIRED AND ENCOURAGED TO RENOUNCE SUCH PSEUDO-GOOD IN OURSELVES AND SOFTEN ITS IMPACT ON OUR CHILDREN?
Offspring born of two who are in love truly conjugial derive from their parents the conjugial of good and truth (CL 202, 204).
38) IN WHAT FORM MIGHT SUCH AN HEREDITARY TRAIT BE EXPECTED TO APPEAR?
For any good to become permanently appropriated to us, we must from the Lord, but as if of ourselves, freely choose that good and reject what is opposed to it. And this we cannot do unless we have received principles of doing what is good from the Word, the doctrine of the church, or from whatever religiosity we may possess. It is only from these that a person may be endowed by the Lord with a conscience, for conscience does not come from natural or hereditary good, but from the doctrine of truth and good and a life in accordance therewith (AC 6208). Only when good is done because the Lord so wills and teaches does what is natural become something of our spirit in the natural and remain for our use and delight to eternity.
THE HUMAN MIND AND ITS ENVIRONMENTREMAINS
ENVIRONMENT AND REMAINS
In our previous discussion we have noted that through the shunning of evils as sins against the Lord hereditary tendencies to evil can be broken up in some measure and rendered milder in offspring. Indeed, from parents who are being regenerated, children may inherit something of a tendency to natural good from a love of good or a love of truth. More particularly, from parents who are in genuine marriage love a son may have a natural inclination and faculty for perceiving the things which are of wisdom, and a daughter may be naturally inclined to love the things which wisdom teaches. These teachings which indicate that something of soundness may be restored to the natural will of man are most encouraging, Still, as we have seen, the Heavenly Doctrines do not suggest that we should look to the natural will as an important means for effecting our regeneration or salvation. Many, many passages remind us that the natural will of a person at this day is inclined to evils and falsities of all kinds. While exceptions are noted (see AC 6296:2; SD 4719) the general teaching is that mans native will is utterly ruined. Unless there he formed in a person a new will or conscience there is no real hope of establishing spiritual or saving good in the natural mind, no hope for regeneration. This fact is made very evident in the two teachings which follow, the first of which is given in explanation of the words in Genesis where it said that the imagination of mans heart is evil from his childhood (Genesis 8:21).
The formation of a new will and understanding from the Lord or the establishment of conscience is the only means for bringing a person into the exercise of true freedom and rationality, into genuine and enduring health of mind.
At the beginning of our discussion of remains we must make a clear distinction between remains and hereditary tendencies to love either what is good or what is evil. Hereditary good or evil refers only to what has been impressed upon the very form of the soul and upon its bodily clothing before the individual is born into the world. It does not refer to what is received into and impressed upon the human soul and mind after birth, unless one wishes to speak of what is afterwards received from the Lord there as our inheritance from Him. Remains, on the other hand, refer to something that only begins to be received upon the birth of the individual into the world, the spiritual and natural environments serving as means in this implantation. Further important distinctions between these two, heredity and remains, will emerge as our discussion proceeds. As indicated earlier, if we are to properly understand how the Lord has provided for man to act in freedom according to reason, we must understand both the distinction and the relationship between these two dynamic elements in the human mind.
While the discussion to follow will focus primarily on the subject of remains, towards the close we will turn our attention to the relationship between remains and the new will and conscience.
Almost every passage that mentions remains also declares them to
be from the Lord.
2) WHY THEN IN THE CHURCH DO WE SO OFTEN REFER TO ANGELS WHEN WE ARE DISCUSSING THE IMPLANTATION OF REMAINS?
For anything to be received from the Lord there must he both an immediate influx into the mind from the Lord from within, and a mediate influx from the Lord, affecting the mind from without. Unless there is, as it were, an interaction of the two, nothing is implanted or imprinted in the mind. It is the same with the body. For bodily sensation to occur, there must be both life from within and also something from without affecting the body.
In regard to remains, the angels, from the Lord through their sphere, serve as a means for the Lord to mediately affect the spirit of man from without. What is from the Lord from within may therefore be received and remain imprinted on the interiors of the mind.
Accordingly it is said of some angels from the third heaven that their uses have relation especially to the implantation of... holy things, especially with little children, with whom they have conjunction, and whom they inspire with innocence and its affections... (AE 828).
Certain passages speak quite specifically of the societies of angels whose delight it is to serve people as they pass through their changes of state in this life.
They said further concerning infants on earth, that directly after birth angels from the heaven of innocence are with them; in the succeeding age angels from the heaven of the tranquility of peace; and afterwards those who are from the societies of charity; and then, as the innocence and charity with the young children decrease, other angels are with them; and at length, when they become older and enter into a life foreign to charity, angels are indeed present, but more remotely, and this in accordance with the ends of life, which the angels especially regulate by continually insinuating good ones, and turning aside evil ones; and they flow in more nearly or more remotely, in proportion as they can or cannot do this (AC 2303) (See SD 4382; TCR 677, 678, 729; SD 6011; HH 277, 332; AC 2736; AE 412:6; AC 99; DLW 252; SD 1201; AC 1906)
The secret is this: from earliest infancy even to the first of childhood, man is being introduced by the Lord into heaven, and indeed among celestial angels, by whom he is kept in a state of innocence; a state in which (as is known) infants are up to the first of childhood. When the age of childhood begins, the child gradually puts off the state of innocence, though he is still kept in a state of charity by means of the affection of mutual charity toward those like himself, which state with many continues up to youth, and meanwhile he is among spiritual angels. Then, because he begins to think from himself and to act accordingly, he can no longer be kept in charity as before; for he then calls forth inherited evils, by which he suffers himself to be led. When this state comes, the goods of charity and innocence that he had previously received, are banished according to the degree in which he thinks evils and confirms them by act; and yet they are not banished, but are withdrawn by the Lord toward the interiors and there stored up (AC 5342).
3) DO SPIRITS IN THE WORLD OE SPIRITS WHO ARE ASSOCIATED WITH OUR EXTERIOR OR NATURAL MIND, HAVE ANY ROLE IN THE IMPLANTATION OF REMAINS?
The following teaching, along with others, reveals that spirits in the world of spirits must perform an important use in assisting the Lord and his angels in the implantation of remains.
The spirits adjoined to man are such as he himself is, in respect to affection or love; but the good spirits are adjoined to him by the Lord, while the evil spirits are summoned by the man himself. The spirits with man, however, are changed in accordance with the changes of his affections; thus, there are some spirits with him in infancy, others in boyhood, others in youth and manhood, and others in old age. In infancy, those spirits are present who are in innocence and who thus communicate with the heaven of innocence, which is the inmost or third heaven; in childhood, those spirits are present who are in the affection of knowing, and who thus communicate with the ultimate or first heaven; in youth and manhood, spirits are present who are in the affection of what is true and good, and consequently in intelligence and who thus communicate with the second or middle heaven; in old age, however, spirits are present who are in wisdom and innocence, and who thus communicate with the inmost or third heaven. But the Lord effects this adjunction with those who can be reformed and regenerated. It is otherwise with those who cannot be reformed or regenerated. Good spirits also are adjoined to these, that they may thereby be withheld from evil as much as possible, but their immediate conjunction is with evil spirits who communicate with hell, whereby they have such spirits with them as are like themselves. If they are lovers of self or lovers of gain, or lovers of revenge, or lovers of adultery, similar spirits are present, and dwell, as it were, in their evil affections, and man is incited by these, except so far as he can be kept from evil by good spirits, and they cling to him, and do not withdraw, so far as the evil affection prevails. Thus it is that a bad man is conjoined to hell and a good man is conjoined to heaven (HH 295) (see TCR 476; SD 5167).
4) DO PARENTS AND OTHER PEOPLE HAVE ANY ROLE IN THE IMPLANTATION OF REMAINS OR IS THIS A PROCESS THAT IS OP PRIMARY CONCERN TO THOSE IN THE SPIRITUAL WORLD?
While the teachings which specifically discuss remains may not refer directly to the role of parents and other people, that role is always implied. Moreover in hundreds of other passages, the vital role of people in this world is obvious. For example, in reference to the uses for sustaining the body, for perfecting the rational, and for receiving the spiritual from the Lord, the extremely important role of parents, teachers and others is openly described (DLW 331-335). In general adults are charged with the responsibility of providing for the rising generation nourishment, clothing, habitation, recreation, enjoyment, protection and preservation of a sound state of both the mind and the body. More particularly they are to provide instruction to the young in those subjects that will enable the young, when they are grown, to provide the necessaries of physical and mental life for themselves and for others. These subjects are called sciences and branches of study, pertaining to natural, economical, civil, and moral affairs (DLW 332). In addition they are to provide instruction and leadership in all things that belong to religion and to worship therefrom; thus all things that teach the acknowledgment and knowledge of God and the knowledge and acknowledgment of good and truth and thus eternal life (DLW 333).
Without the expressed love, concern, care and instruction bestowed upon an individual in this world no remains could be implanted in their interiors. We might recall that influx is according to the state of the receiving vessel.
Again, in evaluating the importance of what adults can contribute in the process of implanting remains, we should recall what the Lord teaches about what is natural in relation to what is spiritual. Though lifeless in itself, the natural exists that all things higher and more interior may become fixed, settled, and constant in forms that are permanent and durable. What is natural provides a kind of base and support; for it is the outmost work, (ultimum opus), in which all things terminate, and upon which they rest. It is also a kind of womb (matrix), out of which effects, which are ends of creation, are produced... (DLW 165; cf. 160, 209-221, 277, 281). When we reflect on these and other teachings it should be very apparent that adults, as they affect the young from without through the natural world, have an exceedingly vital role to play in the implantation of what are called remains.
5) JUST HOW IMPORTANT IS IT THAT WE HAVE REMAINS, OR COULD WE GET
ALONG WITHOUT THEM?
The following are but a small sample of what is reported concerning them.
Man cannot live without remains, ... it is in the remains that the life of man is superior to that of brutes. From remains, that is, through remains from the Lord, man is able to be as a man ... for in remains alone is there spiritual and celestial life (AC 560).
... if a man had no remains he must necessarily be in eternal damnation (AC 565).
No man can ever live still less as a man, if he has not something living In him, that is, if he has not ... remains. Without these states he would be much more vile than a brute (AC 1050, see AC 1738).
It is plain that if there were no remains imprinted in our interiors there would never be any possibility of our acting in freedom according to reason when we come to the age of maturity. There would be nothing to offset the influence of our corrupt heredity which has its stronghold in our exteriors (See AC 857).
6) WHEN WE SPEAK OF REMAINS WHAT IS IT THAT WE AKE TALKING ABOUT?
By remains is meant everything good and true that the Lord insinuates into man from infancy even to the end of his life (AC 2280).
They are all the good and all the truth with man which lie stored up in his memories and in his life (AC 2284).
They are all the states of affection of good and truth with which a man is gifted by the Lord, from earliest infancy even to the end of life... (AC 1906).
They are states of innocence, charity and mercy with which (man) is imbued from infancy (AC 1050).
They are all the states of love and charity and consequently all the states of innocence and peace with which a man is gifted (AC 1738).
In response to question 2, it was noted that for anything to be imprinted on the mind there must be both an immediate influx from the Lord from within and a mediate influx or afflux from Him through the environment from without. This is true of remains. In general we are taught that what is good or what is of love inflows or enters man from within or by an inward way, and that what is true or the knowledge of what is true inflows from without or enters by an outward way (See AC 3030). Again, such teaching applies to the implantation of remains.
So it is that while the term remains refers especially to the states of love that man does not learn, but receives as a gift from the Lord, it also frequently refers to or includes what is received from without, truths of faith in the interior memory, and knowledges of truth in the exterior memory.
The term remains therefore, may also be used to describe the goods and truths that a man has learned from the Lords Word from infancy, and has thus impressed on his memory. (AC 561), or all the good and all the truth with man which lie stored up in his memories and in his life (AC 2284). So we read of the truths of faith, that they are also what are called remains and are of the Lord alone. (AC 1050:2)
In brief, there are as it were two aspects to remains, what is received from within as a gift from the Lord, and what is learned from the Lord and implanted in the memory from without. This is especially the case with those remains that are implanted after the first stage of infancy has passed.
8) WHAT DOES THE LORD DO WITH OUR REMAINS AS THEY ARE BEING IMPLANTED?
Each and all of these things (remains) are treasured up (AC 661).
These states together with the goods and truths impressed on the memory, ... are preserved in man by the Lord and are stored up, ... in his internal man, and are completely separated from the things that are proper to man, that is, from evils and falsities. All these states are so preserved in man by the Lord that not the least of them is lost ... (AC 561).
... the Lord separates them, and stores up in his interior man the goods and truths which the man receives; ... (AC 2284:2).
The following teaching makes it very clear that our very salvation to eternity depends upon this separation of our remains from anything or evil and this treasuring up of them in our interiors beyond conscious control.
It is well known that there is nothing good and nothing true, except from the Lord; and also that what is good and true is continually inflowing from the Lord into man, but that it is received in various ways, and in fact in accordance with the life of evil, and in accordance with the principles of falsity in which the man has confirmed himself. These are what either quench, or stifle, or pervert the good and truths that are continually flowing in from the Lord. Lest therefore goods should be commingled with evils, and truths with falsities (for if they were commingled the man would perish eternally), the Lord separates them, and stores up in his interior man the goods and truths which the man receives; whence He will never permit them to come forth so long as the man is in evil and falsity, but only at such a time as he is in a holy state, or in some anxiety, sickness, or other trouble. These things which the Lord has thus stored up with man are what are called remains, of which very much mention is made in the Word; but it has not yet been known to any one that this is what they signify (AC 2284:2, TCR 604).
10) WHAT AWARENESS MIGHT WE HAVE OF THIS PROCESS OF IMPLANTING AND STORING UP REMAINS?
Lest man from ignorance or from evil intent should interfere with this vital process they are stored up entirely without his knowledge (AC 516; see AC 1906:3).
The constant, delicate, hidden operation of the Lord in every human mind, exploring, balancing, storing up what is good and true separate from what is evil and false, is more particularly described in the following passage.
Examination of the teachings bearing on remains makes it very evident that not only does such a condition net exist, but it could not exist. Regarded as to their essence, remains are states of love or affection, they are living and acting in our mind all of the time, although we may have no consciousness of their presence or of the use to which they are being turned by the Lord. Every expression of love, of charity, or innocence with a child, whether directed to parents, nurses, teachers, friends, companions or others, is the result of remains insinuating themselves into the other states of his life (AC 1738, AC 1906).
The Lord is constantly using remains to temper all the states that a person afterwards acquires.
In addition to the above, the activity of remains produces all the longing to learn what is good and true (See AE 117). In short, unless quietly moved by remains we would have no affection for knowing or understanding what is good and true.
The activity of remains before regeneration not only produces a longing or an affection for learning, but it is also responsible for all our ability to know what is good and true when it is presented, to reflect upon matters of every kind, and consequently to think and to reason (AC 560).
Again, from the Lord through the activation of our remains we have the ability to think, and also to understand what the good and the truth of civic and moral life are, and also to receive spiritual truth or faith (AC 1906:3). Speaking generally of remains, prior to the time when they are manifested in the regenerate life, it is stated that meanwhile so much is drawn from them as conduces to the use of life (AC 5894).
12) HEREDITARY TENDENCIES TO LOVE WHAT IS EVIL AND TO THINK WHAT IS FALSE ARE SAID TO BE IMPRESSED UPON THE NATURAL OK EXTERNAL MAN, ESPECIALLY IN THE SENSUAL. WHERE ARE REMAINS IMPLANTED?
From our discussion to this point, it is clear that in their implantation remains must be wholly separated from our heredity evil. Otherwise they could not be used by the Lord to offset and temper the effect of heredity.
In the earliest teachings concerning remains it is said that they are in the internal man (AC 561, 857). When other teachings are examined, however, it is apparent that the term internal man does not refer just to the inmost degree of the human soul, but also includes what is immediately below it and is later called the interior or rational man.
In speaking of the remains implanted in infancy it is said that they there are in mans interior rational. This is the Diane or degree proper to the celestial angels who, from the Lord, are involved in the insinuation of remains in mans infancy (See AC 1906:3) (cf. AC 5145:2).
In a passage which appears to be speaking of those remains which are implanted in childhood, the interior natural is given as the plane of mind in which the goods and truths that constitute these remains find their abode. They are stored there for use especially when there is danger of profanation should they remain in consciousness in a lower region (See AC 5135:4). The interior natural in this particular series refers to that degree of the mind in which are good spirits, or the ultimate or first heaven (AC 5145:2).
In a later passage in the Arcana Coelestia (n. 5342:3), after speaking of the goods stored up in infancy and childhood, there is a discussion of truths adjoined to good that may then be stored up in later life. These in a proper sense are called remains. (These remains would appear to be synonymous with those remains that are elsewhere called the goods of intelligence as in AC 2280). These truths adjoined to good are associated with angels of the second heaven. (AC 5344) The angels of the second heaven are said to be in the degree of the exterior rational, that degree which is above the interior natural, but is below the interior rational (See AC 5145). (For an over-view of where specific kinds of remains are imprinted see diagram III in the second appendix to this study.)
The more general teaching is that remains are stored up in his interior man (AC 2284:3, 5894, 5897:2, 6156).
The interior man is the plane of mind intermediate between the internal man and the external or natural man. It is often referred to as the rational man (AC 1702, AC 1940, AC 1999, AC 3020, AC 3057).
When remains are said to be stored up in mans memories (see AC 2284) it is assumed that reference is being made to both aspects of remains, the affectional content, and the truth or knowledge in mans memories that provides the form and foundation for that affectional content.
13) BEFORE REACHING MATURITY, IN WHICH PERIOD OF OUR LIFE ARE WE MOST
RECEPTIVE TO THE IMPLANTATION OF REMAINS?
These states, states of love and charity, and consequently all the states of innocence and peace, are given to man from infancy, but less by degrees as the man advances into adult age (AC 1738; see AC 1906).
14) WHAT ARE MEANT BY THE FIRST REMAINS THAT ARE SOMETIMES MENTIONED IN THE HEAVENLY DOCTRINES?
There are two states from which comes celestial light. The first is that into which man is introduced from infancy; for it is known that infants are in innocence and in the goods of love, which are the celestial things into which they are at first introduced by the Lord, and which are stored up in the child for use in later life, and for his use when he comes into the other life; these are what are called the first remains (AC 1548).
Elsewhere these first remains are described as celestial things of :eve relating to love to the Lord and love to the neighbor and innocence itself in these. They, especially, are described as the veriest fountains of life. These celestial things, we are told, are insinuated into man chiefly in his state of infancy up to childhood, and in fact without knowledges; for they flow in from the Lord, and affect him, before the man knows what love is and what affection is, as may be seen from the state of infants, and afterwards from the state of early childhood (AC 1450).
In still another passage these first remains or celestial things are described as to the form they will take in the observed life of the infant. They will show themselves as his love for his parents, his nurses, his companions.... Such are the things that flow in from the Lord through the heaven of innocence and peace, which is the inmost heaven, and thus is man imbued with them in infancy (AC 1906).
15) WHAT IS DIFFERENT ABOUT THE IMPLANTATION OF FIRST REMAINS FROM THAT OF LATER STATES OF AFFECTION?
As just noted, first remains or the remains of infancy are implanted in the interiors of the mind by the Lord without knowledges, before the child knows what love is or affection is (AC 1450).
In later states of childhood spiritual and celestial things, states of affection for what is true and good, are implanted with knowledges. They are imprinted in the interiors of the mind especially when instruction is provided from the Lords Word, and the knowledges gained through the instruction are stored in the memory (See AC 1548, 1906:3, 561).
16) WHEN ARE OUR REMAINS AS GOOD AFFECTIONS OF THE WILL AND TRUTHS OF THE UNDERSTANDING FIRST BROUGHT TO OUR CONSCIOUSNESS SO AS TO BE RECOGNIZED AND SUBSEQUENTLY ENJOYED?
The are not brought out so as to be recognized until the man is being regenerated (AC 737).
17) WHEN MAN CAN BE REGENERATED TO WHAT USE DOES THE LORD THEN PUT OUR REMAINS?
It quickly becomes apparent from the teaching of the Word that remains are the primary means whereby man is regenerated (see also passages as referred to under question 5), no regeneration
being possible without them.
When a man is being regenerated, these states are the beginnings of regeneration, and he is led into them; for the Lord works through the remains (AC 1050) (cf. AC 2636:2, 10110, 9296: 2, 3, 1555, 2, 13).
Speaking more specifically of the process, we are told that When therefore the time comes that the man can be regenerated, the Lord inspires the affection of good, and through this excites the things which have been adjoined by Him to this affection, which things are called in the Word remains; and then by means of this affection (that is, of the affection of good), by successive steps the Lord removes the affections or other loves, consequently also the things that have been connected with them. And thus the affection of good, or what is the same, the good of life, begins to have the dominion (AC 3336).
Still we know that our regeneration cannot be effected at this day without the combats of spiritual temptation. When the Lord inspires the affection of what is good to initiate the regenerative process, evil spirits, the agents of hell, resist and attack, seeking to destroy the affection of good. The use of remains when this development takes place is described as follows:
If we from the Lord persevere in the combats of temptation, holding to what we know to be true and good, and resisting the persuasive falsities of the evil, remains may begin to be employed by the Lord for the use they were originally intended. When through spiritual temptations the power of hereditary and actual evil begins to be broken in the natural mind, the way is open for our remains to be introduced consciously into the natural. In the measure that the external man is subdued, and the evils and falsities there no longer hinder, resist and suffocate what is good and true, remains, or the affections of what is good and true begin to appear and become effective there (See AC 857).
When a man is being regenerated, then, in so far as this is the case, the remains are let down from the interiors into the exteriors, for the reason that by regeneration the interiors are conjoined with the exteriors and act as a one. Remains are then first let down to generals, and afterward successively to particulars (AC 6156).
18) HAWING ONCE BEEN INTRODUCED INTO OUR NATURAL MIND DURING THE PROCESS OF REGENERATION, CAN WE EXPECT OUR REMAINS TO CONTINUE TO BE CONSCIOUSLY PRESENT IN THE STATES THAT FOLLOW?
Many passages from the Word relate how a person is regenerated during the whole course of his life. (AC 4063:3, 4136, 5354:3) While this process is being led forward by the Lord, the persons states alternate between what is good and bad until what is bad is effectively subdued.
The Word teaches that there are indeed such times, even with the evil. Remains may have an obvious conscious effect when, for example, we are in some anxiety, sickness, or other trouble (AC 2284:2).
Such a perceptible arousal of ones remains can only occur, however, when at least temporarily, mens natural loves are assaulted, and broken (as during misfortunes, sickness, and grief of mind), ... and his cupidities begin to subside, and he at the same time begins to talk piously; but as soon as he returns to his former state, the external man prevails and he scarcely thinks of such things. The like happens at the hour of death, when bodily things begin to be extinguished ... (AC 857).
We are all familiar with the observation that a crisis will often bring out the best in a person. That best is an appearing of remains in mans externals. Unfortunately, with many, due to evil in their day to day life, that best, those remains, have to be withdrawn by the Lord and hidden in their interiors as soon as the crisis is past. (cp. DP 140-142; SD 4260)
It is important to note that the Lord, in His merciful economy may do more with states of anxiety, misfortune, sickness and grief of mind than just described. In addition to arousing remains previously implanted, the Lord, at such times, may provide for the implantation of new remains. The same may occur with very natural men when for a time they leave their accustomed preoccupations and hear particularly effective preaching. This would probably be the case especially when attending a memorial service or while participating in some sacrament or rite of the church.
Sometimes, also, such persuasive preaching occurs (datur), that they who believe nothing, and think they are to die like brutes, then seem to themselves to be, as it were, elevated to heaven, but yet as soon as they go forth from the church, believe nothing, and on the other hand (alioquin), make sport of such things. That they are elevated to heaven, I perceived from a spiritual idea: also from living experience with certain ones. 1748, September 9. When man is in such a persuasive state, and is elevated, then the Lord operates, and implants (inseminat), and conceals in their minds those things which are called remains: also at many other times, as when (men are) in misfortunes and temptations. This was now insinuated in my mind (mihi nunc insinuatum).1748, September 9 (SD 3108).
20) BESIDES THE FIRST REMAINS, WHICH ARE THE REMAINS OF INFANCY, AND THE LATER REMAINS THAT ARE IMPLANTED IN CHILDHOOD, THE WORD MENTIONS STILL OTHER REMAINS WHICH ARE REFERRED TO AS NEW REMAINS. WHEN AND HOW MAY WE ACQUIRE THESE REMAINS?
It is sometimes thought that remains are imprinted in the interiors of the human mind only in our infancy and childhood.
So it is revealed that in adult age, when a man is being regenerated, he then receives new remains also, besides the former, thus new life ... the remains acquired in the combats of temptations are those which are here meant (AC 1738).
From the above it is clear that the combats of spiritual temptation, when we remain faithful to the Lords leading, may serve an extremely important use relative to the implantation of remains. Not only do the remains of previous states begin to be introduced into our external life, but also from the Lord, new remains may be sown in the mind at the same time.
21) HOW ARE THESE NEW REMAINS AS TO THEIR IMPLANTATION AND THEIR QUALITY TO BE COMPARED TO THE REMAINS OF EARLIER STATES?
In order that this matter may be clearly understood the Word divides the states of heavenly affection called remains into three categories: The goods of infancy, the goods of ignorance, and the goods of intelligence (AC 2280).
a) The goods of infancy are those which are insinuated into man from his very birth up to the age in which he is beginning to be instructed and to know something (AC 2280).
These goods of infancy are elsewhere described as our first remains (see AC 1450, 1548, 1906, see also questions 14 and 15) and they are implanted from the mans infancy up to the tenth year of his age (AC 2280).
b) The goods of ignorance are what are insinuated when he is being instructed and is beginning to know something (AC 2280).
These goods of ignorance, although not given another name, are also described elsewhere where the remains which succeed first remains are discussed. (See AC 1450, 1548, 1906:3, 5135:4, see also questions 14 and 15). The goods of ignorance are implanted from mans tenth year up to his twentieth year (AC 2280).
Those who are in the good of ignorance do not come into any temptation; for no one is tempted before he is able to reflect, and in his own way to perceive the nature of good and truths (AC 2280) (cf. AC 2636).
c) Mans new remains or the goods of intelligence are what are insinuated when he is able to reflect upon what is good and true (AC 2280).
From the twentieth year the man begins to become rational, and to have the faculty of reflecting upon good and truth, and to procure for himself the good of intelligence.
How are they to be compared in quality as to how they affect us?
As regards the before-mentioned goods, namely those of infancy, of ignorance, and of intelligence, the case is this. The good of intelligence is the best, for this is of wisdom; the good which precedes it, namely that of ignorance, is indeed good, but as there is but little intelligence in it, it cannot be called the good of wisdom; and as for the good of infancy, it is indeed good in itself, but still it is less good than the other two; for as yet there is not any truth of intelligence adjoined to it, and thus it has not become any good of wisdom, but it is only a plane for being able to become so; for it is the knowledges of good and truth that cause a man to be wise as a man (AC 2280).
In support of the teaching that, as regards the man, the goods of intelligence are the best, it should be noted that these latter remains are procured by man by the exercise of both his faculties, rationality and freedom. Not only is he able to reflect on good and truth from himself, but also, having reached adult age, he can, from himself, act in freedom either accepting or rejecting what he sees to be good and true. In short, the goods of intelligence can be appropriated to him, and thence remain in ways that the remains implanted earlier could not. This would seem to be the message of the following teaching.
For goods and truths do not become remains until they are being appropriated to man, and they are for the first time being appropriated to man when they are received from affection in freedom (AC 6157).
22) ARE ALL THE REMAINS THAT A PERSON RECEIVES IN ADULT LIFE GOODS OF INTELLIGENCE?
The same teaching that associates the goods of ignorance with the period of life between ages ten and twenty also indicates very clearly that with many people these remains may predominate in much later states and, perhaps, even to the end of life. With well-disposed people both within and without the church, when the truth of faith is lacking and yet there is charity, goods of ignorance may be implanted, but not the goods of intelligence. If goods of intelligence are to be received there must be the knowledges of good and truth.
While it is obvious from many teachings that people should be zealous to procure these remains in all seasons of their adult life, there appear to be indications that the decade in life between ages twenty and thirty is a period of particular importance. We should note that in the Word thirty is often associated with a fullness of remains and also with somewhat of combat in spiritual temptations. Since the goods of ignorance by themselves do not enable a person to enter into the combat of spiritual temptation (see AC 2278-80), we conclude that the fullness of remains represented by thirty must include the goods of intelligence.
From the above discussion it is obvious that while people cannot determine for themselves the quantity or quality of remains that are implanted in their infancy and childhood, the goods of infancy and the goods of ignorance, they can, by the exercise of freedom and rationality, determine both the quantity and the quality of the remains that are implanted in adult life. Let us also recall that if they are the goods of intelligence these are the best remains.
The Word reveals that this is a matter of considerable significance, especially after death in the spiritual world.
According to the quality and quantity of the remains--that is, of the good and truth with a man--does he enjoy bliss and happiness in the other life; for as has been said, these remains are stored up in his interior man, and they are opened at the time when the man has left bodily and worldly things behind (AC 2284:3).
The more remains ... that a man has received in the life of the body, that is, the more of good and truth, the more delightful and beautiful do the rest of his states appear when they return ... in the other life (AC 1906)
25) WHILE WE ARE STILL IN THE WORLD, WHAT ABILITY, IF ANY, DO WE HAVE TO EVALUATE OR JUDGE THE QUALITY AND QUANTITY OF REMAINS WITHIN OURSELVES AND WITH OTHER PEOPLE?
The Lord alone knows the quality and extent of the remains in a man; the man himself cannot possibly know this, for at the present day man is or such a character that he is able to counterfeit what is good, while within there is nothing but evil; and a man may also appear to be evil and yet have good within. On this account no man is ever allowed to judge concerning the quality of the spiritual life of another, for the Lord alone, as before said, knows this; but every one may judge of another in regard to the quality of his moral and civil life, for this concerns society. It is very common for those who have taken up an opinion respecting any truth of faith, to judge of others that they cannot be saved, unless they believe as they do--a judgment which the Lord has forbidden (Matt. vii. 1, 2) (AC 2284:31 4).
Such a teaching as this surely ought to be remembered with humility in many states of our life: when we are inclined to judge others harshly, when we are elated with pride at our own supposed goodness, but also when we are brought low and are filled with despair as to our salvability.
In teachings too numerous to mention the life of charity is said to especially involve living according to the Ten Commandments of the Decalogue. If these are believed and are introduced into our life, remains will be in our life. In this connection let us note what is said about the Ten Commandments.
That the Decalogue consisted of ten precepts, or ten words, and that Jehovah wrote them on tables (Deut. 10:4), signifies remains, and their being written by the hand of Jehovah signifies that remains are of the Lord alone; their being in the internal man was represented by the tables (AC 576:4) (cf. AC 5135:3).
If keeping the ten commandments encourages the implantation of remains, then breaking the commandments surely prevents the implantation of remains.
The Word in this regard, draws our attention to two particularly grievous evils: profanation and deceit or hypocrisy.
Remains ... are closed up by evils of life and by persuasions of falsity, so as no longer to appear; and by the denial of truth which had previously been acknowledged (both of these acts being from affection), they are consumed, for this is the commingling of truth and falsity which is called profanation (AC 5897:8).
In spiritual things, deceit, that is, hypocrisy, cannot be forgiven. The reason is that deceit is like poison, for it penetrates even to the interiors, and kills everything of faith and charity, and destroys the remains, which are the truths and goods of faith and charity stored up by the Lord in the interiors of man, which being destroyed nothing of spiritual life any longer survives..... From all this then it is evident how the case is with hypocrites, who through deceit are filled with evils as to the interiors, namely, that they cannot do the work of repentance; for the very remains of good and of truth in them have been consumed and destroyed, and therewith everything of spiritual life; and because they cannot do the work of repentance, they cannot be forgiven. This is signified by the statute that those who kill the neighbor with deceit should be taken from the altar that they may die (AC 9014:2, 4).
There are two things which not only close up the way of communication, but even deprive a man of the capacity of ever being rational--deceit and profanation. Deceit is like a subtle poison which infects the interiors, and profanation mixes falsities with truths and evils with goods: through these two the rational wholly perishes. There are in every man goods and truths from the Lord stored up from infancy, which in the Word are called remains.... These remains are infected by deceit, and are mixed up by profanation (AC 5128:5).
It would appear that the remains which are most in danger of destruction through deceit and profanation are the goods of ignorance. These goods and truths implanted from early childhood are stored up in the interior natural region of the mind and are therefore more vulnerable to what is evil and false than are the goods of infancy which are stored up in the interior of the rational. When speaking of the remains in the interior natural it is said that
if evil steals goods and truths there, and applies them to confirm evils and falsities, especially if it does this from deceit, then it consumes these remains; for it then mingles evils with goods and falsities with truths till they cannot be separated, and then it is all over with the man (AC 5135:4).
For the sake of preserving mans freedom of choice in spiritual things, the Lord must sometimes permit the closing up of remains and even their destruction. Such a sad permission is far removed from His will which is that remains be opened up to mans full awareness and then employed for his eternal happiness. The Lord would like everyone to be like unto a man, an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old (Matt. 13:52).
29) IF THOSE EVILS WHICH DESTROY REMAINS ARE SHUNNED, WHEN MIGHT WE BE ABLE TO EXPERIENCE A FULL AWARENESS OF AND DELIGHT IN OUR REMAINS?
All these states are so preserved in man by the Lord that not the least of them is lost, as I have been given to know from the fact that every state of a man, from his infancy to extreme old age, not only remains in the other life, but also returns, in fact his states return exactly as they were while he lived in this world.
In responding to such a question the Word reveals another marvelous use to which the good of remains can be put with those who come into heaven.
When states of evil and falsity recur--for each and all of these, even the smallest, also remain and return--then these states are tempered by the Lord by means of the good states (AC 561; SD 4164; AC 1906).
This tempering operation that the Lord performs with the good in the other life is variously illustrated and described. (See SD 2303-2305, SD 2457, SD 2490, SD 2347, SD 2409; AC 1043; SD 2350-51.) For example, it is likened to the replacement of an evil taste or offensive smell by a good taste or a pleasant odor. It is also compared to the introduction of sunlight into a cloud following a storm, which produces a rainbow of brilliant and beautiful colors, as in the story of Noah.
Again the infinite mercy of the Lord is revealed. We are told that with the evil the Lord collects their remains and stores them up in their interiors beyond their ability to interfere with them. By means of the remains that He has reserved there, the evil may have some communication with heaven and in this way there may be something of the human preserved with them. As to the activity of the remains so preserved with them, it said that
the truths and goods in the interiors of those who are evil effect nothing more than to enable them to reason, and to think and speak from the sensuous, thus to confirm what is false and defend what is evil. Nothing more can be let out from the goods and truths stored up and reserved within them, for if more were let out, the truths and goods would perish, and thus nothing human would be left in them (AC 7560).
With the evil not all of the goods and truths that were implanted as remains can be preserved and used by the Lord in this manner. Only those that remain undisturbed in the interiors of the rational and the interior of the natural are secure. Those that became adjoined to falsities and evils in the exterior of the natural, perhaps through profanation or deceit, are destroyed and vastated after death.
Such a disorderly and sad state, however, is far removed from the result the Lord seeks to provide through the implantation of remains from our earliest infancy to the end of our life in this world. Rather than having to close off communication between a persons interiors and exteriors, as is the case with the evil, the Lord longs to progressively open communication between the interiors and exteriors. The Lord wants to so conjoin the two that all that is in the interiors from Himself may descend into the exteriors, bringing to the person there all the joys and delights of heaven.
32) IN CONTRAST TO THE EVIL, HOW DOES THE LORD INTRODUCE REMAINS INTO CONSCIOUS AND ACTIVE SERVICE WITH THOSE WHO ARE BEING PREPARED FOR HEAVEN, WHO ARE REGENERATE OR ARE BECOMING REGENERATE?
In response to questions sixteen, seventeen and eighteen we have seen that remains only begin to be consciously perceived in a normal state of our natural mind when we are being regenerated. The Lord then uses our remains to remove what is disorderly and from hell and to introduce what is orderly, heavenly and from Himself. (See AC 737, 1050, 3336, 857; cf. AC 2636:2, 10110, 9296:2, 3, 1555:2, 3, 5893, 5280:3.) In this way our external man is progressively conjoined with our internal man and we become whole, we come into a genuine state of health in respect both the spiritual and natural minds.
In the teachings already referred to we have noted in a general way how remains are brought into service in the human mind. In at least one teaching (AC 1616) we are given quite specific instruction as to the order in which the remains that were implanted in the various periods of life are brought into service. In general the last remains to be implanted are the first to be initiated into service, and the first remains to be implanted are the last to find full expression in the human mind.
... The celestial things that are of love are insinuated from the earliest infancy up to childhood, and also to youth, when being a man he is then and afterwards imbued with knowledges (scientiae et cognitiones). If the man is such that he can be regenerated, these knowledges are then filled with the celestial things that are of love and charity, and are thus implanted in the celestial things with which he has been gifted from infancy up to childhood and youth; and thus his external man is conjoined with his internal man. They are first implanted in the celestial things with which he was gifted in youth, next in those with which he was gifted in childhood, and finally in those with which he was gifted in infancy; and then he is a little child, of whom the Lord said that of such is the kingdom of God.
Although they are not specifically named in this passage, it would appear that the goods of intelligence, those implanted while in association with spiritual angels and their agents in the world of spirits (cf. HH 295), are the first to be brought into service. It also would seem that the use to which they at first are put is the regeneration of the rational, represented by Isaac in the story of Genesis.
The affectional component of these remains seems to be represented by Rebekah when she came out of the city. It is said of Rebekah that before she was betrothed, she puts on the representation of the affection of truth from doctrinal things; for from this comes truth, truth not being truth unless it has life, and its life is affection, which is love (AC 3077). (When conjoined to Isaac, Rebekah represents the truth in the rational, conjoined to the good there as a wife to a husband.)
Again, although they are not so named, it would appear that the second kind of remains brought into service in our regeneration are the goods of ignorance. These involve the affections along with their knowledges that are implanted in the interior natural in childhood, in a state when we are chiefly in association with angels of the natural heaven. When once the rational or spiritual man has been regenerated (Isaac and Rebekah are conjoined), the natural man can be regenerated by the Lord through the rational or spiritual man (Esau and Jacob are born). For this to be accomplished other remains must be activated: first, the goods of ignorance that man may become spiritual, and finally, the goods of infancy that man may become celestial. The commencement of this process would appear to be represented by Jacobs going to the house of Bethuel, his mothers father, to take from there a woman of the daughters of Laban his mothers brother.
Finally, if we from spiritual are to become celestial, being regenerated even as far as the sensual, the goods of infancy stored up in the interior rational must be brought into full service, those remains implanted in association With celestial angels. For a fuller idea of this process the Exodus series Should be consulted, especially the particulars relating to the first Passover and the incidents that follow that event.
The last teaching to be presented in this discussion most beautifully, yet briefly summarizes all the states through which one ought to advance from birth even to the last state which is the very end for which the Lord has created everyone.
When first born, man is introduced into a state of innocence, in order that this may be a plane for all the succeeding states, and be the inmost in them; which state is signified in the Word by a suckling. Next he is introduced into a state of the affection of celestial good, that is, of love toward his parents which with such infants is in the place of love to the Lord; and this state is signified by an infant. Afterwards he is introduced into a state of the affection of spiritual good, or of mutual love, that is, of charity, toward his playmates, which state is signified by boys. As he advances further in age, he is introduced into a state of the affection of truth; this is signified by young men; and the subsequent states are signified by young men, and finally by old men. This Last state, signified by old men, is the state of wisdom, in which is the innocence of infancy;
Up to this point in the discussion of remains the terms conscience and the new will were not used. Our attention was focused on the process whereby the Lord prepares the human mind for the exercise of freedom and rationality through the implantation of remains to offset the effect of hereditary evil. It will be recalled that remains are essentially states of love or affection. The term, however, may include not only states of affection or goods, but also the forms of affection--truths and knowledges in the memories.
After the conclusion of the Arcana Coelestia the term remains is used only occasionally in the Heavenly Doctrine. This does not mean, however, that remains are no longer discussed. A myriad passages in the Heavenly Doctrine speak about goods and truths being stored up in man, or they speak of the affections or states of affection in infants, children, and adults, and in so doing, they quite obviously speak of remains. (See for example, AC 1616 and AC 3183 appearing in relation to the previous question.)
That remains are to be associated with that which may constitute the beginnings of a new will and thence a new understanding becomes clearly evident from a comparison of passages.
From these and other teachings we conclude that when remains or states of affection and their truths, are appropriated to a person in adult life through their choosing them from affection, they become a part of what is known as the new will or new voluntary. The hew will or voluntary formed in the understanding then appears as conscience. That there is such a relationship between the new will and conscience is asserted in many passages, for example:
... With the man of the spiritual church a new will part is formed by good through truth, and it appears with him as conscience (AC 8457).
The new will with the spiritual regenerate man is conscience (HD 139).
With the regenerate man there is a new will and a new understanding, and this new will and new understanding are his conscience, that is, they are in his conscience, and through this the Lord works the good of charity and the truth of faith. (AC 977; see also AC 927, 1023, 1043, 1044, 1555:3, 4299:2, 9113, 9115, 9299, 9596; cf. AC 4328, 4493.)
In brief, from the remains that we choose to make our own, the Lord fashions a new will, and this new will with its understanding, in the man of today, appears as conscience.
34) WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE NEW WILL AND CONSCIENCE THAT ARE BEGUN FROM REMAINS AND THE THREE DEGREES OF THE HUMAN MIND?
In harmony with other teachings it is clear from the Divine Love and Wisdom that a person from birth has the potential of three degrees of willing, understanding and result or use therefrom. These degrees that are potential from birth are here called natural, spiritual and celestial.
Since there are in man three degrees of love and wisdom, and therefore of use, it follows that there must be in him three degrees, of will, of understanding, and of result therefrom, thus of determination to use; for will is the receptacle of love, understanding the receptacle of wisdom, and result is use from these. From this it is evident that there are in every man a natural, a spiritual, and a celestial will and understanding, potentially by birth and actually when they are opened. In a word the mind of man which consists of will and understanding, is from creation and therefore from birth, of three degrees, so that man has a natural mind, a spiritual mind, and a celestial mind, and can thereby be elevated into and possess angelic wisdom while he lives in the world; ... (DLW 239; cf. 236-238, 242, 245).
Similar teaching appears in the Arcana Coelestia as in the following passage (AC 5145). Here, however, the three degrees of willing, thinking and of use therefrom are referred to as the interior rational, the exterior rational, and the interior natural, terms familiar in our discussion of remains and the degrees of the mind in which the various kinds are implanted.
From these teachings and others presented in response to previous questions we conclude that when a person chooses to be obedient to those precepts of the Lord that are required for some life of charity to the neighbor the goods of ignorance in the interior of the natural mind can be used by the Lord as the beginnings of a new will and understanding which appears as a conscience of what is just and equitable. Such people as to their interiors begin to be introduced among angels of the natural or ultimate heaven. Similarly, if an individual has acquired knowledges of spiritual good and truth and, through the combats of spiritual temptation, has chosen to have these introduced into a life of use and of love to the neighbor in accordance with the things of their understanding, then the Lord can also use the goods of intelligence to form the beginnings of a new will and understanding which appear as a conscience of what is good and true.
It will be noted that the first teaching, as in AC 5145, speaks of all three degrees of affirmative reception of the Lords life, including the celestial, while the final two teachings focus our attention only on the reception of what is celestial and spiritual with the spiritual, spiritual-natural and merely natural or sensual person.
CONCERNING ORDER, AS FAR AS CONSCIENCE IS CONCERNED
The first plane is the inmost of the rational, and pertains to perception; thus to love to the Lord; consequently, to good and the truth of good. The second plane is the middle of the rational, and pertains to the conscience of good and truth, thus to piety, and is of the Church and the Lords kingdom. The third plane pertains to the conscience of justice and right; thus to employment in civil life, consequently to society and the common good: it belongs to the inferior rational. The fourth plane pertains to propriety and decorum; thus to intercourse; consequently, (to the relations) amongst friends and acquaintances: it belongs to the corporeal faculty.
SPIRITUAL ENVIRONMENT AND EQUILIBRIUM
SPIRITUAL ENVIRONMENT AND EQUILIBRIUM
In the first part of this study we observed how the Lord in His mercy constantly seeks to provide that every created human being shall be able to act in freedom according to reason. To be able to act and enjoy so acting is the very basis for all mental health both spiritual and natural. If, however, any individual is going to be able to exercise his God-given faculties in a manner that will lead to eternal enjoyment of a healthy mental and spiritual life he must have a knowledge and understanding of those two dynamic factors which especially influence the states of the human mind, heredity and remains. These two factors and their influence during the successive stages of life from birth to eternity have been the focus of attention in the second and third parts of this study. What emerges from many passages relating to heredity and remains is that the Lord must constantly operate to balance these two influences if a persons humanity is to be preserved, that is, if they are to be able to use as their own the capacities of liberty and rationality. The Lord must keep our minds continually in a state of equilibrium if we are going to be able to freely choose either what is evil and false or what is good and true, what arises from the evil heredity of man, or what comes forth from remains.
In our discussion of heredity a number of teachings were noted that explain how the hells, acting through evil genii and spirits, seek to arouse our inclinations to evils of every kind and how they occupy or operate into those evils which have become actual with us.
In these general teachings relating to the preservation of the human mind in a state of equilibrium between the influence of the heavens and of the hells our attention is drawn especially to the natural mind of man or the natural man. It is emphasized that for this mind to be in freedom of choice the association with those in the heavens and those in the hells should not be immediate, but mediate.
While a mediate communication with the heavens and the hells is the rule before an adult person freely chooses a governing love, the situation changes after that adult begins to choose and confirm some good or evil love with its characteristic thinking. (See SD 5162-5169.) It is plain from many passages that as remains begin to be formed into a new will and some interior degree of the mind is opened, immediate association with angels becomes possible. For example, in The Divine Love and Wisdom it is said that a man whose spiritual degree is opened is in the midst of angels of heaven; and sometimes is even visible to them; but because he draws himself back to his natural man, after a brief stay there he disappears (DLW 252). Elsewhere, it appears that those who confirm themselves in evils may establish immediate association with those in hell, so much so, that in the True Christian Religion it is asserted that he who denies God is even now among the damned (TCR 14e). (See also DP 296:6, 507:2-3; AE 751, 1098:2; AC 1399, 5614; SD 5645, 4769; HD 40.)
Although some immediate association with those who are in heaven or hell does become possible, it would appear that a person while in this world, as to the natural mind, continues in immediate association primarily with spirits in the world of spirits (AE 537:2, HH 294). This association predominates especially while we are in a state in which our understanding and will do not act as one, thus, when thought and will, or what is the same, truth and good, or, what is also the same, faith and love, are not in agreement (SD 5162). That association predominates also in states when our interiors and exteriors disagree, when we wish to appear other than we are, and also when we speak other than we think (SD 5162) (cf. CL 436).
Granting the necessity of being associated primarily with spirits in the world of spirits, we may be inclined to question the importance of being associated at the onset of adult life, with spirits both good and evil. Recalling that the freedom and rationality of the angels is the only true freedom and rationality, and that of the devils and satans is slavery and insanity, we might wonder why it is useful to be associated with evil spirits who, through our hereditary and actual evils, will only seek to destroy us. Anticipating just such reflections, the Lord in the following teachings explains why an exclusive association with angels and good spirits would not be sufficient to provide an equilibrium in which freedom of choice could be exercised by a person born with a corrupted heredity.
The reason why spirits that communicate with hell are associated with man is that man is born into evils of every kind, consequently his first life is wholly from evil; and therefore unless spirits like himself were associated with him he could not live, nor indeed could he be withdrawn from his evils and reformed.
Having been permitted to enter into this necessary association with the human race, the agents of hell do all in their power to exploit it. The evil spirits with us constantly endeavor to excite what is evil and false in our natural will and thought and to pervert the remains we have of what is good and true. By innumerable arts they assail the natural mind, and in order of influx, we are told, they are permitted to flow in first. When they do, however, the good spirits instantly come to our aid, making every effort to disperse, turn aside, restrict, and mitigate the action. They do this chiefly by arousing what truths of faith and goods of charity, or remains they can find in us. The more there are of truths and goods stored up in the mind the more they can fight for us. The less one cares for what is true and good the less assistance they can render. Thus although an equilibrium is established through these two opposing influxes with everyone, still this equilibrium will vary in accordance with the good or evil that rules in us. with those who freely choose to reject the truths of faith and goods of charity, and instead appropriate or make their own what is false and evil, the influx from angels through good spirits serves only to keep them in external bonds so that they will live an externally good life. The external bonds referred to are the love of honor, wealth, reputation, fear of punishment, etc.
By means of the association of both good and evil spirits, therefore, man is held in an equilibrium wherein he may freely choose the life of heaven or the life of hell. This is the general teaching, but if this teaching is to be properly understood it must be qualified by the further teaching that an effective equilibrium can only be provided when, as to our spirit, we are associated with societies who are in a similar state to our own as to affection and thought. Merely to have association with just any society of spirits is not enough. In harmony with previous observations, if we are to experience freedom and its enjoyment, we must as to our interiors, be with our like both as to generals and particulars. This is possible no matter what our state may be, whether we be in the affection of what is good and true or in the affection of what is evil and false, for in the other life there are innumerable societies disposed and set in order by the Lord according to all the generals of good and truth; and there are societies in the opposite that are disposed according to all the generals of evil and falsity; insomuch that there is not any genus or good and truth, nor any species of that genus, nor indeed any specific variety, which does not have such angelic societies, or to which there are not angelic societies, that correspond. Nor on the other hand is there any genus of evil and falsity, nor any species of that genus, nor indeed any specific variety, to which there are not diabolical societies that correspond.
How we come to live in this or that society of spirits of course, is not a matter of chance circumstance, nor is it determined by our heredity and environment. We place ourselves in a particular society of either good or evil spirits according to what we have appropriated to ourselves. Then from that which we have appropriated or made of our life there exhales a spiritual sphere. This sphere attracts spirits in a similar sphere who then join themselves to our spirit. If we take to ourselves and enjoy the evils and falsities which are excited in our mind by the influx of evil, there exhales an evil sphere and we become associated with evil spirits, and so with hell. If on the other hand, we apply the good affections and truths to our life which are aroused by the influx of the good, there exhales a good sphere and we become associated with good spirits and so with heaven (AC 6206, 6603; SD 4686). This association and conjunction of a man with societies of spirits by means of the sphere he radiates is from the general law that all in the other life are conjoined together in accordance with their spheres, and so also are all the societies one with another, and according to their spheres they are also dissociated, for opposite spheres come into collision, and mutually repel each other (AC 6206).
As an example of the conjunction with certain societies by means of spheres and the effect that this conjunction has upon the mind we may observe the following teaching from the Arcana:
The man who is avaricious summons to himself societies of like spirits who are in the same cupidity.... These spirits communicate with hell, and the man is in the midst of them, and is altogether ruled by them, insomuch that he is not at his own disposal, but is at theirs, although from the delight and consequent freedom that he enjoys he supposes that he directs himself. But the man who is not avaricious ... is in a society of similar angels, and is led by the Lord by their means, and indeed by means of his freedom, to all good and truth to which he suffers himself to be led (AC 4067:3).
Because of the importance of the principle of mans freedom of choice, we would note again that it is man who places himself in this or that society of spirits, or more properly, summons them to himself, according to what he appropriates to himself--what is good and true or what is evil and false. The Divinely provided equilibrium between competing spheres ensures that this will be the case.
Although we have a primary association with one particular society of good or evil spirits during each state of our life, our general associations are not limited to the spirits of this society. For the sake of preserving a healthy equilibrium, and for the further development of our state, the Lord provides that we be associated with a great many societies, either proximate or distant, according to the affections that constitute our life and thus the sphere that radiates from our spirit. The nearer the societies are to us the more are their affections appropriated to us, and the converse is true when they are more distant.
In treating of the great variety of spirits which influence mans mind and are so necessary for equilibrium and the exercise of freedom of choice the Writings speak of two general categories--those who affect the will and those who affect the understanding, for these two faculties are most distinct in man. There are angelic spirits who apply themselves to the various affections of our will and attempt to lead us to love what is good, and there are those which apply themselves to the affections which relate to the understanding and attempt to lead us to love what is true.
Still deeper dimensions are added to our picture of mans general spiritual associations when it is recalled that the human mind is composed of not just one degree, but has within it a number of degrees both interior and exterior. There is influx into all of these degrees. As was observed in our discussion of remains, the interior degrees, which relate to the spiritual mind of man, are three. The highest or most interior degree is called the interior rational. In this degree are the celestial angels, the angels of the third heaven, as to their conscious life. The middle or second degree is the exterior rational. In this degree are the angels of the spiritual or second heaven. The lowest degree in this trine is the interior natural wherein the angels of the natural or ultimate heaven have their conscious life. Before regeneration, these degrees of the mind are not opened. Still, as we have seen, there are remains stored therein which are states or good and truth, implanted in earlier periods of life, states not as yet made ones own by life. By means of these remains angels of the three heavens can inflow into mans mind.
For a still more complete view of the spiritual associates necessary for the preservation of equilibrium and the proper development of human states we should remember that the natural mind is also, as it were, of three degrees or regions, the exterior sensuous or sensual, the interior sensuous or imaginative, and the natural rational. (The terms used to describe these regions vary somewhat from passage to passage, series to series.) From infancy to maturity these regions are successively opened in us to influx from the world of spirits. After coming to maturity, this is the arena of a persons life before regeneration and here are the closest spiritual associates. Into the affections and thoughts of the natural mind, especially into the exterior sensuous and the sensuous where our heredity tendencies are imprinted, evil genii and spirits inflow, inspiring so far as they are able, disorderly, self-centered, depraved and filthy affections and thoughts. Until we begin reformation and regeneration, theirs is the dominant influence. They have the most immediate association with us, while good spirits, which seek to arouse our remains and so inspire good affections and thoughts, have less access to our mind. Apart from those occasions when remains are temporarily remitted into consciousness, this is a state in which we perceive little or nothing of the spiritual in our affections and thoughts.
The Heavenly Doctrines reveal that the requirements for a spiritual equilibrium in which one can enjoy acting in freedom according to their own reason change quite radically as a person is either regenerated or, on the other hand, lapses more interiorly into confirmed evil. With the good, the influence of evil spirits is progressively weakened and withdrawn.
The significant and progressive change in ones spiritual associates as one is regenerated, and the changing requirements for equilibrium that accompany this process, are very apparent in the following teaching from the Arcana Coelestia.
In concluding this portion of our study we draw attention to a teaching of the word which most beautifully and intimately describes how, through angels and spirits, the Lord provides for our spiritual equilibrium--our ability to act in freedom according to our own reason, how from a Divine and most merciful solicitude He continually governs our spiritual environment so as to serve our eternal health and happiness.
The angels, through whom the Lord leads and also protects a man, are near his head. It is their office to inspire charity and faith, and to observe in what direction the mans delights turn, and in so far as they can, without interfering with the mans freedom, moderate them and bend them to good. They are forbidden to act with violence and thus break the mans cupidities and principles;
For a more complete discussion of the association of angels and spirits with man and how through those associations the Lord provides for spiritual equilibrium and for our mental health consult the following:
1. Willard L. D. Heinrichs, Mans Spiritual Associations (Theological School Thesis), Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, 1965.
Chapter V. Spirits: The Cause of Mental Disturbances, pp. 104-138.
Chapter VI. Angels, Spirits, and Mental Health, I. The Lords Provisions Towards Mental Health, pp. 139-152. II. Ways in Which Man May Cooperate with the Lord, pp. 152-162.
2. Willard L. D. Heinrichs, Spirits: A Cause of Mental Disturbances, in The New Church and the Mental Health Professions: the Journal of the Symposium (November 1979), pp. 17-30.
3. Willard L. D. Heinrichs, Our Spiritual Associates and Mental Health, address to General Faculty at Academy of the New Church, Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, April 5, 1979.
THE LORDS LIFE AND MANS PERCEPTION OF IT: THE AS IF FROM SELF
THE LORDS LIFE AND MANS PERCEPTION OF ITTHE AS IF FROM SELF
The Lords most fundamental provision for mental health is expressed in the very first law of the Divine Providence: It is a law of the Divine Providence that man should act from freedom in accordance with reason (DP 71 and following). This statement, presented in the opening paragraph of this study, has been the governing principle or assumption throughout all parts of this study. While this first law of the Divine Providence, as stated in the work The Divine Providence, has been the operative principle, it is important to observe that there is another law or principle of the Divine Providence which always explicitly or implicitly accompanies this first law. Indeed, this companion law or reality, and its conscious acknowledgement by man, is of such central concern that in the Apocalypse Explained it is presented as the first law of the Divine Providence. This first law is That from sense and perception man cannot know otherwise than that life is in him; and yet he should acknowledge that the goods and truths which belong to love and faith which he thinks, wills, speaks, and acts, are not from him but are from the Lord (AE 1138:2). Briefly stated, we may say that the Lord has created men and women such that they are able to both perceive and use His life as if it were their own. And how does this reality relate to human freedom so often emphasized in the Word? This law presupposes the second, namely, that man has freedom, and that this freedom also appears to be his, and yet he should acknowledge that it is not his, but is the Lords in him....
The provision of the Lord that people should experience and use His life as if it were from themselves and its relation to liberty and rationality is repeated many times in the Word for the New Church. Equal emphasis is given to the need for people to acknowledge the truth of the matter relating to this appearance, that is, if they are to fully receive of the Lords life and be blessed in its reception. That there may be such an acknowledgment, in every Divine revelation from ancient times to the present, the Lord has revealed the truth about mans dependence upon Him.
Mans soul, which lives after death, is his spirit, and is in complete form a man; the soul of this form is the will and understanding, and the soul of these is love and wisdom from the Lord; these two are what constitute mans life, which is from the Lord alone; yet for the sake of mans reception of Him, He causes life to appear as if it were mans; but that man may not claim life for himself as his, and thus withdraw himself from this reception of the Lord, the Lord has also taught that everything of love, which is called good, and everything of wisdom, which is called truth, is from Him, and nothing of these from man; and as these two are life, that everything of life which is life is from him (DLW 394).
From the above and from other teachings of the Word it is apparent that as freedom and rationality depend on the sense and perception that the Lords life is our own, so their proper exercise in a reciprocal conjunction between an angel and the Lord or man and the Lord is only possible when there is this as if from self appearance.
But how the Lord is in an angel and an angel in the Lord cannot be comprehended; unless the nature of their conjunction is known. Conjunction is of the Lord with the angel and of the angel with the Lord; conjunction, therefore, is reciprocal. On the part of the angel it is as follows. The angel, in like manner as man, has no other perception than that he is in love and wisdom from himself, consequently that love and wisdom are, as it were, his or his own. Unless he so perceived there would be no conjunction, thus the Lord would not be in him, nor he in the Lord. Nor can it be possible for the Lord to be in any angel or man, unless the one in whom the Lord is, with love and wisdom, has a perception and sense as if they were his. By this means the Lord is not only received, but also, when received, is retained, and likewise loved in return. And by this, also, the angel is made wise and continues wise. Who can wish to love the Lord and his neighbor, and who can wish to be wise, without a sense and perception that what he loves, learns, and imbibes is, as it were, his own? Who otherwise can retain it in himself? If this were not so, the inflowing love and wisdom would have no abiding-place, for it would flow through and not affect; thus an angel would not be an angel, nor would man be a man; he would be merely like something inanimate. From all this it can be seen that there must be an ability to reciprocate that there may be conjunction (DLW 115. See DLW 116).
Since the Lord wills conjunction with man in order to save him, He provides that there shall be in man something reciprocal. The reciprocal in man is this, that the good which he wills and does from freedom, and the truth which, from that willing, he thinks and speaks in accordance with reason, appear to be from himself, and this good in his will and this truth in his understanding appear to be his.
It is equally obvious from these teachings of the Word and from others that if one is to be conjoined with the Lord in a heavenly state one must respond appropriately to both the appearance that life is from self and to the Divinely revealed truth that it is from the Lord in oneself. To acknowledge the truth, but not to act as if the appearance were so, results in a person being a passive receptacle with no religion. On the other hand, if a person accepts and acts upon the appearance, but does not acknowledge the truth or reality of his dependence on the Lord, he defiles with a sense of merit that which is from the Lord and so destroys religion in himself.
But it is to be carefully noted that these capacities, freedom and rationality, are neither of them mans, but are of the Lord in man, and that they cannot be appropriated to man as his; nor indeed, can they be given to man as his, but are continually of the Lord in man, and yet are never taken away from man; and this because without them man cannot be saved, for without them he cannot be regenerated (as has been said above). For this reason man is instructed by the church that from himself he can neither think what is true nor do what is good. But inasmuch as man perceives no otherwise than that he thinks from himself what is true and does from himself what is good, it is very evident that he ought to believe that he thinks as if from himself what is true, and does as if from himself what is good.
While the principle that man should sense and perceive the Lords life as if it were from self was not dealt with in earlier portions of this study as a subject by itself, its impact on the enjoyment of health of mind in every degree was discussed. In the first part of this study (pages 7-10) a selection of powerful teachings was presented, demonstrating the necessity of mans perceiving the Lords life as if it were his own, while humbly acknowledging at the same time that all that is good and true, loving and wise is from the Lord. Further, it was noted that this acknowledgment was always to be coupled with another, that all that is evil and false is aroused in oneself from hell and that genuine and lasting health of mind results when one neither makes oneself guilty of what is evil, or takes merit for the good that is in oneself from the Lord. (See DLW 116; AC 6324, 25, 2892, 2893; DP 290.)
Rather than repeat these teachings we will conclude both this part of the study, and the study itself, with a series of teachings drawn from the Apocalypse Explained. These teachings, in a most direct and succinct manner, present, explain, illustrate, and confirm the companion principles relating to the as if from self appearance of our life and our ability thence to act in freedom according to reason.
In the final teaching presented, our sense and perception that life is our own and our consequent experience of liberty and rationality is again associated with the subject of part four of this study, spiritual equilibrium. We are led at length to the practical conclusion that man is from creation in a state to know that evil is from hell, and that good is from the Lord, and to perceive these in himself as if they were from himself, and when he so perceives them to cast the evil down to hell and to receive the good, with the acknowledgment that is from the Lord. When he does these two things he does not appropriate evil to himself, and does not claim merit for the good. (See AE 1148:2-4.) Here again is that spiritual reality that angels embrace in thought and life. Here is that truth that we should similarly acknowledge if we would be led along by the Lord to that final end that He holds in store for all mankind--a whole life, a healthy life, a life of use and eternal happiness in His heavenly kingdom.
CONDITIONS FOR FREEDOM OF CHOICE
CONDITIONS FOR FREEDOM OF CHOICE
(A Tentative Summation by Willard L. D. Heinrichs)
The Lord has formed with man a soul consisting of an inmost or internal man, an interior or rational man and an external or natural man. The inmost, also called the human internal, is the Lords with man. It is constituted of a superior spiritual substance and is most perfectly formed to receive and be animated by the Lords inflowing love and wisdom. The Lords operation into this internal man and through it into the interior and external man is forever unconscious with man. Man and angel are conscious only in either the rational or natural man or mind. The life inflowing immediately from the Lord through the inmost of the soul into the planes of the human mind is always felt in those planes as mans own and man is free to use it as if it were truly his own.
The interior and external regions of mans soul are of an inferior spiritual substance. The interior region is responsive to the influx of love and wisdom from the Lord through the higher unconscious internal. It is also responsive to the afflux (mediate influx) of surrounding heavenly spheres. In this interior a succession of terminations may be formed--remains or states of affection may be imprinted. With reformation and regeneration three discrete spiritual degrees may be opened and established, the interior can be formed into a rational mind that is predominantly of a celestial, spiritual or natural quality, depending on the degree of heavenly life one chooses to receive.
The external or natural region of mans soul, particularly in outermosts, due especially to the paternal heredity, is in a contrary form.
Finally, the soul with its three general regions is clothed with a material body bearing the impress of the maternal heredity, but governed by a general influx of life from the Lord through heaven.
The resulting situation for man is this:
1) Through his inmost man receives a direct influx of life and love from the Lord, which, because he is not conscious of its source and entry, he perceives and may use as his own.
2) As to the interior and external regions of his soul he is in spiritual equilibrium. On the one hand, he is subject to the influence of the Lord through heaven, imprinting and arousing states of affection (remains) in his interiors and implanting their corresponding knowledges in the memory--and on the other hand, he is subject to the influence of hell arousing evil heredity tendencies from parents in his exteriors and establishing their corresponding knowledges in the memory.
3) The soul with its two mental realms, interior and exterior or spiritual and natural, is housed and is conscious in a material body in a space and time world, a world of appearances.
The soul acting freely as if from self is therefore able to choose that sensory experience from the environment which confirms and delights inherited tendencies toward evil, or it can choose that in the environment, and especially the Lords Word, which confirms and delights what is from the Lord with man, states of love for what is good and true or remains.
To exercise freedom of choice there must be:
1) Unconscious reception of the Lords life in the inmost of man or the human internal.
2) Equilibrium in a spiritual environment of which normally man is not conscious.
3) Birth into a space and time world where the as if from self can be freely and consciously exercised and established in agreement with either what is good and true, as revealed by the Lord, or with their perversions, what is evil and false from hell.
Man therefore, as always can choose either to look to and eat from the Tree of Life, or to look to and eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He can use his life from the Lord to confirm in his mind and life what is revealed from the Lord to be so, or he can abuse his life from the Lord to confirm in his mind and life what from sensory experience appears to be so but is not so.
TENTATIVE DIAGRAMS OF THE HUMAN SOUL AND MIND
I The Primitive Human Form or Mind
Influx from Lord
Representation seen of 3 degrees
of spherules which, by successive
composition, formed image of tiny
brain with something of a face in
front, but with no appendage. Receptacles of the Lords
Structure in each degree had two
beds like two hemispheres in the
brain, right bed for reception of
Lords love, left bed for reception
Receptacle of hellish love and
insanity due to hereditary
Structure within the two interior
degrees as to position and movement,
in order and form of heaven.
Outer structure (the exterior degree)
opposed to order and form of heaven.
Inclinations to evil and falsity residing
there in outermosts.
(References: DLW 432; Div. Wis; 111:2; AC 3633)
II The Human Soul From Birth
Inmost of Man - In heaven of human internals
or - Superior spiritual substance
Human Internal - Purest forms receptive of Lords life, receptive of what is celestial
or and spiritual from Him.
Internal Man - Belonging to the Lord alone.
- Entrance for Lord into man.
- The Lords own dwelling place with man.
- What distinguishes man from animal and causes man to be man
and to have eternal life and to be able to be uplifted by the Lord
- Inseparable from man--the very means for conjunction with the
- What goes on there is forever unconscious to man and angel,
beyond comprehension, above rational from which man thinks.
- Cannot be perverted.
Interior Man - Intermediate between internal and external.
or - From the Lord, through the internal, receives things of love and faith.
Rational Man - Plane for implantation of remains as states of affection.
- Subject to the internal--serves internal to communicate with external, to relate internal to external, bringing what is of the internal down to the external.
- Above animals and able to think and will what is good and true. Can have dominion over the natural.
- Plane of freedom of choice--may respond to internal, becoming spiritual or celestial, or may turn down to natural and remain natural, serving as nothing more than a faculty operating in a natural directed by evil loves.
External Man - Open by birth, developed by continuous degrees through three
or regions to the highest point in natural--the natural rational.
Natural Man - Sensual experiences and knowledges provide natural basis for implantation of remains.
- like animals as regards concupiscences and phantasies.
- Seat of hereditary tendencies to love self and the world.
(References: AC 1590, 1702, 1889, 1940, 1999, 3747, 7270, 8443; DLW 237; HH 39; CL 315; Influx 7, 8, 14; AE 1148:2; LJ 25; SD 4627, 5548.)
Development of External and Preparation of Interior or
Rational From Brith to Maturity
Interior Implantation of remains (Goods of Infancy)(age 1-10)
Or (associated with sensual experience)
Rational Man In association with celestial angels
Implantation of Remains (Goods of Intelligence) (age 20?)
(associated with cognitions of good and truth in the natural
In association with spiritual angels
Implantation of Remains (Goods of Ignorance) (age 10-20)
(associated with knowledges of good and truth in natural
In association with natural angels
External Interior Natural (involves Analytical or Reasoning faculty)
or (Sometimes called the still more interior sensual)
Natural (When functioning it may be called the
Man Rational Man, the Natural Rational or the merely natural rational) (includes memory of abstract ideas)
Middle Natural or Interior Sensual (involves Imaginative faculty) (Sometimes called the more interior sensual)
Sensual in thought (Scientificum) (involves the faculty of knowing and exterior or corporeal memory)
(includes scientifics and cognitions as to their permanent base)
Sensual or Corporeal-Sensual (involves experience of five bodily senses) (sometimes called ultimate Sensual)
Natural affections in common with animals Hereditary Inclinations
(References: AE 739:2-4; AC 3020:2, AC 3057:2; DLW 237, 239, 242, 245, 254. 258: TCR 564; AE 543: 2, 3, 708: 3, 355:36; AC 9215; TCR 34 42; HH 295; AC 2280, 1906:3, 5135:4, 5145:2, 5335, 1616: 4, 5, 3183; AE 828; 391:13; AC 2303, 5342; SD 4382, 5588, 353, 1077, 6011)
IV Spiritual Maturity V Heavens VI Degrees of
Inmost of Soul Heaven of 1
or Human Internals
Human Internal 2
Interior Rational Celestial 3
Exterior Rational Spiritual 4
Interior Natural Natural Heaven
or (Interior of 5
Spiritual- World of
Natural Rational World of Spirits 6
Body Natural World
(References: AC 5145, 1914, 4570, 9215, 9825; DLW 186, 67, 236ff; HH 20-39; Influx 16; SD (M) 4545, 46; AC 8443.)