ALFRED ACTON, M. A., B. Th.
Professor of Theology in the Academy
of the New Church
BRYN ATHYN, PA.
ACADEMY BOOK ROOM
NUNC LICET INTELLECTUALITER INTRARE IN ARCANA FIDEI.
Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21).
Once when heaven was interiorly opened to me and I spake with angels there, it was allowed to observe the following: It must be known that although I was there still I was not outside myself but in the body; for heaven is in man in whatever place he be. Thus when it is well-pleasing to the Lord man can be in heaven and still not be withdrawn from his body (A. C. 3884).
To Bishop W. F. Pendleton
To Bishop Benade and yourself more than to any other men I owe my theological education and the implantation of those principles and ideals which have since so largely guided my thought. It is therefore with more than ordinary pleasure that I feel privileged to dedicate to you this my first book. Father Benade, as we still affectionately call him, I cannot now address in person. He is no longer with us in earthly presence, but is in that world whose arcana are now revealed to us; and there, he is in clearer light respecting things about which we are still in obscurity. Yet I doubt not that the love which inspired his work on earth is still an actual inspiration to students of our church, as his memory will ever be to them a spur and encouragement.
You have succeeded to his office in the Church, and have maintained and advanced the principles which he represented. To you and your wise counsels I owe much and especially the ideal of a humble attitude to the words of our Revelation. Whatever your thought as to the conclusions set forth in this book, I know you will regard sympathetically the effort to enter intellectually into the arcana of the spiritual world. For your every influence has been to encourage your younger brethren in their studies and to inspire them with the desire to advance in their understanding of our Heavenly Doctrine. For this I am grateful, and for this I wish to dedicate this book to you, my friend and teacher.
The following work was originally prepared as a paper which was read before the General Assembly of the General Church of the New Jerusalem, held in Glenview, Ill., June, 1913. At various times during a busy professional year, the paper has been very considerably enlarged by the addition of new matter and by more and fuller citations from the Writings. It is no submitted to the kindly consideration of the New Church public.
Bryn Athyn, Pa.
June 30, 1914.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
THE RELATION BETWEEN THE SPIRITUAL WORLD AND
THE NATURAL 1
The law of creation. Use and organic form. The spiritual world and
the natural world inseparable. The relation between the two worlds
one of correspondences. The perception of spiritual things or things of
the other life. The two worlds conjoined in man.
THE FORMATION OF THE MIND 18
The mind is the man himself. The office of the cerebrum. Memory and
imagination. The sensual and corporeal the ultimate of the mind or spirit.
The mind an organic form.
THE DEGREES OF THE MIND 40
The three degrees before birth. An active and a passive in each degree.
The natural mind, its ascent and descent; the three degrees of heaven and
of hell. The opening and development of the mind.
THE ORGANIC SEAT OF THE MIND 58
Summary of preceding chapters. The substantial organic form of the mind
is in the brain. The mind is also present in the whole body. The mind
formed in the brain and thence present in the whole body; the inherited
mind and the acquired mind. The mind has no other organism or body than
that which is formed in the brain. The organic mind a superior form.
THE MIND OR SPIRIT IS TN THE HUMAN FORM 82
The human form is from God-man alone. The descent of form. The spirit
a more perfect human form than the body. The human form appropriated
to man by means of ultimate appearances; these remain after death. The
appearance of God-man in ultimates the basis of all perception of Him.
THE OFFICE OF THE PUREST SUBSTANCES OF NATURE AS THE ORGANIC
OF THE MIND OR SPIRIT 97
The purest substances of nature retained after death. This retention required by the law of creation. The purest substances of nature constitute the spirit. The form of the organic of the spirit indescribable by natural ideas.
THE SUBJECTS AND OBJECTS OF SIGHT IN THE SPIRITUAL WORLD 104
Subject and object. The law of appearances in the spiritual world. Afflux from the ultimate world necessary for the sensitive life of spirits. The law and office of spheres. The objects of the interior sight. Objects of the interior sight brought forth by means of ultimates. The Marriage of the Lord and the Church the source of heavenly objects. Representations in the spiritual world are drawn from the natural mind. The communication of ideas by spheres.
Resulting phenomena. Presence and distance. Walking and progression.
Consociations and communications. Situation.
THE LAW OF AFFLUX 135
Afflux necessary for changes and variations of form. Variations of form
perceived according to state as thoughts and affections. The Lord the
Supreme Object of sight or thought. Extension of thought.
THE MIND OF MAN IS HIS SPIRIT THAT LIVES AFTER DEATH 147
Human minds now largely in appearances. Entrance into the spiritual world.
Life in the spiritual world the life of the mind untrammeled by time and
space. Those who die as infants.
THE SPIRITUAL BODY OR THE BODY OF THE SPIRIT 155
The harmony of Swedenborgs teachings. The source of the appearance
to spirits that they have a body as on earth. Some curious phenomena
resulting from this appearance. The spiritual body really human in the
degree that it is formed by the rational. Man forms his own spiritual
body. The spiritual body is the self-electively formed organism of the mind.
The cutaneous envelope. All spirits seen as men; appearance and fallacy.
THE REALITY OF THE SPIRITUAL WORLD 181
Think not from appearances but from the truth. The illuminating nature
of the truth concerning the spiritual world. The two worlds similar in
appearance but not in essence.
THE RELATION BETWEEN THE SPIRITUAL WORLD AND THE NATURAL.
The Lord alone is life and man is but an organic vessel receptive of life; thus reads the universal law now revealed to the New Church,--a law so simple that the simplest mind can grasp it, so universal that its truth is at once acknowledged; yet a law that is totally unknown outside the New Church, and whose deep import is but dimly grasped even in the Church itself. It is in the light of this law that we propose to enter into the subject we have chosen for our present study, for the law itself is the universal key for the unlocking of the arcana respecting that world where the Lord gives His supreme gift of life eternal.
THE LAW OF CREATION.
The Lord is life itself, substance itself, form itself. From His Divine love He willed to create finite vessels receptive of Him to whom He might give of the blessings of His love. But the Infinite could not at once create such vessels, nor even could it at once create the finite.
From this first of finition were produced by composition successive finitions whereby the Word, the Divine truth going forth, was more and more finited until at last it ceased in matters at rest, such as those matters of which earths are composed. In the words of the Revelator:
The natural world exists and subsists from the spiritual world. By the spiritual world is here meant the Divine of the Lord which is there,--that is, the Divine proceeding (A. C. 10185).
The Divine proceeding is what is extended in the universe, and it is the Divine truth and the light of the spiritual sun. Hence this is the inmost of the spiritual world; and this is that from which nature has drawn her origin; and this is what is extended in the created universe. It is afterwards formed into spheres, the last of which is the natural atmosphere of the world (Ath. Cr. 191; T. C. R. 29 fin).
We would emphasize the teaching that the Divine proceeding is the inmost of the spiritual world, and we would note also that its successive finition is a finition of forces. It is Use going forth to create, and, therefore, in the constant effort to create; but it is not as yet the finite individuated forms of use.
From the spiritual Sun proceeds heat and light which in its essence is love and wisdom. The sun of the natural world is pure fire, and by it exists and subsists the world of nature, which, regarded in itself, is dead. The spiritual clothes itself with the natural as a man with a garment. It is known that in every operation there is an active and a passive. From the active alone nothing exists, nor from the passive alone. So with the spiritual and the natural. The spiritual, because it is a living force, is active; and the natural, because it is a dead force, is passive. Hence whatever exists in this solar world ... is from the spiritual through the natural.... A like principle is also known, namely, that in everything which is effected there is a principal and an instrumental, and that when anything is accomplished, these two appear as one, although they are distinctly two.
Hence we have the universal doctrine that all creation proceeds from firsts to ultimates and thus creates mediates in which firsts and lasts shall be together.
Divine order never stops in the middle, and forms anything there without an ultimate, for it is not in its fullness and perfection; but it goes on to the ultimate. But when it is in its ultimates, then it forms. (H. H. 315, 304, note; D. L. W. 310; D. Wis. viii, 3; A. E. 1207.)
The Divine Workman represented in Himself the universe with its crown the angelic heaven He created the materials for its upbuilding; and then molding those materials to His will, He produced and continually produces the created universe with the angelic heaven, which is the end of His love.
The atmospheres in both worlds (says Swedenborg) cease in substances at rest and fixed in the natural world, being such substances as are in earths, and which are called matters, (D. L. W. 302-304; L. J. 9), and this, he adds, is the origin of earths from the spiritual sun (D. L. W. 305-306).
This doctrine is also expressed in the letter of the Word, where the Lord is presented to our view as the Creator, first of heaven, then of earth, and finally of the spirit of man or of the heaven of angels. The Lord stretcheth forth the heavens and layeth the foundation of the earth and formeth the spirit of man within him (Zech. xii. 1).
The same teaching is contained in the first words of Genesis: In the beginning the LORD created the heavens and the earth, and the earth was without form and void. It was from this earth thus formless that the spirit of God created a paradise and finally Adam as a finite image of Himself--a celestial man.
USE AND ORGANIC FORM.
The whole created universe is, therefore, nothing but one great organic, containing forms indefinite in number, and of which the Lord is the soul and life; thus the universe is full of the Lord (S. D. 3576). No use in the whole universe can be separated from organics (S. D. 3577).
But we must carefully note that before organic forms exist there is Use, and it is Use,--
Before the organic forms of the body existed there was Use; and Use produced and adapted those forms to itself and not the reverse. But when the forms are produced, or the organs adapted, uses proceed from them, and thus it appears as if the forms or organs are prior to the use, when yet it is not so; for use flows in from the Lord, and this through heaven (that is, through the atmospheres of the spiritual sun, A. C. 10185), according to the order and form in which heaven is arranged by the Lord, thus according to correspondences. Functions (or uses) with their organic forms constitute a unit or one; for no function can be conceived of without forms, that is, substances, for substances are the subjects from which (A. C. 9223, 4224).
We have thus a trine. The Lord who is life itself; Use proceeding from Him, as atmosphere throbbing with the effort to clothe itself and thus reveal its Divine gifts; and lastly substances and matters from the earths,--so many passive forces endowed with the effort to clothe uses in forms.
THE SPIRITUAL WORLD AND THE NATURAL WORLD INSEPARABLE.
This trine is in other words the Lord, the spiritual world, and the natural world. For the spiritual world is a world of uses and the natural world a world of effects.
The difference between the spiritual and the natural (we read) is not as between the more or less pure, but as between the prior and posterior between which there is no finite ratio (C. L. 326; D. Wis. xii. 1).
There is a discrete degree between the two worlds. Except as required for the finition of the Divine Proceeding, that is, except on the outside of the bullae of the atmospheres, there is nothing passive in the spiritual world; nor in the natural world is there anything active except as a passive force. In the spiritual world there is nothing passive with which uses shall be clothed in finite forms of use, nor in the natural world is there anything active which shall clothe itself with matter for the production of use in form. It is evident, therefore, and the point is one to be noted with special attention, that neither world can exist separated from the other (A. E. 1207). They must ever be conjoined, ever together. And here we have the reason for the revealed fact that when man dies he takes with him, and retains forever, something from the natural world. The spiritual with him is the Divine proceeding as use, the natural is acquired by birth, and is that basis or organic recipient, self-fashioned form by which and in which he can perceive the Divine proceeding as the real and substantial things of the spiritual world thus revealed to him (Influx 12).
Creation (we read) began from supremes or inmosts, and proceeded to ultimates or extremes and then first stopped. The ultimate of creation is the natural world and therein the terraqueous world with all things therein. When these things were finished then man was created and into his inmosts were collated the things in the first of that order, and into his ultimates the things which are in ultimates. Hence all things in man and with him are from heaven and from the world,--from heaven the things which are of his mind, from the world those which are of his body. Such is the continual connection from firsts to lasts that, regarded together, they constitute a one in which the prior cannot be separated from the posterior as cause cannot be separated from effect; thus neither the spiritual world from the natural nor the natural from the spiritual; and hence neither the angelic heaven from the human race nor the human race from the angelic heaven (L. J. 9).
All that proceeds from the Spiritual Sun is called spiritual, and all that proceeds from the natural sun is called natural. The spiritual, from its origin, has life in itself; the natural from its origin has nothing of life itself. And because from these two founts of the universe exist and subsist all things in both worlds, it follows that the spiritual and the natural are in every created thing in this world,--the spiritual as the soul and the natural as the body.... These two cannot be separated in any single thing (A. E. 1196, 1207).
Because the natural arises from the spiritual, as the material from the substantial, they are everywhere together. Thus the spiritual by means of the natural exercises its activities and operates its functions (Canons, God iv, 10).
The expanse around the Sun of the angelic heaven is not an extense, hut yet it is in the extense of the natural sun (C. L. 380; T. C. R. 35)
THE RELATION BETWEEN THE TWO WORLDS ONE OF CORRESPONDENCES.
Here also we have the basis of the relation between the two worlds. That relation is not a relation of comparison but is a relation of correspondence, that is, a relation as between cause and effect. In other words the things that appear on earth do not correspond to similar things that appear in the spiritual world,--for this would not be correspondence but merely comparison (A. C. 10669). But the things of the spiritual world are nothing but the active forces or causes which actually produce the things on earth (A. E. 1207:2).
You are in things substantial (said Swedenborg to a certain spirit) and not in things material, and things substantial are the beginnings of things material. You are in principles and thus in singulars, but we in principates and compounds (C. L. 328; T. C. R. 79).
If it be said that it is a spiritual thing which corresponds,--this is not understood, but if it is said that it is a significative, this is indeed understood, but in a different sense than a significative corresponding, namely, as something entirely separated. And yet the spiritual, or significative corresponding is conjoined to that to which it corresponds as sight to the eye, hearing to the ear, thought, which is spiritual, to the form of mans interiors, and by this to the organs of speech;
When anything from the spiritual as an origin and cause becomes visible and perceptible before the senses then there is correspondence between them. Such is the correspondence between things spiritual and natural with man; the spiritual are all things which are of his love and wisdom, consequently of his will and thought, and the natural are all things which are of his body (D. Wis. ii. 3; H. H. 89-90).
In other words, the two worlds, the spiritual and the natural, do not stand over against each other as separately complete worlds in a relation of pre-established harmony, but they are as cause and effect, and are inseparably bound up, each with the other as cause and effect; and the presence of each is required for the existence of a finite unit receptive of the Lord and manifesting His glory (L. J. 9).
It is from ignorance of this, the true relation between the two worlds that men have supposed the spiritual to be merely a purer natural, or something ethereal, not knowing that the relation between them is one of discrete degrees, or as the relation of prior and posterior, cause and effect (A. C. 10099; D. L. W. 90, 350). And here we would note the teaching that without a knowledge of correspondences there can be no knowledge of the spiritual world and of its influx into the natural, nor any knowledge of the spirit or mind of man (H. H. 88).
THE PERCEPTION OF SPIRITUAL THINGS OR THINGS OF THE OTHER LIFE.
The spiritual world is the world of reality, the substantial world in which are living causes; the natural world is the world of matter whereby causes are produced into effects. In the spiritual world, properly speaking, the only substantial is the Divine proceeding from the Lord as atmosphere or use; in the natural world, properly speaking, is nothing but matter for the clothing thereof. Hence in the natural world all things are representations of Divine truth. But to see these representations is not to see Divine truth,--is not to see the spiritual which gives them form. The spiritual, such as it is in itself, can no more be seen than can the atmospheres which convey the light and heat of the sun to the earth. But the spiritual does present itself to be seen when it presents itself within the natural representative as Use. To see a tree is to see nothing but the natural,--but to see in the tree the appearance or appearing of use from the Divine, this is to see the spiritual, the real thing which makes the tree what it is. To see a man working is to see something merely natural, but to see the spirit of the man in the work is to see the reality, that is, to see spiritually.
The senses give us a very real analogue of the relation between the spiritual and the natural and of mans perception of each.
But while this is in very reality an analogue of the reception and perception of the Divine proceeding as use, yet he who sees the tree does not therefore see the Divine proceeding as use, that is, he does not necessarily see the spiritual substantial which proceeds from the Lord.
With all men the ether waves set up by the tree present themselves to be seen as an appearing in the brain; but the man whose mind is receptive of and reactive to the heat and light of the spiritual sun, sees not only the natural tree appearing, but he sees also the Divine of the Lord appearing as Divine love and wisdom in form. On the other hand, the man whose mind is turned against the Lord or against the reception of use proceeding as heat and light from the spiritual sun, sees in the appearing of the tree only a natural tree, only the appearing of material uses. And the same is true also of animals, except that the latter, different from men, have no power of doing otherwise.
To see the use which is the cause of the things of nature, is to see the spiritual world. But although this exists prior to nature yet it does not present itself to be seen except as appearing in nature, or rather as appearing in a subject the constitution whereof is drawn from the earth. In that subject, the spiritual presents itself to be seen as the cause of the natural; but it presents itself not as an atmosphere, not as a proceeding, but as use appearing in form. nod here again we see the inseparableness of the two worlds.
It was the sight or perception of use or spiritual causes within natural objects that constituted the spiritual sight which was enjoyed by the men of the Most Ancient Church; for with them the objects of the external senses were as nothing; and therefore when they saw such objects they thought about (that is, saw with their spiritual sight A. C. 2458) the things which they signified and represented, being such things as exist in heaven, by virtue whereof they saw the Lord Himself (A. C. 1122). Thus with them dead things became living (A. C. 1409).
The sight of the internal man sees from things external, things internal, which are thus brought forth. Whenever man beholds any objects with his eyes, and while seeing them, in a manner, does not see them, being led by them to see or think of things of the church or heaven, then the interior sight, that is, the sight of his spirit or soul is brought forth abroad.
Hence we are taught that representatives or appearances in heaven are, as it were, the originals of things on earth; and further, that appearances in heaven are real and the things on earth not real then Swedenborg continues:
In the other life everything is not, as some think, empty and inane, but is the substantial itself which is the origin of all substantials in nature. In that world is the living substantial or the purest ether. This is formed by the Lord into such things as appear in heaven which are so wonderful as hardly to be described (S. D. 4292-3; A. C. 10185).
In the natural world therefore are the representations of Divine truth; but in the spiritual world, that is, before the eyes of the spirit, are the appearances of Divine truth, that is to say, there the Divine truth or use proceeding, appears in form.
THE TWO WORLDS CONJOINED IN MAN.
Now in all creation man alone is so formed that he can see the spiritual within the natural. Animals equally with men see the natural representations of Divine truth, but man alone can see the Divine truth or use as it appears within these representations.
And here we have the large reason why the creation of uses which are spiritual proceeds only through ultimates. It is for the sake of man, in order that spiritual things may be presented to him in such way that he may receive them or not, as he wills; and this, in order that he may acquire and appropriate them as of himself, and may thus be in the appearance that he lives from himself. Therefore he is first to be instructed by means of sensuals or of things entering through the senses, for these seem to be his own; and then by their means he is to be instructed concerning the spiritual things within, that, though still appearing to live from himself he may acknowledge that he lives from God and that all things with him and in him are nothing but the Divine of the Lord appearing.
In this truth, that man must first receive sensual images before he can see the spiritual within, we have the harmony between two apparently conflicting opinions; the one that the spiritual world was created before the natural world, and the other that the spiritual world came into existence only with the birth of human minds. The spiritual world as the living substantial or purest ether (S. D. 4293),--the Divine as use, (A. C. 10185), as that which makes heaven (H. H. 7)--did exist before the natural world; but it could not present itself to be seen in finite appearance and thus to be appropriated, until it had been clothed with things from the earth, that is, until there was a subject in which it could be seen; nor indeed then, until man was created in whom as a subject the representative forms of earth could be received, and within them, as within the self-electively chosen forms which constitute heaven (H. H. 7), the spiritual inflowing could appear in its own form as the real, the substantial, the appearing of Divine love and wisdom.
Hence we have the teaching that the spiritual world is where man is, and is by no means remote from him (D. L. W. 92) and that the kingdom of heaven is within man. Mans mind is his spiritual world and his body is his natural world (D. Wis. xii. 3).
THE FORMATION OF THE MIND.
It is evident that that in man which sees is the soul alone. For the body does not see nor even the mind, since both these are merely organic forms receptive of life. It is the soul alone which sees. This is true even of animals. But as already observed animals have only natural sight; the images of things are impressed on their sensories and from instinct they act accordingly; but they have no reflection on the spiritual causes or uses of things, that is to say, on the spiritual within them. This, man alone has, and he has it by virtue of a soul, or inmost organic form, capable of receiving and reacting to the influx of life proceeding from the Lord as a Sun.
It is by virtue of this that he has reflection on the things that are presented to him through the senses, and with reflection, choice, that is to say, rationality and liberty. And moreover, in order that the natural or material representatives of the Divine proceeding may come to him for reflection or internal sight, he is gifted with a material body furnished with five senses adapted to material things. For, as was said, nothing can ever be received by man unless it first appear in finite ultimated forms entering through the senses. Without sensation there is no life either spiritual or corporeal (S. D. 1343, 1718), for without sensation there can be presented no form in which the Divine can be received, perceived and appropriated.
THE MIND IS THE MAN HIMSELF.
It is evident, however, that neither the body is the man himself nor the soul. The soul is the immediate gift of God in which man has no part either as regards reception, rejection or perversion; and that the body is not the man is clear from the fact that we are not responsible for our body. We cannot change the color of our eyes or of our hair, the shape of our face or limbs, and still less of .the interior viscera of the body. The only thing that we can introduce is that internal form,--what is ordinarily called the expression, which appears in the face and to a lesser degree in the body; and this expression is nothing more than the appearing of the mind. The mind, therefore, is the only part of man that can be properly termed his own; that mind which he himself forms by life in the world, and which is thus his own, his very self. Nor even can the mind be called the man himself, if we view the mind simply as an entity consisting of substances, for this is given to man even before birth. But what is mans self is the form he induces on the mind,--the arrangement and disposition of those organic substances which receive life from the soul and modifications from the world, and which constitute the mind,--those organic substances wherein soul and body can as it were meet and be conjoined; where the soul can act from firsts and from lasts together; that part which can receive sensations from without and animating life from within. In a word, the man himself is the form he induces on the cortical glands of the brain which are the ends of the sensory nerves, where sensations are delivered and whence actions proceed.
In this intermediate plane modifications and sensations become ideas, thoughts, perceptions, affections, delights. For it is by virtue of the soul omnipresent in lasts, that is, in the body, that the latter has the faculty of receiving modifications and conveying them to the brain; and it is by virtue of the soul omnipresent in firsts that, in the brain, those modifications become animated, living, to be seen and experienced, and felt and loved,--whether in the light of heaven or in the light of the world,--as mans very own possession of life and his spring of action.
The light of the world and the light of heaven are what make, by the inflowing of life, all the intelligence of man. Mans imagination is nothing but forms and appearings of such things as he has got by the sight of the body, forms and appearings wonderfully varied and so to say modified. But his interior imagination or his thought is nothing but forms and appearings of such things as he has drawn in by the sight of the mind, forms and appearings still more wonderfully varied and so to say modified. Those things which exist therefrom are in themselves inanimate, but from the influx of life from the Lord they become animate (A. C. 3337).
THE OFFICE OF THE CEREBRUM.
The soul of man has constructed his body and is present in that body even in its least parts; and, as image of that Divine love which wills to give its all to created beings (Ath. Cr. 69) the soul has given to every part of the body to live as it were from itself, to feel inflowing life as life in itself.
In the cerebrum, with its faculty of self-variation, inflowing life is perceived and felt by man as his own; and its quality and the mans own delight, his sons of life, is according to the variously changeable and modifiable forms which he himself can put on. But if from delight in the experience man puts on and retains any given form repeatedly, that form in the cerebrum becomes fixed and infilled, and as it were hardened, by finite substances brought in by the bloods; and then it becomes more difficult to put off, to unform.
As servants to this cerebrum the soul has assigned the five senses and the voluntary muscles; in short, all that part of the body which is under the control of mans will and which receives its habit and expression therefrom.
Like the rest of the body the cerebrum also feels inflowing life as life in itself. It appears to live from itself. But unlike the rest of the body it can fashion itself in an infinitude of ways; and according as it is fashioned or disposed, such will be the quality of its life, perceived as life in itself for the perception of life is according to the form receiving. And such also will be the expression of that life in the face and the body.
These organic forms in the cerebrum are therefore the man himself. He can form them as he wills, and as he forms them, such he is; for man is but an organ receptive of life. This is that part of man where heaven and earth can be conjoined,--where the forms of earth can present themselves, and wherein can appear the gifts of heaven.
Were it not for this conjunction man would perish like the beasts; for animals also receive images from the world as sensations, but they have no free choice, because no human soul. Hence the images they receive are disposed and arranged not under the influence of self-election, but solely after the will of the animal soul or instinct. When, therefore, the body of an animal dies and influx from the world through it ceases, the soul is dissipated because none of its gifts have been freely appropriated.
MEMORY AND IMAGINATION.
By his five senses man receives in his mind the images of the world; and these images, which in themselves are nothing but natural representatives of spiritual causes, constitute in him memory and imagination which are the beginnings of the mind. But it must not be supposed that these images flowing from the world are impressed on the organic substances of the mind as a seal is impressed on wax or a picture on the photographic plate (Fib. 520);
By virtue of sensation, therefore, the world of matter, the world in which are the ultimate representatives of spiritual causes, enters into man and becomes his world, the world of his imagination, the world in which he passes his real life, and in which he is in his own freedom. The world without becomes the world within and there it becomes such a world as the man elects,--representative of God or representative of self and the world, the scene of the worship and love of God, or the scene of the cruel deeds and insane phantasies of the worship of self; and as man elects the states of his mind which produce this world, so by virtue of the streams of nutrition which are ever flowing in from the world without by means of the body do those states become fixed and set.
This world thus fixed and set in the organic substances of the mind is the corporeal and sensual man. It is the body of the real man; not that material body for which himself is not responsible, in whose interior structure he has had no part;
But interiorly within man is the soul which receives life from God. By virtue of this man has ability to see not only in the light of the world, but also in the light of heaven, that is to say, to see in the world which he has received from without the appearing of the Divine proceeding as use,--to see the images of the world in the light of heaven; to see not dead images, but the appearances of the spiritual uses which produced those images in the ultimate world; the appearing of the spiritual world which produced the natural. When man looks upon, that is, reflects upon the world that appears to his senses and is transcribed to his mind--when man looks on this world from the light of heaven and sees it as the representation of spiritual uses, then there is presented to him a new world, a world of interior imagination, a world in which he sees the Lord and the appearings of His Divine operation, a world in which he sees spiritual causes; and this world is the veritable spiritual world appearing in form as the real world of which the world without is but the lifeless image (A. C. 3020; H. H. 304; S. D. 679).
As the world without is the base from which by the induction of modifications and variations of form in the substances of the mind the world within or the external imagination is formed as the corporeal and sensual ultimate, so the world of the external imagination becomes the ground from which, also by the induction of states, the interior imagination is formed.
We note here that the Lord flows into man in two ways, namely, immediately and mediately. The Lords immediate influx is by the human internal, and it gives to man the faculty of rationality and liberty, that is, the ability to see and choose. The Lords mediate influx is by the atmospheres of both worlds by whose means alone sensation is possible. By means of natural atmospheres the ultimates of nature are conveyed to the sensory, where they become sensations, memory, material ideas, imagination. By means of spiritual atmospheres, this imagination, serving as an ultimate world, as it were, can be sensated, that is, perceived, as interior sensations which constitute the internal memory and imagination, to which belong spiritual ideas; but this spiritual sensation is possible only when the things in the external imagination, or in the corporeal and sensual man, are so ordered and arranged as to receive the activities of the spiritual atmospheres--an ordering and arrangement which can be effected only by the teaching of revelation, which is the very ultimate from which the Lord acts to reform and regenerate man. To illustrate: By means of the ether, the material objects around us are presented by the eye to the little sensories of the brain,
where they become memory and imagination with all the delights thereof. Now if by obedience to the teaching of revelation, man reduces these things of his corporeal and sensual into the order of heaven, he forms an interior sensory that is receptive of the light of heaven, just as the eye is receptive of the ether.
The natural man sees things in the light of the world.... He acquires to himself that light by objects which enter through sight and hearing, thus by objects which are from the world. Thus the man sees things interiorly in himself almost as the eye sees them. The objects which enter through these senses appear to him at first as pleasure and delight; afterwards the infant man begins to distinguish between delights, and this gradually more exquisitely. When light from heaven inflows into these objects then the man begins to see them spiritually and first to discern between the useful and the non-useful; hence he commences to perceive truth and to discern between truths
When sensuals, from which is mans first imagination, are subjected to the rational, they are enlightened by the light which comes from the Lord through heaven, and they are then set into order so as to receive the light, and correspond. But the contrary is the case when the rational is subjected to sensuals; for falses are then in the center and truths in the peripheries. The falses which are in the center are in a certain lumen there, but in a fatuous lumen which is called darkness (A. C. 5128, 6598, 5423, 3020).
Mans imagination is nothing but forms and appearings of such things as he has got by the sight of the body,--forms and appearings wonderfully varied and so to say, modified; but his interior imagination or his thought is nothing but forms and appearings of such things as he has drawn in by the sight of the mind,--forms and appearings still more wonderfully varied and so to say modified (A. C. 3337, 4274; see T. C. R. 577, quoted below).
Objects of the world, all of which draw something from the light of the sun, enter through the eye and lay themselves up in the memory,--and this evidently, under an appearance similar to visual appearance;
The external imagination becomes the ultimate and ground for the internal imagination or spiritual thought by virtue of its arrangement and disposition in the light of heaven and from rationality and liberty into a form of order. It may also be arranged and disposed into a form not of order; that is, it may be viewed and ordered not in the light of heaven, but in the light of the world*; and then also it produces interior imagination; that is, it induces variations and changes on the interior substances of the mind which are seen by the man as interior ideas.
* The light of the when shining in the human mind, (i. e., when things are seen by the mind merely in the light of the world) is called in the Writings lumen in contradistinction to light (lux), which latter term is applied both to the spiritual sun and the natural. See A. C. 4531, 7870; S. D. 4620; De V. 3; A. C. 6310.
While in this world, the interior imagination is not usually seen or thought of as imagination, but it appears only in the form of abstract ideas from affection; yet it is in reality imagination produced by the states of the subtle organic substances of the mind as determined by the man himself. And here let us note that an idea, in its root meaning, from a Greek word meaning to see, and indeed in its real signification, is a thing seen, depicted, set forth as an image, though immaterial.
Man is therefore a center for the influx of both the spiritual world and the natural world. In him the two worlds are to be conjoined, spiritual ideas are to be implanted in material ideas, and by this implantation and conjunction he receives the gift of immortality. The things of the world constitute his external or natural man, the things of heaven his internal or spiritual man; or, his internal man is his spiritual world and his external man his natural world, and the two together are the man himself, the spirit that lives on after the body that has served its use in the world has fallen away. For the spirit of man is his mind, or his love and thought, or his will and understanding, and this mind is an organized substance which is a subject for the reception of the influx of the Divine, proceeding, both as the representative forms of the ultimate world, and as the real forms or uses of the spiritual world.
THE SENSUAL OR CORPOREAL THE ULTIMATE OF THE MIND OF SPIRIT.
Such, then, is mans mind, and such its formation. It is the whole man that is freely formed and fashioned during life on earth, and that lives after death. Man has nothing else that he can call his own. The material body has been loaned to him, only that he may be able to form this mind, and in and as this mind he lives to eternity. The sensual and corporeal, with its external imagination, is its ultimate or body, from which is the mans external thought and affection. It is this imagination that forms the imaginary heavens where each spirit enters into the joys of his own imagination (C. L. 4); and also the phantasies of hell where all suppose themselves to be still in the world.
Within this corporeal ultimate is the interior thought and affection which constitute the internal man. And the whole mind is a substance which is a subject for the influx of life both immediate and mediate,--a subject which the man has formed for himself, and has built up, as it were, of those finest things of nature which he retains after death.
The internal and external man are not the spirit which thinks and the body which acts, but they are the internal and external of the mind or spirit. The material body by which the spirit is clothed in the natural world is an accessory for the sake of procreations, and for the sake of the formation of the internal man. For the latter is formed in the natural body like a tree in the earth and a seed in fruit (T. C. R. 420, 454).
It is thought that the things of the body constitute the external man; but these constitute only the outmost which is merely corporeal. Scientifics which are of the memory properly constitute the external man, and affections which are of the love with which the man is imbued, and also sensuals which are proper to the spirit, with the pleasures which are also with spirits. That these properly constitute the external or exterior man, may be evident from men in the other life. These likewise have this external and likewise an interior and consequently an internal (that is, the soul). The body is only, as it were, a tegument or crust which is dissolved in order that the man may truly live, and that all things belonging to him may become more excellent (A. C. 1718, 3539).
Men are vessels and the vessels are in the memory in which their ideas are determined and terminated. Therefore spirits cannot think other than according to the direction of the vessels (S. D. 3759, 4041).
The sensual of man is relatively fixed. The quality of its fixation can be known from the fact that all things on earth are also in heaven; but there they are not fixed, though appearing as fixed. Hence it is evident that when man lives in the world he acquires to himself a fixed plane which cannot be changed. Therefore he remains to eternity such as he has become in the world. This plane is wholly quiescent, but still his internals rest on it (S. D. 5552). Thus as the tree falls so it lies (S. D. Min. 4646).
The exterior memory is the ultimate of order in which spiritual and celestial things are terminated (A. C. 2492, 3539, 3679).
The things of the external man are natural affections, doctrinals, and also scientifics, in a word, all things which are of the external or natural memory, for these are the planes in which his interiors are terminated. According as they are disposed, such do the interiors become (A. C. 3539).
The exterior memory regarded in itself is nothing but an organic formed from the objects of the senses, especially sight and hearing, in the substances which are the beginnings of the fibers. According to impressions from these objects are variations of form which are reproduced, and these forms are varied and changed according to changes of the state of affections and persuasions. The internal memory is likewise organic, but more pure and perfect, formed from objects of the internal sight which objects are disposed into a certain series in incomprehensible order (A. C. 2487)
The sensual is the ultimate of mans life, and that which is ultimate contains all interiors (A. C. 9216, 9212; A. E. 543, 556).
Sensuals are the outmosts of the natural mind; for mans natural communicates on the one side with the sensuals of the body, and on the other with the rational things of the rational mind (A. C. 4009).
The sensual, strictly speaking, is that ultimate which is called flesh, and which perishes at death. This man has in common with the brute: But the external sensual which is trot in common with the brute, is what man has in his memory from the world and which is constituted solely of things mundane, corporeal and terrestrial.
This sensual, constituted of things that have entered in through the external senses (A. C. 5125, 978), is the exterior natural of the man proper, that is, of man as a spirit (A. C. 5157), his ultimate, lowest and extreme (A. C. 5767, 7442, 7645, 9212); from which and according to which is formed his whole appearance (A. C. 5165). He has nothing more ultimate than this plane thus fixed in subtle substances, the recipients of external sensations. See p. 170.
Angels and spirits are internal and external affections because they have mind and body; and affections and thence thoughts are of the mind and sensations and thence pleasures are of the body (C. L. 273)
THE MIND AN ORGANIC FORM.
Very different is the idea of the mind entertained in the Christian world. There it is thought of as being an ethereal breath, and without sensation (H. H. 170); or else as being nothing else than the invisible things of nature (A. C. 6400). Hence has come the idea concerning angels and spirits that they are minds without form, and mere thoughts of which no other idea is entertained than as of something ethereal in which is life (H. H. 74): or that they are thoughts without a subject or body which can not but be dissipated (A. C. 4527). And, therefore, of the Divine Providence, in order that something of the truth might be preserved the Christian Church has been permitted to believe that at the Last Judgment the soul will again be conjoined to its earthly body and thus live a real life (L. J. 17).
But the truth is now revealed to us in the Writings.
Men think of love and wisdom as a volatile in the subtle ether, and those who see that they are substance and form still perceive them as outside the subject and flowing from it, not knowing that love and wisdom are the subject itself and that what is perceived as a volatile and fluent outside it, is only the appearance or appearing of the state of the subject in itself. This is then illustrated in the five senses of man. These senses are actual substances and forms which are subjects, and the sensations are nothing but the states of those subjects as variously modified. Sight does not go forth from the eye, although it appears to do so; but it is only the state of the organ of sight as produced by the object flowing in and vivified. And whether those things be ten thousand miles away or whether they be close by, it is the same thing,--the sight is nothing but the perception of the state of the organ; while the idea of distance comes from acquired judgment. So (continues our Revelation) is it with love and wisdom, with the sole difference, that the substances and forms which are love and wisdom do not appear before the eyes. Still none can deny but that substances and forms are those things of love and wisdom which are called thoughts, perceptions and affections, and that these are not entities volatile and fluent from nothing, or abstracted from real and actual substances and forms which are subjects.
No sense, not even the intellectual sight and perception, can exist without a substance which is a subject of influx. But the subject of the interior sight consists of interior organic forms which can never be detected by any eye nor even by the microscope. Still they are organic forms, that is, substances; for without a substance which is a subject there is no mode, no modification, no change of state which actively manifests itself. It is these invisible substances, we are told, that present the internal senses and also produce interior affections.
Organic forms are not only those that appear before the eye and can be detected by microscopes, but there are also organic forms still purer, which can never be detected by any eye, naked or assisted; these are mere interior forms, as the forms which are of the intellectual sight, and those lastly which are of the understanding. These are wholly inscrutable, but still they are forms, that is, substances. For no sight, not even the intellectual can exist, except from something; this also is known in the learned world, namely, that without a substance which is a subject there is not any mode or any modification or any such thing as actively manifests itself. These purer and interior forms which are wholly inscrutable are those which present the intellectual senses and also produce the interior affections.
These substances which are the subjects of the interior sense, that is, subjects that are modifiable by the afflux of goods and truths or evils and falses, and which perceive the things that flow in and affect as the real things of life, whether delightful or undelightful,--these substances are all drawn from nature. This is manifest from the doctrine that uses are presented in form only by means of ultimates, that is, by means of substances and forms such as come from ultimates. And being such substances and forms, they therefore consist of parts and are in extense. Influx alone, produces nothing; but influx joined to substances and matters produces something which is use in form, or use appearing, that is, actively manifesting itself,--and the thoughts and affections of the angels are pre-eminently uses in their true and heavenly form.
Even that substance which is the subject of mans soul is in extense.
If we deprive the soul of every predicate of material things, as of extense, figure, space, size and motion, we deprive the mind of everything to which as an anchor it can attach its ideas. Consequently one is left in doubt as to whether the soul is anything distinct from an entity of reason. Habitation, place, part, size, force, form are suitable predicates of the soul, if only we abstract properties that are generated in compounds by virtue of their being compounds (2 E. A. K. 216).
Again, Swedenborg says:
Because actives, such as are in the soul, cannot act or give forth any motive force or effect on neighboring parts, unless they are enclosed in surfaces or membranes, therefore the soul cannot be said to consist barely of actives ... for in actives consists solely its activity and life. It is requisite also that neighboring parts be able to act on the soul, and as it were dispose it to action; consequently there must be something passive. Nor can the force of actives upon neighboring parts be conceived of without a space in which the perpetually operating actives shall be enclosed. And because space cannot be enclosed by them without a most subtle membrane, therefore it is an activity together with its surface that together constitute the soul (Infinite, Latin ed. p. 265).
These passages are taken from the earlier works, but they are in entire harmony with the teachings of Revelation. For the Revelator says that, Unless we admit of extense and hence of space and time as being with spirits and angels the whole spiritual world might be drawn through the eye of a needle or set upon the point of a hair. Space and time finite all things in both worlds, and, therefore, men are finite not only as to their bodies but as to their souls. And because man is finite he thinks from things finite; and, therefore, if the finite be taken away he would perceive as if there were nothing left (T. C. R. 29). Moreover we have the general doctrine that no use from the Divine can be produced apart from a clothing by things from earths.
But how shall we reconcile this with the reiterated teaching of the Writings that there is no space and time in the spiritual world?
THE DEGREES OF THE MIND.
Let us now inquire more particularly as to the form of these substances which are the subjects of the human mind and soul, whose ultimate subject is the corporeal body. But before doing so we would premise what we have already indicated, namely, that the atmospheres of the spiritual world, or, more exactly, the actives or successives that are created by the Divine truth (A. C. 7270), are most real substances; they are substances, however, which are the finition of forces or of the Divine Truth proceeding; they are not substances which are the subjects by which use shall be manifest in form, whether as the spiritual or as the natural. The substances whereby use shall be manifested must be drawn from ultimates. Thus in the ether are contained as finited forces all the forms of the vegetable kingdom (A. E. 1208, and Corpuscular Philosophy), but those forms cannot appear as finite forms of uses until they are clothed with substances of nature, from the subtlest to the grossest, which shall serve as subjects for their influx and operation and manifestation. This law is a universal one, and is the law underlying all finite appearances in both worlds. Nature in herself is dead, being created in order that the spiritual may by her be clothed with forms which serve for use and that it may be terminated (A. E. 1207).
And now let us speak of those more subtle substances which are the subjects of the human soul and mind,--subjects for the production in man, by influx, of those thoughts and affections which are the supreme uses of creation, and the real things of the spiritual world.
THE THREE DEGREES BEFORE BIRTH.
We quote from the DIVINE WISDOM a passage which is introduced by the teaching that the Lord conjoins Himself with man in the womb of the mother from first conception, and forms him; and that He conjoins Himself in the two receptacles which are the future will and understanding of the man (D. Wis. iii. 1-2). The teaching then continues: Those receptacles are not tubular or winding, like vessels, but they are like the brain of which it is the least and invisible type and at the same time a delineament as of a face in front. No appendage (i. e., no medullary stem) was seen. In the superior gibbous part this primitive brain was a structure of continuous globules or spherules, each spherule being compaginated of similar but more minute spherules, and each of these again of spherules most minute. In front in the lowest part appeared some delineament in place of a face, but in the region between the gibbous and this lowest part there was no fiber. The gibbous part was enclosed round about with a most delicate membrane which was transparent. It was said to me that in each spherule there were innumerable contextures more and more wonderful according to degrees; also that in each of them there was a right part or bed or a receptacle of love, and a left bed or a receptacle of wisdom, and that by wonderful weavings between them they were yet as con sorts and bedfellows just like the two hemispheres of the brain.
In the corresponding passage in the DIVINE LOVE AND WISDOM, n. 432, we have the further teaching, Because love and wisdom is very man--for love and wisdom in its essence is the Lord,--it follows that in this primitive there is a continual endeavor into the human form, which also it successively puts on.
AN ACTIVE AND A PASSIVE IN EACH DEGREE.
We call particular note to the fact that this passage is a description of the primitive of man from conception, and of the formation of the vessels of the future will and understanding in the womb of the mother. From this it would necessarily follow that in each of these primitive spherules of three degrees there is not only a spiritual active and causative, but also something of the purest substances of nature to serve as a subject.
* They are called cortical when on the surface of the brain and cineritious when within the brain.
* The word actually refers to ultimates, and generally to the clothing drawn from nature. It is distinguished from ideally (A. C. 1808) and really (I Ad. 925; A. C. 1970), which refer to the cause producing the actual. See T. C. R. 29, 156; C. L. 178; A. C. 9359; D. L. W. 200.
Indeed, the spiritual or actives alone could not produce this primitive of the future man, for it is contrary to Divine order that the spiritual shall produce any finite form of use without the natural;
In the work on the INFINITE (Latin, p. 263) and also in a posthumous work on the MECHNAISM OF THE SOUL AND BODY (Scientific and Philosophical Treatises II, p. 18) Swedenborg intimates that the soul,--which is the same as the two prior, pure, unperverted and unpervertible degrees,-consists of the first two finitions of creation, or the actives of the first and second finites. Indeed, this is clearly implied in the teaching of the Writings that in the soul the Lord is immediately present with man; for such immediate presence involves that the soul, as active, consists of the first finitions proceeding from God-manthose finitions, namely, which also appear as radiant belts around the spiritual sun (A. C. 7270). By these the Lord gives man life and immortality.
In the same works, namely, the INFINITE and the MECHANISM OF SOUL AND BODY, Swedenborg further intimates that the active of the third degree in man,--that degree which was in the form of hell and which man has in common with animals, consists of actives of the third finite in which are conjoined the activities of the two preceding degrees.
It would follow also that man receives immortality by virtue of being a vessel receptive of and reactive to, the two prior degrees or finites;
Granting that the soul consists of active finites, it would also follow that something more than finites is required (see p. 35). For the motions of the first and second finites, considered alone, produce atmospheres and the suns of natural worlds. But these are not human souls,--though we note that Swedenborg does compare a human being with body and soul to a solar system with its planets and its sun within which is life (GENERATION 298). Indeed, the suns of the universe,--suns which are double suns, with first and second finites within and third finites without, or, in the language of the Writings, with the spiritual sun within (T. C. R. 35),--are, as it were, the cortical glands of the universe viewed as a Grand Man.
But as was said something more is required for the creation of a human soul than the active finites proceeding from God Man. Otherwise, indeed, souls might have been created before the creation of earths. The fact that they were created after the earth with its three kingdoms, would indicate that to the finites must be added finest things arising from the earth, or, rather, that it is these finest things that. are so molded into forms by the activity of the first and second finites which are living actives from God, as to become receptacles of life thus flowing in immediately,--receptacles and likenesses of God which, far removed from the sublunary sphere and from mans control, are ever held unperverted and unpervertible, and which constitute those two superior degrees or spherules mentioned in the DIVINE WISDOM.
But here let me note that we must avoid thinking of the spherules described as of three degrees in the DIVINE WISDOM, as being spherules one within the other like balls within balls. They are to be conceived of as substances organized in a wonderful manner and constituting in se the natural mind which consists not only of spiritual substances, but also of natural substances (D. L. W. 260). In each of these substances there is a still more wonderful organization which is reactive to and lives and is formed from second finites; and each substance of this organization is again most wonderfully organized to receive and react to the first active finitions of life. In fact, as we have already shown, Swedenborg explicitly identifies them with the cortical glands of the brain (D. Wis. v), which, taken together, constitute the common sensory, the basis of memory, imagination, and of all thought. Wonderfully organized as these glands are--that is, when viewed with the eye of the mind, and not with the sight of the body which sees only those lifeless glands which are viewed in the corpse--wonderfully organized as these glands are, yet their individual substances are to be conceived of as being still more wonderfully organized.
Each spherule was conglomerated of similar but more minute spherules, and each of these again of spherules most minute. In each spherule were ineffable contextures more and more wonderful, according to degrees. These degrees are called superior, although they are interior.
THE NATURAL MIND, ITS ASCENT AND DESCENT; THE THREE DEGREES OF HEAVEN AND OF HELL.
Now all these substances, however wonderfully organized, are yet substances from the earths by which alone uses are effected or brought forth to finite view; and being such they are in themselves of one degree and constitute the natural mind in contradistinction to the spiritual. In the least substances (we read) there exist degrees of altitude and latitude (D. L. W. 224).
Hence we are taught that the natural mind in substantial form is woven together of substances both of the natural and of the spiritual world in the brains where that mind resides in its firsts (D. L. W. 273). And again that The natural mind consists trot only of substances of the spiritual world, but also of substances of the natural world; and substances of the natural world of their own nature react against substances of the spiritual world; for in themselves they are dead, and are acted on from without by substances of the spiritual world. Hence the natural man reacts against the spiritual man (D. L. W. 260).
We would note, in passing, that action from without can be predicated only of substances from the earth. It cannot be predicated of spiritual substances, either as finites or as atmosphere, for spiritual substances are living and are therefore active from within.
In the passage last quoted it is said that the natural mind of itself reacts against the spiritual mind; but this reaction cannot be predicated of those substances which constitute the membranous envelope of the two superior degrees. Although these substances also are in themselves natural, that is, earthborn, yet, formed and ordered by the primitive and living finites proceeding from the Creator they can never react against those finites and hence can never be perverted. They are the tabernacle of the Lord, the everlasting seat of the soul, of will and understanding. Reaction against God can be predicated only of those more compounded substances which constitute the third degree where resides hereditary evil, and which is said to be in the form of the world (D. L. W. 260). For it is these compound substances that are directly open to the influences which flow from the world through the senses. This influx produces changes of state in the cortical glands, which are the beginnings of the nerves,--changes of state which are under mans own control. Hence here can begin a state induced by the man himself; hence also here is the possibility of the fall; here the impression or induction of evil forms; here the residence of evil, and here its transmission as hereditary inclination.
In the two superior degrees resides the Lord; here are the primitive vessels of will and understanding whereby man is given the inalienable gifts of rationality and liberty. But it is in the third or lowest degree that man determines whether and how far he will receive and appropriate this Divine gift; whether and how far he will ascend to the superior degrees, or whether he will endeavor to wholly close himself to the influx and presence of those degrees.
Hence we are taught that the natural degree of the human mind regarded in itself, is a continuous degree, but by correspondence with the two superior degrees, when elevated it appears as though discrete (D. L. W. 256; T. C. R. 34). And as a corollary to this we read, The natural mind consists of spiritual substances and at the same time of natural substances. From its spiritual substances it has thought, but not from its natural substances. The latter recede when man dies, but not the former. Those substances which recede make the coetaneous envelope of the spiritual body in which are spirits and angels, by which envelope, drawn from the natural world, their spiritual bodies subsist. Hence there is no spirit or angel who was not born a man (D. L. W. 257).
We are further told that, The natural mind, because it is a covering and containant of the superior degrees of the human mind, is a reagent; and that if the superior degrees are not opened (i. e., if the natural does not open itself to them), it acts against them, but if they are opened it acts with them (D. L. W. 260).
The natural mind, that is, that compounded substantial form which, as described by our Revelator, primitively consisted of spherules of the third degree,--this natural mind is opened to influx from the world. On it ran be impressed various forms, or, if you prefer, various states, according to mans free determination of that power of reflection, of sight, in directing it in the world of his imagination either to good things or to evil; in that world, namely, which has been implanted within him from the ultimate world without, and which is his real and veritably own world. If those forms be good then the natural mind acts at one with the superior degrees; its form makes one with the form of those more wonderful organizations which the Lord has withheld from direct influx from the world, and thus from mans control. In this mind are then represented all the forms of the two superior degrees, and the man becomes an angel of the natural heaven.
But if the natural degree be not only subservient to the superior degrees, but have induced upon it as its own--its own conscience--the very forms of spiritual truth; if in the world of his natural mind the man sees the appearing of Divine truth in form, as the truths of conscience in itself, then that mind becomes not only subservient to the superior degrees, but by their gift it becomes itself, as it were, an active form of truth, and the man is an angel of the spiritual heaven.
The reverse of this is also true. If the natural mind be in disorder the two superior degrees are, as it were, closed. that is, the natural mind is closed to their reception and operation,--is not receptive of the activity of these degrees; and yet because the natural lives from them and they can, therefore, never be wholly severed, life from the superior degrees does inflow, but only through chinks and crannies, as it were; and it bestows the faculty of reflection which is the ultimate of rationality and liberty; though it must be remembered, that man, even the evil man, even the genii of hell, can always induce upon his natural, states of truth, and so far as he does this, even if only for a time, so far the superior degrees flow in and give him to elevate his understanding even into the light of heaven. If the natural mind be not only in disorder but also actively opposed to spiritual truths and confirmed in this opposition, it is still further closed to the influx of the superior degrees; and closed yet further is it, if it becomes actively opposed to the Lord and confirmed in this opposition, that is, if it becomes an active form of the love and worship of self. These closings are the three degrees of hell.
Hence we have the revealed teaching that the natural mind, though in itself continuous, ascends by three degrees; and that these degrees constitute the three heavens (D. L. W. 260-263; A. C. 4041; D. W. ii); and that it descends by three degrees and that these degrees are the three hells (D. L. W. 271-276).
The natural mind being in the ultimate degree, covers around, encloses and contains the spiritual mind and the celestial mind which are superior as to degrees. Therefore, it is reagent. If the superior degrees are not opened it reacts against them, but if they are opened it acts with them. It consists not only of substances of the spiritual world but also of substances of the natural world, and these fatter of their own nature react against substances of the spiritual world; for in themselves they are dead and are acted on from without by substances of the spiritual world.
If, therefore, the spiritual mind is closed, the natural mind acts against the things of the spiritual mind, and fears lest anything inflow there from which shall disturb its state. All that inflows through the spiritual mind is from heaven, for the spiritual mind is in the forms of heaven; and all that inflows into the natural mind is from the world, for the natural mind is in the form of the world (that is, is formed by images flowing in from the world). If the spiritual mind is closed, the natural mind acts against all things of heaven, except so far as they serve it for acquiring and possessing the things of the world. In this case, although they appear to be heavenly, still they become natural.
The natural mind or man, from connate reaction, acts against those things which are of the spiritual mind or man, when he loves himself and the world above all things. Then also he feels delight in evils of all kinds, he acknowledges nature as the creator of the universe; and he confirms all by his rational. When man is such he then closes the spiritual mind ever tighter and tighter; confirmations of evil by falses are what especially close it. Hence evil and falsity confirmed cannot he extirpated after death; it is extirpated only in the world by repentance.
If the spiritual mind is opened then the natural mind is disposed to obedience thereto. The action and reaction of the natural mind is then inverted; for the spiritual mind then acts from above or within, and at the same time, by means of those things which are disposed in the natural mind, from below or without, and retwists the spire in which is the action and reaction of the natural mind. For this mind, from birth and heredity, is in opposition to the things of the spiritual mind. This change of state is what is called reformation and regeneration (D. L. W. 260-263).
The natural mind in its form is woven of substances of both worlds in the brains where that mind resides in its firsts. By the states of its form and their changes are presented perceptions, thoughts, intentions, wills, etc. Thus form supposes a substantial form as a subject, for changes of state without a substantial form which is a subject are not possible, as sight is not possible without the eye, etc. (D. L. W. 273.)
The lowest (of the three degrees or spherules which constitute the initiament of man in the womb) is in the form of hell, because from hereditary taint man is born contrary to the order and form of heaven. This taint is in the natural which is the lowest of mans life, and it is trot wiped away unless with it is opened the interior degree which is formed for the reception of love and wisdom from the Lord. How that degree, and also the inmost degree, is opened the Lord teaches in the Word. But to set these things in light the reader should see what has been said about degrees, and about the brain. Because there are these three degrees in man, therefore there are three degrees of heavens. With beasts there are not the two superior degrees but only the lowest, and, therefore, their initiaments of life are trot receptacles of the Lords love and wisdom, but are receptacles of natural affection and science, into which also they are born, and with clean beasts these are not opposed to the order of the flux of the universe, for they cannot pervert their affections (D. Wis. iii. 4).
THE OPENING AND DEVELOPMEINT OF THE MIND.
By the opening of the lungs at birth and the consequent opening of the organic vessels of the mind to sensations from the world, man becomes an individual human being. The images of the world flow in through the senses and become modifications or states impressed on the natural mind, or lowest degree, from without. And since they are impressed not by the soul, as in the action of the soul during the life in the womb when it was forming the organic body, but by the self-directed use of the mans own senses, they are appropriated to him as something that is his very own, his proprial life, his proprium which lie may or may not mould to the service of the Lord.
The will and understanding do not commence with man (that is, as his own will and understanding) until the lungs have been opened. For the lungs correspond to the life of the understanding and the heart to the life of the will, and without co-operation of understanding and will man has no proprial life. In the embryo only the heart beats and the liver leaps, but this motion is not from any life proper to the fetus. Proprial life is the life of the will and the life of the understanding. But the life of the infant is the life of the commencing will and of the commencing understanding; from these alone [no] sensitive and motor life exists in the body, which life cannot be given from the mere beating of the heart, but is given from the conjunction of that beating with the respiration of the lungs. The matter is then illustrated by the case of men in swoons when, though the heart beats, there is no sensation or motion. Therefore, there is nothing of the life of the will and nothing of the life of the understanding present in the fetus; but it is only life from the Lord, whereby the man will afterwards live, that acts his formation (D. Wis. iii. 5-6).
Light acts into the eye, sound into the ear, odor into the nostrils, and taste into the tongue; and the organs adapt themselves to these, whence arises sensation. Who cannot perceive from this that unless there were such action and co-operation with inflowing life in the spiritual organism of the brain thought and will could not exist (that is, life inflowing through the superior degrees could not be appropriated as mans own,--his thought and will).
In primitive times, before the rise of evil in the spiritual man (that is, in his natural), and hence of evil representatives in the world of nature, the things presented by the theatre of nature were all representatives of Divine love and Divine wisdom, and, entering through the senses to the mind of the primitive man, they presented nothing opposed to the influx of the superior degrees; nor was the lowest degree of the mind then in a form contrary to the order of heaven. Hence men, although in darkness and ignorance, were yet in celestial innocence from the very beginning. And as they were instructed by the Lord, and their eyes thus opened to see spiritual uses and afterwards Divine ends in the things of nature, so they became celestial men and men of the most profound wisdom. Now, however, the senses bring us much that is representative of evil, and from hereditary inclination we are prone to search out such representatives and gaze upon them with longing.
We may be pardoned for dwelling at such length on the subject of the degrees of the human mind, because of its importance in the comprehension of our subject, THE NATURE OF THE SPIRITUAL WORLD. For, as we have already observed, the spiritual world is where man is, that it to say, where his mind is, and within and above that is his soul.
THE ORGANIC SEAT OF THE MIND.
Let us now enquire as to what place in mans bodily organism is the temple and palace of the mind during mans life on earth. But by way of preliminary let us briefly review what has been said already.
SUMMARY OF PRECEDING CHAPTERS.
The two superior degrees of mans life which are his soul, and wherein the Lord dwells to give him rationality and liberty, and thus immortality, are present within the third degree where resides that quality, characteristic. or heredity, which has been acquired by the parents and transmitted to the offspring. These two prior degrees are removed from mans control, and are therefore unpervertible. They remain ever the Lords abode with him. But the lowest or natural degree, by virtue of its contact with the world by the senses, is under man s self-elective control. The faculty of self election he derives from the superior degrees; he exercises it in the natural degree. This natural degree receives impressions from the world; that is to say, by the senses states are impressed upon it. And according as these states are, that is, according as they are built up or formed from the world only or from revelation by obedience thereto, such is the actual presence of the Lord with man. If the natural degree is formed in the image of heaven, then the superior degrees are opened, that is, the natural receives these degrees and manifests their virtues, and the man becomes an angel,--natural, spiritual, or celestial.
The lowest of this natural mind consists of sensual perceptions and corporeal delights therefrom,--both of which are states impressed on the substances to which sensations refer themselves. These constitute the sensual and corporeal of man, which is the ultimate of his spirit, and which though itself quiescent in the other life, is yet the ultimate basis of all his thoughts and affections and of all his appearances (S. D. 3759, 4041, 5552; D. Min. 4646).
The soul is present everywhere in the body. It is the universal blood of the body, and the sole living principle of the animal spirit and red blood which it has formed for itself in order to become present and operative in the sublunary world. It designates every web and tissue of the body from first to last,--a designation or delineation which is filled in and fixed by substances of the world, subtle and gross. The body considered in itself consists of nothing but inert particles,--angular, gross and heavy, which contribute nothing whatever to the form except to fix it and thus present it to the outer world (Fibre, 318; Soul, Lat. Ed., p. 6),--nay, rather do they diminish it than make it; more real (A. E. 1218). The form itself is the delineation of the simplest fiber.
THE SUBSTANTIAL ORGANIC FORM OF THE MIND IS IN THE BRAIN.
That the mind is in the brain has been already indicated in several passages from the Writings which have been adduced above where we treated of the organic basis of memory, imagination, thought, etc. See pp 35, 36, 41, 43. But many other passages could be adduced to the same effect.
The organic substance of thought, (says Swedenborg) is an extense. Otherwise (he continues) there would be no need of so large a brain when yet the whole brain is the organic of the interior senses. If it were not, then the cranium might be empty and still thought therein act upon the spirit but the spirit is organic or is an organic substance (A. C. 444; S. D. 3470-1).
The organics of thought are in the brain, and from the brain flow invisible fibers whereby thoughts are conducted from the senses to the organics and from the organics to the actions of the muscles (S. D. 3471).
Thought is in the brain of man (S. D. 4139a).
There is a similar progression [as in the vegetable kingdom] of love through wisdom to uses ... in the most purely organic forms of affections and thoughts with man in his brains. These forms are the cortical substances whose changes and variations of state produce all affections and thoughts (D. L. W. 316).
In the head are all substances and forms in beginnings, therefore thither tend all sensations and there they present themselves; and thence descend, and are derived, all actions. That the faculties of the mind, namely, the faculties of understanding and will are in the head, is evident (A. C. 5145; D. Love xxi).
The mind is the will and understanding and embraces all that affects man and all that he thinks, thus all things of affection and thought. And because the will and understanding receive love and wisdom, therefore they are organic forms organized of purest substances. This organization does not appear before the eye, being within (i. e. beyond) its sight even when the latter is exalted by the microscope. Within its sight also are least insects which yet are organized forms. How then can it be said that the two receptacles of love and wisdom which are called will and understanding are not organic forms? How can love and wisdom, act into a non-subject, or into something which does not exist substantially?
He who does not know that the human mind is organized, or, that it is a spiritual organism terminating into a natural organism in which and according to which the mind operates its ideas, that is, thinks, cannot think otherwise than that perceptions, thoughts and ideas are nothing but radiations and variations of light flowing into the head and exhibiting forms which man sees and acknowledges as reasons. But this is delirious; for everyone knows that the head is full of brains. The brains are organized substances. The mind dwells in them, and its ideas are there fixed (figantur), and they remain as they are received and confirmed (T. C. R. 351).
Substances and forms, which are love and wisdom, do not exist before the eyes like the organs of the external senses; still none can deny that substances and forms are those things which are called thoughts, perceptions and affections, and that they are not volatile and fluent entities from nothing or abstracted from real and actual substance and form which are subjects. For in the brain are innumerable substances and forms in which is all the internal sensation which refers itself to understanding and will.
The human mind, which consists of will and understanding receptive of Divine good and Divine truth, is nothing else but a form of Divine good and Divine truth spiritually and naturally organized. The human brain is that form; and because the whole man depends on his mind, therefore all things which are in his body are appendages which are actuated and live from those two principles (T. C. R. 224; S. D. 4608).
Thoughts and affections dwell in organic substances from the most simple thereof to their general aggregate which is the brain (D. L. W. 192).
In the brains are the organic substances of the mind, whose changes and variations of state, due to the afflux stream from without, are thoughts and affections. The organic substances themselves are from nature, being the finer substances of nature; but their variations and changes of state are the presentation of spiritual things which are of love and wisdom,--things which are not in space and time, although they are within an extense which is in space and time (cf. T. C. R. 29; A. C. 445). These organic substances, as we have shown, are the very ultimates of the mind or spirit, the sensual and corporeal on which is stamped mans proprial individuality,--the vessel which he has formed for himself. When the material body is cast off, the mind has no other ultimate than these more perfect substances.
Affections, which are of the will, are mere changes of the state of the purely organic substances of the mind; and thoughts, which are of the understanding, are mere changes and variations of the form of those substances. Affections and thoughts are non-existent except in substances and their forms, which are subjects, and because they are existent in the brain, which is full of substances and forms, they are called purely organic forms (that is, they are not corporeal forms for action in the world, but are purely organs for the building up and continued existence of mans voluntary and intellectual). Everyone who thinks rationally must laugh at the phantasies of certain men, that affections and thoughts are not in substantiated subjects, but that they are breaths modified by heat and light like apparent images in the air and ether; when yet thought separated from a substantial form is no more possible than sight separated from its substantial form which is the eye, or hearing separated from its form which is the ear, or taste from its form which is the tongue. Inspect the brain and you will see innumerable substances, and likewise fibers, and that there is nothing there that is not organized. What need is there of other confirmation? But the question arises, What is affection there? and what thought? This may be concluded from all and single things which are in the body, all which perform their functions by changes and variations of state and form. Hence it may be concluded that the operations of the purely organic substances of the mind are nothing else, with the difference that the operations of the organic substances of the body are natural, but those of the mind are spiritual, and that the two make one by correspondences (that is to say, the operations of the purely organic substances of the mind, which are in the brains, are the causes which produce and, therefore, correspond to the operations of the organic substances of the body).
Light acts into the eye, sound into the ear, etc., whence arises sensation. Who cannot hence perceive that unless there were such action and co-operation with influent life in the spiritual organism of the brain, thought and will could not exist?
Man consists of mere forms recipient of life, and one form is within the other, and the one existed and subsists from the other. When the inferior or exterior form is dissolved the superior or interior form still lives. All operations of the mind are variations of form, which variations in purer substances are of such perfection that they cannot be described. Ideas of thought are nothing else; and these variations exist according to changes of state of the affections (A. C. 6326).
The mind is seated in the organs of the brain (T. C. R. 665). Is not the mind which wills and thinks in the head? and the power which acts and executes in the body? There is nothing in the mind which does not correspond to something in the body, and that which corresponds may be called its embodiment (T. C. R. 375).
It is the brain and its interiors by which descent [from heaven] and ascent [from the world] is effected; for there are the very beginnings or the first and last ends from which flow forth and are derived all and single things which are in the body; there also it is whence come thoughts which are of the understanding and affections which are of the will (A. C. 4042).
The brain, like heaven, is in the sphere of ends, which are uses; for whatever inflows from the Lord is an end looking to the salvation of the human race. This end it is which rules in heaven, and which hence rules also in the brain. For the brain, where is the mind of man, looks to ends in the body (A. C. 4054, 5189, fin. = 4051 = S. D. 3822; S. D. 3148).
The forms of the will and understanding as receptacles of love and wisdom are forms within forms ascending to the third degree, innumerable, discreted, but still unanimous, and each of them a receptacle of love and wisdom. They are original in the brains, and are there the beginnings and heads of fibers, whereby their efforts and forces flow down, and are presented in sensations and motions, etc. (D. Wis. ii.)
Consider, moreover, the teaching that the spirit of man breathes in his body,--a truth which was frequently experienced by Swedenborg, who was then in the spirit outside the body (D. L. W. 391); and compare with this teaching the truth, universal to Swedenborgs writings, that, except the heart and lungs which are of the body, the only breathing or animation in man is that of the cortical glands of the brain, which are so many little hearts (Brain 55, seq.; 2 E. A. K. 191), and which are the internal cause of the actions of the heart and lungs of the body (D. L. W. 412, 417; cf. D. P. 279).
THE MIND IS ALSO PRESENT IN THE WHOLE BODY.
Such are some of the many passages which teach that the mind of man is in the brain. But on the other hand there are teachings apparently to the contrary. Thus we read:
The mind is not only in the head but also in the whole body; hence after death man has a similar body, for the body is the organ of the mind and is continued from the head; wherefore the mind is the man himself, but then not a material man, but a spiritual man. And because after death he is the same man, therefore, according to the ideas of his mind similar things are given as Ire has possessed at home in the world. But this lasts only for a few days. That the mind is in the whole body, and is the man himself who lives after death is manifestly evident from the instantaneous speech of the mouth and action of the body, with the will and thought of the mind. For the mouth speaks in an instant what the mind thinks, and the body in all instant acts out what the mind wills. The belief that man after his departure lives as a soul or mind and that this is not under the appearance (specie) of a man but of a breath or aerial bulla is an error, the reason of which is because men have not known that: the instantaneous action of the organs of the body in response to the mind makes the interior form of the whole body (Five Mem. 5; C. L. 260).
The spirit of man is his mind and whatever proceeds therefrom. The mind is the interior man which lives after death as a spirit. It is actually the man, and is within the external man which makes his body. Therefore when the body is rejected it is in the full human form. They err, therefore, who believe that mans mind is only in the head. There it is only in principles from which first goes forth all that man thinks from understanding and acts from will. But in the body it is in principiates formed for sensation and action (T. C. R. 156).
It is believed that the mind is in the head and nothing of it in the body, when yet both soul and mind are both in the head and in the body. For both make mans spirit which lives after death in a perfect human form. When conjugial love is in the mind it is similar to itself in the body (C. L. 260).
The human mind is in three degrees, celestial, spiritual and natural. In the first is the soul, in the second the spirit or mind, and in the third the body. The mind is called that of the body which is in beginnings, thus where is the first of man. All other things are propagated and continued therefrom. What is the mind if only in the head, unless, as it were, a something separated or diverse in which no mind is given by continuity? This is also shown by the fibers which flow from the cortical glands and construct the body (Inv. 14).
The spirit of man is not a substance separated from the viscera, organs and members of man, but it closely adheres to them. For the spirit accompanies their every stamen from outmosts to inmosts, and hence also every stamen and every fiber of the heart and lungs. Therefore when the connection between mans body and his spirit is dissolved, the spirit is in a similar form as the man had been before. There is only a separation of spiritual substance from material. Hence the spirit has equally heart and lungs as man had in the world, etc. They are most highly hallucinated who assign to the soul a peculiar place whether in brain or heart: for the soul of man which will live after death is his spirit (D. Wis. vii. 2, 4).
The soul not only makes the inmosts of the head, but also the inmosts of the body; likewise the mind which is mediate between soul and body, and which, although it appears in the head still is also actually (i. e., in act) in the whole body. Therefore actions intended by the soul and mind flow out of the body in an instant; and therefore, after death, men are perfect men (C. L. 178; see 310 quoted below).
THE MIND FORMED IN THE BRAIN AND THENCE PRESENT IN THE WHOLE BODY; THE INHERITED MIND AND THE ACQUIRED MIND.
It will be observed that in all these passages the teaching is that the mind is in the brain and thence in the body; or that it is in the brain in principles and in the body in principiates. Indeed, we suppose no one will maintain that the mind is equally or in an equal way present in the toe as in the brain. The toe or other part of the body, may be cut off and yet the mind continue the same. Nay, it may be that by loss of bodily organs the mind may be rendered even more ordered, more acute and more perfect, but this cannot be said of injuries of the brain; for according to the integrity or perversion of the state of the several parts of the brain, so man is sane or insane (Influx 12); and therefore, the passage continues, man is rational and moral according to the organic informing of his mind, that is, of the organized forms of his mind which are in the brain. His rationality and morality manifestly do not depend on the forms of his body.
Thoughts are in purely organic substances, just as sight and hearing are in their organic substances. Only inspect the brain, and see it full of such substances;
The head signifies wisdom and intelligence, or insanity and stupidity, and this because these reside in the head and are there in their beginnings. This is manifest from the fact that in the head are the origins of all the fibers that proceed to the sensory and motory organs of the face and body. In the head are substances infinite in number, which appear like spherules and are called cortical and cineritious. From these proceed fibrils, the first of which are invisible, and which are bundled together to produce the medullary substance of the brains and medullas. From this substance are extended fibers which, joined together, are called nerves and by which the brains and medulla form the whole body. From this it can be evident that the will and understanding, which in one word, are called the mind, and hence also intelligence and wisdom, reside in the brains, and that they are there in their firsts; and that the organs formed for receiving sensations and carrying on motions are derivations thence, like streams from their founts, or principiates from their principles, or substantiates from their substances; and that these derivations are such that the brains are present everywhere, almost like the sun, by its heat and light, is present in all and single things of the earth. Hence the universal body and all and single things thereof are under the intuition, auspices and obedience of the mind, which is in the brain, and are so constructed to its nod that a part in which mans mind is not present, or to which it does not give life, is no part of mans life.
Nor can it be said that the mind has constructed the body, for the body is perfect at birth, while there is, as yet, no mind. Moreover the body of a stupid or insane person may be in good health and yet the mind be insane, or rather its organic receptacles in the brains in a state of disease. Indeed, it is known that in certain forms of insanity the body improves in health. The truth is that the mind, the proprial man, is formed in the brain and according to the organic informing of the brain (Influx 12); for there is the seat of memory, imagination and that internal imagination which is called the ideas of thought and affection. But while the mind is thus formed and resides in the head in its principles or beginnings it is also present in the body,--but as in principiates. It is present also instantaneously, but yet it is present by derivation from the brain by means of nerves and their animal spirit. For the duality of the animal spirit is one with the quality of the mind, and in and by the animal spirit and its fibers the mind is at once present in every part of the body.
In other words, the mind is present in the body in the same way as the brain is present in the body (A. E. 775:3), namely, by derivation and thus by instantaneous operation.
The mind acts by means of its organs in the body. Hence, as is the mind such are the words of the mouth and the deeds of the body. Hence it follows that the mind, by continual influx, constructs its body to activities conformable and synchronous with itself. Therefore, the bodies of men, interiorly regarded, are nothing but forms of the mind exteriorly organized to carry out the nods of the soul (C. L. 310).
All organic forms in man are compounded of more interior forms and these of forms still more interior, even to the inmost, whereby is given communication with all the affection and thought of mans mind. For the mind, in its singulars, is expatiated into all things of its body; into all things of its body is its excursus; for it is the very form of life. Unless the mind had this campus it would not be a mind or a man. Hence it is that the decision and nod of mans will are determined in a moment and produce and determine actions; just as though the thought and will were themselves in and not above them (D. Love xiii).
In the birth of man the soul constructs both his mind and his body. But by mind here we mean not, of course, what has been freely appropriated, but those inclinations called the heredity, which have been received from the parents. These are that natural degree spoken of in the DIVINE WISDOM, which is in an order contrary to heaven and the organic of which is the simple cortical gland. This mind the soul constructs before it constructs the body; for it is well known that the brains are the beginnings of man. When the body is formed it is formed by the soul through the mind, that is, through those organic spherules which constitute the inherited mind.
But as we have observed the mind thus inherited is not the proprial mind, nor does it begin to become so until after birth. The formation begins when the senses are opened, whereby influx from the world can enter whence comes modification of the vessels of the mind, and thus gradually the self-elective adoption of loves and perceptions.
It created the body by means of the brain and is immediately present in every part of the body, but the states of the body, when formed, its actions, habits and expressions, especially the expression of the face, are produced solely by the proprial mind of the man himself, which is formed after birth (T. C. R. 403-5).
It is during and after the formation of the mind by life in the world,--not before birth,--that the body becomes an image of that mind. It is as the mind is formed that that mind enters instantaneously into every part of the body that has been given over to its dominion and there reveals its own quality.
Before birth the body is an image of the souls operations, influenced by the nature of hereditary evil and also by the, states of the gestating mother. But after birth the states of the mind become by derivation, also the states of the body. Thus of a skillful pianist or typewriter, etc., we say that their mind is in their very fingers; and of all men we cherish the hope that we can read their mind in their face. Manifestly none of these things could be said of the babe.
The mind is indeed present everywhere in the body, but it is present by derivation. Its birthplace, the place of its formation, its seat, palace and abode, is in the brain where, in the embryo, are the receptacles of the future will and future understanding (D. Wis. v).
That the mind is actually formed in the brain, and that it is present in the body not as in its seat or principle, but by derivation and as in its principiate; and further, that the mind is the spirit that lives after death, is clearly evident from the Writings.
All the works which man does (says the Revelation) are done according to the state of his mind in the head ... because the will and understanding in its principles is in the head, and in its principiates in the body, as the will in the deeds and the thought in the speech (T. C. R. 403).
The mind of man is his spirit, and the spirit is the man, and the body the external by which the mind or spirit feels and acts in its world. Therefore angels are called minds (D. L. W. 386).
The will and understanding which are the receptacles of love and wisdom are in the brains in the whole and every part of them, and hence in the body in the whole and every part of it (D. L. W. 362).
The natural mind, as it is in its form, is from substances of both worlds woven together in the brains where that mind resides in its firsts (D. L W. 273).
The single things of the thought and will are inscribed on the brain, for there are their beginnings; thus they are also inscribed on the whole body, since thither tend all things of the thought and will from their beginnings, and there they are terminated as in their ultimates.
That mans will and understanding is in its principles and firsts in the brain and in its principiates and products in the body, is shown by eight considerations: 1. From sensation, in that when man is intent in mind, he perceives that he thinks in the brain; he withdraws as it were his sight, wrinkles his forehead, and perceives that there is a speculation within him, especially within the forehead and a little above. 2. From mans formation in the womb, that the head is the first, and is for a long time larger than the body. 3. That the head is above and the body beneath, and superiors act into inferiors and not the reverse. 4. When the brain is injured thought is ruined, and sometimes the mind becomes delirious. 5. All the external senses of the body are in the from of the head, and communicate with the brains immediately by means of fibers, deriving hence their sensitive and active life. 6. That the affections and thoughts appear in the face in a certain image. 7. The anatomical fact that all fibers descend from the brain through the neck into the body and none ascend, and who would undertake to deny that the origin of life is where the origin of the fibers is?
THE MIND HAS NO OTHER ORGANISM OR BODY THAN THAT WHICH IS FORMED IN THE BRAIN.
It surely cannot be maintained that the mind of man which, as all men know, is formed after birth, constructs another body for itself within the material body; that is, a body consisting of parts, whether spiritual or natural, shaped in the figure of the material body. The latter is already formed from inmost to outmost by the soul, and the mind but introduces into it its own acquired states and forms.
If this were not the case we should have a body within a body,--a position which Swedenborg condemns as pre-established harmony.
Those who do not understand how it is with the spirit of man and his body may suppose that the spirit dwells within the body, and that the body as it were girds and invests it, when yet the truth is that the spirit is in the whole and every part of the body, and is its purer substances both in its motories and its sensories, and everywhere else; and the body is the material everywhere annexed thereto and fitted for the world in which he then is.... Hence man after death is in the human form as in the world but in a more perfect (A. C. 4659)
And elsewhere the writings teach that those who do not consider the body as the garment of the soul and as in itself dead, and only adapted to receiving living forces through the soul from God, must conclude from fallacies that the soul lives from itself and the body from itself, and that between the life of the two there is a pre-established harmony (Influx 11).
The mind of man (we are taught) moves the whole of the body. The latter, therefore, does not act from obedience because the mind so wills it to act, for thus there would be two, the one above, the other below, and one would command, the other obey. But since this is not in agreement with reason, it follows that mans life (i. e., his mind, D. L. W. 365) is in principles in the brain and in principiates in the body (D. L. W. 387).
If the mind of men were within the body like one figure or shape is within another of similar appearance, then we should have not only two similar figures, one within another but several; for as we read the natural mind which is in the ultimate degree, covers about and encloses the spiritual mind and the celestial mind which are superior as to degrees (D. L. W. 260).
THE ORGANIC MIND A SUPERIOR FORM.
That the mind of man is not within the body as an accompanying organic entity separate from the material body organized and perpetually vivified by the soul; and that on the other hand the brain is the true and only organic in which man electively forms and builds up his mind which lives after death, and from which he actuates the body, is further evident from the well known teaching of the Writings respecting the organic form of the mind. The spiritual organism of the mind (says the Revelation) consists of perpetual helices (T. C. R. 578; D. L. W. 263).
Mans affections and thoughts are changes and variations of the state and form of the organic substances of his mind which are the subjects of those affections and thoughts. But the expansions and compressions of these substances or their reciprocations cannot be expressed in words of natural language [as can the motions of heart and lungs] but only in words of the spiritual language which can phrase them no otherwise than as being vortical ingyrations and egyrations after the manner of perpetual and inflected helices, wonderfully confasciculated into forms receptive of life (D. P. 319).
The natural mind, we learn moreover, is bent into gyres from right to left but the spiritual mind into gyres from left to right, and this so fully that spirits in the other world can turn only in the direction of the spirals of their minds (D. L. W. 270; D. P. 319).
Man consists of mere forms receiving life, and one form is interior to another, because one existed and subsists from the other. When the exterior or inferior form is loosened, the superior or interior form still lives. All operations of the mind are variations of form, which variations in purer substances are in such perfection that they cannot be described. Ideas of thought are nothing else; and these variations exist according to changes of the state of the affections (A. C. 6326).
Man cannot even perceive the forms of the intestines, still less the interior forms of the body, and less still the organic forms of minds which are transcendant (S. D. 3482) For these are more interior than appear before the sight, and therefore are more perfect, more plastic and more fluid (S. D. 241).
* It may be noted that in the passage in which Swedenborg records this perception of interior forms, he refers to his work on the Doctrine of Forms, which forms a part of the work on the FIBRE.
THE MIND OR SPIRIT IS IN THE HUMAN FORM.
We have shown in the preceding chapter that the organic seat. of the mind is in the brain; and that the form of its organism is a transcendent form superior to the organic form of the body. But to say that the form of the organic vessels of the mind is a transcendant form is not: to say that it is not a human form,--nay rather the reverse.
The form of the brain is indeed superior to the form of the body, the latter being only the representative of the former. The human brain (says Swedenborg) is formed after the pattern (ad ideam), as they say, of the universal heaven of angels and of the world of spirits; and from the brain, as from heaven, exists every form and structure of the body so that it may answer to its nod. Hence it is clear that all things of the body are representative of things celestial and spiritual (S. D. 3148; A. C. 4040) This passage, of course, refers to the body as formed in the womb by the Divine life which images itself first and supremely in the brain, and then representatively in the body. But the doctrine applies equally to the mind as formed in the brain. If it is formed after the image of that inmost degree where God-man dwells it is truly human; if it is formed as a form opposed to God it puts off the human; but the body may still be a representative of heaven as to form, the evil form of the mind being more or less manifested only in the deeds and expressions of the body.
The celestial form is stupendous and altogether exceeds all human intelligence; for it is far above the ideas of forms which man can grasp from mundane things, even by analytics. The brain is formed according to the form of the flux of heaven; but the interiors there and those which do not appear to the eye are according to the interior forms of heaven, which are entirely incomprehensible. Therefore man Is created an image of the three heavens, and by him alone is descent from the heavens to the world (A. C. 4041-2; S. D. 2728).
This human figure that appears before our eyes is but an ultimate of the more perfect human form of the brain which constructed it, and this again but an ultimate of those more pure organic forms still more perfectly human in which the Lord constructs the primitive of man; and this again but an ultimate of the perfect form of the spiritual sun; and this an appearing of the infinite form of God-man.
THE HUMAN FORM IS FROM GOD-MAN ALONE.
The brain is in the human form; the inmosts of the cortical glands are in that form. In the seed of man is his soul in perfect human form, veiled over with substances from the purest things of nature (C. L. 183, 315). The life that inflows into the soul is in the human form (S. D. 5556)
All things which proceed immediately from the Lord are in the human form, for what proceeds from God is a likeness of Him (A. E. 1119).
And all this because God is a man.
All things which proceed from the sun of the spiritual world, in whose midst is Jehovah God, present a man, and therefore all things that exist in that world conspire to the human form and present it in their inmosts (T. C. R. 66; S. D. 4775, 4846, Inv. 48. A similar teaching is given in HEAVEN AND HELL 460, with the addition that each one, (that is, each human mind), is in the human form according to his reception of good and truth from the Lord. Significant are the concluding words of this passage: But this arcanum comes with difficulty to the understanding of any man.
To angels belongs the human form, (says the SPIRITUAL DIARY), and in explanation of this statement it continues the all of mans life from the Lord conspires to the human form. Its least and its greatest, the all of good and truth which is the understanding, from its will which is from the Lord, endeavors to the human form; and this because God is a man and heaven in the complex is man.
What wonder then that when the wondrous and transcendant forms of spiritual life descend into nature and there clothe themselves, the forms of their subtle organic vessels there are also transcendant. Yet that they are human, that they everywhere present a man, is evident from the fact that the inmost of all finite forms, namely, the forms of the human seed, when they become visible to our sight, appear as a man, and this human form is derived from no other source than that which dwelt within the marvelous form of the seed.
THE DESCENT OF FORM.
But the form itself must descend according to the forms of the world, that is, in accommodation to the activities and fluxions of those atmospheres in which it exists (2 E. A. K. 272); and as it descends and presents itself on the lower plane, so it assumes a new but correspondential appearance. It is similar as with the descent of the Word, which in its origin is not in such appearance as it is in the letter (A. C. 2588).
Such effigies do not exist in the mind as are presented in the countenance; but it is only affections which are effigied in this way; and such actions do not exist in the mind as are presented by actions in the body; but it is thoughts which are: thus figured. The things of the mind are spiritual, but those of the body are natural, and between them there is correspondence (not a likeness); that is, when the things of the internal man are effigied in the external, then they are representatives of the internal, and if they concord, correspondences. And the teaching continues, There is exactly the same relation between the two worlds, and that mans internal man is his spiritual world (A. C. 2989-2990).
Divine order is terminated in ultimates, but the interiors that inflow are not such as they appear in exteriors, but are of quite another appearance, countenance, sensation and pleasure. Correspondences and also representations teach us as to their quality (A. C. 3632). And the passage continues, All spirits and angels appear to themselves as men complete, and this because their inmost conspires to such a form; like the primitive of man which is from the soul of the parent strives in the ovum and womb, to the formation of the whole man, although this primitive is not in the form of the body, but in another most perfect form, known to the Lord alone And because the inmost with each one, likewise conspires and strives to such form, therefore all there appear as men (A. C. 3633. See also 9877 fin., 9879 fin.).
THE SPIRIT A MORE PERFECT HUMAN FORM THAN THE BODY.
Surely none would deny that the most perfect form here referred to, which is not in the form of the body, is nevertheless in the human form, but more perfect, because on a more interior plane,--more perfect in organic powers, in perceptions, in operations; not more perfect as a more finished and beautiful human figure, that is, by increase in perfection according to a continuous degree, but discretely more perfect, because more interior, because spiritual and not natural, and yet, as we shall show presently, appearing as natural. Such a more perfect form is also clearly involved in the frequent teaching of the Writings that angels are in the human form but more perfect.
All perfections increase and ascend with degrees and according to them, says the DIVINE LOVE AND WISDOM; and the perfection of forms, according to discreet degrees, is illustrated by the fact that as we penetrate to the interiors of the eye, ear, etc., forms more wonderful come to view (D. L. W. 199, seq.). The DIVINE PROVIDENCE cites this passage in support of the teaching that changes and variations are infinitely more perfect in the organics of the mind than in the organics of the body, for all perfections increase and ascend with degrees (D. P. 279 fin; see also Div. Love xiii. fin).
And the universal principle underlying the doctrine is stated in the TRUE CHRISTIAN RELIGION, in reference to the descent of the Divine Truth into the ultimate written Word:
The same teaching is plainly set forth in the passage in the SPIRITUAL DIARY, which parallels the passage from the Arcana (3633) quoted above.
There was speech concerning the form which spirits have, because they know not of what form they are except the human. The inmosts of the spirit aspire to a form similar to the human body and the whole spirit of man into the form of the body, but still it is a much more perfect form, apt and accommodated to heavenly life. The matter is then illustrated by comparison with a chrysalis and butterfly, the latter being fitted for 1ife in the atmosphere, and the former being compared with mans earthly body. Wherefore (the passage continues), the forms of spirits are much more perfect, and that they are represented as human forms is from the cause which we have just given, namely, that spirits carry this idea with them from the world of ultimates, as we shall presently show (S. D. 3472).
The mind of man (says the Revelation), is the man himself. For the first web of the human form, or the human form itself with each and all things thereof, is from principles from the brain, continued through the nerves.
Nay, when looked at from uses, that is from spiritual uses, or when seen by the spiritual man, the human form appears inmostly in all things of the vegetable kingdom and animal kingdom; and what is wonderful, in the other world, angels who have their inmost sight opened, see themselves actually mirrored forth in all things which are around them (T. C. R. 66; D. L. W. 322; A. C. 1212).
But inmost and interior forms do not present themselves to be seen by the natural man except in ultimates; and there they are seen in their true appearance and form, a form which was, in fact, theirs from very firsts, but which could not be seen except in lasts. Who of us sees the human form in each ray of light that proceeds from the spiritual sun? Who sees the human form in the seed of man? Or the human form in those beginnings of the embryo which the microscope has laid bare? But because we have seen these forms in their extension appearing in the human form, we know that they themselves are in the human form, but still more perfectly (D. Wis. iii. 4);
THE HUMAN FORM APPROPRIATED TO MAN BY MEANS OF ULTIMATE APPEARANCES; THESE REMAIN AFTER DEATH.
The soul is in the human form most perfectly, and therefore in all its creative operation, as it progresses into the world, it strives to put on the human form. Not descent, however, but ascent is its end in this progression. It strives to put on the human form in order that it may appear, may be revealed in its own form,--even as the Lord the Creator by His proceeding puts on as it were the forms of the world, in order that in and by them He may be revealed; for thus He gives Himself to be seen and loved by men and by angels. For man can apprehend nothing except on the basis of appearances, and all appearances are drawn from ultimates.
The soul descends, it: clothes itself, it appears in the world, in order that: by this appearance it may ascend and thus reveal itself to the mind or man. It descends by means of fibers more and more compounded. These fibers construct the image of itself, and this image, so constructed, is at once carried to the mind, the organic seat of will and understanding, to remain there forever as the ultimate appearance, even to the least particulars, of the living soul. This is what is meant by the repeated teaching of the Writings that the soul strives to put on the human form, and when it has put it on, the man retains it to all eternity,--teaching which otherwise would seem to contradict the doctrine that the soul is in the most perfect human form.
Hence as man in the exercise of his rationality and liberty forms his mind in the organic vessels of the brain,--even though he form it as a very image of hell,--he still retains the human form,--at any rate when seen in the light of the external mind; see p. 158.
Without the aid of things natural there is no formation of the appearance of a body according to the various affections (4 Ad. 7653).
Herein lies the reason why human life must be initiated on an ultimate earth. In order, namely, that truths may first be received in ultimate appearances, and may thus be appropriated; in order that man may be an image of God; that he may appear to live from himself; that he may appear to be a man, slay be as it were a man, though of a truth, he is but a vessel receiving, and everything in him that is human is not his but the Lords. But the Lord wills to give Himself to others, and especially to give this, that His creatures may appear to live from themselves, to be themselves men. Thus feeling themselves to be men, to liver from themselves, they can, in this ultimate appearance, freely receive and make their own the truth respecting God and all things of religion, and especially the truth that they live and are men not from themselves but from God. It would be otherwise if truths inflowed immediately from the soul, for then there could be no appropriation and consequently no finite human life.
Under the heading Concerning walkings, that they are changes of state; concerning the forms of spirits, and that spirits are appearances we read in the Diary:
Walkings and journeyings in the other life are nothing but changes of the state of the interiors, but still before spirits and angels, they appear just like walkings and journeyings. The case is similar as with mans life, in that he believes he lives from himself because such is the entire appearance. Those appearances are so real that spirits do not at all know that they are from this source, nor do they wish to know. The angels of heaven do, indeed, know, but they do not think of it. This is of the Lords Divine Providence in order that each may seem to live and act from himself. This phenomenon derives its origin from the walkings and journeyings of man in the world. Men walk from place to place naturally because in the world is space and time; but in the other life there are no spaces or times, except appearances according to states.... A spirit also is an apparent (or appearing apparens) man for a spirit is an apparent man before the eyes of others from the fact that the Divine of the Lord in heaven is a man; hence arise so many varieties as to the forms of spirits in their faces, according to their changes of state and the presences and absences thereof. Spirits and angels are indeed actual forms, but they have nothing of life from themselves; they are actuated according to life from the Divine, for in God we live and move and have our being. These forms are recipients of the Divine, and as they receive, such they are. Because these forms are forms of interior nature, or in the spiritual world, accommodated to all changes and variations of state, and this immensely and incredibly, and more immensely as they are in interiors; therefore they are more recipient in the interior heavens (S. D. 5646).
After death man appears to himself in a body just as in the world, nay, when he sees and touches himself, he says that he is a man as in the world. But still it is not his external which he carried around in the world which he sees and touches, but it is the internal which constitutes that very human which lives and which had the external around itself or outside its single things. The terrestrial corporeal is no longer of use to him. He is in another world where are other functions and other forces and powers to which the body he there has is adapted. This he sees with his eyes,--not with those which he had in the world, but with those which he has there, and which are of his internal man and from which, by the eyes of the body, he formerly saw mundane and terrestrial things. This he also sensates by touch,--not with the hands or sense of touch which he had enjoyed in the world, but with hands and sense of touch which he enjoys there (A. C. 5078).
In connection with this last passage, we would note, that what we call thought or apperception, is the sight of the spirit in the body, and within which is still more interior sight called interior thought. There is a spiritual world into which thought extends itself, and there is a natural world into which sight extends itself; for the thought of the mind is spiritual and the sight of the eye is natural (A. E. 1092).
After death man is not a natural man but a spiritual man, and still he appears entirely similar to himself, and so similar that he knows no other than that he is still in the natural world, for he is in a similar body, face, speech and senses, because in similar affection and thought, or will and understanding.
THE APPEARANCE OF GOD-MAN IN ULTIMATES THE BASIS OF ALL PERCEPTION OF HIM.
Herein lay the necessity that the Lord Himself should appear as a man on earth, that men may ultimately see that He is in truth God-man; and, with this ultimate appearance of the Divine truth impressed on the vessels of their mind and abiding with them forever, may see that in interiors and inmosts and in all the operations of His infinite wisdom, God is man.
It is impossible for man to acknowledge God or anything of God unless God had manifested Himself in personal human form. For the nature of the world surrounds him and he does not feel or breathe anything except what is therefrom and touches the organs of his body. Hence does his mind conceive and take up the rational which lies in the midst of natures bosom like an embryo is the womb;
Before the Lord came on earth it was still necessary that He appear in ultimate human form, but He did this then by means of angels. For, as we have previously observed, man can receive no idea whatever unless it first be received in ultimate appearance or be involved in such appearance, and this arises from the Divine love which wills that man shall appear to live from himself,--to get for himself and to be what he has got. It is useless for me to explain to a man that the internal form of an acorn is an oak until he has first seen that the acorn produces an oak, and thus has received in his mind the ultimate appearance of the form; then if his mind is elevated, he can see the more interior forms within and can see them as those spiritual forms of Divine uses, the real, the substantial, the spiritual things, which are collated in the acorn and the oak.
The first truths that are impressed on the mind of man after birth, are representations of truth, representations which exist in ultimate figure in the natural world as the forms of spiritual forces, the womb and matrix from which are to come forth and stand revealed spiritual uses (D. L. W. 307) The ends of creation (says our Revelator) are in forms, and they take their forms from substances and matters such as are on earth. These ends moreover are uses and they include the human race and the angelic heaven and consequently all things of the spiritual world.
THE OFFICE OF THE PURISST SUUSTANCES OF NATURE AS THE ORGANIC OF THE MIND OR SPIRIT.
THE PUREST SUBSTANCES OF NATURE RETAINED AFTER DEATH.
When man dies he takes with him everything that is his except the gross corporeal body (H. H. 461); this, in truth, was never his, being merely a loan. But he does not leave behind those purer substances of nature which constitute the organic vessels of his mind. These are himself,--not indeed in the sense that they are himself as to their substance, for substance is never mans, nor even matter; but in the sense that he has self-electively formed them, identified himself with their form, appropriated this to himself, and as it were made his own the Divine inflowing life as perceived in them; and the preservation of his individuality as a man, a spirit, depends on the preservation of these organic vessels thus formed.
When man dies (we read) all the corporeal is dissipated, but the man himself, that is, that in man which is called his natural mind, which is a real substance whose form is called the mind ... is again gathered together; hence also his superior mind, which is called intellectual, together with the soul. For that substance, the essence whereof is mediate between the natural and the spiritual, is first loosed from connections with terrestrial things, called properly the body;
THIS RETENTION REQUIRED BY THE LAW OF CREATION.
The law of creation still continues even after death; the law, namely, that the Lord produces uses only from firsts through lasts; and uses in the spiritual world, are the thoughts and affections of the angels, since these are the Divine gifts which make heaven, and which are the very ends of creation. All uses, which are the ends of creation (we again quote) are in forms and they take their forms from substances and matters such as are on earth; and these ends or uses which are thus produced are finally the human race and the angelic heaven (D. L. W. 307). And therefore, that these uses may be permanent, that man s heavenly life may be immortal and the reception of heavenly gifts from God unceasing, the law of creation from firsts through lasts still continues after death. It is for this reason that death does not deprive man of everything that has come from the earth; that, though the body falls away, man still retains therefrom those purest substances of nature in which lie has formed his life. either for heaven or for hell, and by which he is forever held in connection with men, and through them with the ultimates of nature.
Man first enters into extremes and ultimates (we read),--which is done by birth,--in order that he may then be introduced into things interior and superior. And therefore there is no angel or spirit that was created such immediately. Hence they have extremes and ultimates which in themselves are fixed and set, and within which and by which things interior can be held in connection. But man first puts on the grosser things of nature,--his body consists of these; but by death he puts these off and retains the purer things of nature which are proximate to things spiritual, and these are then his containants. Moreover, in extremes or ultimates all things interior or superior are present simultaneously, and therefore every operation of the Lord is simultaneously from firsts and lasts. But because the extremes and ultimates of nature cannot receive the spiritual and eternal things to which the human mind is formed as they are in themselves, and yet man is born to become spiritual and live to eternity, therefore man puts these off and retains only interior natural things which are suitable to things spiritual and celestial and concordant therewith; and these serve as containants. This is done by the death of the body (D. P. 220; T. C. R. 103).
Man consists of mere forms recipient of life, and one form is within the other, but the one exists and subsists from the other. When the inferior or exterior form is dissolved the superior or interior form still lives. All the operations of the mind are variations of form; in purer substances these variations are of such perfection that they cannot be described. Ideas of thought are nothing else; and these variations exist according to changes of the state of the affections (A. C. 6326).
It is from this fact and from this alone that angels and spirits can subsist as individual finite images of God. If these purer containants which are suitable and conducive to things spiritual and celestial, that is, to the representation of the celestial gifts of Divine Love, or, if the man has so chosen, then of the opposite; these purer substances of nature which are the ultimates for the perpetuation of the gift of immortal life, of the perception of life as if from oneself,--if these should be dissipated, then the whole man, the angel, the spirit, would be as though he had never been (D. W. viii, 4; D. L. W. 257, 388).
THE PUREST SUBSTANCES OF NATURE CONSTITUTE THE SPIRIT.
These containants are in fact all that constitute man. Life from the Lord flows into him, but this is not the man; with him are spiritual substances which are the living finitions of the Divine proceeding but these are not the man. They are the life and soul of man. The man himself, the very proprium, that which he has himself made, himself become, is those vessels organized of the purer things of nature on which, of his own free will, he has impressed forms or states for the reception of life.
What is affection and what is thought in their substantiate subjects? asks the Revelator; that is to say, What is a spirit as a substantiate subject? For a spirit is nothing but his affection and thought in their substantiate subjects. And the answer is given that affections and thoughts are changes and variations of state and form in the organic substances of the mind which exist in the brain and are called purely organic forms, and whose changes and variations are discretely more perfect than the changes and variations of the organs of the body (D. P. 279; D. L. W. 318).
They who suppose a spirit to be merely thought without substance as a subject are mistaken. A spirit is a subtle organic substance which is the subject of thought. And this organic substance is material and subtle (S. D. 2366-7, 2369).
Men are vessels (says the Revelation), and the vessels are in the memory, and in these vessels the ideas of man are terminated (S. D. 3759).
These vessels of the memory are the planes into which the ideas of spirits are determined, and which, with the good, are ordered by the Lord (S. D. 4042-4043). Again, we read, Men are mere instruments or organs, which in themselves are dead (S. D. 3940).
THE FORM OF THE ORGANIC OF THE SPIRIT INDESCRIBABLE BY NATURAL IDEAS.
The form of this organic vessel is the human form as already shown, but a human form on the interior plane of nature, a form comparable only to the wondrous form of the brain (S. D. 355). It is of this form that Swedenborg, in the passage last referred to, says: What the true form (of spirits) is, is indeed unknown, but still a conclusion may be reached to some little extent from the least organs of the brain where are the beginnings of the form of the body (S. D. 355); in the same passage he also calls this form the human form (S. D. Index, s. v. Corpus). It is to this form also that he refers when he says that spirits know not of what form they are, except the human; and that while this their form aspires to the form of the body, it is itself a much more perfect form (S. D. 3472); in the corresponding passage in the ARCANA it is spoken of as a most perfect form known to the Lord alone (A. C. 3633). It is this form again which is described in the DIARY as being indefinitely transcendent (S. D. 3482); and in the ARCANA as a stupendous and altogether incomprehensible form, which in the lowest sphere appears as the form of the circumvolutions in the brain (A. C. 4041, 4043; S. D. 2728). Of this organic, constituted of the purest substances of nature, we further read that its interior forms are disposed into a certain series in incomprehensible order (A. C. 2487, 4224); and that their variations are in such perfection that they cannot be described (A. C. 6326) except only in words of the spiritual language which can sound no other than that they are ingyrations and egyrations after the manner of perpetual helices (D. P. 319).
THE SUBJECTS AND OBJECTS OF SIGHT IN THE SPIRITUAL WORLD.
SUBJECT AND OBJECT.
By the SUBJECT of the sight or thought is meant a substance which is a subject wherein is presented or represented, (perverted or unreported) something of the Divine, and which presents this as a subject for thought or sight,--a subject which produces in the percipient a change of organic form which is perceived as thought and affection. Thus all things of the world are subjects of the sight or thought, since they bring to ultimate view in representative forms their spiritual causes. Subjects of the sight or thought are also all goods and truths and evils and falses, for, as we have already shown, and shall presently show more fully, goods and truths and their opposites are organic substances which are subjects for the bringing to view of spiritual causes,--not in representative forms but as they really are.
By the OBJECT of the sight or thought is meant the objective representation of something that is already before the minds eye; or, the objective representation into which the sight or thought of the mind is determined. Thus if a man is in active thought from affection, that thought, which is the sight of the interior mind at once determines itself into some objective representation wherein it appears more ultimately and whereby the man is thus delighted.
* This definition of SUBJECT and OBJECT is a strict and philosophical definition. Elsewhere in the present chapter, we use the term Object in its ordinary signification, as being anything that appears before the senses, internal or external.
The subjects of the sight or thought of the exterior mind are all natural or material; and likewise its objects. These subjects are not the actual material, but they are the variations of form produced in the organism of the mind by the actual material by means of the senses (S. D. 3635). Man never actually sees into the world; he sees only such variations of the vessels of his mind as the senses present to him (ibid);
But the subjects of the thought or sight of the interior or spiritual mind are not material but spiritual, they are not representatives of things, but are the things themselves. They are goods and truths, or evils and falses (A. C. 8861; H. H. 130; D. L. W. 70). On the other hand, the objects of this thought or sight into which it determines itself are representatives, that is, are the things of the material world; or, speaking more strictly, they are those variations of form in the organism of the mind which are produced by material things, the permanence whereof we call memory, and their reproduction imagination (D. W. v.) Hence when a man, that is, a spirit, is in interior thought, or thought from affection, the objects of his thoughts are all representative of his affections; nor can he possibly see any other objects. But if he is in thought or reflection upon the things in his external mind, these then become the subjects of his thought. In this state an angel can recognize himself in his surroundings; or, what is the same thing, a man can recognize his own duality as objectively set forth in his imaginations. In this state also an evil spirit can see the things of heaven in representative form, and thus externally acknowledge them,--though he does not see heavenly things themselves; or, what is the same thing, an evil man can recognize the truths and goods of the Word and enlightened reason.
This law of subject and object is essential to the understanding of the difference between the things which exist, or stand forth to view in the spiritual world, and those which exist in the natural world.
The spiritual is not a more pure natural, which in man is called rational (says our Revelator), but it is above the natural. The distinction can be known only by one who can be in both worlds, and who can be at one time in one world and at another time in the other, and so can look at the one from the other by reflection. From this opportunity allowed me I have been informed. The natural man, in all things of his thought and speech and will and action, has for a subject, space, time and quantity, which with him are fixed and set; nor, without them, is he in any idea of thought or affection of will. The spiritual man or the spirit has not those things for subjects but only for objects. The reason is, because in the spiritual world are objects wholly similar to those in the natural world, as lands, houses, garments, foods, animals, and hence also spaces and times. All these are so like the things in the world that to the eye they are not distinguishable; yet they are all appearances, for they are created in a moment by the Lord, and in a moment dissipated, being permanent or not according to the constancy and inconstancy of the spirits or angels in the things of which they are the appearances. This is the reason why such things are only the objects of their thoughts and affections, and why the subjects are those things from which they appear, which are such as relate to wisdom and love, and thus are spiritual (D. Wis. vii, 5).
THE LAW OF APPEARANCES IN THE SPIRITUAL WORLD.
On the organic vessels of man are impressed the ultimate images of the world and especially the ultimate image of the soul in its own human form, and these images, thus received and retained, are the ultimate planes, and as it were wombs for the production of all the appearances of the spiritual world. The causes of these appearances are indeed spiritual,--being, with the angels, the goods and truths of heaven, and with the devils, the evils and falses of hell; but the appearances themselves are drawn from the memory. And therefore, they cannot be distinguished from the ultimate appearances of this world,--except indeed by the thought of the wiser ones. To illustrate: If one hears a telephone, he immediately sees before his minds eye, lips speaking,and this because the ultimate image of a voice speaking by lips has been impressed on him and is excited; and if he is familiar with the person who speaks, he sees, also with his minds eye, the whole image of that person. We say, with the minds eye, but what we mean is that the voice heard through the telephone produces in the organic vessels of the mind a state which at once presents the person speaking. But supposing now, if it were possible that a person who had never heard a human voice should hear one through the telephone. In such case there would be no ultimate appearance, nothing but an uneasy wondering as to what the state induced by the voice meant. Again, if I say the word house there is at once presented to your mind the actual appearance of a house; but unless you had received the ultimate image of a house no such appearance could be presented.
It is in this way that the material objects of this world,--the very ultimates of the Divine creation,--become the quasi-material but living ultimates of that spiritual world where places and distances, and all that the words involve are only apparent, being in fact nothing else than changes and variations of state (A. C. 1273-5).
These are called abstract ideas with their delights (A. E. 1115), and they are in truth abstracted from merely sensuous images (A. C. 6814), though not abstracted from a substance which is their subject (D. L. W. 210). Now abstract or immaterial; ideas whenever by variations of form, they are presented to the interior sight, always adjoin to themselves, more or less remotely, some corresponding thing from the natural mind, and in this they appear to the natural thought (A. C. 5110). Thus the interior understanding sees ideas which are presented by variations of its form, but in the external mind these are presented or appear as words and quasi-material images corresponding to the ideas, and which can appear or disappear, be created or dissipated in a moment, according to the presence or absence of the ideas. Hence the teaching that spiritual ideas abstracted from material objects are living and widely diffused through many societies where they can present themselves in various corresponding forms; but natural thought which is determined to material objects, that is, to ideas of persons or places, is narrow, fixed and stationary (A. C. 8985).
And as it is with the spirit of man and its sight, so is it in the spiritual world; for as to his spirit man is already in that world even while in the body. He thinks he sees into the world, and it so appears to him,--even as it appears to spirits that the things in the memory of the man with whom they are their own; but the truth is that the mind of man sees only what is presented to its organic by means of the body which, for a brief space, is loaned to it.
The mind of man (says our Revelation,--and by the mind is meant the spirit that lives after death, T. C. R. 156), is divided into two regions, an interior or spiritual, and an exterior or natural. The spiritual mind looks principally into the spiritual world, and has for its objects those things which are there, whether they be such as are in heaven or such as are in hell (that is, truths and goods or falses and evils). But the natural mind looks principally into the natural world (that is, upon the objects presented to it in the brain by means of the senses), and has for its objects those things which are there (T. C. R. 420).
AFFLUX FROM THE ULTIMATE WORLD NECESSARY FOR THE SENSITIVE LIFE OF SPIRITS.
Man is a least type of the universe. As in him there is Soul, Body and Mind or Spirit, so in the Greater Man, the oneness of the universe. There the Lord is the Soul, created worlds with all things thereon, constitute the body, and the spiritual world is the mind. And therefore the relation between the two worlds, or between spirits and men, their interdependence and their offices to each other, is the same as the relation between mans mind and his body,--for the mind is in the spiritual world and the body in the natural.
The mind is formed in the body, and it depends on the body for all its sensations. Life indeed it receives from the soul; but it has no conscious or sensitive, that is, no proprial life, except so far as it receives afflux from the world through the senses. For by this afflux the natural mind is formed, whose objects are appearances or effects, and within which and on which is to be formed the spiritual mind whose objects are causes but which yet, however elevated, can never think wholly apart from appearances or effects (A. C. 5110). Imagine if you can, a man without one of the senses. Could he be a man?
Now when man loses the body by death, he does not thereby cease to be under the laws of his existence. His spirit or mind is still under the same law, as when it dwelt in the body. The fact that he has lost the latter, does not render him independent of afflux from the ultimates of nature. But after death he receives this afflux, not through the body that was loaned him during the earth-life, but through the bodies of men yet on earth.
Mans spiritual things, which are of his thought and will, inflow into his natural things which are of his sensations and actions, and there cease and subsist. If man were without these terminations and ultimates his spiritual things would flow away as things unterminated or without a foundation. The like is the case when man passes from the natural world to the spiritual. Then, because he is a spirit, he subsists not oil his own basis, but on a common basis which is the human race (L. J. 9).
Hence the use, nay, the necessity of men to spirits,--even as of our body to our mind. Hence the revealed fact that spirits dwell around their own earth (A. C. 9578 = U. 127); and that when man does anything in the body, or sensates anything by the body, spirits innumerable are conscious of that deed or sensation, and of many things which are in it and which are unknown to men,--even as the mans own interior mind can perceive many things, in the sensations that come to the external mind which are wholly invisible to the latter. For instance, when man reads the Word in the Letter and it presents to him natural ideas or appearances of the Lord and His works, many angels and spirits are at once in illustration as to the interior things thus revealed. They read with him, but with deeper understanding. Nay, even the food man eats, the clothes he wears, the material sights he beholds, all are means for the preservation and excitation of the conscious life of spirits (A. C. 5915).
When man sensates, that is, perceives in the natural mind the things brought to it by the senses, the idea-form of that sensation is presented not only to his own interior sight, but also to the far more exquisite sensative of spirits. By an idea-form we mean the state induced upon the organic substances of the mind by which state objects are presented to the sight of that mind.
THE LAW AND OFFICE OF SPHERES.
Now the organic substances of the mind on which these states are induced emit from themselves a sphere,--an actual sphere consisting like its parent form of the finest substances of nature and framed like that parent.
But here a distinction must be made.
But spirits who are in the external sphere, that is, who are in external thought, and who are more closely associated with men in the world, know no other than that the things which they see through the eyes of men, are actually seen by themselves, nor do they wish to elevate their thoughts above sensual images. Hence, we are told, if man would escape the society of such sensual spirits, he must fix his thoughts on spiritual things (A. C. 6201).
But to all in the other world, whether interior or exterior, there must be afflux from the world without, for the continuance of their conscious and sensitive life; and this afflux comes through men. Interiors are formed within externals, and for their subsistence they must maintain their basis in externals.
This doctrine of the dependence of spirits on men for the basis of their conscious life, that is, for the means by which the Lord reveals Himself to them in lasts as the Object of their thoughts (S. D. 2329, 2735), is plainly involved in the teaching that the Church must be preserved in some place on earth, otherwise the angelic heaven itself could not be preserved in its integrity (T. C. R. 119, seq.), but, for its preservation, would needs be transferred to rest on societies of men of other earths (A. E. 726, iii; A. C. 1676, fin.)
THE OBJECTS OF THE INTERIOR SIGHT.
The externals of the world which enter the mind through the senses, and which by means of men, are presented for the use of spirits, are not, however, in themselves the objects of the interior sight (T. C. R. 420). They are stored up in the memory, and are indeed there electively ordered and disposed as the organic forms which present the objective world to the natural thought.
The objects of spiritual sight, which is the sight of the interior understanding are spiritual truths which are seen by those who are in that understanding similarly as natural objects before the eyes (A. R. 920; H. H. 130; D. L. W. 70).
Truths in the heavens are spiritual objects which appear before the angels there more clearly than natural objects before men in the world (A. E. 831).
In like manner as the sphere from objects falls into mans sight, so it is with the interior sight, which is the sight of the thought. The objects of this sight are not material, like objects in the world, but spiritual, the spiritual world, thus to goods and truths there and hence to societies which are in them (A. C. 6601).
Those things that appear in heaven are from a spiritual origin, while those that appear in the world are from a material origin; and things which are spiritual affect the senses of angels equally as things which are material affect the senses of man. It is said that they are from a spiritual origin because they exist from the Divine which proceeds from the Lord as a Sun and the Divine proceeding from the Lord as a Sun is spiritual.
OBJECTS OF THE INTERIOR SIGHT BROUGHT FORTH BY MEANS OF ULTIMATES.
To obtain a clearer understanding of the nature of these spiritual objects whose origin is the Divine which proceeds from the Lord as a Sun, let us refer again to that fundamental and universal doctrine which is a key to the understanding of the spiritual world, remembering also that the Divine proceeding from the Lord as a Sun is the Divine of Love, the Divine of Wisdom and the Divine of Use (D. L. W. 296). The doctrine is:
All uses which are ends of creation are in forms and they take forms from substances and matters such as are in earths (D. L. W. 307).
This great doctrine applies equally to spiritual objects,--or the objects of the interior sight--as to material objects. All are forms of use, and all take their forms from substances and matters from the earth.
The spiritual does not exist (that is, stand forth to finite view) without a subject (A. C. 2706, 4380). No good and truth, or evil and falsity can exist except in a substance as its subject; abstract goods and truths do not exist, for they are nowhere since they have no abode (C. L. 66; A. C. 10623). And the subjects of goods and truths must be in this world (C. L. 380:11).
The Divine of Use was before forms, but uses do not come to forthstanding existence except in forms, and as it were from forms (A. C. 4223). There is but one creation,--not two; one creation, in which the uses proceeding from God are presented as the spiritual, appearing in and by the natural, and in no other way.
The world is a double world, and all its created forms, from the greatest to the least, are double forms. Without is the natural, the posterior, the effect; within is the spiritual, the prior, the cause; and this in order that the Divine Good and Divine Truth, which as it is in itself cannot be seen by any created being, might be presented in appearances which could be brought to the mind of man by means of the senses. that the man may see the appearances with the sight of his external mind, and, with the sight of his interior mind, see the spiritual causes within, and seeing, may love; that thus the Divine representatives of nature may enter and become in him natural, sensual and corporeal ideas in all the appearances of ultimate nature; and that the Divine Love and Wisdom, may, if the man submits himself, therein present itself to be seen, acknowledged and loved, and to become as it were the mans own love and wisdom.
THE MARRIAGE OF THE LORD AND THE CHURCH THE SOURCE OF HEAVENLY OBJECTS.
We say if man submits himself, and by this mean if he holds the ideas of his natural mind in the order of heaven. With primitive men this was done almost spontaneously; with us it is done by obedience to the ultimate Word of revelation. By this obedience the ideas of the natural mind, that is, the states that present those ideas, or, in other words, the world of mans imagination, is disposed by the man acting from the Lord into the order and image of heaven. This is the mans prayer, Thy will be done as in heaven so upon the earth. And as the prayer is fulfilled then man, considered as to the new form and state of his mind, becomes a church on earth, a bride descended from heaven and prepared and made ready for her Husband. Then is that marvelous marriage, the marriage of the Lord and the Church,--a marriage, which, inmostly considered, is the union of the Infinite Father and the Son or Divine Human (A. C. 6179, 6343); for it is the Lord in lasts who alone makes the Church. And in this marriage there is insemination, gestation, and the bringing forth of offspring. The offspring of this marriage, we are told, are all spiritual, being truths from which is understanding, perception and all thought and goods from which is love, charity and all affection (C. L. 120-121; T. C. R. 307).
These truths and goods thus born are not something unreal or idealistic; they are not precipitated from the atmospheres or floating therein (Influx 12). They are actual substances and forms, and actual births from the marriage of the Lord and the Church in man.
The Lord inflows into the natural mind where are the ultimate appearances of truth, and from that mind as from a womb He clothes new and more interior states which present to the interior sight of man the spiritual truths within the appearances of his natural mind, (C. L. 120), giving him spiritual understanding, perception and thought, and whose harmonies he perceives as goods from which is love and charity and affection. It is these new states that are the goods and truths, the offspring of the marriage of the Lord and the Church; for spiritual goods and truths are brought to birth in man and not as some aerial thing without him; and actually brought to birth by the formation, by goods and truths from the Lord, of a new body, a new organic mind from such things as are in man from the natural world (T. C. R. 583; A. C. 3298). And this organic mind thus born is the man. Very literally therefore is the regenerate man a child of God, and the unregenerate a child of the devil.
The substances and forms which are love and wisdom do not exist before the eyes like the organs of the external senses; still none can deny that substances and forms are those things that are called thoughts, perceptions and affections; and that they are not volatile and fluent entities from nothing or abstracted from real and actual substance and form which are subjects. For in the brain are innumerable substances and forms in which resides all the interior sense which refers itself to understanding and will. All affections, perceptions and thoughts are actually and really subjects which emit nothing from themselves but only undergo changes according to things flowing in which affect (D. L. W. 42; see also H. H. 434, 460).
Knowledges and truths are no more things abstracted from the purest substances which are of the interior man or of his spirit, than sight is abstracted from its organ the eye. The substances from which they exist (that is, come to conscious view) are purer substances which are real and whose variations of state and form animated and modified by the influx of life from the Lord present them, and whose suitablenesses and harmonies successive or simultaneous are what affect and make what is called the beautiful, pleasant, and delightful. Spirits are forms, that is, they consist of continued forms equally as man, but of purer forms and not visible to the bodily sight; and therefore men comprehend no other than that knowledges and thoughts are abstract things. Therefore they do not believe that the spirit lives after death, when yet it is a substance much more real than the material substance of his body (A. C. 3726).
We shall show presently that this organic form is in fact the spiritual body in which main lives after death.
Love is the harmonic resulting from changes of the state and variations in the forms of the substances of which the human mind consists. This harmonic, if from the heavenly form is heavenly love. Hence it can be evident that love can have no other origin than from the Divine love itself, which is from the Lord, thus that love is the Divine which inflows into forms and disposes them so that the changes of state and variations may be in the harmony of heaven (A. C. 5807).
It may be that instead of the marriage of the Lord and the Church, there is the opposite.
Such is the birth and appearance to men of goods and truths or of evils and falses. They are states formed in the organic substances of the mind.
REPRESENTATIONS IN THE SPIRITUAL WORLD ARE DRAWN FROM THIS NATURAL MIND.
But here it must be noted that interior states, and hence interior thoughts and affections, at once excite, arouse and as it were create from the natural mind their corresponding appearances. For no man or angel, not even the wisest, can think entirely apart from appearances. Appearances, we are taught, serve man for the presentation of Divine truths. Without them he could have no idea of truths. If, for instance, it should be said that in heaven there is no idea of place, thus no idea of distance, but instead thereof ideas of state, men would believe that there was nothing distinct, but that all was confused, when yet all things are so distinct that nothing can be more distinct (A. C. 3387).
The foolish think the appearances are the only realities; they think from them; the appearances are the very fountains of their thoughts. But the wise know that they are appearances, and they think not from them but in them (A. R. 611 = T. C. R. 622). Thus, if the spiritual man thinks of the Lord as the center of life, there is at once aroused in his natural mind the idea of a Sun; but his interior thought is not derived from the appearance of a Sun, though it rests in that appearance. The thought itself is a thought of the Lord as Divine Love and Divine Wisdom. So if he thinks of the Lord as a Man, he at once sees the appearance of a Person; but his thought is not derived from this appearance, but only rests or is ultimated in the appearance. On the other hand, if an evil spirit thinks of himself as a great one, a crowned potentate, he immediately sees himself as actually such, nor does he know other than that the appearance is a reality,--when yet it is a phantasy. And yet, in both cases,the real appearance and the phantasy,--the appearance before the spirit is as actual as if it were material. The appearance itself is drawn from the natural or external mind, where are the images of the world; the thought itself is the state of the interiors which are the forms born of heavenly marriage or of infernal connection.
That such representations exist in the spiritual world (we read) is because there are spiritual things interior and exterior.
THE COMMUNICATION OF IDEAS BY SPHERES.
Now from the organic substances which are the forms both of interior ideas and of the external and corresponding images thereof there proceed spheres which strive to reproduce in whatsoever receptacle they may meet, that state, of which they themselves ale the offspring. If they meet matters from the earth which are adaptable to their activities, they may even be actually born upon the earth by means of the seeds which they then form. This is the origin of deadly plants and evil animals, which are nothing more than evil thoughts and affections thus born into the world of matter and there carrying on their deeds of ill (D. L. W. 341, 345).
These spheres also constitute the atmospheres of the spiritual world,--atmospheres which are different in each heaven, in each hell and in each of the societies thereof (A. E. 342, 822). They also appear as atmospheres,etherial, aerial, and watery in the heavens, and gross and foul in the hells (A. E. 342, 535) The thoughts and perceptions of angels (we read), and especially of an angelic society pour themselves forth and present a corresponding sphere which appears as an atmosphere (A. E. 538).
These spheres proceed from every spirit and from the spirit of every man, and where they themselves actually cease they will continue their work by characteristic motions and ripples in the ether. And whenever these spheres, or their offspring ripples meet other spirits, impinge upon their sensitive bodies, they strive to reproduce the states,--the evils and falses or the goods and truths,--of which themselves are the offspring, nay, they present the presence of the spirit himself. The sphere from the body of an angel says our Revelation, continually actuated excites the atmospheres into their activities and thereby presents a perception of him with others (D. L. W. 291; A. E. 822).
These spheres however affect spirits only when the spirits themselves are such that they can receive, that is, according as the organs of their mind,--their spiritual body,--are framed to respond or not. Thus when Swedenborg dwelt on an interior idea he disappeared from the sight of spirits, although he himself could still see them. So when two spirits interiorly disagree their minds are turned against each other and their bodies are actually unaffected by each others sphere. Hence they actually disappear from each others view (H. H. 194, 479). But when agreement returns presence also returns (S. D. 4731).
So when evil spirits are in the activities of evil the spheres of angels pass them by without effect,--they see nothing, they feel nothing; but when they are in their external thought, then these spheres are felt, and, it may be, with torment (C. L. 477; S. D. 5531). This is the basis of the separation of hell from heaven.
Again, when an evil spirit wishes to inflict injury upon another he represents that other in his own mind as suffering all manner of bodily torments; and the sphere of his idea-form will. affect the spirit thought of so that he perceives no other than that he is actually suffering all the bodily torments which his persecutor is imagining (S. D. 404, 1720, 4207); unless, indeed, he be of such a nature as to know that he has not a body that can be so tormented, in which case the sphere passes him by harmless (S. D. 2303). Nay, by this means evil spirits can induce upon others the perception that they are turned into bears, serpents, or other animals (S. D. 4381).
Again, from a spirit who was in the false persuasion that good works were of no effect, but only faith, proceeded a sphere which so affected simple good spirits that they imagined themselves to entirely disappear, and to know not whether they were living or non-existent (S. D. 3980).
PRESENCE AND DISTANCE.
This law of spheres gives us also to understand the many wonderful things related in the Writings concerning distance in the spiritual world.
Imagine an instrument for wireless telegraphy, being manipulated, that is, its states being changed by the operator. From this instrument goes forth certain definite motions into the surrounding ether, and wherever these motions meet an instrument apt for their reception, there the state of the parent instrument is at once reproduced. Or imagine if you can a powerful moving picture machine capable of transmitting its ether motions in all directions around itself, instead of, as is actually the case, in one direction only. Then wherever there is a suitable screen, whether within thirty feet or three hundred feet, that picture is at once present; but in the spiritual world the screen is the living sensative of a spirit.
Such is the operation of spheres in the other world. There is this difference, however; that whereas in this world there is a limit to the power of the waves set up by instruments, and to the delicacy of the receiving instrument, in the spiritual world there can be induced on the bodies of spirits states which are perceptive of the presence of other spirits even in the most distant earth (A. C. 1274:3).
But apparent or appearing presence, which seems like actual presence, although it is not, is produced by changes of state of the understanding, or of the cerebral mind,--the will or cerebellum mind remaining the same. This presence is called the presence of the internal sight (H. H. 144, 121, 128, 171).
WALKING AND PROGRESSION.
Here we see in truer fullness the well known teaching of the Writings that all journeyings in the other life are nothing but changes of state (A. C. 4882); that is, according to changes of state, so there is the reception of afflux from new societies, and hence the appearance of journeying to such societies, and of being present in them. And the appearance is so real that spirits do not notice that such journeyings originate in this way (A. C. 9927); and the reason for the appearance is specifically stated to be, that without it the natural man would think there were no distinctions in the spiritual world, but that all was confused and that thus there could be no individuality (A. C. 3387).
It is in this way that man as to his spirit, even while he is still on earth, is transferred or journeys from society to society in the other life (A. C. 9440 = H. H. 192). It was in this way also that Swedenborg walked in the spiritual world while his body remained in one place (A. C. 5605); and that he was led to other earths by variations of the state of the interior life, even while he was awake in the body (A. C. 9579, 9067).
From this law of spheres and their operation other phenomena of the spiritual world also open out.
CONSOCIATIONS AND COMMUNICATIONS.
Whatever a spirit thinks, other spirits who are near instantly know and perceive what he is thinking, and this from the sphere of his thought (A. C. 2343 fin., 4126; A. E. 822).
It is from this law also, that if a spirit is let into his memory by the excitation of affections, the sphere proceeding from him presents to all who receive it a most real sensation of all the deeds he has done even to hidden thoughts and secret crimes (H. H. 462a).
On this law is based the fact that when a spirit enters into a society he comes at once into the knowledges of that society, according to his state; and also gives to the society his own knowledges (A. C. 5649, 5527). Or, if he be unprepared, he feels the sphere of that society as something strange and painful.
Here also we come to some clearer understanding of the revealed arcana concerning consociations and communications in heaven according to the form of heaven (H. H. 200 seq.). But we shall treat of these below when we come to consider the doctrine of extension of thought. See p. 142.
Every spirit and every angel as to his interiors has a certain situation in the Grand Man according to his love, nor is this situation ever varied (A. C. 1276, S. D. 1985).
THE LAW OF AFFLUX.
The spheres proceeding from spirits and from the spirits of men, and, most of all, the subtle motions set up in the ether--for the spheres themselves have comparatively little extension,--do more than present a perception of presence; or rather, this perception of presence involves far more than might at first appear. These ether currents set up by spirits,--their idea-forms going forth to do their work--are the means whereby variations of forms are induced upon the interior organisms of spirits, and whereby thus, they are preserved in active, conscious, sensitive life. Without them spirits would indeed be forms, but they would be forms as it were inanimate, and lifeless, because senseless.
Men are but organic vessels receptive of life. As the vessel such is the perception of life. If the vessel is fashioned by the Lord by means of the Word, then it is, that is, the man is, as a bride in whose womb are brought forth goods and truths, that is, new and more interior forms or vessels perceptive of the Lord. But if the vessel is fashioned by man alone, then it is, that is, the man is, a form that sees nothing of the Lord but only the things of the senses. But whatever the vessel, however it be formed, it has no perception of life, whether as the love of self or as the Lords love, unless there be a constant variation and modification of its form.
AFFLUX NECESSARY FOR CHANGES AND VARIATIONS OF FORM.
Now things which affect, that is, which vary the form, must come by afflux, or from without; they must: be independent of the subject that is affected, otherwise there would be no variation of form. For since man is merely a vessel receptive of life, he cannot vary his own form; he can merely feel, sensate, the variations induced from without. And although he may perceive this variation as an affection and thought therefrom, within himself, nevertheless, it is in fact a perception and thought concerning what has come from without.
The matter may be illustrated by the eye; for as the substances of the mind are the organs of affection and thought, so the eye is the organ of sight. The eye is perfectly adapted for the reception of life, but unless it were modified by afflux from without there would be no sight (A. C. 4618). If the eye, for instance, gazed on a limitless field of snow, it would become blind because perceptive of no variation. But when, by the ether waves set up by the objects of the material world, it becomes modified, the modifications are perceived as visual objects.
It is even so with the organ of the mind. It can have no affections and no thoughts therefrom except as it is modified or varied by afflux from without. To men on earth it appears as if affections and thoughts were within them, and this because they see them within themselves, that is, in their mind. But they are greatly deceived (H. H. 203), and this because their experience has led them to believe that only those things that are in material form have objective and affective existence. But in the other world, while the foolish still imagine that what causes affection and thought is within themselves, experience can prove that it is the perception of the afflux that comes from without.
But afflux whereby is produced that variation of form which is perceived as affection and thought, is not effected by the Lord immediately, or rather, the Lord in His mercy wills that all affecting influx shall come from without, and this in order that men may have the appearance that they live from themselves. For when change of form is produced by afflux from without and the change is perceived as an idea with its affection, the appearance then is that the idea and the affections are the mans own and self-acquired possession.
VARIATIONS OF FORM PERCEIVED ACCORDING TO STATE AS THOUGHTS AND AFFECTIONS.
Now state with man results from the quality of the disposition, activity and determination of the organic substances which make the form of the mind (T. C. R. 52). But without constant modification or change of the form, the state could not be affected, and hence the man could have no sensation or perception according to his state, that is, conscious life. Thus the state of the eye is according to the disposition of its parts which make the form, and the eye sees according to its state; and yet there can be no sight unless the forms of the eye be continually modified by the afflux of ether motions set up by the objects of sight.
The sensitive life of spirits is two-fold, real and not real.
THE LORD THE SUPREME OBJECT OF SIGHT OR THOUGHT.
The teaching that thoughts are mere changes and variations of the form of the purely organic substances of the mind and that affections are the changes of the state of those substances (D. P. 279, 319);
The truth is that all thought and will come from the Lord in Firsts and in Lasts, for there is nothing unconnected with the First and the Last. The ability to see changes of form, or rather, to see the Divine of the Lord thus appearing as the objects of thought and will according to the state of the mind, comes from the Lord in Firsts. The afflux that produces changes of form, comes with each one from others, but in the last analysis, the forms of spirits from which proceed the spheres that: affect others, are produced by the fixed appearances of the world, wherein the Lord presents Himself in ultimates as the object of mans thought,--and this that He may be received in freedom (S. D. 2325, 2328, 2329, 2735; A. C. 3742, 4320). It is between the Lord in Firsts and the Lord in Lasts that man exists and is contained (A. C. 3628).
EXTENSION OF THOUGHT.
Herein also we see the fullness of another great doctrine, namely, that thought diffuses itself into societies of spirits and round about, and the faculty of understanding and perceiving is according to the extension thither, that is, according to the influx thence.
The meaning is that according to the state of the organic substances of the mind, such is the reception of the afflux of societies,--few or many, infernal or heavenly. The case is similar as with the external eye. According to the state of the eye such is the extension of its sight into many objects, or, not to speak according to the appearance, such is the extent of its reception of the ether waves from many objects (H. H. 203).
Good spirits and angels have extension into the societies of heaven. Evil spirits have extension into the societies of hell. Those who think externally have extension to few societies; those who think grossly have extension only to societies of gross corporeal spirits; those who think interiorly, or if evil subtly, have extension to many and interior societies of heaven, or to many and deep societies of hell (A. C. 6012, 8955). According to the extension such is the influx and such therefore the intelligence or insanity. Nay, if spirits or angels should be deprived of this extension they would lie sprawling on the ground like new born infants without any thought,--as was proved by actual experience to certain spirits who did not believe that thoughts and affections actually extend themselves around them, but are within them, and this because they sec the things which they think as things within themselves (H. H. 203).
By still another living experience it was shown to a spirit who was in a similar fallacy, that if the extension of his thoughts into many neighboring societies were taken awry, leaving only the extension into one society, he could by no effort think against that one society, nor in any other way than one with it
So, if by the closing of his interiors, an angel should have extension only into lower societies of heaven which are in appearances, he could see nothing but appearances and would thus lose his wisdom (H. H. 35). On the other hand, if an angel of the ultimate heaven, the organic forms of whose mind are framed only to the perception of appearances, but not of interior truths, should be subjected to direct influx from an interior heaven,--as if an angel of such heaven should direct the speech of interior thought to him--he would at once lose all sight, as though his eye were ex-posed to the blaze of the sun, or as though a wise man should utter his naked wisdom to a child (H. H. 35, 205). So. if an evil spirit should enter heaven, that is, should receive influx from heavenly societies, he would come into complete darkness; but if by the interception of influx from evil societies, his interiors should be closed, and his externals. on which are impressed the appearances of truth from the Word, be thus opened or active, he could at once see the magnificent things of heaven,--not indeed interior truths themselves, but the appearances whereby those truths present themselves (C. L. 477).
Real, indeed, are the things in the spiritual world, since they immediately affect the life of spirits (A. C. 3455), while the things in this world affect only the natural mind and only indirectly the real life.
We can also understand why it is that the knowledge and perception of truth by men is a gradual growth and why the New Church can grow in intelligence only as there is increase in the societies of the new heaven; why it is first in external perception of truth before it can come into internal perception. Why, in general, the perception of truth is born slowly, and by the accumulated labors of man after man and generation after generation. For each man and each generation, if they walk in the way of life, is the means for the birth of new perceptions, new truths, new societies of angels, enriched with new gifts from the Lord. Hence in each new generation thought can be more widely extended if only the state of the mind which arises from the disposition and determination of its organic substances be a state of heaven. For then there is extension into new societies; and from this new and more complex variations of forms from whence arise new perceptions of the Lords presence and new affections.
Here also comes to clearer view the fact that minds which have been ordered in the form of heaven have wide extension into societies many and interior, so that, like Swedenborg in his philosophical works, they have perceptions, or interior sight of things hitherto undreamed of. In them is concentrated the wisdom of hosts of the wise of past ages.
THE MIND OF MAN IS HIS SPIRIT THAT LIVES AFTER DEATH.
Any true understanding of the spiritual world depends on a comprehension of the revealed truth that the spirit that lives after death is the mind, and that the mind is formed in those purer substances of nature which constitute the sensoria collated in the cortical glands of the human brain. There is the meeting place of heaven and earth. There, from without by means of the loaned body, come the images of earth, to be submitted, if the man will, to the light of heaven and to be ordered by its heat; that new forms may be born which shall be perceptive of the presence of the Lord in His creation; which shall be as the clay that confesses Thou, O Lord, art our Father; we are the clay, and Thou our potter, and we are all the work of Thy hands (Is. 64:8.)
Or, there the images from without, induced upon the substances of the mind from the ultimates of the Lords creation, shall, if the man wills, dispose and order themselves against the reception of the heat and light of heaven, and, responsive only to the heats or lusts of the flesh and the light of the world, shall be perceptive of appearances but not of Him who created them; and shall be phantastically persuaded that appearances are the only realities, and that spiritual causes, and even the Creator of all, are things of the imagination; shall be, in a word, as the potters clay that sayeth of Him that made it, He made me not;
But however man may choose to form his life, that is, to order the vessels receptive of life and according to which life shall appear as his, the ultimate appearances which are the first forms of those vessels still remain; remain to eternity as the ultimates on which and in which, as in a womb, all interior formation is effected.
HUMAN MINDS NOW LARGELY IN APPEARANCES.
To us in this world appearances loom very large, and even with those who are more interior, appearances are still very strong, so that their thought and affection is largely inwoven therewith. Hence when the men of this earth die they live at first the life of appearances; that is, the activity of their love and thought is still presented as the appearances which they have brought with them from the ultimates of nature. Thus, although they are no longer in space and time, nevertheless, because of the idea-forms which they have carried with them from the world, they know no other than that they are still in time and space, and this idea goes forth from them and is communicated to other spirits (A. C. 2625). Such spirits, although they no longer have organic eyes such as they had in the world but have retained only the sight of their understanding as they had organically formed it in this world, still think they have retained the bodily sight. The same applies to all the senses and to the whole body (S. D. 5, 207, 364).
ENTRANCE INTO THE SPIRITUAL WORLD.
This makes more clear to us the phenomena that attend mans entrance into the spiritual world. The first step in leaving the world of material objects, is the actual closing of the eyes; and this is usually attended with an elevation of the mind to thought concerning eternal life, by which thought there is a partial separation from external spirits (S. D. 1102, 1095; H. H. 449.) With death itself and the cutting off of all sensation through the body there comes a complete separation from external spirits; the mind is closed to their influx.
LIFE IN THE SPIRITUAL WORLD THE LIFE OF THE MIND UNTRAMMELED BY THE TIME AND SPACE.
But, whether they are good or evil, internal or external, all spirits in a shorter or longer time come out of this state (A. C. 2625). They cease to wonder at their surroundings, and they accept as natural whatever phenomenon appears before them however remarkable it may appear when described to us on earth.
Those with whom, while on earth, the spiritual sight has been opened,--that is, who have seen as the objects of their thought the goods and truths that proceed from the Lord, and, in ultimates, are clothed in appearances,--when they have passed through their first state, which is very brief, continue to behold the same spiritual objects, and these in like manner affect them according to their state. But now their thought is free from the trammels of time and space which have fettered it in the world; instead of being limited by the fixed appearances of the world, the limitations of time and space and of words that are based thereon, their thought is free. They still have appearances,--for without appearances no one can think at all, since no one can see naked truth (A. C. 3207, 3293, 3404); but the appearances, which are all drawn from the natural mind, serve only to present the truth not to limit and obscure it;
Those who during their life on earth have been in evil; that is, those who have joined the appearances of the world to evil loves, and have thus built up their minds into states of evil, when they enter the other life, continue to behold before their sight the same things that they had contemplated with their understanding when on earth. cut now their spiritual sight is no longer limited and restrained by the fixed appearances of the Divine in ultimates, but the appearances they have taken from the world become now the plastic media for the setting forth to view of their interior thought and affection, which is their perception of the things that flow in from others. Thus when they behold other spirits they think themselves to be their masters, nay, to be king of kings and even god of gods; they think that the whole universe is under their feet. And this interior thought and sight at once excites in their organic imagination the corresponding appearances, and they see themselves as kings and gods sitting on thrones; they see the whole universe below them and subject to them. Yet all is a phantasy, since it is the appearance of what does not in truth exist.
Those who while on earth have been in natural thought, and yet have lived in charity, when they come into their final state in heaven, still remain in appearances, nor can they be removed from them. But because they have lived in obedience to heaven, their appearances are appearances of the interior truths of heaven. They are not perceptive of those truths themselves; their thought does not extend itself to the interior societies of heaven. But when the sphere of such societies enters into the spheres of the societies around them and to which they do have extension, it is perceived by them as something enlightening their understanding and affecting them with delight, and it is seen before the natural thought as some corresponding appearance which gives them great delight.
THOSE WHO DIE AS INFANTS.
Herein we see the reason and the scope of the teaching respecting those who die as infants, namely, that they have no such ultimate plane as those who die as adults, but a spiritual-natural plane; and hence that they are not in such gross natural thoughts and affections; and that they believe themselves to have been born in heaven (H. H. 345). For their ultimate images have not come to them directly from the gross material world, but have been communicated to them by association with men on earth, especially with infants and the simple.
THE SPIRITUAL BODY, OR THE BODY OF THE SPIRIT.
The doctrine concerning the spirit of man, that it is his mind,--a form organized of purest substances of nature,--brings us to a clearer and more comprehensive understanding of the teachings of the Writings respecting the human form of the spirit, and respecting its appearance in the other life; for spirits in the other life are actually in no other form than that in which was their spirit during their life in the body. It also enables us to see the harmony between apparently conflicting statements--one that after death the spirit is not in the same form as in the world, and the other, which is so familiar to Newchurchmen, that he is in exactly the same form.
THE HARMONY OF SWEDENBORGS TEACHINGS.
Thus in the RATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY Swedenborg says, that after death the soul will not put on the human form since that form is solely for use in the ultimate world. But in heaven they are like winged souls which will have no use for such things as limbs, muscles, stomach, pancreas, spleen, etc., unless indeed, (he adds, referring with evident disapproval to the ordinary idea of the Christian Church as to the resurrection of the body) there is to be created a new earth into which they shall be admitted (Soul 521). But when left to itself (he continues), and no longer interwoven with the organic forms necessary for the corporeal life, the soul can put on any form suitable to its state (Soul 523).
The same teaching is many times repeated in the DIARY where we read:
A spirit appeared to me as if he were moving lips and thus were speaking with lips; and when I told him this he said that he did speak with lips. But when I answered that spirits do not have lips and thus cannot speak with lips, he still insisted, until he was instructed by living demonstration that it was a representation of lips, and so appears according to the representations of spirits (S. D. 1342).
Newly arrived spirits think that they are clothed with a similar human body, for to this does their imagination and their interior man lead them, namely, to the ultimate of order which is the body. But it was granted to answer them that I know not in what kind of body they are, but they are forms most perfect for every use so that they can be said to be spiritual and celestial forms (S. D. 2917); and in the same work he says, Spirits know not of what form they are except the human, because the inmost things of the spirit aspire to a human form similar to the body; and then after comparing the soul to the butterfly which emerges from the worm in a form entirely dissimilar, because use creates the form, he adds, therefore the forms of spirits are much more perfect ... but what they are is not given to be known (S. D. 3472 = A. C. 3633).
Now it is evident that in these passages Swedenborg does not mean that spirits after death do not appear in the human form; nor that the human form is not the genuine form. For elsewhere in his earlier works he shows that after death the soul will assume the exact form of the human body which is its own proper form yet in such wise that it is no longer the body but the soul under the form of the body (2 E. A. K. 351; 2 Ad. 1377). And in the DIARY, while saying the spirit is in a form superior to the form of the body, the proper nature of which is not given to be known he is at the same time consciously talking to spirits as man to man, and has been doing this for many months.
It is clear therefore that what he is referring to in these passages, is the form,--the human form,--of those organic vessels of the mind, which remain after death.
THE SOURCE OF THE APPEARANCE TO SPIRITS THAT THEY HAVE A BODY AS ON EARTH.
The soul is in the human form and therefore endeavors to the human form on every plane of its descent, and in the ultimate plane it presents itself as the body, that ultimate human form with which we are familiar and which is the very form of the soul, because the form of God-man. It is this ultimate form, representative of the soul, which is impressed on the mind of every man, and which is the ultimate basis of his appearing forever as a man (p. 90) or rather as a man in the natural body.
This relation of the natural world to the spiritual, the dependence of the natural upon the spiritual for causal life, and of the spiritual upon the natural for finite appearing,--is set forth in an earlier work written by Swedenborg; and there the doctrine is specifically applied to the appearance of spirits. After death (he says) the soul does not occupy a seat outside the world, but it is elevated into the celestial aura ... and in it remains in that effigy of its body and of its motions and effects most particularly impressed on its most simple modifiable substances. Whatever habit or natural instinct it has drawn by means of the body, is represented in the soul to the life. If therefore the soul be formed by exercise in the body into correspondence with principles of morality conjoined with faith, until it has become a habit and almost an distinct to will and desire only what is conformable to genuine and purest causes, then it is a most suitable subject, organ and instrument of celestial modes highly harmonic and almost instantaneous. Thus heaven creates in it ineffable gladnesses and delights with which the delights of the grosser world cannot be compared (Op Phil. p. 120, of the Latin).
We find the same doctrine stated in the Writings where we read: The light of the world and the light of heaven make all the intelligence of man by the influx of life. Mans imagination is nothing but forms and appearings of such things as he has taken by the sight of the body, wonderfully varied and so to say modified; but his interior imagination or thought is nothing but forms and appearings of such things as he has drawn in by the sight of the mind still more wonderfully varied.... The things which hence exist are in themselves inanimate, but at the influx of life from the Lord they become animate (A. C. 3337, 4405; S. D. 2903). And in the other life imagination and ideas vivified by the light of heaven become visible in form just as though they were material, but appearing as living and in far more perfect forms (A. C. 1008, 1869, 4408; S. D 2903; 3 Ad. 2471-2).
Sensation does not belong to the body but to the spirit; but it is formed in the body according to the form of its organs and hence according to perception. And because spirits have become accustomed to this, therefore these sensations remain (S. D. 2355).
Spirits think themselves mea (we read in the DIARY), because this idea remains with them after the death of the body, and because the interiors of man know nothing else than that they are men; for the body is formed after the image of a man and acts with the will. Hence the idea of the body which remains after death (S. D. 207). And in the ARCANA we read: Interiors are not such as they appear in exteriors but are of quite another appearance ... the inmosts of angels and spirits conspire to the human form, like the primitive of man in the womb ... although this primitive is not in the form of the body, but in another most perfect form known to the Lord alone.
SOME CURIOUS PHENOMENA RESULTING FROM THIS APPEARANCE.
The understanding of this teaching gives us the key to the understanding of many remarkable phenomena of the spiritual world.
Thus it is said of the spirits of a certain earth in the starry heavens, that in the life of the body they have so hated the body that they are unwilling to admit that they have ever been in a body. As a consequence of this curious state, in the other world they do not appear to themselves to be in the form of a body but only in the form of a cloud. This was seen by Swedenborg in a human form hardly recognizable (A. C. 10314-5 = U. 148 = S. D. 1668-9).
The spirits of Jupiter on their earth care mostly for the face and believe that after death their faces will be large; and because this idea is impressed on them (as we read) therefore it is permanent and when they become spirits they appear to themselves to be of larger faces than others (U. 52 = A. C. 8242-3. See also A. C. 7475 = S. D. 3251).
Again in the Writings we learn of the spirits of Mars that because on their earth they knew that they were spirits clothed with a body and had thought little of their body but only of the life of their spirits is the body, after death hardly know that their state is changed.
It is interesting to note this difference between the spirits of Mars and those of our earth. The spirits of Mars think themselves men because they know they are spirits; but the spirits of our earth from the idea impressed during life in the world think themselves men because they believe they are still living on the earth; and if in this state they should be convinced that they are spirits they would be affrighted, thinking they were therefore nothing at all; like the spirit, who, when Swedenborg proved to him that he was a spirit, cried out in terror, I am a spirit, I am a spirit (A. C. 2287).
This is the reason why Swedenborg, who is sometimes at pains to prove to spirits that they do not have a body, is at other times and with other spirits, or with spirits in a different state, at equal pains to show them that they do have a body and that it is real, substantial, tangible.
THE SPIRITUAL BODY REALLY HUMAN IN THE DEGREE THAT IT IS FORMED BY THE RATIONAL.
Here we are led to the consideration of a curious but common phenomenon of the other life, namely, that evil spirits appear sometimes in the human form, that is, when they are seen in their own light;
Addressing certain spirits who had asserted that they were men, Swedenborg said that they are not men furnished with a body, but spirits and thus also men since everything of the spirit conspires to that which is of man, even to a form similar to a man furnished with a body; for the spirit is the internal man. Moreover, since they are men from intelligence and wisdom and not from form, therefore angels are men more than those who are in a body (A. C. 4051 = 5189 = S. D. 3822).
Every spirit and angel appears in a form altogether according to the communication of his thoughts and affections with societies; hence as they are in good and truth so they are in a more beautiful human form. But if the communication be diffused into societies which are not according to the order of heaven, so far is the form without beauty. But if the communication be with infernal societies, the form is deformed and diabolical, and in the light of heaven they appear not as men but as monsters (A. C. 6605).
The rational is of the internal man (or soul) and the natural of the external man.
And therefore we read of infants in the other life, that their innocence--which is almost all the mind they have at first,--was represented by something wooden almost void of life, which is vivified as they are perfected by knowledges and affections. But genuine innocence by a living human infantile form (H. H. 341). And so in regard to men who have had no idea of God. When they enter the other world they appear as stone statues almost devoid of life; and only as they are instructed does the living human begin to appear in them; others appeared as apes (L. J. post, 193, 130 = S. D. 5822).
MAN FORMS HIS OWN SPIRITUAL BODY.
It may therefore be said in a very real sense that during life in the world man forms his own spiritual body (T. C. R. 553), both as it appears to himself and as it appears in the light of heaven. He forms it as it appears to himself, by appearances,--by the external ideas he has received and confirmed concerning the human life; but he forms it as it is seen in the light of heaven according as he orders the organically existent thoughts and affections of his mind.
When man lays off the natural body (we read) his soul clothed with a spiritual body comes into that world where all things are spiritual.
Love and will is the soul of the deed or work; it forms its body in the sincere and just things which the man does. The spiritual body or the body of every spirit and angel is the external form of his love, entirely corresponding to the internal form which is of his animus and mind (H. H. 363; A. C. 4535; D. P. 319).
The spiritual body, or the body of mans spirit is from no other source, that is, it is formed from no other things than such as the man has done from love or will (H. H. 475).
Life proceeding from the Lord is varied and modified according to the organization induced by love (T. C. R. 461). Again we read:
There is one only life which flows into all; but it is variously received according to the quality which man has induced on his soul by life. Hence with the evil goods and truths are turned into evils and falsities; with the good they are received, goods as goods, truths as truths. When man lives in the world he induces on the purest substances which are of his interiors, a duality; so that he can be said to form his own soul, that is, his quality.
And in the DIVINE WISDOM we learn, that the will and understanding are not an abstract spiritual, but are subjects substantiated and formed for the reception of life from the Lord. They exist actually within the cortical substances of the brain where they are innumerable, each being of three degrees. The passage then continues: With infants those receptacles are slight and tender; afterwards they take increase and are perfected according to knowledges and the affection thereof: they are integrated according to intelligence and the love of uses; they grow soft according to innocence and love to the Lord, and they become solid and harden, from the opposites. The changes of their state are affections; the variations of their form are thoughts; the existence and permanence of both these is memory and their reproduction is remembrance; both taken together are the human mind (D. W. v.).
The life of everyone is organized according to his love and his deeds hence, and if it be changed the organization would be torn apart,which can never be the case. Change of organization is given only in the material body, and is not at all possible in the spiritual body after the former has been rejected (C. L. 524 = B. E. 110; D. P. 326).
I wish to add an arcanum, says our Revelator, and the arcanum is: The spirit of man appears after death in such a human form as that in which the life of his affections had been in the world (A. E. 157; A. C. 10076).
And therefore an evil spirit, though of the Divine mercy he always seems to himself a man, yet in the light of heaven appears as he really is, a monster; for the sphere proceeding from him presents an image of itself in its least particles and this image is seen in the sensories of angels in its true form which is monstrous and sometimes hardly human. Hence also evil and sensual spirits who have placed all life in the body, are in the intense persuasion that they are still on earth with a material body;--for such is the persuasion impressed on the organic things of their mind. To them the body is the real thing, the source of human life itself, and that without which they would not be living or be men. All else is unreal and as a mere breath or wind, which indeed they may speak of as the spirit, but think of as nothing. Hence, as we have already noted, it is said that with such men the purest things of nature which border their spirits, that is, what is commonly called the limbus, are above and their spiritual things below (T. C. R. 103). And we are further taught, that if by intercourse with a man they learn to realize that they are not men but spirits, and thus have not that complete materiality in which they have placed all life and delight, they then lust to enter the world of, to them, reality, and there to take possession of the mans body (S. D. 2659). But with the good the purest things of nature are below and the spiritual things above, for in the world they had ascribed life and reality not to the body but to the spirit, and the wisest of them to the Lord alone, and had thought of the body as being- subservient to and below the soul.
THE SPIRITUAL BODY IS THE SELF-ELECTIVELY FORMED ORGANISM OF THE MIND.
These purest things of nature often referred to as the limbus, which with the good in the other world are above and with the evil are below (T. C. R. 103); which are formed and fashioned during life in the world from infancy to old age (D. W. v.), either as a form of heaven, or as a form of hell, an angelic human form or an infernal monstrous form; whose form, as induced and confirmed by mans free choice in the world, remains nor can ever be changed,--these purest things of nature are the very ultimates of all spirits and angels in the other world,--ultimates in lack whereof they would be at once dissipated. There is nothing and can be nothing with them that is more ultimate. See pp. 31, 101.
The mind (we are told), cannot be formed except in man and the reason given is because all Divine influx is from firsts to lasts and by the nexus with lasts to intermediates ... therefore all creation is effected in ultimates. And the proof that minds must be formed on earth is educed from the formation of man in the womb for the reception of love by means of the future will, and for the reception of wisdom by means of the future understanding (which are the cortical glands) which two together make the mind; from his formation after birth; and from the law that all things return from ultimates to the First. The first of man is spiritual,--receptive of Divine love and Divine wisdom,--and when this is separated from the body it cannot but return to the Lord from whom is its life.
These ultimates on which are impressed the sensual and corporeal things of the world of ultimates, these ultimates thus wonderfully formed, are indeed the spiritual body of man, the after-death ultimates, the very body of his spirit. This is clearly indicated in the Writings where, after teaching that the natural mind consists of spiritual substances and at the same time of natural substances and that the latter make the cutaneous envelope of the spiritual body (D. L. W. 257), the Revelation continues: The natural mind covers about and encloses the spiritual mind and the celestial mind which are superior as to degrees; and unless the superior degrees are opened it reacts against the spiritual mind, and this because it consists not only of substances of the spiritual world but also of substances of the natural world which in themselves are dead and are acted on from without by substances of the spiritual world (D. L. W. 260).
A similar teaching is given in the ARCANA: That the body and its sensual and voluptuous is not the external man, is evident from the fact that likewise with spirits, who have no body such as when they lived in the world, there is equally an external man. But what the internal man is and what the external, no one can know unless he knows that with every man there is a celestial and spiritual which corresponds to the angelic heaven, a rational which corresponds to the heaven of angelic spirits, and an interior sensual which corresponds to the heaven of spirits....
Let this teaching be clear and explicit. The purest things of nature--those purest things which by successive creation have risen up from the ultimate world,--these are the spiritual body, the body of mans spirit, formed and fashioned by himself either co-operating with the Lord or acting against the Lord. These are the ultimate spiritual, called the spiritual natural which may or may not be separated from its superior which is the spiritual itself that proceeds from the Sun of Life. In the formation of these substances by the Lord lie heavenly gifts and heavenly happiness, and in their formation by man alone, lies the rise of evil (D. L. W. 345). This is involved in that universal teaching of our doctrines that man is not life but is merely an organ receptive of life, and wherein life is exhibited, set forth to view, according to the form of the organ.
The will and understanding (which are the spirit) are organic forms, or forms organized from purest substances (D. L. W. 373).
Men and angels, in order that they may exist in effect and use were made and wonderfully organized from substances and matters (D. Love xxi).
Organics constitute the bodies of spirits (A. C. 1375, 2487; D. L. W. 192, 316. See p. 101.)
Now organ or organic can be predicated only of natural substances, or the substances of nature, for these alone can be organically receptive of life in such way that they can reflect it or pervert.
But it may be asked, Can substances which are of nature be called the spiritual body? Is not the spiritual body composed of purely spiritual substances?
The operations of the organic substances of the body, (says our Revelator)--that is, the effects of the variations and changes of their state and form,--are natural; but the operations of the purely organic substances of the mind are spiritual (D. P. 279).
The ultimates of nature cannot receive spiritual and celestial things to which the mind of man is formed, as they are in themselves, and yet man is born to become spiritual and to live to eternity. Therefore man puts them off, and retains only interior natural things which are suitable and conducive to things spiritual and celestial and which serve them as containants (D. P. 220; T. C. R. 103).
THE CUTANEOUS ENVELOPE.
These purely organic substances are actually the spiritual body, and they are what, are actually seen as the spiritual body by spirits in the other life. They ale seen, however, not in natural light but in spiritual;
It is even as in the case of the natural sight. The eye does not perceive the geometrical form of an object in the sense that the touch feels it, namely, by material contact. What the eye sensates is the motions set up in the ether by the object thus sensated. So likewise is it with the mind. It sensates by virtue of being an organic form; and what it sensates is the life and activity of organic forms. The organic form of the human mind or spirit is either as angelic form or an evil form; if an angelic form it presents variations and modifications of the activities of spiritual substances which are living from the Sun of Life; if it is an evil form it presents variations and modifications which are opposed to these activities. In either case it presents itself to the view of other spirits by means of the activities going forth from it into the surrounding ether; and these activities when received give a perception of the presence of him from whom they went forth.
In itself the organic vessels of the human mind are dead and lifeless, but they are animated and rendered as it were alive by the spiritual and living substances which are within the organism.
ALL SPIRITS SEEN AS MEN; APPEARANCE AND FALLACY.
The perception of the form depends on the state of him who perceives. With all-both angels and spirits,--other spirits, the organic forms of other spirits, are perceived as men, beautiful or ugly and with every degree of beauty or ugliness. And because the idea of the human form rests on the ultimate appearance of the body in this world, therefore all spirits are seen as men, complete in every respect with nose, eyes, ears, mouth, members and viscera and all that pertains to man. Even as the Lord, when He is seen as a Man by the angels, is seen in ultimate human form with all the parts thereof (D. L. W. 18); and yet the Lord is not in this form, that is, He has not ears and eyes, etc., like men have (A. C. 2553, 3869 fin.); but He is in a Divine Human Form.
So with the perception by one spirit of the presence of another. Because he is a man he is seen as a man, and, in appearance, as no different from a man on earth. He is an apparent man or an appearance (S. D. 5646). With those who are in appearances and who have formed their thought from appearances, this is almost the only idea of a man that they can have. They remain in the appearance, and therefore, when they reflect, they know no other than that they are still in the world. This is especially the case with newly arrived spirits from the Christian world whose thoughts are so bound up with material ideas that they can hardly be separated (S. D. 3753). And therefore Swedenborg, whose thought was above appearances, so often tried to convince them, that with them, the appearance that they had a body and were in the form of the body, was a fallacy.
Spirits think themselves to have a body and hands because they sensate touch; and one said that this was no phantasy because he felt his hand,--which I perceived.
Newly arrived spirits suppose that they are clothed with a body similar to the human body, for to this their imagination and their interior man leads them, namely, to the ultimate of order which is the body. But it was given me to answer them that I do not know what is the nature of their body, but that they are forms most perfect for every use, so that they may be called spiritual and celestial forms (S. D. 2917).
To Swedenborg the appearance was just as real as it was to these spirits; but with him it was an appearance, with them it was a phantasy and fallacy, because they thought it the only reality. That it was a fallacy was therefore shown them by the fact that other forms could be made to appear just as livingly, and yet they were only appearances of states induced by spirits.
The wise in the other world do not think from the appearance. When they perceive the presence of a spirit what they actually perceive is the organic form of his will and understanding which is present to their sight. He appears to them as a man, and this even if he be evil,--for angels can talk as man to man with the evil as well as with the good. But they know that this is an appearance. They know that the human consists in the form of the will and understanding,--that if this is heavenly man is truly a man, and if infernal he is not a man. Hence when they view evil spirits in the light of heaven they see them not as men but as monsters, as men upside down, as teeth, as hairs, etc., etc.
In the spiritual idea (that is, in the sight of angels) man is not a person, but he is a use. For the spiritual idea is without the idea of matter, space and time. And therefore when one sees another in heaven, he indeed sees him as a man, but thinks of him as a use (D. Love xiii); that is, with the sight of his external mind which is in appearances he sees him as a man, hut with the sight of his interior mind, he sees him as a form of use, and therefore as a more perfect man. Indeed, if his idea should be an idea of a person, obscurity would result (A. C. 8955).
In all cases what spirits see or sensate is the variation of form induced by the presence of the spirit seen, that is, by the sphere going forth from him as an organic form of will and understanding. And each spirit will see this according to his own state. The depraved, profane and evil are seen by evil spirits as real men, men of power and authority and wisdom; and the good are seen as weaklings and simpletons. So the spirit of man in his body also sees only the intraorganic changes presented by the senses.
What is the geometrical form--if I may use the term--of those finest substances which constitute the spiritual body is not known to spirits,--except that it is human. And even angels cannot see it in natural light. but only in spiritual. What they see is not the form as a geometrical form but the life of the Lord as it is received by that form.
It is even as with us on earth. We do not see in natural light the organs of our will and thought which are in the inmost of the brain, although we well know of the existence of those organs, and obscurely of their forms. But we do see the state of the organs of will and of thought, and thus the spiritual things of the mind flowing therein according to reception; and we see this state as very thought and very affection, understanding and will and the real things of our own individual life. Sometimes also, these appear in correspondential forms taken on from the memory. Thus sometimes a man feels like a whipped dog, and he then even imagines himself to be slinking away with tail between his legs. So again he sometimes imagines himself to be a king, a great man, a ruler of men, or as mean and vile. This imagination is the actual appearing of the idea of his thought, or of the influx of the spiritual things of his mind appearing according to reception. But the element of space and time which so largely dominates our thought while on earth leads us to pronounce this idea as something abstract, merely imaginary, unreal (D. P. 46).
Angels and spirits appear as men complete in every way, with heart and lungs, and all the organs, viscera and members; they have memory, reflection, external and internal thought, and the latter is the same as on earth except that it is much more intense and acute. But the spiritual body is essentially different from the earthly body although in appearance the same except as being, to the spirit himself, much more perfect and beautiful. In a word, man loses nothing whatever by death but the material body. As to his spirit, which is his mind, he is the same, exactly the same, real, substantial, and appearing in his true form, which he has built up on earth, either infernal and monstrous or angelic and truly human.
THE REALITY OF THE SPIRITUAL WORLD.
To us whose thought is so profoundly influenced by time and space and by the appearance that we live and are human from ourselves, and are not mere organs receptive of life, this thought concerning the spiritual body and the spiritual world may seem like a lessening of the reality of that world; and if it so appear to any of my readers I would ask them to be fully assured that in the other life they will find themselves in a body much more real than they have now,--much more expressive of their thoughts and affections and answerable thereto,--the body which they are even now forming for themselves. And they will be in surroundings which are real appearings of the active substantials within all creation and which are the cause of all creation,--the uses, namely, from which and for the sake of which ultimate creation exists; real appearings also of the active spheres which proceed from the love and thought of every spirit; appearances which are so real that natural spirits can hardly be led to believe that they are not material. But the wiser angels see these appearances only remotely, for what comes to their mind and sight, is the Divine of use itself which thus appears; and this they see, as forms and beauties which the revelator tells us are inexpressible is natural words, or by natural ideas. It is these real appearances, Swedenborg tells us, that are those real imaginations for the possession of which, he adds, he would give up all his wealth, saving only what was necessary to bare existence (S. D. 2449; A. C. 4043).
THINK NOT FROM APPEARANCES BUT FROM THE TRUTH.
But what I am concerned with in the present study, is not the appearances of the spiritual world, but the underlying causes of those appearances. In this world the causes of appearances are hard and inert parts of matter which serve to fix the forms of uses and bring them forth to natural sight. But in the spiritual world the cause is different. The appearance itself as a real appearance is, we should hope, too well established in the New Church to be ever shaken; but it is of importance that we know the truth.
It appears to spirits and angels that they progress and move from place to place just as it appears to men, and yet it is changes of state that produce these appearances; just as it appears to them equally as to men that they live from themselves, when yet they do not live from themselves but from the Lord.... These appearances, when with angels, are called real because they appear as they really are. Evil spirits do not wish to hear that it is an appearance that they live from themselves, for they wish to live from themselves. But, in addition to their being shown by living experience that they do not live from themselves, and that progressions from place to place are changes and progressions of the state of life, it was also said that it can be enough for them, that they know no other than that their life is from themselves, and that they could not have any more if their life were from themselves;
Evil spirits are indignant when they hear that they have not a body and this because they think they live from themselves, and are men by virtue of having a body; they are most highly unwilling to believe or even to hear that they are organs receiving life from the Lord and that they are men because and solely because of that inflowing life. (S. D. 1313). And we specially note in this connection that all the passages wherein Swedenborg shows spirits that they do not have a body are concerned primarily with the teaching that man is living and is a man from the Lord alone,--that he is merely a vessel receptive of life. It is as difficult for spirits to realize the truth concerning the appearances of the spiritual world as it is for them to realize that they do not live from themselves. So strong is the appearance to the contrary.
Appearances in heaven appear as if they were such in se, when yet they are correspondences with the interiors of spirits. They are comparatively like the appearance that life is in man when yet it inflows (S. D. 5774 and Index; A. C. 1379).
It does indeed appear to spirits and angels that they progress and move from place to place, and this just as it appears to man, but still it is changes of the state of life that produce that appearance. Just as it appears equally to them as to men that they live from themselves, when yet they do not live from themselves, but from the Divine of the Lord (A. C. 4882).
Even the simple good can hardly grasp the real truth; yet they do not deny it, and they even confirm it, since they acknowledge that the Lord is the only Man (S. D. 3823 = A. C. 4051 = A. C. 5189).
But with the spiritual the case is different, and still more with the celestial; for the spiritual, though they also have material ideas, or the images of the world impressed on their natural minds, yet during life in the world, they had thought of them only as the appearing of spiritual uses, proceeding from the Divine and returning to the Divine; and they had studied them only as the means to spiritual wisdom. Hence in the other life these representatives are as it were cast off, and they see the wonders of the Divine wisdom as they had appealed in the ideas of their interior thought, but now in forms and beauty inexpressible.
The celestial, however, during life in the world, have seen in the images which make up the theater of nature, only the appearings of the Divine love and wisdom of the Lord, and such appearings of the Lord have constituted the inmost ideas of their thought. Hence with them the images of the natural mind are still more remote as it were or quiescent, and all that they see is flashing and glowing with life; nay, they see the form of God-man in all things, and sometimes even in the very atmospheres (A. C. 2297). Indeed they love to think that the Lord is everything and themselves but the vilest dust; and according as they acknowledge this so much the more do they appear to live from themselves, for so much the more are they conjoined to the Lord who wills to give them this appearance (D. P. 42 seq.)
The strength of appearances, the impossibility by merely natural thought, of realizing they are appearances, and the necessity for wise though of knowing that they are appearances, in order that we may not think from them but into them and from the truth,--all this is illustrated by many things of our daily life. Thus we can see no other than that we live from ourselves, are forms of life and not merely vessels receptive of life. This is the appearance which is eternally preserved by Divine mercy, in order that we may freely learn to think from the truth.
Again it appears to us that our thoughts and affections are things within us, when yet the truth is that they are nothing else than the perception of the quality and harmony of things without; just as with the sight of the eye and its delight. We can know this and acknowledge it; but still the appearance will continue strong as ever.
Still again it appears to man that he himself sees into the world,--that his sight goes forth to its objects; and yet this is a fallacy, or, with the wise, a mere appearance. The truth is that the man sees only what the senses of his loaned-body present to him to see the objects which he sees being only the variations thus produced in the organic vessels of his spirit (S. D. 36) nay, if those variations are produced in some other way, as in dreams, they would present exactly the same appearances; nor by any possibility could we distinguish between the two appearances except by comparing the state of sleep with the state of wakefulness. In fact, the two appearances are exactly the same; the only difference lies in their origin; for spirits also see only the intraorganic changes of their mind.
So strong are appearances, so eternally preserved by the Lords Divine mercy, that, howsoever interiorly we may think, howsoever we may understand and acknowledge the truth, still the appearances are with us, manifest as ever. But we need not think from them; and if we are wise we will not.
Further, it appears to us that by worldly objects we ascend to interiors, when yet the truth is that interiors descend and clothe and thus present themselves. To accept the appearance but not to think from it, not to hold it as the subject of thought, is the part of wisdom; but to confirm the appearance is to make that appearance a mere fallacy and falsity (A. C. 3721).
Even so it is with the spiritual world. The reality of that world consists in the fact that the real things there are goods and truths which immediately affect the life of angels. But the appearance is that those goods and truths are within the angels; and that without them are things exactly like the things of the material world, but much more beautiful. In fact, as we have observed they are exactly the same except as to their origin. In the spiritual world the things which produce these variations of form that are perceived as material objects, are all spiritual whereas in the natural world they are all natural, and the spiritual sensates the spiritual exactly as the natural sensates the natural. But to know this difference of origin is not possible except with one who can be in both worlds at the same time and can reflect on the one from the other. This has been granted to Swedenborg and he has now revealed for the first time since creation the truth concerning the spiritual world:
THE ILLUMINATING NATURE OF THE TRUTH CONCERNING THE SPIRITUAL WORLD.
This doctrine concerning the purest things of nature and their relation to the spiritual body, and to appearances in the spiritual world, gives us the key to the clear knowledge of many things now revealed,--phenomena, wholly incomprehensible to the natural mind. We can understand for instance how spirits can be admitted to natural ideas, or material ideas, as was the case with a certain angel who thus learned what time was (H. H. 168); or, like that Master of a school who spoke and wrote spiritually and then coining to Swedenborg and being reduced to the state of his natural or material ideas repeated the words and read the writings with utter ignorance as to the meaning of either (C. L. 326 = T. C. R. 280). We can understand how the thoughts and affections of the superior angels which they themselves perceive as the most wonderful and ineffable forms, flow in the natural heavens into representations, for in the natural all are in natural ideas or imaginations (A. C. 1971, 3213). This indeed is also the case with us in our dreams where, as we are told, the thoughts of spirits are represented under a species of material imagination (A. C. 3216). We can understand how the many wonderful things described in Daniel and the Apocalypse, were seen by Daniel and John; for in vision they saw such things as exist in heaven which are representatives (A. E. 1037).
We can comprehend the numerous passages which teach that spirits and angels are in an actual extense. Thus we read, that it is the common opinion that spirits cannot be in place, because the spirit is conceived of as being mere thought without any substance which is the subject of thought, whereas a spirit is a substance, and indeed a subtle organic substance which is a subject of thought; and the spirit is therefore in a place, and indeed in mans body. The thought of the spirit is indeed without space, and likewise its affections, but these proceed from the spirit which is in place (S. D. 2366-7; T. C. R. 29). Moreover the place where spirits ale is actually around their own earths (A. C. 9968); and we are told that evil spirits actually dwell in the sepulchers, privies and marshes which are in our world (A. E. 659; D. L. W. 343). For as our Revelation teaches us Spirits must be in some place (S. D. 2333), and that place must correspond to and feed their loves.
We can understand the phenomena: that one spirit by changing the affections of another, that is, by directing into hint thought-images not his own, can change the appearance of that spirit, even to himself; can at will, make him appear of monstrous face, and his body to be big or little (L. J. post. 244),-- though this would be true only of foolish spirits; that angels were seen by Swedenborg as horses and chariots,the appearance of their rational intelligence (C. L. 76). We can understand that the food of spirits consists of knowledges (S. D. 3564), that is of the spheres of thought, whether proceeding from men or other spirits, or emanating from material forms which represent the activities of the spirit (A. C. 5293, 5576), and strengthen and confirm them.
Above all we can understand the so oft repeated teaching that all things in the spiritual world appear and are created in a moment according to changes of state. These changes of state are changes of the state of real substances which present all the substantial appearances of the other world. Of what substances then is this statement made? What substances are there of which it can be made, and of which it can be said that their state is formed during life on earth and will remain unchanged within the limits of that formation, except those purest natural substances which constitute the organic vessel of the mind? Thus the appearances of the spiritual world are compared to prophetic vision; (A. C. 10004) which were produced by the closing of the natural sight and the opening of the spiritual sight, which perceived, not the actual organic substantial whose state is changed, but the state itself in as it were material form. Indeed, perhaps no better distinction nor more comprehensive, can be made between the two worlds than this, namely, that in this world we are conscious of organic forms, but the changes and variations of state in those forms, which produce thoughts and affections we perceive more or less merely as abstract entities; but in the spiritual world we are wholly unconscious of organic forms as such, and perceive only their changes of state and the consequent appearance of the spiritual substantial.
This is well illustrated in Swedenborgs own experience, who tells us that when he visited a certain earth,--for which journey it took two days, a fact indicating the radical difference in the state of the natives of that earth from ours,--he was not out of his body, nor even in a state of sleep (A. C. 9967 = E. U. 138) and that he journeyed only by changes of state of the cerebrum and trot of the cerebellum, that is to say, by changes of state of the intellect and not of the fundamental will. Again he walked about in the spiritual world, although as to his body he remained in the same place on earth, for, as he frequently taught spirits, it is change of state that makes progression in the spiritual world (A. C. 5605). He has an experience showing that the change of state of the organics of the mind can even move the very body and carry it to a distant place on earth (H. H. 441),-- in connection with which phenomenon we note than the same thing is witnessed in somnambulism and hypnotism, and even sometimes in our rational moments when we are deeply absorbed, or when intense desire starts the body to at once set about tasks even when we may realize that their accomplishment is impossible.
In the light of this doctrine we can have some rational comprehension of the teaching that in the spiritual world there is no space and time, but only the appearances thereof, the ideal of space (A. C. 8918); and this, although all things in the spiritual world are finite and therefore rest upon space and time; and that although there is no space and time there, yet there is every appearance of these and this so strongly that spirits can hardly be induced to believe that the appearances are not fixed and actual as in this world (A. C. 1376).
THE TWO WORLDS SIMILAR IN APPEARANCE BUT NOT IN ESSENCE.
We do not wish to at all weaken belief in the reality of the spiritual world; and if the reader cannot think of that world except from its appearances, let him simply recognize the truth that there are deeper things within which produce those appearances. Our purpose is to show what these deeper things are the real things of the spiritual world; and that they are goods and truths given by the Lord in substantial form; that the reality of the spiritual world depends not on the receptacles of life, but on Him who is life itself; that we are mere organs, of ourselves dead and the image of death, but that He, vivifying these organs, gives us to see His real things and of His gracious will grants that these real things shall appear in finite images as our own. And that this same gracious will even gives to the evil that their phantasies that life springs from themselves, that they are men because they have bodies, that their organic forms live from themselves,--gives even to these evil ones to perceive those phantasies as real, although they are mere phantasies derived from the world. For realities or real appearances exist only with those who in the world have acknowledged the Lord as the Maker and Sustainer of all things and have seen His presence in the works of His hands (S. D. 4360).
If one would think wisely, (says our Divine revelation) he can know what is the origin of all things in the earth, namely, that they are from the Lord.
The reality of the appearances in the spiritual world is well established in the Church, and this in Providence, that we may enter into its causes without destroying the appearance. But if we would progress in the knowledge of spiritual things we must not hesitate to enter into interiors for fuller enlightenment and for the greater worship of our Lord.
The spiritual world is indeed as to external face or appearance, similar to the natural, and this in every particular, except that it is much more beautiful; but it is not similar as to internal aspect or as to essence (D. P. 220; H. H. 172). The New Church has seen and acknowledged the first part of this teaching, but has it realized the second?--that the two worlds are entirely different as to internal aspect, or as to essence? that the spiritual world shows forth the reality of God, while the natural world shows but the material representations of that reality?
That the two worlds appear to be similar is because the spiritual or substantial sees the spiritual or substantial exactly as the material sees the material (T. C. R. 79), or can it discern any difference. And yet there is a difference. Thus, after a long description of the appearances in the spiritual world showing that they are exactly similar to appearances in this our world, our Revelator adds:
We have said that all things of the other world are the appearances of changes and variations of the form of the organic substances of the mind, which changes are perceived according to the state of the percipient; and, as we have also noted above, as in this world so in the other, two things are necessary for change of form, namely, vivifying life from the Lord, and the afflux of parts flowing from without which shall affect the organic vessels of life. Afflux from without produces changes and variations, but it is life from within that gives perception of the changes and their meaning. Were we deprived of our five senses and thus of afflux from without we would indeed live, but our life would be unconscious as in a swoon. And here again we see the operation of that universal law that the Lord produces uses, only from firsts through lasts. The law holds good in the other world. For there also there must be afflux from without. Life, human finite life consists in sensation (A. C. 322; S. D. 1718; A. C. 4622, 5078). In this world outer sensation is derived from the afflux into the organs of the senses of material particles as in the case of touch, taste and smell, or of the afflux of the motions of the air and ether, caused by material particles as in the hearing and sight, yet what these affluxes actually do is to produce changes and variations of form in the organic vessels of the mind, and this is the interior origin of sensation.
On this law of the sensation of spheres depends the perfection of the heavens according to multitude; for every angel and every angelic man is a center and organic vessel by which are brought forth from the Lord new uses, new thoughts, new affections; and these stream forth from him in continual spheres which convey, and love to convey, an image of the angelic mind, and are in the effort to create that image wheresoever they are received. Angels are exquisitely sensitive of these spheres which bring to them new variations of state and thus new riches of heavenly life. Hence we have the teaching respecting the difference between the two worlds that whereas in the natural world there are objects which produce change of state and sensation, in the spiritual world it is angelic societies that serve this use (L J. 9; A. C. 9927).
But if spheres thus go forth they must also be replenished. For there is no finite being who is self-existent. And this also is taught in our heavenly doctrine. For spirits are associated with men and receive of their spheres; and spirits also actually dwell near their earth, and in contact with the things of that earth corresponding to their love, whereby they are nourished and vivified by spheres agreeable to that love. This is veritably the food by which their bodies are nourished; see H. H. 340, and above, p. 188.
Even after death the earth is still our common mother, or rather the Lord in lasts, or the Lord inflowing by means of earth, still gives us the means for the sustentation of the organic forms of life, which shall receive life from Him, and, receiving, be blessed; that by changes of state in ever increasing perfection we may perceive the gifts of God as the real things of life, the real causes of what appears before our eyes, the substantial things of the spiritual world; that we may acknowledge that we are mere vessels receptive of life, that of ourselves we are dead, and that all that is real and lives with us, is but the appearing in finite form of that Divine Life which ever flows in from Him who alone is life, alone is substance and alone is form.