By Hugo Lj. Odhner
PARACELSUS represents a most important link between the ancient and the modern in thought,--the twilight of alchemy, sorcery, mysticism, and astrology, out of which the scientific philosophy of today was born. He embodies, in a picturesque way, the mystic tradition of the Renaissance, which had its roots in the Ancient Church and its correspondential philosophy. And thus he represents one of the many highways by which Swedenborg derived his a posteriori knowledge of the spirit of antiquity and also acquired some of the terminology used in his earlier works.
No one can take up a book of Theophrastus without becoming convinced that the man was insane. This opinion--tendered by K. G. Neuman--is almost verified on a superficial survey of his hermetic writings. It must be admitted that the language of Philippus Theophrastus Paracelsaus Bombastus von Hohenheim was that of a circus showman. He styles himself philosopher of the Monarchia, Prince of Spagyrista, Chief Astronomer, Surpassing Physician, and Trismegistus of Mechanical Arcana; chosen by God to extinguish and blot out all the phantasies of elaborate and false works, of delusive and presumptuous words, be they the words of Aristotle, Galen, Avicenna, Mesva, or the dogmas of any among their followers. My theory, he says, ... can never ... pass away or be changed; but in the fifty-eighth year after its millennium and a half, it will then begin to flourish! His blasting sarcasm and withering wit testify to a merry and brawling spirit, utterly insensate to outer appearances or personal consequences. Yet withal the dominant tone is sincerity, the voice of an unchained spirit. He has been classed as a mere magician--a cheap hoax. His pretensions have made his name a bye-word. But mystics never were popular, and especially when they turn reformers. In spite of his bombastic blustering, Paracelsaus, at proper distance, impresses one as a good man, who loved the common people and hated the tyrant, the pretender, and the quack; who appreciated true religion, and looked for a true religion to come.* He loved his use--the practice of medicineand gave the glory of it to God; he charged the rich for his services, and spent his money upon the poor and miserable. He preached the highest ethics and the roost sincere spirituality. More could be said of few men.
* Among all the accounts there is none which possesses intellectually the true religion. We must read the Bible more with our hearts than with our brains, until at some future time the true religion will come into the world.
Paracelsaus was born in 1493 near Zurich, Switzerland, of the old and celebrated family of Bombast.
The further travels of Paracelsaus do not here seem pertinent. He became army surgeon, and later city physician at Basle. Here his loud challenge against the quackery of his profession made him dearly hated. He was forced to lead a roaming life. He performed marvelous cures everywhere he went, and the physicians and pharmacists enleagued against him in self-defense. His wonderful healing of elephantiasis and other terrible diseases made him suspected of alliances with the Devil. Finally he gained a patron in the Prince Palatine, Duke Ernst of Bavaria; but not, long after, in 1541, at the age of forty-eight, he died at an inn in Salzburg, after an alleged attack upon his person. He had preferred to live among the poor, and to them he left all his goods.
Doctrine of Creation
To approach the system of Paracelsaus, we must first review his cosmogonic theory. He conceived that all things are contained potentially in God. From His as Father Essence, through the Logos (the Fiat Word) with its inherent activity, there emanated the Master or Chaos of uncreated primordial matter. This is called uncreated because in reality it and all mortal things derived from it are illusion, it is also called Mysterium Magnum, the Ideos, or the Ether or Limbus Major, and is comparable to the Neo-Platonic world of Ideas or Universals.
In this Limbus or Mystery were contained all things in potency but not in actu; even as a figure is contained in the wood as yet unhewn by the sculptor.
Out of this Limbus all things were carved out or created by Separation, which took place without any waste, and all together, simultaneously, rather than in successive order. Thus the Great Mystery was turned into many Special Mysteries. All the heavenly bodies, and all the four elements (Fire, Water, Air, Earth), are thus born, and from the four elements all visible things are formed.
The Astral Form
All things thus formed--metals, stones, plants, animals, and men--have their own soul. Nothing is dead. These souls, including those of the stars or heavenly bodies, constitute a World-Soul, and, from the stars, it is called the Astral Soul of the world.
Man is thus made of three substances, seeds, mothers, or Mysteries, and becomes the image of three worlds.
1. His spiritual, truly human, seed is from God,-a spiritual essence which goes forth like a divine ray from God. Only those who assimilate the Divine Wisdom and Power and allow this seed to become incarnate with them, can become immortal; and the personalities of others will persist only for a while as impressions in the astral light, and are gradually dissipated.
2. Mans animal soul, or invisible etherial body, is derived from cosmic animal elements in the astral world. These endow him with the instincts and appetites of natural life. In man all the animal elements are combined so that his reason may select to develop what it pleases. This astral soul-essence of man comes particularly from the soul of the planet on which man is born. It is the astral soul which attracts the elements and builds its animal body.
3. The visible body is thus from the elements. Man is the true quintessence of all the powers and substances of the celestial and elementary worlds. He is formed by God out of the inmost essence of all the four elements, and thus forms a fifth element--a Microcosm. In him is also formed the essence of all the arts and wisdoms of the astral world.
The Vital Essences of Man
1. In the inmost essence of mans constitution the whole of his microcosm is potentially contained. It is the Liquor of Life, a nerve-fluid comparable to the fluidic brain-substance, and in which is contained the nature, quality, character, and essence of beings, and which etherial life-fluid in man may be looked upon as an invisible or hidden man--so to say, his etherial counter-part or reflection. (De Gener. Hom., as cited by Hartmann, p. 71.*)
* Many of the citations from unpublished mss. cited in this article, are taken from Prof. Franz Hartmanns Life of Paracelsus and His Teachings, 2d. Ed., London, 1896.
This Spiritus Vitae--which corresponds closely in function to Swedenborgs Spirituous Fluid--takes its origin from the Spiritus MundiBthe Astral (or Celestial!) Aura. (De Viribus Membrorum) The mind of man is made up of the same elements as the stars.... The essence of mans sidereal body (the formative principles of the material body) which he attracts from the stars, is of a substantial nature; still we consider it as being something spiritual on account of the etheriality of its substance, and on account of the great dimensions of its invisible body.... (Coelum Phil.)
This formative fluid, substantial and etherial, is called the Archaeus. It is the inner invisible man, shaped to the outer one as long as the external body lasts. It is equally distributed in all parts of a healthy human body, but its force also radiates around him like a luminous sphere. It can be made to act at a distance, and its semi-material rays are colored by the imagination of man, and can become a poisoning influence, a cause of disease.
The ideas which Paracelsus held in respect to the normal generation of human beings are surprisingly like those of Swedenborg. He believed that the seed or Semen was a semi-material principle which emanates as an aura seminalis or as a Quintessence from the Archaeus, and becomes temporarily embodied in the paternal sperm. Man, although born of woman, is never derived from woman, but always from man. (Hartm. p. 73)
2. The Archaeus, or inmost vital fluid of the body (to which Swedenborg compares his spirituous fluid), is regarded by Paracelsus its being carried into the bodily structures in a less subtle vehicle, called the Mumia, which has some likeness to Swedenborgs second vital fluid, the animal spirits, or purer blood. (1 Econ. 253)
From a dying body, the Mumia, which is invisible, and in itself is the animal soul, gradually departs just so far as the vital organs are destroyed by disease or old age. (Hartm. p. 81) The Mumia is the Arcanum or flower of man, and the true elixir of life. It is a semi-spiritual substance containing the essence of life. If it can be preserved and retained, it can be of tremendous use in medicine, and also in sorcery. (To this we shall refer later.)
Even animals, plants, and minerals have their characteristic Mumiae, which linger on for a while as long as the body is preserved. People who die a violent death, and flowers that are suddenly cut off, can be made by Alchemy to yield up some of their Mumiae, and thus preparations can be made by which vital force of one kind or another can be transmitted to the patient. (See De Orig. Morb. Invis.)
The Two Deaths
Paracelsus conceives that the death of the body first of all is a separation of the physical. things of the body from the higher elements. These elements are a body within the body--a soul, or astral body--which has grown from birth on. In pace with the material body. So Paracelsus says: Besides the visible body, man has an invisible one. The former comes from the Limbus;* the latter is made from the Breath of God.... This invisible body is the one which is spoken of as constituting our corporeal form on the day of resurrection (Paramirum, i, 8).
* By the Limbus, Paracelsus means the original Chaos of Nature.
The astral soul, or Sidereal Body--which is the etherial counter-part and likeness of the body, and is neither material nor immaterial, but intermediate--is practically identified with that form which Swedenborg, in his doctrine of Forms, describes as the Celestial.
1. The Sidereal Body is a quintessence of the whole Microcosm, and thus from it man may become en rapport with all that exists or occurs an nature. In sleep or trance this astral form of man (or his Evestrum) is quickened into wakefulness, and may be the means of his seeing the future as well as the present and past, and of obtaining universal knowledge (Phil. ad Athen.). For the Evastrum is like a mental body by which he can communicate by telepathy with all other beings and things. In the Evestrum of the World the whole future is present ready to be read by those who have the power.
At death the Soul takes along his science, art, and character. But no new knowledge can be acquired after death. The astral body is then released and awakened, assuming any form or shape that it pleases, whether human or animal, and going to the place to which its desires attract it. It sometimes haunts that place. Earth-bound spirits (of suicides, of those who die accidental or violent deaths, etc.) thus may appear to men; but often they are only etherial corpses devoid of reason and speech, led only by instinct.
2. The astral soul, or sidereal body, on the decay of the material, body, will also decay. Its Mumia for a while persists, but eventually dissipates and dies, yet it is not lost; it simply returns astral world whence it came--as the body returns to the astral world whence it came--as the body returns to Mother Earth.
3. On the contrary, the man who in his life-time has attained to self-consciousness in God, and has been born again from the substance of Christ, has become possessed of an immortal Spirit. The death of the astral body, or of the merely intellectual and animal soul, frees this pure Spirit, which then continues a sublime, self-conscious, and self-luminous existence of pure feeling, of bliss, with no thought for broken earthly ties. (Hartm. pp. 102, 105; Phil. iv. V)
It is interesting to note the points of resemblance of this doctrine to Swedenborgs cautious speculations in the Rational Psychology (ch. xxvi and xxvii). Here Swedenborg surmises that our rational mind, with its desires and affections, and our intellect with its principles, opinions, and reasonings, die and do not survive their body. He then continues:
As for the pure intellectory, to which belongs the pure natural mind, this indeed also seems to die or to be dissolved--but after the longest delay, for it is a celestial form, and there are no forms present which can destroy it; but how long this continues it is not in our power to say. Thus this mind or animus can survive a long time after death, but is not able to operate, as its common or external form is dissolved, and it is yet unable to acquire to itself a new form. But this let us dismiss as something wholly unknown, whether, for instance, the human animus may survive the life of the body even until the last judgment, when single things are to be resolved into their principles by a most pure elementary fire. Into these arcana, however, let us not penetrate. (Ratio. Psych. no. 495)
Swedenborg further suggests that specters might be explained by the survival of the animus or the lower form of the spirit for a time after death, before the perishing of the rational or celestial degree, which is the inmost natural form. He suggests that, before the final freeing of the soul, it seems to be able to put on any form it may wish, and thus both human and animal shapes, and may even be materialized by assuming an elementary body (Ratio. Psych. no. 523). This doctrine, in his manuscript, is uncertain and hesitating, but it is clearly very near kin to the views of contemporaries.
The Soul itself (i. e., the Spirit), Swedenborg explains (in Ratio. Psych. nos. 498, 500ff.), is above the celestial form. It is the Spiritual Form, immaterial, and derived directly from God.
The Doctrine of the Microcosm and of Signatures
The ancient teachings concerning the correspondences of earthly and heavenly things is found again in Paracelsus, in an elaborate form.
He believed that in man the Creator had focused all the four elements, and that man was in fact the quintessence (fifth essence) drawn from the other four. He is nourished from the macrocosm, and depends on the Astral World--the stars--for sympathetic guidance and mental development. By the oft repeated phrase, As below, so above, the hermetic philosopher strives to epitomize the consistent reflection of higher planes in lower, and the correspondence of the varieties of life in each plane and each form. He shows that influx is always according to correspondence, or according to the laws of these creative relationships--although he never uses those exact words.
The entire sublunary or physical world is only a varied and manifold expression of the varied powers of the Yliaster, or primordial mystery. One such specific power thus might produce, first, a certain star in the sky, then a certain metal, then a plant on the earth, and finally a certain organ in the human animal body. But it also stands for a certain idea or power in the mind; and a certain state of the soul. All these things, caused by the same source, are moved to similar vibrations or harmonies, and are thus all of the same Signature. But let Paracelsus speak:
Every organ in the human body is formed by the action or certain principles that exist in the universe, and the former attract the corresponding activity in the latter. Thus the heart is in sympathy with the elements of the sun, the brain with the moon, the gall-bladder with Mars, the kidneys with Venus, the lungs with Mercury, the liver with Jupiter, the spleen with Saturn, etc. There are many stars in the great firmament of the universe, and there are many germs hidden in the Microcosm of man, and the high influences the low; and in the Microcosm and Macrocosm all things stand in intimate sympathetic relationship with each other, for all are the children of one universal Father.
What is Mars but the principle of Iron, which is found universally distributed in the nature and in the constitution of man?... What is Melissa but a power which exists in the astral light and finds its material expression in the herb Melissa which grows in our gardens? What are animals but personifications of these characters which they represent? Everything is an expression in a material form of the principle of life, and the life is the real thing; the external form is merely the house or corpus in which it resides. (De Pestitate)
The whole art of Medicine is thus tied up with a knowledge of the influence of the stars, which, in their ascendancy pour out an elixir of life upon all those men or organs or plants or minerals that are of their own Signature, and thus they exert healing or aggravating astral influences on the sick or suffering.
Paracelsus had long charts of plants, animal extracts, minerals, and stars, correlated with the organs to which they corresponded. The Mumia of the plant or the mineral carried the powerful Archaeus which resisted the disease and recreated the affected tissues. Paracelsus evidently had a remarkable perception in the matter of correspondences, discernment in his guesses at the functions of hormones or internal secretions, and utter self-confidence that his recipes would work. His magnetic persuasion, in conjunction with a hard-headed common sense and keen diagnostic powers, made him almost a miracle worker in curing the sick. Although hardly acceptable, his theory appeals to our imagination as a consistent explanation of the possibility of effecting a cure by potentized homeopathic remedies. Indeed, he goes homeopathy one better, in claiming that diseases may be removed from man to animals by the transfer of the patients Mumia into the system of the animal, as was done in the case of the Gadarene swine.
This, of course, is a form of the ancient sympathic magic, which was almost universally believed in those days, as it still is in gentile lands. It is the very soul of the thought of the East, and makes their conception of hygiene very different from ours. We want to be chemically clean; they ritually clean. We guard against germs; they guard against evil spirits.
Our medicine is built upon practice, and very little do we know why aloes, for example, should increase the peristalsis of the bowels, or strychnine paralyze the nerves. But Paracelsus, by his vitalistic system of Correspondences, shows that the instinctive intelligence of life is present to guide the dead motions of material substance in obedience to strict laws of influx.
Paracelsus believed his system to be empirical, and tried to make it so. He laughed at the fools who thought they were doctors when they blindly relied on the books of Aristotle, of Galen and Hippocrates; and he raged against the charlatans and quacks of his day, And his practice of healing was common sense, and remarkably more modern than that of his contemporaries. He believed every disease had its cure, that it was not mere obsession or temptation. He was opposed to the prevalent blood-letting, and he taught that every wound would heal itself if kept clean (and here he meant that no pus should be allowed to gather) and if proper diet was instituted. He sought to treat the whole condition, and not merely the affected part or organ. He is reported to have had an almost complete treatment for the French disease. He attributed St. Vitus Dance and other so-called incurable diseases to natural causes. He made chemistry a branch of medicine, and enriched pharmacy with the use of minerals and by preparations of tinctures and alcoholic extracts. In chemistry he worked for the abandonment of the search for transmutation of metals and imparted a new impulse to the study of that science.
The Four Pillars of Medicine
Theophrastus assigned four Pillars as the foundations of medicine.
1. Philosophy, or the knowledge of physical nature, anatomy or mans constitution, his earth and his water.
2. Astronomy, or the upper part of philosophy, by which the whole microcosm may become known, and mans air and fire (the mind); for there is a heaven and earth in man as there is in macrocosm, and in that heaven there are all the celestial influences whose visible representations we see in the sky.... (Com. In Aph. Hippocr.) There is not a single invisible power in heaven which does not find its corresponding principle in the inner heaven of man; the above acts upon the below, and the latter reacts upon the former. And the invisible formsthe invisible air and the ether of space, or a perfectly clear and therefore invisible crystal, are just an corporeal as the solid earth, a piece of wood, or a rock. (Cited by Hartm. P. 176)
3. The third, and principal pillar is Alchemy. By this is meant the chemistry of life, and in it is included a knowledge of the life processes and the powers of the mind. Alchemy is thus defined here as the employment of a strong will, benevolence, charity, patience, etc. It means also the psychic and moral atmosphere.
4. The Virtue of the physician is the final pillar of the divine art of Medicine. He must be trusted of God, and so of the people. He must be free from ambition; love his work not his profit; and thus he will be charitable toward the sick. (Origin of Disease) He must have both faith and charity, which are essentially one, both springing from God. He must know that God cures through nature, and not the physician from himself. (The Four Arcana of Paracelsus, Archadoxes, iv)
Magic and Superstition
But our hermetic philosopher was a child of the Dark Ages. His universe included strange beings; men without mothers (Homunculi), developed in glass bottles from seed, by alchemists; Elementals, good or bad, inhabiting air, water, fire, and earth; monstrous invisible beings (generated out of the subtler material elements by the power of the imagination of corrupt men) who at times attack men and women, or may even live with them in marriage; creatures created by sorcery. Strange processes also are pictured in his writings. Imagination is creative, can cause death or disease, or magical cures, and is especially effective when images are made which assist the imagination. if we eat the flesh of wild and ferocious animals, we receive of their Mumia, and this stimulates in us the corresponding astral essences and makes us like them. But opposed to sorcery and witchcraft is the power of true Magic--the faith and will-power which can perform miracles by the aid of the Diving.
Paracelsus believed in the power of a magnet to exert curative effects. He also believed with assurance in Palingenesis--the resurrection of plants from their ashes. This latter phenomenon is often referred to by Swedenborg, and therefore we cite what Theophrastus has to say:
If a thing loses its material substance, the invisible form still remains in the light of Nature (the astral light); and if we can re-clothe that form with visible matter, we can make that form visible again. All matter is composed of three elements--sulphur, mercury, and salt. By alchemical means we may create a magnetic attraction in the astral form, so that it will attract from the elements those principles which it possessed before its mortification, and incorporate them, and become visible again. (De Resuscitationibus)
Dr. Frantz Hartmann, who wrote a very interesting compendium on Paracelsus, has a note on the above excerpt:
Plato, Seneca, Avicenna, Averroes, Albertus Magnus, Caspalin, Cardanus, Cornelius Agrippa, Eckartshusen, and many others, wrote about the palingenesus of plants and animals. Kircher resurrected a rose from its ashes in the presence of Queen Christian of Sweden, 1687. The astral body of an individual remains with the remnants of the latter until these remnants have been fully decomposed, and by certain methods known to the alchemist it can be re-clothed with matter and become visible again. (p. 295)
Paracelsus on Alchemy and Astrology.
Paracelsus defines Alchemy as natures mode of doing things. The student of the hermetic philosophy is forced to wonder how far Paracelsus was a humbug! For on the one hand he discourages the making of gold, and warns against the literal acceptance of his formulae for doing this and a hundred other wonders; and on the other hand shows earnest sincerity to convince the reader that the spagyric art could transmute metals. Alchemists, like other mystics, always wrote inanambiguous language which only the initiated were supposed to understand, and they always laid claim to a superior spiritual enlightenment. I shall not try to determine whether or not Paraselsus, by his double language, seeks to hide his material failures by elevating them into spiritual accomplishments. But it is very obvious that he also did advocate a spiritual idea of gold-making, such as Swedenborg refers to in his Journal of Dreams (nos. 114-116, Apr. 12 x 13), where he says that to make gold signifies to do what is good and pleasing to God.
Dr. Hartmann, who is a theosophist, paints an exaggerated picture when he asserts that Paracelsus in his recipes meant only spiritual things by his metals and essences. But an allegorical idea is certainly present. The three component chemicals of mans body are also--in their higher meaning--components of his mind. These three, salt, sulphur, and mercury, art the three forms or modes by which the primal Will manifests itself throughout nature. Salt is the principle of corporification and contraction (body) and its mental equivalent; Sulphur is the energic, fiery, centrifugal, and expansive power of love; Mercury is the principle of fluidity, of consciousness, sensation, or mind.
Few of the disciples of Paracelsus were able to see that his recipes were more than physical concoctions. As he picturesquely puts it, Twenty-one of my servants have become victims of the executioner. May God help them! Only a few have remained with me. (Defensio, vi.)
Paracelsus uses continually the lingo of the astrologer. But he did not believe that the seven planets or wanderers of the sky ruled over mens fates. The stars of heaven that had fought against Sisera had been states in Siseras own mind! The stars indeed have each its own soul which influences men and things own its own kind or signature, and the sidereal body of man attracts influxes from its kindred stars. Evil stars influence men, however, only from without, by making favorable conditions For the seeds of evil and disease to grow. Men might rule over the stars within them, Thus he says:
The earth, the animal kingdom and physical man are subject to the government of the stars; but the spiritual man rules over the stars and over the elements.... The individual terrestrial life should correspond to the 1aws governing the universe; many spiritual aspirations should be directed to harmonize with the will and wisdom of God. If this is attained, the inner consciousness will awaken to an understanding of the influences of the stars, and the mysteries of nature will be revealed to his spiritual perception. (Hartm. pp. 261, 262, 265)
The Mystical Tradition of the Renaissance
Paracelsus was, in that age of mysticism, more of a rationalist than a mystic. Yet to present-day eyes he must also appear as a mystic of the first water, and his interest to us lies in his being one of the bridges which brought the fantastic pageants of Eastern thought into a Europe which was just about to be awakened to scientific thinking by the call of Copernicus. Through the Arabs and the Jars, the Kabala and the pseudo-Aristotelian writings, came echoes of Egypts Hermes Trismegistus, and a revival of natural mysticism, Pico della Mirandola (1463-1494) in Italy, and Trithemius (1462-1516), Reuchlin (1455-1522), and Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim (1486-1535) in Germany, were bearers of the banner of this tradition of speculative mysticism, and Paracelsus no doubt owed much to this line of teachers.
That Swedenborg had read Boehme or Law, is denied in his direct words. But to claim that he was unfamiliar with the idea-content of mysticism as a tradition would, as Dr. Lamm points out, be a frantic anachronism. He not only cites Jamblichus, Philo, and Augustine, and autographed a copy of Plotinus, but he was familiar with neo-platonic and mystical thought through Malebranche, Arndt, von Helmont, and the literature of medicine and philosophy.
Many ancient truths had been outlawed from the Church and could only be propagated by unorthodox writers. Spiritual thought, suppressed in the Church, took a speculative hue, and was bound up with more phantasies than ever. Orthodoxy, ruling out an ever-present, real, spiritual world before the Last Day, unwittingly let in a host of elementaries and sylphs and gnomes to account for spiritual phenomena.
Yet one tradition stands out in the systems of Pico and Paracelsus, the roots of which they had derived (in common with most Christian theologians) from the Fathers and the ancients. This is the threefold division of man into Body, Soul, and Spirit. The Soul was taken as the link between the Spirit and the Body. The soul was the vital power, the natural affections, the rational and instinctive life of man and beast. The Spirit was the purely spiritual and human, which could be conjoined with God.
Lotze, in his Mikrokosmus, later puts it this way: The spirit is something higher than the soul. In the spirit is the unity of our being, our true Ego. The soul is but an element in its service. At death the soul passes away, the spirit ripens to a new existence. (McClintock and Strong, s. v. Soul)
This view of the relation of soul and body is found in the Fathers and is confirmed by Pauls doctrine of the resurrection: that there is a psychical body, and there is a pneumatic body, Paracelsus also writes: Hermes said that the soul alone is the medium by which spirit and body are united (Gener. Rerum, 1.).
Agrippa von Mettesheim follows this idea into cosmology, and makes the world threefold, Elementary, Sidereal, Spiritual, to be studied by Physics, Mathematics, and Theology.
The Soul, so considered, was placed by Paracelsus in the intermediate or sidereal world, and its attributes are there considered as semi-material. The term soul is occasionally used in an inferior sense even in the Writings, as in the Diary. Those are called souls who have not as yet been allotted a place in the Grand Body (S. D. 2547).
The term Celestial, while used in many senses, is especially applied to the sidereal, astral, or astronomical form, the first of nature, which is below the purely Spiritual. (Fibre, 266, 266a, 266b)
The Intellectual world, however, was the world of the spirit itself, the purely spiritual. The term intellectual is thus used in the early Arcana Coelestia.
From the above may appear, why, in Swedenborgs earlier Doctrine of Forms, the highest of nature is called the Celestial Form; and why Swedenborg attributes to this plane certain geometrical and material qualities. But when he comes to define the soul as the human spirit itself, which survives the merely celestial degree. It is then said to consist of spiritual forms, which cannot be defined in natural terms, since they have only analogies to parts and to spatial relations (Rational Psychology, 498).