Interaction of the Soul and Body # 6

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6. IV. From that sun proceed heat and light; the heat proceeding from it is in its essence love, and the light from it is in its essence wisdom.

It is well known that in the Word, and thence in the common language of preachers, the Divine Love is expressed by fire; as when prayer is offered that heavenly fire may fill the heart, and kindle holy desires to worship God: the reason is that fire corresponds to love, and thence signifies it. Hence it is that Jehovah God appeared before Moses as a fire in the bush, and in like manner before the children of Israel on Mount Sinai; and that it was commanded for fire to be kept perpetually upon the altar, and for the lights of the lamp-stand in the tabernacle to be lighted every evening: these commands were given because fire signified love.

[2] That such fire has heat proceeding from it appears plainly from the effects of love: thus a man is set on fire, grows warm, and becomes inflamed, as his love is exalted into zeal, or into the glow of anger. The heat of the blood, or the vital heat of men and of animals in general, proceeds solely from love, which constitutes their life. Neither is infernal fire anything else than love opposed to heavenly love. Thence it is, as was stated above, that the Divine Love appears to the angels in their world as the sun, fiery, like our sun; and that the angels enjoy heat according to their reception of love from Jehovah God by means of that sun.

[3] It follows from this that the light there is in its essence wisdom; for love and wisdom, like Being [else] and Manifestation [existere], are indivisible, since love is manifested by means of wisdom and according to it. This is as it is in our world: at the time of spring heat unites itself with light, and causes germination, and at length fruit. Moreover, everyone knows that spiritual heat is love and spiritual light is wisdom; for a man grows warm as he loves, and his understanding is in light as he becomes wise.

[4] I have often seen that spiritual light. It immensely exceeds natural light in brightness and splendour, for it is as brightness and splendour in their very essence: it appears like resplendent and dazzling snow, such as the garments of the Lord appeared when He was transfigured (Mark 9:3; Luke 9:29). As light is wisdom, therefore the Lord calls Himself the light which enlightens every man (John 1:9); and says in other places that He is light itself (John 3:19; 8:12; 12:35-36, 46); that is, that He is the Divine Truth itself, which is the Word, thus Wisdom itself.

[5] It is believed that natural light [lumen], which also is rational, proceeds from the light of our world: but it proceeds from the light of the sun of the spiritual world; for the sight of the mind flows into the sight of the eye, thus also the light of the spiritual world into the light of the natural world, but not the other way round: were it otherwise, there would be physical and not spiritual influx.

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Table of Contents
The Interaction of the Soul and Body 1-2 I. There are two worlds: the spiritual world, inhabited by spirits and angels, and the natural world, inhabited by men. 3 II. The spiritual world first existed and continually subsists from its own sun; and the natural world from its own sun. 4 III. The sun of the spiritual world is pure love from Jehovah God, who is in the midst of it. 5 IV. From that sun proceed heat and light; the heat proceeding from it is in its essence love, and the light from it is in its essence wisdom. 6 V. Both that heat and that light flow into man: the heat into his will, where it produces the good of love; and the light into his understanding, where it produces the truth of wisdom. 7 VI. Those two, heat and light, or love and wisdom, flow conjointly from God into the soul of man; and through this into his mind, its affections and thoughts; and from these into the senses, speech, and actions of the body. 8 VII. The sun of the natural world is pure fire; and the world of nature first existed and continually subsists by means of this sun 9 VIII. Therefore everything which proceeds from this sun, regarded in itself, is dead. 10 IX. That which is spiritual clothes itself with that which is natural, as a man clothes himself with a garment. 11 X. Spiritual things, thus clothed in a man, enable him to live as a rational and moral man, thus as a spiritually natural man. 12 XI. The reception of that influx is according to the state of love and wisdom with man. 13 XII. The understanding in a man can be raised into the light, that is, into the wisdom in which are the angels of heaven, according to the cultivation of his reason; and his will can be raised in like manner into the heat of heaven, that is, into love, according to the deeds of his life; but the 14 XIII. It is altogether otherwise with beasts. 15 XIV. There are three degrees in the spiritual world, and three degrees in the natural world, hitherto unknown, according to which all influx takes place. 16 XV. Ends are in the first degree, causes in the second, and effects in the third. 17 XVI. Hence it is evident what is the nature of spiritual influx from its origin to its effects. 18-20
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Interaction of the Soul and Body 8

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Thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.