Arcana Coelestia #8911

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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8911. The things that have been stated so far show what the situation is with a person and his life. That is to say, they show that a person is such as his will is, and that he remains such after death since death is not the end to life but the continuation of it. Since therefore a person is such as his will is - because, as has been stated above, the will is the real person - being judged according to one's deeds means being judged according to one's will, since there is no disparity between will and deed. Though external restraints exist - fear of the law, and fear of the loss of position, gain, reputation, or life - to inhibit the deed, the deed is all along in the will, and the will all along in the deed. It is like endeavour and motion. Motion is nothing other than an extension of the endeavour; for as endeavour comes to an end, so does motion. Therefore there is nothing essential within motion apart from endeavour. Learned people know this, for it is a recognized and well-established idea. In the human being endeavour is the will and motion is action; and they are called such in the human being because in him endeavour and motion are living. Being judged according to one's will is the same as being judged according to one's love; it is also the same as being judged according to the ends one has in view in life, as well as being judged according to the way one lives. For a person's will is his love, it is the end he has in view in life, and it is the very life itself within him. The truth of this is clear from the Lord's words which have already been quoted - One who looks at a woman 1 in such a way that he lusts after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:27-28. It is clear also from His saying that killing someone is not only performing that deed but also the desire to perform it, which is meant by being angry and reviling him with insults, Matthew 5:21-22. Furthermore a person is indeed judged according to his deeds; yet no further questions are asked than these - How far did those deeds spring from his will? and What nature did his will give them?

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Footnotes:

1. Following the version of Sebastian Schmidt Swedenborg adds a word which implies that the woman is another man's wife.

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(References: Exodus 20:17; Matthew 5:21)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

The Last Judgement 39

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 35


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


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