Charity #190

By Emanuel Swedenborg

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190. With everyone who is in some position or employment these are diversions. They may therefore be termed diversions of such positions or employments; but in point of fact they are diversions of the affections from which each one carries on his employment. There is an affection in every employment, and it bends the mind [animus], [and] keeps the mind [mens] intent upon working or applying itself, and this latter mind, if not relaxed, becomes dulled, and its desire loses its keenness; just like salt when it loses its saltiness and is consequently without any savour or stimulus. It is also like a bent bow, which, unless it is unbent, loses the force it derives from its elasticity. It is precisely the same if the mind [mens] is kept a long time in the same ideas without any change; as is the case with the sight when only a single object or a single colour is looked at continuously; for the sight goes if anything black is looked at continuously, or anything red continuously, or anything white continuously; as, for instance, if snow is looked at continuously, the sight goes; but it is enlivened by several colours, whether seen one after another or all at the same time. Every form gives delight on account of the diverse things in it; for instance a garland of different coloured roses beautifully arranged. That is why a rainbow is more pleasing than the light itself.

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