Conjugial Love #178

By Emanuel Swedenborg

Study this Passage

/ 535  

178. 19. Partners who are in a state of truly conjugial love feel themselves to be a united person and as though one flesh. We can confirm that this is so only from the declarations of people in heaven, and not from the testimony of people on earth, since among people on earth truly conjugial love does not presently exist. In addition, people on earth are also enveloped in a coarse body, which dulls and swallows up the sensation that the two partners are a united person and virtually one flesh. And besides, people in the world who love their partners only outwardly and not inwardly do not wish to hear this. They think lasciviously concerning it, too, in terms of the flesh. Not so in the case of angels in heaven, because the conjugial love they possess is spiritual and celestial, and they are not clothed in as coarse a body as people on earth.

I have listened to angels who have lived with their partners in heaven for centuries, and I have heard it attested by them that they feel themselves to be united in this way, a husband with his wife and a wife with her husband, and to be each in the other mutually and reciprocally, seemingly, even, in respect to the flesh, even if they are apart.

[2] The reason for this phenomenon, rarely experienced on earth, that the union of their souls and minds is felt in their flesh - the reason for it, the angels said, is that the soul not only forms the inmost elements in the head, but also the inmost elements in the body. The same is true of the mind, which is intermediate between the soul and the body. Although the mind appears to be in the head, it nevertheless is actually in the whole body as well. And that, the angels said, is why actions which the soul and mind intend, instantaneously spring forth from the body. It is also because of this, they said, that after the body is cast off in the previous world, people themselves are still whole and complete human beings. Now, because the soul and mind are closely connected to the flesh of the body, in order that they may act and produce their effects, it follows that a union of the soul and mind with one's married partner is felt even in the body, as though they were one flesh.

At the time the angels said this, there were some spirits standing near, and I heard them comment that these were matters of angelic wisdom that were beyond them. But these spirits were intellectually natural, and not intellectually spiritual.

/ 535  

Many thanks to the General Church of the New Jerusalem, and to Rev. N.B. Rogers, translator, for the permission to use this translation.