Divine Love and Wisdom #73

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73. Divinity is in all time, nontemporally. Just as Divinity is in all space nonspatially, it is in all time nontemporally. Nothing proper to the physical world can be attributed to Divinity, and space and time are proper to the physical world. Space in the physical world can be measured, and so can time. Time is measured in days, weeks, months, years, and centuries; days are measured in hours; weeks and months in days; years in the four seasons; and centuries in years. The physical world gets these measurements from the apparent circuit and rotation of earth's sun.

It is different in the spiritual world. Life does seem to go on in time there in much the same way. People live with each other the way we do on earth, which cannot happen without some appearance of time. However, time there is not divided into segments the way it is in our world because their sun is always in its east. It never moves. It is actually the Lord's divine love that angels see as their sun. This means that they do not have days, weeks, months, years, or centuries, but states of life instead. It provides them with divisions that cannot be called divisions into time segments, only divisions of state. This is why angels do not know what time is, and why they think of state when time is mentioned. Further, when it is state that determines time, time is only an appearance. A pleasant state makes time seem brief, and an unpleasant one makes it seem long. We can therefore see that time in the spiritual world is simply an attribute of state.

This is why hours, days, weeks, months, and years in the Word mean states and their sequences, viewed either serially or comprehensively. When the church is described in terms of time, its morning is its initial state, its noon is its fulfillment, its evening is its decline, and its night is its end. The same holds true for the four seasons of the year: spring, summer, fall, and winter.

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


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