Divine Providence #186

By Emanuel Swedenborg

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186. The reason we would go counter to God and deny him if we were to see clearly what divine providence itself is doing is that we are caught up in the pleasure of our love, and this pleasure is integral to our very life. This means that when we are kept in the pleasure of our love we are in our own freedom, our freedom and this pleasure being inseparable from each other. If we were to sense, then, that we were constantly being led away from our pleasure, we would be as angry as though someone were trying to destroy our life and would regard that person as our enemy. To prevent this from happening, the Lord does not show himself clearly in his divine providence. Rather, he uses it to lead us subtly, the way a hidden stream or favorable current carries a boat. Consequently, all we know is that we are always on our own, since this freedom is united to our sense of self. We can see from this that our freedom incorporates into us what divine providence offers, which would not happen if providence made itself known. To become incorporated is to become part of our life.

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