Divine Wisdom #2

Divine Wisdom (Mongredien translation)

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2. [70.] II. THE LORD HAS CREATED WITH EVERY ONE A RECEPTACLE FOR LOVE, NAMELY HIS WILL, AFTERWARDS EFFECTING THE FORMATION OF IT WITH HIM, AND ADJOINING TO IT A RECEPTACLE FOR WISDOM, NAMELY HIS UNDERSTANDING

As the two things, Love and Wisdom, are in the Lord and proceed forth from Him, and as man has been created to be a likeness and image of Him - a likeness through love, and an image through wisdom - therefore two receptacles have been created with man, one for love, the other for wisdom. The receptacle for love is what is called "the Will," and the receptacle for wisdom is what is called "the Understanding". A man knows that these two are in him, but he does not know that they are conjoined in the same way as they are conjoined in the Lord, with this difference that in the Lord they are Life, whereas in man they are receptacles of life. What the forms of those receptacles are like cannot be unfolded, those forms being spiritual and spiritual things transcending the things of this world. They are forms within forms up to a third degree, 1 an innumerable quantity of them, distinct from one another, yet in harmony with one another, each one being a receptacle for love and wisdom. The originator forms are in the brains and are the starting-points and heads there of the nerve-fibres, along which their efforts and forces flow down to all the organs in the body, both the more excellent and the less excellent, giving rise to sensation in the sensory organs, to motion in the motor organs, and, in the other organs, to the functions of nutrition, chyle-formation, blood formation, separation, purification and reproduction, thus giving rise in each one to its own use.

These things having been premised, it is now to be seen that

(1) these forms, the receptacles for love and wisdom, first come into existence with man when conceived and being developed in the womb,

(2) from these forms are drawn out and produced in a connected series every part of the body from the head to the soles of the feet,

(3) the production of these is effected in accordance with the laws of Correspondence, and consequently every part of the body, internal and external, is a correspondent.

[2] [71.] (1) That these forms, the receptacles for love and wisdom, first come into existence with man when conceived and being developed in the womb, can be established from practical knowledge and confirmed by reason.

From practical knowledge: From the first stages of the embryo's development in the womb after conception, and also from the first stages of the chick's development in the egg after sitting commences. The first forms themselves are not visible to the eye, but only the parts they first produce, constituting the head. It is well known that the head at first is relatively larger and that from it is put forth the web for every part of the body. It can be seen from this that those forms are the starting points.

By reason: Because all creating is from the Lord as a Sun, He being Divine Love and Divine Wisdom, and it is by the operation of these that the creating of man is effected. The forming of the embryo, and so of a human infant, in the womb is like a creating. It is termed "generation," because it is effected by a bringing across (traductio). Hence it follows that with man specially the first forms are receptacles of love and wisdom, and that the creating of everything else constituting a human being is effected by means of them. Besides, no effect comes forth from itself but from a prior cause, called the effecting cause, and neither does this come forth from itself but from the cause called "end," within which there is, both in effort and in idea, everything that follows-in effort in the Divine Love, in idea in the Divine Wisdom, these being the End of ends. This truth will be more fully established from things that follow.

(References: John 1:1-3)


[2] [3] [72.] (2) That from these forms are drawn out and produced in a connected series every part of the body from the head to the soles of the feet, can also be established from practical knowledge and confirmed by reason.

From practical knowledge: Because from those primitive forms nerve-fibres are drawn out to the sensory organs of the face, the eyes, ears, nose and tongue: also to the motor organs, namely, the muscles, throughout the body: likewise to all parts of the visceral system fulfilling various functions in the body. All these organs are nothing else than structures woven out of the fibres and nerves issuing forth from the two brains and from the spinal marrow. The very blood-vessels, out of which also the structures are formed, are likewise woven out of fibres from the same source. Any one skilled in anatomy can see that there are, round about the cerebrum as well as inside it, and in the cerebellum and in the spinal marrow, small spheres like little particles, termed cortical and cineritious substances and glands; and that every one of the nerve-fibres in the brains, and all the nerves composed of them throughout the body, issue and go forth from those small spheres or substances; these latter are the initial forms from which every part of the body from head to foot is drawn out and produced.

By reason: Because there could be no nerve-fibres without originating sources; and because the organic structures of the body, composed of the fibres variously woven together, are effects, unable to live, feel and move of themselves, but doing so from the sources originating them, through the continuum they together form. This may be illustrated by examples. The eye does not see of itself, but does so from the Understanding, through this continuum: it is the Understanding that sees, by means of the eye: it is the Understanding, too, that moves the eye, directs it to different objects and sharpens the sight. Neither does the ear hear of itself, but does so from the Understanding, through this continuum: it is the Understanding that hears, by means of the ear: it directs it, too, makes it attentive and adjusts it to different sounds. The tongue, again, does not speak of itself, but does so from the Understanding's thought. It is the thought that speaks, by means of the tongue, changing the sounds and heightening their inflexions at will. The same with the muscles: they do not move of themselves: it is the Will together with the Understanding that moves them and sets them in action as it wishes. It is clear from these examples that nothing in the body feels or moves of itself, but does so from the sources originating it, where the Will and Understanding reside, which consequently in man are the receptacles for love and wisdom; it is clear, too, that these are the first forms, the sensory and motor organs being forms derived from them; for influx follows the same course that formation has taken, there being no influx from the organs into the first forms, but from the first forms into the organs. This latter influx is spiritual influx, whereas the other is natural, or, as it is also termed, physical influx.

[3] [4] [73.] (3) The production of these is effected in accordance with the lazes of Correspondence, and consequently every part of the body, internal and external, is a correspondent. Hitherto no one in the world has known what "Correspondence" is, because no one has known what the "spiritual" is, and Correspondence exists between what is natural and what is spiritual. Whenever anything derived from what is spiritual as its origin and cause, is made visible and perceptible before the senses, then there is Correspondence between them. Such correspondence exists between the spiritual and natural things in man: the spiritual things are all things of his love and wisdom, consequently all things of his Will and Understanding, and the natural things are all things of his body. These latter, because they have come into existence from the former and continue to draw their existence from them, that is, to subsist therefrom, are correspondents, and in consequence, the two act as one, just as end, cause and effect do. Thus, the face acts as one with the affections of the lower mind (animus), 2 the speech acts as one with the thought, and the actions of every member act as one with the Will; similarly with the rest of the body. The universal law in regard to correspondences is that the spiritual thing conditions itself for the use that is its end in view, and then, by means of heat and light, actuates the use and regulates it, and clothes it with intermediary things provided for that purpose, so that finally a form is created serving the end in view. In that form, what is spiritual occupies the position of "end," the use the position of "cause," and what is natural the position of "effect"; in the spiritual world, however, what is substantial is in place of what is natural. All things in man are forms of this description.

[5] More about Correspondence can be seen in the work HEAVEN AND HELL, Nos. 87-102, 103-115: and about various correspondences in ARCANA CAELESTIA, namely, the correspondence of the face and its expressions with the affections of the mind, Nos. 1568, 2988-2989, 3631, 4796-4797, 4800, 5165, 5168, 5695, 9306: the correspondence of the body in posture and action with intellectual and voluntary things, Nos. 2988, 3632, 4215: the correspondence of the

Senses in general, Nos. 4318-4330;

Eyes and sight, Nos. 4403-4420;

Nose and smell, Nos. 4624-4634;

Ears and hearing, Nos. 4652-4660;

Tongue and taste, Nos. 4791-4805;

Hands, arms, shoulders and feet, Nos. 4931-4953;

Loins and organs of generation, Nos. 5050-5062;

Viscera inside the body, in particular the stomach, the thymus gland, and the receptacle and ducts of the chyle, Nos. 5171-5189;

Spleen, No. 9698;

Peritonaeum, kidneys and bladder, Nos. 5377-5396;

Skin and bones, Nos. 5552-5573;

Xiphoid (or ensiform) cartilage, No. 9236;

Memory of abstract things, No. 6808;

Memory of material things, No. 7253:

The correspondence of heaven with man, Nos. 911, 1900, 1928, 2996, 2998, 3634, 3636-3643, 3741-3745, 3884, 4041, 4279, 4523-4524, 4625, 6013, 6057, 9279, 9632: the knowledge of correspondences with the ancients was the chief of knowledges, specially with the orientals, though it has at the present day become completely lost, Nos. 3021, 3419, 3472-3485, 4280, 4749, 4844, 4964, 4966, 5702, 6004, 6692, 7097, 7729, 7779, 9391, 10252, 10407: without a knowledge of correspondences the Word is not understood, Nos. 2890-2893, 2987-3003, 3213-3227, 3472-3485, 8615, 10687: all things seen in the heavens are correspondents, Nos. 1521, 1532, 1619-1625, 1807-1808, 1971, 1974, 1977, 1980-1981, 2299, 2601, 3213-3226, 3348, 3350, 3475, 3485, 3745, 9481, 9575-9577: all things in the natural world and its three kingdoms correspond to all things in the spiritual world, Nos. 1632, 1881, 2758, 2890-2893, 2987-3003, 3213-3227, 3483, 3624-3649, 4044, 4053, 4116, 4366, 4939, 5116, 5377, 5428, 5477, 8211, 9280.

In addition to the above, the ARCANA CAELESTIA treats of the correspondence of the natural sense of the Word, which is its literal sense, with spiritual things which are the things of love and wisdom in the heavens from the Lord, these things constituting its internal sense: this correspondence, moreover, you may see confirmed in THE DOCTRINE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE, Nos. 5-26, and further on in THE DOCTRINE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE Nos. 27-69. To form an idea of the correspondence of the Will and Understanding, what has been said above may be consulted, HEAVEN AND HELL 366-367. 3

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Footnotes:

1. Translator understands: three degrees, one within the other.

2. Swedenborg uses two Latin terms for "mind," mens and animus. The former is the higher level of the mind in which the Will and Understanding are rationally active; the latter is the lower level in which desires and ideas connected with the body and the world are active.

3. Probably Heaven and Hell.

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