Divine Wisdom #3

Divine Wisdom (Mongredien translation)

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3. [74.] III. THE FORMATION OF MAN IN THE WOMB BY THE LORD, BY INFLUX INTO THOSE TWO RECEPTACLES

As, in the formation of man in the womb, spiritual things conjoin themselves with the natural things, there are many things connected with it that do not admit of description, being spiritual things that are abstracted from things that are natural, and consequently no words for them exist in natural language other than a few general terms which one person comprehends more intelligently than another; still, by the use of these and of such comparisons as are also correspondences, the following points may be explained:

(1) The Lord conjoins Himself to man in the mother's womb as soon as conception takes place, and forms him.

(2) He conjoins Himself in those two receptacles, in the one by means of love, in the other by means of wisdom.

(3) The love and wisdom acting simultaneously and in harmony, form each and all things, yet in all of them, they are themselves distinct from each other.

(4) The receptacles are distinguished with man into three degrees, one within the other, the two higher degrees being dwelling-places of the Lord, but not the lowest one.

(5) The one receptacle is co be the Will of the future human being, the other to be his Understanding, yet there is nothing whatever of his Will and Understanding present during formation.

(6) In the embryo before birth there is life, but the embryo has no consciousness of it.

[75.] (1) The Lord conjoins Himself to man in the mother's womb as soon as conception takes place, and forms him. By the Lord, here and elsewhere, is meant the Divine, proceeding forth from Him as a Sun of heaven, where angels are: by this Divine and through it all things in the whole world have been created; that it is Life Itself has been shown before. That this Life Itself, as soon as conception takes place, is present and forms, follows from these things: that a man must be formed by Life Itself in order that he may be the form of life, which form is a man: in order that he may be an image and likeness of God, this being also a man: in order that he may be a recipient of love and wisdom from the Lord, these being life, and thus be a recipient of the Lord Himself.

That a man is in the Lord, and the Lord in him, and that the Lord has an abode with him, if he loves Him, the Lord Himself teaches. The Lord prepares this for Himself in the womb, as will be seen in the following pages. On this account Jehovah, or the Lord, is called in the Word,

Creator, Former and Maker from the womb (Isaiah 43:1; 44:2, 24; 49:5),

and it is said in David that

He was cast upon Him from the womb, and, He was laid upon Him from the womb (Psalms 22:10; 71:6).

While man is in the womb, he is in a state of innocence; his first state after birth, therefore, is a state of innocence; and it is only in man's innocence that the Lord dwells with him: more especially therefore does He do so when he, as it were, is innocence. Man is then in a state of peace likewise. The reason he is then in a state of innocence and of peace is that the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom are Innocence itself and Peace itself, as may be seen in HEAVEN AND HELL, Nos. 276-283 and 284-290.

I foresee that as you read these things some doubts will occur to you, but read on to the end, and then reconsider, and the doubts will no longer appear.

(References: Psalms 22:9-10)


[2] [76.] (2) He conjoins Himself in those two receptacles, in the one by means of love, in the other by means of wisdom. This follows from a preceding passage, in which it was shown that every part of the body, both internal parts and external parts, from head to foot, is formed and brought forth from these two receptacles. And because from them are the inceptions and commencements of all the parts, it follows that the Divine, which is that which forms, is in them, and is, through them, in the things extended from them: not that the Divine is in them or in the things extended from them, materially, but spiritually: for it is in their uses, and these regarded in themselves are immaterial, whereas things necessary as means by which the uses become effects, are material.

These two receptacles which are the first beginnings of the human being come from the father; the bringing forth of this up to the full time of birth is from the mother; for the seed comes from the male: he possesses seminal vessels and testicles in which the seed is elaborated and secreted; the woman gives it reception: she possesses a womb, in which there is heat by which it is stimulated, and little mouths through which it is fed. Nothing in Nature comes into existence except from a seed, nor does anything grow except by heat. In what form those first beginnings of a human being are, will be described also later on.

The rudiment of man being a seed, and this rudiment being a receptacle of life, having two parts, it is clear that the human soul is not life from life, that is, not life in itself, for there is no life other than the One Only Life, and that is God. The source of man's feeling that he possesses life has been described elsewhere. And as there is extension of the receptacles from the brains by means of the nerve-fibres into every part of the body, it is evident that there is also extension of the reception of life into every part, and that thus the soul is not in this part or that part, but in everything of the form originating from those receptacles, in just the same way as a cause is present in the things caused by it, or as a principle is present in its applications.

[3] [77.] (3) The love and wisdom acting simultaneously and in harmony, form each and all things, yet in all of them, they are themselves distinct from each other. Love and wisdom are two distinct things, just as heat and light are; heat is felt, so is love: and light is seen, so is wisdom; wisdom is seen when a man is thinking, and love is felt when he is being affected. Yet, in the work of forming, they do not operate as two, but as one; and this is just like the sun's heat and light in the world: in spring and summer, the heat co-operates with the light, and the light with the heat, quickening growth and causing germination. In the same way, love, when in a state of peace and tranquility, co-operates with wisdom, and the wisdom with the love, and so produces and forms; this is the case in the embryo and in the man. That the co-operation of love and wisdom is like the co-operation of heat and light is plainly seen from things appearing in the spiritual world. In that world, love is the heat, and wisdom is the light, and it is entirely according to the union of love and wisdom with angels that everything in them lives and everything round about them flourishes. That union is a reciprocal one, the love uniting itself with the wisdom, and the wisdom uniting itself with the love in return; hence the love acts, and the wisdom reacts: and it is due to this quality of reciprocality that all effects come into existence.

[2] There is such a reciprocal union with those in whom the Lord is, and consequently there is with them reciprocation between their Will and their Understanding, also between their good and their truth, as well as between their charity and their faith; indeed, there is such a reciprocal union between the Lord Himself and the Church, which is meant by the Lord's words to the disciples in John that they might be in Him, and He in them (14:20 and elsewhere).

The same union is meant, too, by the union of man and wife, in Mark:

They twain shall be as one flesh; wherefore they are no more twain but one flesh (10:8);

for a man is born to be Understanding, and thence wisdom, but a woman to be Will and thence affection that is of love, respecting which see the work HEAVEN AND HELL, Nos. 366-386.

[3] As there are the two things, love and wisdom, effecting formation of the embryo in the womb, there are, in consequence, two receptacles, one for the love, the other for the wisdom; consequently also there are pairs everywhere in the body, which are, in a similar manner, distinct from each other, and yet united: there are two cerebral hemispheres, two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, two chambers in the heart, two hands, two feet, two kidneys, two testicles: the other viscera are in two parts also; and everywhere the part on the right side has respect to the good of love, and the part on the left to the truth of wisdom. That these two are so conjoined that they act as one mutually and reciprocally, any diligent investigator can see, if he takes the trouble. The union itself is visibly displayed in the nerve-fibres extending down back and front, and inter-connecting in the middle. Furthermore, it is for this reason that in the Word this duality is signified by "right" and "left".

All this makes evident the truth that love and wisdom, acting simultaneously and in harmony in the embryo, form each and all things, yet in all of them, they themselves are distinct from each other.

[4] [78.] (4) The receptacles are distinguished with man into three degrees, one within the other, the two higher degrees being dwelling-places of the Lord, but not the lowest one. Perhaps some reader may form a mistaken idea about the first beginnings of the human form in the seed from the man, owing to their being called "receptacles," the very word "receptacle" easily giving rise to the idea of a vessel or little tube. I should like, therefore, so far as the words of natural language allow, to give an outline and description of that initial form as it was visibly shown me in the heavens.

These receptacles are not in the shape of a hollow tube or folded over, like small vessels, but are like a brain, being a very small and indistinct image of one, with, in front, the outline of what looks like a face; nothing was seen attached to it below. The upper rounded portion of this primitive brain was a compact cluster of little globes or spheres close together; each of these little spheres was a cluster of similar but more minute little spheres, and each of these latter, again, of little spheres still more minute. In the front part of it, where it was flattened, was seen something outlined for a face, there being, however, no fibre in the angle between the upper rounded portion and this flattened part. The upper rounded portion was covered all over with a very fine transparent membrane. Such is the earliest beginning of a human being, as visibly shown me, its first or lowest degree being the cluster first described, its second or middle degree the cluster next described, and its third or highest degree the cluster last described; thus one degree was within the other.

[79.] I was told that within each little sphere there were interweavings beyond description, becoming more and more marvelous with each degree; also that in each one the right side is a bed or receptacle for love, and the left side a bed or receptacle for wisdom, and that by a wonderful system of interconnections these are partners and comrades as it were throughout, being in this respect just like the two hemispheres of the brain.

[2] Moreover it was shown me in the light that shone upon it, that the grouping of each of the two interior degrees was, in respect of "situation and flowing" (situs et fluxio), 1 in the order and form of heaven, while the grouping of the third degree, in respect of "situation and flowing," was in the form of hell. This is the reason for its being said that the receptacles are distinguished with man into three degrees, one within the other, the two higher degrees being dwelling-places of the Lord, but not the lowest one; the reason it is not, is that owing to hereditary taint man is born opposed to the order and form of heaven, and thus into evils of every kind, and this taint is in the natural degree, which is the lowest degree of man's life; this taint is not removed unless the interior degree, formed for receiving love and wisdom from the Lord, is opened with him. How this degree is opened, however, and also how the inmost degree is, the Lord teaches in the Word, and it shall be told later on. For further light on these things, however, see what was said above on the subject of degrees and on the subject of the brain [APOCALYPSE EXPLAINED 776].

[80.] These degrees, although interior, are called higher degrees. This is because degrees can be either in successive order or in simultaneous order. Things in successive order are things higher and lower, whereas things in simultaneous order are things interior and exterior; and the same things that are interior when in simultaneous order are higher when in successive order; this applies also in regard to exterior and lower.

It is because there are three degrees in man that the heavens are of three degrees, for the heavens consist of men who have become angels. The heavens, in relation to degrees in successive order, are seen one above another, and in relation to degrees in simultaneous order, one within another. Hence, in the Word "high" signifies what is internal, and the Lord is called the Most High, because He is in the most internal things.

Now because man at his first beginning is such a dwelling-place of the Lord as above described, and because at that time those three degrees are open, and because everything that proceeds forth from the Lord as a Sun is, in its least things and in its greatest things, Man, as shown earlier in this section, therefore extension cannot be into any other form than the human form, nor can that extension be effected in any other way than by rays of light derived from wisdom, with heat derived from love as intermediary; thus it is effected by vivified nerve fibres which are embodied rays. That a determination similar to this does exist, is apparent to the eye.

[3] [81.] In the case of human beings the degrees of life are three in number; in the case of animals, however, there is only the lowest degree, not the two higher ones; consequently, the first beginnings of their life are not receptacles for the Lord's love and wisdom, but only receptacles for natural affection and natural knowledge, into which latter indeed they are born. With the clean beasts, these receptacles are not bent contrary to the order of the flux (fluxus) 2 of the universe, but are in conformity with it; the consequence is that by reason of being so born they are moved to carry out their functions as soon as they are brought forth, and at the same time know how to perform them. For animals have not been able to pervert their affections, lacking an intellectual which is capable, from spiritual light, of thinking and reasoning, and so they have not been able to do violence to the laws of Divine Order.

[5] [82.] (5) The one receptacle is to be the Will of the future human being, the other to be his Understanding, yet there is nothing whatever of his Will and Understanding present during formation. Will and Understanding do not commence with man prior to the opening of the lungs, which only takes place after birth; for then the receptacle for love becomes the man's Will, and the receptacle for wisdom becomes his Understanding. The reason that only when the lungs have been opened do those receptacles first become his Will and Understanding, is that the lungs correspond to the life of the Understanding, and the heart to the life of the Will, and without the co-operation of Will and Understanding a human being has no life of his own, just as without the co-operation of love and wisdom there is no life by which the embryo is formed and vivified, as said above. In the embryo, only the heart beats and the liver leaps: the heart's motion is for circulating the blood, and the liver's motion for taking in nourishment: from these is the motion of the other viscera. This is the motion that is felt as a pulsation after the middle period of gestation.

This motion, however, is not the effect of any life in the foetus of its own. The life that is proper to man is a life of Will and a life of Understanding, an infant's life being a life of commencing Will and commencing Understanding. It is only from these two that the sense-life and the motor-life has existence in the body; this life cannot exist from the beating of the heart alone; it exists from the conjunction of this with the respiration of the lungs. That this is so is clear from the case of those in possession of both Will and Understanding, when in a swoon or being suffocated; their breaths being suspended, they have as it were become dead: they are without sensation and their limbs are motionless: they have neither thought nor will: yet the heart continues to contract and the blood to circulate. But immediately the lungs return into their proper breathing, the man comes again into his activity and sensation, and into his Will and Understanding.

From all this, a conclusion may be drawn as to the nature of the life the foetus has in the womb, when the heart only is in action and not as yet the lungs, namely, that there is nothing of the life of Will or of the life of Understanding present in it, but that only life from the Lord actuates the process of formation, from which life the man afterwards will live. More about this, however, will be seen in a subsequent section.

[6] [83.] (6) In the embryo before birth there is life, but the embryo has no consciousness of it. This follows from all that has been said above; it also follows that the life from which the embryo lives in the womb is not life of its own, but of the Lord only, Who alone is life.

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Footnotes:

1. Translator understands "situation and flowing" to mean "How the spherules were arranged" and "The course taken by the spherules themselves, or by any motion passing from one spherule to another".

2. Translator understands "The continuous and orderly movement of all things."

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(References: John 14:20; Mark 10:8; Psalms 71:6)

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