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Manželství dobra a pravdy

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Par Rev. Julian Duckworth and New Christian Bible Study Staff (traduit automatiquement en čeština)

Manželství dobra a pravdy lze považovat za spojení mezi naší touhou po dobrém a pochopením toho, jak být dobrým. Tento vztah není statický, ale dynamický; dobro nás vede k hledání pravdy a pravdy stojí nezávisle na našich změnách stavu, takže se můžeme proti nim měřit a rozhodnout se, že je použijeme ve svém vlastním životě jako dobro. Tento proces je základem lidské regenerace.

Od dětství se všichni zabýváme bojem mezi naším srdcem a myslí, mezi relativně sobeckými věcmi, které chceme, a více vznešenými věcmi, o kterých víme, že jsou správné. Čím více děláme to, co víme, má pravdu, tím více bude Pán pomalu schopen začít měnit naše srdce a odstraňovat sobectví kousek po kousku, aby mohla projít skutečná láska. Je to celoživotní proces, ale nakonec můžeme dosáhnout stavu, kdy opravdu milujeme dělat to, co je správné, a naše srdce a mysl mohou být „ženatí“, aby mohli pracovat jako sjednocený celek.

Všechno ve stvoření je formou tohoto manželství. V lidské společnosti to lze nalézt mnoha způsoby. Může existovat uvnitř každé osoby samostatně. Může existovat mezi manželem a manželkou, protože ženy mají dary pro přijímání touhy po dobru a muži mají dary pro přijímání pochopení pravdy. Může to být vytvořeno skupinou lidí jako kostel. A existuje mezi Pánem jako ženichem a církví jako nevěstou.

Když Bible mluví o manželství, manželství a svatbě, mluví také o hlubší úrovni o duchovním manželství dobra a pravdy.

(références: Nebeská tajemství 2466; Manželská láska 44 [6])

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Conjugial Love #44

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44. The second account:

I once saw three spirits newly arrived from the world, who were wandering about, exploring and asking questions. They were in a state of astonishment that they were living as people just as before and that they were seeing the same things as before. For they knew they had departed from the former or natural world, and they had believed there that they would not live as people until after the day of the Last Judgment, when they would be clothed with the flesh and bones laid in their graves.

To remove all doubt that they were still truly people, therefore, they alternately inspected and touched themselves and others, and handled the things they found, and in a thousand ways kept convincing themselves that they were now people as they had been in the former world, except that they were seeing each other in a brighter light and the things they found in a greater splendor, thus seeing them more perfectly.

[2] Then by chance two angelic spirits met them and stopped them, saying, "Where are you from?"

And they answered, "We have departed from the world and are again living in a world, so we have traveled from one world to another. At this we are now marveling!"

Then the three newcomers began asking the two angelic spirits about heaven. And because two of the three newcomers were adolescents, and from their eyes darted what seemed to be a spark of lust for the opposite sex, the angelic spirits said, "You have, perhaps, seen some of the women."

And they replied, "We have."

So, because the newcomers had asked about heaven, the angelic spirits told them the following:

"In heaven all things are magnificent and splendid, and are such as eye has never seen. There are also young men and women there, young women of such beauty that they may be called the very pictures of beauty, and young men of such morality that they may be called the very pictures of morality. And the beauty of the young women and the morality of the young men correspond to each other, as reciprocal and mutually adaptable forms."

The two newcomers then asked whether human forms in heaven are entirely similar to human forms in the natural world. And the angelic spirits answered that they are completely alike, with nothing taken from either man or woman.

"In a word," the angelic spirits said, "a man is still a man, and a woman is still a woman, in all the perfection of the form in which they were created. Step aside, if you like, and investigate in your own case whether anything is missing to keep you from being the man you were before."

[3] Again the newcomers said, "We heard in the world from which we departed that in heaven they are not given in marriage, because they are angels. 1 Is love between the sexes possible, then?"

The angelic spirits replied, "The love you mean between the sexes is not possible there, but an angelic love for the opposite sex is, which is chaste, free of any temptation arising from lust."

To this the newcomers said, "If love for the opposite sex is without temptation, then what is love between the sexes?"

And when they began to think about that love, they groaned and said, "How dry the joy of heaven is! What young man can then wish for heaven? Is not a love like that sterile and devoid of life?"

To this the angelic spirits laughingly replied, "Angelic love for the opposite sex, or the kind of love that exists in heaven, is still full of the deepest delights. It is a most pleasant swelling of everything in the mind and consequently of everything in the breast, and within the breast it is as if the heart were sporting with the lungs. From this sport comes a breathing, tone and speech which cause the companionships between the sexes, or between young men and women, to be heavenly sweetness itself, which is at the same time pure.

[4] "All newcomers on ascending to heaven are examined in respect to what their chastity is like, for they are introduced into companionships with young women - the beauties of heaven - and these perceive what the newcomers are like in regard to their love for the opposite sex. They perceive it from their tone of voice, their speech, their facial expression, their eyes, their bearing, and the atmosphere emanating from them. If the love is unchaste, the young women then run away and report to their friends that they have seen satyrs or lechers. And what is more, the newcomers undergo a change, and to the eyes of the angels they appear hairy, with feet like those of calves or leopards. They are also soon cast down, to keep them from polluting the atmosphere there with their lust."

Listening to this, the two newcomers again said, "Then there is no love between the sexes in heaven. What is chaste love between the sexes but love emptied of the essence of its life? Are the companionships of young men and women there not then dry joys? We are not made of stone and wood, but of living perceptions and affections!"

[5] When the two angelic spirits heard this, they indignantly retorted, "You do not know at all what a chaste love between the sexes is, because you are not yet chaste! That love is a true delight of the mind and so of the heart, and not at the same time of the flesh below the heart. Angelic chastity, which is found equally in both sexes, prevents that love from passing beyond the confines of the heart. But within those confines, and above them, the morality of the young man and the beauty of the young woman find delight in the delights of a chaste love for the opposite sex - delights which are deeper and richer for their pleasantness than can be described in words.

"But this is the love that angels have for the opposite sex, because they have only conjugial love, and conjugial love is not possible at the same time as an unchaste love for the opposite sex. Truly conjugial love is a chaste love, and has nothing in common with unchaste love. It is with one and only one of the opposite sex, with all others set aside, for it is a love of the spirit and consequently of the body, and not a love of the body and consequently of the spirit, that is, it is not a love that infests the spirit."

[6] On hearing this, the two adolescent newcomers rejoiced and said, "Then there is still love between the sexes in heaven! What else is conjugial love?"

But to this the angelic spirits replied, "Think more deeply, weigh the matter, and you will see that the love you mean between the sexes is a love outside of marriage, and that conjugial love is altogether different, being as different from the love you mean as the wheat is from the chaff, or better, as different as human life is from animal life.

"If you were to ask women in heaven what love outside of marriage is, I assure you they would respond, 'What is this? What are you saying? How can such a thing that so offends the ears come out of your mouth? How can a love not created in the first place be engendered in a person?'

"If you then asked them what truly conjugial love is, I know they would answer that it is not a love for the opposite sex, but love for one of the sex, which arises only when a young man sees a young woman provided by the Lord, and the young woman the young man, both feeling an inclination to marry kindled in their hearts, and perceiving, the young man that she is for him, and the young woman that he is for her. For love then presents itself to love and causes them to recognize each other, at once joining their souls, and afterwards their minds. From there it enters their hearts, and after the wedding goes on beyond. And so it becomes a full love, which daily grows into union, even to the point that they no longer are two, but virtually one person.

[7] "I know, too, that these same women would swear that they are not acquainted with any other love between the sexes. For they say, 'How can there be love between the sexes unless it is so honest and reciprocal that it aspires to eternal union, which is that the two may be one flesh?'"

To this the angelic spirits added, "In heaven they do not know at all what licentiousness is, not even that it exists or is possible. The angels grow cold with their whole body at unchaste love or love outside of marriage, and on the other hand, they grow warm with their whole body as a result of chaste or conjugial love. In the case of men there, all their sinews sink at the sight of a licentious woman, and grow taut at the sight of their wife."

[8] The three newcomers, hearing this, asked whether there is the same love-making between married partners in heaven as on earth.

The two angelic spirits answered that it is entirely the same. And because they perceived that the newcomers were wanting to know whether they had the same end delights in heaven, they also said that these are entirely the same, but much more blissful, since the perception and sensation of angels is much more exquisite than the perception and sensation of people.

"Moreover, what is the life accompanying that love," the angelic spirits asked, "if it does not stem from an underlying condition of ability? If this ability fails, does that love not fail and cool? Is this power not a real measure, a real progression and real foundation of that love? Is it not its beginning, support and fulfillment?

"It is a universal law that the primary elements in a series exist, subsist and persist on the basis of the final elements. So also with that love. Consequently, without the end delights, there would not be any delights in conjugial love."

[9] The newcomers then asked whether as a result of the end delights of that love, children are born in heaven. And if children were not born, of what use those delights were.

The angelic spirits replied that they do not have any natural offspring, but spiritual offspring.

"And what are spiritual offspring?" the newcomers asked.

The angelic spirits answered, "By the end delights the two partners become more united in a marriage of goodness and truth, and a marriage of goodness and truth is a marriage of love and wisdom, and love and wisdom are the offspring that are born of such a marriage. Because the husband in heaven is a form of wisdom, and his wife is a form of the love of it, and both moreover are spiritual, therefore no other than spiritual offspring can be conceived and begotten there.

"That is why, after experiencing these delights, angels do not become depressed as some do on earth, but joyful, and they have this characteristic as a result of a continual influx of fresh vigor to follow the first - fresh vigor that rejuvenates and at the same time enlightens them. For, all who come into heaven return into the springtime of their youth and into the powers of that age, and so they remain to eternity."

[10] When the three newcomers heard this, they said, "Does it not say in the Word that there are no marriages in heaven, because they are angels?" 2

To this the angelic spirits replied, "Look up into heaven, and you will receive an answer."

They then asked why they should look up into heaven.

"Because," the angelic spirits said, "we have all our interpretations of the Word from heaven. The Word is inwardly spiritual, and the angels, being spiritual, must explain its spiritual meaning."

Then, after some time, heaven opened over their heads and they caught sight of two angels. And the two angels said, "There are marriages in heaven, as on earth, but only in the case of people there who already possess a marriage of goodness and truth. They are the only ones who become angels. Therefore spiritual marriages are meant in the Word, which are marriages of goodness and truth. These spiritual marriages take place on earth and not after death, thus not in heaven. So it is said of the five foolish virgins - even though they, too, were invited to the wedding - that they could not go in, because they did not have a marriage of goodness and truth, since they had no oil, but only lamps. 3

"Goodness is meant by oil, and truth by lamps. And to be given in marriage is to enter into heaven where that marriage is."

The three newcomers were glad to hear this explanation, and were filled with a longing for heaven and the hope of being married there. And they said, "We will strive for morality and a decent and proper life, that we may obtain the object of our prayers."

Footnotes:

  
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Thanks to the General Church of the New Jerusalem for the permission to use this translation. The full title of this translation is "DELIGHTS OF WISDOM RELATING TO CONJUGIAL LOVE".

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Arcana Coelestia #2466

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2466. It is certainly possible to confirm that in the internal sense such things are meant as have been set forth in the paragraph above, and indeed to confirm them as to each word. But apart from the fact that they have been confirmed already they are also such as shock people's minds and offend their ears. From the summary explanation given above it may become clear that those things are used to describe how such a religion originated as that meant in the Word by 'Moab' and 'the son of Ammon'. The nature of it will be stated later on where Moab and the son of Ammon are the subject. The fact that adulterated good and falsified truth are meant is clear. Adulterations of good and falsifications of truth are commonly described in the Word as acts of adultery and whoredom, and are actually called such. The reason for this is that good and truth belong together like a married couple, 1904, 2173. Indeed, though scarcely anyone may credit it, it is from this marriage of good and truth as its own true source that the holiness of marriages on earth is derived as well as the marriage laws laid down in the Word.

[2] The truth of the matter is that when celestial things together with spiritual come down from heaven into a lower sphere they are in a most perfect way converted there into the likeness of marriages. They do so on account of the correspondence which exists between spiritual things and natural, a correspondence which in the Lord's Divine mercy will be described elsewhere. But when those same things are perverted in the lower sphere, as happens when evil genii and evil spirits are present there, they are in that case converted into the kind of things that go with acts of adultery and whoredom. This is why in the Word defilements of good and perversions of truth are described as acts of adultery and whoredom and are also called such, as becomes quite clear from the following places: In Ezekiel,

You committed whoredom because of your renown, and poured out your acts of whoredom on every passer-by. You took some of your garments and made for yourself high places variously coloured, and on them committed whoredom. For your adornment you took vessels made of My gold and of My silver, which I had given you, and made for yourself figures of the male, and committed whoredom with them. You took your sons and your daughters, whom you had borne to Me, and sacrificed them to them. Were your acts of whoredom a small matter? You committed whoredom with the sons of Egypt, your neighbours, great in flesh, and multiplied your whoredom to provoke Me to anger. You committed whoredom with the sons of Asshur, and you committed whoredom with them and were not satisfied. And you multiplied your whoredom, even as far as the trading land of Chaldea; and yet you were not satisfied with this. Ezekiel 16:15-17, 20, 26, 28-29, and following verses.

This refers to Jerusalem, which means in this instance the Church perverted as regards truths. Anyone may see that all the things referred to here have entirely different meanings.

[3] That the perversion of some aspect of the Church is called whoredom is quite evident. 'The garments' referred to are truths that are being perverted. Consequent falsities which are worshipped are meant by 'the variously coloured high places' on which whoredom took place - 'garments' meaning truths, see 1073, and 'high places' worship, 796. 'The vessels for adornment made of the gold and the silver which I had given' are cognitions of good and truth drawn from the Word which they use to confirm falsities. And when such falsities are seen as truths they are called 'figures of the male with whom whoredom was committed'. For 'vessels for adornment made of gold and silver' means cognitions of good and truth, as is evident from the meaning of 'gold' as good, 113, 1551, 1552, and of 'silver' as truth, 1551, 2048; 'figures of the mare' means falsities which are seen as truths, 2046. 'The sons and daughters whom they had borne and sacrificed to them' means the goods and truths which they perverted, as is evident from the meaning of 'sons and daughters', 489-491, 533, 2362; 'committing whoredom with the sons of Egypt' means perverting those goods and truths by means of facts, as is evident from the meaning of 'Egypt' as factual knowledge, 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462. 'Committing whoredom with the sons of Asshur' means perverting by means of reasonings, as is evident from the meaning of 'Asshur' as reasoning, 119, 1186; 'multiplying whoredom even as far as the land of Chaldea' means even to the profanation of truth, which is Chaldea, 1368. All this makes plain the nature of the internal sense of the Word within the sense of the letter.

[4] A similar passage occurs elsewhere in the same prophet,

Two women, the daughters of one mother, committed whoredom in Egypt. In their youth they committed whoredom. Oholah is Samaria, Oholibah is Jerusalem. Oholah committed whoredom under Me and doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbours. She bestowed her acts of whoredom on them, the choicest of all the sons of Asshur. Her acts of whoredom brought from Egypt she did not give up, for they had lain with her in her youth. Oholibah corrupted her love more than she, and her acts of whoredom more than her sister's acts of whoredom; she doted on the sons of Asshur. She added to her acts of whoredom and saw the images of the Chaldeans. As soon as her eyes saw them she desired them. The sons of Babel came to her, into her love-bed. Ezekiel 23:2-5, 7-8, 11-12, 14, 16-17.

'Samaria' is a Church with the affection for truth, 'Jerusalem' a Church with the affection for good. By 'the acts of whoredom' committed by such affections with 'the Egyptians' and with 'the sons of Asshur' are meant the perversions of good and truth by means of facts and reasonings used to confirm falsities, as is evident from the meaning of 'Egypt', 1164, 1165, 1186, 1462, and of 'Asshur', 119, 1186. These perversions extended even to profane worship which in respect of truth is 'Chaldea', 1368, and in respect of good is 'the sons of Babel', 1182, 1326.

[5] In Isaiah,

And it will be at the end of seventy years, that Jehovah will visit Tyre, and she will return to hiring herself out as a harlot, and will commit whoredom with all the kingdoms of the earth. Isaiah 23:17.

It is the flaunting of falsity that is meant by Tyre's 'hiring herself out as a harlot and committing whoredom'. 'Tyre' means cognitions of truth, see 1201, 'kingdoms' truths with which whoredom took place, 1672.

[6] In Jeremiah,

You have committed whoredom with many partners; but return to Me. Lift up your eyes to the hills and see - where have you not been ravished? By the waysides you have sat waiting for them, like an Arab in the wilderness, and you have profaned the land with your acts of whoredom and with your wickedness. Jeremiah 3:1-2.

'Committing whoredom' and 'profaning the land with acts of whoredom' is perverting and falsifying the truths of the Church. 'The land' is the Church, see 662, 1066, 1067.

[7] In the same prophet,

With the voice of her whoredom she profaned the land, she committed adultery with stone and wood. Jeremiah 3:9.

'Committing adultery with stone and wood' means perverting truths and goods that are part of external worship - 'stone' meaning that kind of truth, see 643, 1298, 'wood' that kind of good, 643.

[8] In the same prophet,

Because they have committed folly in Israel, and have committed adultery with their companions' wives, and have in My name spoken a false word which I did not command. Jeremiah 29:23.

'Committing adultery with companions' wives' is teaching falsity as from them.

[9] In the same prophet,

In the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: in their committing adultery and walking in falsity. Jeremiah 23:14.

Here 'committing adultery' has regard to good which is being defiled, 'walking in falsity' to truth which is being perverted. In the same prophet,

Your adulterous acts and your neighings, the filth of your whoredom committed on the hills, in the field - I have seen your abominations. Woe to you, O Jerusalem; you will not be made clean after this; how long yet? Jeremiah 13:27.

[10] In Hosea,

Whoredom, and wine, and new wine have taken possession of the heart. My people inquire of a piece of wood and their staff makes declaration to them, for the spirit of whoredom has led them astray, and they have committed whoredom beneath their god. They sacrifice on the tops of the mountains and burn incense on the hills, under oak, poplar, and terebinth. Therefore your daughters commit whoredom and your daughters-in-law commit adultery. Shall I not punish 1 your daughters because they commit whoredom and your daughters-in-law because they commit adultery, for the men themselves divide with harlots and sacrifice with cult-prostitutes? Hosea 4:11-14.

What each of these things means in the internal sense becomes clear from the meaning of 'wine' as falsity, of 'new wine' as evil deriving from this, of 'the piece of wood which they inquire of' as the good belonging to the delight that goes with some evil desire, 'the staff which makes a declaration' as the imaginary power of their own understanding, also of 'mountains and hills' as self-love and love of the world, of 'oak, poplar, and terebinth' as so many dull-witted perceptions in which they trust, of 'daughters and daughters-in-law' as affections that are such. From this it is evident what acts of 'whoredom', 'adultery', and 'cult-prostitution' mean here.

[11] In the same prophet,

O Israel, you have committed whoredom beneath 2 your god; you have taken delight in hiring yourself out as a harlot on every threshing-floor. Hosea 9:1.

'Hiring oneself out as a harlot' stands for a flaunting of falsity. In Moses,

Lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go whoring after their gods and sacrifice to their gods, and someone calls you and you eat of his sacrifices, and you take his daughters for your sons, and his daughters go whoring after their gods, and they cause your sons to go whoring after their gods. Exodus 34:15-16.

In the same author,

I will cut off from the midst of their people all who go whoring after him, for whoring after Molech. And anyone who looks to those who have familiar spirits and to wizards, and goes whoring after them, I will set My face against that person and will cut him off from the midst of his people. Leviticus 20:5-6.

In the same author,

Your sons will be shepherds in the wilderness for forty years, and will bear your acts of whoredom until your bodies are consumed in the wilderness. Numbers 14:33.

In the same author,

May you remember all the commandments of Jehovah and do them, and may you not seek after your own heart and after your own eyes, which you go whoring after. Numbers 15:39.

[12] An even plainer usage occurs in John,

One angel said, Come, I will show you the judgement of the great harlot who is seated on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed whoredom, and with the wine of whose whoredom the inhabitants of the earth have become drunk. Revelation 17:1-2.

'The great harlot' stands for people whose worship is profane. 'The many waters on which she is seated' are cognitions, 28, 739, 'the kings of the earth who committed whoredom with her' are the truths of the Church, 1672, 2015, 2069. 'The wine with which the people became drunk' is falsity, 1071, 1072. It is because wine' and 'drunkenness' have this meaning that Lot's daughters are said to have made their father drink wine, verses 32-33, 35.

[13] In the same book,

Babylon has given all nations drink from the wine of the fury of her whoredom; and the kings of the earth have committed whoredom with her. Revelation 18:3.

'Babylon' or Babel stands for worship whose external features appear holy but whose interiors are unholy, 1182, 1295, 1326. 'The nations to whom she gives drink' means goods which are rendered profane, 1259, 1260, 1416, 1849, 'the kings who commit whoredom with her' means truths, 1672, 2015, 2069. In the same book,

The judgements of the Lord God are true and right, for He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her whoredom. Revelation 19:2.

'The earth' stands for the Church, 566, 662, 1066, 1067, 2117, 2118.

[14] It was because 'acts of whoredom' had such a meaning, and 'daughters' meant affections, that a priest's daughter was so strictly forbidden to commit whoredom, concerning which the following is said in Moses,

Any priest's daughter, in that she has begun to commit whoredom, is profaning her father; she shall be burnt with fire. Leviticus 21:9.

Also they were forbidden to bring the earnings of a harlot into the house of Jehovah because it was an abomination, Deuteronomy 23:18. And for the same reason a certain procedure had to be followed - given in Numbers 5:12-31 - for investigating the behaviour of a wife whom the husband suspected of adultery; every single detail of that procedure has reference to the adulteration of good. Besides these many more genera and still more species of adultery and whoredom are referred to in the Word. The genus described by means of Lot's daughters lying with their father and called 'Moab' and 'the son of Ammon' is dealt with immediately below.

Footnotes:

1. literally, visit

2. The Latin means above, but the Hebrew means from under or from beneath, which Swedenborg has in other places where he quotes this verse.

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