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Arcana Coelestia #8910

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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8910. 'You shall not covet your neighbour's house; you shall not covet your neighbour's wife, nor his male slave nor his female slave, nor his ox nor his ass, nor anything that is your neighbour's' means that one must be on one's guard against self-love and love of the world, and so one must take care to prevent the evils contained in the preceding commandments from becoming present in the will and consequently going out of it. This is clear from the meaning of 'coveting' as a wanting that springs from an evil love. The reason why 'coveting' has this meaning is that all covetousness or craving exists as the result of some kind of love. For nothing is coveted unless there is a love of it, and therefore covetousness extends as a continuation from some kind of love, in this instance from self-love and love of the world. It is so to speak the life of what those loves breathe, for what an evil kind of love breathes is called covetousness or craving, whereas what a good kind breathes is called desire. The love itself belongs to one of two parts of the mind, which is called the will; for what a person loves, that he wills and intends. but covetousness belongs to both parts, to both the will and the understanding, that is, it is an attribute of the will within the understanding, to be precise. All this shows why it is that the words 'you shall not covet the things that are your neighbour's' mean that one must take care to prevent them from becoming present in the will, since what takes possession of the will becomes the person's own; for, to be sure, the will is the real person.

[2] The world believes that thought is the person. But there are two powers that constitute a person's life - understanding and will - and thought belongs to the understanding, the affection inherent in love being what belongs to the will. Thought without the affection inherent in love does not in any way at all constitute a person's life; but thought springing from such affection, that is, the understanding springing from the will, does constitute it. Those two powers are distinct from each other, which is evident to anyone who stops to reflect on the matter from the consideration that with his understanding a person can perceive that that thing is bad which his will desires, and that that thing is good which his will either does or does not desire. From all this it is plain that the will is the real person, not his thought, except so far as anything passes into it from the will. So it is that things which enter a person's thought but do not pass on through it into his will do not render him unclean; only those which pass through thought on into the will do so. The reason why the latter render a person unclean is that he takes them to himself then and makes them his; for the will, as has been stated, is the real person. The things which become part of his will are said to go into his heart and to go out from there, whereas those which are merely part of his thought are said to go into the mouth and to go out by way of the bowels into the sewer, according to the Lord's words in Matthew,

Not what enters the mouth renders a person unclean, but what comes out of the mouth, this renders the person unclean. Everything that goes into the mouth departs into the bowels and is cast out into the sewer. But the things which come out of the mouth come out of the heart, and these render a person unclean. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, ravishments, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. Matthew 15:11, 17-19.

[3] From these words as from all the others the nature of the Lord's manner of speaking becomes clear. That is, its nature was such that internal or spiritual matters were meant, but they were expressed by means of external or natural things and in accordance with correspondences. For the mouth corresponds to thought, and so do all parts of the mouth, such as the lips, tongue, and throat, while the heart corresponds to the affection inherent in love, and so to the will. For the correspondence of the heart to these, see 2930, 3313, 3883-3896, 7542. Consequently 'entering the mouth' is entering thought, and 'going out of the heart' is going out of the will. 'Departing into the bowels and being cast out into the sewer (or latrine)' is going away into hell; for the bowels correspond to the way to hell, while the sewer or latrine corresponds to hell itself. Hell also in the Word is called 'the latrine'. All this shows what is meant by 'everything that goes into the mouth departs into the bowels and is cast out into the sewer', namely that evil and falsity are introduced into a person's thought by hell and are discharged back there again. Such evil and falsity cannot render a person unclean because they are discharged from him. For a person cannot help thinking what is evil, but he can refrain from doing it. As soon however as he receives evil from his thought into his will it does not go out but enters into him; and this is said 'to enter the heart'. The things that go out from here are what render him unclean; for what a person desires in his will goes out into speech and action, so far as external restraints do not inhibit him, those restraints being fear of the law, and fear of the loss of reputation, position, gain, or life. From all this it is now evident that 'you shall not covet' means that one must take care to prevent evils from becoming present in the will and consequently going out of it.

[4] The fact that 'covetousness' is a craving or lusting on the part of the will, and so of the heart, is also clear from the Lord's words in Matthew,

You have heard that it was said to those of old, You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you that if anyone looks at a woman 1 so that he lusts after her he has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:27-28.

'Lusting for' is used here to mean desiring in the will, and - but for the fears acting as external restraints - also doing. This is why it says that one who looks at a woman so that he lusts after her has committed adultery with her in his heart.

[5] Lusting after what is evil is also meant by 'the right eye causing one to stumble', and lusting after what is false by 'the right hand causing one to stumble' in the Lord's words, again in Matthew,

If your right eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it away from you; for it will be better for you that one of your members perish, than that your whole body be cast into gehenna. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away from you; for it will be better for you that one of your members perish, than that your whole body be cast into gehenna. Matthew 5:29-30.

From these words the Lord's way of saying things is again clear. That is to say, He was speaking from the Divine, as in every other place in the Word, in such a way that He expressed inward and heavenly matters through outward or natural ones in accordance with correspondences. In this instance He expressed an affection for evil or lusting after it by 'the right eye causing one to stumble', and an affection for falsity or lusting after it by 'the right hand causing one to stumble'. For the eye corresponds to faith, the left eye to the truth of faith, and the right eye to the good of faith, or in the contrary sense to the evil of faith, so that 'the right eye causing one to stumble' corresponds to lusting after what is evil, 4403-4421, 4523-4534. But the hand corresponds to the power that truth possesses, the right hand to the power of truth coming from good, or in the contrary sense the power of falsity coming from evil, so that 'the right hand causing one to stumble' corresponds to a lusting after it, 3091, 4931-4937, 8281. 'Gehenna' is the hell of lusts, cravings, or covetousness. Anyone may see that here 'the right eye' was not used to mean the right eye or that it was to be plucked out; also that 'the right hand' was not used to mean the right hand or that it was to be cut off, but that something other was meant. What this is cannot be known unless one knows what is really meant by 'the eye', in particular by 'the right eye', also what is meant by 'the hand', and in particular by 'the right hand', as well as what 'causing to stumble' really means. Nor can the meaning of these expressions be known except from the internal sense.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 3563)


[6] Lusts, cravings, or covetous desires are what spring from an evil will, thus from a heart that is such; and according to the Lord's words in Matthew 15:19, murders, adulteries, ravishments, thefts, false witness, blasphemies come out of the heart or will, that is, the kinds of evils contained in the preceding commandments of the Decalogue. In all this lies the reason for saying that this - 'you must not covet the things which are your neighbour's' - means that one must take care to prevent the evils contained in the ''receding commandments from becoming present in the will and consequently going out of it. The reason why 'you shall not covet the things which are your neighbour's' also means that one must be on one's guard against self-love and love of the world is that all the evils composing covetousness well up from those loves as their source, see 2045, 7178, 7255, 7366 7377, 7488, 8318, 8678.

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Footnotes:

1. Following the version of Sebastian Schmidt Swedenborg adds a word which implies that the woman is another man's wife.

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(References: Arcana Coelestia 7366-7377; Exodus 20:17; Matthew 5:27-30)

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Arcana Coelestia 8925, 9050, 9385, 9398, 9460, 9817, 10301, 10336

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 81


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Apocalypse Explained 109, 167


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Arcana Coelestia #9050

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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9050. The fact that 'soul' means spiritual life is clear from the meaning of 'soul' as a person's life - the life of his faith, which is spiritual life. Various places in the Word use the expression 'heart and soul', and in those places 'heart' means the life of love and 'soul' the life of faith. A person has two mental powers for receiving life from the Lord, one being called the will, the other the understanding. Love belongs to the power called the will, for forms of the good of love compose its life; but faith belongs to the power called the understanding, for the truths of faith compose its life. Yet these two powers of life with a person nevertheless make one; and when they make one matters of faith are also aspects of love because they are loved, and aspects of love in turn are also matters of faith because they are believed. This is the kind of life that all in heaven possess.

[2] The reason why in the Word the life of love, or what amounts to the same thing, the will, is called 'the heart', and why the life of faith, or what amounts to the same thing, the understanding, is called 'the soul', is this: Those in the Grand Man or heaven who are governed by love to the Lord and are called celestial angels constitute the province of the heart, and those governed by faith in the Lord and from this by charity towards the neighbour constitute the province of the lungs, see 3635, 3883-3896. So it is that 'the heart' in the Word means love, which is the life of the will, while 'the soul' means faith, which is the life of the understanding, 2930, 7542, 8910. For 'soul' in the original language is derived from a word that means breathing, which is the function of the lungs.

[3] The reason why faith belongs to the understanding is that this mental power is enlightened by the Lord when the person receives faith, so that he has light, or discernment of truth, in such things as are matters of faith when he reads the Word. And the reason why love belongs to the will is that this mental power is kindled by the Lord when the person receives love, so that he has the fire of life and keen perception of good.

[4] All this shows what the proper meaning of 'the heart' is in the Word and what the proper meaning of 'the soul' is, as in the following places: In Moses, You shall love Jehovah your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5-6.

In the same author,

You shall love Jehovah your God, and serve Him, with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 10:12; 11:13.

In the same author,

You shall keep the statutes and judgements, and observe them, with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 26:16.

In the Gospels,

Jesus said, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and your thought. Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30, 32; Luke 10:27.

'Heart' stands for the life of love, and 'soul' for the life of faith. 'Strength' stands for those things that emanate from the life of love, and so from the heart or will, and 'thought' stands for those that emanate from the life of faith, and so from the soul or an enlightened understanding.

(References: Deuteronomy 6:5)


[5] Similarly in Isaiah,

A deceived heart causes him to go astray, so that he does not rescue his soul and say, Is there not a lie in my right hand? Isaiah 44:20.

In Jeremiah,

I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in the land in truth, with all My heart and with all My soul. Jeremiah 32:41.

This refers to Jehovah, that is, to the Lord. 'Heart' is attributed to Him because of His Divine Goodness, which is the good of love or mercy with a person, and 'soul' because of His Divine Truth, which is the truth of faith with him.

[6] Few within the Church at the present day know that these things are meant by 'the hears' and 'the soul' in the Word. They do not know them because they have not considered that a person has two powers of mind that are distinct from each other, that is to say, the will and the understanding, and that these two powers must constitute a single mind if the person is to be truly human. Nor have they considered that all things in the whole of creation, both in heaven and in the world, have connection with goodness and truth, and that these must be joined together if they are to be anything or be productive. The outcome of their ignorance of these things has been that they have separated faith from love; for one who is ignorant of those universal laws cannot know that faith has connection with truth and love with good, or that unless faith and love have been joined together they are not anything. Faith without love is not faith, and love without faith is not love. Love receives its specific quality from faith, and faith its life from love, so that faith without love is dead, whereas faith together with love is living. The truth of this becomes clear from every detail in the Word, for where faith is dealt with, so too is love, in order that the marriage of good and truth, that is, heaven, and in the highest sense the Lord, may be present in every single detail there. Regarding the existence of that marriage, see 683, 793, 801, 2516, 2712, 4138 (end), 5138, 5502, 6343, 7945, 8339. From all this it is now evident why it is that a member of the Church has not up to now known what is meant in the Word by 'the heart' and what by 'the soul'.

[7] The meaning of 'the soul' in the Word as the life of faith becomes perfectly clear from places where 'the soul' is mentioned, as in the following: In Moses,

No one shall take 1 as a pledge the mill or the milling stone, for he is taking the [person's] soul as a pledge. Deuteronomy 24:6.

It says that he takes the soul as a pledge if he takes the mill because in the internal sense 'the mill' means matters of faith, 7780. In Isaiah,

It will be as when a hungry man dreams - as if he were eating - but when he wakes up his soul is fasting; or as when a thirsty man dreams - as if he were drinking - but when he wakes up, behold, he is faint, and his soul is craving. Isaiah 29:8.

'A fasting soul' and 'a craving soul' stand for the desire to learn the forms of good and the truths of faith. In the same prophet,

If you bring out for the hungry your soul 2 and satisfy the afflicted soul ... Isaiah 58:10.

'Bringing out for the hungry your soul' stands for teaching the truths of faith to one who desires them, and 'satisfying the afflicted soul' stands for teaching the good of faith.

[8] In Jeremiah,

If you clothe yourself in twice-dyed and deck yourself with ornaments of gold, if you widen your eyes with stibium, 3 in vain will you make yourself beautiful; your lovers will abhor you, they will seek your soul. Jeremiah 4:30.

Here 'soul' stands for the life of faith, and therefore for the faith itself present with a person since it composes his spiritual life. The fact that faith is what 'soul' is used to mean is evident from the details of the verse. In the same prophet,

They will come and sing on the height of Zion, and converge towards the goodness of Jehovah, towards wheat, and towards new wine, and towards oil, and towards the young 4 of the flock and of the herd; and their soul will become like a watered garden. I will water the weary soul, and every soul that sorrows [I will replenish]. Jeremiah 31:12, 25.

'Soul' stands for the life of faith present with a member of the Church, who is said to become like a garden because 'a garden' means intelligence, which consists of the truths of faith, 100, 108, 2702; and the soul is said to be watered because 'being watered' means receiving instruction.

[9] In the same prophet,

In peril of our souls we acquire our bread, because of the sword of the wilderness. Lamentations 5:9.

'Peril of souls' is the risk of loss of belief and therefore of spiritual life; for 'the sword of the wilderness' is falsity engaged in conflict against the truths of faith, 2799, 4499, 6353, 7102, 8294. In Ezekiel,

Javan, Tubal, and Meshech, they were your merchants; untie the souls of men (homo) and vessels of bronze, they traded for you. 5 Ezekiel 27:13.

'The souls of men' stands for the more internal truths of faith derived from good, 'vessels of bronze' for the more external truths of faith derived from good. 'Vessels' are the more external truths or factual knowledge containing truths, 3068, 3079, and 'bronze' is the good of the natural, 425, 1551. Without the knowledge that 'the souls of men' means faith no one could understand what is meant by trading 'with the souls of men and with vessels of bronze'.

[10] In the same prophet,

Every living soul that creeps, wherever the [two] rivers come to, will live; as a result the fish become very many, for these waters go there, and become fresh. Ezekiel 47:9.

This refers to the new temple, that is, to the new spiritual Church from the Lord. 'Living soul that creeps' stands for factual knowledge embodying the truths of faith; 'the fish' which as a result are many are known facts, 40, 991; and 'the rivers' stands for matters of intelligence, which consists of the truths of faith, 2702, 3051. Again no one could know without the internal sense what might be meant by the fish which become many as a result of the rivers going there. In David,

Make me safe, O God, for the waters have come even to my soul. Psalms 69:1.

And in Jonah,

The waters surrounded me, even to my soul. Jonah 2:5.

'Waters' here stands for falsities, and also for temptations caused by falsities that have been introduced, 705, 739, 756, 790, 8137, 8138, 8368.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 8137-8138)


[11] In Jeremiah,

Jehovah has said, Will not My soul be avenged on a nation which is like this? Jeremiah 5:9, 29.

In the same prophet, Take warning, 6 O Jerusalem, lest My soul turn from you, and I reduce you to a waste.

Since 'soul' is attributed to the Lord it stands for Divine Truth. In John,

The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became like the blood of one dead, from which every living soul died in the sea. Revelation 16:3.

'The sea' stands for known facts in their entirety, 28; 'blood' stands for the truths of faith derived from good, and in the contrary sense for truths of faith that have been falsified and rendered profane, 4735, 6978, 7317, 7326. Therefore 'living soul' stands for life from faith.

(References: Jeremiah 6:8)


[12] In Matthew,

Do not be anxious for your soul, what you are going to eat or what you are going to drink. Matthew 6:25.

'Soul' stands for the truths of faith, 'eating and drinking' for receiving instruction in the goodness and truth of faith; for the internal sense at this point refers to spiritual life and the nourishment of that life. In the same gospel,

Whoever wishes to find his soul will lose it, and whoever loses his soul for My sake will find it. Matthew 10:39.

'Soul' stands for the life of faith, such as believers possess, and in the contrary sense for the life that is not that of faith, such as unbelievers possess. In Luke,

In your patience possess your souls. Luke 21:19.

'Possessing their souls' stands for the things of faith and consequently of spiritual life. 'Soul' has a similar meaning in very many other places.

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Footnotes:

1. literally, He shall not take, reading Non ... accipiet for Non ... accipies (You shall not take)

2. i.e. If you bring food out of store for the hungry

3. literally, break open the eyes with stibium. Stibium was a cosmetic used for blackening the eyelids and eyebrows, thereby making the eyes look brighter or more open.

4. literally, the sons

5. literally, they gave your trading

6. literally, Admit castigation

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(References: Exodus 21:23; Matthew 6:26)

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Arcana Coelestia 9055, 9213, 9231, 9269, 9281, 9300, 9385, 9398, 9460, 9817, 9818, 9823, 9902, 9909, 9936, 10032, 10155, 10301, 10336


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 15, 70, 109, 167, 222, 696, 745, 946


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