From Swedenborg's Works


Conjugial Love #385

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There are evidences which show that conjugial love and a love of little children - which is called storge 1 - are conjoined; and there are evidences as well which may induce a belief that they are not conjoined. For a love of little children is found in married partners who love each other from the heart, and it is found in partners who are discordant in heart; and also in partners who have separated, and sometimes tenderer and stronger in them than in others. But it can be seen from the origin from which it flows that a love of little children is still forever conjoined with conjugial love. Even though the origin varies in its recipients, still these loves remain undivided, just as any first end in the last end, which is the effect. The first end of conjugial love is the procreation of offspring, and the last end, which is the effect, is the offspring produced. The first end enters into the effect and exists in it as it was in its inception, and does not depart from it, as can be seen from a rational consideration of the progression of ends and causes in their series to effects.

But because the reasonings of many people commence only from effects, and proceed from these to certain consequences, and do not commence from causes and proceed analytically from these to effects, and so on, therefore rational matters of light cannot help but become with them the dark shadows of a cloud, resulting in divergences from truths, arising from appearances and misconceptions.

To show, however, that conjugial love and a love of little children are inwardly conjoined, even if outwardly separated, we will demonstrate it according to the following outline:

1. Two universal atmospheres emanate from the Lord to preserve the universe in its created state, one of which is an atmosphere of procreating, and the other an atmosphere of protecting what has been procreated.

2. These two universal atmospheres ally themselves with an atmosphere of conjugial love and with an atmosphere of love for little children.

3. These two atmospheres flow universally and particularly into all things of heaven and into all things of the world, from the firsts to the lasts of them.

4. The atmosphere of a love for little children is an atmosphere of protecting and maintaining those who cannot protect and maintain themselves.

5. This atmosphere affects both evil people and good, and disposes everyone to love, protect and maintain his progeny in accordance with his particular love.

6. This atmosphere affects the feminine sex primarily, thus mothers, and the masculine sex or fathers from them.

7. This atmosphere is also an atmosphere of innocence and peace from the Lord.

8. An atmosphere of innocence flows into little children, and through them into the parents so as to affect them.

9. It also flows into the souls of the parents, and joins itself with the same atmosphere in the little children; being insinuated principally through the instrumentality of touch.

10. In the measure that innocence in little children recedes, affection and conjunction are also lessened, and this progressively to the point of separation.

11. The rational ground of innocence and peace in parents with respect to their little children is that the little children know nothing and can do nothing of themselves, but are dependent on others, especially on their father and mother; and this state also gradually recedes as the children gain knowledge and are able to act on their own independently of their parents.

12. This atmosphere proceeds sequentially from its end through causes into effects, and produces cycles, by which creation is preserved in its foreseen and provided state.

13. A love of little children descends, and does not ascend.

14. The state of love that wives have before conception is of one character, and of another character after conception to the time of birth.

15. Conjugial love is conjoined with a love of little children in parents by spiritual motivations and consequent natural ones.

16. A love of little children and offspring is of one character in spiritual partners, and of another character in natural ones.

17. In spiritual partners, this love comes from within or from a prior cause, while in natural partners it comes from without or from the subsequent effect.

18. So it is that this love is found in partners who love each other, and also in partners who have absolutely no love for each other.

19. A love of little children remains after death, especially in women.

20. Little children are reared by them under the Lord's guidance, and they grow in stature and intelligence as in the world.

21. The Lord provides there that the innocence of early childhood in them become an innocence of wisdom, and that the little children thus become angels.

Explanation of these statements now follows.


1. From the Greek storg, pronounced stor'gee (like psyche), in use in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries to mean natural or instinctive affection, usually that of parents for their offspring, but no longer current.


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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Interaction of the Soul and Body 2

   Swedenborg Research Tools

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.

 Marriage and Family
Lesson and activities looking at how the love of children relates to marriage.
Religion Lesson | Ages over 15

 Parental Love or Storgé
Article | Ages 15 - 17

 Quotes: The Love of Children
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

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".

From Swedenborg's Works


Interaction of the Soul and Body #1

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1. The Interaction of the Soul and Body

There are three opinions and traditions, which are hypotheses, concerning the Interaction of the Soul and Body, or the operation of the one upon the other, and of the one together with the other: the first is called Physical Influx, the second Spiritual Influx, and the third Pre-established Harmony.

The first, which is called physical influx, arises from the appearances of the senses, and the fallacies thence derived. For it appears as if the objects of sight, which affect the eyes, flow into the thought and produce it; in like manner speech, which affects the ears, appears to flow into the mind, and to produce ideas there; and it is similar with respect to the senses of smell, taste, and touch. Since the organs of these senses first receive the impressions that flow into them from the world, and the mind appears to think, and also to will, according as these organs are affected, therefore, the ancient philosophers and Schoolmen believed that influx was derived from them into the soul, and hence adopted the hypothesis of Physical or Natural Influx.

[2] The second hypothesis, which is called spiritual, and by some occasional influx, originates in order and its laws. For the soul is a spiritual substance, and therefore purer, prior, and interior; but the body is material, and therefore grosser, posterior, and exterior; and it is according to order that the purer should flow into the grosser, the prior into the posterior, and the interior into the exterior, thus what is spiritual into what is material, and not the contrary. Consequently, it is according to order for the thinking mind to flow into the sight according to the state induced on the eyes by the objects before them, which state that mind also disposes at its pleasure; and likewise for the perceptive mind to flow into the hearing, according to the state induced upon the ears by speech.

[3] The third hypothesis, which is called pre-established harmony, arises from the appearances and fallacies of the reasoning faculty; since the mind, in the very act of operating, acts together with and at the same time as the body. Still, every operation is first successive and afterwards simultaneous, and successive operation is Influx, and simultaneous operation is Harmony; as, for instance, when the mind thinks and afterwards speaks, or when it wills and afterwards acts: hence it is a fallacy of the reasoning faculty to establish that which is simultaneous, and to exclude that which is successive.

No fourth opinion concerning the Interaction of the Soul and the Body can be framed in addition to these three; for either the soul must operate upon the body, or the body upon the soul, or both uninterruptedly at the same time.

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