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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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Interaction of the Soul and Body #2

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2. Since Spiritual Influx, as we have said, originates in order and its laws, it has been acknowledged and received by the wise in the learned world in preference to the other two opinions. Everything which originates in order is truth, and truth, in virtue of its own inherent light, manifests itself even in the shade of the reasoning faculty in which hypotheses reside. As, however, there are three things which involve this hypothesis in shade: ignorance as to what the soul is, ignorance as to what is spiritual, and ignorance respecting the nature of influx. These three things must first be explained before the rational faculty can see the truth itself. For hypothetical truth is not truth itself, but a conjecture of the truth. It is like a picture on a wall seen at night by the light of the stars, to which the mind assigns a form varying according to its fancy; but which appears different after daybreak, when the light of the sun shines upon it, and not only reveals and presents to view its general features, but also each of its parts. So, from the shade of truth in which this hypothesis resides, is produced the open truth, when it is known what and of what nature is that which is spiritual respectively to that which is natural; as also what and of what nature is the human soul, and what the nature of the influx into it, and through it into the perceptive and thinking mind, and from this into the body.

[2] But these subjects can be explained by no one, unless it has been granted him by the Lord to be consociated with angels in the spiritual world and at the same time with men in the natural world; and because this has been granted to me, I have been enabled to describe what and of what nature they both are. This has been done in the work on Conjugial Love: concerning what is spiritual, in the memorable relation, 326-329; concerning the human soul, 315; and concerning influx, 380, and still more fully at 415-422. 1 Who does not know, or may not know, that the good of love and the truth of faith flow in from God into man, and that they flow into his soul, and are felt in his mind; and that they flow forth from his thought into his speech, and from his will into his actions?

(References: Conjugial Love 326-399)

[3] That Spiritual Influx is thence, and also its origin and derivation, shall be shown in the following order:

I. There are two worlds: the spiritual world, inhabited by spirits and angels, and the natural world, inhabited by men.

II. The spiritual world first existed and continually subsists from its own sun; and the natural world from its own sun.

III. The sun of the spiritual world is pure love from Jehovah God, who is in the midst of it.

IV. From that sun proceed heat and light; the heat proceeding from it is in its essence love, and the light from it is in its essence wisdom.

V. Both that heat and that light flow into man: the heat into his will, where it produces the good of love; and the light into his understanding, where it produces the truth of wisdom.

VI. Those two, heat and light, or love and wisdom, flow conjointly from God into the soul of man; and through this into his mind, its affections and thoughts; and from these into the senses, speech, and actions of the body.

VII. The sun of the natural world is pure fire; and the world of nature first existed and continually subsists by means of this sun.

VIII. Therefore everything which proceeds from this sun, regarded in itself, is dead.

IX. That which is spiritual clothes itself with that which is natural, as a man clothes himself with a garment.

X. Spiritual things thus clothed in a man enable him to live as a rational and moral man, thus as a spiritually natural man.

XI. The reception of that influx is according to the state of love and wisdom with man.

XII. The understanding in man can be raised into the light, that is, into the wisdom, in which are the angels of heaven, according to the cultivation of his reason; and his will can be raised, in like manner, into heat, that is, into love, according to the deeds of his life; but the love of the will is not raised, except so far as the man wills and does those things which the wisdom of the understanding teaches.

XIII. It is altogether otherwise with beasts.

XIV. There are three degrees in the spiritual world, and three degrees in the natural world, according to which all influx takes place.

XV. Ends are in the first degree, causes in the second, and effects in the third.

XVI. Hence is evident the nature of spiritual influx from its origin to its effects. Each of these propositions shall now be briefly illustrated.


1. The same articles may be found in The True Christian Religion 280, 697, 35, 77, 12.


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From Swedenborg's Works


True Christian Religion #697

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697. The sixth experience. 1

I once saw not far from me an atmospheric phenomenon. I saw a cloud divided into smaller clouds, some of which were blue and others dark; and I saw these as it were colliding with one another. They were striped with glittering rays which crossed them; sometimes the stripes had sharp tips like sword-points, at other times they appeared square-ended like broken off swords. Sometimes the stripes ran out so as to meet, at other times they withdrew into themselves, rather like boxers. So it looked as if these little clouds of varied colours were fighting one another, but they were playing. Since this atmospheric display took place not far from me, I lifted up my eyes and looking hard I saw boys, young men and old men entering a building constructed of marble with also porphyry in its foundations. The phenomenon was over this building. Then I asked one of those who were going in what was happening there. 'It is a high school,' he replied, 'where young men are given an introduction to various forms of wisdom.'

[2] On hearing this I went in with them. I was in the spirit, that is, in much the same state as people in the spiritual world, those who are called spirits and angels. Inside the school there was in front a chair, in the middle were benches, around the sides seats, and a gallery over the entrance. The chair was for the young men who were to take turns to reply to the question set. The benches were for the audience, the seats at the sides for those who had previously given wise answers, and the gallery for the older men who were to be umpires and judges. In the middle of the gallery there was a platform, where a wise man, called the headmaster, was seated. He put the questions, and the young men answered these from the chair.

When all were assembled, the man on the platform got up and said: 'Please now reply to this question and answer it if you can: what is the soul and what is its nature?'

[3] On hearing this all were astonished and began to murmur; and some of the crowd on the benches cried out: 'What man is there from the age of Saturn 2 down to our times who has been able by any effort of rational thought to see and grasp what the soul is, much less what its nature is. Surely this is beyond the capacity of anyone's understanding?'

But people in the gallery replied to this: 'This is not beyond the understanding, but within its capacity and purview. just give a reply.'

So the young men got up who had been chosen that day to mount the chair and reply to the questions. There were five of them, who had been examined by the elders and found to be outstandingly clever. They were then sitting on padded seats at the sides of the chair. They then took it in turn, according to the order in which they sat, to climb up to the chair. As each went up, he put on a tunic of opalescent silk and over it a gown of soft wool with flowers woven in it, and a hat on his head with a chaplet of roses surrounded by small sapphires on the crown.

[4] Then I saw the first man so clothed go up and say: 'What the Soul is and what its nature is has not been revealed to anyone since the first day of creation. It is a secret which God alone keeps in His treasure-houses. But this much has been discovered, that the soul dwells in man like a queen. However the location of its residence has been the subject of conjecture among learned experts. Some have placed it in the small tubercle between the cerebrum and the cerebellum known as the pineal gland. They have guessed that this was the seat of the soul because the whole person is controlled from those two brains, and that tubercle regulates them. So what governs the two brains at its whim, must also govern the whole person from head to heel. This view,' he said, 'has been regarded by many in the world as true or very probable, but a later age has rejected it as a mere invention.'

[5] On finishing this speech he took off the gown, tunic and hat, and the second of those chosen put them on and so took the chair. His pronouncement about the soul was that in the whole of heaven and in the whole of the world there is no one who knows what the soul is and what its nature is. 'This much,' he said, 'we know, that the soul exists and is in man; but where it is, is a matter of guesswork. This is certain, that it is in the head, since that is where the understanding thinks and the will forms its resolutions; and it is on the face in front of the head that man's five sense organs are to be found. What gives all of these life is the soul which resides inside the head; but I would not dare to express an opinion on where in it its residence is. I have agreed with those who have assigned to it a lodging in the three ventricles of the brain; at other times with those who placed it in the corpora striata there, at other times with those who placed it in the medullary substance of either brain, at other times with those who placed it in the cortical substance, at others with those who placed it in the dura mater. For there was no lack of points to be made in favour of each one of these seats.

The point in favour of the three ventricles in the brain was that they are the receptacles of the animal spirits and all the brain's lymphs. The points in favour of the corpora striata were that these compose the marrow through which the nerves emerge, and by means of which either part of the brain has continuous extensions to the spine; and from one or other of these the fibres emerge which compose the whole structure of the body. The points in favour of the medullary substance of either brain were that it is a gathering and massing together of all the fibres which form the starting point for the development of the whole person. The point in favour of the cortical substance was that here are the first and last ends, and so the beginnings of all fibres, and so of sensation and movement. The point in favour of the dura mater was that it is the shared covering of either brain, from where it stretches in a kind of continuity over the heart and the viscera of the body. For my part, I do not rate one of these theories as superior to another. Will you please, decide and choose which is the best theory.'

[6] After saying this he came down from the chair and passed on the tunic, gown and hat to the third, who went up to the chair and spoke as follows. 'How can I at my age deal with such a lofty subject? I appeal to the learned people seated at the sides here, I appeal to you wise people in the gallery, in fact I appeal to the angels of the highest heaven: can anyone by the light of his reason form for himself any idea of the soul? As regards its seat in man, I can offer as good a guess as anyone else. My guess is that it is in the heart and consequently in the blood. My reason for this is that the heart by means of the blood from it controls both the body and the head. There is a large blood-vessel called the aorta emerging from it and reaching the whole of the body; and there are blood-vessels called carotid arteries emerging from it and reaching the whole of the head. As a result it is universally agreed that the soul by means of blood from the heart sustains, nourishes and gives life to the whole organic system of both the body and the head. An additional reason for believing this assertion is the fact that Holy Scripture says so many times 'soul and heart'. For instance, you are to love God 'with all your soul and with all your heart'; and God creates in man 'a new soul and a new heart' (Deuteronomy 6:5; 10:12; 11:13; 26:16; Jeremiah 32:41; Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30, 33; Luke 10:27, and elsewhere). It also says explicitly that the blood is the soul of the flesh (Leviticus 17:11, 14).' On hearing this some people raised their voices to cry 'Very learned!'; they were members of the clergy.

[7] After this the fourth put on the garments worn by the previous speaker, and on taking the chair said: 'I too suspect that there is no one of such a sharp and subtle mind as to be able to discern what the soul is and what its nature is. I think therefore that anyone who wishes to scrutinise it has his subtlety exhausted by useless exertions. But from childhood up I have persisted in believing the opinion of the ancients, that man's soul is in the whole of him and in every part of him, and so is as much in his head and each of its parts as in the body and each of its parts. It is a useless invention of modern scholars to locate its seat in some part rather than everywhere. Also the soul is a spiritual substance, to which neither extension nor position can be attributed, but only residing and filling. Again, is there anyone who does not understand life when he mentions the soul, and is not life in the whole and in any part you like to name?' There were many in the audience who supported this statement.

[8] He was followed by the fifth, who, adorned with the same emblems, pronounced from the chair as follows: 'I don't much care to say where the soul is, whether it is in some part or in the whole person. But I will draw on my own resources to disclose my opinion on this question, what the soul is and what its nature is. No one thinks of the soul as anything but something pure, which can be likened to ether or air or wind, the vital principle in which derives from the faculty of reason, which man has to a higher degree than animals. I have based this opinion on the fact that, when a person expires, he is said to breathe out or give up his soul or spirit. As a result too a soul which goes on living after death is believed to be a breath of this kind, containing the life of thought which is called the soul. What else could the soul be? But because I have heard people from the gallery asserting that the question what the soul is and what its nature is, is not beyond the understanding, but within its scope and purview, I beg and beseech you to disclose yourselves this everlasting secret.'

[9] The elders in the gallery here looked at the headmaster, who had set the question. He understood from their nods that they wanted him to go down and tell them the answer. So he at once got down from the platform, and passing through the auditorium took the chair, and holding up his hand said: 'Please listen to me. Is there anyone who does not believe the soul to be the most intimate and subtle essence of a person? But what is essence without form but a figment of the imagination? The soul then is a form, but what sort of form I will tell you. It is the form of all the parts of love and all the parts of wisdom. All the parts of love are called affections, and all the parts of wisdom are called perceptions. The perceptions as a result of and so together with the affections make up a single form containing countless parts but arranged in such order and so cohering that they can be called a unity; and they can be called a unity, because nothing can be taken away from it or added to it, if it is to be a unity. What is the human soul but such a form? All the parts of love and all the parts of wisdom are the essentials of such a form, and in the case of a person these essentials are in his soul, and from his soul in his head and body.

[10] 'You are called spirits and angels; and you believed in the world that spirits and angels were like puffs of wind or particles of ether, and so minds of higher or lower degree 3 . Now you see clearly that you are truly, really and actually people, who in the world lived and thought in a material body; and you knew that it is not the material body that lives and thinks, but the spiritual substance in that body. This you called the soul, whose form you did not know; yet now you have seen it and go on seeing it. You are all souls, about whose immortality you have heard, thought, talked and written so much; and since you are forms of love and wisdom coming from God, you cannot ever die. The soul then is a human form, from which nothing can be taken away, and to which nothing can be added, and it is the inmost form of all the forms throughout the body. Since the forms which are outside receive from the inmost both essence and form, you are therefore souls, just as you appear to be to your sight and to ours. In short, the soul is the real person because it is the inmost person; its form therefore is the human form in full perfection. But it is not life, but is the nearest receiver of life from God, and so God's dwelling.'

[11] This speech was greeted by many with applause, but there were some who said, 'We must think about this.' I then went home, and suddenly there appeared above that high school, in place of the previous atmospheric display, a shining cloud without any stripes or rays fighting one another. This cloud penetrated the roof and coming inside lit up the walls. I was told that they saw things written on them, among which was this:

Jehovah God breathed into man's nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul, Genesis 2:7.


1. This section is repeated from Conjugial Love 315.

2. The 'golden age' of antiquity.

3. Latin: mentes et animi.


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