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Conjugial Love #385

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385. THE CONJUNCTION OF CONJUGIAL LOVE WITH A LOVE A LITTLE CHILDREN

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.

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Footnotes:

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


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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 #3

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

That there is a spiritual world inhabited by spirits and angels distinct from the natural world inhabited by men, has hitherto been deeply hidden, even in the Christian world, because no angel has descended and taught it by word of mouth, nor has any man ascended and seen it. Lest, therefore, from ignorance of that world, and the uncertain faith respecting heaven and hell thence resulting, man should be so far infatuated as to become an atheistic materialist, it has pleased the Lord to open the sight of my spirit, and to raise it into heaven and let it down into hell, and to exhibit to my view the nature of both.

(References: Revelation 2:7)


[2] It has thus been made evident to me that there are two worlds, distinct from each other; one, in which all things are spiritual, whence it is called the spiritual world; and the other, in which all things are natural, whence it is called the natural world: and also that spirits and angels live in their own world, and men in theirs; and further, that every man passes by death from his world into the other, and lives in it to eternity. In order that Influx, which is the subject of this little work, may be unfolded from its beginning, it is necessary that some information respecting both these worlds should be provided; for the spiritual world flows into the natural world, and actuates it in all its parts, with both men and beasts, and also constitutes the vegetative principle in trees and herbs.

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


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