From Swedenborg's Works


Divine Wisdom #1

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In the Lord there is Love and there is Wisdom: Love in Him is Being (Esse), and Wisdom in Him is Existing (Existere) 1 ; nevertheless, these in Him are not two, but one; for the Wisdom is of the Love, and the Love is of the Wisdom, and by reason of this union, which is reciprocal, there results a One. This One is the Divine Love that in the heavens becomes visible to angels as a Sun. The reciprocal union of the Divine Wisdom and the Divine Love is meant by these words of the Lord:

Believest thou not, Philip, that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me (John 14:10-11).


I and the Father are one (John 10:30).

[65.] These two things, which in the Lord are a One, do indeed proceed forth as two distinct things from Himself as a Sun, the Wisdom as light and the Love as heat; yet it is only to outward appearance that they proceed forth as two distinct things: in themselves they are not distinct, the light being of the heat, and the heat being of the light; for just as they are one in the Sun, so they are one in the least point. That which proceeds forth from the Sun is also the Sun in the least parts of it, and consequently is the Sun universally in every point. The expressions "every point" and "least part" are used, but spatial points and spatial parts are not meant, for there is nothing of space in what is Divine, this being spiritual, not natural.

[2] [66.] The fact that Love and Wisdom, in proceeding forth from the Lord as a Sun, are to outward appearance two distinct things, the Wisdom visible as light, and the Love perceptible as heat, has this result that they are received as two distinct things by angels; some angels receive more from the heat, which is Love, and some receive more from the light, which is Wisdom. Accordingly the angels comprising the heavens are distinguished into two kingdoms. Those who have received more from the heat, which is Love, than from the light, which is Wisdom, make one kingdom, and are called celestial angels; the highest heavens consist of these. Whereas those who have received more from the light, which is Wisdom, than from the heat, which is Love, make the other kingdom, and are called spiritual angels; the lower heavens consist of these. These latter are said to have received more from the light, which is Wisdom, than from the heat, which is Love, but this "more" is only an apparent "more," for they are no wiser than in proportion as the love with them makes one with their wisdom; this is the reason spiritual angels are called intelligent rather than wise. These things are concerning the light in the Lord, the light proceeding forth from Him, and the light in angels.

[3] [67.] The Divine Wisdom, appearing in the heavens as light, in its essence is not light: it clothes itself with light, so as to appear before the sight of angels. In its essence that Wisdom is Divine Truth, and the light is the outward appearance of it and the correspondent of it. With the light of wisdom it is the same as with the heat of love, spoken of above. As the light corresponds to the Wisdom, and as the Lord is the Divine Wisdom, therefore also in the Word in many places He is called "light," as in the following:

That was the true light which enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world (John 1:9).

Jesus said, I am the Light of the world: he that followeth Me, shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life (John 8:12).

Jesus said, Yet a little while is the Light with you: walk while ye have the Light, lest darkness take possession of you.... While ye have the Light, believe in the Light, that ye may be sons of light.... I am come a Light into the world, that whosoever believeth in Me should not abide in darkness (John 12:35-36, 46).

And a number of other places. Furthermore, the Lord's Divine Wisdom was represented by His garments at the transfiguration, in that

their appearance was like light, "shining and white as snow, so as no fuller on earth can white them" (Mark 9:3; Matthew 17:2).

"Garments" in the Word signify truths of wisdom; on this account all angels in the heavens appear clothed in accordance with the truths of their knowledge, of their intelligence, and of their wisdom.

[4] [68.] It is evident in heaven, though not in the world, that light is the outward appearance of Wisdom and the correspondent of it, there being no light in heaven other than spiritual light, which is the light of Wisdom, illuminating all things that come into existence there from the Divine Love. The wisdom with angels enables them to understand these in their essence, and the light enables them to see them in their form. The light in each heaven, therefore, is equivalent in degree to the wisdom with angels there. In the highest heavens the light is flame-coloured, flashing as if from lustrous gold: this is because they are in wisdom. In the heavens below these the light is white, shining brightly as if from gleaming silver: this is because they are in intelligence. And in the lowest heavens the light is like the noonday light in the world: this is because they are in knowledge. The light in the higher heavens is brilliant, exactly like a star glittering and shining brightly in itself by night, and there is light continuously because the Sun there does not set. It is this same light that enlightens the Understanding of those men in the world who are in the love of being wise, but it is not seen by them because they are natural, not spiritual; it is possible to see it, for it has been seen by me, but only with the eyes of my spirit. Moreover, it has been granted me to perceive that when I was in the light of the highest heaven, I was in wisdom, when in the light of the second heaven I was in intelligence, and when in the light of the lowest heaven I was in knowledge, whereas, when I was in natural light, I was in ignorance of spiritual things.

[5] [69.] In order that I might know in what light the learned in the world are at this day, there appeared before me two ways: one was called the Way of Wisdom, the other the Way of Folly. At the end of the Way of Wisdom stood a palace in light: at the end of the Way of Folly stood something resembling a palace, but it was in shadow. Some three hundred learned men had been assembled together and were given the choice of going which way they wished. Two hundred and sixty were seen to take the Way of Folly and only forty the Way of Wisdom. Those who took the Way of Wisdom entered the palace in light, in which were magnificent things: they were given garments of fine linen, and became angels. Those, on the other hand, who took the Way of Folly were desirous of entering what had looked like a palace when in shadow-but behold, it was an actors' stage where they donned theatrical costumes, and, wearing masks, posed as soothsayers, and became fools. I was afterwards told that at this day the foolish learned who are in natural light are, relatively to the wise learned who are in spiritual light, as many and as foolish; and that all who have a love for discerning whether a thing is true that some one else says, have spiritual light: whereas those who have a love merely for confirming what someone else has said, have natural light.


1. Swedenborg uses the two terms Esse and Existere in the sense respectively of "Being" and "that by which Being has manifest existence." See On the Divine Love 19 [57.].

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

The Bible


John 10:30

Study the Inner Meaning


30 I and my Father are one.

   Study the Inner Meaning

Explanation of John 10      

By Rev. John Clowes M.A.

Explaining the Inner Meaning of John 10

Verse 10:1. The Lord in his Divine Humanity teaches, that whoever does not approach him in that humanity, by faith and love, destroys in himself the goods of faith by falsities, and thus seeks to establish his own merit.

Verse 10:2. Whereas all they, who by faith and love approach him in his humanity, cherish and keep alive in themselves those goods.

Verse 10:3. Therefore their interiors are opened to the life of heaven, and they obey the divine precepts, and are gifted with heaven according to the good of love and faith, and are led of the Lord, and not of themselves.

Verses 10:4, 5. And in all their operations they have respect to the Lord, and acknowledge the divinity of his humanity, because they obey his precepts, and shun all false principles, as not being in agreement with their love.

Verses 10:6, 7, 8. That this teaching is not understood by the men of the perverted church, therefore they are expressly taught again, that the only entrance to the life of heaven is through the Lord's Divine Humanity, and that all who exalt themselves above that Humanity, destroy in themselves the life of heaven, and are opposed to all heavenly good.

Verse 10:9. Whereas they, who by faith and love acknowledge the Lord in his Divine Humanity, are made partakers of his good and truth in every state of life both internal and external.

Verse 10:10. For as evil and false principles deprive good and truth of their proper life, so the Lord in his Divine Humanity was manifested for the purpose of communicating heavenly life to every good and truth, and this in a greater fullness than had ever been before experienced.

Verse 10:11. Therefore the Lord teaches and leads to all truth, whilst by temptation combats, through his own proper power, he unites his divinity to his humanity.

Verses 10:12, 13. Whereas they, who seek their own glory in what they do, having no regard to the good of others, fall in temptations, and are deprived of all heavenly good, inasmuch as they look more at recompense than at that good.

Verse 10:14. But the Lord in his Divine Humanity imparts heavenly good, acknowledging all who receive that good, as his children, and being reciprocally acknowledged by them as their Father.

Verse 10:15. In like manner as the divinity acknowledges the humanity, and the humanity reciprocally acknowledges the divinity, and by enduring temptations unites itself with the divinity.

Verse 10:16. Thus effecting the salvation of the spiritual, or those who are in the good of faith, and who, through the Lord's Divine Humanity will make one with the celestial, or those who are in the good of love.

Verses 10:17, 18. For by temptations, inmost and plenary union of the divinity with the humanity, and of the humanity with the divinity, was effected until the humanity became divine.

Verses 10:19, 20, 21. That these truths effect a work of judgement in the perverted church, by separating those, who reject and blaspheme the Lord's humanity, from those who acknowledge its divine power manifested in the restoration of the understanding of truth.

Verses 10:22, 23. So that some in the church are in the warmth of heavenly affection and life, whilst others are in the warmth of infernal affection and life, and the Lord in his humanity was instilling introductory truths of wisdom.

Verses 10:24, 25. On which occasion, an apparently ardent desire is kindled in the perverted church, to know the truth respecting the Lord's humanity, and they are instructed, that the truth has been declared to them, but they did not receive it, which truth is, that the operation of the Lord's humanity proved it to be derived from the divinity.

Verses 10:26, 27. This truth however they did not admit, because they were not principled in good, for all they, who are principled in good receive the doctrine of the Lord's Divine Humanity, and are acknowledged by that Humanity, and are obedient to its guidance.

Verses 10:28, 29, 30. They receive also from that humanity the life of heavenly love, and are never separated from it, because there is no power which is able to separate them, since the divine good, by which they are drawn to the Divine Humanity, is above every other power, and one with that humanity.

Verses 10:31, 32, 33. That they, who are of the perverted church, oppose the above divine truths with falsities, and being questioned why they thus set themselves against the operation of the divine good, they reply, that they do not oppose the divine good, but the blasphemous idea that humanity can be divine.

Verses 10:34, 35, 36. But this humanity on the contrary teaches, that there is no blasphemy in calling itself divine, since the Holy Word, which is eternal truth, ascribes divinity to those who receive it, and therefore divinity ought more especially to be ascribed to that humanity which proceeded from it, and which is it.

Verses 10:37, 38. And the humanity ought to be judged from its operation, since if its operation be divine, it is a manifest proof that it has reciprocal union with the divine good.

Verse 10:39. That this reasoning is not apprehended by those who are of the perverted church, and therefore they again seek to destroy the Lord's humanity, but in vain.

Verses 10:40, 41, 42. For the Lord in his humanity applies himself to the Gentiles, who are principled in introductory truths, and amongst them he establishes his church, being received by them with affection, and with faith, not grounded in miraculous testimony, but in the love of truth for its own sake.

From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 2004, 2005, 3704, 7456, 9199, 9315, 9818, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 21, 294, 520, 613, 618, 693, 743, ...

A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine 44, 120

Conjugial Love 82, 118

Doctrine of the Lord 32

Worlds in Space 141

Heaven and Hell 2

True Christian Religion 98, 111, 112, 136, 188, 379, 583, ...

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 283

References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 26, 32, 114, 200, 411, 649, 655, ...

Canons of the New Church 40, 43

Charity 201

De Domino 40

Divine Wisdom 1

Marriage 98, 111, 112

Scriptural Confirmations 2, 14, 25

Related New Christian Commentary

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