From Swedenborg's Works

 

Divine Wisdom #1

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1. [64.] THE DIVINE WISDOM

I. THE DIVINE WISDOM, IN THE HEAVENS BEFORE THE SIGHT OF ANGELS, IS SEEN AS LIGHT

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).

Also:

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.

Footnotes:

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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The Bible

 

John 1:9

Study the Inner Meaning

              

9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

   Study the Inner Meaning

Explanation of John 1      

By Rev. John Clowes M.A.

Explaining the Inner Meaning of John 1

Verses 1:1, 2. That the Lord, as to his Divine Human [principle], which is divine truth, existed from eternity, in undivided union with the divine good, which is Jehovah.

Verse 1:3. That by divine truth from the Lord was effected the all of creation, both natural and spiritual, thus the production of the all of outward nature, and likewise the regeneration of man, and the establishment of the church.

Verse 1:4. That divine truth is always in union with divine love, and by virtue of that union is the source of all wisdom, intelligence, and rationality, amongst mankind.

Verse 1:5. But that mankind had so immersed themselves in external and natural things, and thus in false principles, that they no longer acknowledged divine truth.

Verses 1:6, 7, 8, 9. That divine truth has its appointed representatives here on earth, amongst those who are principled in charity and faith, whose office it is to testify concerning the Lord's Divine Humanity, and thus to lead mankind to acknowledge and receive it, as the only source of all wisdom, intelligence, and rationality.

Verses 1:10, 11, 12, 13. That the Lord, by his divine truth, or the Word, was present with the Jewish church, but that he was not in general known and acknowledged, yet that all, who did know and acknowledge him, were made regenerate, and thus delivered from the guilt of doing violence to charity, and of profaning truth, being cleansed from all the principles of evil and error.

Verse 1:14. That the Lord, by assuming the human nature, and thus becoming a man, made himself divine truth in ultimates, as he had before been divine truth in first principles, and thus gained fuller access to man, by imparting a fuller measure of his divine love and wisdom.

Verses 1:15, 16, 17. Therefore all, who are principled in charity and faith, acknowledge from the heart, that the Lord in his Divine Humanity is the eternal God, and that all good and truth are from him, and that he came into the world to open those interior things of his Word, for the benefit of mankind.

Verse 1:18. They acknowledge also, that no right apprehension can be had of the invisible Jehovah, but by or through the visible humanity, which he assumed and glorified for that purpose.

Verses 1:19, 20, 21, 22. 23. Thus they testify concerning themselves, to those of the perverted church who are inquisitive about them, that they possess no truth or good of themselves, but only from the Word, and that from the Word all in the vastated church are admonished to prepare themselves to receive the Lord in his Divine Humanity.

Verses 1:24, 25, 26. They testify further, that they can teach only external truth, but that the truth itself is the Lord as to his Divine Humanity, who is yet unacknowledged, although he is the very central life of all truths.

Verse 1:27. And has thus pre-eminence over all, since the lowest order of internal truth is above the highest of what is external.

Verses 1:28, 29. Such is the testimony of external truth, derived from the letter of the Word, which testimony presently conducts to a view of internal truth as it is in connection with the Lord's Divine Humanity, by virtue of which internal truth confession is made that the Lord in his Divine Humanity is the purest innocence, and that human disorder can never be removed, only so far as that innocence is implanted in human minds.

Verses 1:30, 31. Confession is further made from internal truth, that the Lord, in his Divine Humanity, is the eternal god, and that all good and truth are from him, and that he is to be made known to the church by the teaching of external truth from the Word.

Verses 1:32, 33, 34, 35. Which truth testifies, that all the good and truth of faith, thus all purification and regeneration, are from the Divine Humanity of the Lord, and that consequently all internal truth is from the same source.

Verses 1:35, 36, 37. That they who are principled in charity, and in the faith of charity, have their spiritual sight opened to behold and to confess the Lord in his Divine Humanity, whom therefore they immediately acknowledge and obey as the only God.

Verses 1:38, 39. And being led by an internal dictate in their own minds to explore and examine the end of all truth, or knowledge, they are led further to inquire after the good of love and charity, to which all truth and knowledge point, and thus attain conjunction with the Lord in that good.

Verses 1:40, 41, 42. That they who are principled in the good of charity instruct those who are principled in the good of faith, concerning the Lord in his Divine Humanity, and thus conduct them to the Incarnate God, by whom they are taught that they, who are principled in truth derived from good, ought to attach themselves to divine truth, or to truth proceeding from, and in conjunction with, the Lord's Divine Humanity.

Verses 1:43, 44, 45. That they of the church, who are principled in intelligence, are next instructed to acknowledge all intelligence to be derived from the Lord's Divine Humanity, and that when they are so instructed, they again instruct those who are principled in charity and its faith, that the Lord is manifested in his Divine Humanity, as was predicted.

Verses 1:46, 47, 48, 49. Which instruction is received with doubt, until conviction is worked of the divine wisdom of that Humanity, by the distinction which it makes between spiritual good and natural good, and by setting the former above the latter.

Verses 1:50, 51. That this distinction, however, does not produce a conviction equal to that which arises in the course of regeneration, when the internal man is opened to see the several orders of truth in their connection with their divine source, by virtue of which man's ascent to God is first effected, and afterwards the descent of God to man.

From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 20, 1069, 2349, 3195, 4180, 4415, 5922, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 6, 200, 490, 629, 796, 954

A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine 63, 98

Conjugial Love 129

Doctrine of the Sacred Scripture 109

Worlds in Space 122

Heaven and Hell 129, 137

Interaction of the Soul and Body 5, 6

True Christian Religion 59, 85, 176, 269, 354, 761, 776, ...


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 27, 151, 186, 196, 294, 392, 1069

De Verbo (The Word) 17

Divine Wisdom 1

Marriage 59, 85

Scriptural Confirmations 2, 14, 86

Related New Christian Commentary

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