From Swedenborg's Works


Marriage #0

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I. A human being, both male and female, is born to be an image and a likeness of God,1-5.

From the Word,1.

The image of God is love and wisdom, and the likeness of God is the form of each, which is the human form or a human being,2-4.

All parts of the body, which are to be enumerated, and all parts of the mind together make up the human form, and nothing must be lacking from them; they are the form of love and wisdom,2.

In order that there may be a form of love and wisdom nothing must be lacking,3 and God is in that form, because he is Divine Love and Wisdom,4.

A person's will is an organ for the reception of love and everything connected with it, and his understanding is an organ for the reception of wisdom and everything connected with it,5.

II. Woman is created to be an image of love, and man is created to be an image of wisdom,6-13

Every individual is an image of both love and wisdom, but is as he or she is as the result of the predominance [of one characteristic],6.

Love and wisdom, good and truth, affection and thought, and will and understanding are all the same,7.

Such is the difference between woman and man,8.

This is unknown in the world; why;9.

Woman is described as being an image of love or affection for good,10.

Man is described as being an image of wisdom or understanding of truth,11.

A confirmation from experience in a street where there were boys and girls,12.that it is so.

III. The marriage of love and wisdom, that is, good and truth is the actual origin of marriage between man and wife, that is, in an and woman,14.

It is called a marriage of good and truth from which marriages proceed, because good and truth are very general words,14.

They are called husband and wife, and man and woman, because by husband and wife is meant the wisdom of love and the love of wisdom; and by man is meant the truth of good, by woman the good of truth.

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

From Swedenborg's Works


Marriage #10

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10. On the mice

Lascivious wives, and also unmarried women who have thought nothing of prostitution, live in two places; some further forward in the western region and others further back. There live all those who know how to ingratiate themselves with men by the pretence of affection. By this means they acquire the lascivious love of some man, caring not at all whether their affections are good or bad. Those who live further forward were deceitful and sly, clever enough to spy out the nature, mind, inclination, and desire of the men they wished to entice; particularly clever at robbing a man of his wealth so that they might for a while live in luxury. They live there in caves; everything there smells foul, and where they live smells like places where there are mice. When seen by angels they even appear like large mice. I heard some people who were in their caves say that there was a smell of mice, and that these women's places were smelly and dirty, but that they knew how to make themselves beautiful by imagination, and to adorn their places with various fittings. But they could only do this for a few moments, for as soon as their imagination flags, the appearances cease and then everything is foul. It is also said that they delight in that foulness and dirt; the more the deeper they are. The reason for their delight is due to the correspondence with such a life. I saw these women many times, even when by imagination they made themselves appear beautiful; they then appeared magnificently dressed and lovely in face; but as soon as their imaginative thought was removed, which is effected by a good spirit or an angel, they look as ugly as devils, some black, some horribly flame-coloured, some like corpses. I also often saw what looked like large mice with long tails; that was the appearance of their lusts. The extraordinary thing is that there are some spirits of either sex who appear from their passions like cats. Those mice are afraid of them just as mice on earth are afraid of cats. Those who appear like cats are those who have paid no heed to religious matters, apart from merely hearing of them without retaining anything of them. I saw that there were in their caves wives of noble birth, in fact, of men who belonged to the loftiest nobility. But all there are set to work, and none of them can come out or be permitted to escape, because they surpass other spirits in slyness, and enter into men’s affections secretly and allure their minds. They are particularly clever at this, so they are shut up so closely that eventually they dare not so much as poke a finger out.

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