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Interaction of the Soul and Body # 8

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8. 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.

The spiritual influx hitherto treated of by inspired men is that from the soul into the body, but no one has treated of influx into the soul, and through this into the body; although it is known that all the good of love and all the truth of faith flow from God into man, and nothing of them from man; and those things which flow from God flow first into his soul, and through his soul into the rational mind, and through this into those things which constitute the body. If any one investigates spiritual influx in any other manner, he is like one who stops up the course of a fountain and still seeks there perennial streams; or like one who deduces the origin of a tree from the root and not from the seed; or like one who examines derivations apart from their source.

[2] For the soul is not life in itself, but is a recipient of life from God, who is life in Himself; and all influx is of life, thus from God. This is meant by the statement: 'Jehovah God breathed into man's nostrils the breath of lives, and man was made a living soul' (Genesis 2:7). To breathe into the nostrils the breath of lives signifies to implant the perception of good and truth. The Lord also says of Himself, 'As the Father hath life in Himself so hath He also given to the Son to have life in Himself' (John 5:26): life in Himself is God; and the life of the soul is life flowing in from God.

[3] Now inasmuch as all influx is of life, and life operates by means of its receptacles, and the inmost or first of the receptacles in man is his soul, therefore in order that influx may be rightly apprehended it is necessary to begin from God, and not from an intermediate station. Were we to begin from an intermediate station, our doctrine of influx would be like a chariot without wheels, or like a ship without sails. This being the case, therefore, in the preceding articles we have treated of the sun of the spiritual world, in the midst of which is Jehovah God (5); and of the influx thence of love and wisdom, thus of life (6, 7).

(Mga Sanggunian: The Interaction of the Soul and Body 6-7)

[4] That life flows from God into man through the soul, and through this into his mind, that is, into its affections and thoughts, and from these into the senses, speech, and actions of the body, is because these are the things pertaining to life in successive order. For the mind is subordinate to the soul, and the body is subordinate to the mind. The mind, also, has two lives, the one of the will and the other of the understanding. The life of its will is the good of love, the derivations of which are called affections; and the life of the understanding there is the truth of wisdom, the derivations of which are called thoughts: by means of the latter and the former the mind lives. The life of the body, on the other hand, are the senses, speech, and actions: that these are derived from the soul through the mind follows from the order in which they stand, and from this they manifest themselves to a wise man without examination.

[5] The human soul, being a superior spiritual substance, receives influx directly from God; but the human mind, being an inferior spiritual substance, receives influx from God indirectly through the spiritual world; and the body, being composed of the substances of nature which are called matter, receives influx from God indirectly through the natural world.

That the good of love and the truth of wisdom flow from God into the soul of a man conjointly, that is, united into one, but that they are divided by the man in their progress, and are conjoined only with those who suffer themselves to be led by God, will be seen in the following articles.

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Table of Contents
The Interaction of the Soul and Body 1-2 I. There are two worlds: the spiritual world, inhabited by spirits and angels, and the natural world, inhabited by men. 3 II. The spiritual world first existed and continually subsists from its own sun; and the natural world from its own sun. 4 III. The sun of the spiritual world is pure love from Jehovah God, who is in the midst of it. 5 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. 6 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. 7 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. 8 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 9 VIII. Therefore everything which proceeds from this sun, regarded in itself, is dead. 10 IX. That which is spiritual clothes itself with that which is natural, as a man clothes himself with a garment. 11 X. Spiritual things, thus clothed in a man, enable him to live as a rational and moral man, thus as a spiritually natural man. 12 XI. The reception of that influx is according to the state of love and wisdom with man. 13 XII. The understanding in a 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 the heat of heaven, that is, into love, according to the deeds of his life; but the 14 XIII. It is altogether otherwise with beasts. 15 XIV. There are three degrees in the spiritual world, and three degrees in the natural world, hitherto unknown, according to which all influx takes place. 16 XV. Ends are in the first degree, causes in the second, and effects in the third. 17 XVI. Hence it is evident what is the nature of spiritual influx from its origin to its effects. 18-20
Kaugnay na Bagong Kristiyanong Komentaryo

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



The Human Mind


Ni Rev. Peter M. Buss Sr.



1. It is the spirit see Divine Providence 196; 299; cf. Divine Love and Wisdom 199, 386, 387

2. Its laws are those of the spiritual world Divine Providence 299, 300. Cf. Divine Providence 307

a. Notice how the mind obeys those laws - time flies when you're having fun. The wish for spiritual distance. Turning our backs on the Lord - people forget Him or eternity soon after coming into eternity.

b. Positives - the ability of the mind to feel close to a far off loved one.

c. The mind is never old - for its laws are eternal.

3. The mind is spiritual, and the body is its external. Cf. Interaction of the Soul and Body 14; Heaven and Hell 356.

4. It is the intermediate between the soul and the body Conjugial Love 101; Interaction of the Soul and Body 8e

5. It is made up of will and understanding. Divine Love and Wisdom 372 et al.

a. These are now separated, but in the other world they are conjoined again Heaven and Hell 425; Arcana Coelestia 8250.

What makes up the mind?

1. Spiritual substances. Divine Love and Wisdom 257.

2. Made up, not of 102-odd elements, but of our loves and truths Divine Love and Wisdom 372; cf. Divine Providence 326:3; Arcana Coelestia 4390

3. Our affections and thoughts. Interaction of the Soul and Body 8

4. The human mind is nothing but a form of Divine good and Divine truth spiritually and naturally organized. True Christian Religion 224

5. The truth of faith and the good of charity constitute his more interior mind Arcana Coelestia 6158.

6. The soul is a superior spiritual substance, and receives influx immediately from God; the mind, an inferior spiritual substance, receives it from God mediately through the spiritual world. Interaction of the Soul and Body 8e.

7. Thus there are three influences on the mind: the soul, the spiritual world, and the natural world. Interaction of the Soul and Body 8.

a. Note the term natural nearly always refers to what comes to us through our senses, or through our heredity.
b. The term spiritual means what is living. It has spirit within it. Divine Providence 321.

So, what does this mean?

1. Think of knowledges as real substances.

2. They gather around affections. Bound into bundles around affection True Christian Religion 38.
a. The initial way we learn of something is from many different sources. Affections pull them together
b. First natural affections, later spiritual affections.

3. The mind has extension. It is like a landscape. When you learn new things, a new field opens up, and it grows grass and trees and flowers, and is peopled with animals and birds.

4. Think of a little child's mind as an empty space.
a. At first, its goods are a delight in toys, a love for his parents, a need for security, etc.
b. Note the hierarchy. Even to a little child, the security and love are more important than the toys.
c. As it learns, it receives fields into its mental landscape.

5. Journey to Brazil, Japan. A new field, a new set of affections and thoughts.

6. Get married, have a child, become grandparents, retire. Each opens up new vistas.

7. And when we are being regenerated, new loves are born of the Lord from within, creating new realms.
a. For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth.

Can the mind be organized around the wrong affections?

1. Yes, indeed. We can learn the truths of the Writings because we are vain, and we are proud of ourselves above others. Then those truths gather around a selfish, maybe an evil affection.

2. Think of the great scientists who have used science for evil.

3. Such a mind, instead of being a heaven in least form, is a hell.


1. All memories are the storehouse of a sense impression (or a thought) together with the affection that belongs to it.

2. Note that through regeneration the memory is reorganized. We learned for bad reasons, and then the truths are shaken up and rearranged around good affections.

Degrees of the Mind

1. The mind is composed of discrete degrees of life
a. Delight in friendship is natural
b. Delight in love is spiritual
c. Things that belong to friendship are natural - communication, trust, shared ideas about values of this earth
d. Those that belong to love are spiritual - are not really articulate on this earth.
e. Degrees of attraction to the opposite sex.

2. Most general are natural, spiritual, celestial. cf. Divine Love and Wisdom 222, 236; 186, et al.

3. There are three degrees of the natural, and they are opened by education.

4. The higher degrees are opened by regeneration. Divine Love and Wisdom 237; Conjugial Love 305.

5. Note that the natural degree cannot flow into or order the higher degree, but the reverse can happen! It is called regeneration
a. A natural illustration: the rational mind can see that the sun doesn't set (while still enjoying the appearance that it does); but as Galileo found to his cost, the sensuous mind can only see the evidence on its level of thought.

6. The three degrees of the mind correspond to the three heavens. Divine Love and Wisdom 186; 239.

7. The spiritual mind is closed because of hereditary evil. It has to be opened by regeneration. Divine Love and Wisdom 269, 138, 270

8. How are the degrees of the mind opened? By receiving terminations into themselves. Arcana Coelestia 5145.


1. The whole education process is to allow the mind to assume an ordered form. If it comes to adult life in such a form, then it is prepared for regeneration.

2. The affections around which truths are arranged in the natural mind will be orderly, natural affections. These affections will have affinity for each other.

3. The truths in the interior mind will be remains, ordered around heavenly affections for truth. Inmostly there will be affections for good.

4. Through obedience to the Lord, and the temptations that follow, those natural affections become re-ordered around the spiritual affections which flow from within.

a. Note that there are spiritual affections hidden inside natural ones, because the natural ones correspond to spiritual ones!

b. The negative natural affections will be cast out. This is the story of the butler and the baker in Egypt.

5. Finally, this means that we cannot teach a spiritual truth! We can teach a natural truth which contains a spiritual one within, but only the Lord can inspire that life of truth from within and make it spiritual, living, in another person's mind! Divine Love and Wisdom 237; Arcana Coelestia 3185; 3207; cf. 5580, et al.