The Intercourse Between The Soul and The Body
Which is Believed to be either by
Physical Influx, or by Spiritual Influx, or by Pre-Established Harmony
by Emanuel Swedenborg
Originally published in
1. Concerning the intercourse between the soul and the body, or the operation of one into the other, and of one with the other, there are three opinions and traditions, which are hypotheses. The first is called Physical Influx, the second Spiritual Influx, and the third Pre-established Harmony. The first, which is called Physical Influx, is from the appearances of the senses and the fallacies therefrom, since it appears as if the objects of sight, which affect the eyes, flow into thought and produce it; in like manner that speech, which moves the ears, flows into the mind and introduces ideas there; and similarly with the senses of smell, taste, and touch. Since the organs of these senses first receive the impressions from contact with the world, and according as they are affected the mind appears to think and also to will; for this reason the ancient philosophers and schoolmen believed that influx was derived from these organs into the soul, and thus they adopted the hypothesis of physical or natural influx. The second hypothesis, which is called Spiritual Influx, by some occasional influx, is from order and its laws; since the soul is a spiritual substance, and therefore purer, prior, and interior, but the body is material, and therefore grosser, posterior, and exterior; and it is according to order that purer should flow into grosser, prior into posterior, and interior into exterior, thus spiritual into material, and not the reverse. Consequently it is of order that the thinking mind should flow into the sight according to the state induced on the eyes from objects, which state the mind also disposes at will; and likewise the perceptive mind into the hearing according to the state induced on the ears from speech. The third hypothesis, which is called Pre-established Harmony, is from the appearances and fallacies of reason, since the mind in its operation acts together and at the same time with the body. But yet every operation is first successive and afterward simultaneous. Successive operation is influx, and simultaneous operation is harmony; as when the mind thinks and afterward speaks, or when it wills and afterward acts. It is therefore a fallacy of reason to establish simultaneous operation and to exclude successive. Besides these three opinions concerning the intercourse of the soul and the body, no fourth is possible, for either the soul must operate on the body, or the body on the soul, or both continually together.
2. Since spiritual influx is from order and its laws, as was said, therefore this influx has been acknowledged and received by the wise in the learned world in preference to the other two hypotheses. All that which is from order is truth, and truth manifests itself by the light implanted in it, even in the shade of reason, in which hypotheses are. But there are three things that involve this hypothesis in shade, ignorance of what the soul is, ignorance of what the spiritual is, and ignorance of what influx is; therefore these three must first be unfolded before reason sees the truth itself. For hypothetical truth is not truth itself, but only a conjecture of truth. It is as a picture on the wall seen at night by the light of the stars, on which the mind induces various forms according to its fancy. It is otherwise when the light of the sun after the dawn shines upon it, and disposes and brings to view not only its generals, but also its particulars. So out of the shade of truth in which this hypothesis is, truth is opened when it is known what the spiritual is and what is its quality in comparison with the natural, also what the human soul is and its quality, as well as the nature of the influx that flows into the soul and through it into the perceptive and thinking mind, and from this into the body. But these things cannot be explained except by one to whom it has been granted by the Lord to associate with angels in the spiritual world and at the same time with men in the natural world. And because this has been granted to me, I have been able to describe both the spiritual and the natural, and their nature; which has been done in the work on Conjugal Love, the spiritual is described there in the Relation (CL n. 326-399); the human soul (CL n. 315); influx (CL n. 380); and more fully (CL n. 415-422). Who does not know, or may not know, that the good of love and the truth of faith flow from God into man, and that they flow into his soul, and are felt in his mind, and flow out from his thought into his speech, and from his will into his actions? That spiritual influx, and its origin and derivation, are from this, will be manifested in the following order:--
VI. Those two, namely 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.
XII. The understanding in a man can be elevated into the light, that is, into the wisdom in which the angels of heaven are, according to the cultivation of his reason; and in like manner his will can be elevated into the heat of heaven, that is, into love, according to the deeds of his life; but the love of the will is not elevated except so far as the man wills and does those things which the wisdom of the understanding teaches.
(Original List of Contents)
I. There are two worlds, the spiritual world, where spirits and angels are, and the natural world, where men are.
II. The spiritual world existed and subsists from its own sun, and the natural world from its sun.
III. The sun of the spiritual world is pure love from Jehovah God, who is in the midst of it.
IV. From that sun proceed heat and light, and the heat proceeding from it is in its essence love, and the light thence is in its essence wisdom.
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.
VI. These 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.
VII. The sun of the natural world is pure fire, and by means of this sun the world of nature existed and subsists.
VIII. Therefore everything which proceeds from this sun, regarded in itself, is dead.
IX. The spiritual clothes itself with the natural, as a man clothes himself with a garment.
X. Spiritual things thus clothed in a man enable him to live a rational and moral man, thus a spiritually natural man.
XI. The reception of that influx is according to the state of love and wisdom with man.
XII. The understanding in man can be elevated into the light, that is, into the wisdom in which the angels of heaven are, according to the cultivation of his reason; and his will can be elevated in like manner into beat, that is, into love, according to the deeds of his life; but the love of the will is not elevated, except so far as man wills and does those things which the wisdom of the understanding teaches.
XIII. It is altogether otherwise with beasts.
XIV. There are three degrees in the spiritual world, and three degrees in the natural world, according to which all influx takes place.
XV. Ends are in the first degree, causes in the second, and effects in the third.
XVI. From these things it is evident what is the quality of spiritual influx from its origin to its effects.
Each of these propositions shall now be briefly illustrated.
3. That there is a spiritual world, in which spirits and angels are, distinct from the natural world in which men are, has hitherto been deeply hidden even in the Christian world. The reason is, because no angel has descended and taught it by word of mouth, and no man has ascended and seen it. Lest therefore from ignorance of that world, and the uncertain faith concerning heaven and hell resulting from it, man should be infatuated to such a degree as to become an atheistic naturalist, it has pleased the Lord to open the sight of my spirit, and to elevate it into heaven, and also to let it down into hell, and to present to view the quality of both. Thence it has thus been manifested to me that there are two worlds, which are distinct from each other; one in which all things are spiritual, which is therefore called the spiritual world, and the other in which all things are natural, and thence is called the natural world; and that spirits and angels live in their own world, and men in theirs; and also that every man passes by death from his own world into the other, and in this he lives to eternity. A knowledge of both of these worlds must be given first, in order that influx, which is here treated of, may be disclosed from its beginning; for the spiritual world flows into the natural world, and actuates it in all its parts, both with men and with beasts, and also constitutes the vegetative activity in trees and herbs.
4. That there is one sun of the spiritual world and another of the natural world, is because those worlds are altogether distinct; and a world derives its origin from its sun; for a world in which all things are spiritual cannot arise from a sun all things from which are natural, for thus there would be physical influx, which however is contrary to order. That the world existed from the sun, and not the reverse, is manifest from the effect of the cause, namely, that the world, in each and every part subsists by means of the sun; and subsistence demonstrates existence, wherefore it is said that subsistence is perpetual existence; from which it is evident, that if the sun were removed, its world would fall into chaos, and this chaos into nothing. That in the spiritual world there is a sun other than that in the natural world, I can testify, for I have seen it. It appears fiery like our sun, of a nearly similar magnitude, it is distant from the angels as our sun is from men; but it does not rise nor set, but stands movable at a middle altitude between the zenith and the horizon, whence the angels have perpetual light and perpetual spring. The man of reason, who knows nothing concerning the sun of the spiritual world, easily goes astray in his idea of the creation of the universe, which, when he deeply considers it, he perceives no otherwise than as being from nature; and as the origin of nature is the sun, no otherwise than as being from its sun as a creator. Moreover no one can apprehend spiritual influx, unless he also knows its origin; for all influx is from a sun, spiritual influx from its sun, and natural influx from its sun. The internal sight of man, which is that of his mind, receives influx from the spiritual sun, but his external sight, which is that of his body, receives influx from the natural sun; and both conjoin themselves together in operation, in like manner as the soul conjoins itself with the body. From these things it is evident into what blindness, thick darkness, and foolishness they may fall who know nothing about the spiritual world and its sun: into blindness, because the mind that depends on the sight of the eye alone becomes in its reasonings like a bat, which flies by night here and there to a suspended cloth; into thick darkness, because the sight of the mind, when the sight of the eye flows into it from within, is deprived of all spiritual light, and becomes like an owl; into foolishness, because the man still thinks, but from natural things concerning spiritual things, and not the reverse; thus insanely, stupidly, and foolishly.
5. Spiritual things cannot proceed from any other source than from love, and love cannot proceed from any other source than from Jehovah God, Who is love itself. Wherefore the sun of the spiritual world, from which all spiritual things flow forth as from their fountain, is pure love from Jehovah God, Who is in the midst of it. That sun itself is not God, but is from God, and is the nearest sphere around Him from Him. By means of this sun the universe was created by Jehovah God; by which universe are meant all worlds in the aggregate which are as many as the stars in the expanse of our heaven. That creation was effected by means of that sun, which is pure love, thus by Jehovah God, is because love is the very esse of life, and wisdom is the existere of life therefrom, and all things were created from love by wisdom. This is meant by these words in John:--
The Word was with God, and God was the Word, all things were made by Him, and without Him nothing was made which was made; and the world was made by Him (John 1:1, 3, 10).
"The Word" there is the Divine truth; thus also the Divine wisdom; wherefore also the Word is there called the light which enlightens every man (John 1:9), in like manner as does the Divine wisdom by Divine truth. Those who derive the origin of worlds from any other source than from the Divine love through the Divine wisdom, are deluded like persons of disordered brain, who see specters as men, phantoms as lights, and imaginary beings as real figures. For the created universe is a connected work, from love by wisdom. You will see this if you are able to investigate the connections of things in their order from firsts to lasts. As God is one, so also the spiritual sun is one; for the extension of space cannot be predicated of spiritual things, which are the derivations of that sun; and essence and existence without space is everywhere in spaces without space; thus the Divine love is from the beginning of the universe to all its boundaries. That the Divine fills all things, and by filling preserves all things in the state in which they were created, reason sees remotely, and closely so far as it knows the quality of love as it is in itself, with its conjunction with wisdom for the perception of ends, its influx into wisdom for the exhibition of causes; and its operation through wisdom for the production of effects.
6. It is known that in the Word, and thence in the common language of
preachers, the Divine love is expressed by fire, as that heavenly fire fills
the heart and kindles holy desires to worship God. The reason is because fire
corresponds to love, and therefore signifies it. From this it is that Jehovah
God was seen as fire in the bush before Moses, and in like manner on mount
Sinai before the sons of
The Light which enlightens every man (John 1:8).
And says in other places that:--
He is the Light itself (John 3:19; 8:12; 12:35, 36, 46).
That is, that He is the Divine truth itself, which is the Word, thus wisdom itself. It is believed that natural light which is also rational light, is from the light of our world; but it is from the light of the sun of the spiritual world; for the sight of the mind flows into the sight of the eye, thus also the lights, and not the reverse. If the reverse took place, there would he physical influx and not spiritual influx.
7. It is known that all things universally have relation to good and truth, and that there is not given a single entity in which there is not what has relation to those two. From this it is that in man there are two receptacles of life, one which is the receptacle of good, which is called the will, and another which is the receptacle of truth, which is called the understanding; and as good is of love, and truth is of wisdom, the will is the receptacle of love, and the understanding is the receptacle of wisdom. That good is of love, is because what a man loves, this he wills, and when he does it he calls it good; and that truth is of wisdom, is because all wisdom is from truths; yea, the good which a wise man thinks, is truth, and this becomes good when he wills it and does it. He who does not rightly distinguish between these two receptacles of life, which are the will and the understanding, and does not form a clear notion concerning them, vainly endeavors to know spiritual influx; for there is influx into the will, and there is influx into the understanding; there is an influx of the good of love into man's will, and there is an influx of the truth of wisdom into his understanding, both of them from Jehovah God immediately through the sun in the midst of which He is, and mediately through the angelic heaven. These two receptacles, the will and the understanding, are as distinct as heat and light; for the will receives the heat of heaven, which in its essence is love, and the understanding receives the light of heaven, which in its essence is wisdom, as was said above. There is an influx from the human mind into the speech, and there is an influx into the actions; the influx into the speech is from the will through the understanding, but the influx into the actions is from the understanding through the will. They who know only of the influx into the understanding, and not at the same time into the will, and who reason and conclude from this, are like one-eyed persons, who see the objects on one side only, and not at the same time on the other; and like maimed persons, who do their work awkwardly with one hand only; and like the lame who hobble on one foot with a crutch. From these few things it is made plain, that spiritual heat flows into man's will, and produces the good of love, and that spiritual light flows into his understanding, and produces the truth of wisdom.
8. The spiritual influx hitherto treated of by men of learning, is the influx from the soul into the body, and not any influx into the soul, and through that 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 that nothing of them is from man; and those things which flow in from God, flow directly into his soul and through the soul into the rational mind, and through this into those things which constitute the body. If anyone investigates spiritual influx in any other manner, he is like one who stops up the source of a fountain, and still seeks there for unfailing waters; or like one who deduces the origin of a tree from the root and not from the seed; or like one who examines derivatives without the beginning. For the soul is not life in itself, but is a recipient of life from God, Who is life in itself; and all influx is of life, thus from God. This is meant by this passage:--
Jehovah God breathed into the nostrils of the man the soul of lives, and the man became a living soul (Gen. 2:7).
"To breathe into the nostrils the soul of lives," signifies to implant the perception of good and truth. And the Lord also says of Himself:--
As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given also to the Son to have life in Himself (John 5:26).
"Life in Himself" is God; and the life of the soul is life that flows in from God. Now because all influx is of life, and life operates through its receptacles, and the inmost or first of the receptacles in man is his soul, therefore, than influx may be rightly perceived, it is necessary to begin from God, and not from an intermediate station. If the beginning were from an intermediate station, the doctrine of influx would be like a chariot without wheels, or like a ship without sails. Since it is so, therefore in the preceding articles the sun of the spiritual world has been treated of, in the midst of which is Jehovah God (n. 5); and the influx thence of love and wisdom, thus of life (n. 6, 7). The reason that life from God flows 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 of life in successive order; for the mind is subordinate to the soul, and the body is subordinate to the mind. And the mind has two lives, one of the will and another of the understanding. The life of the will is the good of love, the derivations of which are called affections, and the life of the understanding is the truth of wisdom, the derivations of which are called thoughts. By these together the mind lives. But the senses, speech, and actions are the life of the body; that these are from the soul through the mind, follows from the order in which they are; and from this they manifest themselves before a wise man without investigation. The human soul, because it is a superior spiritual substance, receives influx immediately from God; but the human mind, because it is an inferior spiritual substance, receives influx from God mediately through the spiritual world; and the body, because it is from the substances of nature, which are called material, receives influx from God mediately through the natural world. That the good of love and the truth of wisdom flow from God into the soul of man conjointly, that is, united into one, but that they are divided by man in their progression, and are conjoined only with those who suffer themselves to be led by God, will be seen in the following articles.
9. That nature and its world, by which are meant the atmospheres, and the earths which are called planets, among which is the terraqueous globe on which we dwell, and also each and all of the things which yearly adorn its surface, subsist solely from the sun, which constitutes their centre, and which by the rays of its light and the temperings of its heat is everywhere present, everyone knows with certainty from experience, from the testimony of the senses, and from the writings which treat of the way in which the world has become inhabited. And as the perpetual subsistence of these things is from the sun, reason may with certainty conclude that their existence also is thence; for perpetually to subsist is perpetually to exist as they first existed. From this it follows that the natural world was created by Jehovah God secondarily through this sun. That there are spiritual things and that there are natural things, which are entirely distinct from each other, and that the origin and maintenance of spiritual things is from a sun which is pure love, in the midst of which is the Creator and founder of the universe, Jehovah God, has been heretofore shown; but that the origin and maintenance of natural things is from a sun which is pure fire, and that the latter is from the former, and both from God, follows of itself, as the posterior follows from the prior, and the prior from the first. That the sun of nature and its worlds is pure fire, all its effects clearly show; as the concentration of its rays into a focus by optical instruments, from which proceeds fire burning with vehemence and also flame; the nature of its heat, which is similar to heat from elementary fire; the graduation of that heat coordinator to its angle of incidence, whence are the varieties of climate, and also the four seasons of the year; besides many things, from which reason, by the senses of its body, may confirm the truth that the sun of the natural world is mere fire, and also that it is fire in its purity itself. Those who know nothing concerning the origin of spiritual things from their own sun, but only concerning the origin of natural things from theirs, can scarcely avoid confounding spiritual things and natural things, and concluding, through the fallacies of the senses and thence of the reason, that spiritual things are nothing but pure natural things, and that from the activity of the latter, excited by light and heat, wisdom and love arise. Those, because they see nothing else with their eyes, and smell nothing else with their nostrils, and breathe nothing else with their breast than nature, therefore ascribe all rational things to it also, and thus absorb naturalism, as a sponge does waters. But these may be compared to charioteers who yoke the horses behind the chariot and not before it. It is otherwise with those who distinguish between spiritual things and natural things, and deduce the latter from the former; these also perceive that the influx of the soul into the body is spiritual, and that natural things, which are of the body, serve the soul for vehicles and means, that it may produce its effects in the natural world. If you conclude otherwise, you may be likened to a crab, which in walking assists its progress with its tail, and draws its eyes backward at every step; and your rational sight may be compared to the sight of the eyes of Argus in the back of his head, when those in his forehead were asleep. These persons also believe themselves to be Arguses when they reason; for they say, Who does not see that the origin of the universe is from nature? and what then is God but the inmost extension of nature? and the like irrational things; of which they boast more than the wise do of rational things.
10. Who does not see from the reason of his understanding, if this is a little elevated above the sensual things of the body, that love regarded in itself is alive, and that the appearance of its fire is life, and, on the contrary, that elementary fire regarded in itself is respectively dead; consequently, that the sun of the spiritual world, because it is pure love, is alive: and that the sun of the natural world, because it is pure fire, is dead; and similarly all things which proceed and exist from them? There are two things which produce all the effects in the universe, Life and Nature, and they produce them according to order when life from within actuates nature. It is otherwise when nature from within brings life to act, which takes place with those who place nature, which in itself is dead, above and within life, and thence who strive solely after the pleasures of the senses and the lusts of the flesh, and care nothing for the spiritual things of the soul and the truly rational things of the mind. Such persons, on account of that inversion, are they who are called "the dead"; such are all atheistic naturalists in the world, and all satans in hell. They are also called "the dead" in the Word, as in David:--
They joined themselves to Baal-peor, "and ate the sacrifices of the dead (Ps. 106:28).
The enemy persecuteth my soul, he maketh me to sit in darkness like the dead of the world (Ps. 143:3).
To bear the coming of the bound, and to open to the sons of death (Ps. 102:21).
And in the Apocalypse:--
I know thy worlds, that thou hast a name that thou livest, but thou art dead; be watchful and establish the thing which remain that are ready to die (Apoc. 3:1, 2).
They are called "the dead," because spiritual death is damnation, and damnation is the lot of those who believe that life is from nature, and thus that the light of nature is the light of life, and thereby hide, suffocate, and extinguish every idea of God, of heaven, and of eternal life. Such persons are like owls, which see light in darkness and darkness in light, that is, falsities as truths and evils as goods; and because the delights of evil are the delights of their hearts, they are not unlike those birds and beasts which devour the bodies of the dead as dainties, and perceive the fetid odors from sepulchres as balsams. Such persons also do not see any other influx than physical or natural; if notwithstanding they affirm influx to be spiritual, this is not done from any idea of it but from the mouth of a teacher.
11. It is known that in every operation there is an active and a passive; and that from the active alone nothing exists, and nothing from the passive alone. It is the same with the spiritual and the natural; the spiritual, because it is a living force, is active, and the natural, because it is a dead force, is passive. Hence it follows that whatever has existed in this solar world from the beginning, and afterwards exists every moment, is from the spiritual through the natural, and this not only in the subjects of the animal kingdom, but also in the subjects of the vegetable kingdom. Another similar thing is also known, namely, that in every thing which is effected there is a principal and an instrumental, and that these two, when anything is done, appear as one, although they are distinctly two; wherefore this also is one of the canons of wisdom, that the principal cause and the instrumental cause make together one cause; so also do the spiritual and the natural. That these two in producing effects appear as one, is because the spiritual is within the natural as the fibre is within the muscle, and as the blood is within the arteries; or as the thought is within the speech, and the affection in sounds; and it makes itself felt by means of the natural. From these things, but still as if through a lattice, it is evident that the spiritual clothes itself with the natural, as a man clothes himself with a garment. The organic body with which the soul clothes itself is here likened to a garment, because it clothes the soul, and the soul also puts off the body, and casts it away as exuviae when by death it emigrates from the natural world into its own spiritual world. For the body grows old like a garment; but not the soul, because this is a spiritual substance, which has nothing in common with the changes of nature, which progress from their beginnings to their ends, and are periodically terminated. They who do not consider the body as the vesture or covering of the soul, and as being in itself dead, and only adapted to receive the living forces flowing in through the soul from God, cannot help concluding, from fallacies, that the soul lives by itself, and the body by itself, and that there is a pre-established harmony between the lives of the two; or even that the life of the soul flows into the life of the body, or the life of the body into the life of the soul, and thus they conceive influx as either spiritual or natural; when yet it is a truth which is proved by every thing that is created, that what is posterior does not act from itself, but from what is prior, from which it proceeded; thus that neither does this act from itself, but from something still prior; and thus that nothing acts except from the First which acts from itself, thus from God. Besides, there is only one life, and this is not capable of being created, but is eminently capable of flowing into forms organically adapted to its reception. Such forms are each and all of the things in the created universe. It is believed by many that the soul is life, and thus, that a man, because he lives from the soul, lives from his own life, thus from himself, and therefore not by an influx of life from God; but these cannot help tying a sort of Gordian knot of fallacies, and entangling in it all the judgments of their mind, whence are mere insanities in spiritual things; or constructing a labyrinth, from which the mind can never, by any thread of reason, retrace its way and extricate itself; they also actually let themselves down as it were in caverns under the earth, where they dwell in eternal darkness. For from such a belief proceed innumerable fallacies, each of which is horrible; as that God transfused and transcribed Himself into men, and that thus every man is a sort of Deity, which lives from itself, and thus that he does good and is wise from himself; likewise that he possesses faith and charity in himself, and thus derives them from himself, and not from God; besides many monstrous beliefs such as prevail with those in hell, who, when they were in the world, believed that nature lived, or produced life by its own activity. When these look towards heaven they see its light as mere thick darkness. I once heard the voice of one saying from heaven, that if a spark of life in man were his own, and not of God in him, there would be no heaven, nor anything therein, and hence that there would not be any church on earth, and consequently no life eternal. More upon this subject may be consulted in the Relation inserted in the work on Conjugal Love (CL n. 132-136).
12. From the principle established above, that the soul clothes itself with a body as a man clothes himself with a garment, this follows as a conclusion. For the soul flows into the human mind, and through this into the body, and carries life with it, which it continually receives from the Lord, and thus transfers it mediately into the body, where by the closest union it makes the body as it were to live. Thence from a thousand testimonies of experience, it is evident that the spiritual united to the material, as a living force with a dead force, causes man to sneak rationally and to act morally. It appears as if the tongue and lips speak from a certain life in themselves, and that the arms and hands act in a like manner; but it is the thought, which in itself is spiritual, that speaks, and the will, which likewise is spiritual, that acts, and each through its own organs, which in themselves are material, because taken from the natural world. That it is so appears in the day, provided this is attended to: remove thought from speech, is not the mouth dumb in a moment? also remove will from action, do not the hands rest in a moment? The union of spiritual things with natural, and the appearance of life therefrom in material things, may be compared to generous wine in a clean sponge, and to the sweet must in a grape, and to the savory liquor in an apple, and also to the aromatic odor in cinnamon. The fibres containing all these things are matters which neither taste nor are fragrant from themselves, but from the fluids in and between them; wherefore if you squeeze out those juices, they are dead filaments. So are the organs proper to the body, if life is taken away. That man is rational from the union of spiritual things with natural, is evident from the analytical processes of his thought; and that he is moral from the honorableness of his conduct and the graces of his bearing. These he has from the faculty of receiving influx from the Lord through the angelic heaven, where is the very abode of wisdom and love, thus of rationality and morality.
From these things it is perceived, that what is spiritual and what is natural, being united in man, cause him to live a spiritually natural man. The reason that he lives in a similar and yet dissimilar manner after death, is because his soul is then clothed with a substantial body, as in the natural world it was clothed with a material body. It is believed by many that the perceptions and thoughts of the mind, because they are spiritual, flow in naked, and not through organized forms. But those dream thus who have not seen the interiors of the head, where perceptions and thoughts are in their beginnings; and that the brains are there, interwoven and composed of the cineritious and medullary substances, and that there are glands, cavities, septa, and the meninges and matres, which surround them all; and that a man thinks and wills sanely or insanely according to the sound or perverted state of all those things; thence that he is rational and moral according to the organic formation of his mind. For nothing could be predicated of the rational sight of man, which is the understanding, without forms organized for the reception of spiritual light, just as nothing could be predicated of the natural sight without the eyes; and so in other instances.
13. That a man is not life, but an organ recipient of life from God, and that love together with wisdom is life, also that God is love itself and wisdom itself, and thus life itself, has been demonstrated above. Thence it follows that so far as a man loves wisdom, or so far as wisdom in the bosom of love is with him, so far he is an image of God, that is, a receptacle of life from God; and, on the contrary, so far as he is in opposite love, and thence in insanity, so far he does not receive life from God, but from hell, which life is called death. Love itself and wisdom itself are not life, but are the esse of life, but the delights of love and the pleasantnesses of wisdom, which are affections, constitute life, for the esse of life exists by these. The influx of life from God carries with it those delights and pleasantnesses just as does the influx of light and heat in springtime, into human minds, and also into birds and beasts of every kind, yea into plants, which then germinate and become prolific; for the delights of love and the pleasantnesses of wisdom expand minds and adapt them to reception, as joys and gladness expand the face and adapt it to the influx of the cheerfulness of the soul. The man who is affected with the love of wisdom, is like the garden in Eden, in which are two trees, the one of life and the other of the knowledge of good and evil. The tree of life is the reception of love and wisdom from God, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is the reception of them from himself. But the latter is insane, and still believes that it is wise like God, while the former is truly wise, and believes that no one is wise but God alone, and that man is wise so far as he believes this, and more wise so far as he feels that he wills it. But more on this subject may be seen in the Relation inserted in the work on Conjugial Love (CL n. 132-136).
I will here add an arcanum confirming these things from heaven. All the angels of heaven turn their forehead to the Lord as a sun, and all the angels of hell turn the back of the head to Him; and the latter receive influx into the affections of their will, which in themselves are lusts, and make the understanding favor them; but the former receive influx into the affections of their understanding, and make the will favor them. Hence these are in wisdom, but the others are in insanity; for the human understanding dwells in the cerebrum, which is under the forehead, and the will in the cerebellum, which is in the back of the head. Who does not know that a man who is insane from falsities, favors the cupidities of his own evil, and confirms them by reasons from the understanding; and that a wise man sees from truths the quality of the cupidities of his will, and curbs them? A wise man does this because he turns his face to God, that is, he believes in God, and not in himself; but an insane man does the other thing because he turns his face from God, that is, he believes in himself, and not in God. To believe in himself is to believe that he loves and is wise from himself, and not from God, and this is signified by eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; but to believe in God is to believe that he loves and is wise from God, and not from himself, and this is to eat of the tree of life (Rev. 2:7).
From these things, but still only as in the light of the moon by night, it may be perceived that the reception of the influx of life from God is according to the state of love and wisdom with a man. This influx may further be illustrated by the influx of light and heat into plants, which blossom and bear fruit according to the structure of the fibres which form them, thus according to reception. It may also be illustrated by the influx of the rays of light into precious stones, which modify them into colors according to the situation of the parts composing them, thus also according to reception; and likewise by optical glasses and by drops of rain, which exhibit rainbows according to the incidences, refractions, and thus the receptions of light. The case is similar with human minds as to spiritual light, which proceeds from the Lord as a sun, and perpetually flows in, but is variously received.
14. By the human mind are meant its two faculties, which are called the understanding and the will. The understanding is the receptacle of the light of heaven, which in its essence is wisdom, and the will is the receptacle of the heat of heaven, which in its essence is love, as was shown above. These two; wisdom and love, proceed from the Lord, as a sun, and flow into heaven universally and particularly, whence the angels have wisdom and love; and they also flow into this world universally and particularly, whence men have wisdom and love. But these two united proceed from the Lord, and likewise united flow into the souls of angels and men, but they are not received united in their minds. Light which makes the understanding is first received there, and love which constitutes the will is received gradually. This also is of providence, because every man is to be created anew, that is, reformed, and this is effected through the understanding; for from infancy he must acquire the knowledges of truth and good, which will teach him to live well, that is, to will and act rightly. Thus the will is formed through the understanding.
For the sake of this end, there is given to man the faculty of elevating his understanding almost into the light in which the angels of heaven are, that he may see what he ought to will and thence to do, in order that he may be prosperous in the world for a time, and be happy after death to eternity. He becomes prosperous and happy if he procures for himself wisdom, and keeps his will under obedience to it; but unprosperous and unhappy if he subjects his understanding under obedience to his will. The reason is, because the will from birth inclines to evils, even to enormous ones; wherefore unless it were curbed by the understanding, a man would rush into heinous thing, yea, from his inborn savage nature, he would depopulate and slaughter for the sake of himself all those who do not favor and indulge him. Furthermore, unless the understanding could be separately perfected, and the will by means of it, a man would not be a man, but a beast. For without that separation, and without the ascent of the understanding above the will, be would not be able to think, and from thought to speak, but only to express his affection by sounds; neither would he be able to act from reason, but only from instinct; still less would he be able to know the things which are of God, and God by means of them, and thus to be conjoined to Him, and to live to eternity.
For a man thinks and wills as from himself, and this as from himself is the reciprocal of conjunction; for there cannot be conjunction without a reciprocal, just as there cannot be conjunction of the active with the passive without reaction. God alone acts, and man suffers himself to be acted on, and he reacts in all appearance as from himself, though interiorly it is from God. From these things rightly perceived it may be seen what is the quality of the love of a man's will if it is elevated by means of the understanding, and what is its quality if it is not elevated; consequently, what is the quality of the man. But this quality of a man if the love of his will is not elevated by means of the understanding shall be illustrated by comparisons. He is like an eagle which flies on high, and as soon as it sees the food below which is the object of its desire, as chickens, young swans, yea, young lambs, swoops down in a moment and devours them. He is also like an adulterer, who conceals a harlot in a cellar below, and by turns goes up to the highest part of the house, and talks wisely with those who dwell there about chastity, and by turns hastens away from his companions, and indulges his lasciviousness below with his harlot. He is also like a thief on a tower, who there pretends to keep watch, but who, as soon as he sees an object of plunder below, hastens down and seizes it. He man also be compared to marsh-flies, which fly in a column over the head of a running horse, but which fall down when the horse stops, and immerse themselves in their marsh. Such is the man whose will or love is not elevated by means of the understanding, for he then stands still below at the foot, immersed in the unclean things of nature and the lusts of the senses. It is altogether otherwise with those who subdue the allurements of the cupidities of the will by means of the wisdom of the understanding. With these the understanding afterwards enters into a conjugial covenant with the will, thence wisdom with love, and they dwell together above with delights.
15. Those who judge from the mere appearance to the senses of the body, conclude that beasts have will and understanding as well as men, and hence that the only distinction is that man can speak, and thus describe what he thinks and desires, while beasts can only express this by sounds. Yet beasts have not will and understanding, but only an image of each, which the learned call an analogue. That a man is a man, is because his understanding can be elevated above the desires of his will, and thus can know and see them from above, and also moderate them; but a beast is a beast because its desires impel it to do whatever it does. Wherefore a man is a man in that his will is under obedience to his understanding; but a beast is a beast in that its understanding is under obedience to its will. From these things this conclusion follows, that the understanding of man, because it receives the light that flows in from heaven, and apprehends and perceives this as its own, and from it thinks analytically with all variety, altogether as from itself; is alive, and thence a true understanding; and that the will of man, because it receives the inflowing love of heaven, and from it acts as from itself, is alive, and is thence truly will; but the contrary is the case with beasts. Wherefore those who think from the lusts of the will are likened to beasts, and also in the spiritual world they appear at a distance as beasts; they also act like beasts, with this difference only, that they can act otherwise if they will. Eat those who restrain the lusts of their will by means of the understanding, and therefore act rationally and wisely, appear in the spiritual world as men, and are angels of heaven. In a word, the will and the understanding in beasts always cohere; and because the will in itself is blind, for it is of heat and not of light, it makes the understanding blind also. Hence a beast does not know and understand its own actions; and yet it acts, for it acts from an influx from the spiritual world; and such action is instinct. It is believed that a beast thinks from the understanding what it does, but this is not so; it is impelled to act only from natural love, which is in it from creation, with the assistance of the senses of its body. That a man thinks and speaks is solely because his understanding can be separated from his will, and can be elevated even into the light of heaven; for the understanding thinks, and thought speaks. That beasts act according to the laws of order inscribed on their nature, and some beasts as it were morally and rationally, differently from many men, is because their understanding is blind obedience to the desires of their will, and therefore they are not able to pervert these by depraved reasonings, as men do.
It to be observed, that by the will and the understanding of beasts in the foregoing statements, is meant an image and analogue of them. Analogues are so named from appearance. The life of a beast may be compared with a somnambulist who walks and acts from the will while the understanding is a deep sleep; and also with a bad man, who walk through the streets with a dog leading him; and also with a foolish person, who from custom and the habit thence acquired does his work according to rules; likewise with a person void of memory, and therefore deprived of understanding, who still knows or learns how to clothe himself, to eat dainties, to love the sex, to walk the streets from house to house, and to do such things as soothe the senses and gratify the flesh, by the allurements and pleasures of which he is carried along, though he does not think, and therefore cannot speak. From these things it is plain how much they are deceived who believe that beasts enjoy rationality, and are only distinguished from men by the external figure, and by their not being able to give utterance to the rational things which they hide within. From which fallacies many even conclude that if man lives after death beasts also will live after death, and, on the contrary, that if beasts do not live after death neither will man; besides many dreams arising from ignorance about the will and the understanding, and also about degrees, by means of which, as by a ladder, the mind of man mounts up to heaven.
16. It is discovered, by the investigation of causes from effects, that there are degrees of two kinds, one in which are things prior and posterior, and another in which are things greater and less. The degrees which distinguish things prior and posterior are to be called degrees of altitude, and also discrete degrees; but the degrees by which things greater and less are distinguished from each other are to be called, degrees of latitude, and also continuous degrees. Degrees of altitude, or discrete degrees, are like the generations and compositions of one thing from another; as, for example, of any nerve from its fibres, and of any fibre from its fibrils; or of any piece of wood, stone, or metal from its parts, and of any part from its particles. But degrees of latitude or continuous degrees are like the increments and decrements of the same degree of altitude as to breadth, length, height, and depth; as of greater and smaller volumes of water, or air, or ether; and as of large and small masses of wood, stone, or metal. All and each of the things ill both worlds, the spiritual and the natural, are, from creation, in degrees of both these kinds. The whole animal kingdom in this world is in those degrees both in general and in particular; and the whole vegetable kingdom and the whole mineral kingdom likewise; as also is the expanse of atmospheres from the sun even to the earth. There are therefore three atmospheres discretely distinct according to the degrees of altitude, both in the spiritual world and in the natural world, because each world has its sun; but the atmospheres of the spiritual world, by virtue of their origin, are substantial, and the atmospheres of the natural world, by virtue of their origin, are material. And because the atmospheres descend from their origins according to those degrees, and are the containants, and, as it were, the carriers of light and heat, it follows that there are three degrees of light and heat. And because light in the spiritual world in its essence is wisdom, and heat there in its essence is love, as was shown above in its own article, it follows also that there are three degrees of wisdom and three degrees of love, hence three degrees of life; for they are graded by those things through which they pass.
Hence it is that there are three angelic heavens: a highest, which is also called the third heaven, where are the angels of the highest degree; a middle, which is also called the second heaven, where are the angels of the middle degree; and a lowest, which is also called the first heaven, where are the angels of the lowest degree. Those heavens are also distinguished according to the degrees of wisdom and love. Those who are in the lowest heaven are in the love of knowing truths and goods; those who are in the middle heaven are in the love of understanding them; and those who are in the highest heaven are in the love of being wise, that is, of living according to those things which they flow and understand. Since the angelic heavens are distinguished into three degrees, therefore the human mind is also distinguished into three degrees, because the human mind is an cage of heaven, that is, it is a heaven in the least form. Hence it is that man can become an angel of one of those three heavens, and this is effected according to his reception of wisdom and love from the Lord: an angel of the lowest heaven if he receives only the love of knowing truths and goods; an angel of the middle heaven if he receives the love of understanding them; and an angel of the highest heaven if he receives the love of being wise, that is, of living according to them. That the human mind is distinguished into three regions, according to the three heavens, may be seen in the Relation inserted in the work on Conjugial Love (CL n. 270).
From these things it is evident that all spiritual influx to man and into man descends from the Lord through these three degrees, and that it is received by man according to the degree of wisdom and love in which he is. The knowledge of these degrees is of the greatest use at the present day; since many, because they do not know them, subsist and inhere in the lowest degree, in which are the senses of their body, and from ignorance, which is intellectual thick darkness, cannot be elevated into spiritual light, which is above them. Hence naturalism invades them, as it were spontaneously, as soon as they enter on any investigation and inquiry concerning the human soul and mind, and its rationality, and still more if they inquire concerning heaven and the life after death. Thus they become comparatively like those who stand in the market places with telescopes in their hands, looking at the sky, and utter vain predictions; and also like those who chatter and also reason concerning every object they see, and every thing they hear, without there being in it anything rational from the understanding. But such persons are like butchers, who believe themselves to be skilled in anatomy, because they have examined the viscera of oxen and sheep outwardly but not inwardly. But it is a truth, that to think from the influx of natural light, not enlightened by the influx of spiritual light, is nothing else than dreaming, and to speak from such thought is to talk nonsense. But more concerning these degrees may be seen in the work on The Divine Love and The Divine Wisdom (DLW n. 173-281).
17. Who does not see that the end is not the cause, but that it produces the cause, and that the cause is not the effect, but that it produces the effect; consequently that they are three distinct things which follow in order? The end with man is the love of his will, for what a man loves, this he proposes to himself and intends; the cause with him is the reason of his understanding, for by means of it the end seeks for mediate or efficient causes; and the effect is the operation of the body from them and according to them. Thus there are three things in man, which follow each other in order, in like manner as the degrees of altitude follow each other. When these three things appear in act, then the end is inwardly in the cause, and the end through the cause is in the effect, wherefore the three coexist in the effect. On this account it is said in the Word, that everyone shall be judged according to his works; for the end, or the love of his will, and the cause, or the reason of his understanding, are together in the effects, which are the works of his body; thus the quality of the whole man is in them. They who do not know these things, and do not thus distinguish the objects of reason, cannot avoid terminating the ideas of their thought in the atoms of Epicurus, the nomads of Leibnitz, or in the simple substances of Wolff, and thus they close up their understandings as with a bolt, so that they cannot even think from reason concerning spiritual influx, because they cannot think concerning any progression; for the author says concerning his simple substance, that if it is divided it falls into nothing. Thus the understanding stands still in its first light, which is merely from the senses of the body, and does not advance a step further. Hence it is not known but that the spiritual is a subtile natural, and that beasts have a rational as well as men, and that the son is a breath of wind such as is breathed forth from the breast when a person dies; besides many things which are not of light but of thick darkness. Since all things in the spiritual world and all things in the natural world proceed according to these degrees, as was shown in the preceding article, it is evident that intelligence properly consists in knowing and extinguishing them, and seeing them in their order. By means of these degrees, also, every man is known as to his quality, when his love is known; for, as was said above, the end which is of the will, and the causes which are of the understanding, and the effects which are of the body, follow from his love, as a tree from its seed, and as fruit from the tree.
There are three kinds of loves, the love of heaven, the love of the world, and the love of self; the love of heaven is spiritual, the love of the world is material, and the love of self is corporeal. When the love is spiritual, all the things which follow from it, as forms from their essence, derive their spiritual nature; similarly if the principal love is the love of the world or of wealth, and thus is material, all the things which follow from it, as derivatives from their principle derive their material nature; likewise if the principal love is the love of self, or of eminence above all others, and thus is corporeal, all the things which follow from it derive their corporeal nature. The reason is, because the man who is in this love regards himself alone, and thus immerses the thoughts of his mind in his body. Wherefore, as was just now said, he who knows the ruling love of anyone, and at the same time the progression of ends to causes and of causes to effects, which three things follow in order according to the degrees of altitude, knows the whole man. Thus the angels of heaven know everyone with whom they speak; they perceive his love from the tone of his speech; and they see his image from his face, and his character from the gestures of his body.
18. Spiritual influx has hitherto been deduced from the soul into the body, but not from God into the soul and thus into the body. This has been done, because no one knew anything concerning the spiritual world, and concerning the sun there, from which all spiritual things flow as from their fountain, and thus nothing concerning the influx of spiritual things into natural things. Now because it has been granted me to be in the spiritual world and in the natural world at the same time, and thus to see each world and each sun, I am obliged by my conscience to manifest these things; for what is the use of knowing, unless what is known to one be also known to others? Without this, what is knowing but collecting and storing up riches in a casket, and only looking at them occasionally and counting them over, without any thought of use from them? Spiritual avarice is nothing else. But that it may be fully known what and of what quality spiritual influx is, it is necessary to know what the spiritual is in its essence, and what the natural is, and also what the human soul is. Lest therefore this short treatise should be defective through ignorance of these things, it is important to consult some Relations inserted in the work on Conjugial Love; concerning the spiritual, in the Relation there (CL n. 326-329); concerning the human soul (CL n. 315); and concerning the influx of spiritual things into natural things (CL n. 380); and more fully (CL n. 415-422).
19. To these things I will add this Relation.
After these things were written, I prayed to the Lord that I might be permitted to converse with disciples of Aristotle, and at the same time with disciples of Descartes, and with disciples of Leibnitz, in order that I might draw forth the opinions of their minds concerning the intercourse between the soul and the body. After my prayer, there were present nine men, three Aristotelians, three Cartesians, and three Leibnitzians; and they stood around me the admirers of Aristotle on the left side, the followers of Descartes on the right, and the supporters of Leibnitz behind. Quite a distance away, and at intervals from each other, were seen three persons as it were crowned with laurel, and I knew from an inflowing perception that they were those three great leaders or teachers themselves. Behind Leibnitz stood one holding in his hand the skirt of his garment, and I was told that it was Wolff. Those nine men, when they beheld one another, at first saluted and spoke to one another in a courteous tone. But presently there arose from below a spirit with a torch in his right hand, which he shook before their faces, whereupon they became enemies, three against three, and looked at one another with a fierce countenance; for they were seized with the lust of disputing and discussing.
Then the Aristotelians, who were also schoolmen, began to speak, saying, Who does not see that objects flow in through the senses into the soul, as one enters through the doors into a chamber, and that the soul thinks according to such influx? When a lover sees a beautiful virgin or his bride, does not his eye sparkle and carry the love of her into the soul? When a miser sees bags of money, does he not burn for them with every sense, and thence convey this order into the soul, and excite the cupidity of possessing them? When a proud man hears his praises from another, does he not prick up his ears, and do not these transmit those praises to the soul ? Are not the senses of the body like outer courts, through which alone there is entrance to the soul? From these things and innumerable others like them, who can conclude otherwise than that influx is from nature, or is physical?
To these statements the followers of Descartes, who had held their fingers on their foreheads, and now withdrew them, replied, saying, Alas, you speak from appearances. Do you not know that the eye does not love a virgin or a bride from itself, but from the soul? Likewise that the senses of the body do not covet the bags of money from themselves, but from the soul? and similarly that the ears do not seize on the praises of flatterers in any other manner? Is it not perception that causes sensation? and perception is of the soul, and not of the organs. Tell, if you can, what else makes the tongue and lips to speak but the thought? and what else makes the hands to work but the will? and thought and will are of the soul, and not of the body. Thus what makes the eye to see, and the ears to hear, and the other organs to feel, but the soul? From these things, and innumerable others like them, everyone whose wisdom is above the sensual things of the body, concludes, that there is no influx of the body into the soul, but of the soul into the body, which we call occasional, and also spiritual influx.
When these had been heard, the three men who stood behind the former triads, who were the supporters of Leibnitz, lifted up their voices, saying, We have heard the arguments on both sides, and have compared them, and we have perceived that in many particulars the latter are stronger than the former, and that in many others the former are stronger than the latter; wherefore if it is permitted, we will settle the dispute. And on being asked how, they said, There is not any influx of the soul into the body, nor of the body into the soul, but there is a unanimous and instantaneous operation of both together, which a celebrated author has distinguished by a beautiful name, calling it pre-established harmony. Hereupon there appeared again the spirit with the torch in his hand, but now in his left, and he shook it at the back of their heads, whence their ideas of everything became confused and they cried out together, Neither our soul nor body knows what part to take, wherefore let us decide this dispute by lot, and we will favor the lot which comes out first. And they took three pieces of paper, and wrote on one of them, physical influx, on another spiritual influx, and on the third, pre-established harmony; and they put these three pieces into a hat. Then they chose one of their number to draw, and he, putting in his hand, took hold of that on which was written spiritual influx; and when this was seen and read, they all said, yet some with a clear and flowing, some with a faint and smothered voice, Let us favor this because it came out first. But then an angel suddenly stood by, and said, Do not believe that the paper in favor of spiritual influx came out by chance, but from providence; for you do not see its truth because you are in confused ideas, but the truth itself presented itself to the hand of him that drew the lots, that you might favor it.
20. I was once asked how from a philosopher I became a theologian; and I answered, In the same manner that fishermen were made disciples and apostles by the Lord; and that I also from early youth had been a spiritual fisherman. On hearing this the inquirer asked, What is a spiritual fisherman? I replied that a fisherman in the spiritual sense of the Word, signifies a man who investigates and teaches natural truths, and afterwards spiritual truths rationally. To the question, How is this demonstrated? I said, From these passages in the Word:--
Then the waters shall fail from the sea, and the river shall be dried up and become dry, therefore the fishers shall mourn, and all that cast a hook into the sea shall be sad (Isa. 19:5, 8).
In another place:--
Upon the river whose waters were healed, the fishers stood from Engedi; they were there in the spreading forth of nets; according, to its kind was their fish, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many (Ezek. 47:9, 10).
And in another place:--
The saying of Jehovah, Behold, I will send to many fishers, who shall fish the sons of Israel (Jer. 16:16).
Thence it is evident, why the Lord chose fishermen for disciples, and said:--
Come ye after Me, and I will make you fishers of men (Matt. 4:18, 19; Mark 1:16, 17).
And to Peter after he had caught a multitude of fishes:--
From henceforth thou shalt catch men (Luke 5:9, 10).
Afterwards I demonstrated the origin of this signification of fishermen from The Apocalypse Revealed; namely, because "water" signifies natural truths (AR n. 50, 932); likewise "a river" (AR n. 409, 932); "fish," those who are in natural truths (AR n. 405); and thence "fishermen" signify those who investigate and teach truths. On hearing this my interrogator raised his voice and said, Now I can understand why the Lord called and chose fishermen to be His disciples, and therefore I do not wonder that He has also called and chosen you, since, as you have said, you were from early youth a fisherman in a spiritual sense, that is, an investigator of natural truths; that you are now an investigator of spiritual truths, is because thee are founded on the former. To this be added, because he was a man of reason, that the Lord alone knows who is adapted to receive and to teach those things which are of His New Church, whether some one among the primates, or some one among their servants. moreover, what theologian among Christians does not first study philosophy at college, before he is inaugurated as a theologian; and from what other source has he intelligence? At last he said, Since you are become a theologian, explain what is your theology. I replied, These are the two principles of it, That God is one, and that there is a conjunction of charity and faith. To which he replied, Who denies these? I answered, The theology of the present day, when interiorly examined.