Spiritual background for EXODUS 13previous - next - text - Exodus - BM Home - Full Page
THE DOCTRINE OF CHARITY
AC 8033. What Charity is, and what Faith is, with man, must now be told. Charity is an internal affection which consists in a heartfelt desire to do the neighbor good, and in this being the delight of life; and this without any reward.
AC 8034. On the other hand, Faith is an internal affection which consists in a heartfelt desire to know what is true and what is good, and this not for the sake of doctrine as the end in view, but for the sake of life. This affection conjoins itself with the affection of charity through the desire to do according to the truth, thus to do the truth itself.
AC 8035. They who are in the genuine affection of charity and faith believe that from themselves they do not desire anything good, and that from themselves they do not understand anything true; but that the will of good and the understanding of truth are from the Lord.
AC 8036. This then is charity, and this is faith. They who are in these have within them the kingdom of the Lord and heaven, and within them is the church; and these are they who have been regenerated by the Lord, and from Him have received a new will and a new understanding.
AC 8037. They who have the love of self or the love of the world as the end in view, cannot possibly be in charity and faith. They who are in these loves do not even know what charity is, and what faith is, and do not at all comprehend that to will good to the neighbor without any reward is heaven in man, and that in this affection there is happiness as great as is that of the angels, which is unutterable; for they believe that if they are deprived of the joy arising from the glory of honors and of wealth all joy ceases to be possible; when yet heavenly joy, which infinitely transcends every other joy, then first begins.
ON THE SPIRITS AND INHABITANTS OF THE PLANET JUPITER, CONTINUED
AC 8111. By long continued intercourse with the spirits of the earth Jupiter, it became evident that they are better disposed than the spirits of some other earths. Their approach when they came, their stay, and their influx at the time, were inexpressibly gentle and sweet. In the other life goodness manifests itself by gentleness and sweetness. These qualities could be very clearly distinguished from the gentleness and sweetness of the good spirits of our earth.
AC 8112. When any slight disagreement arises among them, there appears to them as it were a slender ray of white light, such as usually is that of lightning; or a little band in which are sparkling stars. These are signs of disagreement; but the disagreement among them is quickly repaired. When the stars sparkle and at the same time wander, the sign is not good; but when the sparkling stars are fixed, the sign is good.
AC 8113. I was able to recognize the presence of the spirits of Jupiter, not only from the gentleness and sweetness of their approach and influx, but also from the fact that they inflowed most especially into the face, and that they disposed it to be smiling and cheerful, and continually so while they were present. It was said that they so dispose the faces of the inhabitants of their earth, for they wish to inspire them with tranquillity and delight of heart. This tranquillity and delight with which they inspired me sensibly filled my chest and heart. The desires and anxieties about the future, which induce in-tranquillity and unpleasantness, and excite and agitate the mind into various disturbances, were then removed. From this I could clearly see what was the quality of the life of the inhabitants of the planet Jupiter. They told me that they do not fear death, except a little on account of the loss of their married partner and children, because they know of a certainty that the death of the body is a continuation of life, and that after it they become more happy.
AC 8114. I noticed that they had a still more interior state of happiness, and that they were susceptible of a state of happiness still more interior yet. This is discerned from the fact that their interiors are not closed, but are open to the Lord; for the more open the interiors are, the more susceptible men are of the Divine good and the Divine happiness. Very different is the case with those who do not live in the order of heaven. With such the interiors are closed and the exteriors are open to hell, whence flow in contempt for others, hatreds, revenges, and cruelties, which it is a delight for them to exercise against those who do not reverence them, or do not favor their desires.
AC 8115. The spirits of the earth Jupiter cannot be together with the spirits of our earth, because these are of a wholly different genius, and do not love the delight of tranquillity as they do. It surprised them to hear that people from our earth who become angels are wholly different in heart, and retain scarcely anything that is like their state when they were spirits. To show them that such is the case there came in succession from heaven a number of choirs of angels from our earth. There are choirs when many think, speak, and act all together as a one in an uninterrupted series: the celebration of the Lord in the heavens is for the most part effected by means of choirs: as to choirs, see (n. 1648, 1649, 2595, 2596, 3350, 5182). These choirs gave so much delight to the spirits of Jupiter who were with me that they seemed to themselves to be as it were transported into heaven. This glorification by means of choirs lasted about an hour. The delicious feelings excited thereby in the spirits, being communicated to me, I was enabled to feel them. They said that they would tell this to their people who were elsewhere.
AC 8116. They reported that in the region of their earth where they had been, there is a great multitude of men, as great as the planet can feed; and that the planet is fertile, and abounds in all things; and that its inhabitants desire no more than will suffice for the necessaries of life, and that consequently the multitude of men is so great.
AC 8117. They reported further that they are there distinguished into nations, families, and houses; that they all dwell separately with their own; that their intercourse is mostly with their family connections; that no one ever desires the goods of another, and that it never comes into their minds to claim anything thereof for themselves, still less to attack and plunder, which they regard as a crime contrary to human nature, and horrible. When I desired to tell them that in this earth there are wars, plunderings, and slaughterings, they turned away, and were averse to hear.
AC 8118. I have been told by the angels that the most ancient people on this earth dwelt in like manner, that is, distinguished into nations, families and houses; that they were all content with their own goods; and that to grow rich from the gods of others, and to exercise dominion, were then quite unknown. On this account, the ancient times, and especially the most ancient, were more acceptable to the Lord than the succeeding ones; and such being the state, innocence also then reigned, and with innocence, wisdom. Everyone then did what is good from good, and what is just from justice. They did not know what it is to do what is good and just with a view to self-honor, or for the sake of profit. They did not then speak anything but the truth; and this not so much from truth, as from good; that is, not from the understanding separate, but from the will conjoined. Such were the ancient times, and therefore angels could then have intercourse with men, and lead their minds home to heaven in a state almost separated from bodily things, and could take them round, and show them the magnificent and happy things there, and likewise communicate to them their own happinesses and delights. Moreover those times were known to ancient writers, and were called by them the Golden and also the Saturnian Age.
 Those times were of this nature, because, as before said, they lived distinguished into nations, and the nations into families, and the families into houses, and each house dwelt by itself; and because it never then came into anyone’s mind to attack the inheritance of another, and thereby get for himself wealth and dominion. Far removed then were the love of self and the love of the world, and everyone rejoiced at heart by reason of his own good, and not less by reason of another‘s.
 But in the succeeding time this scene was changed and turned into the opposite, when the lust of dominion and of possessing the goods of others invaded the mind. Then for the sake of self-defence, the human race gathered into kingdoms and empires. And as the laws of charity and conscience, which had been written on hearts, ceased to operate, it became necessary to enact laws to restrain acts of violence; in which laws, honors and riches were the rewards, and the deprivation of these were the penalties. When the state was thus changed, heaven removed itself from man, and this more and more, even to the present age, when it is no longer known whether there is a heaven, and consequently whether there is a hell, and when it is even denied that these exist. These things have been stated, in order that by the parallelism there may be illustrated the quality of the state of those who are on the earth Jupiter, and whence comes their good disposition, and also their wisdom, of which more will be said in what follows.
AC 8119. A continuation about the spirits and inhabitants of the earth Jupiter will be found at the end of the following chapter. previous - next - text - Exodus - BM Home - Full Page