Spiritual background for EXODUS 14previous - next - text - Exodus - BM Home - Full Page
THE DOCTRINE OF CHARITY
AC 8120. It is believed that charity toward the neighbor consists in giving to the poor, in helping the needy, and in doing good to everyone without exception. Nevertheless genuine charity consists in acting prudently, and to the end that good may come thereby. He who helps any poor or needy rogue, does evil to his neighbor through him, for by the help which he affords he confirms him in evil, and supplies him with the means of doing evil to others. It is otherwise with him who gives assistance to the good.
AC 8121. But charity toward the neighbor extends much more widely than to the poor and needy. Charity toward the neighbor consists in doing right in every work, and one’s duty in every office. If a judge does what is just for the sake of justice, be exercises charity toward the neighbor; if he punishes the guilty and acquits the guiltless, he exercises charity toward the neighbor, for he thus consults the welfare of his fellow-citizen, of his country, and also of the Lord‘s kingdom. By doing what is just for the sake of justice he consults the welfare of the Lord’s kingdom; by acquitting the guiltless, he consults that of his fellow-citizen; and by punishing the guilty, that of his country. The priest who teaches truth, and leads to good, for the sake of truth and good, exercises charity; but he who does such things for the sake of himself and the world does not exercise charity, because he does not love his neighbor, but himself.
AC 8122. The case is the same in all other instances, whether men be in any employment or not; as with children toward their parents, and with parents toward their children; with servants toward their masters, and with masters toward their servants; with subjects toward their king, and with the king toward his subjects. In these cases he who does his duty from a sense of duty, and what is just from a sense of justice, exercises charity.
AC 8123. That such things belong to charity toward the neighbor, is because every man is the neighbor, but in various ways (n. 6818); a society smaller or larger is more the neighbor (n. 6819, 6820); our country is yet more the neighbor (n. 6819, 6821); the church still more (n. 6819, 6822); the Lord‘s kingdom still more (n. 6819, 6823); and the Lord above all (n. 6819, 6824). In the universal sense the good which proceeds from the Lord is the neighbor (n. 6706, 6711), consequently so also are justice and right. And therefore he who does any good whatsoever for the sake of good, and anything just for the sake of justice, loves the neighbor and exercises charity, for he acts from the love of what is good, and the love of what is just, and thus from the love of those in whom these are. But he who does what is unjust for the sake of any self-advantage whatever, hates his neighbor.
AC 8124. He who is in charity toward the neighbor from internal affection is a charity toward the neighbor in everything which he thinks and speaks, and which he wills and does. It can be said that as to his interiors a man or an angel is a charity when good is to him the neighbor. So widely does charity toward the neighbor extend.
CONTINUATION ABOUT THE SPIRITS AND THE INHABITANTS OF THE EARTH JUPITER
AC 8242. I have also been shown what kind of faces the inhabitants of the earth Jupiter have; not that I have seen the inhabitants themselves, but that the spirits were seen with faces like those which they had while on their earth. But before this was shown, one of their angels appeared behind a bright cloud, who gave leave, and then two faces were shown. They were like the faces of the men of our earth, fair, but more beautiful; sincerity and modesty shone forth from them.
AC 8243. When the spirits of Jupiter were with me, the faces of the inhabitants of our earth appeared smaller to me than usual, the source of which was that there inflowed from those spirits the idea which they had about their own faces - that they were larger. For while they live as men on their own earth, they believe that after their decease their faces will be larger, and round in form; and because this idea has been impressed on them, it consequently remains, and when they become spirits, they appear to themselves to have larger faces. The reason why they believe that their faces will be larger is that they say that the face is not the body, because by its means they speak and present their thoughts, and because the mind is thus as it were transparent through it; consequently they have an idea of the face as of the mind in form; and as they know that they will be wiser after their life in the world, they believe that the form of their mind, that is, their face, will become larger.
AC 8244. When they are in the world, they also believe that after their decease they will perceive a fire which will warm their faces. They infer this from the fact that the wiser of them know that fire in the spiritual world is love, and that this fire is the fire of life, and that from this fire the angels have heat. Moreover those of them who have lived in celestial love obtain their wish, and perceive their faces to be warmed as by a fire; and then the interiors of their minds are kindled, not with heat, but with love.
AC 8245. For this reason they also frequently wash and cleanse their faces, and also carefully preserve them from the heat of the sun. They have a covering made of bluish bark or rind, which they bind about their heads, and thus preserve the face. But they do not care much about the body.
AC 8246. They said that the faces of the men of our earth are not beautiful; and they wondered that the faces of some of them are full of warts and pimples, and are in other respects disfigured; and they said that none such ever appear among them. Still, they were pleased with some of the faces, namely, those which were cheerful and smiling, and those which were a little prominent about the lips.
AC 8247. The reason why they were pleased with the cheerful and smiling faces, was that in their earth the faces of almost all are such, and this for the reason that they have no solicitude about future things, nor have they worldly cares, for these are things which bring sadness and anxiety into the lower mind, and from this into the face; and if with those who are not good there is cheerfulness and a smile in the face, it is in the outer skin, and not in the fibers from within. It is otherwise with the inhabitants of Jupiter. The reason why they were pleased with the faces that were prominent about the lips, was that most of their speech is effected by means of the face, and especially by means of the region of it that is around the lips; and also because they never dissemble, that is, speak otherwise than they think. For this reason they do not control their faces, but let them have free play. It is otherwise with those who from childhood have learned to dissemble. Their face is consequently contracted from within, lest anything of the thought should shine out therefrom. Neither has it free play outwardly, but is kept ready for letting out, or for drawing in, just as cunning dictates. The truth of this can be seen from an examination of the fibers round about the lips; for there are manifold series of fibers there, folded together and united together, that were not created for chewing and verbal speech only, but also for expressing the ideas of the lower mind.
AC 8248. It was also shown how the thoughts are set forth by means of the face. The affections of love are exhibited by the features and their changes, and the thoughts in these affections by means of variations in respect to the forms of the interiors, which cannot be further described. The inhabitants of the earth Jupiter have also the speech of words; but it is not so sonorous as with us. The one kind of speech is an aid to the other, and life is insinuated into the speech of words by means of the speech of the face.
AC 8249. I have been informed by the angels that the first speech of all in every earth was a speech by means of the face, and this from two origins in the face - from the lips, and from the eyes. The reason why such speech was the first, is that the face was formed just to effigy the things which a man thinks and which he wills; from this the face has also been called the effigy and index of the mind; and also because in the most ancient or first times there was sincerity (n. 8118), and man thought nothing, and wished to think nothing, but what he was willing should shine forth from his face; so that the affections of the lower mind and the ideas of the thought could be presented to the life, and fully. In this way they appeared to the eye also, as in a form, and very many together. This speech therefore surpassed the speech of words as much as the sense of sight surpasses that of hearing; that is, as the sight of a country surpasses hearing a description of it. They added that such speech was in agreement with the speech of the angels, with whom, furthermore, men in those times had communication. Moreover when the face speaks, or the mind through the face, it is the angelic speech with man in an ultimate natural form; and there is a presence of the internal sight or thought of one in that of another, but not when the mouth speaks by means of words. The most ancient people on this earth spoke in a similar way, (n. 607, 608, 1118, 1120, 7361). Everyone also can know that the speech of words was not possible to the most ancient people, because the words of language were not imparted immediately, but had to be invented and applied to the things, which could not be done except in course of time.
AC 8250. So long as there were sincerity and uprightness with man, so long also such speech remained; but as soon as the mind began to think one thing and speak another, which took place when man loved himself and not the neighbor, then the speech of words began to grow, the face being either silent or likewise counterfeiting. From this the internal form of the face was changed; it contracted itself, grew hard, and began to be nearly devoid of life; whereas the external form, inflamed from the fire of the love of self, seemed to be alive; but the absence of life, which is beneath, and is as a plane inwardly, does not appear before the eyes of men, but before the eyes of the angels, for these see the things within. Such are the faces of those who think one thing and speak another; for pretence, hypocrisy, cunning and deceit, which at this day are sagacity, lead to such things. But the case is otherwise in the other life, where it is not allowable to speak in one way and think in another. The dissidence is also clearly perceived in every word, and in every tone of the voice; and when it is perceived, the spirit in whom there is such dissidence is cast out of fellowship, and is fined. Afterward he is brought by various methods to speak as he thinks, and to think as he wills, until his mind is one and not divided if he is good, to will good and to think and speak what is true from good; and if evil, to will evil, and to think and speak what is false from evil. The good one is not previously raised into heaven, and the evil one is not previously cast into hell; and this to the end that in hell there may be nothing but evil, and that the falsity there may be the falsity of evil; and that in heaven there may be nothing but good, and that the truth may be the truth of good.
AC 8251. A continuation concerning 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