Spiritual background for EXODUS 17previous - next - text - Exodus - BM Home - Full Page
THE DOCTRINE OF CHARITY
AC 8548. He who does not receive spiritual life, that is, who is not begotten anew by the Lord, cannot come into heaven. This the Lord teaches in John:
"Verily, verily, I say to thee, Except a man be begotten anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3).
AC 8549. Man is not born of his parents into spiritual life, but into natural life. Spiritual life is to love God above all things, and to love the neighbor as oneĎs self, and this according to the commandments of faith which the Lord has taught in the Word. But natural life is to love self and the world above the neighbor, yea above God Himself.
AC 8550. Every man is born of his parents into the evils of the love of self and of the world. Every evil which by habit has contracted a kind of nature, is derived into the offspring, thus successively from parents, from grandparents, and from great-grandparents, in a long series backward. From this the derivation of evil has at last become so great, that all of manís own life is nothing else than evil. This continuous derived nature is not broken and changed, except by the Lord through a life of faith and charity.
AC 8551. Man continually inclines and lapses to what he derives hereditarily. By so doing he confirms this evil in himself, and also adds to it more evils from himself.
AC 8552. These evils are utterly contrary to spiritual life. They destroy it. Therefore unless in respect to his spiritual life a man is conceived anew, born anew, and reared anew, that is, created anew by the Lord, he is damned, for he wills nothing else, and consequently thinks nothing else, than what is of hell.
AC 8553. When a man is of this character, the order of life in him is inverted. That which ought to rule serves, and that which ought to serve rules. For his salvation to be possible this order in the man must be wholly inverted. This is effected by the Lord through regeneration.
CONTINUATION ABOUT THE INHABITANTS AND SPIRITS OF THE EARTH JUPITER
AC 8627. The inhabitants of the earth Jupiter make wisdom consist in thinking well and justly about the occurrences in life. They derive this wisdom from their parents, from infancy, and it is transmitted by succession to posterity, and thereby increases. They know nothing at all of the sciences, such as are cultivated on our earth, and they do not wish to know them. They call them "shades," and compare them to clouds that intercept the sun. They have got this idea about the sciences from some belonging to our earth, who in their presence have boasted that they are wise from the sciences.
AC 8628. The spirits from our earth who had thus boasted, were those who had made wisdom consist in things of mere memory, as in the languages; in the historical matters of the literary world; in bare experimental discoveries; in terms, especially such as are philosophical; and in other things of the kind; and had not used them as means for being wise; but had made wisdom consist in these things themselves. As these have not cultivated their rational faculty by the sciences as means, they have little perception in the other life, for they see only in terms and from terms, which there are like dust, and like thick clouds before the intellectual sight. And they who have been conceited by reason of this their learning, have still less perception. But they who have used the sciences as means for annihilating the things of faith, have totally destroyed their understanding, and see in thick darkness, like owls, falsity for truth, and evil for good.
 From their intercourse with such the spirits of Jupiter had concluded that the sciences induce shade and cause blindness. But they were told that on this earth the sciences are the means of opening the intellectual sight, which sight is in the light of heaven, and instructs in such things as are of spiritual life; but as there reign the love of self and the love of the world, and consequently such things as are of merely natural and sensuous life, the sciences are to such the means of becoming insane; that is, of confirming themselves in favor of nature against the Divine, and in favor of the world against heaven.
 They were told further that in themselves the sciences are spiritual riches, and that they who possess them are like those who possess worldly riches, which in like manner are means of performing use to oneís self, to the neighbor, and to our country, and also are means of doing evil; and also that they are like garments, which serve for use and adornment, and also for pride, as with those who desire to be honored from these alone. The spirits of the earth Jupiter understood these things well, but they marveled that any who are men should have set the things which lead to wisdom before wisdom itself; and that they should not see that to immerse the mind in such things, and not to elevate it beyond them, is to obscure and blind it.
AC 8629. A certain spirit ascending from the lower earth came to me and said that he had heard my conversation with the other spirits, but that he had understood scarcely anything that had been said about spiritual life and light. I asked him whether he wished to learn these things. He said he had not come with that intention; from which it might be inferred that he was unwilling. He was very stupid. The angels said that this man, during his life in the world, had been one of those who are celebrated for their learning. He was cold, as was plainly felt from his afflatus, which was a sign of merely natural light and of no spiritual light; thus that by means of the sciences he had not opened, but had closed for himself, the way to the light of heaven.
AC 8630. As the inhabitants of the earth Jupiter acquire intelligence by another way than do the inhabitants of our earth, and besides are from their life of a different disposition, they cannot be together; but if they approach they either shun or repel them. There are spheres that are to be called spiritual spheres, which continually emanate, nay, pour forth from every society. These spheres are from the activity of the affections and of the derivative thoughts, thus they are of the life itself. Concerning spheres, (n. 1048, 1053, 1316, 1504, 1505, 1507, 1508, 1510-1519, 2401, 4464, 5179, 6206, 7454, 6598-6613, 8063).
 All the consociations in the other life are effected in accordance with the spheres; those which agree together are conjoined according to their agreement; those which do not agree are repelled according to their disagreement. Every province in the Grand Man (to which some member or organ in the human body corresponds), has its own sphere distinct from the sphere of any other province; hence the mutual conjunction of those who belong to the same province; and the disjunction of those who belong to some other. The spirits and angels who are from the earth Jupiter bear relation in the Grand Man to the IMAGINATIVE OF THOUGHT, and thus to an active state of the interior parts. But the spirits of our earth bear relation to the various functions of the exterior parts of the body, into which, when they desire to rule, the Imaginative of Thought cannot flow; hence the oppositions between the spheres.
AC 8631. In what clear perception the spirits of Jupiter are with respect to spiritual things, was made evident to me from their representation of how the Lord, whom they call their One Only Lord, converts depraved affections into good affections. They represented the intellectual mind as a beautiful form, and imparted to it an activity of the form that was suited to the affection; and they next showed how the Lord bends what is depraved therein to good, which they did in a way that no words can describe, and so dexterously that they were praised by the angels. There were then present learned ones from our earth, who had immersed their intellectual in the terms of memory-knowledges, and had disputed much about form, substance, the material and the immaterial, and the like, without applying such things to any use; but they could not comprehend even this representation.
AC 8632. I have spoken with spirits of that earth about the Lord, that He does evil to no one, still less punishes anyone. These spirits, being of the more simple ones, at first did not wish to admit this, believing that punishments are from the Lord. But when they were told that when their angels are with a man of their own earth, they do not chastise, nor even speak harshly, but only permit the punishing spirits who also are present to do so; and that seeing the angels do not chastise, how much less does the Lord, who is good itself, and who directs the angels--on hearing this they made acknowledgment, and affirmed in a plain voice, that the Lord punishes no one, and does evil to no one, nor does He even speak harshly to anyone. On the angels and the punishing spirits with the inhabitants of Jupiter, (n. 7802-7805, 7810).
AC 8633. As to what further concerns the life of those in that earth, I have been instructed by their spirits that as they do not care for memory-knowledges, so neither do they care for things made by art; also that they have no holidays, but that every morning at sunrise, and every evening at sunset, they have holy worship to the One Only Lord in their tents, and that they then also sing.
AC 8634. The subject of the inhabitants and spirits of the earth Jupiter will be continued at the end of the following chapter. previous - next - text - Exodus - BM Home - Full Page