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THE DOCTRINE OF CHARITY
AC 7080. In what precedes it has been told what the neighbor is: it is now to be told what the charity or love is which there must be toward the neighbor.
AC 7081. The very life of man is his love and such as his love is, such is his life may, such is the whole man. But it is the ruling or reigning love, that is, the love of that which he has as the end, which makes the man. This love has subordinate to itself many particular and singular loves, which are derivations, and appear under a different shape; but still the ruling love is in each one of them, and directs them, and through them, as through mediate ends, looks to and aims at its end, which is the first and last of them all; and this both directly and indirectly.
AC 7082. There are two things in the natural world which make the life there, namely, heat and light; and there are two things in the spiritual world which make the life there, namely, love and faith. Heat in the natural world corresponds to love in the spiritual world, and light in the natural world corresponds to faith in the spiritual world. Hence it is that when spiritual heat or fire is mentioned, love is meant; and when spiritual light is mentioned, faith is meant. Moreover love is actually the vital heat of man, for it is known that man grows warm from love; and faith is actually the light of man, for it can be known that man is illumined from faith.
AC 7083. The heat and light in the natural world arise from the sun of the world; but spiritual heat and light, or love and faith, arise from the sun of heaven. The sun of heaven is the Lord the heat which comes from Him as a sun is love, and the light which comes from Him as a sun is faith. That the Lord is light is evident from these words in John:--
Jesus said, I am the light of the world, he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life (John 8:12);
and that the Lord is a sun is evident in Matthew:--
When Jesus was transfigured, His face shone as the sun, and His garments became white as the light (Matthew 17:2).
AC 7084. From this correspondence it can also be known how the case is with faith and with love. Faith without love is like light without heat, as is the light of winter; and faith with love is like light with heat, as is the light of spring. That in the light of spring each and all things grow and flower, is known; and also that in the light of winter all things become torpid and die. It is similar with faith and love.
AC 7085. Now as love is the source of man‘s life, and as the whole man is such as is his love, and also as love is spiritual conjunction, it follows that all in the other life are consociated according to the loves; for everyone’s life, that is, his love, follows him. They who are in love toward the neighbor, and in love to God, are consociate in heaven; but they who are in the love of self and the love of the world are consociate in hell; for the love of self is opposite to love to God, and the love of the world is opposite to love toward the neighbor.
AC 7086. It is said "love to God," and there is meant love to the Lord, because in Him is the Trinity, and He is the Lord of heaven, for He has "all power in heaven and on earth" (Matt. 28:18).
CONTINUATION ABOUT THE SPIRITS AND INHABITANTS OF THE EARTH MERCURY
AC 7170. The spirits of Mercury appeared at the left in a ball, and afterward in a roll stretching a long way, and next in a mass extending in length; and I wondered whither they desired to go, whether to this earth or elsewhere, and presently I observed that they bent themselves back to the right, and by unrolling themselves approached the earth Venus, on the side that is turned away from the sun. But when they came there, they said that they did not desire to be there, because the inhabitants were evil; therefore they bent themselves round to the other side of that earth, which looks to the sun, and then said that they desired to stay there, because the inhabitants were good. When this had taken place, I felt in the brain a remarkable change, and a strong operation from there. From this it was given to conclude that the spirits of Venus who are on that side of the planet were in accord with the spirits of the planet Mercury, and that they have relation to the memory of material things, which agrees with the memory of immaterial things, which the spirits of Mercury constitute; and therefore a stronger operation was felt from them when they were there.
AC 7171. Be it known that the sun of this world does not at all appear to any spirit, nor anything of its light; for to spirits the light of our sun is like thick darkness. This sun remains in perception with spirits solely from having been seen while they were in the world, and it is presented to them in idea as something that is intensely dark, and this behind them, at a considerable distance, in altitude a little above the plane of the head. The planets within our solar system appear in a fixed position relative to the sun: Mercury behind and a little toward the right; the planet Venus to the left, a little behind; the planet Mars to the left in front; the planet Jupiter in like manner to the left in front, but at a greater distance; the planet Saturn wholly in front at a considerable distance; the Moon to the left rather high up; the satellites also to the left, each relatively to its own planet. Such is the situation of these planets in the ideas of spirits and angels; and the spirits also appear near their own planet, but outside of it.
AC 7172. I once saw that spirits of our earth were with spirits of the earth Mercury, and I heard them talking together; and then among other things the spirits of our earth asked them in whom they believed. They answered that they believed in God; but when further questioned about the God in whom they believed, they were unwilling to say, because it is their custom not to answer questions directly. But then in their turn the spirits from the earth Mercury asked the spirits from our earth in whom they believed. They said that they believed in the Lord God. The spirits of Mercury then said that they perceived that they believed in no God, and that they have the custom of saying with the mouth that they believe, and yet they do not believe. (The spirits of Mercury have an exquisite perception from the fact that by means of perception they are continually exploring what others know). The spirits of our earth were among those who, in the world, had made a confession of faith from the doctrine of the church, but yet had not lived the life of faith. When the spirits from our earth heard these things, they were silent, because from a perception then given them they acknowledged that it was so.
AC 7173. Certain spirits knew from heaven that a promise had once been made to the spirits of the earth Mercury that they should see the Lord, and therefore they were asked by the spirits about me whether they remembered this promise. They said that they remembered it, but that they did not know whether the promise was of such a nature that they should have no doubt about it. While they were thus talking together, the sun of heaven appeared to them. The sun of heaven, which is the Lord, is seen only by those who are in the inmost or third heaven; all others see the light from it, and also the moon, (n. 1529-1531, 4060). Men the sun was seen, they said that this was not the Lord God, because they saw no face. Meanwhile the spirits were talking together, but I do not know what they said. Then suddenly the sun appeared again, and in the midst of it the Lord encompassed with a solar circle. On seeing this, the spirits of Mercury humbled themselves profoundly, and settled down. Then also the Lord from the sun was seen by spirits of this earth who when they were men had seen Him in the world; and they all one after another, and thus many in order, confessed that it was the Lord Himself; and this they confessed before all the company. Then also the Lord from the sun was seen by the spirits of the planet Jupiter, who said in a plain voice, that it was He Himself whom they had seen on their earth when the God of the universe appeared to them.
AC 7174. After the Lord had been seen, certain ones were brought toward the front to the right, and as they advanced they said that they saw a light much clearer and purer than they had ever seen before, and that no greater light was possible; and it was then eventide here. Those who said this were many.
AC 7175. After some time there was shown me a woman of the inhabitants of the earth Mercury; she had a beautiful face, but it was smaller than that of a woman of our earth; she was also more slender, but of equal height. She wore linen on her head, put on without art, yet becomingly. I also saw a man from that earth, who likewise was more slender in holy than the men of our earth; he who appeared was clad in a garment of dark blue, closely fitted to his body, without folds or prominences on either side. But that the inhabitants of that earth think little about their bodies, was evident to me from the fact that when they come into the other life, and become spirits, they do not wish to appear as men, like the spirits of our earth, but as crystal balls. The reason they desire so to appear is that they may remove from themselves material ideas; moreover the knowledges of things immaterial are represented in the other life by crystals.
AC 7176. There were also shown me their species of oxen and cows, which did not indeed differ much from those on our earth, but were smaller and in some respects resembled a kind of deer.
AC 7177. Being asked also about the sun of the world, how it appears from their earth, they said that it appears large, and that it appears larger there than from other earths: they said that they can know this from the idea of other spirits about the sun. They said further that they have a medium temperature, neither too hot nor too cold. I was then allowed to tell them that it has been so provided of the Lord in order that they may not be exposed to too much heat, by reason of their earth being nearer the sun than other earths; for heat does not come from nearness to the sun, but from the height and consequent density of the aerial atmosphere, as is evident from the cold on high mountains, even in hot climates. Moreover heat varies according to the direct or oblique incidence of the sun’s rays, as is evident from the seasons of winter and summer in every region. These are the things that have been granted me to know about the spirits and inhabitants of the earth Mercury. At the end of the following chapter I will speak of the spirits of the planet Venus. previous - next - text - Exodus - BM Home - Full Page