Spiritual background for EXODUS 7previous - next - text - Exodus - BM Home - Full Page
THE DOCTRINE OF CHARITY
AC 7255. Inasmuch as good makes heaven with man, and evil makes hell, it is of the utmost importance to know what good is, and what evil is. It has already been said that good is that which belongs to love to the Lord, and to charity toward the neighbor; and that evil is that which belongs to the love of self and the love of the world. Hence it follows that it is from the loves, and from these alone, that it can be known what good is, and what evil is.
AC 7256. All things in the universe which are according to Divine order have relation to good and truth; and all things in the universe which are contrary to Divine order have relation to evil and falsity. The reason is that the good and truth which proceed from the Divine make order, insomuch that they are order.
AC 7257. The good which is of love to the Lord is called "celestial good," and the good which is of charity toward the neighbor is called "spiritual good." What the difference is, and how great, between the celestial good which belongs to love to the Lord, and the spiritual good which belongs to charity toward the neighbor, will be told in what follows.
AC 7258. The doctrine of celestial good, which is that of love to the Lord, is the most ample and at the same time the most secret; but the doctrine of spiritual good, which is that of charity toward the neighbor, is also ample and secret, but less so than the doctrine of celestial good, which is the doctrine of love to the Lord. That the doctrine of charity is ample can be seen from the fact that charity is not the same with one as with another, and that one is not the neighbor the same as another.
AC 7259. As the doctrine of charity was so ample, the ancients, with whom the doctrine of charity was the very doctrine of the church, distinguished charity toward the neighbor into many classes, which they also subdivided, and gave a name to each class, and taught how charity was to be exercised toward those who are in one class, and how toward those in another; and in this way they reduced the doctrine of charity into order, and also the exercises of charity, that these might fall distinctly under the view of the understanding.
AC 7260. The names which they gave to those toward whom they were to exercise charity, were many: some they called blind, some lame, some maimed, some poor, also miserable and afflicted, some orphans, some widows; but in general they called those hungry to whom they were to give to eat, those thirsty to whom they were to give to drink, sojourners whom they were to gather in, naked whom they were to clothe, sick whom they were to visit, and in prison to whom they were to come (n. 4954-4959).
AC 7261. These names were given from heaven to the ancients who were of the church, and by those who were so named they understood those who were spiritually such. Their doctrine of charity taught who these were, and what kind of charity there was to be toward each.
AC 7262. Hence it is that these same names are in the Word, and signify those who are such in the spiritual sense. In itself the Word is nothing but the doctrine of love to the Lord and of charity toward the neighbor, as the Lord also teaches:--
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God from all thy heart, and in all thy soul, and in all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. The second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. In these two commandments hang the law and the prophets (Matt. 22:37-40);
"the law and the prophets" denote the whole Word.
AC 7263. The reason why these same names are in the Word, is that they who were in external worship were to exercise charity toward such as were so named; and they who were in internal worship, toward such spiritually understood; thus that the simple might understand and do the Word simply, and the wise wisely; also in order that the simple might be initiated by means of the externals of charity into its internals.
ON THE INHABITANTS AND SPIRITS OF THE PLANET MARS
AC 7358. Like all the rest of the planets, the planet Mars appears in the idea of spirits and angels constantly in its own place, and in fact to the left in front, at some distance in the plane of the breast, and thus outside the sphere in which are the spirits of our earth. The spirits of one earth are separated from the spirits of another earth, because the spirits of each earth have reference to some special province in the Grand Man, and thence are in another and diverse state; and diversity of state causes them to appear separate from one another, either to the right or to the left, at a greater or a less distance.
AC 7359. Spirits from thence came to me, and applied themselves to my left temple, and there breathed on me with their speech, but I did not understand it. It was soft in its flow, nor do I remember ever to have perceived a softer, it being like the softest aura. It breathed first upon the left temple, and the left ear from above; and the breathing extended thence to the left eye, and by little and little to the right, and then flowed downward, especially from the left eye, to the lips; and when it was at the lips, it entered through the mouth, and by a way within the mouth, in fact by the Eustachian tube, into the brain. then the breathing came thither, I then understood their speech, and it was given me to talk with them. While they were talking with me I observed that my lips moved, and my tongue also a little, because of the correspondence of interior speech with exterior. Exterior speech is that of articulate sound falling toward the external membrane of the car, and thence by means of little organs, membranes, and fibers, which are within the ear, being conveyed to the brain.
AC 7360. From all this it was given me to know that the speech of the inhabitants of Mars is different from the speech of the inhabitants of our earth. That is to say, it was not sonorous, but almost silent, insinuating itself into the interior hearing and sight by a shorter way. And being of this nature, it was fuller and more perfect, fuller of the ideas of thought, thus approaching more nearly the speech of spirits and angels. Moreover the very affection of the speech is represented with them in the face, and its thought in the eyes; for with them, thought and speech, and also affection and face, act as a one. They regard it as wicked to think one thing and speak another, and to will one thing and show another in the face. They do not now what hypocrisy is, or what fraudulent deceit and dissimulation are.
AC 7361. That such also was the speech of the most ancient people on this earth, has been given to me to know by conversation with some of them (n. 607, 608). To make the matter clearer, I may again relate what has been given to me to know from experience about the speech of the most ancient of this earth; as follows. "There was shown me by a certain influx which I cannot describe, what was the nature of the speech of those who were of the Most Ancient Church, namely, that it was not articulate, like the vocal speech of our time, but tacit; and was produced not by external but by internal respiration. It was also granted me to notice the nature of their internal respiration, that it advanced from the navel toward the heart, and so through the lips, without sound, when they spoke; and that it did not enter into the ear of another by an external way, and strike upon what is called the drum of the ear; but by a certain internal way, and in fact by a way there which is flow called the Eustachian tube.
 It was shown me that by such speech they could much more fully express the sentiments of the mind and the ideas of thought, than can possibly be done by articulate sounds or sonorous words, which likewise are directed by the respiration, but external; for there is no vocal word, nor anything in a vocal word, which is not directed by applications of the respiration. But with them this is done much more perfectly, because by internal respiration, which, being more interior, is also more perfect, and more applicable and conformable to the very ideas of thought. Moreover they express themselves by slight movements of the lips, and corresponding changes of the face; for as they had been celestial men, whatever they thought shone forth from their faces and eyes, which were varied conformably; the face as to form and life, the eyes as to light. They could not possibly put on an expression of countenance that was not in agreement with what they were thinking. Simulation, and still more deceit, were to them a monstrous crime" (n. 1118). As their speech was of this nature, and they had internal respiration, they could be in company with angels.
AC 7362. The respiration of the spirits of the planet Mars has also been communicated to me. Spirits and angels breathe, (n. 3884-3894); and it was perceived that their respiration was interior, proceeding from the region of the chest toward the navel, and thence rolling itself upward through the breast, with an imperceptible breathing toward the mouth. From these and other proofs of experience it was made evident to me that they were of a celestial genius, and thus not unlike those who were of the Most Ancient Church on this earth.
AC 7363. They spoke with me about the life of the inhabitants in their earth, in that they are not under commands, but are distinguished into larger and smaller societies, and that they there associate with themselves such as agree with them in disposition. This they know at once from the face and speech, in which they are rarely deceived, and then they are forthwith friends. But they feel no aversion to others, for they have no aversion, still less hatred. They also said that their consociations are delightful, and that they converse together about what is being done in the societies, especially what is being done in heaven; for many of them have open communication with the angels in heaven. This is easy to believe, as they are of such a nature and so associated, that their societies, taken together through that earth, represent a general angelic society. The societies there are all various, but the Lord conjoins them all by the heavenly form, so as to be a one; for a one is made of various particulars suitably arranged into a form.
AC 7364. Those in their societies who begin to think wrongly, and thence to will wrongly, are separated, and left to themselves alone, whence they lead a most wretched life out of all society, in rocks or other places, for they are no longer cared for by the rest. Certain societies endeavor to drive such persons to repentance by various methods; but when this fails, they separate themselves from them. In this way they take care lest the lust of dominion and of gain should creep in, that is, lest any from the lust of dominion should subject to themselves the society in which they are, and then others; and lest any from the lust of gain should despoil others of their goods. Everyone on that earth lives content with his goods, and everyone content with his honor in being called just and a lover of his neighbor. This delight and tranquillity of mind would perish, unless those who think and will evilly were cast out, and unless they prudently and severely met the first beginnings of the love of self and the love of the world with those into whom they enter; for it was these loves which out of societies made empires and kingdoms, within which there are few who do not desire to domineer, and to possess all the property of others; there being few who do what is just and equitable from justice and equity, and still fewer who do what is good from charity, and what is true from faith, and not rather from fear of the law, of injury, of life, or of the loss of gain, honor, and reputation on account of these.
AC 7365. The subject of the inhabitants and spirits of the planet Mars will be continued at the end of the following chapter. previous - next - text - Exodus - BM Home - Full Page