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www.BibleMeanings.info  ·  New Truth  ·  Conjugial Love  ·  Sections 138 ff previous  ·  next


CL 138. Since I am still at the threshold of the treatment of conjugial love in detail; and since conjugial love in detail can be known only indistinctly and thus obscurely unless in some measure its opposite also be seen, which is the unchaste, and this is seen in a measure or in shade when the chaste is described together with the non-chaste, for chastity is only the removal of the unchaste from the chaste; (therefore, the chaste and the non-chaste shall now be treated of). The unchaste, which is entirely opposite to the chaste, is treated of in the latter part of this work, under the title THE PLEASURES OF INSANITY FROM SCORTATORY LOVE, where it is described in its full extent and with its varieties. What the chaste is and the non-chaste, and with whom they are, will be made clear in the following order:

1. That the chaste and the non-chaste are predicated only of marriages and of such things as belong to marriages.

2. That the chaste is predicated only of monogamous marriages, or those of one man with one wife.

3. That the Christian conjugial alone is chaste.

4. That love truly conjugial is chastity itself.

5. That all the delights of love truly conjugial, even the ultimate, are chaste.

6. That with those who are made spiritual by the Lord, conjugial love is more and more purified and made chaste.

7. That the chastity of marriage comes into existence by the total renunciation of whoredoms from religion.

8. That chastity cannot be predicated of infants; nor of boys and girls; nor of youths and virgins before they feel the love of the sex in themselves.

9. That chastity cannot be predicated of eunuchs born such, nor of eunuchs made such.

10. That chastity cannot be predicated of those who do not believe adulteries to be evils of religion, and still less of those who do not believe adulteries to be hurtful to society.

11. That chastity cannot be predicated of those who abstain from adulteries solely on account of various external reasons.

12. That chastity cannot be predicated of those who believe marriages to be unchaste.

13. That chastity cannot be predicated of those who have renounced marriages by vowing perpetual celibacy, unless there be and remain in them the love of a life truly conjugial.

14. That the state of marriage is to be preferred to the state of celibacy.

The explanation of the above now follows.

CL 139. I. That the chaste and the non-chaste are predicated (only) of marriages and of such things as belong to marriages; for, as shown in what follows, love truly conjugial is chastity itself, and the love opposite thereto, which is called scortatory, is unchastity itself. In so far, therefore, as the former love is purified from the latter, so far it is chaste, for so far is its destructive opposite taken away. From this it is evident that it is the purity of conjugial love that is called chastity. Yet there is a conjugial love which is non-chaste and which nevertheless is not unchastity; as, for instance, the love between partners who, for various external reasons, abstain from the effects of lasciviousness so far as not to think of them; nevertheless, if this love has not been purified in their spirits, it still is not chaste. Its form is chaste, but the essence within it, is not chaste.

CL 140. That the chaste and the non-chaste are predicated of such things as belong to marriage, is because the conjugial is inscribed upon both sexes, from their inmost parts to their outmost, and such as this conjugial is, such is the man as to his thoughts and affections and thence inwardly as to the acts and gestures of his body. That such is the case is more evidently apparent from the unchaste. With these, the unchastity inseated in their minds comes to the ear from the sound of their speech, and from the application of all the topics of their conversation, even when the latter is chaste, to things libidinous, the sound of the speech being from the affection of the will, and the speech itself from the thought of the understanding. This is a sign that the will with all things thereof, and the understanding with all things thereof, thus the whole mind and hence all the parts of the body from the inmost to the outmost, abound in things unchaste. I have heard from angels, that with the most consummate hypocrites, however chastely they may speak, the unchastity within them is perceived by the ear and is also felt from the sphere which pours forth from them. This too, is a sign that unchastity resides in the inmost regions of their minds and thence in the inmost parts of their bodies, and that these inmosts are veiled over as with an outer shell on which are painted beautiful forms in various colours. That a sphere of lasciviousness pours forth from the unchaste is plain from the statutes among the sons of Israel, that each and every thing contacted by those defiled with such impurities, even by the mere touch of their hand, was itself unclean. From this, the conclusion can be made that it is the same with the chaste; that is to say, that from their inmost parts to their outmost, each and every thing in them is chaste, and that the chastity of conjugial love makes it so. Hence the saying in the world that, to the pure all things are pure, and to the impure all are impure.

CL 141. II. That the chaste is predicated only of monogamous marriages, or those of one man with one wife. That the chaste is predicated of these only, is because with them conjugial love does not reside in the natural man but enters into the spiritual and successively opens for itself a way to the spiritual marriage, being the marriage of good and truth, which is its origin and with which it conjoins itself; for that love enters according to the increase of wisdom, and, as previously shown in many places, this is according to the implantation of the Church by the Lord. The Church cannot be implanted with polygamists because they divide conjugial love, and when divided, this love is not unlike love of the sex which in itself is natural. But on this subject, something worthy of note will be seen in the chapter on Polygamy.

CL 142. III. That the Christian conjugial alone is chaste, is because love truly conjugial in man keeps equal pace with the state of the Church with him; and, as shown in the preceding chapter, (n. 130, 131), and elsewhere, this state is from the Lord; also because the Church is in the Word in its genuine truths, it being in these that the Lord is present there. From this it follows, that there is no chaste conjugial except in the Christian world; and that if it is not there, it is nevertheless possible. By the Christian conjugial is meant the marriage of one man with one wife. That this conjugial can be implanted among Christians and by inheritance can descend from parents who are in love truly conjugial to their offspring, and that from it arises a connate ability and inclination to become wise in the things of the Church and heaven, will be seen in its proper place. That Christians, if they marry more wives than one, commit not only natural but also spiritual adultery, will be shown in the chapter on Polygamy.

CL 143. IV. That love truly conjugial is chastity itself. The reasons are:

1. Because it is from the Lord and corresponds to the marriage of the Lord and the Church.

2. Because it descends from the marriage of good and truth.

3. Because it is spiritual, as is the Church with man.

4. Because it is the fundamental love and the chief of all celestial and spiritual loves.

5. Because it is the lawful seminary of the human race and thence of the angelic heaven.

6. Because for this reason it is also with the angels of heaven, and from it, with them, are born spiritual offspring which are love and wisdom.

7. Because its use is thus more excellent than all other uses of creation. From this it follows that love truly conjugial, regarded from its origin and in its essence, is pure and holy, so that it may be called purity and holiness itself and consequently chastity itself.

That yet, it is not absolutely pure with either men or angels, may be seen in article VI, (n. 146), which follows presently.

CL 144. V. That all the delights of love truly conjugial, even the ultimate, are chaste. This follows from what has been explained above, namely, that love truly conjugial is chastity itself; and delights are what make its life. It has been noted above, that the delights of that love ascend and enter into heaven, and on the way pass through the joys of the heavenly loves wherein are the angels of heaven; and that they conjoin themselves with the delights of their conjugial love. Moreover, I have heard from angels, that when these delights ascend from chaste partners on earth, they perceive them to be exalted with themselves and infilled. Because of some bystanders who were unchaste, to the question as to whether this applied also to the ultimate delights, they nodded assent and said tacitly, "How can it be otherwise? are not those delights the other delights in their fullness?" The source and nature of the delights of that love may be seen above, (n. 69), and also in the Memorable Relations, especially in those that follow.

CL 145. VI. That with those who are made spiritual by the Lord, conjugial love is more and more purified and made chaste. The reasons are: 1. Because the first love, by which is meant the love before the nuptials and just after them, partakes somewhat of love of the sex, thus of an ardour belonging to the body, not yet moderated by the love of the spirit.

[2] 2. Because man from being natural becomes spiritual successively; for he becomes spiritual according as his rational, which is midway between heaven and the world, begins to draw its soul from influx out of heaven. It does this in the degree that it is affected and gladdened by reason of wisdom, of which above, (n. 130). So far as this takes place, man's mind is elevated into a superior aura which is the containant of heavenly light and heat, or, what is the same thing, of the wisdom and love wherein are the angels; for heavenly light acts as one with wisdom, and heavenly heat with love. As wisdom and its love increase with the partners, so conjugial love with them is purified; and since this takes place successively, it follows that the love becomes more and more chaste. This spiritual purification can be compared with the purification of natural spirits which is effected by chemists and is called defecation, rectification, castigation, cohobation, fractionation, decantation, sublimation; and the wisdom purified can be compared with alcohol, which is a spirit most highly rectified.

[3] 3. Now because, regarded in itself, spiritual wisdom is such that it grows more and more warm with the love of becoming wise, and from this love takes increase to eternity, this being done as it is perfected as though by defecations, castigations, rectifications, fractionations, decantations, and sublimations; and because these operations are effected by withdrawals and abstractions of the understanding from the fallacies of the senses, and of the will from the allurements of the body; it is evident that conjugial love, whose parent is wisdom, is successively made more and more pure, thus chaste, in a like way. That the first state of love between married partners is a state of heat not yet tempered by light, but that it is successively tempered as the husband is perfected in wisdom and the wife loves that wisdom in her husband, may be seen in the Memorable Relation (n. 137).

CL 146. It should be known, however, that neither with men nor with angels is conjugial love wholly chaste or pure. There is still something not chaste or not pure which adjoins or subjoins itself; but this something is of a different nature than that from which comes what is unchaste. With those who are in conjugial love, the chaste is above and the non-chaste below, and between the two is interposed, by the Lord, a hinged door, as it were, which is opened by determination, care being taken that it does not stand open, lest the one should pass over into the other and they should commingle; for man's natural is contaminated and surcharged with evils from birth. Not so his spiritual, because its birth is from the Lord, this birth being regeneration, and regeneration is a successive separation from the evils which are related to the native inclinations. That no love with men or angels is entirely pure, or can ever become so, but that the end, purpose, or intention of the will is what is primarily regarded by the Lord, may be seen in (n. 71) above; also that therefore, so far as a man is in these and perseveres in them, he is initiated into purity and makes progress towards it.

CL 147. VII. That the chastity of marriage comes into existence by the total renunciation of whoredoms from religion. The reason is because chastity is the removal of unchastity. It is a universal rule that so far as anyone removes evil, so far an opportunity is given for good to succeed it; and further, so far as evil is hated, so far good is loved, and vice versa; consequently, so far as whoredom is renounced, so far the chastity of marriage enters in. That conjugial love is purified and rectified in proportion to the renunciation of whoredoms, is seen by everyone from common perception, as soon as it is stated and heard, thus prior to any confirmation; but because all men do not have common perception, it is important that this be made clear by confirmations also. The confirmations are as follows: As soon as conjugial love is divided, it grows cold, and this coldness causes it to perish; for the heat of unchaste love extinguishes it, it being impossible for two opposite heats to be together without the one rejecting the other and depriving it of its power. When therefore the heat of conjugial love removes and rejects the heat of scortatory love, conjugial love begins to grow pleasantly warm, and from the sensation of its delights, begins to bud and blossom, like an orchard and rosebed in the time of spring, the one from the vernal temperature of the light and heat of the sun of the natural world, the other from the vernal temperature of the light and heat of the sun of the spiritual world.

CL 148. Implanted in every man from creation and thence by birth is an internal conjugial and an external conjugial. The internal is spiritual and the external natural. Man comes first into the latter, and he comes into the former as he becomes spiritual. If therefore he remains in the external or natural conjugial, the internal or spiritual conjugial is being veiled over until at last he knows nothing of it, yea, and calls it a vain idea. But if man becomes spiritual, then he begins to know something of it, and later to have some perception of its nature, and successively to feel its pleasantness, its delights, and its delightsomeness; and as this takes place, the above-mentioned veiling between the external and the internal begins to grow thin, then, as it were, to melt away, and finally, to dissolve and disappear. When this comes to pass, the external conjugial does indeed remain, but it is being continually purged and purified of its dregs by the internal, and this until the external becomes, as it were, the face of the internal and derives its delight and at the same time its life and the delights of its potency from the blessedness which is in the internal. Such is the renunciation of whoredoms by which the chastity of marriage comes into existence.

[2] It may be thought that the external conjugial which remains after the internal has separated itself from it, or it from itself, is the same as the external not separated. But I have heard from angels that they are so entirely unlike, that the external from the internal, which they called the external of the internal, is devoid of all lasciviousness, inasmuch as the internal cannot be lascivious but can be delighted only chastely; and that it carries the like into its external wherein it feels its own delights. It is wholly otherwise with the external separated from the internal. This, they said, is lascivious in its whole and in every part. They compared the external conjugial from the internal to a noble fruit whose pleasant savour and fragrance insinuate themselves into its surface and form this into correspondence with themselves.

[3] They also compared the external conjugial from the internal to a granary whose store never diminishes, what is taken from it being constantly restored anew. But the external separated from the internal, they compared to wheat in a winnower, which, if it is scattered about, there remains only chaff which is dissipated by the wind. Such is the case with conjugial love unless what is scortatory is renounced.

CL 149. That the chastity of marriage does not exist by the renunciation of whoredoms unless this be done from religion, is because, without religion, a man does not become spiritual but remains natural, and even if his natural man renounces whoredoms, his spirit does not renounce them. Thus, though to himself it appears that by the renunciation he is chaste, nevertheless, unchastity lurks within, like corruption in a wound but superficially healed. That conjugial love is according to the state of the Church with man, may be seen above (n. 130). More on this subject may be seen in the exposition of article XI below.

CL 150. VIII. That chastity cannot be predicated of infants; nor of boys and girls: nor of youths and virgins before they feel the love of the sex in themselves. The reason is because the chaste and the unchaste are predicated solely of marriages and of such things as pertain to marriages (n. 139), and with those who know nothing concerning things conjugial, there is no predication of chastity. With them, it is as nothing, and there can be no affection of nothing, nor can there be any thought concerning it. But with the first sensation of the conjugial, which pertains to love of the sex, then, after that nothing, springs up a something. That virgins and youths are commonly called chaste until they feel the love of the sex within themselves, comes from ignorance of what chastity is.

CL 151. IX. That chastity cannot be predicated of eunuchs born such, nor of eunuchs made such. By eunuchs born such are meant especially those with whom the ultimate of love has been lacking from birth; and because the first and the middle are then without a foundation on which to rest, they do not stand forth, and if they do, it is of no concern to such persons to distinguish between the chaste and the unchaste, for to them, both are indifferent. Among such persons, however, there are many differences. With eunuchs made such, it is almost the same as with some eunuchs who are born such. But eunuchs made such, being both men and women, cannot but regard conjugial love as a fantasy and its delights as mere words. If there is anything of inclination within them, it becomes neuter, that is, neither chaste nor unchaste; and that which is neuter has no name either from the one side or from the other.

CL 152. X. That chastity cannot be predicated of those who do not believe adulteries to be evils of religion, and still less of those who do not believe adulteries to be hurtful to society. That chastity cannot be predicated of the former is because they do not know what chastity is, nor even that it is; for, as shown in the first article of the present chapter, chastity pertains to marriage, and those who do not believe adulteries to be evils of religion make marriages also unchaste, when yet, with married partners, it is religion that makes their chastity. Thus, to them nothing is chaste, and therefore it is vain to speak to them of chastity. Such men are adulterers from conviction.

As to those who do not believe adulteries to be hurtful to society, these know still less than the former what chastity is, or even that it is; for they are adulterers from purpose. If they say that marriages are less unchaste than adulteries, they say this with the mouth, not from the heart; for with them marriages are cold, and those who, from this cold, speak of chaste heat, can have no idea of chaste heat with respect to conjugial love. Their character and the nature of the ideas of their thoughts and hence of the interiors of their speech, will be seen in Part II respecting the insanities of adulterers.

CL 153. XI. That chastity cannot be predicated of those who abstain from adulteries solely on account of various external reasons. Many believe that mere abstinence from adulteries in bodily act is chastity, when yet this is not chastity unless at the same time the abstinence be in the spirit also. It is man's spirit--by which is here meant his mind as to its affections and thoughts--which makes what is chaste and unchaste; for it is from the spirit that these exist in the body, the body being altogether such as is the mind or spirit. Hence it follows that those who abstain from adulteries in bodily act and not from the spirit, are not chaste, as neither are those who abstain from them in spirit by reason of the body. There are many reasons which cause a man to desist from them in bodily act, and also in the spirit by reason of the body; yet he who does not desist from them in bodily act from the spirit is unchaste. For the Lord says, if any man has looked on another woman to lust after her, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matt. 5:28).

[2] The reasons for abstinence from adulteries in bodily act only, cannot be enumerated, for they vary according to the state of the marriage and also according to the state of the body. There are those who abstain from them from fear of the civil law and its penalties; from fear of the loss of reputation and thence of honour; from fear of diseases therefrom; from fear of upbraidings by the wife at home, and so of an unquiet life; from fear of the vengeance of the husband or of relatives; and from fear of being beaten by the servants. Then there are those who abstain on account of poverty, or avarice, or weakness arising from disease, abuse, age, or impotence. Among these are also those who, being unable or not daring to commit adulteries in bodily act, condemn them in their spirit and so talk morally against them and in favour of marriages. But if they do not execrate adultery in their spirit and this from religion, they are still adulterers; for though not committing adulteries in bodily act, they yet commit them in spirit. Therefore, after death when they become spirits, they speak openly in favour of them. From this it is clear that even a wicked man can shun adulteries as hurtful, but that none but a Christian can shun them as sins. From the above, the truth of the proposition is now established, that chastity cannot be predicated of those who abstain from adulteries solely on account of various external reasons.

CL 154. XII. That chastity cannot be predicated of those who believe marriages to be unchaste. Such men do not know what chastity is, or even that it is, as neither do those spoken of in (n. 152) above, nor those now to be spoken of, who make chastity to consist only in celibacy.

CL 155. XIII. That chastity cannot be predicated of those who have renounced marriages by vowing perpetual celibacy, unless there be and remain in them the love of a life truly conjugial. That chastity cannot be predicated of these is because, after the vow of perpetual celibacy, conjugial love is cast out, though to this love alone belongs the predication of chastity; also because inclination to the sex is still within from creation and thence from birth, and when restrained and repressed, it cannot be otherwise than that this inclination will go off into heat, and with some into burning heat; and this, when it rises up from the body into the spirit, infests and with some defiles it. Moreover, it may be that the spirit, thus defiled, will defile also the things of religion and cast them down from their internal seat where they are in holiness, into mere externals where they become things of the mouth and gesture alone. Therefore it is provided by the Lord that such celibacy exists only with those who are in external worship (alone), being in this because they do not approach the Lord or read the Word. With such men, the injunction of celibacy, with the vow of chastity, does not endanger eternal life as it would with those who are in internal worship. Add to this, that many do not enter into that state of life of their own free will, some entering it before they are in freedom from reason, and some because of causes drawing them away from the world.

[2] Among those who adopt that state of life for the separation of their mind from the world that they may spend their days in Divine worship, they only are chaste with whom the love of a life truly conjugial remains, whether it was with them before that state or came after it, it being the love of this life, of which chastity is predicated. It is for this reason that after death, all who have lived in monasteries are finally released from their vows and set at liberty, that they may be brought to choose either a conjugial life or a life apart from the conjugial, according to their interior prayers and the desires of their love. Moreover, those who have loved the spiritual things of worship, if they then enter into the conjugial life, are given in marriage in heaven; but those who choose an extra-conjugial life are sent to their like who dwell at the sides of heaven.

[3] I have asked angels whether women who have devoted themselves to piety and given themselves up to Divine worship, and so have withdrawn from the illusions of the world and the lusts of the flesh and have therefore vowed perpetual virginity, are received into heaven and there become the first among the blessed in accordance with their own belief. The angels answered: "They are indeed received into heaven, but when they feel the sphere of conjugial love there, they become sad and anxious; and then, some of their own free will, some by requested permission, and some by command, they depart and are let out; and when they are outside that heaven, a way is opened for them to their companions who, in the world, were in a similar state of life. Then, from being anxious, they become cheerful and happy in each other's company."

CL 156. XIV. That the state of marriage is to be preferred to the state of celibacy is evident from what has thus far been said concerning marriage and celibacy. That the state of marriage is to be preferred is because this state exists from creation; because its origin is the marriage of good and truth; because its correspondence is with the marriage of the Lord and the Church; because the Church and conjugial love are constant companions; because its use is more excellent than the uses of all else in creation, for thence is the propagation of the human race according to order, and also of the angelic heaven, this being from the human race. Add to this, that marriage is the fullness of man; for by its means man becomes a complete man, as will be shown in the following chapter. In celibacy, all these things are lacking.

[2] If the proposition is made that the state of celibacy is more excellent than the state of marriage, and if this is submitted to examination that it may receive assent and be established by confirmation, the result of the confirmation will then be, that marriages are not holy nor any of them chaste; nay, that in the female sex, those only are chaste who abstain from marriage and vow perpetual virginity; and further, that it is those who vow perpetual celibacy who are meant by eunuchs who make themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of God (Matt. 19:12); besides many other conclusions which, as coming from a proposition which is not true, are themselves not true. By eunuchs who make themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of God are meant spiritual eunuchs, being those who in marriages abstain from the evils of whoredom. That Italian eunuchs are not meant, is evident.

CL 156a. To the above I will add two Memorable Relations. First:

Returning home from the sport of wisdom spoken of above (n. 132), I saw on the way an angel in raiment of the colour of hyacinth. He came to my side and said: "I see that you have come from a sport of wisdom, and have been gladdened by what you heard there. I also perceive that you are not fully in this world, since you are at the same time in the natural world. Therefore you do not know about our Olympic Gymnasiums where the ancient Sophi meet together and learn from those who come from your world what changes and successions of state wisdom has undergone and is still undergoing. If you wish, I will conduct you to a place where dwell many of the ancient Sophi and their sons, that is, their disciples."

He then led me to the border-land between the north and the east. Looking thitherward from a high place, lo, I saw a city, and on one side of it two hills, the one nearer the city being lower than the other; and the angel remarked, "That city is called Athens, the lower hill Parnassus, and the higher Helicon. They are so called because in and about the city dwell the ancient Sophi of Greece, such as Pythagoras, Socrates, Aristippus, Xenophon, together with their disciples and novices." When I asked about Plato and Aristotle, he said: "They and their followers dwell in another region because they taught matters of reason which pertain to the understanding, while the others taught morals which pertain to life.

[2] From the city of Athens," he continued, "studious men are frequently sent to the literati among Christians, that the latter may tell them what men think at this day concerning God, the creation of the universe, the immortality of the soul, the state of man relative to that of beasts, and other subjects which are matters of interior wisdom." He added that a herald had that day announced an assembly, a sign that their emissaries had met new-comers from the earth, from whom they had heard some curious news.

We then saw many men coming from the city and its vicinity, some with laurels on their heads, some carrying palms in their hands, some with books under their arms, and some with pens under the hair of the left temple. We mingled with them and went up together. And lo, on the hill an octagonal palace which was called the Palladium. This we entered, and behold, therein were eight hexagonal recesses, and in each a library and also a table at which were sitting the laureates. In the body of the Palladium were seen seats cut out of the rock, and on these the rest had seated themselves.

[3] Then a door at the left was opened, through which were introduced two new-comers from the earth. When they had been duly received, one of the laureates asked them, "WHAT NEWS FROM THE EARTH? They said: "The news is that in the woods have been found men like beasts or beasts like men. From face and body, however, it was recognized that they had been born men and had been lost or abandoned in the woods when they were two or three years old." They went on to say, "They could not utter a single thing pertaining to thought, nor could they be taught to articulate sound into any word. They did not know what food was suitable to them as do beasts, but put into their mouth the wild growths of the woods, both clean and unclean; not to speak of much else of the same sort. From this, some of the learned among us have made many surmises, and others, many conclusions respecting the state of men relative to that of beasts."

[4] On hearing this, some of the ancient Sophi asked what the surmises and conclusions from these facts were, and the two new-comers answered: "There were a number of them, but they can be reduced to the following:

1. That of his own nature and by birth, man is more stupid and hence viler than any beast, and if not instructed, he remains such.

2. That he can be instructed, for he has learned to articulate sound and hence to speak, and thereby he began to express thoughts, and this gradually more and more until at last he could put forth laws of society, many of which, however, are impressed on beasts by birth.

3. That beasts have rationality equally with men.

4. Therefore, if beasts could talk, they would reason on any subject as cleverly as men, an indication of which lies in the fact that they think from reason and prudence equally as do men.

[5] 5. That understanding is merely a modification of light from the sun by the mediation of ether, and with the co-operation of heat; thus that it is only an activity of interior nature; and this activity can be heightened until it appears as wisdom.

6. That therefore it is idle to believe that a man lives after death any more than a beast; except that possibly, from the exhalation of the life of his body he may appear for a few days after his decease as a vapour under the appearance of a spectre, until this is dissipated into nature--scarcely otherwise than as a plant resuscitated from its ashes has the appearance of being in the likeness of its original form.

7. Consequently, that religion, which teaches a life after death, is an invention for the purpose of inwardly holding the simple in bonds by its laws, as they are held outwardly by the laws of the state." To this they added, that the merely ingenious reason in this way, but not the intelligent. When asked what the intelligent think, they said that they had not heard, but this was their opinion.

CL 156b. Hearing these things, all who were sitting at the tables exclaimed,"What times are now on earth! Alas, what changes has wisdom undergone! Is it not turned into fatuous ingenuity? The sun is set and is below the earth diametrically opposite to its meridian! Who cannot see, from the example of those lost and found in the woods, that such is the nature of man when not instructed? Is he not a man according as he is instructed? Is he not born in greater ignorance than beasts? Must he not learn to walk and to talk? If he did not learn to walk, would he stand erect upon his feet? and if he did not learn to talk, could he give utterance to any thought? Is not everyone a man according as he is taught, insane from falsities, or wise from truths? and, when insane from falsities, is he not entirely possessed with the fantasy that he is wiser than one who is wise from truths? Are there not fatuous and insane men who are no more men than those found in the woods? Are not those who have lost their memory like them?

[2] From all this, we conclude that, without instruction, man is neither man nor beast, but is a form which can receive that which makes a man; thus, that he is not born a man but becomes a man; and that man is born such a form in order that he may be an organ receiving life from God, to the end that he may be a subject into which God can bring every good, and which by union with Himself, He can render blessed to eternity. From what you have said, we perceive that at this day wisdom is so far extinguished or infatuated that men know nothing whatever about the state of man's life relative to that of beasts. Hence it is, that neither do they know the state of man's life after death; and those who might have known this but do not wish to know it and therefore deny it, as do many of your Christians, we may liken to those found in the woods; not that they have become thus stupid for want of instruction, but that they have made themselves stupid by fallacies of the senses, which are the darkness of truths."

CL 156c. Upon this, a man standing in the middle of the Palladium and holding a palm in his hand, said: "I beg you to unfold this arcanum: How could man created in the form of God be changed into the form of the devil? I know that the angels of heaven are forms of God, and that the angels of hell are forms of the devil; and these two forms are opposites, the latter being forms of insanity, the former forms of wisdom. Explain how man, created a form of God, could pass from day into such night that he could deny God and eternal life."

[2] To this, the teachers replied in order, first the Pythagoreans, then the Socratists, and afterwards the others, among whom was a Platonist. This man spoke last and his view, prevailed. It was as follows: "In the Saturnian era or Golden Age, men knew and acknowledged that they were forms receptive of life from God. Wisdom was therefore inscribed on their souls and hearts, and hence they saw truth from the light of truth, and by means of truths perceived good from the delight of the love thereof. But in subsequent ages, as the human race fell away from the acknowledgment that every truth of wisdom with them and thence every good of love continually flowed in from God, they ceased to be habitations of God. Then discourse with God, and consociation with angels also ceased. For from its former direction, their mind, which as to its interiors had been raised upwards to God by God, was bent more and more in an oblique direction outwards to the world and so to God by God through the world; and finally it was turned in the opposite direction, which is downwards to self. And since God cannot be held in view by man when the man is inwardly inverted and thus averted, men separated themselves from God and became forms of hell or of the devil.

[3] Whence it follows, that in the first Ages, men acknowledged in heart and soul that every good of love and hence every truth of wisdom was theirs from God; and also, that these were God's in them, and thus that they themselves were mere receptacles of life from God, and hence were called images of God, sons of God, and born of God. But in the succeeding Ages, they acknowledged this, not in heart and soul but from persuasive and later from historical faith, and finally with the mouth only; and to acknowledge this with the mouth only is not acknowledgment, nay, at heart it is denial. From this it can be seen what is the nature of wisdom among Christians at this day, when, despite the fact that from written revelation they can be inspired by God, they do not know the difference between man and beast, and many therefore believe that if man lives after death so also will a beast, or because a beast does not live after death, neither will man. Has not our spiritual light which enlightens the sight of the mind become thick darkness with them? and their natural light which enlightens only the sight of the body become splendour?"

CL 156d. After this, they all turned to the two new-comers and, thanking them for their coming and their narration, begged them to report what they had heard to their brethren. The new-comers replied that they would confirm their brethren in the truth, that so far as they attribute every good of charity and truth of faith to the Lord and not to themselves, so far are they men and so far do they become angels of heaven.

CL 156e. The second Memorable Relation:

One morning some sweet singing, heard from a height above me, woke me from sleep. Hence, in the first waking moments which are more internal, peaceful, and sweet than the following hours of the day, I could be held for some time in the spirit, as though out of the body, and could give exquisite attention to the affection which was being sung. The singing of heaven is nothing else than an affection of the mind issuing from the mouth as melody; for the tone springing from an affection of love is what gives life to speech, and this apart from the words of the speaker. In that state, I perceived that it was the affection of the delights of conjugial love which was being expressed in melody by wives in heaven. This I observed from the sound of the singing wherein those delights were varied in marvellous ways.

After this, I arose and looked abroad into the spiritual world. And there, in the east below the sun, was seen what seemed like A GOLDEN SHOWER. It was the morning dew coming down in such abundance that, when touched by the rays of the sun, it presented before my sight the appearance of a golden shower. More fully awakened by this sight, I walked forth in the spirit and asked an angel whom I then chanced to meet, whether he had seen the golden shower coming down from the sun.

[2] He answered that he sees it whenever he is in meditation on conjugial love. Then, directing his eyes thither, he said: "That shower is falling upon a hall in which are three husbands with their wives who dwell in the centre of an eastern paradise. Such a shower is seen falling from the sun upon that hall because with them abides wisdom concerning conjugial love and its delights--with the husbands, concerning conjugial love and with the wives concerning its delights. But I perceive that you are in meditation on the delights of conjugial love. I will therefore conduct you to that hall and introduce you."

He then led me through paradisal scenes to houses constructed of olive wood, with two columns of cedar before the entrance; and introducing me to the husbands, he asked that I might be permitted, in their presence, to speak with their wives; and the husbands gave their assent and called them. The wives looked searchingly into my eyes, and I asked why. They said, "We are able exquisitely to see what your inclination is in respect to love of the sex, and hence what your affection, and from this what your thought; and we see that you are meditating on it intensely but yet chastely." They then asked, "What do you wish us to tell you about it?"

I answered, `Tell me, I pray, something about the delights of conjugial love." Nodding assent, the husbands then said, "If agreeable to you, disclose something about them. Their ears are chaste."

[3] The wives then asked me, "Who instructed you to question us about the delights of that love? Why not question our husbands?" I answered, "This angel who is with me whispered in my ear that wives are receptacles and sensories of those delights because they are born loves, and all delights pertain to love."

To this they answered with smiling lips: "Be prudent and do not say any such thing save in an ambiguous sense, for it is a wisdom deeply reserved in the hearts of our sex and not disclosed to any husband unless he is in love truly conjugial. There are many reasons for this--reasons which we hide within ourselves."

The husbands then said: "Our wives know all the states of our mind, nothing whatever being hidden from them. They see, perceive, and feel all that proceeds from our will, while we on the other hand know nothing of what passes with them. Wives have this gift because they are most tender loves and ardent zeals, as it were, for the preservation of conjugial friendship and confidence, and so for the happiness of the life of both partners; for, from the wisdom implanted in their love, they have this in view both for their husbands and for themselves. This wisdom is so full of prudence that they do not wish, and so are not able, to say that they love, but only that they are loved."

I asked the wives why they do not wish and so are not able? They replied that if the least such thing escaped their lips, cold would come over their husbands and separate them from bed and chamber and sight. "But this is the case with husbands who do not regard marriages as holy and therefore do not love their wives from spiritual love. Not so with those who do. In the minds of these, that love is spiritual, and it is from this that it is natural in the body. We in this hall are in the latter love from the former, and therefore entrust to our husbands arcana that concern our delights of conjugial love."

[4] I courteously requested that they disclose something of these arcana to me also. They at once looked towards a window in the south, and lo, there was seen a white dove, its wings shining as from silver, and its head marked with a crown as of gold. It was perched on a bough from which grew an olive. When the dove was in the effort of spreading its wings, the wives said, "We will disclose something. So long as this dove is seen, it is a sign to us that we may." They then said: "Every man has five senses, sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch; but we have in addition a sixth sense, being the sensation of all the delights of the husband's conjugial love. We have this sense in the palms of our hands, when touching the breasts, arms, hands or cheeks of our husbands, especially the breasts, and also when touched by them; and all the gladness and pleasantness of the thought of their mind, and all the joys and delights of their animus, and the festive and cheerful things of their bosom, pass from them to us and take form and become perceptible, sensible, tangible. We then discern them as exquisitely and distinctly as the ear discerns the modulations of song, or the tongue distinguishes the flavour of delicacies. In a word, in us, the spiritual delights of our husbands put on, as it were, a natural embodiment, and for this reason we are called by our husbands the sensory organs of chaste conjugial love and hence of its delight. But this sense of our sex exists, subsists, persists, and is exalted, in the degree that our husbands love us from wisdom and judgment, and we in turn love them for the same in them. In the heavens, this sense of our sex is called the sport of wisdom with its love, and of love with its wisdom."

[5] Stirred by these words with the desire of learning more, I asked concerning the variety of the delights. They answered, "It is infinite but we do not wish to say more and therefore cannot; for the dove at our window, with the olive branch under its feet, has flown away."

I then waited for its return, but in vain. Meanwhile I asked the husbands, "Have you a like sense of conjugial love?" They answered: "We have it in general but not in particular. We have a general blessedness, a general delight, and a general pleasantness from the particulars of these as they are with our wives; and this general sense, which we get from them, is like the serenity of peace."

After these words, behold, through the window was seen a swan standing on the branch of a fig tree; and he spread his wings and flew away. Seeing this, the husbands said, "That is a sign to us for silence about conjugial love. Return at another time and perhaps more may be disclosed." They then withdrew and we departed.

Conjugial Love previous · next Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). www.biblemeanings.info