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www.BibleMeanings.info  ·  New Truth  ·  Conjugial Love  ·  Sections 271 ff previous  ·  next


CL 271. Since the causes of cold and separation have been treated of, it follows in order, that the causes of apparent love, friendship, and favour in marriages should also be treated of; for it is well known that, although at this day cold separates the minds of married partners, they yet dwell together and procreate; and this would not be the case were there not apparent loves which, at alternate times, are similar to the heat of genuine love or emulate it. That these appearances are necessities and utilities, and that without them homes and hence societies could not hold together, will be seen in what follows. Besides this, some conscientious persons labour under the idea that disagreements of minds between them and their partner, and the consequent internal alienations, are their own fault and will be imputed to them; and because of this they grieve at heart. But since it is not in their power to relieve internal dissidences, it is enough for them to still the troubles which arise from conscience by apparent loves and favours. Moreover, in this way there can be a return of a friendship, within which, on the one side if not on the other, lies conjugial love.

But because of the great variety of material, this chapter, like the preceding, shall be divided into articles. The articles are the following:

1. That in the natural world almost all can be conjoined as to external affections, but not as to internal if these are dissident and come to view.

2. That in the spiritual world all are conjoined according to internal affections, but not according to external unless these act as one with the internal.

3. That it is external affections according to which matrimonies are commonly contracted in the world.

4. But that if internal affections which conjoin minds are not within them, matrimonies are dissolved in the home.

5. That nevertheless, in the world, matrimonies are to continue to the end of life.

6. That in matrimonies wherein internal affections do not conjoin, there are external affections which simulate the internal and consociate.

7. That thence is apparent love between married partners, or apparent friendship and favour.

8. That these appearances are conjugial simulations which are praiseworthy because useful and necessary.

9. That with a spiritual man conjoined to a natural, these conjugial simulations savour of justice and judgment.

10. That with natural men these conjugial simulations savour of prudence for the sake of various causes.

11. That they are for the sake of amendments and for the sake of accommodations.

12. That they are for the sake of preserving order in domestic affairs, and for the sake of mutual aid.

13. That they are for the sake of the care of the infants, and of concordance in relation to the children.

14. That they are for the sake of peace in the home.

15. That they are for the sake of reputation outside the home.

16. That they are for the sake of various favours expected from the partner or from the partner's kindred; thus because of the fear of losing them.

17. That they are for the sake of the excusing of blemishes and the avoiding of ill-repute therefrom.

18. That they are for the sake of reconciliations.

19. That when the partners grow old, if favour does not cease with the wife when ability ceases with the man, there may arise a friendship emulous of conjugial friendship.

20. That there are various kinds of apparent love and friendship between married partners, of whom the one is subjugated and hence is subject to the other.

21. That in the world there are infernal marriages between partners who inwardly are bitter enemies and outwardly like close friends.

Now follows the explanation of the above.

CL 272. I. That in the natural world almost all can be conjoined as to external affections, but not as to internal affections if these are dissident and come to view. The reason is because in the world man is endowed with a material body, and this is filled with cupidities which in that body are like the dregs precipitated to the bottom in new wine in the process of clarification. The matters of which the bodies of men in the world are made up consist of such dregs. Hence it is that the internal affections, which belong to the mind, do not come to view, and with many scarcely a trace of them shows through; for either the body absorbs them and involves them in its dregs, or, by reason of the simulation learned from infancy, it deeply conceals them from the sight of others. By this means, the one partner puts himself into the state of some affection which he observes in the other and attracts that affection to himself; in this way the two are conjoined. They are conjoined because every affection has its own delight, and delights bind minds together. It would be otherwise if, as is the case in the spiritual world, the internal affections, like the external, appeared to the sight in the face and gesture, and to the ear in the tone of the voice, or if their delights were perceived by the nostrils or scented. Then, if they should so far differ as to be discordant, they would separate the external minds of the partners from each other, and those partners would remove themselves to a distance according to their perception of the antipathy. From this it is clear that in the natural world nearly all can be conjoined as to external affections, but not as to internal affections if these disagree and come to view.

CL 273. II. That in the spiritual world all are conjoined according to internal affections, but not according to external unless these act as one with the internal. The reason is because the material body, which as just stated could receive and exhibit the forms of all affections, is then cast off and the man, stripped of that body, is in his internal affections which his body had previously concealed. Hence it is that homogeneities and heterogeneities, or sympathies and antipathies, are then not only felt but also come to view in face, speech, and gesture. Therefore similitudes are then conjoined and dissimilitudes separated. This is the reason why the entire heaven is arranged by the Lord according to all the varieties of the affections of the love of good and truth, and hell, on the contrary, according to all the varieties of the affections of the love of evil and falsity.

[2] Since angels and spirits equally with men in the world have internal and external affections, and since, with them, the internal affections cannot be concealed by the external, therefore they show through and manifest themselves. Hence with them, the two are brought into similitude and correspondence, and then their internal affections through the external are effigied in their faces, perceived in the tones of their speech, and seen in their habitual gestures. Angels and spirits have internal and external affections because they have a mind and a body, and affections and the thoughts therefrom belong to the mind, and the sensations and the pleasures therefrom to the body.

[3] In the spiritual world it often occurs, that after death friends meet and remember their friendship in the former world; and they then think that they are to associate together in a life of friendship as before. But when that association which is merely of the external affections is perceived in heaven, a separation takes place according to the internal affections. Then, from that first meeting, some are sent away to the north and some to the west, being sent to such a distance from each other that they never more see or know each other; for in the place of their abode they are changed in face, the face becoming the effigy of their internal affections. From this it is evident that in the spiritual world, all are conjoined according to internal affections and not according to external, unless these make one with the internal.

CL 274. III. That it is external affections according to which matrimonies are commonly contracted in the world. This is because internal affections are rarely consulted, and if consulted, the similitude between them is not seen in the woman; for by her native gift she withdraws her internal affections into the inner recesses of her mind. The external affections which induce men to contract matrimony are many in number. The first affection of this age is for the enlargement of the family estate by wealth, both that they may be rich in lands and that they may have abundant means in their possession. The second is aspiration after honours, either for the sake of being held in high esteem or for the sake of being in an enlarged state of prosperity. Besides these, there are various allurements and concupiscences. Such affections leave no room for searching into the agreements of internal affections. From these few considerations, it is clear that in the world matrimonies are commonly contracted in accordance with external affections.

CL 275. IV. But that if internal affections which conjoin minds are not within them, matrimonies are dissolved in the home--it is said in the home because it is between the partners privately. This comes to pass when the first fires, kindled at the time of betrothal and flaming at the time of the wedding, gradually cool down on account of a discrepancy in internal affections, and finally pass off into cold. That the external affections which led and allured them into matrimony are then sundered so that they no longer conjoin, is well known. That cold arises from various causes, internal, external, and accidental, all of which derive their stream from a dissimilitude of internal inclinations, has been confirmed in the preceding chapter. From this the truth is evident that unless within the external affections there are internal affections which conjoin minds, matrimonies are dissolved in the home.

CL 276. V. That nevertheless, in the world, matrimonies are to continue to the end of life. This is adduced in order more clearly to present before the reason the necessity, utility, and truth of the statement that where the conjugial love is not genuine, it should yet be affected, that is, should seem as if it were genuine. It would be otherwise if the marriages entered into were not contracts enduring to the end of life but were dissolvable at will, as was the case with the Israelitish nation which arrogated to itself the liberty of putting away their wives for any cause whatsoever. This is seen from the following words in Matthew: The Pharisees came unto Jesus saying, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And when Jesus answered that it was not lawful to put away a wife and marry another except for whoredom, they retorted, Yet Moses commanded to give her a bill of divorcement and put her away; while the Disciples said, If the case of a man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. (Matthew 19:3-10).

[2] Since, therefore, the covenant of marriage is a covenant for life, it follows that appearances of love and friendship between the partners are necessities. That matrimonies once contracted must continue to the end of life in the world, is from Divine law; and being from this, it is also from rational law, and hence from civil law--from Divine law in that it is not lawful for one to put away his wife and marry another except for whoredom, as above; from rational law because this is founded upon spiritual law, Divine law and rational law being one. From the latter and the former together, or through the latter from the former, can be seen the great number of enormities and social destructions (that would result from) the dissolutions of marriages before death, or the putting away of wives at the good pleasure of their husbands. Since these enormities and social destructions can be seen in some fullness in the Memorable Relations, (n. 103-115), concerning the origin of conjugial love as discussed by men gathered together from nine kingdoms, there is no need to add further reasons. These causes, however, do not stand in the way of separations being permitted for their own causes, as above (n. 252-254), and also concubinage, of which in the Second Part.

CL 277. VI. That in matrimonies wherein internal affections do not conjoin, there are external affections which simulate the internal and consociate. By internal affections are meant the mutual inclinations in the mind of each partner, which are from heaven; but by external affections are meant the inclinations in the mind of each which are from the world. The latter affections or inclinations do indeed belong equally to the mind, but they occupy its lower region while the former occupy its higher region. It may be thought that since both are allotted their seat in the mind, they are alike and in agreement. They are not alike, yet it is possible that they may seem as though alike. With some partners they exist as conveniences, and with some as pleasant simulations. By reason of the first covenant of marriage, there is implanted in both partners a certain communion, and this remains inseated in them even though they be dissident in dispositions; as for instance, communion of possessions and in many cases communion of uses and of various necessities in the home, and thence communion also of thoughts and of certain secrets. There is also communion of the bed and communion in the love of infants, besides many other things which, being inscribed on the conjugial covenant, are also inscribed on their minds. It is these communions mainly, from which come external affections which resemble the internal. Those which merely simulate them are partly from the same origin and partly from another. Both are treated of in what follows.

CL 278. VII. That thence is apparent love between the partners, or apparent friendship and favour. Apparent loves, friendships, and favours between married partners are consequences of the conjugial covenant contracted for life, and therefore of the conjugial communion inscribed on the contracting parties. From this communion, as pointed out just above, are born external affections which resemble the internal. They come also from causes which are utilities and necessities, it being partly from these that those conjunctive or simulated external affections arise, whereby external love appears like internal love, and external friendship like internal friendship.

CL 279. VIII. That these appearances are conjugial simulations which are praiseworthy because useful and necessary. They are called simulations because they exist between those who are dissident in mind, and by reason of this dissidence are inwardly cold. When, despite this, they live a life of mutual association in externals, as is proper and becoming, the friendly associations involved in their living together can be called simulations--but conjugial simulations. Being praise-worthy and for the sake of uses, they are wholly distinct from hypocritical simulations, it being by them that all those advantages are provided for, which are enumerated in order in articles XI-XX below. That they are praiseworthy because of necessities, is because without them those advantages would be lost, and yet living together is enjoined on the partners by covenant and by law and therefore is inseated in both as a duty.

CL 280. IX. That with a spiritual man conjoined to a natural, these conjugial simulations savour of justice and judgment. The reason is because that which a spiritual man does he does from justice and judgment. Therefore he does not view the simulations as alien to his internal affections but as coupled with them; for he acts seriously and looks to amendment as an end; and if this does not follow, he looks to accommodation for the sake of order in the home, of mutual aid, of the care of the little children, of peace and tranquillity. He is led to these conjugial simulations from justice, and he carries them into effect from judgment. It is in this way that a spiritual man lives with a natural; for a spiritual man acts spiritually even with one who is natural.

CL 281. X. That with natural men these conjugial simulations savour of prudence for the sake of various causes. Between two married partners of whom one is spiritual and the other natural--by a spiritual man being meant one who loves spiritual things and thus is wise from the Lord, and by a natural, one who loves only natural things and so is wise from himself--when the two are consociated in marriage, conjugial love with the one who is spiritual is heat, while with the one who is natural it is cold. That heat and cold cannot be together, and that the heat cannot enkindle the partner who is in cold unless the cold be first dispelled, nor the cold inflow into the partner who is in heat unless the heat be first removed, is evident. It is from this that there can be no inward love between partners, one of whom is spiritual and the other natural; but on the part of the spiritual partner, as stated in the preceding article, there can be a love emulative of inward love.

[2] On the other hand, between partners, both of whom are natural, inward love is not possible because both are in cold; if they grow warm, it is from what is unchaste. But although separated in animus, they can yet live together in the home, and also can put on a countenance as though there were love and friendship between them, however mutually discordant their minds. With them, the external affections which, for the most part, concern wealth and possessions or honours and dignities, may be as though ardent; and because this ardour induces fear for the loss of them, to such persons conjugial simulations are necessities, especially those the causes of which are adduced in articles XV-XVII below. The other causes enumerated with them may have something in common with the causes spoken of in (n. 280) above, which obtain with the spiritual man, but only in case the prudence in the natural man savours of intelligence.

CL 282. XI. That they are for the sake of amendments and for the sake of accommodations. That the conjugial simulations which are appearances of love and friendship between partners of dissentient dispositions are for the sake of amendment, is because a spiritual man, bound by the matrimonial covenant to one who is natural, has no other intention than amendment of life, and on his part this is brought about by wise and refined conversations and by courteous favours pleasing to the genius of the other. But if these fall upon the ears and touch the conduct of the other partner without effect, then, for the sake of the preservation of order in domestic affairs, for the sake of mutual aid, for the sake of the infants and children, and for similar reasons, he has in mind to make accommodations; for, as shown in (n. 280) above, the words and deeds of a spiritual man savour of justice and judgment.

[2] The same thing is possible, but for the sake of other ends, with partners of whom neither one is spiritual but both are natural. If the conjugial simulation is for the sake of amendment and accommodation, either it has in view that the one partner may be brought into similarity of manners with the other and be subordinated to the desires of that other; or it is for the sake of certain offices which may be of service to one's own; or of peace in the home or reputation outside the home; or of favours hoped for from the partner or from the partner's relations; besides other ends. With some persons, however, these ends are from the prudence of their reason, with some from native civility, with some from the delights of cupidities familiar to them from birth and the loss of which is feared; besides many other ends from which the assumed favours as though of conjugial love become more or less of a simulated character. There are also favours as though of conjugial love which are assumed outside the home, there being none within the home; but these have in view the reputation of both partners, otherwise they are theatrical.

CL 283. XII. That they are for the sake of preserving order in domestic affairs, and for the sake of mutual aid. Every home where there are children with their tutors and other domestics is a society emulative of a larger society; the latter, moreover, comes into existence from a number of the former, just as what is general exists from its parts. Just as the welfare of the large society depends on order, so also does the welfare of the small society. Therefore, as, in a composite society, it concerns the magistrates to see and provide that order shall exist and be preserved, so with married partners in their particular society. This order, however, is not possible if husband and wife are of dissentient dispositions, for then the counsels and aids of the partners are distraught and divided, as are their dispositions, and the form of the little society is thus rent asunder. Wherefore, for the preservation of order and the providing thereby for themselves and at the same time for their household, or for their household and at the same time for themselves that they do not come to ruin and rush to destruction, necessity demands that the master and mistress be in accord and make a one; and if this cannot be effected because of a difference of minds, then, if it is to be well with them, it is needful and proper that this accord be effected by a representative conjugial friendship. That thereby concordance is imposed in homes because of necessities and hence of utilities is well known.

CL 284. XIII. That they are for the sake of the care of the infants, and of concordance in relation to the children. That conjugial simulations between partners, being appearances of a love and friendship resembling the truly conjugial, are for the sake of the infants and children, is well known. Their common love for these disposes each partner to regard the other with kindness and favour. The love of their infants and children with the mother and that love with the father, join together like the heart and lungs in the breast, the love of them with the mother being like the heart there, and the love toward them with the father like the lungs. The reason for this comparison is because the heart corresponds to love and the lungs to understanding, and with the mother is love from the will, and with the father love from the understanding. With spiritual men, the conjugial conjunction by this love of their infants and children comes from justice and judgment--from justice, because the mother carried them in her womb, brought them forth with pain, and afterwards suckles, feeds, cleanses, clothes, and educates them with unwearying care.

CL 285. XIV. That they are for the sake of peace in the home. Conjugial simulations or external friendships for the sake of peace and tranquillity at home are simulations chiefly with husbands, by reason of their natural characteristic, in that what they do, they do from the understanding, and the understanding, being the thinking faculty, reflects on various matters which disquiet, distract, and disturb the animus. Therefore, with in tranquillity at home, it would come to pass that their vital spirits would languish, and their interior life lie down as though in death, and thus their health, both of mind and body, be ruined. The fear of these and many other dangers would obsess the minds of husbands, were there not at home with their wives an asylum for calming the disturbances of their understanding.

[2] Moreover, peace and tranquillity make their minds serene, and dispose them to receive gratefully the kindnesses offered them by their wives who expend all their labour on dispelling from the minds of their husbands the clouds they are keen to observe. Furthermore, this makes the presence of their wives pleasing. Thus it is evident that the simulation of love as though it were truly conjugial is a necessity and also a utility for the sake of peace and tranquillity in the home. Add to this that simulations are not the same with wives as with men. They may seem like them, but they are the simulations of a real love, because wives are born loves of the understanding of men. Wherefore they gratefully accept the favours of their husbands, if not with the lips, yet with the heart.

CL 286. XV. That they are for the sake of reputation outside the home. The fortunes of men depend for the most part on their reputation as being just, sincere, and upright; and this reputation depends also on the wife, who knows her husband's private life. Wherefore, were the discordance of their minds to break out into open enmities, quarrels, and threats of hatred, and were these to be noised abroad by the wife and her friends and servants, they would easily be turned into invectives which would be to the shame and ill-repute of his name. To escape this, no other means are available save, either that he show favour to his wife by way of simulations, or that they be separated as to the house.

CL 287. XVI. That they are for the sake of various favours expected from the partner or from the partner's kindred; thus because of the fear of losing them. This is the case especially in marriages between those of unlike station and condition, respecting which see (n. 250); as when a man marries a wealthy wife and she puts away her money in bags or her treasure on mortgage, and still more if she insists boldly that the husband is in duty bound to support the household out of his own property and income. That this results in forced similitudes of love as though it were conjugial, is a matter of common knowledge. The like is the case if a wife is taken whose parents, kindred, and friends are in offices of dignity, in lucrative business or in mercantile occupations, and are in a position to influence the state of his prosperity. That because of this there are simulations of love as though it were conjugial, is also a matter of common knowledge. That in both these cases they are on account of fear of the loss of these things is obvious.

CL 288. XVII. That they are for the sake of the excusing of blemishes and the avoiding of ill-repute therefrom. The blemishes on account of which married partners fear ill-repute are numerous, some serious and some not serious. They are blemishes of the mind and blemishes of the body less grievous than those enumerated in a former chapter (n. 252, 253) as causes of separation. Therefore the blemishes here meant are blemishes which are suppressed in silence by the other partner in order to avoid ill-repute. Besides these, with some there are past crimes which, if divulged, would be subject to legal punishment; not to speak of a lack in that abundance of which men are wont to boast. That the excusing of such blemishes for the avoidance of ill-repute is a reason for simulating love and friendship with a married partner, is manifest without further confirmation.

CL 289. XVIII. That they are for the sake of reconciliations. That between partners who are of discordant minds there are alternate dissensions and confidences, alienations and conjunctions, yea, quarrels and adjustments and thus reconciliations--and this from various causes; and that then apparent friendships effect reconciliation, is well known in the world. There are also reconciliations effected after separations, which are not so alternating and transitory.

CL 290. XIX. That when the partners grow old, if favour does not cease with the wife when ability ceases with the man, there may arise a friendship emulous of conjugial friendship. The primary cause of the separation of minds between married partners is the lack of favour with the wife when ability and hence love ceases with the man; for in like manner as heat communicates with heat, so cold communicates with cold. That from defect of love with both partners friendship ceases, and if the destruction of private life in the home is not feared, also favour, is evident from reason and from experience. If then the man tacitly imputes the cause to himself, and the wife still perseveres in chaste favour towards him, there may result thence a friendship which, being between married partners, seems like love emulating conjugial love. That between aged partners, on the ground of their dwelling together, their dealings, and their comradeship, there is a friendship as though of conjugial love, tranquil, secure, lovely, and full of courtesy, is attested by experience.

CL 291. XX. That there are various kinds of apparent love and friendship between married partners, of whom the one is subjugated and hence is subject to the other. It is among things known in the world at this day, that after the first period of marriage, rivalries spring up between the partners in respect to right and authority--in respect to right, because according to the conditions of the contracted covenant there is equality, and dignity belongs to each of the partners in the duties of his function; and in respect to authority, because it is insisted on by men, that superiority in all affairs of the house belongs to them because they are men, and that inferiority belongs to women because they are women. Such rivalries, familiar at this day, flow from no other source than the absence of any knowledge concerning love truly conjugial, and the absence of any perception of sensation in respect to the blessings of that love. Owing to the absence of this knowledge and perception, instead of that love is a lust which counterfeits the love. With genuine love removed, then from this lust, there issues an ambition for power. With some men, this ambition is within them from the delight of domineering; with some it has been implanted before the wedding by artful women; and to some it is unknown.

[2] Men who have this ambition, and after alternations of rivalry obtain the dominion, reduce their wives to being their possession by right, or to abject obedience to their will, or to bondage, each according to the degree of his ambition and to the qualified nature of the state inseated and latent within him. If wives have this ambition, and after alternations of rivalry obtain the dominion, they reduce their husbands either to equality of right with themselves or to obedience to their decisions, or to bondage. But since, after obtaining from them the badge of dominion, the lust which remains with wives counterfeits conjugial love, because restrained by reason of the law and from fear of legal separation should they stretch their power beyond what is lawful to what is unlawful, therefore they lead a life in consociation with their husbands.

[3] As to the nature of the love and friendship between a dominant wife and a servant husband, or a dominant husband and a servant wife, this cannot be described in a few words. Indeed, were the differences between them compared in detail, and the differences themselves enumerated, pages would not suffice; for they are various and diverse. With the men they are various according to the nature of their ambition, being in like manner various with the wives; and those of men are diverse from those which are with women. Such men are in none but a fatuous friendship of love, and such women from lust are in the friendship of a spurious love. By what art wives acquire power over their men shall be told in the article now following.

CL 292. XXI. That in the world there are infernal marriages between partners who inwardly are bitter enemies and outwardly like close friends. Wives of this sort who are in the spiritual world have indeed forbidden me to set forth these marriages in public light, for they fear lest at the same time their art of gaining power over the men should be divulged, which yet they are exceedingly desirous should be concealed. But because men in that world have urged me to disclose the causes of their own intestine hatred and of the fury, as it were, aroused in their hearts against their wives because of their clandestine arts, I wish merely to present the following: the men said that unconsciously they contracted a terrific fear of their wives, on account of which they could do no otherwise than obey their will with the utmost subservience, and follow their bidding more obsequiously than the vilest slaves, so that they became like vapid wine, as it were; and that not only did men not stationed in any position of dignity become such before their wives, but also men in positions of great dignity, yea, valiant and renowned generals. They said further, that after this terror had been contracted, they did not dare to speak to their wives except in a friendly way, or to treat them except as was pleasing to them, though in their hearts they cherished deadly hatred against them; and yet that their wives talk and act courteously with them and give ready ear to some of their requests.

[2] Now because the men themselves greatly wondered whence such antipathy had sprung up in the wives' internals, and such sympathy in their externals, they had searched into the causes by consulting women to whom that secret art was known. From their mouth they said they had learned that women deeply conceal within themselves the knowledge whereby they have the skill, if they wish to use it, to subject men to the yoke of their dominion. In the case of the vulgar, with some wives this is done by alternate scoldings and favours; with some by constantly harsh and unpleasant looks; and with others in other ways. In the case of refined wives, it is done by obstinate and incessant pressing of their requests, and by tenacious opposition to their husbands if they suffer hardships from them, insisting upon their right of equality by law, and on the basis of this right boldly persisting in their obstinacy; yea, insisting that if thrown out of the house, they will return at their pleasure and continue the same insistence; for they know that from their very nature men can never withstand the obstinate persistency of their wives, and that after yielding to their will they become submissive; then, to husbands under their dominion, the wives show civility and kindness. The genuine cause of the domination of wives through this cunning is, that while man acts from the understanding woman acts from the will, and the will can be obstinate but not the understanding. It was told me that the worst women of this sort, being inwardly consumed with the ambition to dominate, can stick tenaciously to their resistance even to the last breath of life.

[3] I have also heard the women's excuses, why they entered into the practice of this art. They said that they would not have entered into it had they not foreseen supreme contempt and future rejection, and hence their ruin, if they were subjugated by their husbands; thus, that they took up these their arms from necessity. To this they added, as a warning to men, that they should leave to wives their rights, and when in their alternations of cold, should not count them as lower than maid-servants. They said further that many of their sex are not in a state to practise this art because of their innate timidity; but I added, "because of their innate modesty."

From the above it is now made known what is meant by infernal marriages in the world between partners who are inwardly bitter enemies and outwardly like the closest of friends.

CL 293. To the above shall be adjoined two Memorable Relations. The first is this:

Once when looking through a window towards the east, I saw seven women sitting on a bed of roses by a fountain, drinking water. I strained my sight to see what they were doing, and the intentness of my gaze affected them; whereupon, one of them by a nod invited me, and I left the house and quickly went to them. When I arrived, I asked them politely whence they came. They said, "We are wives and are talking here about the delights of conjugial love, and from much confirmation we conclude that those delights are also the delights of wisdom."

This answer so delighted my mind that I seemed to myself to be in the spirit and hence in a perception more interior and clearer than ever before, whereupon I said to them, "Permit me to ask a few questions about these delights." They nodded assent, and I asked, "How do you wives know that the delights of conjugial love are the same as the delights of wisdom?"

[2] They replied: "We know it from the correspondence of the wisdom in our husbands with the delights of conjugial love in us; for in us the delights of this love are exalted and diminished, and thus qualified, entirely according to the wisdom of our husbands."

On hearing this, I asked them, saying: "I know that the fair words of your husbands and the cheerfulness of their minds affect you, and that from these you experience delights in your whole bosom, but I wonder at your saying that it is their wisdom that does this. But tell me, what is wisdom? and what wisdom does this?"

[3] Indignant at this, the wives responded: "You think we do not know what wisdom is and what wisdom it is that does this, when yet we are continually reflecting on the wisdom in our husbands and learn it daily from their lips; for we wives think about the state of our husbands from morning to evening. Scarcely a moment in the day passes in which our intuitive thought is entirely withdrawn or absent from them. On the other hand, during the day our husbands think very little about our state. Hence it is that we know what wisdom of theirs it is that is in its delight in us. Our husbands call that wisdom spiritual-rational and spiritual-moral. Spiritual-rational wisdom, they say, pertains to the understanding and to cognitions, and spiritual-moral wisdom to the will and to life; but they join these two together to make a single wisdom. They also declare that from their minds the amenities of this wisdom are transcribed in our bosoms into delights; and from our bosoms they return into theirs and so to wisdom, their origin."

[4] To my question, "Do you know anything more about the wisdom of your husbands becoming delight in you?" they said: "We do. There is spiritual wisdom and from this, rational and moral wisdom. Spiritual wisdom is to acknowledge the Lord the Saviour as the God of heaven and earth; to acquire from Him the truths of the Church whence comes spiritual rationality, this being done by means of the Word and preaching therefrom; and from Him to live according to them, whence comes spiritual morality. It is these two that our husbands call the wisdom which in general effectuates love truly conjugial. We have also heard from them the reason, namely, that by this wisdom the interiors of their minds and thence of their bodies are opened whereby free passage is given, from firsts even to lasts for that vein of love, on the afflux, sufficiency, and strength of which conjugial love depends and from which it lives. The spiritual-rational and spiritual-moral wisdom of our husbands, especially in respect to marriage, has for its end and goal the loving of the wife only and the putting off of every concupiscence for other women. So far as this is done, so far is that love exalted in degree and perfected in quality, and so far also do we the more distinctly and exquisitely sensate within ourselves those delights which correspond to the enjoyments of our husbands' affections and the amenities of their thoughts."

[5] I then asked whether they know how the communication is effected. They said: "In all conjunction by love there must be action, reception, and reaction. The delightful state of our love is the agent or action. The state of the wisdom of our husbands is the receiving or reception; it is also the reagent or reaction according to the reception. This reaction with its delights is perceived by us in our bosom according to our state--a state which is continually expanded and prepared for receiving the things which in some way cohere with the virtue in our husbands-- and thus also with the extreme state of love in ourselves--and which proceed therefrom." They said further: "Be careful that you do not interpret the delights we have mentioned, as meaning the ultimate delights of that love. Of these we never speak. What we are now speaking of is our bosom delights, which are in perpetual correspondence with the state of the wisdom of our husbands.

[6] After these words, there was seen at a distance what seemed like a dove flying with the leaf of a tree in its mouth; but as it drew near, in place of a dove was seen a little boy with a paper in his hand. Coming to us, he held it out to me saying, "Read this to these Virgins of the Fountain." I then read these words: "Tell the inhabitants of earth with whom you are, that there is a love truly conjugial, the delights of which are myriad. As yet scarcely any of them are known to the world; but the world will know them when the Church betroths herself to her Lord and becomes His bride."

I then asked, "Why did that boy call you Virgins of the Fountain?" They replied: "We are called virgins when sitting at this fountain because we are affections of the truths of our husbands' wisdom, and the affection of truth is called a virgin. Moreover, a fountain signifies the truth of wisdom, and the rose-bed whereon we are sitting signifies its delights."

[7] One of the seven then twined a wreath of roses and, sprinkling it with the water of the fountain, placed it on the boy's cap around his little head and said: "Receive the delights of intelligence. You know that a cap signifies intelligence, and a wreath from this rose-bed, delights." Adorned with these, the boy then went away; and at a distance he again appeared like a dove flying, but with a wreath upon its head.

CL 294. The second Memorable Relation:

Some days later I again saw the seven wives in a rose garden, but not in the same one as before. It was a magnificent garden, the like of which I had never seen before. It was round, and the roses there formed a curve like that of a rainbow, the outer circle being formed by roses or flowers of a crimson colour, the next inner circle by roses of a golden yellow colour, the circle within this by roses of a cerulean colour, and the inmost circle by roses of a prasinous or bright green colour. Within this rainbow-garden was a small lake of limpid water. Sitting there, were the seven wives previously called Virgins of the Fountain. Seeing me at the window, they again called me to them; and when I came, they said, "Did you ever see anything more beautiful on earth?" I said, "Never!"

They then said:"A garden such as this, is created by the Lord in a moment and it represents some new thing on earth; for everything created by the Lord represents something. Divine, if you can, as to what this garden represents? We divine that it represents the delights of conjugial love."

[2] On hearing this, I said: "What! the delights of conjugial love--those delights of which, on a previous occasion, you spoke so fully both from wisdom and with eloquence? After I left you, I related your discourse to some wives dwelling in our part of the country, and said, `Having been instructed, I now know that you have bosom delights arising from your conjugial love--delights which you can impart to your husbands according to their wisdom; and that therefore, from morning to evening, you are continually looking upon your husbands with the eyes of your spirit, and studying to bend and lead their minds to becoming wise, to the end that you may secure those delights.' I also told them what you mean by wisdom, namely, spiritual-rational and moral wisdom, and, as regards marriage, the wisdom to love the wife alone and to put off all concupiscence for other women. But to this, the wives of our part of the country responded with laughter, saying, `What is all this? your words are empty nothings. We do not know what conjugial love is; and if our husbands have any, still, we do not. How then can its delights be with us? As for the delights which you call ultimate, we sometimes violently refuse them, for to us they are unpleasant, being scarcely other than violations. Indeed, if you observe us, you will see no sign of such love in our faces. You are therefore trifling or jesting if you join with those seven wives in saying that we are thinking of our husbands from morning to evening, and are continually attentive to their good pleasure and their wishes, to the end that from them we may obtain such delights.' From all that they said, I have retained these words that I might report them to you, since they militate against the discourse which I heard from you at the fountain and took in with such avidity, and also believed; indeed, they completely contradict it."

[3] To this, the wives sitting in the garden replied: "Friend, you do not know the wisdom and prudence of wives because they entirely conceal it from men, concealing it for no other purpose than that they may be loved; for in every man who is not spiritually rational and moral but only naturally, there is coldness towards his wife, such coldness being latent with him in his inmosts. This a wise and prudent wife exquisitely and keenly observes, and in equal measure she conceals her conjugial love, withdrawing it into her bosom and there hiding it so deeply that not the least trace of it is discerned, whether in her face, the tone of her voice, or her gestures. The reason is, because in the degree that this love appears, the conjugial cold of the man pours forth from the inmosts of his mind where it resides, into his ultimates, and induces on his body total coldness and a consequent urge for separation from bed and bed-chamber."

To my question, "Whence comes this cold which you call conjugial cold?" they answered: "It is from their insanity in spiritual things. Every man who is insane in spiritual things is inmostly cold to his wife and inmostly warm to harlots. And because conjugial love and scortatory love are opposites, it follows that conjugial love becomes cold when scortatory love is warm; and when cold rules in a man, he cannot bear any sensation of love from his wife, and so cannot bear any breath thereof. It is for this reason that the wife so wisely and prudently conceals it, and so far as she conceals it by denying and refusing, so far the man is revived and restored by an inflowing meretricious sphere. Hence it is that the wife of such a man has no bosom delights such as we have but only pleasures, and on the man's side, these, being the pleasures of scortatory love, are to be called pleasures of insanity.


[5] Every chaste wife loves her husband, even if he is unchaste; but because wisdom alone is recipient of her love, therefore the wife uses every effort to turn his insanity into wisdom, that is, that he may feel desire for no other woman than herself. This she does in a thousand ways, taking the greatest care that none of them shall be discovered by the man; for she well knows that love cannot be forced but is insinuated in freedom. Wherefore, it is given to women to know from sight, hearing, and touch every state of their husbands' minds; but to husbands, on the other hand, it is not given to know any state of their wives' minds.

[6] A chaste wife can look at her husband with an austere countenance, can speak to him in a sharp tone, and can also be angry with him and quarrel, and yet cherish in her heart a soothing and tender love for him. That her anger and these dissimulations have as their end wisdom and hence the reception of her love by her husband, is clearly evident from the fact that she can be reconciled in a moment. Moreover, wives have these means of concealing the love implanted in their heart and their very marrow, to the end that the conjugial cold in the man may not break forth and extinguish even the fire of his scortatory heat, and thus from green wood make him, as it were, a dry stick.

[7] After the seven wives had said these words and much else of the same kind, their husbands came with clusters of grapes in their hands, some of which were of a delicious flavour and some of an offensive. The wives then said, "Why have you brought bad or wild grapes?" The husbands replied: "Because we perceived in our souls, with which yours are united, that you were speaking with this man about love truly conjugial, that its delights are delights of wisdom; and also about scortatory love, that its delights are pleasures of insanity. The latter are the grapes of offensive flavour, being wild grapes, but the former are the grapes of delicious flavour." They then confirmed the discourse of their wives and added: "Externally, but not internally, the pleasures of insanity seem the same as the delights of wisdom, just like the good and bad grapes which we brought; for externally, chaste men and unchaste have a like wisdom, but internally it is wholly unlike."

[8] After this, the little boy again came with a paper in his hand and, holding it out to me, he said, "Read." I then read these words: "Know that the delights of conjugial love ascend to the highest heaven, and on the way and when there, they conjoin themselves with the delights of all heavenly loves, and thus enter into their happiness which endures to eternity. The reason is because the delights of that love are also the delights of wisdom. And know also that the pleasures of scortatory love descend even to the lowest hell, and on the way and when there, conjoin themselves with the pleasures of all infernal loves. They thus enter into their unhappiness which consists in the deprivation of all joys of the heart. The reason is because the pleasures of that love are also the pleasures of insanity."

After this the husbands with their wives departed and accompanied the little boy as far as the path of his ascent into heaven. They knew the society from which he was sent, that it was a society of the new heaven with which the New Church on earth will be conjoined.

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