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Jesus Lives! - The Lord God Jesus Christ: Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer of Heaven and Earth

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www.BibleMeanings.info  ·  New Truth  ·  Conjugial Love  ·  Sections 317 ff previous  ·  next


CL 317. The question may come under discussion as to whether, after the death of the partner, conjugial love, which is the love of one man with one wife, can be separated or transferred or superinduced; and also, as to whether repeated marriages have anything in common with polygamy and so may be called successive polygamy; besides many other questions which with reasoners are wont to pile up doubt on doubt. Therefore, in order that masters of casuistry, who reason in the shade about these marriages, may see some light, I have thought it worth while to present to their judgment the following articles concerning them, to wit:

1. That after the death of the partner, again to contract matrimony depends on the preceding conjugial love.

2. That it depends also on the state of marriage in which they had lived.

3. That in the case of those with whom there had been no love truly conjugial, there is nothing to prevent and hinder them from again contracting matrimony.

4. That those who have lived together in love truly conjugial do not wish to marry again, unless for reasons apart from conjugial love.

5. That the state of marriage of a young man with a virgin is different from that of a young man with a widow.

6. Also that the state of marriage of a widower with a virgin is different from that of a widower with a widow.

7. That the varieties and diversities of these marriages, with respect to love and its attributes, exceed all number.

8. That the state of a widow is more grievous than that of a widower.

Now follows the explanation of the above.

CL 318. I. That after the death of the partner, again to contract matrimony depends on the preceding conjugial love. Love truly conjugial is as a balance in which inclinations to repeated marriages are weighed. In the degree that the preceding conjugial love approaches that love, the inclination to marry again recedes; but in the degree that the preceding love recedes from it, the inclination to marry again is wont to make advance. The reason is obvious; for in the same degree, conjugial love is a conjunction of minds, and after the death of the one, this conjunction remains during the bodily life of the other, and, like the tongue in a balance, holds the inclination, making preponderance according to the appropriation of true love. But since an approach to this love is rarely made at the present day, unless by a few steps, therefore, for the most part, the scale containing the preponderance of inclination rises to the point of equilibrium and then wavers and tends to the other side, that is, to marriage.

[2] So likewise with those whose preceding love in the former marriage receded from love truly conjugial. The reason is because recession from that love is in the same degree a disjunction of minds, and after the decease of the one, this disjunction remains during the bodily life of the other, and, entering a will disjoined from the will of the other, it produces an inclination to a new conjunction. In favour of this, the thought, brought in by the inclination of the will, carries with it the hope of a more united and thus more delightful cohabitation.

[3] That inclinations to repeated marriages take their rise from the state of the preceding love is well known. Moreover, reason sees it; for within love truly conjugial is fear of its loss and grief after the loss, and this grief and fear are in the inmost regions of the mind. Hence it is, that so far as that love is within, so far the soul inclines, both in will and thought, that is, in intention, to be in the subject with which and in which it had been. It follows from this that, as regards another marriage, the mind is held in poise according to the degree of love in which it had been in the former marriage. It is from this love that the same partners are reunited after death and mutually love each other in like manner as in the world. But, as said above, at this day this love is rare, there being few who touch it even with the finger. As to those who do not touch it, and still more those who recede far from it, these, according as they had longed for separation during their preceding married life which was cold, so after death they desire conjunction with another. But more concerning these two classes of men in what follows.

CL 319. II. That after the death of the partner, again to contract matrimony depends also on the state of marriage in which they had lived. Here, by the state of marriage is not meant the state of the love spoken of in the preceding article, for this produces an internal inclination for or against marriage. What is meant here is the state of marriage which produces an external inclination towards it or away from it. This state with its inclinations is manifold. For example:

1. If there are small children in the house and a new mother must be provided for them.

2. If more children are desired.

3. If the house is large and provided with servants of both sexes.

4. If continual forensic occupations withdraw the mind from domestic affairs at home, so that without a new mistress there is fear of trouble and misfortune.

5. If mutual aid and mutual services are required, as in various kinds of business and occupations.

6. Moreover, it depends on the native genius of the partner who is left, whether after the first marriage he or she can or cannot live alone, that is, without a consort.

7. Furthermore, the preceding marriage causes either a fear of married life or a favouring of it.

8. I have heard that the animi of some are led to a desire for repeated marriages by polygamous love and love of the sex, also by the lust of defloration and the lust of variety; and the animi of others, by fear of the law and their reputation if they commit adultery.

Besides many other causes which move the external inclinations to matrimony.

CL 320. III. That in the case of those with whom there had been no love truly conjugial, there is nothing to prevent and hinder them from again contracting matrimony. In the case of those with whom there had been no conjugial love, there is no spiritual or internal bond but only a natural or external; and if an internal bond does not hold the external bond in its order and tenor, the latter does not endure, any more than a bundle with the fastening removed, which falls apart according to its weight or the wind. The reason is because the natural takes its origin from the spiritual, and in its existence is nothing else than a mass gathered together from things spiritual. If then the natural is separated from the spiritual which produced and, as it were, begot it, it is no longer held together inwardly but only outwardly, and this by the spiritual which surrounds and binds it in general but does not colligate it in every single part and hold it colligated. Hence it is that the natural separated from the spiritual does not effect any conjunction of minds with two married partners, nor consequently of wills, but only a conjunction of certain external affections which cohere with the senses of the body.

[2] That in the case of such partners, there is nothing to prevent and hinder them from again contracting matrimony, is because they did not have the essentials of marriage and hence there are none within them after separation by death. Therefore they are then in entire freedom to tie their sensual affections, if a widower with any woman who is pleasing and lawful to him, and if a widow with any man in like manner. They themselves think of marriage only naturally and from its conveniences in respect to various external necessities and utilities (which, having been lost) by death, can be restored by another person in place of the former; and perhaps, if their interior thoughts were perceived, as they are in the spiritual world, there might not be found in them any distinction between conjugial conjunctions and extra-conjugial copulations.

[3] For such persons, it is lawful to marry again and again, and this for the reason mentioned above; for after death, merely natural conjunctions are dissolved and fall apart of themselves, because at death external affections follow the body and are buried with it, those alone remaining which are coherent with the internal affections. But it should be known that marriages which are inwardly conjunctive can hardly be entered into on earth, for there the choice of internal similitudes cannot be provided by the Lord as it is in the heavens, the choice being limited in many ways, as, for instance, to those who are equals in station and condition, in the country, city, and village of one's residence; and there, for the most part, it is external things that bind them together, and not internal, for the latter do not come out until some time after marriage, and they become known only when they present themselves in externals.

CL 321. IV. That those who have lived together in love truly conjugial do not wish to marry again, unless for reasons apart from conjugial love. That those who have lived in love truly conjugial do not wish to marry again after the death of their partner is due to the following causes: 1. Because they were united as to souls and thence as to minds, and this unition, being spiritual, is an actual adjunction of the soul and mind of the one to the soul and mind of the other, which can never be dissolved; that such is the nature of spiritual conjunction, has been shown here and there above.

[2] 2. Because they were also united as to their bodies by the wife's reception of the propagations of her husband's soul, and thus by the insertion of his life into hers, whereby the virgin becomes a wife; and, on the other hand, by the husband's reception of the conjugial love of his wife, which disposes the interiors of his mind and at the same time the interiors and exteriors of his body into a state receptive of love and perceptive of wisdom--a state which changes him from a young man into a husband; respecting this, see above (n. 198).

[3] 3. Because a sphere of love flows forth continually from the wife, and a sphere of understanding from the man, and this perfects the conjunctions; that this sphere with its pleasant outpouring surrounds them and unites them, may also be seen above (n. 223).

[4] 4. Because partners thus united in marriage think and breathe what is eternal, and upon this idea is founded their eternal happiness; see above (n. 216).

[5] 5. It is by reason of the above recited causes that they are no more two but one man, that is, one flesh.

[6] 6. That such a one cannot be rended by the death of either partner is clearly manifest before the ocular sight of the spirit.

[7] 7. To the above causes may be added this new fact, that these two are not separated by the death of the one, since the spirit of the deceased partner dwells continually with the spirit of the one not yet deceased, and this until the death of the latter, when they meet again and reunite and love each other more tenderly than before because in the spiritual world. From all this follows the irrefragable consequence, that those who have lived in love truly conjugial do not wish to marry again. If, after the death of the partner, they contract something like marriage, it is done for reasons apart from conjugial love, and these reasons are all external, such as: If there are small children in the house and provision must be made for the care of them; if the house is large and provided with servants of both sexes; if forensic occupations withdraw the mind from family affairs in the home; if mutual aid and services are necessities; and other like reasons.

CL 322. V. That the state of marriage of a young man with a virgin is different from that of a young man with a widow. By states of marriage are meant states of the life of both husband and wife after the wedding; thus, in the marriage, the nature of their cohabitation then, whether it is an internal cohabitation of souls and minds, this being cohabitation in the principal idea, or only an external cohabitation of the animus, the senses, and the body. The state of marriage of a young man with a virgin is the true state initial to a genuine marriage; for the conjugial love between them can proceed in its just order, namely, from the first heat to the first torch, and then with the youthful husband from the first seed, and with the virgin wife from the flower; and so can germinate, take increase, and bear fruit; and they can introduce each other into all this. Otherwise, the young man was not a young man, nor the virgin a virgin, save in external form. Between a young man and a widow, there is not the same initiation from the primitive states into marriage, nor the same progression in the marriage; for a widow has more of her own judgment and her own right than a virgin, and therefore a young man bestows his attentions upon a widow wife with a different view than upon a virgin wife. In such marriages, however, there is much variety and diversity, for which reason the subject is mentioned only in a general way.

CL 323. VI. Also that the state of marriage of a widower with a virgin is different from that of a widower with a widow; for the widower has already been initiated into the conjugial life, and the virgin is still to be initiated, and yet conjugial love perceives and feels its pleasantness and delight in mutual initiation. In all that comes to them, the youthful husband and the virgin wife perceive and sensate things ever new, and thereby they are in a continual initiation and thence in a lovely progression. Not so in the state of marriage of a widower with a virgin. The virgin wife has an internal inclination, but with the man this has passed away. But in these marriages, and likewise in the marriage between a widower and a widow, there is much variety and diversity; therefore, beyond this general notion, it is of no use to add anything in detail.

CL 324. VII. That the varieties and diversities of these marriages, with respect to love and its attributes, exceed all number. There is an infinite variety of all things, and also an infinite diversity. By varieties is here meant the variety that exists among things of the same genus or species, and also among the genera and species themselves; and by diversities is here meant the diversity between things which are opposite. Our idea of the distinction between varieties and diversities can be illustrated by the following: The angelic heaven, which coheres together as a one, consists In infinite variety, no one there being absolutely like another, either as to soul and mind or as to affections, perceptions and thoughts therefrom, or as to inclinations and intentions therefrom, or as to the tone of the voice, as to face, body, gesture, walk, and many other things. And yet, though they are myriads of myraids, they have been and are being arranged by the Lord into a single form in which there is complete unanimity and concord. This would not be possible unless all the angels, being so various, were led universally and individually by One. This then is what we mean here by varieties.

[2] By diversities we mean the opposites of these varieties, these being in hell; for the spirits there, are one and all diametrically opposite to those who are in heaven. Hell, which consists of them, is held together as a one by varieties which among themselves are wholly contrary to the varieties in heaven; thus by perpetual diversities.

From these illustrations, it is evident what is meant by infinite variety, and what by infinite diversity. It is the same with marriages, in that there are infinite varieties with those who are in conjugial love, and infinite varieties with those who are in scortatory love, and hence infinite diversities between the latter and the former. From this, the conclusion follows, that the varieties and diversities in marriages, of whatsoever genus and species, whether of a young man with a virgin or of a young man with a widow, or of a widower with a virgin or of a widower with a widow, exceed all number. Who can distribute infinity into numbers?

CL 325. VIII. That the state of a widow is more grievous than that of a widower. The causes of this are external and internal. The external are clear to everyone, namely:

1. That a widow cannot provide the necessities of life for herself and her household, nor make disposition of them when acquired, as a man can and as she previously did by and with her husband.

2. That she cannot protect herself and her home in the way needed; for when she was a wife, the husband was her defense and, as it were, her arm, and when she was her own defense, she yet relied on her husband.

3. That of herself she is lacking in judgment as regards such things as are matters of interior wisdom and hence of prudence.

4. That a widow has no one to receive the love in which she is as a woman, and so is in a state alien to that which is innate, and to that induced by marriage.

[2] These external causes which are natural, take their origin from internal causes which are spiritual, as do all other things in the world and in the body, concerning which, see above (n. 220). The above-mentioned external natural causes are perceived from the internal spiritual causes which proceed from the marriage of good and truth, and chiefly from the following characteristics of that marriage:

1. That good cannot provide for or regulate anything save by truth.

2. That good cannot protect itself save by truth, and that truth, therefore, is the defense and, as it were, the arm of good.

3. That good without truth is lacking in deliberation, for it has deliberation, wisdom, and prudence by means of truth.

[3] Now because from creation a man is truth, and by creation a wife is the good thereof; or, what is the same thing, because from creation a man is understanding, and by creation a wife is the love thereof, it is clear that the external or natural causes which aggravate the widowhood of a woman take their rise from internal or spiritual causes. These spiritual causes conjoined with the natural are what are meant by what is said concerning widows in many places in the Word, as may be seen in THE APOCALYPSE REVEALED (AR n. 764).

CL 326. To the above I will add two Memorable Relations. First:

After the problem concerning the soul had been discussed and solved in the gymnasium (n. 315), I saw the audience going out in procession, the Chief Teacher in front, after him the elders in whose midst were the five young men who had given the answers and then the rest. Coming out, they withdrew to the sides of the house where were walks bordered by shrubs. Gathering there, they separated into small groups which were so many companies of young men conversing together on matters of wisdom. In each group was one of the wise men from the balcony. Seeing them from my lodging, I became in the spirit, and going to them in the spirit, approached the Chief Teacher who lately had proposed the question concerning the soul. When he saw me, he said: "Who are you? When I saw you coming on the road, it surprised me that you now came into my sight and now passed out of it; that is, at one moment you were visible to me and suddenly became invisible. You certainly are not in our state of life." To this I answered, smiling, "I am not a player of tricks, or a Vertumnus, but am by turns, now in your light, now in your shade, and thus a sojourner and also a native."

[2] At this, the Chief Teacher looked at me and said, "You speak things strange and wonderful. Tell me who you are." I then said: "I am in the world called the natural world, in which you were and from which you have departed; and I am also in the world into which you came and in which you now are, which is called the spiritual world. Thus it is, that I am in a natural state and at the same time in a spiritual, being in a natural state with men on earth, and in a spiritual state with you. When in a natural state, I am not visible to you, but when in a spiritual state I am visible. My being of this nature has been granted me by the Lord. To you, enlightened man, it is known that a man of the natural world does not see a man of the spiritual world, or the reverse. Therefore, when I let my spirit down into the body I was not visible to you, but when I sent it out of the body I was visible. In your gymnastic sport you taught that you are souls, and that souls see souls because they are human forms; and you know that when you were in the natural world you did not see yourselves or your souls within your bodies, and this because of the distinction between the spiritual and the natural."

[3] When the Chief Teacher heard of a distinction between the spiritual and the natural, he said, "What is the distinction? is it not as between the purer and the less pure? What then is the spiritual but a purer natural?" I replied: "The distinction is not that, but is like the distinction between the prior and the posterior. Between these there is no finite ratio, for the prior is within the posterior as a cause within its effect, and the posterior is from the prior as an effect from its cause. Hence it is that the one does not appear to the other."

[4] To this the Chief Teacher responded: "I have meditated and pondered upon this distinction, but hitherto in vain. Would that I could perceive it!" I then said, "You shall not only perceive the distinction between the spiritual and the natural but you shall also witness it." I continued as follows: "You are in the spiritual state when with your associates, but in the natural state when with me. With them you speak in the spiritual language which is common to all spirits and angels, but with me, in my native tongue; for every angel and spirit when speaking with a man speaks the man's language, thus French with a Frenchman, English with an Englishman, Greek with a Greek, Arabic with an Arabian, and so on. That you may know the distinction between the spiritual and the natural as to language, do this: Go to your associates and say something there and retain the words; then, with these in your memory, return and utter them before me."

He did so, and with the words on his lips, he returned to me and spoke them; and he did not understand a single one. (To me) his words were entirely strange and foreign such as are not found in any language of the natural world. By this experience, several times repeated, it was made clearly evident that all in the spiritual world have a spiritual language which has nothing in common with any language of the natural world; and that after death every man comes into that language of himself. At the same time, the Chief Teacher also found that the sound of the spiritual language so greatly differs from the sound of natural language that spiritual sound, even though loud, could not be heard by a natural man, or natural sound by a spiritual man.

[5] I then requested the Chief Teacher and the bystanders to go to their associates and write some sentence on a piece of paper, and then come to me with the paper and read it. They did so and returned with the paper in hand; but when they read it, they could not understand anything, since the writing consisted merely of alphabetical letters with curved strokes above them, each letter signifying some aspect of the subject treated of. From the fact that in the spiritual world each letter in the alphabet has some signification, it is evident whence it is that the Lord is said to be the Alpha and the Omega. After again and again going, writing, and returning, they found that their writing involved and comprehended innumerable things which no natural writing could ever express; and it was said that this is because the thoughts of the spiritual man concern things which to the natural man are incomprehensible and ineffable, and that such thoughts cannot flow into any other writing or any other language and be there presented.

[6] Then, because the bystanders were unwilling to comprehend that spiritual thought so greatly excels natural thought as to be relatively ineffable, I said to them: "Make this experiment. Enter into your spiritual society and think of something; then, retaining the thought, return and express it before me." And they entered, thought of something, and retaining the thought went out; but when they would express the thing thought of, they could not, for they found no idea of natural thought adequate to any idea of spiritual thought, and therefore no word to express it; for ideas of thought become the words of speech.

[7] Then, again entering and again returning, they convinced themselves, that to the natural man, spiritual ideas are supernatural, inexpressible, ineffable, and incomprehensible; and they said that, being thus supereminent, spiritual ideas or thoughts, relatively to natural, are ideas of ideas and thoughts of thoughts; that by them, therefore, are expressed qualities of qualities and affections of affections; and, consequently, that spiritual thoughts are the beginnings and origins of natural thoughts. From this moreover, it became clear that spiritual wisdom is the wisdom of wisdom, and thus is imperceptible in the natural world even to a wise man. It was then told them from the third heaven that there is a wisdom still more interior or higher, called celestial, the relation of which to spiritual wisdom is like the relation of the latter to natural wisdom, and that these wisdoms flow from the Lord's Divine wisdom which is infinite, in an order accordant with the heavens.

CL 327. After these experiments, I said to the bystanders:"From these three proofs of experience, you have seen the nature of the distinction between the spiritual and the natural, and also the reason why the natural man is not seen by the spiritual, or the spiritual man by the natural, and this despite the fact that as to affections and thoughts and as to presence therefrom, they are consociates." Then, addressing the Chief Teacher, I said, "This is the reason why, when I was on the way, I was now seen by you and now not seen."

After this, from a higher heaven was heard a voice addressed to the Chief Teacher, saying, "Come up hither." He then went up, and after returning, he said that the angels, like himself, had not previously known the differences between the spiritual and the natural, and this because no opportunity for comparing them in a man who was in both worlds at the same time, had hitherto been afforded, and in the absence of comparison, these differences cannot be known.

CL 328. We then withdrew, and speaking further on this subject, I said: "These distinctions exist solely because you, being in the spiritual world and therefore being yourselves spiritual, are in things substantial and not in things material, and things substantial are the beginnings of things material. You are in principles and thus in simples, while we are in principiates and compounds. You are in particulars, we in generals; and just as generals cannot enter into particulars, so neither can things natural, which are material, enter into things spiritual, which are substantial, exactly as a ship's cable cannot enter or be drawn through the eye of a needle, or a nerve enter or be drawn into one of the fibres of which it consists, or a fibre into one of the fibrils of which it consists. This, moreover, is known in the world, it being the consensus of the learned, that there is no influx of the natural into the spiritual but only of the spiritual into the natural. This then is the reason why the natural man cannot think the thoughts which the spiritual man thinks, and therefore cannot speak them. Therefore Paul says that the words which he heard out of the third heaven were unutterable.

[2] Add to this, that to think spiritually is to think apart from time and space, and to think naturally is to think with time and space; for something of time and space adheres to every idea of natural thought, but not to any spiritual idea. The reason is, because the spiritual world is not in space and time like the natural world, but in the appearance of space and time. In the same way also do thoughts and affections differ (in the two worlds). Therefore, you can think of the essence and omnipresence of God from eternity, that is, of God before the creation of the world, because you think of the essence of God from eternity apart from time, and of His omnipresence apart from space. Thus you can comprehend things which transcend the ideas of the natural man."

[3] I then told him that once I had thought of the essence and omnipresence of God from eternity, that is, of God before the creation of the world. Being unable as yet to remove spaces and times from the ideas of my thought, I became troubled; for instead of God, the idea of nature entered in. But it was told me, "Remove the ideas of space and time and you will see." It was then given me to remove them, and I did see. From that time on, I could think of God from eternity and not at all of nature from eternity; for God is in all time without time, and in all space without space, while nature is in all time in time, and in all space in space; and nature with her time and space must needs have a beginning and origin, but not God who is without time and space. Therefore, nature is from God--not from eternity but in time; that is to say, she is from God together with her time, and with her space.

CL 329. After the Chief Teacher and the rest had left me, some boys who also had been in the gymnastic sport followed me home and there, for a time, stood by me while I was writing. And lo, they saw a cockroach running over my paper and asked in surprise, "What is that little creature which runs so fast?" I said, "It is called a cockroach, and I will tell you marvels about it." I then said: "In that living creature, small as it is, there are as many members and viscera as in a camel. It has brains, hearts, pulmonary tubes, organs of sense, of motion, and of generation, a stomach, intestines, and many other things; and each of them is a contexture of fibres, nerves, blood-vessels, muscles, tendons, membranes; and each of these a contexture of things still purer which lie deeply hidden beyond the reach of any eye."

[2] The boys then said that to them this little living thing seemed nothing more than a simple substance. To this I said: "Nevertheless, there are innumerable things within it. I tell you this, that you may know that it is the same in every object which appears before you as a one, a simple, a mite. It is the same also in your actions, affections, and thoughts. I can assure you that every grain of your thought, and every drop of your affection is divisible to infinity, and that so far as your ideas are divisible you are wise. Know then, that everything divided is more and more multiple, and not more and more simple; for when divided again and again, it approaches nearer and nearer to the infinite in which are all things infinitely. This that I tell you is something new and never before heard of."

[3] After I had said this, the boys went from me to the Chief Teacher and asked him if, in the gymnasium, he would at some time propose as a problem something new and unheard of. He asked, "What?" They said: "That everything divided is more and more multiple and not more and more simple, because it approaches nearer and nearer to the Infinite in which are all things infinitely."

He promised to propose it, and said: "I see this because I have perceived that a single natural idea is the containant of innumerable spiritual ideas; yea, that a single spiritual idea is the containant of innumerable celestial ideas. Hence the distinction between celestial wisdom, in which are the angels of the third heaven, and spiritual wisdom in which are the angels of the second heaven; and also between (the latter and) natural wisdom in which are the angels of the ultimate heaven and also men."

CL 330. The second Memorable Relation:

I once heard a pleasant discussion among men. It was about the female sex, as to whether any woman can love her husband if she constantly loves her own beauty, that is, loves herself on account of her form. They first agreed among themselves, that woman has a twofold beauty, one natural being the beauty of her face and body, and the other spiritual being the beauty of her love and manners. They also agreed that in the natural world these two kinds of beauty are frequently separated, while in the spiritual world they are always united, beauty in the latter world being the form of the love and manners. Therefore, after death it frequently happens that deformed women become beauties and beautiful women deformities.

[2] While the men were discussing this, there came some wives saying: "Admit of our presence, for with you it is knowledge which teaches you in the matter you are discussing, while with us it is experience. Moreover, you know so little about the love of wives that it is hardly anything. Do you know that it is the prudence of the wisdom of wives to conceal their love for their husbands in the inmost region of their bosom or deep in their heart?"

Then commenced a discussion, and the FIRST CONCLUSION made by the men was: "Every woman wishes to appear beautiful in face and beautiful in manners because she is born an affection of love, beauty being the form of this affection. Therefore, a woman who does not wish to be beautiful is not a woman who wishes to love and be loved, and so is not truly a woman." To this the wives said: "The beauty of woman dwells in her soft tenderness, and therefore in her exquisite sensation. Thence is the love of woman for man, and the love of man for woman. Perhaps you do not understand this?"

[3] The SECOND CONCLUSION made by the men was: "Before marriage, a woman wishes to be beautiful for men, but after marriage, if she be chaste, for one man only and not for men." To which the wives said, "After a husband has tasted the natural beauty of his wife, he no longer sees it but sees her spiritual beauty, and from this returns her love. He then recalls her natural beauty, but under another aspect."

[4] The THIRD CONCLUSION from their discussion was: "If after marriage a woman wishes to appear beautiful in the same way as before, she loves men and not one man; for a woman who loves herself from her own beauty, continually wishes that this her beauty be tasted; and since, as you have said, this beauty no longer appears before her husband, she wishes that it be tasted by men before whom it does appear. That such a woman has love of the sex and not love of one of the sex is evident." At this the wives were silent, yet they murmured the words, "What woman is so devoid of vanity as not to wish to appear beautiful to men while also appearing beautiful to her one man?"

Some wives from heaven, who were beautiful because they were heavenly affections, heard this discussion and confirmed the three conclusions made by the men, but added, "Only let wives love their beauty and its adornments for the sake of their husbands and from them."

CL 331. The three wives, indignant that the three conclusions made by the men had been confirmed by wives from heaven said to the men: "You have inquired whether a woman who loves herself from her own beauty loves her husband; and now we in turn will discuss whether a man who loves himself from his own intelligence can love his wife. Pay attention and listen."

They then made the FIRST CONCLUSION: No wife loves her husband from his face but from his intelligence in his office and in his behavior. Know, therefore, that a wife unites herself with the intelligence of her man, and thus with the man. Therefore, if a man loves himself from his own intelligence, he draws his love to himself and away from his wife, whence comes disunion and not union. Moreover, to love one's own intelligence is to be wise from self, and since this is insane, it is to love one's own insanity." To this the men said: "Perhaps the wife unites herself with the man's potency"; whereupon the wives laughed, saying., "Potency is not lacking so long as a man loves his wife from intelligence, but if from insanity, it is lacking. Intelligence consists in loving the wife only, and this love has no lack of potency; but insanity consists in loving, not the wife, but the sex, and this love fails in potency. Do you comprehend?"

[2] The SECOND CONCLUSION was: We women are born into the love of the intelligence of men. Wherefore, if men love their own intelligence, that intelligence cannot be united with its genuine love, which dwells in the wife. And if the intelligence of the man is not united with its own genuine love, which dwells in the wife, then, from pride, that intelligence becomes insanity and conjugial love becomes cold; and what woman can unite her love with cold? and what man can unite the insanity of his pride with the love of intelligence? "But," said the men, "from what does a man have honour from his wife if he does not magnify his own intelligence?" and the wives answered, "From love, it being love that honours. Honour cannot be separated from love, but love can be separated from honour."

[3] They then made the THIRD CONCLUSION, as follows: To you men it seems as if you love your wives. You do not see that it is you who are loved by your wives and that you then return their love; also that your intelligence is the receptacle thereof. If therefore you love your intelligence in yourselves, that intelligence becomes the receptacle of your own love; and the love of what is one's own, being unable to tolerate an equal, never becomes conjugial, but so long as it prevails, it remains scortatory." At this the men were silent, but they muttered, "What is conjugial love?"

Certain husbands in heaven heard this discussion and from there they confirmed the three conclusions made by the wives.

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