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www.BibleMeanings.info  ·  New Truth  ·  Conjugial Love  ·  Sections 357 ff previous  ·  next


CL 357. Jealousy is here treated of because this also pertains to conjugial love. But there is a just jealousy and an unjust. Just jealousy exists with married partners who mutually love each other. With these, jealousy is a just and prudent zeal lest their conjugial love be violated; hence a just grief if it is violated. Unjust jealousy exists with those who are suspicious by nature and have a sickly mind arising from a viscous and bilious blood. Moreover, by some, all jealousy is accounted a fault; this is especially so with whoremongers who cast vituperations even upon just jealousy.

The word zelotypia (jealousy) is derived from zeli-typus, and there is a type or image of a just zeal and of an unjust; but these distinctions shall be unfolded in what follows, and this in the following series:

1. That zeal, regarded in itself, is as the fire of love blazing.

2. That the burning or flame of the love, being its zeal, is a spiritual burning or flame arising from a molestation of the love, and an attack upon it.

3. That a man's zeal is such as his love is, thus of one kind with him whose love is good, and of another with him whose love is evil.

4. That in outer manifestation, the zeal of a good love and the zeal of an evil love are alike, but inwardly they are wholly unlike.

5. That inwardly in the zeal of a good love lie love and friendship, but inwardly in the zeal of an evil love lie hatred and revenge.

6. That the zeal of conjugial love is called jealousy.

7. That jealousy is as a fire blazing out against those who molest the love with the partner, and as a dreadful fear for the loss of that love.

8. That jealousy is spiritual with monogamists, and natural with polygamists.

9. That with married partners who tenderly love each other, jealousy is a just grief from sound reason, lest their conjugial love be divided and thus perish.

10. That with married partners who do not love each other, jealousy is due to many causes, and with some to various kinds of mental sickness.

11. That with some there is no jealousy, and this also from various causes.

12. That there is jealousy also for mistresses, but it is not of the same nature as for wives.

13. That there is jealousy also with beasts and birds.

14. That jealousy with men and husbands is different from jealousy with women and wives.

Now follows the explanation of the above.

CL 358. I. That zeal, regarded in itself, is as the fire of love blazing. What jealousy is cannot be known unless there is a knowledge of what zeal is, jealousy being the zeal of conjugial love. That zeal is as the fire of love blazing, is because zeal pertains to love, and love is spiritual heat, and in its origin this is as fire. As regards the first statement, that zeal pertains to love, this is well known, for by being zealous and by acting from zeal nothing else is meant than acting from the force of love. But when zeal is manifested, it does not appear as love but as an enraged enemy and foe fighting against one who does injury to his love. It may therefore be called the defender and protector of love; for, when cut off from its delights, all love is such that it breaks out into indignation and anger, yea, into fury. Wherefore, if the love is touched, especially the ruling love, the result is an emotion of the animus; and if the touch hurts, it is burning anger. From this it can be seen that zeal is not the highest degree of love but is love burning. The love of one person and the corresponding love of another are as two confederates; but when the love of the one rises up against the love of the other, they become as enemies. The reason is because love is the esse of man's life. Therefore, he who attacks one's love attacks his very life; and then ensues a state of burning anger against the attacker like the state of a man whom another attempts to kill. Such anger pertains to every love, even the most pacific. This is plainly seen from hens, geese, and birds of every kind, in that they rise up against those who injure their young or carry off their food, and fly at them without fear. That with some beasts there is anger, and with wild beasts fury, if their whelps are molested or their prey taken from them, is well known. Love is said to burn like fire because love is nothing else than spiritual heat arising from the fire of the angelic sun which is pure love. That love is a heat as of fire is manifestly evident from the heat of living bodies, this being from no other source than their love; also from the fact that men become hot and inflamed according to the exaltations of their love. From this it is evident that zeal is as the fire of love burning.

CL 359. II. That the burning or flame of the love, being its zeal, is a spiritual burning or flame arising from a molestation of the love, and an attack upon it. That zeal is a spiritual burning or flame is clear from what has been said above. In the spiritual world, love is heat arising from the sun there; therefore, at a distance love is there seen as a flame. Such is the appearance of heavenly love with the angels of heaven, and so also of infernal love with the spirits of hell. It should be known, however, that this flame does not consume as does flame in the natural world.

[2] That zeal arises from an attack upon the love, is because love is the heat of one's life. Therefore, when the life's love is attacked, the heat of life is enkindled, resists, and breaks out against the assailant. Moreover, it acts as an enemy from its own force and power, which is as a flame of fire bursting out against him who rouses it. That zeal is like fire, is seen from the eyes, in that they flash; from the face, in that it is inflamed; and from the tone of voice and the gestures. Being the heat of life, love does this lest itself be extinguished, and with it all alacrity and vivacity and all perceptibility of delight from its love.

CL 360. It shall now be told how love, when attacked, is enkindled and inflamed into zeal, as fire is enkindled into a flame. Love resides in man's will; but it is enkindled, not in the will, but in the understanding. In the will it is like fire, and in the understanding like a flame. In the will, love knows nothing about itself, for there it has no sensation of itself; nor does it there act of itself. Sensation and action are effected in the understanding and its thought. Therefore, when love is attacked, it rouses itself to anger in the understanding, this being done by means of various reasonings. These reasonings are like sticks of wood which the fire kindles and which then burn. Thus they are like so much fuel or so much combustible material from which comes the above-mentioned spiritual flame, of which there is much variety.

CL 361. The reason why a man is on fire when his love is attacked shall now be disclosed. From its creation, the human form in its inmosts is a form of love and wisdom. In man, all affections of love and thence all perceptions of wisdom are arranged in most perfect order so that together they make a unanimous whole and thus a one. These affections and perceptions are substantiate, substances being their subjects. Since, therefore, the human form is composed of them, it is plain that if the love is attacked, then, in an instant or simultaneously, the whole form is attacked together with each and every thing therein. From creation it is implanted in all living things to will to remain in their own form. Therefore the whole structure wills this from its several parts, and the parts from the whole. Hence, when the love is attacked, it defends itself by its understanding, and the understanding by things rational and imaginative whereby it represents to itself the outcome; and, more especially, by those things which make one with the love which is attacked. Were this not done, the whole form would fall asunder because of the loss of that love.

[2] Hence then it is, that in order to resist attacks, love hardens the substances of its form and erects them into crests, as it were, being so many pricks; that is to say, it bristles up. Such is that exasperation of love which is called zeal. Therefore, if there is no opportunity to resist, anxiety arises, and grief; for the love foresees the extinction of its interior life together with the delights thereof. On the other hand, if the love is favoured and soothed, the form relaxes, softens, dilates; and the substances of the form become smooth, bland, gentle, and alluring.

CL 362. III. That a man's zeal is such as his love is, thus of one kind with him whose love is good, and of another with him whose love is evil. Since zeal is the zeal of love, it follows that it is such as the love is; and since in general there are two loves, the love of good and thence of truth, and the love of evil and thence of falsity, therefore, in general, there is a zeal for good and thence for truth, and a zeal for evil and thence for falsity. It should be known, however, that both loves are of infinite variety. This is manifestly evident from the angels of heaven and the spirits of hell. In the spiritual world, both the latter and the former are forms of their love, and yet there is not a single angel of heaven or a single spirit of hell absolutely like any other as to face, speech, walk, gesture, or manner, nor indeed can there be to all eternity, howsoever many the myriads of myriads into which they may be multiplied. Such being the case with the forms of love, it is evident that the loves themselves are of infinite variety. It is the same with zeal, zeal being the zeal of love; that is to say, the zeal of one cannot be absolutely like or the same as the zeal of another. In general, there is the zeal of good love and the zeal of evil love.

CL 363. IV. That in outer manifestation, the zeal of a good love and the zeal of an evil love are alike, but inwardly they are wholly unlike. With every man, zeal in its outer manifestation appears as anger and wrath; for it is love enkindled and inflamed for the protection of itself against a violator and for the removal of that violator. The reason why the zeal of a good love and the zeal of an evil love appear alike in outer manifestation is because in both cases, when there is love in the zeal, it is in flames; but with a good man, it is in flames only in its outer manifestation, while with an evil man, it is in flames both outwardly and inwardly; and when the internals are not seen, the zeals appear alike in their outer manifestation. That inwardly they are wholly unlike will be seen in the article next following. That in its outer manifestation zeal appears like anger and wrath, can be seen and heard in all cases when men speak and act from zeal. When a priest, for instance, preaches from zeal, the sound of his voice is loud, vehement, sharp, and harsh, he grows hot in the face and perspires, towers up, beats the pulpit, and calls forth fire from hell against evil-doers. Many others act in a similar way.

CL 364. In order to acquire a distinct idea of zeal with the good and with the evil, and of their dissimilarity, it is necessary to form some idea respecting internals and externals with men. That this may be formed, take the idea of the vulgar respecting them, for this is for the common people also. The matter can then be illustrated by nuts or almonds and their kernels. With the good, the internals are like inner kernels, in all their perfection and goodness, enclosed in their usual and natural shell. With the evil it is altogether different. Their internals are like kernels, either inedible because of their bitterness, or rotted or worm-eaten; but their externals are like coverings or shells, either like their natural shells, or reddish like shell-fish, or many-hued like iris stones. Such is their external appearance within which lie concealed the internals mentioned above. It is the same with their zeal.

CL 365. V. That inwardly in the zeal of a good love lie love and friendship, but inwardly in the zeal of an evil love lie hatred and revenge. It was said that in outer manifestation zeal appears as anger and wrath, both with those who are in a good love and with those who are in an evil; but because the internals differ, the anger and wrath also differ. The differences are:

1. The zeal of a good love is as a heavenly flame which never bursts out against another but only defends itself; and its defense against an evil man is as a defense while the latter is rushing into the fire and being burned. But the zeal of an evil love is like an infernal flame which bursts out of itself and rushes upon another and wills to consume him.

2. The zeal of a good love instantly dies down and becomes mild when the assailant withdraws from the attack; but the zeal of an evil love persists and is not extinguished.

3. The reason is because the internal of him who is in the love of good is in itself mild, bland, friendly, and benevolent. Therefore, while, for the purpose of defending itself, his external is rough, bristles up, and erects itself and so acts with severity, yet it is tempered by means of the good in which is his internal.

Not so with the evil. With them the internal is inimical, fierce, hard, breathing hatred and revenge, and it feeds itself on the delights of these passions. Even when there is reconciliation, these passions are still latent, like fire in the embers beneath the ashes; and these fires break out, if not in this world yet after death.

CL 366. Because in outer manifestation zeal with a good man and zeal with an evil appear to be alike; and because the ultimate sense of the Word consists of correspondences and appearances; therefore, in the word it is often said of Jehovah, that He is angry, is wrathful, avenges, punishes, casts into hell, besides many other expressions which are the appearances of zeal in its outer manifestation. For the same reason, He is called jealous, when yet in Him is not the least shade of anger, wrath, and vengeance, He being mercy, grace, and clemency itself, thus good itself, in whom nothing of the kind is possible. But of these matters, see more in the work on HEAVEN AND HELL (HH n. 545-550), and in THE APOCALYPSE REVEALED (AR n. 494, 498, 525, 714, 806).

CL 367. VI. That the zeal of conjugial love is called jealousy. The zeal for love truly conjugial is the zeal of zeals inasmuch as the love is the love of loves, and its delights, for which also it is zealous, the delights of delights; for, as shown above (n. 64), that love is the chief of all loves. The reason is because that love induces on the wife the form of love, and on the husband the form of wisdom, and from these forms united into a one, nothing else can proceed but what savours of wisdom and at the same time of love. Since the zeal of conjugial love is the zeal of zeals, therefore it is called by a new name, zelotypia, in that it is the very type of zeal.

CL 368. VII. That jealousy is as a fire blazing out against those who molest the love with the partner; and that it is a dreadful fear for the loss of that love. Here the jealousy of those who are in spiritual love with their partner is treated of; in the following article, the jealousy of those who are in natural love; and after that, the jealousy of those who are in love truly conjugial. With those who are in spiritual love there are various jealousies because various loves, for there is not a single love, whether spiritual or natural, which is ever the same with any two persons, still less with many.

[2] That spiritual jealousy, that is, jealousy with the spiritual, is as a fire blazing out against those who molest their conjugial love, is because with them the principle or beginning of that love is in the internals of each partner, and from its principle, their love follows the principiates to their ultimates; and from these, and at the same time from firsts, the intermediates which are of the mind and body are held in lovely connection. In their marriage, such persons, being spiritual, look to union as an end, and therein to spiritual rest and its amenities. Now because they have rejected disunion from their animus, their jealousy is like a fire stirred up and darting out against those who molest.

[3] It is also as a dreadful fear, because the intention of their spiritual love is that they be a one, and if there exists a falling away, or if an appearance of separation occurs, there comes fear--a dreadful fear, as when two parts which are united together are being torn asunder. This description of jealousy was given me from heaven by those who are in spiritual conjugial love; for there is natural conjugial love, spiritual conjugial love, and celestial conjugial love. As to the natural and celestial, and their jealousy, these shall be spoken of in the two articles which now follow.

CL 369. VIII. That jealousy is spiritual with monogamists, and natural with polygamists. That jealousy is spiritual with monogamists is because they alone can receive spiritual conjugial love, as abundantly shown above. It is said there is spiritual jealousy with monogamists, but what is meant is that it is possible; for in the Christian world, where marriages are monogamous, it exists with very few. Yet, that it is possible there, has also been confirmed above. That with polygamists conjugial love is natural may be seen in the chapter on Polygamy (n. 345-347); so likewise their jealousy, for this follows their love.

[2] As to the nature of the jealousy of polygamists, we learn concerning this from the accounts of men who have witnessed it among Orientals. These men relate that wives and concubines are guarded like captives in prisons, and are held back and restrained from all communication with men; that no man is allowed to enter the women's apartments or the rooms wherein they are confined, unless accompanied by a eunuch; that close observation is made as to whether any of the women look at a passing man with lascivious eyes or countenance, and that if this is observed the woman is punished with stripes, and if she practises lewdness with any man introduced into the outer room by stealth, or outside the harem, she is punished with death.

CL 370. The above illustrates the nature of the jealous fire into which polygamous conjugial love breaks out--a fire breaking out into anger and revenge, into anger in the case of the meek, and into revenge in the case of the fierce. This is because their love is natural and does not partake of what is spiritual. This follows from what was demonstrated in the chapter on Polygamy, namely, that polygamy is lasciviousness (n. 345), and that a polygamist, so long as he remains a polygamist, is natural and cannot become spiritual (n. 347). With natural monogamists, the jealous fire is different. Their love is not inflamed in this way against the women but against the violators. Against the latter it becomes anger, and against the former cold. Not so with polygamists. Moreover, the fire of their jealousy burns with vengeful fury. This also is among the reasons why after death the concubines and wives of polygamists are for the most part set free, and are assigned to unguarded women's apartments, there to make various things which pertain to women's work.

CL 371. IX. That with married partners who tenderly love each other, jealousy is a just grief from sound reason, lest their conjugial love be divided and thus perish. Within all love is fear and grief, fear lest it perish, and grief if it does perish. There is the like fear and grief in conjugial love, but the fear and grief of this love is called zeal or jealousy. That with partners who tenderly love each other this zeal is just and from sound reason, is because it is at the same time fear for the loss of eternal felicity, not only his own but also his partner's; and because it is also a protection against adultery. As regards the first point--that it is a just fear for the loss of his own and his partner's eternal felicity--this follows from all that has hitherto been advanced respecting love truly conjugial, and also from the fact that from that love comes the blessedness of their souls, the happiness of their minds, the delight of their bosoms, and the pleasure of their bodies; and because these remain with them to eternity, there is fear for each other's eternal happiness. (As regards the second point)--that the zeal is a just protection against adulteries--this is evident; therefore it is as a fire blazing out against violation and defending itself against it. From this it is evident that one who tenderly loves his partner is also jealous; but the jealousy is just and sane according to the wisdom of the man.

CL 372. It was said that in conjugial love is implanted fear lest it be divided, and grief lest it perish; and that its zeal is like fire directed against violation. Once, when meditating upon this, I asked certain zealous angels respecting the seat of jealousy. They said: "It is in the understanding of the man who receives the love of his partner and loves her in return, and its quality there is according to his wisdom." They also said that jealousy has something in common with honour, which also is within conjugial love, for he who loves his partner also honours her.

[2] As to the reason why with a man zeal resides in his understanding, they said: "Conjugial love protects itself by the understanding, as good protects itself by truth. So a wife protects those things which she has in common with the man by her husband. Therefore, zeal is implanted in men, and through men and on account of men, in women." To the question, in what region of the mind does it reside with men, they answered: "In their souls, because it is also a protection against adulteries, and because these are what principally destroy conjugial love. Therefore, in the presence of attempts at its violation, the man's understanding hardens and becomes as a horn smiting the adulterer."

CL 373. X. That with married partners who do not love each other, jealousy is due to many causes, and with some to various kinds of mental sickness. The reasons why married partners who do not mutually love each other are also jealous are principally, honour from potency, fear of dishonouring one's name and also that of one's wife, and dread lest one's domestic affairs be ruined. That men have honour from potency, that is, that from this they wish to be accounted as great men, is well known; for so long as they have this honour, they are as though raised up in their own mind and not shamefaced among men and women. Moreover, to this honour is attached the attribute of bravery, and therefore military officers have it more than others. As to fear of dishonouring one's name and that of one's wife, this makes one with the preceding reason; added to which is the fact that cohabitation with a harlot, and having a brothel in the home, are infamous. That jealousy exists with some lest their domestic affairs be ruined, is because the husband is so greatly disgraced, and mutual duties and services are done away with. With some, however, this jealousy ceases in time and becomes nonexistent, and with some it turns into a mere simulation of love.

CL 374. That with some, jealousy is from various mental sicknesses is no secret in the world; for there are jealous men who continually think of their wives as unfaithful, believing them to be harlots, and this merely on hearing or seeing that they talk amicably with men or about men. There are mental blemishes which induce this infirmity, the first among which is a suspicious fantasy. If long cherished, this brings the mind into societies of like spirits, from which it can be delivered only with difficulty. Jealousy also gives itself added strength in the body, by the serum and thence the blood becoming viscous, tenacious, thick, sluggish, and acrid. Moreover, it is augmented by lack of the virile powers, this rendering the mind unable to be raised above its suspicion; for their presence elevates, and their absence depresses, this absence causing the mind to droop, collapse and languish. It then immerses itself in that fantasy ever more and more until it becomes insane; and this insanity has its outlet in the delight of upbraiding and, so far as allowed, of reviling.

CL 375. Moreover, in certain regions there are families which labour under the sickness of jealousy more than others. By them wives are imprisoned, tyrannically withheld from converse with men, shut off from the sight of them by windows provided with lattices stretching (from top) to bottom, and are terrified by threats of death if the husband find reason for the suspicion he nurses; besides other hardships which wives there suffer from their jealous husbands. Of this jealousy there are two causes: One is the imprisonment and stifling of the thoughts in respect to the spiritual things of the Church, the other is an intestine lust for revenge.

[2] As regards the first cause--the imprisonment and stifling of the thoughts in respect to the spiritual things of the Church--its effects can be concluded from what has previously been demonstrated, namely, that everyone has conjugial love according to the state of the Church with him; and that this love is from the Lord alone because the Church is from Him (n. 130, 131). Therefore, when men, living and dead, are approached and invoked in place of the Lord, it follows that there is no state of the Church with which conjugial love can act as one, and the less so when men's minds are terrified into that worship by threats of a frightful prison. Hence it comes to pass that their thoughts, and with them their speech, are violently imprisoned and suffocated, and with these suffocated, things flow in which are contrary to the Church or which, if they favour the Church, are imaginary. From all this, nothing else redounds but burning heat for harlots and icy cold for the consort. It is from these two together in one subject that this ungovernable fire of jealousy comes.

[3] As concerns the second cause, namely, an intestine lust for revenge, this entirely inhibits the influx of conjugial love, absorbs it, swallows it up, and turns its delight which is heavenly into the delight of revenge which is infernal; and the nearest object to which it is determined is the wife. Moreover, it is from appearance that the malignity of the atmosphere there, which is impregnated with the virulent exhalations of the surrounding region, is a subsidiary cause.

CL 376. XI. That with some there is no jealousy, and this also from various causes. There are many causes of an absence of jealousy and of a cessation of jealousy. Those especially have no jealousy who make conjugial love to be of no more account than scortatory love, and who at the same time are inglorious, counting a good reputation as of no value. They are not unlike married pimps. Those also have no jealousy who have put it away from a confirmed belief that it troubles the mind and that it is useless to keep watch on a wife; that if watched she is incited, and that therefore it is preferable to shut one's eyes and not even set them looking through the keyhole lest something be detected by the sight. Some have put it away on account of the stigma attached to the name jealousy, thinking that a man who is a man fears nothing. Some have been driven to put it away lest their domestic affairs be ruined, and also, lest they incur public censure were the wife to be convicted of the lewdness of which she is guilty. Furthermore, with men who, being themselves impotent, grant licence to their wives in order to raise up children for the sake of their inheritance; also with men who do this for the sake of gain, and so on, jealousy recedes until it wholly disappears. There are also scortatory marriages in which, by mutual consent, both parties are given licence to practise venery; yet they meet each other with a civil countenance.

CL 377. XII. That there is jealousy also for mistresses, but it is not of the same nature as for wives. With man, jealousy for wives springs from inmosts, but jealousy for mistresses from outmosts. Therefore they differ in kind. That jealousy for wives springs from inmosts is because in inmosts resides conjugial love; and it resides there because, by reason of its eternal pact established by covenant, and also by reason of equality of right, in that what belongs to the one partner belongs to the other, marriage unites souls and binds minds together more deeply. This binding and union, once imposed, remains unbroken, whatsoever be the later love between them, whether warm or cold.

[2] Thence it is, that invitation to love by a wife chills the whole man from inmosts to ultimates, while invitation to love by a mistress does not thus chill the lover. To jealousy for a wife is added ambition for a good name for the sake of honour, while jealousy for a mistress lacks this accessory. Yet both these jealousies vary according to the seat of the love received from the wife, and of that received from the mistress, and at the same time, according to the state of the judgment of the man receiving it.

CL 378. XIII. That there is jealousy also with beasts and birds. That it exists with wild beasts, such as lions, tigers, bears, etc., when with their young, is well known; and also with bulls, even when there are no calves with them, and most conspicuously in cocks which fight with rivals for their hens, even to the death. The reason why these latter have such jealousy is because they are vainglorious lovers, and the glory of that kind of love does not brook an equal. That they are vainglorious lovers above every other genus and species of birds is apparent from their carriage, their nod, their gait, and their crowing. That with men, whether lovers or not, the glory of honour induces jealousy and exalts and sharpens it, has been confirmed above.

CL 379. XIV. That jealousy with men and husbands is different from jealousy with women and wives. The differences, however, cannot be distinctly set forth; for with married partners, jealousy is of one kind with those who love each other spiritually, of another with those who love each other only naturally, of another with those who are of dissident minds, and of another with one who has subjected the other to the yoke of obedience. Considered in themselves, manly and wifely jealousy are different, being from different origins. The origin of manly jealousy is in the understanding, but that of wifely jealousy is in the will applied to the understanding of their men. Therefore, manly jealousy is as a flame of wrath and anger, but wifely jealousy is as a fire restrained by a variety of fears, a variety of attitudes to the husband, a variety of regards to her own love, and a variety in her prudence in not disclosing this love to the husband by jealousy. These two kinds of jealousy are distinguished, because wives are loves and men are recipients; and to wives it is obnoxious to be prodigal of their love before their men, but not so to the recipients of that love before their wives.

[2] It is different with the spiritual. With these, the man's jealousy is transferred to the wife, just as the wife's love is transferred to the man. Therefore, in both, the jealousy against the attempts of a violator appears to be the same; but the wife's jealousy against the attempts of a harlot violator is inspired in the man as grief weeping and moving the conscience.

CL 380. I will add two Memorable Relations. First:

I was once in amazement at the vast multitude of men who attribute creation and hence all things under and above the sun to nature. Whenever they see anything, they say, from the acknowledgment of their heart, Is not this the work of nature? Asked why they say the work of nature and not of God, when yet at times they themselves, in common with the generality of men say that God created nature, and so can just as well say that the things they see are the works of God as that they are the works of nature, they answer with an inward sound, almost inaudible, "What is God but nature?" From this persuasion respecting the creation of the universe out of nature, and from this insanity as though from wisdom, they all seem so full of their own glory that they look upon those who acknowledge the creation of the universe by God as ants creeping on the ground and treading the beaten path, and upon some as butterflies flying in the air. Calling their dogmas dreams because they see what they do not see, they say, "Who has seen God, and who does not see nature?"

[2] While I was in amazement at the multitude of such men, an angel stood by my side and said to me, "On what are you meditating?" I answered, "On the multitude of men who believe that nature created the universe." The angel then said: "All hell consists of such men, and they are there called satans and devils, the satans being those who have confirmed themselves in favour of nature and so have denied God, and the devils those who have lived wickedly and so have rejected from their hearts all acknowledgment of God. But I will lead you to gymnasiums in the south-western quarter where are those of them who are not yet in hell."

Taking me by the hand, he then led me; and I saw small houses wherein were gymnasiums, and in their centre, one which seemed to be the chief building. It was built of pitch-black stone overlaid with thin plates, as of glass, sparkling as though from gold and silver, like the mineral called glacies mariae (mica), and interspersed here and there with shells which likewise sparkled.

[3] We approached this building and knocked, and presently a man opened the door and said, "Welcome." He then ran to a table and bringing four books, he said, "These books are the wisdom which is applauded by multitudes in the kingdoms of today; this book or wisdom by many in France, this by many in Germany, this by some in Holland, and this by some in Britain." He said further, "If you wish to see it, I will make these four books shine before your eyes." He then poured out the glory of his own fame, and, surrounded by this, the books at once shone as though from light; but before our eyes this light immediately vanished. We then asked him, "What are you writing now?" He replied that from his treasures he was now drawing out and setting forth matters of inmost wisdom. "These are in brief:

1. Is nature of life, or life of nature?

2. Is the centre of the expanse, or the expanse of the centre?

3. Concerning the centre and expanse of nature and of life."

[4] Saying this, he again seated himself at the table, and we walked about in his gymnasium which was spacious. Because there was no daylight there but only the nocturnal light of the moon, he had a candle on the table; and, what surprised me, the candle seemed to be carried around the room and illumine it, though, not having been snuffed, the light it gave out was but little. While he was writing, we saw images in various forms flitting from the table to the walls. In that nocturnal moonlight they seemed like beautiful Indian birds, but when we opened the door, lo, in the sun's daylight they seemed like birds of night with weblike wings; for they were semblances of truth made into fallacies by confirmations which he had ingeniously connected together into a series.

[5] After seeing all this, we went to the table and asked him what he was writing now. He said, "On the first question, Is NATURE OF LIFE, OR LIFE OF NATURE? Respecting this, he said that he could confirm either one and make it true; but because deep within him was a latent something which he feared, he dared confirm only that nature is of life, that is, from life, and not that life is of nature, that is, from nature. We courteously asked him what that thing was which was deeply latent within him and which he feared. He answered that it was the possibility of being called by clergymen a naturalist and thus an atheist, and by laymen a man devoid of sound reason, "for both laymen and clergymen believe in the proposition from blind faith, or see it with the eyes of confirmers."

[6] From zeal for truth we then addressed him with some indignation, saying: "Friend, you greatly err. Your wisdom, which consists in the gift of clever writing, has seduced you, and the glory of your fame has led you to confirm what you do not believe. Do you not know that the human mind is capable of being elevated above things sensual, being things which are in the thoughts from the bodily senses? and that when elevated, it sees that the things of life are above, and those of nature below? What else is life but love and wisdom? and what else is nature but their receptacle whereby they work out their effects or uses? Can the two be one in any other way than as principal and instrumental? Can light be one with the eye? or sound with the ear? Whence come the sensations of these organs but from life? and their forms but from nature? What is the human body but an organ of life? Is not each and every thing therein formed organically to produce what the love wills and the understanding thinks? Are not the organs of the body from nature, and love and thought from life? and are not these entirely distinct from each other? Elevate the keenness of your genius yet a little higher and you will see, that to be affected and to think is the property of life; and that to be affected comes from love, and to think from wisdom, and both from life; as we said, love and wisdom are life. If you elevate your faculty of understanding a little higher still, you will see that there is no love and wisdom without an origin somewhere, and that the origin is (love and) wisdom itself, and hence life itself; and these are God from whom is nature."

[7] After this we talked with him about the second question, Is THE CENTRE OF THE EXPANSE, OR THE EXPANSE OF THE CENTRE? and we asked him why he discusses this. He replied that he discussed it to the end that he might come to some conclusion respecting the centre and expanse of nature and of life, thus respecting the origin of the one and the other; and when we asked what his own opinion was, he answered as before, that he could confirm either, but that from fear of the loss of fame he would confirm the proposition that the expanse is of the centre, that is, from the centre. "Although I know" he added, "that there was something prior to the sun--something which was everywhere in the universe; and that these things flowed together into order of themselves, thus into centres."

[8] At this, again addressing him from indignant zeal, We said, "Friend, you are insane." When he heard this, he drew his seat back from the table and looked at us timidly, and then pricked up his ears--but he was laughing. We then continued, saying: "What is more insane than to say the centre is from the expanse?--by your centre we understand the sun, and by your expanse we understand the universe--thus that the universe came into existence without the sun? Does not the sun make nature and all the properties thereof, these being dependent solely on the heat and light proceeding from the sun by its atmospheres? Where were they before?--as to whence they were, this we will tell you in the discussion that follows. Are not the atmospheres and all things on the earth like surfaces, and the sun their centre? What are all these without the sun? could they subsist for a single moment? What then were they all prior to the sun? could they have subsisted? is not subsistence perpetual existence? Since, therefore, the subsistence of all things of nature is from the sun, it follows that their existence is also from the sun. This is seen and acknowledged by everyone from his own observation.

[9] As the posterior exists from the prior, does it not also subsist therefrom? If the surface were the prior, and the centre the posterior, would not the prior subsist from the posterior? Yet this is contrary to the laws of order. How can things posterior produce things prior? or things exterior, things interior? or things grosser, things purer? How then can surfaces, which make the expanse, produce centres? Who does not see that this is against the laws of nature? We have brought forward these arguments from rational analysis to establish the truth that the expanse exists from the centre, and not the reverse, though everyone who thinks rightly sees this without them. You have said that the expanse flowed together into the centre of itself. Is it then by chance that it flowed into so marvellous and stupendous an order that one thing exists for the sake of another, and each and every thing for the sake of man and his eternal life? Can nature provide such things from any love, by any wisdom? from men make angels? and from angels, heaven? Suppose this, and then think, and your idea of the existence of nature from nature will fall."

[10] After this we asked him what he had thought and what he now thinks about the third question, THE CENTRE AND EXPANSE OF NATURE AND OF LIFE, whether he believed the centre an expanse of life to be the same as the centre and expanse of nature. He said that he hesitated, and that previously he had thought that the interior activity of nature is life; that from this are the love and wisdom which essentially make man's life, and that the fire of the sun produces them by its heat and light by the mediation of the atmospheres; but that, from what he had heard about the eternal life of men, he was now in doubt, and this doubt carried his mind now upwards, now downwards; when upwards, he acknowledged a centre of which he had previously known nothing, and when downwards, he saw the centre which he had believed to be the only centre; and (that he now wished to think) that life is from the centre of which he had previously known nothing, and nature from the centre which he had previously believed to be the only centre; also that each centre has an expanse around it.

[11] To this we said that that was good, provided only he wished also to look at the centre and the expanse of nature from the centre and expanse of life, and not the reverse. We then instructed him that above the angelic heaven is a sun which is pure love, in appearance fiery like the sun of the world; that from the heat proceeding from that sun, angels and men have will and love, and from the light, understanding and wisdom; and that the things belonging to life are called spiritual, while those which proceed from the sun of the world are containants of life and are called natural; and furthermore, that the expanse of the centre of life is called the SPIRITUAL WORLD which subsists from its own sun, and the expanse of nature is called the NATURAL WORLD which subsists from its own sun. "Now because spaces and times cannot be predicated of love and wisdom, but instead thereof states, the expanse around the sun of the angelic heaven is not an extense but yet is in the extense of the natural sun and in living subjects there, according to their reception, their reception being according to their forms."

[12] "But then" he asked, "from whence is the fire of the sun of the world or of nature?" We answered, "It is from the sun of the angelic heaven, which is not fire but is Divine Love proximately proceeding from God who is Love itself."

He wondered at this, so we demonstrated it as follows: "Love in its essence is spiritual fire. Hence it is, that in the Word in its spiritual sense fire signifies love. Therefore, in temples, priests pray that heavenly fire, by which they mean love, may fill their hearts. The fire of the altar in the tabernacle with the Israelites, and also the fire of the candlestick represented nothing else than Divine Love. The heat of the blood, that is, the vital heat of men and of animals in general is from no other source than the love which makes their life. Hence, when a man's love is exalted into zeal, anger, and wrath, he is enkindled, grows hot, and is inflamed. Therefore, from the fact that, with men, spiritual heat which is love produces natural heat, even to the enkindling and inflaming of their faces and limbs, it can be manifest that the fire of the natural sun came into existence from no other source than the fire of the spiritual sun, which is Divine Love.

[13] Now since, as we said before, the expanse arises from the centre and not the reverse, and the centre of life, which is the sun of the angelic heaven, is Divine Love proximately proceeding from God, who is in the midst of that sun; and since from this is the expanse of that centre, being that expanse which is called the spiritual world; and since from that sun, the sun of the world came into existence and therefrom the expanse thereof which is called the natural world; it is evident that the universe was created by the one God."

After these words we departed, and he accompanied us beyond the area of his gymnasium and talked with us about heaven and hell and about Divine auspices, from a new sagacity of ingenuity.

CL 381. The second Memorable Relation:

When looking around in the world of spirits, I once saw in the distance a palace, surrounded and, as it were, besieged by a great crowd; I also saw many men running towards it. Astonished at this, I hastily left home and asked one of the runners what was going on there. He replied that three new-comers from the world had been taken up into a heaven and had there seen magnificent things and also maidens and wives of wondrous beauty. When let down from that heaven, they had gone into this palace and told what they had seen, especially that they had seen beauties such as their eyes had never seen nor can see unless enlightened by the light of the aura of heaven. As to themselves, they had said that in the world they had been orators from the kingdom of France, and had devoted themselves to the cultivation of eloquence, and that now a desire to deliver an oration on the origin of beauty had come upon them. This had been made known in the neighbourhood, and in consequence a great crowd had flocked in to hear them.

Hearing this, I also hastened thither, and entering in I saw the three men standing in the centre. They were clothed with robes of a sapphire colour, and at every turn they made, their robes, from the golden threads inwoven in them, shone as though they were all gold. They stood behind a sort of pulpit, ready to speak. Presently one of them stood up on the step behind the pulpit to deliver his oration on the origin of beauty in the female sex. He then put forth the following:

CL 382. "What other origin of beauty can there be than LOVE? When this flows into the eyes of young men and enkindles them, it becomes beauty. Therefore, love and beauty are one and the same thing; for, from the inmost being of a marriageable virgin love suffuses her face with a certain flame, and from the appearance of this, comes the dawn of her life and its crimson glow. Who does not know that this flame sends its rays into her eyes; that from these as centres, it pours forth into the circuit of her face, and from there lets itself down into her bosom and enkindles her heart, and affects her, not unlike as a fire with its heat and light affects one who stands by it. The heat is love and the light is the beauty of love. The whole world affirms with common consent, that every person is lovely and beautiful according to his love. But the love belonging to the masculine sex is one thing, and that belonging to the feminine sex another. Masculine love is the love of becoming wise, and feminine love, the love of loving the love of becoming wise in the male. So far then as a young man is a love of becoming wise, he is lovely and beautiful to a maiden; and so far as a maiden is a love of the wisdom of a young man, she is lovely and beautiful to the young man. Therefore, as the love of the one meets and kisses the love of the other, so also do the beauties. I conclude, therefore, that love forms beauty into the likeness of itself."

CL 383. After him arose the second orator to reveal by elegance of speech the origin of beauty. He said: "I have heard that the origin of beauty is love, but I do not agree with that opinion. Who among men knows what love is? Who has contemplated it with any idea of thought? Who has seen it with his eye? Tell me where it is. I assert, on the other hand, that wisdom is the origin of beauty--in women, wisdom inmostly latent and concealed, in men, wisdom open and standing forth. Whence is man a man but from wisdom? Were he not a man from this, he would be a statue or a picture. What does a maiden give attention to in a young man but the nature of his wisdom? And what does a young man give attention to in a maiden but the nature of her affection for his wisdom? By wisdom I mean genuine morality because this is the wisdom of life. Hence it is, that when latent wisdom approaches and embraces open wisdom, as it does interiorly in the spirit of each of them, they kiss each other and are conjoined, this being what is called love. Then they appear to each other as beauties. In a word, wisdom is as the light or splendour of fire, which touches the eyes, and as it touches, forms beauty."

CL 384. After him arose the third orator, and he spoke out as follows: Not love alone, nor wisdom alone, is the origin of beauty, but the union of love and wisdom--the union of love with wisdom in the young man, and the union of wisdom with its love in the maiden; for a maiden does not love wisdom in herself but in a young man, it being from this that she sees him as beauty; and when a young man sees this in the maiden, he sees her as beauty. Therefore, love by wisdom forms beauty, and wisdom from love receives it. That such is the case is manifestly apparent in heaven. There I saw maidens and wives, and, paying attention to their beauty, I observed that in maidens it was altogether different than in wives, being, in maidens, the gleaming of beauty, but in wives its splendour. I saw the distinction as the distinction between a diamond sparkling from light, and a ruby flashing at the same time from fire. What is beauty but a delight of the sight? Whence is the origin of this delight but from the sport of love and wisdom? From this sport the sight glows red, and this glowing vibrates from eye to eye and displays beauty. What makes the beauty of a face but red and white and their lovely blending with each other? Is not the red from love and the white from wisdom? for love glows red from its fire, and wisdom becomes white from its light. These two I have plainly seen in the faces of two married partners in heaven, the red of the bright white in the wife, and the bright whiteness of the red in the husband; and I observed that when looking at each other, they glowed with splendour."

When the third orator had thus spoken, the assemblage applauded and cried out,"He has won." And suddenly a flamy light, which is also the light of conjugial love, then filled the house with splendour and at the same time their hearts with delight.

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