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

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CL, sections 523 ff
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www.BibleMeanings.info  ·  New Truth  ·  Conjugial Love  ·  Sections 45 ff previous  ·  next


CL 45. That there are marriages in the heavens has been shown just above. It is now to be shown whether or not the conjugial covenant entered into in the world will continue after death and be enduring. This is not a matter of judgment but of experience, and since this experience has been granted me through consociation with angels and spirits, the question may be answered by me, but yet in such wise that reason also will assent. Moreover, it is among the wishes and desires of married partners to have this knowledge; for men who have loved their wives, and wives who have loved their husbands, desire to know whether it is well with them after their death, and whether they will meet again. Furthermore many married partners desire to know beforehand whether after death they will be separated or will live together--those who are of discordant dispositions, whether they will be separated, and those who are of concordant dispositions, whether they will live together. This information, being desired, shall be given, and this in the following order:

1. That after death, love of the sex remains with every man such as it had been interiorly, that is, in his interior will and thought, in the world.

2. That the same is true of conjugial love.

3. That after death, two married partners, for the most part, meet, recognize each other, again consociate, and for some time live together; which takes place in the first state, that is, while they are in externals as in the world.

4. But that successively, as they put off their externals and come into their internals, they perceive the nature of the love and inclination which they had for each other, and hence whether they can live together or not.

5. That if they can live together, they remain married partners; but if they cannot, they separate, sometimes the man from the wife, sometimes the wife from the man, and sometimes each from the other.

6. And that then a suitable wife is given to the man, and a suitable husband to the woman.

7. That married partners enjoy similar intercourse with each other as in the world, but more delightful and blessed, yet without prolification; for which, or in place of it, they have spiritual prolification, which is that of love and wisdom.

8. That this is the case with those who go to heaven; but not so with those who go to hell.

The explanation now follows whereby these articles are illustrated and confirmed.

CL 46. I. That after death love of the sex remains with every man such as it had been interiorly, that is, in his interior will and thought, in the world. Every love follows man after death, love being the esse of his life; and the ruling love, which is the head of all the rest, continues with man to eternity, and with it the subordinate loves. The reason why they continue, is because love pertains properly to man's spirit, and to his body from the spirit; and after death man becomes a spirit and so carries his love with him. And because love is the esse of man's life, it is evident that as the man's life was in the world, such will be his lot after death.

As to love of the sex, this is the universal of all loves, for it is implanted by creation in man's very soul, from which is the essence of the whole man, and this for the sake of the propagation of the human race. This love especially remains because, after death, man is a man and woman a woman, and there is nothing in their soul, mind, or body which is not masculine in the male and feminine in the female. Moreover, the two have been so created that they strive for conjunction, yea, for such conjunction that they may become one. This striving is the love of the sex which precedes conjugial love. Now, because the conjunctive inclination is inscribed upon each and all things of the male and of the female, it follows that this inclination cannot be obliterated and pass away with the body.

CL 47. The reason why love of the sex remains after death such as it had been interiorly in the world is this: With every man there is an internal and an external, these two being also called the internal and external man. Hence there is an internal and external will and thought. When a man dies, he leaves his external and retains his internal; for externals pertain properly to his body, and internals properly to his spirit. Now because a man is his own love, and his love resides in his spirit, it follows that his love of the sex remains after death such as it had been within him interiorly. For example, if interiorly that love had been conjugial or chaste, it remains conjugial and chaste after death; and if interiorly it had been scortatory, it also remains such after death. But it must be known that love of the sex is not the same with one man as with another. Its differences are infinite in number; yet, such as it is in the spirit of each man, such also it remains.

CL 48. II. That conjugial love likewise remains such as it had been with the man interiorly, that is, in his interior will and thought, in the world. Since love of the sex is one thing, and conjugial love another, therefore both are named, and it is said that the latter also remains with man after death such as it had been in his internal man while he lived in the world. But because few know the difference between love of the sex and conjugial love, therefore, at the threshold of this treatise, I will premise something respecting it.

Love of the sex is love towards many of the sex and with many; but conjugial love is love towards one of the sex and with one. Love towards many and with many is a natural love, for man has it in common with beasts and birds, and these are natural; but conjugial love is a spiritual love and peculiar and proper to men, because men were created and are therefore born to become spiritual. Therefore, so far as a man becomes spiritual, he puts off love of the sex and puts on conjugial love. In the beginning of marriage, love of the sex appears as if conjoined with conjugial love; but in the progress of marriage, they are separated, and then, with those who are spiritual, love of the sex is expelled and conjugial love insinuated, while with those who are natural, the opposite is the case. From what has now been said, it is evident that love of the sex, being a love shared with many and in itself natural, yea, animal, is impure and unchaste; and being a roving and unlimited love, is scortatory; but it is wholly otherwise with conjugial love. That conjugial love is spiritual and properly human, will be clearly evident from what follows.

CL 48a. III. That after death, two married partners, for the most part, meet, recognize each other, (again) consociate, and for some time live together; which takes place in the first state, that is, while they are in externals as in the world. There are two states through which man passes after death, an external and an internal. He comes first into his external state and afterwards into his internal. If both married partners have died, then, while in the external state, the one meets and recognizes the other, and if they have lived together in the world, they again consociate and for some time live together. When in this state, neither of them knows the inclination of the one to the other, this being concealed in their internals; but afterwards, when they come into their internal state, the inclination manifests itself, and if this is concordant and sympathetic, they continue their conjugial life, but if discordant and antipathetic, they dissolve it. If a man has had several wives, he conjoins himself with them in turn while in the external state; but when he enters the internal state, in which he perceives the nature of the inclinations of his love, he either takes one or leaves them all; for in the spiritual world as in the natural, no Christian is allowed to take more than one wife because this infests and profanes religion. The like happens with a woman who has had several husbands; women, however, do not adjoin themselves to their husbands but only present themselves, and their husbands adjoin them to themselves. It must be known that husbands rarely know their wives, but wives readily know their husbands. The reason is because women have an interior perception of love, and men only an exterior perception.

CL 48b. IV. But that successively, as they put off their externals and come into their internals, they perceive the nature of the love and inclination which they had for each other, and hence whether they can live together or not. This need not be further explained since it follows from what has been set forth in the preceding article. Here it shall only be shown how, after death, a man puts off his externals and puts on his internals.

After death, everyone is first introduced into the world which is called the world of spirits--which is in the middle between heaven and hell--and is there prepared, the good for heaven and the evil for hell.

[2] This preparation has for its end, that the internal and external may be concordant and make a one, and not be discordant and make two. In the natural world they make two, and only with the sincere in heart do they make a one. That they are two is evident from crafty and cunning men, especially from hypocrites, flatterers, dissemblers, and liars. In the spiritual world, a man is not permitted thus to have a divided mind, but he who had been evil in internals must be evil also in externals; so likewise the good must be good in both; for after death every man becomes what he had been internally, and not what he had been externally.

[3] To this end, he is then let into his external and his internal alternately. While in his external, every man, even the evil, is wise, that is, wishes to appear wise, but in his internal, an evil man is insane. By these alternations, the man is able to see his insanities and repent of them; but if he had not repented in the world, he cannot do so afterwards, for he loves his insanities and wishes to remain in them, and therefore brings his external to be likewise insane. Thus his internal and his external become one, and when this is the case, he is prepared for hell.

[4] With a good man, it is the reverse. Because in the world he had looked to God and had repented, he is wiser in his internal than in his external. Moreover, in his external, by reason of the allurements and vanities of the world, he sometimes became insane. Therefore, his external must be brought into concordance with his internal, which latter, as was said, is wise. When this is done, he is prepared for heaven. This illustrates how the putting off of the external and the putting on of the internal is effected after death.

CL 49. V. That if they can live together they remain married partners; but if they cannot they separate, sometimes the man from the wife, sometimes the wife from the man, and sometimes each from the other. That separations take place after death is because conjunctions made on earth are seldom made from any internal perception of love, being for the most part from an external perception, which holds the internal in hiding. External perception of love derives its cause and origin from such things as pertain to love of the world and the body. To love of the world pertain especially wealth and possessions, and to love of the body, dignities and honours. Besides these, there are also various allurements which entice, such as beauty and a simulated propriety of behaviour; sometimes even unchastity. Moreover, marriages are contracted within the district, city or village of one's birth or abode, where there is no choice save one that is restricted and limited to the families of one's acquaintances, and among these to those in the same station of life as oneself. Hence it is that, for the most part, marriages entered into in the world are external and not at the same time internal, when yet it is internal conjunction, or conjunction of souls, which makes marriage. This conjunction, however, is not perceptible until man puts off his external and puts on his internal, which takes place after death. Hence it is that there is then separation and afterwards new conjunctions with those who are similar and homogeneous--unless these had been provided on earth, as is the case with those who from youth have loved, chosen, and asked of the Lord a legitimate and lovely partnership with one, and who spurn and reject wandering lusts as an offence to their nostrils.

CL 50. VI. That then a suitable wife is given to the man, and likewise a suitable husband to the woman. The reason is, because no other married partners can be received into heaven and remain there save those who are inwardly united or can be united as into a one; for there, two partners are not called two but one angel. This is meant by the Lord's words, They are no more two but one flesh. That no other married partners are received into heaven, is because there, no others can live together, that is, can be together in one house and one chamber and bed; for in heaven all are consociated according to the affinities and relationships of love, and it is according to these that they have their abodes. In the spiritual world, there are not spaces but appearances of spaces, and these are according to the states of their life, the states of their life being according to the states of their love. For this reason, no one there can abide in any house but his own. This also is provided, and it is assigned to him according to the quality of his love. If he abides elsewhere, he is troubled in his breast and breathing. Moreover, two persons cannot live together in the same house unless they are similitudes; and by no means married partners unless they have mutual inclinations. If their inclinations are external and not at the same time internal, the very house or very place separates, rejects, and expels them. This is the reason why, for those who after preparation are introduced into heaven, a marriage is provided with a consort whose soul so inclines to union with that of the other that they do not wish to be two lives but one. It is for this reason that after separation, a suitable wife is given to the man, and a suitable husband to the woman.

CL 51. VII. That married partners enjoy similar intercourse with each other as in the world, but more delightful and blessed, yet without prolification; for which, or in place of it, they have spiritual prolification, which is that of love and wisdom. That married partners enjoy similar intercourse as in the world, is because, after death, the male is a male and the female a female, and in both, an inclination to conjunction is implanted from creation. This inclination is an inclination of the spirit and thence of the body. Therefore, after death, when man becomes a spirit, the same mutual inclination continues, and this cannot exist without similar intercourse. For man is man as before, nor is there anything lacking either in the male or in the female. They are like themselves as to form, and equally so as to affections and thoughts. What else can follow then, but that they have similar intercourse? and since conjugial love is chaste, pure, and holy, that the intercourse is also complete? But see further on this subject in the Memorable Relation, (n. 44). That the intercourse is then more delightful and blessed, is because, when that love becomes a love of the spirit, it becomes more interior and purer and therefore more perceptible; for every delight increases according to perception, and it so increases that its blessedness is observed in its delight.

CL 52. That marriages in the heavens are without prolification, in place whereof is spiritual prolification which is the prolification of love and wisdom, is because, with those who are in the spiritual world, the third thing, which is the natural, is lacking. This is the containant of spiritual things, and without their containant, spiritual things are not set as are those which are procreated in the natural world. Regarded in themselves, spiritual things relate to love and wisdom. It is these, therefore, that are born of their marriages. It is said that they are born, because conjugial love perfects an angel, so uniting him with his consort that he becomes more and more a man; for, as said above (n. 50), two partners in heaven are not two but one angel. Therefore, by conjugial unition they fill themselves with the human, which consists in willing to become wise, and in loving that which pertains to wisdom.

CL 53. VIII. That this is the case with those who go to heaven; not so with those who go to hell. The statements, that after death a suitable wife is given to the man, and likewise a suitable husband to the wife, and that they enjoy delightful and blessed intercourse but without other than spiritual prolification, are to be understood of those who are received into heaven and become angels. The reason is because they are spiritual, and marriages in themselves are spiritual and thence holy. But all who go to hell are natural, and merely natural marriages are not marriages but conjunctions which originate in unchaste lust. What the nature of these conjunctions is, will be shown hereafter when treating of the chaste and the unchaste, and further when treating of scortatory love.

CL 54. To what has been related thus far respecting the state of married partners after death should be added the following:

1. All married partners who are merely natural are separated after death, for the reason that with them the love of marriage grows cold, and the love of adultery warm. Yet, after separation they sometimes consociate as married partners with others, but after a short time they mutually separate. Frequently this is done again and again, until at last the man is given up to some harlot and the woman to some adulterer. This takes place in an infernal prison where promiscuous whoredom is forbidden to both under penalty; respecting this, see Apocalypse Revealed (AR n. 153).

2. Married partners, one of whom is spiritual and the other natural, are also separated after death, and to the spiritual is given a suitable partner; but the natural is relegated to his or her like, in places of lasciviousness.

3. Those who in the world have lived unmarried and have wholly estranged their minds from marriage, if they are spiritual, remain single, but if natural, become whoremongers. It is different with those who, in their single state, have desired marriage, and still more with those who have solicited it without success. For them, if they are spiritual, blessed marriages are provided, though not until they are in heaven.

4. Those, both virgins and men, who in the world have been shut up in monasteries, at the conclusion of their monastic life, which continues for some time after death, are set free and discharged. They then enjoy the longed-for liberty of their desires, as to whether they wish to live a conjugial life or not. If they desire a conjugial life, they obtain it; if not, they are conveyed to those who live in celibacy at the side of heaven; but those who have burned with forbidden lust are cast down.

5. The reason why celibates are at the side of heaven is because the sphere of perpetual celibacy infests the sphere of conjugial love, which is the sphere of heaven. That the sphere of conjugial love is the sphere of heaven, is because it descends from the heavenly marriage of the Lord and the Church.

CL 55. To the above, I will add two Memorable Relations. First:

A melody of the utmost sweetness was once heard from a heaven where wives together with virgins were singing a song, the sweetness of which was like the harmonious flowing forth of the affection of some love. Heavenly songs are nothing else than sonorous affections, that is, affections expressed and modified by sounds; for, as thoughts are expressed by speech, so affections are expressed by songs. Angels perceive the subject of the affection from the symmetry and flow of the melody.

There were many spirits about me at the time, and from some of them I learned that they had heard that sweet melody and that it was the song of some lovely affection, the subject of which they did not know. For this reason they made various conjectures, but in vain. Some conjectured that the song was an expression of the affection of a bridegroom and bride when betrothed; some, that it expressed the affection of a bridegroom and bride when going to their wedding; and others, that it expressed the honey moon love of husband and wife.

[2] An angel from heaven then appeared in their midst and said that they were singing the chaste love of the sex. But those standing around asked, "What is chaste love of the sex?" The angel answered: "It is the love of a man for a virgin or wife of beautiful form and becoming manners--a love free from any idea of lasciviousness--and the like love of a virgin or wife for a man." Saying this, the angel vanished.

The singing continued, and because they then knew the subject of the affection it expressed, they heard it quite variously, each one according to the state of his love. Those who looked chastely upon women heard the song as something harmonious and sweet; but those who looked unchastely upon women heard it as inharmonious and sad, while those who looked upon women with loathing heard it as discordant and harsh.

[3] Then suddenly the plain on which they were standing was changed into a theatre, and a voice was heard, saying, "Investigate this love." And suddenly spirits were present from various societies, and in their midst several angels in white. These angels then spoke, and they said: "In this spiritual world we have inquired into all kinds of love, not only into the love of a man towards a man and of a woman towards a woman, and into the reciprocal love of husband and wife, but also into the love of a man towards a woman and of a woman towards a man. Moreover, it has been granted us to pass through societies and make investigation, and thus far we have not found the general love of the sex to be chaste, except with those who from love truly conjugial are in continual potency, and these are in the highest heavens. It has also been granted us to perceive the influx of this love into the affections of our own hearts; and we clearly felt it to exceed in sweetness every other love except the love of two married partners whose hearts are one. But we beg you to inquire into this love, for to you it is new and unknown. By us in heaven it is called heavenly sweetness because it is pleasantness itself."

[4] When they then discussed the matter, those spoke first who could not think of chastity as pertaining to marriages. They said: "Who, when he sees a beautiful and lovely maiden or wife, is able so to restrain and purify from concupiscence the ideas of his thought as to love her beauty and yet in no way desire to taste it if permitted? Who is able to change the concupiscence innate in every man into such chastity--that is, into what is not himself-- and yet love? Can love of the sex, when entering by the eyes into the thoughts, stop at the face of a woman? Does it not instantly descend to her breast and beyond? The angels spoke empty words when they said that that love can be chaste and yet be the sweetest of all loves, and that it can exist only with husbands who are in love truly conjugial and thence in pre-eminent potency with their wives. When they see beautiful women, can they any more than others keep the ideas of their thoughts on high and hold them in the air, as it were, so that they do not descend and press on to that which makes that love?"

[5] After these, those spoke who were both in cold and in heat; in cold towards their wives and in heat towards the sex. They said: "What is chaste love of the sex? When chastity is added to it, is not love of the sex a contradiction? and what is the contradiction in the addition, other than a thing from which its predicate is removed? and that is not anything. How can chaste love of the sex be the sweetest of all loves when chastity deprives it of its sweetness? You all know wherein the sweetness of that love lies; if then the conjunctive idea associated with the love is banished, where and whence is its sweetness?: Other speakers then took up the matter and said, "We have been with the most beautiful women and felt no desire; therefore we know what chaste love of the sex is." But their companions, who knew their lewdness, answered: "You were then in a state of loathing of the sex from lack of potency, and this is not chaste love of the sex but is the last state of unchaste love."

[6] Indignant at hearing these sentiments, the angels asked that those would speak who were standing on the right or at the south. These then said: "There is a love of man and man, and of woman and woman; and there is a love of a man for a woman and of a woman for a man. These three pairs of loves are entirely different from each other. The love of man and man is as the love of understanding and understanding; for man was created and thence born that he may become understanding. The love of woman and woman is as the love of affection and affection, the affection being the affection of the understanding of men; for woman was created and is born to become the love of man's understanding. These loves, that is, the love of man and man and of woman and woman, do not enter deeply into the breast but stand without and merely touch each other; thus they do not inwardly conjoin the two. Therefore, two men fight each other with an abundance of arguments like two athletes; and sometimes two women fight each other with an abundance of concupiscences, like two stage players fighting with their fists.

[7] But the love between man and woman is the love between the understanding and its affection, and this enters deeply and conjoins. Such conjunction is the love itself. Conjunction of minds and not at the same time of bodies, that is, the striving towards such conjunction alone, is a spiritual and thence a chaste love. This love exists only with those who are in love truly conjugial and from this in eminent potency; for, by reason of their chastity, they do not admit the influx of love from the body of any woman other than their wife; and, being in supereminent potency, they cannot but love the sex and at the same time hold in aversion what is unchaste. Hence they have a chaste love of the sex, and, regarded in itself, this is interior spiritual friendship which derives its sweetness from eminent but chaste potency. They have this eminent potency by reason of their total renunciation of whoredom; and because the wife only is loved, it is chaste. Now because with them that love does not partake of the flesh but only of the spirit, it is chaste; and because, at the same time, from an implanted inclination the woman's beauty enters into their mind, it is sweet."

[8] On hearing this, many of the bystanders put their hands to their ears, saying, "These utterances hurt our ears; the words you have spoken are empty nothings."

They were unchaste. Then the singing from heaven was again heard, and now sweeter than before. But to the unchaste it grated so discordantly that, because of the harshness of the discord, they threw themselves out of the theatre and fled, a few only remaining who from wisdom loved conjugial chastity.

CL 56. The Second Memorable Relation:

Once, while talking with angels in the world of spirits, I was inspired with a pleasant desire to see the Temple of Wisdom which I had seen once before; and I asked them the way. They said, "Follow the light and you will find it." I said, "What do you mean by `Follow the light'?" and they said: "Our light shines more and more brightly as we draw nearer to that temple. Therefore, follow the light according to the increase of its brightness; for our light proceeds from the Lord as a Sun, and hence, considered in itself, is wisdom." Then, walking in company with two angels, I followed the increasing brightness of the light and ascended by a steep path to the summit of a hill which lay in the southern quarter. There was a magnificent gate there. Seeing the angels with me, the keeper opened it and, lo, there was seen an avenue of palm trees and laurels, and along this we walked. It was a winding avenue and terminated in a garden in the midst of which was the TEMPLE OF WISDOM. As I looked around me, I saw also small buildings, similar to the temple, and in them were wise men. We approached one of these buildings and, at the entrance, spoke to the host there and told him the reason of our coming and the manner of our approach. He then said, "Welcome; come in; be seated and let us join together in discourse on wisdom."

[2] Within the house, I saw that it was divided into two and yet was one. It was divided into two by a transparent partition; and it seemed to be one because of the transparency of the partition which was as though of purest crystal. I asked why this was the case. He said, "I am not alone. My wife is with me; and we are two and yet not two but one flesh." I then said, "I know that you are a wise man, but what has a wise man or wisdom to do with woman?" At this our host, with some indignation, changed countenance. He then stretched out his hand and, lo, from neighbouring houses other wise men were present. To these, he said jestingly, "Our new-comer here, for the purpose of learning, asks what a wise man or wisdom has to do with woman?" At this they all laughed and said, "What is a wise man or wisdom without woman, that is, without love? The wife is the love of a wise man's wisdom."

[3] Our host then said, "Let us now join together in some discourse on wisdom. Let the discourse be concerning causes, and for the present concerning the cause of the beauty of the female sex." They then spoke in turn. The first gave this as the cause: "Women were created, by the Lord, affections of the wisdom of men; and the affection of wisdom is beauty itself." A second gave this: "Woman was created by the Lord through the wisdom of man because from man. Hence, being a form of wisdom inspired with the affection of love, and the affection of love being life itself, woman is the life of wisdom. The male is wisdom, and the life of wisdom is beauty." A third gave this: "To women is given a perception of the delights of conjugial love; and because their whole body is an organ of that perception, it cannot be otherwise than that the abode of the delights of conjugial love with its perception is beauty."

[4] A fourth gave this: "The Lord has taken the beauty and grace of life from man and transcribed them into woman. Hence, without reunion with his beauty and grace in woman, a man is stern, austere, dry, and unlovely; nor is he wise save for himself alone, and then he is stupid. But when man is united with his beauty and grace of life in his wife, he becomes agreeable, pleasant, animated, and lovely, and thus wise." A fifth gave this: "Women are created beauties for the sake not of themselves but of men, that men, of themselves hard, may be softened; that their minds, of themselves severe, may become mild, and their hearts, of themselves cold, warm; and they do become such when they become one flesh with their wives."

[5] A sixth gave this: "The universe was created by the Lord a most perfect work; but in that universe nothing was created more perfect than woman, beautiful in face and graceful in manners; and this to the end that man may render thanks to the Lord for this bounty, and may repay it by the reception of wisdom from Him." After these and many like sentiments had been expressed, the wife appeared through the crystal partition and said to her husband, "Speak, if you please." And when he spoke, the life of wisdom from his wife was perceived in his speech; for her love was in the tone of his voice. Thus experience bore witness to truth.

After this we examined the Temple of wisdom, and also its paradisal surroundings, and then, filled thereby with joy, we departed, and, passing through the avenue to the gate, went down by the way we had come.

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