Jesus Lives! - The Lord God
Jesus Christ: Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer of Heaven and Earth
 Hence it is evident that a man may be admitted into the wisdom of spiritual things, and also into the love of them, and yet not be reformed; but in this case he is admitted only into the natural and not into the spiritual love of them. This is because a man may introduce himself into the natural love, but the Lord alone can introduce him into the spiritual love; and those who are introduced into this love are reformed, but those who are only introduced into the natural love are not reformed. Such are for the most part hypocrites, and many of them are of the Order of Jesuits, who interiorly do not believe in the Divine at all, but outwardly play with Divine things like conjurers.
 A man who has been of this character in the world, when after death he becomes a spirit, is usually admitted into alternate states of wisdom and insanity that he may distinguish the one from the other. But although such men from wisdom see that they are insane, yet when the choice is given them, as is done in the case of everyone, they introduce themselves into the state of insanity and love it; and then they regard with hatred the state of wisdom. This is because their internal has been diabolical and their external as if it were Divine. Such are meant by devils who pretend to be angels of light; and also by him who at the wedding was not clothed in a wedding garment and was cast into outer darkness (Matt. 22:11-13).
 When the internal in its essence is infernal, and the external in its form appears spiritual, and yet, as has been said, the external derives its essence from the internal, it may be asked where in the external that essence lies concealed. It does not appear in the gesture, in the tone of voice, in the speech, or in the face, and yet it is interiorly hidden in all four of these. That it is interiorly hidden in these is clearly manifest from these same things in the spiritual world. For when a man comes from the natural world into the spiritual world, as he does at death, he leaves behind his externals with the body, and retains his internals which he had stored up in his spirit. Then if his internal was infernal he appears as a devil, even such as he was as to his spirit while he lived in the world. Who does not acknowledge that every man leaves behind external things with the body, and enters into internal things when he becomes a spirit?
 To this I will add that in the spiritual world there is a communication of affections and of thoughts derived from these; and consequently no one can speak otherwise than as he thinks; and, moreover, everyone there changes his countenance and resembles his own affection so that his character is apparent from his countenance. Hypocrites are sometimes permitted to speak otherwise than as they think; but the tone of their voice is quite out of harmony with their interior thoughts; and by this discordance they are recognised. Hence it may be evident that the internal lies concealed interiorly in the tone of the voice, the speech, the face and the gesture of the external; but it is not perceived by men in the natural world although it is clearly perceived by angels in the spiritual world.
1. Whatever a man thinks, speaks and does from his will, whether good or evil, is appropriated to him, and remains.
2. But the Lord by His Divine Providence continually foresees and disposes, that evil may be by itself and good by itself and thus that they may be separated.
3. This cannot be done if man first acknowledges the truths of faith and lives according to them, and afterwards departs from them and denies them.
4. He then mingles good and evil to such a degree that they cannot be separated.
5. And since the good and the evil in every man must be separated, and in such a person they cannot be separated, therefore he is destroyed as to everything that is truly human.
 Second: The Lord by His Divine Providence continually, foresees and disposes, that evil may be by itself and good by itself, and thus that they may be separated. Every man is both in evil and in good, in evil from himself, and in good from the Lord; and he cannot live unless he is in both. For if he were in himself alone, and thus in evil alone, he would not have any life; nor if he were in the Lord alone and thus in good alone, would he have any life; for a man in the latter state of life would be as if he were being suffocated, continually gasping for breath, or like one dying in agony; while in the former state of life he would become devoid of life; for evil without any good is in itself dead. Therefore every man is in both, the difference being that in the one case man is interiorly in the Lord and exteriorly as if in himself and in the other case he is interiorly in himself but exteriorly as if in the Lord. In the latter case the man is in evil and in the former in good; and yet in each case the man is both in good and in evil. The wicked man is in both because he is in the good of civil and moral life, and also outwardly in some measure of the good of spiritual life, besides being kept by the Lord in rationality and liberty, in order that it may be possible for him to be in good. This is the good by means of which every man, even a wicked man, is led by the Lord. From these considerations it may be seen that the Lord separates evil and good, so that one may be interior and the other exterior, and thus provides that they may not be mingled together.
 Third: This cannot be done if man first acknowledges the truths of faith and lives according to them, and afterwards departs from them and denies them. This is clear from what has just been stated; first, that everything a man thinks, speaks and does from his will is appropriated to him and remains; and second, that the Lord by His Divine Providence continually foresees and disposes that good may be by itself and evil by itself and that these may be separated. Moreover, they are separated by the Lord after death. With those who are interiorly wicked and outwardly good, the good is taken away and they are thus left to their own evil. The reverse happens with those who are interiorly good and who outwardly like other men have acquired wealth, have sought positions of dignity, have taken delight in various worldly activities and have favoured certain lusts. With these the good and the evil have not been mingled, but have been kept separate, like the internal and the external. Thus in their outward form they have in many respects resembled the wicked, but not in their internal form. On the other hand there are the wicked who have appeared in their outward form like the good in piety, worship, speech and deeds, and yet inwardly were wicked; with these also the evil is separated from the good. With those, however, who have first acknowledged the truths of faith and have lived according to them, and have afterwards gone contrary to them and have rejected them, and especially if they have denied them, good and evil are no longer separated but are mingled together. For such a man has appropriated to himself good and also evil, and has thus joined them and mingled them together.
 Fourth: He then mingles good and evil to such a degree that they cannot be separated. This follows from what has just been said, and if the evil cannot be separated from the good and the good from the evil the man can be neither in heaven nor in hell. Every man must be either in the one or in the other; he cannot be in both, for in that case he would be now in heaven and now in hell; and while in heaven he might be acting in favour of hell, and while in hell he might be acting in favour of heaven. Thus he would destroy the life of all around him, heavenly life with angels and infernal life with devils, whereby the life of everyone would perish. For the life of everyone must be his own; no one lives a life foreign to his own, still less one opposed to it. Hence it is that with every man after death, when he becomes a spirit or a spiritual man, the Lord separates the good from the evil and the evil from the good; the good from the evil with those who interiorly are in evil, and the evil from the good with those who interiorly are in good. This is in accordance with His own words:--
Whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance; but whosoever hath (A.V. not), from him shall be taken away even that he hath. (Matt. 13:12; 25:29; Mark 4:25; Luke 8:18; 19:26).
 Fifth: Since the good and the evil in every man must be separated, and in such a person they cannot be separated, therefore he is destroyed as to everything that is truly human. Everyone has what is truly human from rationality, in that he can see and know, if he will, what is true and what is good, and also that he can from liberty will, think, speak and do it; as was shown before. This liberty, however, with its rationality has been destroyed with those who have mingled in themselves good and evil; for they cannot discern evil from good nor can they recognise good from evil since the two make one. Consequently they no longer have rationality in faculty or in power, nor therefore any liberty. For this reason, as was said above, they are like mere fantastic hallucinations; and they no longer appear like men but like bones covered with skin; and therefore when they are referred to they are not called "he" or "she", but "it". Such is the lot of those who in this manner mingle together what is holy with what is profane. However, there are several kinds of profanation which are not quite of this nature, and these will be treated in the following section.
 It matters nothing that these are received and acknowledged infancy and childhood, which is done by every Christian; for the things that pertain to faith and charity are not then received and acknowledged from any rationality and liberty, that is, in the understanding from the will, but only from what is in the memory and from trust in the teacher; and if the life is in accordance with these it is from blind obedience. When man, however, comes into the exercise of his rationality and liberty, which he does gradually as he grows up into youth and manhood, if he then acknowledges truths and lives in accordance with them and afterwards denies them, he mingles what is holy with what is profane, and from being a man he becomes a monster; as was said above. If however, a man is in evil from the time he attains rationality and liberty, that is, becomes his own master, and even in early manhood, and afterwards acknowledges the truths of faith and lives in accordance with them, provided he then remains in them to the end of his life, he does not mingle the two; for the Lord then separates the evils of his former life from the good of his later life. This is done in the case of all who repent. But more will be said on this subject in what follows.
 Hence it is clear that by the name of God in the Word is signified God with all the Divine that is in Him and that proceeds from Him; and as the Word is the Divine proceeding, it is the name of God; and as all the Divine things which are called the spiritual things of the Church are from the Word, they, too, are the name of God. From these considerations it may be seen what is meant in the second commandment of the Decalogue by
Thou shalt not profane (A.V. take in vain) the name of God (A.V. the name of the Lord thy God) (Exod 20:7);
and in the Lord’s Prayer by
Hallowed be thy name (Matt. 6:9).
The name of God and of the Lord has a like signification in many places in the Word of both Testaments, as in (Matt. 7:22; 10:22; 18:5, 20; 19:29; 21:9; 24:9, 10; John 1:12; 2:23; 3:17, 18; 12:13, 28; 14:14, 15, 16; 16:23, 24, 26, 27; 17:6; 20:31); besides in other places, and in very many places in the Old Testament.
 He who knows this signification of name may understand what is signified by these words of the Lord:
He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, shall in no wise lose his reward (Matt. 10:41, 42).
He who by the name of a prophet, of a righteous man, and of a disciple here understands only a prophet, a righteous man and a disciple does not know in that passage any other sense than only the sense of the Letter. He does not know what is signified by the reward of a prophet, or by the reward of a just man, or by the reward for a cup of cold water given to a disciple; when yet by the name and the reward of a prophet is meant the state and the happiness of those who are in Divine truths; by the name and the reward of a righteous man is meant the state and the happiness of those who are in Divine goods; by a disciple is meant the state of those who are in some of the spiritual things of the Church; and by a cup of cold water is meant something of truth.
 That the nature of the state of love and wisdom, or of good and truth, is signified by name is also made evident by these words of the Lord:
He that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. (John 10:2, 3).
To call his sheep by name is to teach and lead everyone who is in the good of charity according to the state of his love and wisdom. By the door is meant the Lord, as is evident from the ninth verse,
I am the door; by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved (John 10:9).
From this it is clear that the Lord Himself must be approached in order that anyone may be saved; and that he who approaches Him is a shepherd of the sheep; and that he who does not approach Him is a thief and a robber, as is said in the first verse of this chapter.
 Second, the kind of profanation committed by those who understand and acknowledge Divine truths, and yet live contrary to them. Those who only understand profane more lightly, while those who also acknowledge profane more grievously. For the understanding only teaches, much in the same manner as a preacher, and does not from itself conjoin itself with the will; but acknowledgment does make conjunction; for nothing can be acknowledged without the consent of the will. Still this conjunction varies, and the profanation is according to the measure of the conjunction, when the life is lived contrary to the truths that are acknowledged. Thus if one acknowledges that revenge and hatred, adultery and fornication, fraud and deceit, blasphemy and lying, are sins against God, and yet commits them, he is in the more grievous form of this kind of profanation; for the Lord says,
The servant which knew his lord’s will, and did not according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes (Luke 12:47);
If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We sec; therefore your sin remaineth (John 9:41).
But it is one thing to acknowledge appearances of truth, and another to acknowledge genuine truths. Those who acknowledge genuine truths and yet do not live according to them appear in the spiritual world without the light and heat of vitality in the tone of their voice and speech, as if they were mere inert beings.
 Third, the kind of profanation committed by those who apply the sense of the Letter of the Word to confirm evil loves and false principles. This is because the confirmation of falsity is a denial of truth, and the confirmation of evil is a rejection of good. The Word in its inmost is nothing but Divine Truth and Divine Good; and this in the ultimate sense which is the sense of the Letter is not expressed in genuine truths, except where it teaches concerning the Lord and the essential way of salvation, but in truths veiled, which are called appearances of truth. Therefore this sense may be wrested to confirm heresies of many kinds; and he who confirms evil loves does violence to Divine Good, while he who confirms false principles does violence to Divine Truth. This latter violence is called the falsification of truth, the former the adulteration of good. Both are meant by bloods in the Word; for a spiritual holiness, which is also the spirit of truth proceeding from the Lord, is interiorly within every particular of the sense of the Letter. This holiness is violated when the Word is falsified and adulterated; and it is clear that this is profanation.
 Fourth, the kind of profanation committed by those who speak with the lips pious and holy things, and who also by their tone of voice and gesture counterfeit the affections of the love of such things, and yet in their heart do not believe and love them. Most of these are hypocrites and Pharisees from whom after death are taken away all truth and good; and they are then sent into outer darkness. Those who from profanation of this kind have confirmed themselves against the Divine and against the Word, and consequently against the spiritual things of the Word, sit in that darkness dumb, unable to speak, desiring to babble pious and holy things as they did in the world, but unable to do so. For in the spiritual world everyone is compelled to speak as he thinks; but a hypocrite desires to speak otherwise than as he thinks, and consequently there arises an opposition in the mouth owing to which he can only mumble. Hypocrisy, however, is lighter or more grievous according to the degree of the confirmation against God and the outward reasoning in favour of God.
 Fifth, the kind of profanation committed by those who attribute to themselves what is Divine. Such are meant by Lucifer in (Isaiah 14:12). Lucifer there means Babylon, as may be evident from the fourth and twenty-second verses of that chapter (Isa. 14:4, 22), where, too, the lot of such is described. The same are meant and described also in Revelation xvii by the harlot sitting on the scarlet beast (Rev. 17:3). Babylon and Chaldea are mentioned in many places in the Word, where by Babylon is meant the profanation of good, and by Chaldea the profanation of truth. In both cases the profanation is committed by those who attribute to themselves what is Divine.
 Sixth, the kind of profanation committed by those who acknowledge the Lord and yet deny the Divinity of the Lord. In the world these are called Socinians, and some Arians. The condition of all such is that they call upon the Father, and not upon the Lord, and continually pray to the Father, some indeed for the sake of the Son, to be admitted into heaven, but in vain, even till they become without hope of salvation. They are then sent down to hell among those who deny God. Such are meant by those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit, who will not be forgiven either in this world or in the world to come. (Matt. 12:32). This is because God is one in Person and in Essence, in whom is the Trinity, and this God is the Lord; and since the Lord is heaven, and consequently those who are in heaven are in the Lord, therefore those who deny the Divinity of the Lord cannot be admitted into heaven and be in the Lord. It has been shown above that the Lord is heaven, and consequently that those who are in heaven are in the Lord.
 Seventh, the kind of profanation committed by those who first acknowledge Divine truths and live according to them, but afterwards depart from them and deny them. This is the worst kind of profanation because such persons mingle things holy and profane to such a degree that they cannot be separated; and yet these things must be separated in order that men may find their place either in heaven or in hell. As this cannot be effected, however, in the case of such persons, all that is human, both intellectual and voluntary, is rooted out and, as was said before, they come to be no longer men. Almost the same thing happens with those who in their heart acknowledge the Divine things of the Word and of the Church, but who immerse them completely in their proprium, which is the love of ruling over all things, and about this much has already been said. For after death when they become spirits, they are wholly unwilling to be led by the Lord, but desire to be led by themselves. When loose rein is given to their love they desire to rule not only over heaven but also over the Lord; and as they cannot do this, they deny the Lord and become devils. It should be understood that the life’s love, which is also the ruling love, remains with everyone after death, and cannot be taken away.
 The profane of this kind are meant by the lukewarm, of whom it is thus written in the Revelation:
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot; So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth (Rev. 3:14, 15).
This kind of profanation is thus described by the Lord in Matthew:
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. (Matt. 12:43-45).
The conversion of a man is here described by the unclean spirit’s going out of him; and his turning back to his former evils, after things good and true have been cast out, is described by the return of the unclean spirit with seven others worse than himself into the house garnished for him; and the profanation of what is holy by what is profane is described by the last state of that man being worse than the first. The same is meant by this passage in John:
Jesus said to the man who had been healed at the pool of Bethesda: Sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. (John 5:14).
 The Lord provides that a man should not interiorly acknowledge truths and afterwards depart from them and become profane. This is meant by these words:
He hath blinded their eyes and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. (John 12:41).
Lest they should be converted and I should heal them, signifies lest they should acknowledge truths and then depart from them, and thus become profane. For the same reason the Lord spoke in parables, as He Himself says, (Matt. 13:13). That the Jews were forbidden to eat fat and blood, (Lev. 3:17, 7:23, 25), signified that they were not to profane holy things, for fat signified Divine Good and blood Divine Truth. That a man who is once converted ought to continue in good and truth to the end of his life, the Lord teaches in Matthew:
Jesus said: He that endureth to the end, shall be saved. (Matt. 10:22; Mark 13:13).
1. Evil and good cannot exist together in man’s interiors; and consequently neither can the falsity of evil and the truth of good.
2. Good and the truth of good can be introduced by the Lord into man’s interiors only so far as the evil and the falsity of evil there have been removed.
3. If good with its truth were introduced there before or in a greater measure than evil with its falsity is removed, man would depart from good and return to his evil.
4. When man is in evil many truths may be introduced into his understanding, and these may be stored up in his memory, and yet not be profaned.
5. The Lord, however, by His Divine Providence takes the greatest care that the will may not receive these from the understanding sooner or in a greater measure than man as of himself removes evil in the external man.
6. If the will should receive them sooner or in greater measure it would then adulterate the good and the understanding would falsify the truth by mingling them with evils and falsities.
7. Therefore the Lord admits man interiorly into the truths of wisdom and into the goods of love only so far as he can be kept in them right on to the end of his life.
 It may be seen by the rational man without explanation that evil with its falsity cannot exist in man’s interiors and at the same time good with its truth; for evil is the opposite of good, and good is the opposite of evil, and two opposites cannot exist together. Moreover, there is in all evil an inherent hatred of good, and there is in all good an inherent love of protecting itself against evil and removing it from itself. Therefore it follows that one cannot be together with the other. If they were together there would arise first conflict and combat, and then destruction, as the Lord also teaches in these words:
Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself standeth not (A.V. shall not stand). He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad (Matt. 12:25, 30);
and in another place,
No one can at the same time serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other (Matt. 6:24).
Two opposites cannot exist together in one substance or form without its being torn asunder and destroyed. If one should advance and draw near to the other they would certainly keep themselves apart like two enemies, one of whom would retire within his camp or fortifications, and the other would remain outside. This happens with the evil and the good in a hypocrite. He harbours both, but the evil is within and the good is without, and thus the two are separate and are not mingled. From this it is now clear that evil with its falsity and good with its truth cannot exist together.
 Second: Good and the truth of good can be introduced by the Lord into man’s interiors only so far as the evil and the falsity of evil there have been removed. This is a necessary consequence of what has gone before; for as evil and good cannot exist together good cannot be introduced before evil has been removed. The term man’s interiors is used, and by these is meant the internal of thought; and in these, which are now being considered, either the Lord or the devil must be present. The Lord is there after reformation, but the devil is there before it; therefore, so far as man suffers himself to be reformed the devil is cast out; but so far as he does not suffer himself to be reformed the devil remains. Everyone may see that the Lord cannot enter so long as the devil is there; and he is there so long as man keeps the door closed, where man acts together with the Lord. That the Lord enters when that door is opened by man himself (medio homine) He teaches in Revelation:
I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me (Rev. 3:20).
The door is opened by man’s removing evil, which he does by shunning and turning away from it as infernal and diabolical. For whether you say evil or the devil it is the same; and, on the other hand, whether you say good or the Lord it is the same, for the Lord is within all good, and the devil is within all evil. From these considerations the truth of the matter is evident.
 Third: If good with its truth were introduced there before or in a greater measure than evil with its falsity is removed, man would depart from good and return to his evil. This is because evil would prove the stronger, and what is the stronger conquers, if not at the time yet afterwards. So long as evil continues to prevail good cannot be introduced into the innermost chambers of the mind, but only Into the outer courts, because, as has been said, evil and good cannot exist together; and what is only in the outer courts is removed by its enemy in the inner apartments. Consequently there is a departure from good and a return to evil; and this is the worst kind of profanation.
 Moreover, the very delight of a man’s life is to love himself and the world above all things. This delight cannot be removed in a moment, but only gradually, and so far as any of this delight remains evil prevails in him; and this evil can only be removed as the love of self becomes the love of uses, or as the love of ruling has for its end not self but uses. Thus uses constitute the head, the love of self or of ruling constituting first the body under the head and afterwards the feet upon which it walks. Everyone sees that good must constitute the head; and that when it does, the Lord is there; for good and use are one. Who does not see that if evil constitutes the head the devil is there? And as civil and moral good, and spiritual good also in its external form, must still be accepted, who does not see that these now constitute the feet and the soles of the feet upon which the man treads?
 The state of the man’s life must be inverted so that what is above may be below; and this reversal cannot be effected in a moment, for what is the greatest delight of life, arising from the love of self and the consequent love of rule, can only be reduced gradually and converted into the love of uses. Therefore, good cannot be introduced by the Lord before or in a greater measure than the civil is removed. If it were so introduced man would depart from the good and return to his evil.
 Fourth: When man is in evil many truths may be introduced into his understanding, and these may be stored up in his memory, and yet not be profaned. This is because the understanding does not flow into the will, but the will into the understanding; and as it does not flow into the will many truths may be received by the understanding and stored up in the memory, and yet not be mingled with the evil of the will; and thus what is holy may not be profaned. Moreover, it is incumbent upon everyone to learn truths from the Word or from preaching, to lay them up in the memory and to ponder over them. For from the truths that are in the memory and that enter the thought from the memory the understanding must teach the will, that is, must teach the man what to do. This, therefore, is the principal means of reformation. When truths are only in the understanding and from it in the memory, they are not in the man, but outside of him.
 Man’s memory may be compared to the ruminatory stomach of certain animals in which they deposit their food; and so long as it is there it is not in but outside of their body; but as they bring it up from this stomach and consume it, it becomes part of their life and the body is nourished. Now in man’s memory the food is not material but spiritual, namely, truths, which in them selves are knowledges; and in the degree that man draws these from the memory by thinking, a process akin to ruminating, his spiritual mind is nourished. The will’s love has a longing, an appetite as it were, for these truths and causes them to be drawn out and serve as nourishment. If that love is evil it has this longing or appetite for unclean things; but if the love is good it has this longing or appetite for clean things, and what is not suitable it separates, removes and casts out; and this is done in various ways.
 Fifth: The Lord, however, by His Divine Providence takes the greatest care that the will may not receive these from the understanding sooner or in a greater measure than man as of himself removes evil in the external man. For what is received by the will enters into the man and is appropriated by him and becomes part of his life; and in the life itself which man has from the will, evil and good cannot exist together, for in this case he would perish. The two, however, may be in the understanding and are there called falsities of evil and truths of good, yet they are not mingled; otherwise man would not be able to distinguish evil from good and to recognise good from evil; but they are distinguished there and separated like the inner and outer apartments of a house. When a wicked man thinks and says what is good he thinks and speaks exteriorly, but interiorly when he thinks and says what is evil; therefore, when he says what is good his speech comes, as it were, from an inner all of a house. It may be likened to fruit that is fair on the outside, but worm-eaten and rotten within, and to a dragon’s egg, regarded from the shell only.
 Sixth: If the will should receive them sooner or in greater measure it would then adulterate the good and the understanding would falsify the truth by mingling them with evils and falsities. When the will is in evil it adulterates good in the understanding; and good adulterated in the understanding is evil in the will, for it proves that evil is good and that good is evil. Evil acts thus with all good, which is opposite to itself. Evil also falsifies truth, for the truth of good is opposite to the falsity of evil; and this is done in the understanding by the will but not by the understanding from itself. In the Word adulterations of good are described by adulteries and falsifications of truth by whoredoms. These adulterations and falsifications are effected by reasonings from the natural man, which is in evil, and also by confirmations from the appearances of the sense of the Letter of the Word.
 The love of self, which is the head of all evils, surpasses other loves in its ability to adulterate goods and falsify truths; and it does this by the misuse of the rationality which every man, wicked as well as good, has from the Lord. It can indeed by confirmations make evil to appear exactly like good and falsity like truth. There is nothing it cannot do when it can prove by a thousand arguments that nature first created itself and then created men, beasts and plants of every kind; and also that by influx from its inner self nature causes men to live, to think analytically and to understand wisely. Self-love excels in its ability to prove whatever it desires because outwardly it presents the appearance of a certain splendour, flashing beams of variously coloured light. This splendour is the glory of being wise which pertains to that love, and thus also of being eminent and dominant.
 However, when self-love has proved such things it then becomes so blind as only to see that man is a beast and that man and beast think by a similar process; indeed, that if a beast could also speak it would be a man in another form. If it were induced by some sort of persuasion to believe that something of man lives after death, it is then so blind as to believe that the beast also lives after death; and that this something that lives after death is only a subtle exhalation of life, like a vapour, which constantly sinks back to its own corpse; or that it is something vital without sight, hearing and speech, and thus is blind, deaf and dumb, hovering about and thinking; entertaining besides many other insane ideas with which nature, although in itself dead, inspires this phantasm created by self-love. Such is the effect of self-love, which viewed in itself is the love of the proprium; and man’s proprium in respect of its affections, which are all natural, is not unlike the life of a beast; while in respect to its perceptions, because they spring from these affections, it is not unlike a bird of night. Therefore, he who continually immerses his thoughts in his proprium cannot be raised out of natural into spiritual light and see anything of God, of heaven and of eternal life. Since this love is of such a nature, and yet excels in its ability to confirm what it pleases, it has a like ability to adulterate the goods of the Word and to falsify its truths, even while it is constrained by a form of necessity to confess them.
 Seventh: Therefore the Lord admits man interiorly into the truths of wisdom and into the goods of love only so far as he can be kept in them right on to the end of his life. The Lord does this in order that man may not fall into that most grievous kind of profanation of what is holy which has been treated of in this chapter. On account of this danger also the Lord permits evils of life and many heresies in worship; and concerning the permission of these things something will be seen in the sections that follow.