Jesus Lives! - The Lord God
Jesus Christ: Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer of Heaven and Earth
DLW 264-270, 425); and also above (n. 43, 44). As many doubts, however, may arise concerning both these faculties when they are made subjects of thought, I will at the outset merely present some observations on freedom of acting according to reason in man.
 First, however, it should be known that all freedom is of love, insomuch that love and freedom are one; and as love is the life of man, freedom also is of his life. For every delight that a man has is from his love, nor can delight come from any other source; and to act from the delight of love is to act from freedom, for a man is led by delight as something that is borne along by the current of a river. Now, since there are many kinds of loves, some in harmony and others discordant, it follows that there are likewise many kinds of freedom; but in general there are three, natural, rational and spiritual.
 Natural freedom every man has from inheritance. From it man loves nothing but self and the world: his first love is nothing else. Since all evils exist from these two loves, and hence also become evils of love, it follows that to think and to will evils is man’s natural freedom; and that when he has confirmed evils in himself by reasonings he does evils from freedom in accordance with his reason. To act thus is from his faculty called liberty, and to confirm the evils is from his faculty called rationality.
 A man’s desire, for example, to commit adultery, to defraud, to blaspheme, to take revenge, is from the love into which he is born; and when he confirms these evils in himself and thereby makes them allowable, then from delight in the love of them he thinks and wills them freely as it were in accordance with his reason, and so far as civil laws do not restrain, he speaks and acts accordingly. It is from the Divine Providence of the Lord that man is permitted to do so, because he has freedom or liberty. Man is in this freedom by nature, because from inheritance, and in this freedom are those who by reasonings have confirmed it in themselves from the delight of self-love and the love of the world.
 Rational freedom is from the love of reputation for the sake of honour and gain. The delight of this love is to appear externally as a moral man; and because such a one loves this reputation, he does not defraud, commit adultery, take revenge, or blaspheme; and because he makes his conduct a matter of reason, he also from freedom according to his reason acts in sincere, chaste and friendly ways; indeed, he can from reason speak well of such conduct. But if his rational is merely natural, and not at the same time spiritual, this freedom is only external and not internal freedom; for he does not in the least interiorly love such good, but only outwardly for the sake of reputation, as has been said; and for this reason the good deeds that he does are not in themselves good. Still, he can say that such things ought to be done for the public welfare; but this he says not from any love of the public welfare, but from the love of his own honour or gain. His freedom, therefore, derives nothing from a love of the public welfare, nor does his reason derive anything, for it harmonises with his love. Consequently this rational freedom is merely a more interior natural freedom; and this freedom also by the Divine Providence of the Lord remains with every man.
 Spiritual freedom is from the love of eternal life. Into this love and its delight no one comes but the man who thinks that evils are sins, and consequently does not will them, and at the same time looks to the Lord. As soon as a man does so, he is in this freedom; for no one has the power not to will evils because they are sins and so to refrain from doing them, unless from a more interior or higher freedom which is from a more interior or higher love. At first this freedom does not appear to be freedom, and yet it is; and later it does so appear, when the man acts from freedom itself according to reason itself, in thinking, willing, speaking and doing what is good and true. This freedom increases as natural freedom decreases and becomes subservient; and it conjoins itself with rational freedom which it purifies.
 Everyone may come into this freedom provided he is willing to think that there is an eternal life, and that the temporary delight and bliss of a life in time are but as a fleeting shadow compared with the never-ending delight and bliss of a life in eternity. This a man can think if he wishes, because he has rationality and liberty, and because the Lord, from whom these two faculties are derived, continually gives him the ability to do so.
 Every affection has its own companion, a married partner as it were. An affection of natural love has knowledge, an affection of spiritual love, understanding, and an affection of celestial love, wisdom. For an affection without its companion as a married partner has no reality; it is as being (esse) without existing (existere), and as substance without form, of which nothing can be predicated. Hence it is, that in every created thing there is something that is referable to the marriage of good and truth, as has been shown above in many places. In beasts there is a marriage of affection and knowledge, the affection in them pertaining to natural good and the knowledge to natural truth.
 Now since affection and knowledge in beasts act completely as one, and their affection cannot be raised above their knowledge, and their knowledge not above their affection, but when raised they are both elevated together; and since they have no spiritual mind into which, or into the light and heat of which, they can be raised, therefore they have not the faculty of understanding or rationality, nor the faculty of willing freely or liberty; they have merely natural affection with its knowledge. The natural affection which they have is that of supplying themselves with food and shelter, of propagating their kind, of fleeing from and avoiding injury, together with all the knowledge which this affection requires. Such being the state of their life they cannot think, "I wish this or I do not; I know this or I do not"; and still less, "I understand this, and I love this"; but from their affection by means of their knowledge they are borne along without rationality and without liberty. That they are so borne along is not from the natural but from the spiritual world; because it is not possible for anything to exist in the natural world out of connection with the spiritual world, for every cause that produces an effect is from the spiritual world. Something on this subject may also be seen below (n. 96).
 By means of these two faculties man can reflect within himself upon those things that he perceives outside of himself by means of his bodily senses; and he can also reflect on a higher level upon what he thinks on a lower. For everyone can say, I have thought this, and I think this"; also, "I have willed this, and I will this"; and again, "I understand this because it is so; I love this because it is of such a kind"; and so on. Hence it is clear that man thinks above thought, seeing it as if it were beneath him. This power he derives from rationality and liberty- from rationality that he can reflect on a higher level, and from liberty that from affection he wills so to think, for if he had not the liberty so to think he would not have the will, nor the thought which is thence derived.
 For this reason those who do not wish to understand anything except what pertains to the world and its nature, or to understand what moral and spiritual good and truth are, cannot be raised from knowledge into understanding, still less into wisdom. For they have closed up the two faculties, rationality and liberty, thereby making themselves to be men only in this respect that they have the capacity to understand if they will, and also to will, from the rationality and liberty implanted in them. From these two faculties man is able to think, and to speak from thought. For the rest, men are not men but beasts; and some from the abuse of these faculties are worse than beasts.
 From this it may be clearly evident that, although everything that a man perceives and thence thinks and knows, and wills and does in accordance with the perception, flows into him, still it is of the Divine Providence of the Lord that it should appear to be his own; for, as has been said, man would otherwise receive nothing, and therefore could not be gifted with any understanding and wisdom. It is well known that everything that is good and true is not man’s but the Lord’s, and yet that it appears to man to be his own; and because everything that is good and true so appears, even all things of the Church and of heaven, consequently all things of love and wisdom, and also of charity and faith, so appear, and yet nothing of these is man’s. No one can receive them from the Lord unless it appears to him that he perceives these things as if from himself. From these considerations the truth (veritas) on this matter may be evident, namely, that whatever a man does from freedom, whether it be of reason or not, provided it be according to his reason, appears to him to be his own.
 In view of these considerations a man from his faculty called rationality is able to form conclusions regarding the goods which are useful to society in the spiritual world, and regarding the evils which are harmful there, if in place of evils he understands sins, and in place of goods, the works of charity. This also a man is able to make a matter of his reason, if he be so disposed, since he has rationality and liberty; and so far as he shuns these evils as sins, his rationality and liberty are uncovered and become apparent; they assume control of his affairs and grant him perception and power; and so far as he acts thus, he regards the good works of charity as a neighbour regards the neighbour, from mutual love.
 Now because the Lord, for the sake of reception and conjunction, wills that whatever a man does freely according to reason should appear to him to be his own, and as this is in accordance with reason itself, it follows that man can will to act thus from reason, because it constitutes his eternal happiness; and that he can do so from the Divine power of the Lord when this is invoked.
 Moreover, man can act from freedom contrary to reason, and he can also act according to reason and not from freedom; but such acts are not appropriated to the man, being only the acts of his lips and of his body, and not of his spirit or heart; but the acts of his spirit and heart, when they also become the acts of his lips and of his body, are appropriated to him. That this is so could be shown by many illustrations; but this is not the place for them.
 By being appropriated to man is meant to enter his life and become part of it, consequently to become his own. However, it will be seen in what follows that there is nothing that is man’s own: it merely seems as if it were. Here it needs only to be said that all the good which a man does from freedom according to reason is appropriated to him as his own, because in thinking, willing, speaking and doing it appears to him to be his own; and yet, the good is not man’s but belongs to the Lord in him, as may be seen above (n. 76). But how evil is appropriated to man will be seen in the proper article.
 For instance, if a man in his boyhood and youth has appropriated to himself a certain evil by doing it from the delight of his love, such as fraud, blasphemy, revenge or adultery; and if he has committed those evils from freedom according to thought, he has indeed appropriated them to himself; but if he afterwards repents, shuns them and regards them as sins that are to be abhorred, and so from freedom according to reason desists from them, then there are appropriated to him the good principles to which those evils are opposed. These good principles then constitute the centre, and they remove the evils towards the circumference further and further as he abhors and turns away from them. Still, however, they cannot be so expelled that they can be said to be extirpated, although by their removal they may appear to be extirpated. This results from man being withheld from evil and being held in good by the Lord. All man’s hereditary evil as well as his actual evil may be treated in this way.
 Moreover, I have seen this proved by experience with some in heaven, who thought they were free from evil because they were held in good by the Lord; but lest they should believe that the good in which they were was their own, they were sent down from heaven and again let into their evils, until they acknowledged that they were in evils from themselves but in good from the Lord. After this acknowledgment they were led back to heaven.
 It should be known, therefore, that such good is appropriated to man only in the sense that it is always the Lord’s in man; and that so far as man acknowledges this the Lord grants that the good may appear to man to be his own; that is, that it may appear to man that he loves the neighbour or has charity as from himself, that he believes or has faith as from himself that he does good and understands truth, and thus is wise, as from himself. From these considerations one who is enlightened may see the nature and the strength of the appearance in which the Lord wills that man should be; and the Lord wills this for the sake of his salvation; for without this appearance no one can be saved. On this subject see also what has been shown above (n. 42-45).
Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which goeth out of the heart through the mouth defileth the man. (Matt. 15:11, 17, 18, 19).
By "the mouth" in the spiritual sense is meant thought, because thought speaks by means of the mouth; and by "the heart" in that sense is meant affection which is of love. If a man thinks and speaks from this affection, he then defiles himself. Again, in (Luke 6:45), by "the heart" is meant affection which is of the love or will, and by "the mouth", thought which is of the understanding.
Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3, 5, 7).
Very few, however, know what it is to be born again or regenerated, because it has not been known what love and charity are, nor consequently what faith is. For one who does not know what love and charity are cannot know what faith is, since charity and faith make one, like good and truth, and like affection which belongs to the will and thought which belongs to the understanding. Concerning this union see (DLW 427-431); also (HD13-24); and also above (n. 3-20).
 Man’s first state, which is a state of condemnation, everyone has by inheritance from his parents; for man is thereby born into the love of self and the love of the world, and from these as wellsprings, into evils of every kind. He is led by the delights of these loves, and these delights prevent him from knowing that he is in evils, for every delight of love is felt as good. Therefore, unless a man is regenerated, he knows no other than that to love himself and the world above all things is goodness itself; and that to rule over all, and to possess the wealth of all others, is the highest good. Moreover, this is the source of all evil; for a man regards no one but himself from love; and if he regards another from love, it is as a devil regards a devil, and as a thief regards a thief, when they act in common.
 Those who confirm in themselves these loves and the evils which flow from them, from the delight they have in them, remain natural and become sensually corporeal, and in their own thought, which is the thought of their spirit, they are insane (spiritually); still they are able, while in the world, to speak and to act rationally and wisely, because they are men, and therefore have rationality and liberty; but even this they do from the love of self and the world. When these men after death become spirits, they cannot have any other delight than that which they had in spirit while in the world; and that is the delight of infernal love, which turns to what is unpleasant, painful and direful, meant in the Word by torment and hell-fire. Hence it is clear that man’s first state is a state of condemnation, and that they are in it who do not suffer themselves to be regenerated.
 Man’s second state, which is a state of reformation, is that in which he begins to think about heaven on account of the joy there; and thus concerning God from whom the joy of heaven comes to him. At first such thoughts spring from the delight of self-love; for to him this delight is heavenly joy. But as long as the delight of this love reigns, together with the delight of the evils flowing from it, he cannot but understand that to go to heaven is to pour out prayers, listen to preachings, take part in the Holy Supper, give to the poor, help the needy, spend money on churches, make contributions to hospitals, and so on. A man in this state has no other idea than that he is saved merely by thinking about those things which religion teaches, whether it be about what is called faith, or about what is called faith and charity. He has no other idea than that he is saved merely by having those thoughts, because he gives no heed to the evils in which he takes delight; and as long as their delight remains, the evils also remain. The delights of evil spring from their lust, which continually breathes them forth and also brings them into being when no fear restrains.
 As long as evils remain in the lusts and consequently in the delights of their love, there is no faith, charity, piety, or worship, except in externals only, which to the world seem real, and yet are not. They may be compared to water issuing from an impure fountain, which no one can drink. As long as man is such that he thinks about heaven and about God from a principle of religion and not at all about evils as sins, he is still in the first state; but he comes into the second state, the state of reformation, when he begins to think that there is such a thing as sin; and still more when he thinks that this or that is a sin, and spends some little time in examining it in himself, and does not will it.
 Man’s third state, which is a state of regeneration, follows upon and is a continuation of the former state. It begins when man desists from evils as sins, and it progresses as he shuns them, and it is perfected as he fights against them; and then, as he from the Lord conquers them, he is regenerated. With one who is regenerated the order of life is changed. From being natural he becomes spiritual; for when the natural is separated from the spiritual it is contrary to order, and the spiritual is according to order. Therefore the regenerate man acts from charity, and makes what belongs to his charity belong also to his faith. Yet he becomes spiritual only so far as he is in truths, for every man is regenerated by means of truths and a life according to them; because by means of truths he knows the life, and by means of the life he performs the truths. He thus unites good and truth, and this is the spiritual marriage in which is heaven.
 From these considerations it is clear that these two faculties called rationality and liberty are from the Lord and not from man; and because they are from the Lord, it follows that man wills and understands nothing whatever from himself, but only as if it were from himself. That this is so anyone may convince himself who knows and believes that the willing of every good and the understanding of every truth are from the Lord and not from man. The Word teaches in (John 3:27; 15:5), that A man cannot receive anything from himself, and cannot do anything from himself.
 In the spiritual world where spaces are nothing but appearances, wisdom causes presence and love causes conjunction, each acting in turn. There is an acknowledgment of the Lord from wisdom, and there is an acknowledgment of the Lord from love. Acknowledgment of the Lord from wisdom, which regarded in itself is merely a matter of knowledge, results from doctrine; while acknowledgment of the Lord from love results from a life according to doctrine. This causes conjunction, but the other causes presence. The reason is that those who reject doctrine concerning the Lord remove themselves from Him; while those who reject life but not doctrine are present, yet separated. They are like friends who converse together, but who have no love for one another; and they are like two persons, one of whom speaks to the other as a friend but hates him as an enemy.
 That this is so is well known from the common idea that he who teaches well and lives well is saved, but not he who teaches well and lives wickedly; and also that he who does not acknowledge God cannot be saved. From these considerations it is clear what the nature of that religion is that merely thinks about the Lord from faith, as it is called, but does not do anything from charity. Therefore the Lord says:
Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, is like a man which built an house, and laid the foundation on a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth. (Luke 6:46-49).
Abide in me, and I in you.... He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit. (John 15:4, 5).
At that day ye shall know that ye are in me, and I in you. (John 14:20).
 Anyone may see from reason alone that there is no conjunction of minds (animus) unless it is also reciprocal, and that what is reciprocal conjoins. If anyone loves another, and is not loved in return, then as he approaches the other withdraws; but if he is loved in return, then as he approaches the other also approaches, and conjunction takes place. Moreover, love wills to be loved: this is inherent in it; and so far as love is loved in return it is in itself and in its own delight. From this it is clear that if the Lord only loves man, and if He were not to be loved in turn by man, the Lord would approach and man would withdraw. Thus the Lord would continually will to draw near to man and to enter into him, while man would turn his back and depart. This is the case with those who are in hell; but with those who are in heaven there is mutual conjunction.
 As the Lord wills conjunction with man for the sake of his salvation, He also provides that there shall be in man a reciprocal principle, by which the good he wills and does from freedom, and the truth which, from that willing, he thinks and speaks according to reason, shall appear as if from himself; and that such good in his will and such truth in his understanding shall appear as his own. Indeed, they appear to man as if from himself and as his own just as if they were his own, with no difference whatever. Consider whether a man by any of his senses perceives otherwise. Concerning this appearance as if from oneself, see above (n. 74-77); and concerning appropriation as one’s own (n. 78-81). The only difference is, that man ought to acknowledge that he does good and thinks truth not from himself but from the Lord, and consequently that the good he does and the truth he thinks are not his own. To think in this way, because it is the truth, from some degree of love in the will, effects conjunction; for thus man looks to the Lord, and the Lord looks to man.
 Without these two faculties man would not have will and understanding, and thus he would not be man. For man has will from no other source than from being able to will freely as from himself; and to will freely as from himself is from the faculty continually given him by the Lord which is called liberty; and man has understanding from no other source than from being able to understand as from himself whether a thing is in harmony with reason or not; and to understand whether a thing is in harmony with reason or not is from the other faculty continually given him by the Lord which is called rationality.
 These faculties unite together in man, like the will and the understanding; and obviously because a man can will, he can also understand. For willing is not possible without understanding: understanding is its married partner or companion without which it cannot exist; and therefore together with the faculty called liberty the faculty called rationality is given. Moreover, if you take away willing from understanding you understand nothing; and as far as you will, so far you can understand, provided there are present, and at the same time opened, the aids called knowledges, for these are like tools to the workman. It is said, as far as you will, so far you can understand, that is, as far as you love to understand, for the will and the love act as one. This, indeed, appears as absurd; but it appears so to those who do not love and therefore do not wish to understand; and those who do not wish to understand say that they cannot. It will be shown, however, in a subsequent article who they are who cannot understand and who they are who can understand with difficulty.
 It needs no proof to show that unless man had will from the faculty called liberty, and understanding from the faculty called rationality, he would not be man. Beasts do not have these faculties. It appears as if beasts also were able to will and to understand; but they cannot. Natural affection, in itself desire, with its companion knowledge, alone leads and moves beasts to do what they do. There is indeed something of the civil and moral in their knowledge; but this is not on a higher plane than their knowledge, for they have not the spiritual which gives the capacity to perceive the moral and consequently to think analytically about it. They can indeed be taught to do something, but only something natural that adds itself to their knowledge and at the same time to their affection, and is reproduced either through the sight or the hearing; but in no wise does it become a matter of thought, still less of reason in them. But something concerning this may be seen above (n. 74).
 Without these two faculties man could not have been conjoined to the Lord, and thus could not have been reform and regenerated. This has been shown above. For the Lord abides with men, with the evil as well as with the good, in these two faculties, and by means of them He conjoins Himself to every man. It is from this that an evil man as well as a good man can understand, and consequently he has in potency the will of good and the understanding of truth; that he does not have them in actuality is owing to his abuse of these faculties. The Lord abides with every man in these faculties from the influx of His will, in that He wills to be received by man, to have His abode with him and to give him the felicities of eternal life. These things are of the Lord’s will, for they are of the Divine Love itself. It is this will of the Lord that causes the appearance in man that what he thinks, speaks, wills and does is his own.
 It may be confirmed by many illustrations from the spiritual world that the influx of the Lord’s will produces this result. For sometimes the Lord so fills an angel with His Divine that the angel does not know that he is not the Lord. The angels seen by Abraham, Hagar and Gideon were so filled, and therefore they called themselves Jehovah, as recorded in the Word. Again, one spirit can be so filled by another as not to know but that he is the other; and this I have often seen. Moreover, it is well known in heaven that the Lord does all things by willing, and that whatever He wills is done. Hence it is clear that these two faculties are the means by which the Lord conjoins Himself to man and causes man to be reciprocally conjoined to Him. But how man is reciprocally conjoined by means of these faculties and how he is consequently reformed and regenerated by means of them, has been stated above, and more will be said on this matter later.
 Without these two faculties man would not have immortality and eternal life. This follows from what has just been said, that by means of them there is conjunction with the Lord and also reformation and regeneration: by conjunction man has immortality and by reformation and regeneration he has eternal life. Since by means of these faculties there is conjunction of the Lord with every man, with the evil as well as with the good, as has been said, therefore every man has immortality. But eternal life, that is, the life of heaven, is given to that man in whom there is reciprocal conjunction ranging from inmost things to ultimates. From these considerations may be evident the reasons why the Lord preserves these two faculties in man unimpaired and as sacred in every step of His Divine Providence.
 Liberty itself and rationality itself cannot be given to those who are born foolish, or to those who have later become foolish, as long as they remain so. They cannot be given to those born stupid and dull, or to any who have become so from the torpor of idleness, or from disease that has perverted or completely closed the interiors of the mind, or from the love of a bestial life.
 Liberty itself and rationality itself cannot be given to those in the Christian world who totally deny the Divinity of the Lord and the sanctity of the Word, and who have confirmed this denial in themselves and maintained it to the end of their life. For this is meant by the sin against the Holy Spirit which is not forgiven either in this world or in the world to come, (Matt. 12:31, 32).
 Neither can liberty itself and rationality itself be given to those who attribute all things to nature and nothing to the Divine, and who have made this part of their faith by reasoning from visible things; for these are atheists.
 Liberty itself and rationality itself can with difficulty be given to those who have strongly confirmed themselves in falsities of religion, for a confirmer of falsity is a denier of truth; but they can be given to those who, whatever the form of their religion may be, have not so confirmed themselves. On this matter see what has been presented in THE DOCTRINE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CONCERNING THE SACRED SCRIPTURE (Sacred 91-97).
 Infants and children cannot attain to liberty itself and rationality itself before they reach the age of maturity; for in man the interiors of the mind are opened gradually; and in the meantime they are lid seeds in unripe fruit, that cannot sprout in the soil.