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The Delights of Wisdom Pertaining to Conjugial Love; To Which is Added The Pleasures of Insanity Pertaining To Scortatory Love Emanuel Swedenborg

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The Delights of Wisdom Pertaining to Conjugial Love; To Which is Added The Pleasures of Insanity Pertaining To Scortatory Love

by Emanuel Swedenborg

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On The Conjunction Of Conjugial Love With The Love Of Infants

385. There are evident signs that conjugial love and the love of infants, which is called storge, are connected; and there are also signs which may induce a belief that they are not connected; for there is the love of infants with married partners who tenderly love each other, and also with married partners who disagree entirely, and likewise with those who are separated from each other, and in some cases it is more tender and stronger with the latter than the former; but that still the love of infants is always connected with conjugial love, may appear from the origin from which it flows in; for although this origin varies with the recipients, still those loves remain inseparable, just as the first end in the last, which is the effect. The first end of conjugial love is the procreation of offspring, and the last, or the effect, is the offspring procreated. That the first end enters into the effect, and is therein as in its origin, and does not withdraw from it, may be seen from a rational view of the orderly progression of ends and causes to effects. But as the reasonings of the generality commence merely from effects, and from them proceed to some consequences thence resulting, and do not commence from causes, and from them proceed analytically to effects, and so forth; therefore the rational principles of light must needs become the obscure principles of cloud; whence come derivations from truth, arising from appearances and fallacies. But that it may be seen that conjugial love and the love of infants are interiorly connected, although exteriorly disjointed, we will proceed to demonstrate it in the following order. I. Two universal spheres proceed from the Lord to preserve the universe in its created State; of which the one is the sphere of procreating, and the other the sphere of protecting the things procreated. II. These two universal spheres make a one with the sphere of conjugial love and the sphere of the love of infants. III. These two spheres universally and singularly flow into all things of heaven, and all things of the world from first to last. IV. The sphere of the love of infants is a sphere of protection and support of those who cannot protect and support themselves. V. This sphere affects both the evil and the good, and disposes every one to love, protect, and support his offspring from his own love. VI. This sphere principally affects the female sex, thus mothers, and the male sex, or fathers, by derivation from them. VII. This sphere is also a sphere of innocence and peace from the Lord. VIII. The sphere of innocence flows into infants, and through them into the parents, and affects them. IX, It also flows into the souls of the parents, and unites with the same sphere (as operative) with the infants; and it is principally insinuated by means of the touch. X. In the degree in which innocence retires from infants, affection and conjunction also abate, and this successively even to separation. XI. A state of rational innocence and peace with parents towards infants is grounded on the circumstance, that they know nothing and can do nothing from themselves, but from others, especially from the father and mother; and that this state also successively retires, in proportion as they know and have ability from themselves, and not from others. XII. The above sphere advances in order from the end through causes into effects and makes periods; whereby creation is preserved in the state foreseen and provided for. XIII. The love of infants descends and does not ascend. XIV. Wives have one state of love before conception and another after, even to the birth. XV. With parents conjugial love is conjoined with the love of infants by spiritual causes, and thence by natural. XVI. The love of infants and children is different with spiritual married partners from what it is with natural. XVII. With spiritual married partners that love is from what is interior or prior, but with natural from what is exterior or posterior. XVIII. In consequence hereof that love prevails with married partners who mutually love each other, and also with those who do not at all love each other. XIX. The love of infants remains after death, especially with women. XX. Infants are educated under the Lord's auspices by such women, and grow in stature and intelligence as in the world. XXI. It is there provided by the Lord, that with those infants the innocence of infancy becomes the innocence of wisdom, and thus the infants become angels. We now proceed to an explanation of each article.

386. I. TWO UNIVERSAL SPHERES PROCEED FROM THE LORD TO PRESERVE THE UNIVERSE IN ITS CREATED STATE; OF WHICH THE ONE IS THE SPHERE OF PROCREATING AND THE OTHER THE SPHERE OF PROTECTING THE THINGS PROCREATED. The divine which proceeds from the Lord is called a sphere, because it goes forth from him, surrounds him, fills both the spiritual and the natural world, and produces the effects of the ends which the Lord predestinated in creation, and provides since creation. All that which flows from a subject, and surrounds and environs it, is named a sphere; as in the case of the sphere of light from the sun around it, of the sphere of life from man around him, of the sphere of odor from a plant around it, of the sphere of attraction from the magnet around it, and so forth: but the universal spheres of which we are here treating, are from the Lord around him; and they proceed from the sun of the spiritual world, in the midst of which he is. From the Lord by means of that sun, proceeds a sphere of heat and light, or what is the same, a sphere of love and wisdom, to produce ends, which are uses; but that sphere according to uses, is distinguished by various names: the divine sphere which looks to the preservation of the universe in its created state by successive generations, is called the sphere of procreating; and the divine sphere which looks to the preservation of generations in their beginnings, and afterwards in their progressions, is called the sphere of protecting the things procreated: besides these two, there are several other divine spheres which are named according to their uses, consequently variously, as may be seen above, n. 222. The operations of uses by these spheres are the divine providence.

387. II. THESE TWO UNIVERSAL SPHERES MAKE A ONE WITH THE SPHERE OF CONJUGIAL LOVE AND THE SPHERE OF THE LOVE OF INFANTS. That the sphere of conjugial love makes a one with the sphere of procreating, is evident; for procreation is the end, and conjugial love the mediate cause by which (the end is promoted), and the end and the cause in what is to be effected and in effects, act in unity, because they act together. That the sphere of the love of infants makes a one with the sphere of protecting the things procreated, is also evident, because it is the end proceeding from the foregoing end, which was procreation, and the love of infants is its mediate cause by which it is promoted: for ends advance in a series, one after another, and in their progress the last end becomes the first, and thereby advances further, even to the boundary, in which they subsist or cease. But on this subject more will be seen in the explanation of article XII.

388. III. THESE TWO SPHERES UNIVERSALLY AND SINGULARLY FLOW INTO ALL THINGS OF HEAVEN AND ALL THINGS OF THE WORLD, FROM FIRST TO LAST. It is said universally and singularly, because when mention is made of a universal, the singulars of which it is composed are meant at the same time; for a universal exists from and consists of singulars; thus it takes its name from them, as a whole exists from, consists of, and takes its name from its parts; therefore, if you take away singulars, a universal is only a name, and is like a mere surface which contains nothing: consequently to attribute to God universal government, and to take away singulars, is vain talk and empty preaching: nor is it to the purpose, in this case, to urge a comparison with the universal government of the kings of the earth. From this ground then it is said, that those two spheres flow in universally and singularly.

389. The reason why the spheres of procreating and of protecting the things procreated, or the spheres of conjugial love and the love of infants, flow into all thing of heaven and all things of the world, from first (principles) to last, is because all things which proceed from the Lord, or from the sun which is from him and in which he is, pervade the created universe even to the last of all its principles: the reason of this is, because divine things, which in progression are called celestial and spiritual, have no relation to space and time. That extension cannot be predicated of things spiritual, in consequence of their not having any relation to space and time, is well known: hence whatever proceeds from the Lord, is in an instant from first (principles) in last. That the sphere of conjugial love is thus universal may be seen above, n. 222-225. That in like manner the sphere of the love of infants is universal, is evident from that love's prevailing in heaven, where there are infants from the earths; and from that love's prevailing in the world with men, beasts and birds, serpents and insects. Something resembling this love prevails also in the vegetable and mineral kingdoms; in the vegetable, in that seeds are guarded by shells or husks as by swaddling clothes, and moreover are in the fruit as in a house, and are nourished with juice as with milk; that there is something similar in minerals, is plain from the matrixes and external covering, in which noble gems and metals are concealed and guarded.

390. The reason why the sphere of procreating, and the sphere of protecting the things procreated, make a one in a continual series, is, because the love of procreating is continued into the love of what is procreated. The quality of the love of procreating is known from its delight, which is supereminent and transcendent. This love influences the state of procreating with men, and in a remarkable manner the state of reception with women; and this very exalted delight with its love continues even to the birth, and there attains its fulness.

391. IV. THE SPHERE OF THE LOVE OF INFANTS IS A SPHERE OF PROTECTION AND SUPPORT OF THOSE WHO CANNOT PROTECT AND SUPPORT THEMSELVES. That the operations of uses from the Lord by spheres proceeding from him, are the divine providence, was said above, n. 386; this divine providence therefore is meant by the sphere of protection and support of those who cannot protect and support themselves: for it is a law of creation that the things created are to be preserved, guarded, protected, and supported; otherwise the universe would fall to decay: but as this cannot be done immediately from the Lord with living creatures, who are left to their own choice, it is done mediately by his love implanted in fathers, mothers, and nurses. That their love is from the Lord influencing them, is not known to themselves, because they do not perceive the influx, and still less the Lord's omnipresence: but who does not see, that this principle is not of nature, but of the divine providence operating in and by nature; and that such a universal principle cannot exist except from God, by a certain spiritual sun, which is in the centre of the universe, and whose operation, being without space and time, is instant and present from first principles in last? But in what manner that divine operation, which is the Lord's divine providence, is received by animate subjects, will be shewn in what follows. That mothers and fathers protect and support infants, because they cannot protect and support themselves, is not the cause of that love, but is a rational cause derived from that love's falling into the understanding; for a man, from this cause alone, without love inspired and inspiring it, or without law and punishment compelling him, would no more than a statue provide for infants.

392. V. THIS SPHERE AFFECTS BOTH THE EVIL AND THE GOOD, AND DISPOSES EVERY ONE TO LOVE, PROTECT, AND SUPPORT HIS OFFSPRING FROM HIS OWN LOVE. Experience testifies that the love of infants prevails equally with the evil and the good, and in like manner with tame and wild beasts; yea, that in some cases it is stronger and more ardent in its influence on evil men, and also on wild beasts. The reason of this is, because all love proceeding from the Lord and flowing into subjects, is changed in the subject into the love of its life; for every animate subject has no other sensation than that its love originates in itself, as it does not perceive the influx; and while also it actually loves itself, it makes the love of infants proper to itself; for it sees as it were itself in them, and them in itself, and itself thus united with them. Hence also this love is fiercer with wild beasts, as with lions and lionesses, he and she bears, leopards and leopardesses, he and she wolves, and others of a like nature, than with horses, deer, goats, and sheep; because those wild beasts have dominion over the tame, and hence self-love is predominant, and this loves itself in its offspring; therefore as we said, the influent love is turned into self-love. Such an inversion of the influent love into self-love, and the consequent protection and support of the young offspring by evil parents, is of the Lord's divine providence; for otherwise there would remain but few of the human race, and none of the savage beasts, which, nevertheless, are of use. From these considerations it is evident, that every one is disposed to love, protect, and support his offspring, from his own love.

393. VI. THIS SPHERE PRINCIPALLY AFFECTS THE FEMALE SEX, THUS MOTHERS AND THE MALE SEX, OR FATHERS, BY DERIVATION FROM THEM. This follows from what was said above, in regard to the origin of conjugial love, -- that the sphere of conjugial love is received by the women, and through them is transferred to the men: because women are born loves of the understanding of the men, and the understanding is a recipient. The case is the same with the love of infants, because this originates in conjugial love. It is well known that mothers are influenced by a most tender love of infants, and fathers by a love less tender. That the love of infants is inherent in conjugial love, into which women are born, is evident from the amiable and endearing love of girls towards infants, and towards their dolls, which they carry, dress, kiss, and press to their bosoms: boys are not influenced by any such affection. It appears as if mothers derived the love of infants from nourishing them in the womb out of their own blood, and from the consequent appropriation of their life, and thus from sympathetic union: but still this is not the origin of that love; for if another infant, without the mother's knowledge, were to be put after the birth in the place of the genuine infant, the mother would love it with equal tenderness as if it were her own: moreover infants are sometimes loved by their nurses more than by their mothers. From these considerations it follows, that this love is from no other source than from the conjugial love implanted in every woman, to which is joined the love of conceiving; from the delight of which the wife is prepared for reception. This is the first of the above love, which with its delight after the birth passes fully to the offspring.

394. VII. THIS SPHERE IS ALSO A SPHERE OF INNOCENCE AND PEACE (FROM THE LORD). Innocence and peace are the two inmost principles of heaven; they are called inmost principles, because they proceed immediately from the Lord: for the Lord is innocence itself and peace itself. From innocence the Lord is called a Lamb, and from peace he saith, "Peace I leave you; my peace I give you," John xiv. 27; and he is also meant by the peace with which the disciples were to salute a city or house which they entered; and of which it is said, that if it was worthy, peace would come upon it, and if not worthy, peace would return, Matt. x. 11-15. Hence also the Lord is called the Prince of peace, Isaiah ix. 5, 6. A further reason why innocence and peace are the inmost principles of heaven, is, because innocence is the esse of every good, and peace is the blessed principle of every delight which is of good. See the work on HEAVEN AND HELL, as to the state of innocence of the angels of heaven, n. 276-283; and as to peace in heaven, n. 284-290.

395. VIII. THE SPHERE OF INNOCENCE FLOWS INTO INFANTS, AND THROUGH THEM INTO THE PARENTS, AND AFFECTS THEM. It is well known that infants are innocences; but it is not known that their innocence flows in from the Lord. It flows in from the Lord, because, as was said just above, he is innocence itself; neither can any thing flow in, since it cannot exist except from its first principle, which is IT itself. But we will briefly describe the nature and quality of the innocence of infants, which affects parents: it shines forth from their face, from some of their gestures, and from their first speech, and affects them. They have innocence, because they do not think from any interior principle; for they do not as yet know what is good and evil, and what is true and false, as the ground of their thoughts; in consequence of which they have not a prudence originating in selfhood, nor any deliberate purpose; of course they do not regard any evil as an end. They are free from selfhood acquired from self-love and the love of the world; they do not attribute any thing to themselves; they refer to their parents whatever they receive; content with the trifles which are given them as presents, they have no care about food and raiment, or about the future; they do not look to the world, and immerse themselves thereby in the desire of many things; they love their parents, their nurses, and their infant companions, with whom they play in innocence; they suffer themselves to be guided, they harken and obey. This is the innocence of infancy, which is the cause of the love called storge.

396. IX. IT ALSO FLOWS IN TO THE SOULS OF THE PARENTS, AND UNITES WITH THE SAME SPHERE (AS OPERATIVE) WITH THE INFANTS, AND IT IS PRINCIPALLY INSINUATED BY MEANS OF THE TOUCH. The Lord's innocence flows into the angels of the third heaven, where all are in the innocence of wisdom, and passes through the inferior heavens, but only through the innocences of the angels therein, and thus immediately and mediately flows into infants. These differ but little from graven forms; but still they are receptible of life from the Lord through the heavens. Yet, unless the parents also received that influx in their souls, and in the inmost principles of their minds, they would in vain be affected by the innocence of the infants. There must be something adequate and similar in another, whereby communication may be effected, and which may cause reception, affection, and thence conjunction; otherwise it would be like soft seed falling upon a stone, or a lamb exposed to a wolf. From this ground then it is, that innocence flowing into the souls of the parents, unites with the innocence of the infants. Experience may shew that, with the parents, this conjunction is effected by the mediation of the bodily senses, but especially by the touch: as that the sight is intimately delighted by seeing them, the hearing by their speech, the smelling by their odor. That the communication and therefore the conjunction of innocence is principally effected by the touch, is evident from the satisfaction of carrying them in the arms, from fondling and kissing them, especially in the case of mothers, who are delighted in laying their mouth and face upon their bosoms, and at the same time in touching the same with the palms of their hands, in general, in giving them milk by suckling them at the breasts, moreover, in stroking their naked body, and the unwearied pains they take in washing and dressing them on their laps. That the communications of love and its delights between married partners are effected by the sense of the touch has been occasionally proved above. The reason why communications of the mind are also effected by the same sense is, because the hands are a man's ultimates, and his first principles are together in the ultimates, whereby also all things of the body and of the mind are kept together in an inseparable connection. Hence it is, that Jesus touched infants, Matt, xviii. 2-6; Mark x. 13-16; and that he healed the sick by the touch: and that those who touched him were healed: hence also it is, that inaugurations into the priesthood are at this day effected by the laying on of hands. From these considerations it is evident, that the innocence of parents and the innocence of infants meet each other by the touch, especially of the hands, and thereby join themselves together as by kisses.

397. That innocence produces similar effects with beasts and birds as with men, and that by contact, is well known: the reason of this is, because all that proceeds from the Lord, in an instant pervades the universe, as may be seen above, n. 388-390; and as it proceeds by degrees, and by continual mediations, therefore it passes not only to animals, but also to vegetables and minerals; see n. 389; it also passes into the earth itself, which is the mother of all vegetables and minerals; for the earth, in the spring, is in a prepared state for the reception of seeds, as it were in the womb; and when it receives them, it, as it were, conceives, cherishes them, bears, excludes, suckles, nourishes, clothes, educates, guards, and, as it were, loves the offspring derived from them, and so forth. Since the sphere of procreation proceeds thus far, how much more must it proceed to animals of every kind, even to worms! That as the earth is the common mother of vegetables, so there is also a common mother of bees in every hive, is a well known tact, confirmed by observation.

398. X. IN THE DEGREE IN WHICH INNOCENCE RETIRES FROM INFANTS, AFFECTION AND CONJUNCTION ALSO ABATE, AND THIS SUCCESSIVELY EVEN TO SEPARATION. It is well known that the love of infants, or storge, retires from parents according as innocence retires from them; and that, in the case of men, it retires even to the separation of children from home, and in the case of beasts and birds, to a rejection from their presence, and a total forgetfulness of relationship. From this circumstance, as an established fact, it may further appear, that innocence flowing in on each side produces the love called storge.

399. XI. A STATE OF RATIONAL INNOCENCE AND PEACE WITH PARENTS TOWARDS INFANTS, IS GROUNDED IN THE CIRCUMSTANCE, THAT THEY KNOW NOTHING AND CAN DO NOTHING FROM THEMSELVES, BUT FROM OTHERS, ESPECIALLY FROM THE FATHER AND MOTHER; AND THIS STATE SUCCESSIVELY RETIRES, IN PROPORTION AS THEY KNOW AND HAVE ABILITY FROM THEMSELVES, AND NOT FROM OTHERS. That the sphere of the love of infants is a sphere of protection and support of those who cannot protect and support themselves, was shewn above in its proper article, n. 391: that this is only a rational cause with men, but not the very essential cause of that love prevailing with them, was also mentioned in the same article. The real original cause of that love is innocence from the Lord, which flows in while the man is ignorant of it, and produces the above rational cause; therefore as the first cause produces a retiring from that love, so also does the second cause at the same time; or what is the same, as the communication of innocence retires, so also the persuading reason accompanies it; but this is the case only with man to the intent that he may do what he does from freedom according to reason, and from this, as from a rational and at the same time a moral law, may support his adult offspring according to the requirements of necessity and usefulness. This second cause does not influence animals who are without reason, they being affected only by the prior cause, which to them is instinct.

400. XII. THE SPHERE OF THE LOVE OF PROCREATING ADVANCES IN ORDER FROM THE END THROUGH CAUSES INTO EFFECTS, AND MAKES PERIODS; WHEREBY CREATION IS PRESERVED IN THE STATE FORESEEN AND PROVIDED FOR. All operations in the universe have a progression from ends through causes into effects. These three are in themselves indivisible, although in idea they appear divided; but still the end, unless the intended effect is seen together with it, is not any thing; nor does either become any thing, unless the cause supports, contrives, and conjoins it. Such a progression is inherent in every man in general, and in every particular, altogether as will, understanding, and action: every end in regard to man relates to the will, every cause to the understanding, and every effect to the action; in like manner, every end relates to love, every efficient cause to wisdom, and every effect thence derived to use. The reason of this is, because the receptacle of love is the will, the receptacle of wisdom is the understanding, and the receptacle of use is action: since therefore operations in general and in particular with man advance from the will through the understanding into act, so also do they advance from love through wisdom into use. By wisdom here we mean all that which belongs to judgement and thought. That these three are a one in the effect, is evident. That they also make a one in ideas before the effect, is perceived from the consideration, that determination only intervenes; for in the mind an end goes forth from the will and produces for itself a cause in the understanding, and presents to itself an intention; and intention is as an act before determination; hence it is, that by a wise man, and also by the Lord, intention is accepted as an act. What rational person cannot see, or, when he hears, acknowledge, that those three principles flow from some first cause, and that that cause is, that from the Lord, the Creator and Conservator of the universe, there continually proceed love, wisdom, and use, and these three are one? Tell, if you can, in what other source they originate.

401. A similar progression from end through cause into effect belongs also to the sphere of procreating and of protecting the things procreated. The end in this case is the will or love of procreating; the middle cause, by which the end is effected and into which it infuses itself, is conjugial love; the progressive series of efficient causes is the loving, conception, gestation of the embryo or offspring to be procreated; and the effect is the offspring itself procreated. But although end, cause, and effect successively advance as three things, still in the love of procreating, and inwardly in all the causes, and in the effect itself, they make a one. They are the efficient causes only, which advance through times, because in nature; while the end or will, or love, remains continually the same: for ends advance in nature through times without time; but they cannot come forth and manifest themselves, until the effect or use exists and becomes a subject; before this, the love could love only the advance, but could not secure and fix itself. That there are periods of such progressions, and that creation is thereby preserved in the state foreseen and provided for, is well known. But the series of the love of infants from its greatest to its least, thus to the boundary in which it subsists or ceases, is retrograde; since it is according to the decrease of innocence in the subject, and also on account of the periods.

402. XIII. THE LOVE OF INFANTS DESCENDS, AND DOES NOT ASCEND. That it descends from generation to generation, or from sons and daughters to grandsons and granddaughters, and does not ascend from these to fathers and mothers of families, is well known. The cause of its increase in descent is the love of fructifying, or of producing uses, and in respect to the human race, it is the love of multiplying it; but this derives its origin solely from the Lord, who, in the multiplication of the human race, regards the conservation of creation, and as the ultimate end thereof, the angelic heaven, which is solely from the human race; and since the angelic heaven is the end of ends, and thence the love of loves with the Lord, therefore there is implanted in the souls of men, not only the love of procreating, but also of loving the things procreated in successions: hence also this love exists only with man and not with any beast or bird. That this love with man descends increasing, is in consequence of the glory of honor, which in like manner increases with him according to amplifications. That the love of honor and glory receives into itself the love of infants flowing from the Lord, and makes it as it were its own, will be seen in article XVI.

403. XIV. WIVES HAVE ONE STATE OF LOVE BEFORE CONCEPTION AND ANOTHER AFTER, EVEN TO THE BIRTH. This is adduced to the end that it may be known, that the love of procreating, and the consequent love of what is procreated, is implanted in conjugial love with women, and that with them those two loves are divided, while the end, which is the love of procreating, begins its progression. That the love called storge is then transferred from the wife to the husband; and also that the love of procreating, which, as we said, with a woman makes one with her conjugial love, is then not alike, is evident from several indications.

404. XV. WITH PARENTS CONJUGIAL LOVE IS CONJOINED WITH THE LOVE OF INFANTS BY SPIRITUAL CAUSES, AND THENCE BY NATURAL. The spiritual causes are, that the human race may be multiplied, and from this the angelic heaven enlarged, and that thereby such may be born as will become angels, serving the Lord to promote uses in heaven, and by consociation with men also in the earths: for every man has angels associated with him from the Lord; and such is his conjunction with them, that if they were taken away, he would instantly die. The natural causes of the conjunction of those two loves are, to effect the birth of those who may promote uses in human societies, and may be incorporated therein as members. That the latter are the natural and the former the spiritual causes of the love of infants and of conjugial love, even married partners themselves think and sometimes declare, saying they have enriched heaven with as many angels as they have had descendants, and have furnished society with as many servants as they have had children.

405. XVI. THE LOVE OF CHILDREN AND INFANTS IS DIFFERENT WITH SPIRITUAL MARRIED PARTNERS FROM WHAT IT IS WITH NATURAL. With spiritual married partners the love of infants as to appearance, is like the love of infants with natural married partners; but it is more inward, and thence more tender, because that love exists from innocence, and from a nearer reception of innocence, and thereby a more present preception of it in man's self: for the spiritual are such so far as they partake of innocence. But spiritual fathers and mothers, after they have sipped the sweet of innocence with their infants, love their children very differently from what natural fathers and mothers do. The spiritual love their children from their spiritual intelligence and moral life; thus they love them from the fear of God and actual piety, or the piety of life, and at the same time from affection and application to uses serviceable to society, consequently from the virtues and good morals which they possessed. From the love of these things they are principally led to provide for, and minister to, the necessities of their children; therefore if they do not observe such things in them, they alienate their minds from them and do nothing for them but so far as they think themselves bound in duty. With natural fathers and mothers the love of infants is indeed grounded also in innocence; but when the innocence is received by them, it is entwined around their own love, and consequently the love of their infants from the latter, and at the same time from the former, kissing, embracing, and dangling them, hugging them to their bosoms, and fawning upon and flattering them beyond all bounds, regarding them as one heart and soul with themselves; and afterwards, when they have passed the state of infancy even to boyhood and beyond it, in which state innocence is no longer operative, they love them not from any fear of God and actual piety, or the piety of life, nor from any rational and moral intelligence they may have; neither do they regard, or only very slightly, if at all, their internal affections, and thence their virtues and good morals, but only their externals, which they favor and indulge. To these externals their love is directed and determined: hence also they close their eyes to their vices, excusing, and favoring them. The reason of this is, because with such parents the love of their offspring is also the love of themselves; and this love adheres to the subject outwardly, without entering into it, as self does not enter into itself.

406. The quality of the love of infants and of the love of children with the spiritual and with the natural, is evidently discerned from them after death; for most fathers, when they come into another life, recollect their children who have died before them; they are also presented to and mutually acknowledge each other. Spiritual fathers only look at them, and inquire as to their present state, and rejoice if it is well with them, and grieve if it is ill; and after some conversation, instruction, and admonition respecting moral celestial life, they separate from them, telling them, that they are no longer to be remembered as fathers because the Lord is the only Father to all in heaven, according to his words, Matt. xxiii. 9: and that they do not at all remember them as children. But natural fathers, when they first become conscious that they are living after death, and recall to mind their children who have died before them, and also when, agreeably to their wishes, they are presented to each other, they instantly embrace, and become united like bundles of rods; and in this case the father is continually delighted with beholding and conversing with them. If the father is told that some of his children are satans, and that they have done injuries to the good, he nevertheless keeps them in a group around him, if he himself sees that they are the occasion of hurt and do mischief, he still pays no attention to it, nor does he separate any of them from association with himself; in order, therefore, to prevent the continuance of such a mischievous company, they are of necessity committed forthwith to hell; and there the father, before the children, is shut up in confinement, and the children are separated, and each is removed to the place of his life.

407. To the above I will add this wonderful relation: -- in the spiritual world I have seen fathers who, from hatred, and as it were rage, had looked at infants presented before their eyes, with a mind so savage, that, if they could, they would have murdered them; but on its being hinted to them, though without truth, that they were their own infants, their rage and savageness instantly subsided, and they loved them to excess. This love and hatred prevail together with those who in the world had been inwardly deceitful, and had set their minds in enmity against the Lord.

408. XVII. WITH THE SPIRITUAL THAT LOVE IS FROM WHAT IS INTERIOR OR PRIOR, BUT WITH THE NATURAL FROM WHAT IS EXTERIOR OR POSTERIOR. To think and conclude from what is interior or prior, is to think and conclude from ends and causes to effects; but to think and conclude from what is exterior or posterior, is to think and conclude from effects to causes and ends. The latter progression is contrary to order, but the former according to it; for to think and conclude from ends and causes, is to think and conclude from goods and truths, viewed in a superior region of the mind, to effects in an inferior region. Real human rationality from creation is of this quality. But to think and conclude from effects, is to think and conclude from an inferior region of the mind, where the sensual things of the body reside with their appearances and fallacies, to guess at causes and effects, which in itself is merely to confirm falsities and concupiscences, and afterwards to see and believe them to be truths of wisdom and goodnesses of the love of wisdom. The case is similar in regard to the love of infants and children with the spiritual and the natural; the spiritual love them from what is prior, thus according to order: but the natural love them from what is posterior, thus contrary to order. These observations are adduced only for the confirmation of the preceding article.

409. XVIII. IN CONSEQUENCE HEREOF THAT LOVE PREVAILS WITH MARRIED PARTNERS WHO MUTUALLY LOVE EACH OTHER, AND ALSO WITH THOSE WHO DO NOT AT ALL LOVE EACH OTHER; consequently it prevails with the natural as well as with the spiritual; but the latter are influenced by conjugial love, whereas the former are influenced by no such love but what is apparent and pretended. The reason why the love of infants and conjugial love still act in unity, is, because, as we have said, conjugial love is implanted in every woman from creation, and together with it the love of procreating, which is determined to and flows into the procreated offspring, and from the women is communicated to the men. Hence in houses, in which there is no conjugial love between the man and his wife, it nevertheless is with the wife, and thereby some external conjunction is effected with the man. From this same ground it is, that even harlots love their offspring; for that which from creation is implanted in souls, and respects propagation, is indelible, and cannot be extirpated.

410. XIX. THE LOVE OF INFANTS REMAINS AFTER DEATH, ESPECIALLY WITH WOMEN. Infants, as soon as they are raised up, which happens immediately after their decease, are elevated into heaven, and delivered to angels of the female sex, who in the life of the body in the world loved infants, and at the same time feared God. These, having loved all infants with maternal tenderness, receive them as their own; and the infants in this case, as from an innate feeling, love them as their mothers: as many infants are consigned to them, as they desire from a spiritual storge. The heaven in which infants are appears in front in the region of the forehead, in the line in which the angels look directly at the Lord. That heaven is so situated, because all infants are educated under the immediate auspices of the Lord. There is an influx also into this heaven from the heaven of innocence, which is the third heaven. When they have passed through this first period, they are transferred to another heaven, where they are instructed.

411. XX. INFANTS ARE EDUCATED UNDER THE LORD'S AUSPICES BY SUCH WOMEN, AND GROW IN STATURE AND INTELLIGENCE AS IN THE WORLD. Infants in heaven are educated in the following manner; they learn to speak from the female angel who has the charge of their education; their first speech is merely the sound of affection, in which however there is some beginning of thought, whereby what is human in the sound is distinguished from the sound of an animal; this speech gradually becomes more distinct, as ideas derived from affection enter the thought: all their affections, which also increase, proceed from innocence. At first, such things are insinuated into them as appear before their eyes, and are delightful; and as these are from a spiritual origin, heavenly things flow into them at the same time, whereby the interiors of their minds are opened. Afterwards, as the infants are perfected in intelligence, so they grow in stature, and viewed in this respect, they appear also more adult, because intelligence and wisdom are essential spiritual nourishment; therefore those things which nourish their minds, also nourish their bodies. Infants in heaven, however, do not grow up beyond their first age, where they stop, and remain in it to eternity. And when they are in that age, they are given in marriage, which is provided by the Lord, and is celebrated in the heaven of the youth, who presently follows the wife into her heaven, or into her house, if they are of the same society. That I might know of a certainty, that infants grow in stature, and arrive at maturity as they grow in intelligence, I was permitted to speak with some while they were infants, and afterwards when they were grown up; and they appeared as full-grown youths, in a stature, like that of young men full grown in the world.

412. Infants are instructed especially by representatives adequate and suitable to their genius; the great beauty and interior wisdom of which can scarcely be credited in the world. I am permitted to adduce here two representations, from which a judgement may be formed in regard to the rest. On a certain time they represented the Lord ascending from the sepulchre, and at the same time the unition of his human with the divine. At first they presented the idea of a sepulchre, but not at the same time the idea of the Lord, except so remotely, that it was scarcely, and as it were at a distance, perceived that it was the Lord; because in the idea of a sepulchre there is somewhat funereal, which they hereby removed. Afterwards they cautiously admitted into the sepulchre a sort of atmosphere, appearing nevertheless as a thin vapor, by which they signified, and this with a suitable degree of remoteness, spiritual life in baptism. They afterwards represented the Lord's descent to those who were bound, and his ascent with them into heaven; and in order to accommodate the representation to their infant minds, they let down small cords that were scarcely discernible, exceedingly soft and yielding, to aid the Lord in the ascent, being always influenced by a holy fear lest any thing in the representation should affect something that was not under heavenly influence: not to mention other representations, whereby infants are introduced into the knowledges of truth and the affections of good, as by games adapted to their capacities. To these and similar things infants are led by the Lord by means of innocence passing through the third heaven; and thus spiritual things are insinuated into their affections, and thence into their tender thoughts, so that they know no other than that they do and think such things from themselves, by which their understanding commences.

413. XXI. IT IS THERE PROVIDED BY THE LORD, THAT WITH THOSE INFANTS THE INNOCENCE OF INFANCY BECOMES THE INNOCENCE OF WISDOM (AND THUS THEY BECOME ANGELS). Many may conjecture that infants remain infants, and become angels immediately after death: but it is intelligence and wisdom that make an angel: therefore so long as infants are without intelligence and wisdom, they are indeed associated with angels, yet are not angels: but they then first become so when they are made intelligent and wise. Infants therefore are led from the innocence of infancy to the innocence of wisdom, that is, from external innocence to internal: the latter innocence is the end of all their instruction and progression: therefore when they attain to the innocence of wisdom, the innocence of infancy is adjoined to them, which in the mean time had served them as a plane. I saw a representation of the quality of the innocence of infancy; it was of wood almost without life, and was vivified in proportion as the knowledges of truth and the affections of good were imbibed: and afterwards there was represented the quality of the innocence of wisdom, by a living infant. The angels of the third heaven, who are in a state of innocence from the Lord above other angels, appear like naked infants before the eyes of spirits who are beneath the heavens; and as they are wiser than all others, so are they also more truly alive: the reason of this is, because innocence corresponds to infancy, and also to nakedness, therefore it is said of Adam and his wife, when they were in a state of innocence, that they were naked and were not ashamed, but that when they had lost their state of innocence, they were ashamed of their nakedness, and hid themselves, Gen. ii. 25; chap. iii. 7, 10, 11. In a word, the wiser the angels are the more innocent they are. The quality of the innocence of wisdom may in some measure be seen from the innocence of infancy above described, n. 395, if only instead of parents, the Lord be assumed as the Father by whom they are led, and to whom they ascribe what they have received.

414. On the subject of innocence I have often conversed with the angels who have told me that innocence is the esse of every good, and that good is only so far good as it has innocence in it: and, since wisdom is of life and thence of good, that wisdom is only so far wisdom as it partakes of innocence: the like is true of love, charity, and faith; and hence it is that no one can enter heaven unless he has innocence; which is meant by these words of the Lord, "Suffer infants to come to me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of the heavens; verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of the heavens as an infant, he will not enter therein," Mark x. 14, 15; Luke xviii. 16, 17. In this passage, as well as in other parts of the Word, infants denote those who are in innocence. The reason why good is good, so far as it has innocence in it, is, because all good is from the Lord, and innocence consists in being led by the Lord.

415. To the above I shall add this MEMORABLE RELATION. One morning, as I awoke out of sleep, the light beginning to dawn and it being very serene, while I was meditating and not yet quite awake, I saw through the window as it were a flash of lightning, and presently I heard as it were a clap of thunder; and while I was wondering whence this could be, I heard from heaven words to this effect, "There are some not far from you, who are reasoning sharply about God and nature. The vibration of light like lightning, and the clapping of the air like thunder, are correspondences and consequent appearances of the conflict and collision of arguments, on one side in favor of God, and on the other in favor of nature." The cause of this spiritual combat was as follows: there were some satans in hell who expressed a wish to be allowed to converse with the angels of heaven; "for," said they, "we will clearly and fully demonstrate, that what they call God, the Creator of all things, is nothing but nature; and thus that God is a mere unmeaning expression, unless nature be meant by it." And as those satans believed this with all their heart and soul, and also were desirous to converse with the angels of heaven, they were permitted to ascend out of the mire and darkness of hell, and to converse with two angels at that time descending from heaven. They were in the world of spirits, which is intermediate between heaven and hell. The satans on seeing the angels there, hastily ran to them, and cried out with a furious voice, "Are you the angels of heaven with whom we are allowed to engage in debate, respecting God and nature? You are called wise because you acknowledge a God; but, alas! how simple you are! Who sees God? who understands what God is? who conceives that God governs, and can govern the universe, with everything belonging thereto? and who but the vulgar and common herd of mankind acknowledges what he does not see and understand? What is more obvious than that nature is all in all? Is it not nature alone that we see with our eyes, hear with our ears, smell with our nostrils, taste with our tongues, and touch and feel with our hands and bodies? And are not our bodily senses the only evidences of truth? Who would not swear from them that it is so? Are not your heads in nature, and is there any influx into the thoughts of your heads but from nature? Take away nature, and can you think at all? Not to mention several other considerations of a like kind." On hearing these words the angels replied, "You speak in this manner because you are merely sensual. All in the hells have the ideas of their thoughts immersed in the bodily senses, neither are they able to elevate their minds above them; therefore we excuse you. The life of evil and the consequent belief of what is false have closed the interiors of your minds, so that you are incapable of any elevation above the things of sense, except in a state removed from evils of life, and from false principles of faith: for a satan, as well as an angel, can understand truth when he hears it; but he does not retain it, because evil obliterates truth and induces what is false: but we perceive that you are now in a state of removal from evil, and thus that you can understand the truth which we speak; attend therefore to what we shall say:" and they proceeded thus: "You have been in the natural world, and have departed thence, and are now in the spiritual world. Have you known anything till now concerning a life after death? Have you not till now denied such a life, and degraded yourselves to the beasts? Have you known any thing heretofore about heaven and hell, or the light and heat of this world? or of this circumstance, that you are no longer within the sphere of nature, but above it; since this world and all things belonging to it are spiritual, and spiritual things are above natural, so that not the least of nature can flow into this world? But, in consequence of believing nature to be a God or a goddess, you believe also the light and heat of this world to be the light and heat of the natural world, when yet it is not at all so; for natural light here is darkness, and natural heat is cold. Have you known anything about the sun of this world from which our light and heat proceed? Have you known that this sun is pure love, and the sun of the natural world pure fire; and the sun of the world, which is pure fire, is that from which nature exists and subsists; and that the sun of heaven, which is pure love, is that from which life itself, which is love with wisdom exists and subsists; and thus that nature, which you make a god or a goddess, is absolutely dead? You can, under the care of a proper guard, ascend with us into heaven; and we also, under similar protection, can descend with you into hell; and in heaven you will see magnificent and splendid objects, but in hell such as are filthy and unclean. The ground of the difference is, because all in the heavens worship God, and all in the hells worship nature; and the magnificent and splendid objects in the heavens are correspondences of the affections of good and truth, and the filthy and unclean objects in the hells are correspondences of the lusts of what is evil and false. Judge now, from these circumstances, whether God or nature be all in all." To this the satans replied, "In the state wherein we now are, we can conclude, from what we have heard, that there is a God; but when the delight of evil seizes our minds, we see nothing but nature." These two angels and two satans were standing to the right, at no great distance from me; therefore I saw and heard them; and lo! I saw near them many spirits who had been celebrated in the natural world for their erudition; and I was surprised to observe that those great scholars at one time stood near the angels and at another near the satans, and that they favored the sentiments of those near whom they stood; and I was led to understand that the changes of their situation were changes of the state of their minds, which sometimes favored one side and sometimes the other; for they were vertumni. Moreover, the angels said, "We will tell you a mystery; on our looking down upon the earth, and examining those who were celebrated for erudition, and who have thought about God and nature from their own judgement, we have found six hundred out of a thousand favorers of nature, and the rest favorers of God; and that these were in favor of God, in consequence of having frequently maintained in their conversation, not from any convictions of their understandings, but only from hear-say, that nature is from God; for frequent conversation from the memory and recollection, and not at the same time from thought and intelligence, induces a species of faith." After this, the satans were entrusted to a guard and ascended with the two angels into heaven, and saw the magnificent and splendid objects contained therein; and being then an illustration from the light of heaven, they acknowledged the being of a God, and that nature was created to be subservient to the life which is in God and from God; and that nature in itself is dead, and consequently does nothing of itself, but is acted upon by life. Having seen and perceived these things, they descended: and as they descended the love of evil returned and closed their understanding above and opened it beneath; and then there appeared above it as it were a veil sending forth lightning from infernal fire; and as soon as they touched the earth with their feet, the ground cleaved asunder beneath them, and they returned to their associates.

416. After these things those two angels seeing me near, said to the by-standers respecting me, "We know that this man has written about God and nature; let us hear what he has written." They therefore came to me, and intreated that what I had written about God and nature might be read to them: I therefore read as follows. "Those who believe in a Divine operation in everything of nature, may confirm themselves in favor of the Divine, from many things which they see in nature, equally, yea more than those who confirm themselves in favor of nature: for those who confirm themselves in favor of the Divine, attend to the wonderful things, which are conspicuous in the productions of both vegetables and animals: -- in the PRODUCTION OF VEGETABLES, that from a small seed sown in the earth there is sent forth a root, by means of the root a stem, and successively buds, leaves, flowers, fruits, even to new seeds; altogether as if the seed was acquainted with the order of succession, or the process by which it was to renew itself. What rational person can conceive, that the sun which is pure fire, is acquainted with this, or that it can endue its heat and light with a power to effect such things; and further, that it can form wonderful things therein, and intend use? When a man of elevated reason sees and considers such things, he cannot think otherwise than that they are from him who has infinite wisdom, consequently from God. Those who acknowledge the Divine, also see and think so; but those who do not acknowledge it, do not see and think so, because they are unwilling; and thereby they let down their rational principle into the sensual, which derives all its ideas from the luminous principle in which the bodily senses are, and confirms their fallacies urging, 'Do not you see the sun effecting these things by its heat and light? What is that which you do not see?' Is it anything? Those who confirm themselves in favor of the Divine, attend to the wonderful things which are conspicuous in the PRODUCTIONS OF ANIMALS; to mention only what is conspicuous in eggs, that there lies concealed in them a chick in its seed, or first principles of existence, with everything requisite even to the hatching, and likewise to every part of its progress after hatching, until it becomes a bird, or winged animal, in the form of its parent stock. A farther attention to the nature and quality of the form cannot fail to cause astonishment in the contemplative mind; to observe in the least as well as in the largest kinds, yea, in the invisible as in the visible, that is, in small insects, as in fowls or great beasts, how they are all endowed with organs of sense, such as seeing, smelling, tasting, touching; and also with organs of motion, such as muscles, for they fly and walk; and likewise with viscera, around the heart and lungs, which are actuated by the brains: that the commonest insects enjoy all these parts of organization is known from their anatomy, as described by some writers, especially SWAMMERDAM in his Books of Nature. Those who ascribe all things to nature do indeed see such things; but they think only that they are so, and say that nature produces them: and this they say in consequence of having averted their minds from thinking about the Divine; and those who have so averted their minds, when they see the wonderful things in nature, cannot think rationally, and still less spiritually; but they think sensually and materially, and in this case they think in and from nature, and not above it, in like manner as those do who are in hell; differing from beasts only in this respect, that they have rational powers, that is, they are capable of understanding, and thereby of thinking otherwise, if only they are willing. Those who have averted themselves from thinking about the Divine, when they see the wonderful things in nature, and thereby become sensual, do not consider that the sight of the eye is so gross that it sees several small insects as one confused mass; when yet each of them is organized to feel and to move itself, consequently is endowed with fibres and vessels, also with a little heart, pulmonary pipes, small viscera, and brains; and that the contexture of these parts consists of the purest principles in nature, and corresponds to some life, by virtue of which their minutest parts are distinctly acted upon. Since the sight of the eye is so gross that several of such insects, with the innumerable things in each, appear to it as a small confused mass, and yet those who are sensual, think and judge from that sight, it is evident how gross their minds are, and consequently in what thick darkness they are respecting spiritual things.

417. "Every one that is willing to do so, may confirm himself in favor of the Divine from the visible things in nature; and he also who thinks of God from the principle of life, does so confirm himself; while, for instance, he observes the fowls of heaven, how each species of them knows its proper food and where it is to be found; how they can distinguish those of their own kind by the sounds they utter and by their external appearance; how also, among other kinds, they can tell which are their friends and which their foes; how they pair together, build their nests with great art, lay therein their eggs, hatch them, know the time of hatching, and at its accomplishment help their young out of the shell, love them most tenderly, cherish them under their wings, feed and nourish them, until they are able to provide for themselves and do the like, and to procreate a family in order to perpetuate their kind. Every one that is willing to think of a divine influx through the spiritual world into the natural, may discern it in these instances, and may also, if he will, say in his heart, 'Such knowledges cannot flow into those animals from the sun by the rays of its light:' for the sun, from which nature derives its birth and its essence, its pure fire, and consequently the rays of its light are altogether dead; and thus they may conclude, that such effects are derived from an influx of divine wisdom into the ultimates of nature.

418. "Every one may confirm himself in favor of the Divine from what is visible in nature, while he observes worms, which from the delight of a certain desire, wish and long after a change of their earthly state into a state analogous to a heavenly one; for this purpose they creep into holes, and cast themselves as it were into a womb that they may be born again, and there become chrysalises, aurelias, nymphs, and at length butterflies; and when they have undergone this change, and according to their species are decked with beautiful wings, they fly into the air as into their heaven, and there indulge in all festive sports, pair together, lay their eggs, and provide for themselves a posterity; and then they are nourished with a sweet and pleasant food, which they extract from flowers. Who that confirms himself in favor of the Divine from what is visible in nature, does not see some image of the earthly state of man in these animals while they are worms, and of his heavenly state in the same when they become butterflies? whereas those who confirm themselves in favor of nature, see indeed such things; but as they have rejected from their minds all thought of man's heavenly state, they call them mere instincts of nature.

419. "Again, everyone may confirm himself in favor of the Divine from what is visible in nature, while he attends to the discoveries made respecting bees, -- how they have the art to gather wax and suck honey from herbs and flowers, and build cells like small houses, and arrange them into the form of a city with streets, through which they come in and go out; and how they can smell flowers and herbs at a distance, from which they may collect wax for their home and honey for their food; and how, when laden with these treasures, they can trace their way back in a right direction to their hive; thus they provide for themselves food and habitation against the approaching winter, as if they were acquainted with and foresaw its coming. They also set over themselves a mistress as a queen, to be the parent of a future race, and for her they build as it were a palace in an elevated situation, and appoint guards about her; and when the time comes for her to become a mother, she goes from cell to cell and lays her eggs, which her attendants cover with a sort of ointment to prevent their receiving injury from the air; hence arises a new generation, which, when old enough to provide in like manner for itself, is driven out from home; and when driven out, it flies forth to seek a new habitation, not however till it has first collected itself into a swarm to prevent dissociation. About autumn also the useless drones are brought forth and deprived of their wings, lest they should return and consume the provision which they had taken no pains to collect; not to mention many other circumstances; from which it may appear evident, that on account of the use which they afford to mankind, they have by influx from the spiritual world a form of government, such as prevails among men in the world, yea, among angels in the heavens. What man of uncorrupted reason does not see that such instincts are not communicated to bees from the natural world? What has the sun, in which nature originates, in common with a form of government which vies with and is similar to a heavenly one? From these and similar circumstances respecting brute animals, the confessor and worshiper of nature confirms himself in favor of nature, while the confessor and worshiper of God, from the same circumstances, confirms himself in favor of the Divine: for the spiritual man sees spiritual things therein, and the natural man natural; thus every one according to his quality. In regard to myself, such circumstances have been to me testimonies of an influx of what is spiritual into what is natural, or of an influx of the spiritual world into the natural world; thus of an influx from the divine wisdom of the Lord. Consider also, whether you can think analytically of any form of government, any civil law, any moral virtue, or any spiritual truth, unless the Divine flows in from his wisdom through the spiritual world: for my own part, I never did, and still feel it to be impossible; for I have perceptibly and sensibly observed such influx now (1768) for twenty-five years continually: I therefore speak this from experience.

420. "Can nature, let me ask, regard use as an end, and dispose uses into orders and forms? This is in the power of none but a wise being; and none but God, who is infinitely wise, can so order and form the universe. Who else can foresee and provide for mankind all the things necessary for their food and clothing, producing them from the fruits of the earth and from animals? It is surely a wonderful consideration among many others, that those common insects, called silk-worms, should supply with splendid clothing all ranks of persons, from kings and queens even to the lowest servants; and that those common insects the bees, should supply wax to enlighten both our temples and palaces. These, with several other similar considerations, are standing proofs, that the Lord by an operation from himself through the spiritual world, effects whatever is done in nature.

421. "It may be expedient here to add, that I have seen in the spiritual world those who had confirmed themselves in favor of nature by what is visible in this world, so as to become atheists, and that their understanding in spiritual light appeared open beneath but closed above, because with their thinking faculty they had looked downwards to the earth and not upwards to heaven. The super-sensual principle, which is the lowest principle of the understanding, appeared as a veil, in some cases sparkling from infernal fire, in some black as soot, and in some pale and livid as a corpse. Let every one therefore beware of confirmation in favor of nature, and let him confirm himself in favor of the Divine; for which confirmation there is no want of materials.

422. "Some indeed are to be excused for ascribing certain visible effects to nature, because they have had no knowledge respecting the sun of the spiritual world, where the Lord is, and of influx thence; neither have they known any thing about that world and its state, nor yet of its presence with man; and consequently they could think no other than that the spiritual principle was a purer natural principle; and thus that angels were either in the ether or in the stars; also that the devil was either man's evil, or, if he actually existed, that he was either in the air or in the deep; also that the souls of men after death were either in the inmost part of the earth, or in some place of confinement till the day of judgement; not to mention other like conceits, which sprung from ignorance of the spiritual world and its sun. This is the reason why those are to be excused, who have believed that the visible productions of nature are the effect of some principle implanted in her from creation: nevertheless those who have made themselves atheists by confirmations in favor of nature, are not to be excused, because they might have confirmed themselves in favor of the Divine. Ignorance indeed excuses, but does not take away the false principle which is confirmed; for this false principle agrees with evil, and evil with hell." New Thought Books uplift the soul.

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New Thought Day was declared by James Edgerton on August 23rd, 1915
During research while expanding the free New Thought Library, one of the ministers came across an interesting quote from early New Thought Alliance President James A. Edgerton: "'The truth, once announced, has the power not only to renew but to extend itself. New Thought is universal in its ideals and therefore should be universal in its appeal. Under the guidance of the spirit, it should grow in good works until it embraces many lands and eventually the whole world.' ~ New Thought Day, August 23rd , 1915."

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New Thought Day
August 23rd

100 years old
1st declared by James Edgerton in 1915

"'The truth, once announced, has the power not only to renew but to extend itself. New Thought is universal in its ideals and therefore should be universal in its appeal. Under the guidance of the spirit, it should grow in good works until it embraces many lands and eventually the whole world.' ~ James A. Edgerton, New Thought Day, August 23rd, 1915."

New Thought Holidays August 23rd ~ since 2003

Be as water, as you are ...
The New Thought Tao

Explore the New Thought Tao and discover deeper wisdom. New Thought has many forms, Taoist New Thought brings insights to the table that are not so apparent in Abrahamic forms. While many Abrahamics fight to impose their views on the rest of the world. Taoist New Thought teaches the way of acceptance and understanding. Principles in the New Thought Tao provide powerful processes which serve as keys to deeper happiness and inner peace from the inside out.

Read Divine Tao #8 "Water" Tao #8

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click here for the page with links to e-book and audio downloads of The Delights of Wisdom Pertaining to Conjugial Love; To Which is Added The Pleasures of Insanity Pertaining To Scortatory Love by Emanuel Swedenborg

eBook and audio downloads for The Delights of Wisdom Pertaining to Conjugial Love; To Which is Added The Pleasures of Insanity Pertaining To Scortatory Love by Emanuel Swedenborg include: pdf, Open eBook, OEB, ePub & audio book MP3