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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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Keys to heaven are the keys to a better life.

Adulterous Love and its Sinful Pleasures

On The Opposition Of Adulterous Love and Conjugial Love

423. At the entrance upon our subject, it may be expedient to declare what we mean in this chapter by adulterous love. By adulterous love we do not mean fornicatory love, which precedes marriage, or which follows it after the death of a married partner; neither do we mean concubinage, which is engaged in from causes legitimate, just, and excusatory; nor do we mean either the mild or the grievous kinds of adultery, whereof a man actually repents; for the latter become not opposite, and the former are not opposite, to conjugial love, as will be seen in the following pages, where each is treated of. But by adulterous love, opposite to conjugial love, we here mean the love of adultery, so long as it is such as not to be regarded as sin, or as evil, and dishonorable, and contrary to reason, but as allowable with reason. This adulterous love not only makes conjugial love the same with itself, but also overthrows, destroys, and at length nauseates it. The opposition of this love to conjugial love is the subject treated of in this chapter. That no other love is treated of (as being in such opposition), may be evident from what follows concerning fornication, concubinage, and the various kinds of adultery. But in order that this opposition may be made manifest to the rational sight, it may be expedient to demonstrate it in the following series: I. It is not known what adulterous love is, unless it be known what conjugial love is. II. Adulterous love is opposed to conjugial love. III. Adulterous love is opposed to conjugial love, as the natural man viewed in himself is opposed to the spiritual man. IV. Adulterous love is opposed to conjugial love, as the connubial connection of what is evil and false is opposed to the marriage of good and truth. V. Hence adulterous love in opposed to conjugial love, as hell is opposed to heaven. VI. The impurity of hell is from adulterous love, and the purity of heaven from conjugial love. VII. The impurity and the purity in the church are similarly circumstanced. VIII. Adulterous love more and more makes a man not a man (homo), and not a man (vir), and conjugial love makes a man more and more a man (homo), and a man (vir). IX. There are a sphere of adulterous love and a sphere of conjugial love. X. The sphere of adulterous love ascends from hell, and the sphere of conjugial love descends from heaven. XI. Those two spheres mutually meet each other in each world; but they do not unite. XII. Between those two spheres there is an equilibrium, and man is in it. XIII. A man is able to turn himself to whichever he pleases; but so far as he turns himself to the one, so far he turns himself from the other. XIV. Each sphere brings with it delights. XV. The delights of adulterous love commence from the flesh and are of the flesh even in the spirit; but the delights of conjugial love commence in the spirit, and are of the spirit even in the flesh. XVI. The delights of adulterous love are the pleasures of insanity; but the delights of conjugial love are the delights of wisdom. We proceed to an explanation of each article.

424. I. IT IS NOT KNOWN WHAT ADULTEROUS LOVE IS, UNLESS IT BE KNOWN WHAT CONJUGIAL LOVE IS. By adulterous love we mean the love of adultery, which destroys conjugial love, as above, n. 423. That it is not known what adulterous love is, unless it be known what conjugial love is, needs no demonstration, but only illustration by similitudes: as for example, who can know what is evil and false, unless he know what is good and true? and who knows what is unchaste, dishonorable, unbecoming, and ugly, unless he knows what is chaste, honorable, becoming, and beautiful? and who can discern the various kinds of insanity, but he that is wise, or that knows what wisdom is? also, who can rightly perceive discordant and grating sounds, but he that is well versed in the doctrine and study of harmonious numbers? in like manner, who can clearly discern what is the quality of adultery, unless he has first clearly discerned what is the quality of marriage? and who can make a just estimate of the filthiness of the pleasures of adulterous love, but he that has first made a just estimate of the purity of conjugial love? As I have now completed the treatise ON CONJUGIAL LOVE AND ITS CHASTE DELIGHTS, I am enabled, from the intelligence I thence acquired, to describe the pleasures respecting adulterous love.

425. II. ADULTEROUS LOVE IS OPPOSED TO CONJUGIAL LOVE. Every thing in the universe has its opposite; and opposites, in regard to each other, are not relatives, but contraries. Relatives are what exist between the greatest and the least of the same thing; whereas contraries arise from an opposite in contrariety thereto; and the latter are relatives in regard to each other, as the former are in their regard one to another; wherefore also the relations themselves are opposites. That all things have their opposites, is evident from light, heat, the times of the world, affections, perceptions, sensations, and several other things. The opposite of light is darkness; the opposite of heat is cold; of the times of the world the opposites are day and night, summer and winter; of affections the opposites are joys and mourning, also gladnesses and sadnesses; of perceptions the opposites are goods and evils, also truths and falses; and of sensations the opposites are things delightful and things undelightful. Hence it may be evidently concluded, that conjugial love has its opposite; this opposite is adultery, as every one may see, if he be so disposed, from all the dictates of sound reason. Tell, if you can, what else is its opposite. It is an additional evidence in favor of this position, that as sound reason was enabled to see the truth of it by her own light, therefore she has enacted laws, which are called laws of civil justice, in favor of marriages and against adulteries. That the truth of this position may appear yet more manifest, I may relate what I have very often seen in the spiritual world. When those who in the natural world have been confirmed adulterers, perceive a sphere of conjugial love flowing down from heaven, they instantly either flee away into caverns and hide themselves, or, if they persist obstinately in contrariety to it, they grow fierce with rage, and become like furies. The reason why they are so affected is, because all things of the affections, whether delightful or undelightful, are perceived in that world, and on some occasions as clearly as an odor is perceived by the sense of smelling; for the inhabitants of that world have not a material body, which absorbs such things. The reason why the opposition of adulterous love and conjugial love is unknown to many in the world, is owing to the delights of the flesh, which, in the extremes, seem to imitate the delights of conjugial love; and those who are in delights only, do not know anything respecting that opposition; and I can venture to say, that should you assert, that everything has its opposite, and should conclude that conjugial love also has its opposite, adulterers will reply, that that love has not an opposite, because adulterous love cannot be distinguished from it; from which circumstance it is further manifest, that he that does not know what conjugial love is, does not know what adulterous love is; and moreover, that from adulterous love it is not known what conjugial love is, but from conjugial love it is known what adulterous love is. No one knows good from evil, but evil from good; for evil is in darkness, whereas good is in light.

426. III. ADULTEROUS LOVE IS OPPOSED TO CONJUGIAL LOVE, AS THE NATURAL MAN VIEWED IN HIMSELF IS OPPOSED TO THE SPIRITUAL MAN. That the natural man and the spiritual are opposed to each other, so that the one does not will what the other wills, yea, that they are at strife together, is well known in the church; but still it has not heretofore been explained. We will therefore shew what is the ground of discrimination between the spiritual man and the natural, and what excites the latter against the former. The natural man is that into which every one is first introduced as he grows up, which is effected by sciences and knowledges, and by rational principles of the understanding; but the spiritual man is that into which he is introduced by the love of doing uses, which love is also called charity: wherefore so far as any one is in charity, so far he is spiritual; but so far as he is not in charity, so far he is natural, even supposing him to be ever so quick-sighted in genius, and wise in judgement. That the latter, the natural man, separate from the spiritual, notwithstanding all his elevation into the light of reason, still gives himself without restraint to the government of his lusts, and is devoted to them, is manifest from his genius alone, in that he is void of charity; and whoever is void of charity, gives loose to all the lasciviousness of adulterous love: wherefore, when he is told, that this wanton love is opposed to chaste conjugial love, and is asked to consult his rational lumen, he still does not consult it, except in conjunction with the delight of evil implanted from birth in the natural man; in consequence whereof he concludes, that his reason does not see anything contrary to the pleasing sensual allurements of the body; and when he has confirmed himself in those allurements, his reason is in amazement at all those pleasures which are proclaimed respecting conjugial love; yea, as was said above, he fights against them, and conquers, and, like a conqueror after the enemy's overthrow, he utterly destroys the camp of conjugial love in himself. These things are done by the natural man from the impulse of his adulterous love. We mention these circumstances, in order that it may be known, what is the true ground of the opposition of those two loves; for, as has been abundantly shewn above, conjugial love viewed in itself is spiritual love, and adulterous love viewed in itself is natural love.

427. IV. ADULTEROUS LOVE IS OPPOSED TO CONJUGIAL LOVE, AS THE CONNUBIAL CONNECTION OF WHAT IS EVIL AND FALSE IS OPPOSED TO THE MARRIAGE OF GOOD AND TRUTH. That the origin of conjugial love is from the marriage of good and truth, was demonstrated above in its proper chapter, from n. 83-102; hence it follows, that the origin of adulterous love is from the connubial connection of what is evil and false, and that hence they are opposite loves, as evil is opposed to good, and the false of evil to the truth of good. It is the delights of each love which are thus opposed; for love without its delight is not anything. That these delights are thus opposed to each other, does not at all appear: the reason why it does not appear is, because the delight of the love of evil in externals assumes a semblance of the delight of the love of good; but in internals the delight of the love of evil consists of mere concupiscences of evil, evil itself being the conglobated mass (or glome) of those concupiscences: whereas the delight of the love of good consists of innumerable affections of good, good itself being the co-united bundle of those affections. This bundle and that glome are felt by man only as one delight; and as the delight of evil in externals assumes a semblance of the delight of good, as we have said, therefore also the delight of adultery assumes a semblance of the delight of marriage; but after death, when everyone lays aside externals, and the internals are laid bare, then it manifestly appears, that the evil of adultery is a glome of the concupiscences of evil, and the good of marriage is a bundle of the affections of good: thus that they are entirely opposed to each other.

428. In reference to the connubial connection of what is evil and false, it is to be observed, that evil loves the false, and desires that it may be a one with itself, and they also unite; in like manner as good loves truth, and desires that it may be a one with itself, and they also unite: from which consideration it is evident, that as the spiritual origin of marriage is the marriage of good and truth, so the spiritual origin of adultery is the connubial connection of what is evil and false. Hence, this connubial connection is meant by adulteries, whoredoms, and fornications, in the spiritual sense of the Word; see the APOCALYPSE REVEALED, n. 134. It is from this principle, that he that is in evil, and connects himself connubially with what is false, and he that is in what is false, and draws evil into a partnership of his chamber, from the joint covenant confirms adultery, and commits it so far as he dares and has the opportunity; he confirms it from evil by what is false, and he commits it from what is false by evil: and also on the other hand, that he that is in good, and marries truth, or he that is in truth, and brings good into partnership of the chamber with himself, confirms himself against adultery, and in favor of marriage, and attains to a happy conjugial life.

429. V. HENCE ADULTEROUS LOVE IS OPPOSED TO CONJUGIAL LOVE AS HELL IS OPPOSED TO HEAVEN. All who are in hell are in the connubial connection of what is evil and false, and all who are in heaven are in the marriage of good and truth; and as the connubial connection of what is evil and false is also adultery, as was shewn just above, n. 427, 428, hell is also that connubial connection. Hence all who are in hell are in the lust, lasciviousness, and immodesty of adulterous love, and shun and dread the chastity and modesty of conjugial love; see above, n. 428. From these considerations it may be seen, that those two loves, adulterous and conjugial, are opposed to each other, as hell is to heaven, and heaven to hell.

430. VI. THE IMPURITY OF HELL IS FROM ADULTEROUS LOVE, AND THE PURITY OF HEAVEN FROM CONJUGIAL LOVE. All hell abounds with impurities, all of which originate in immodest and obscene adulterous love, the delights of that love being changed into such impurities. Who can believe, that in the spiritual world, every delight of love is presented to the sight under various appearances, to the sense under various odors, and to the view under various forms of beasts and birds? The appearances under which in hell the lascivious delights of adulterous love are presented to the sight, are dunghills and mire; the odors by which they are presented to the sense, are stinks and stenches; and the forms of beasts and birds under which they are presented to the view, are hogs, serpents, and the birds called ochim and tziim. The case is reversed in regard to the chaste delights of conjugial love in heaven. The appearances under which those delights are presented to the sight, are gardens and flowery fields; the odors whereby they are presented to the sense, are the perfumes arising from fruits and the fragrancies from flowers; and the forms of animals under which they are presented to the view are lambs, kids, turtle-doves, and birds of paradise. The reason why the delights of love are changed into such and similar things is, because all things which exist in the spiritual world are correspondences: into these correspondences the internals of the minds of the inhabitants are changed, while they pass away and become external before the senses. But it is to be observed, that there are innumerable varieties of impurities, into which the lasciviousnesses of whoredoms are changed, while they pass off into their correspondences: these varieties are according to the genera and species of those lasciviousnesses, as may be seen in the following pages, where adulteries and their degrees are treated of: such impurities however do not proceed from the delights of the love of those who have repented; because they have been washed from them during their abode in the world.

431. VII. THE IMPURITY AND THE PURITY IN THE CHURCH ARE SIMILARLY CIRCUMSTANCED. The reason of this is, because the church is the Lord's kingdom in the world, corresponding to his kingdom in the heavens; and also the Lord conjoins them together, that they may make a one; for he distinguishes those who are in the world, as he distinguishes heaven and hell, according to their loves. Those who are in the immodest and obscene delights of adulterous love, associate to themselves similar spirits from hell: whereas those who are in the modest and chaste delights of conjugial love, are associated by the Lord to similar angels from heaven. While these their angels, in their attendance on man, are stationed near to confirmed and determined adulterers, they are made sensible of the direful stenches mentioned above, n. 430, and recede a little. On account of the correspondence of filthy loves with dunghills and bogs, it was commanded the sons of Israel, "That they should carry with them a paddle with which to cover their excrement, lest Jehovah God walking in the midst of their camp should see the nakedness of the thing, and should return," Deut, xxiii. 13, 14. This was commanded, because the camp of the sons of Israel represented the church, and those unclean things corresponded to the lascivious principles of whoredoms, and by Jehovah God's walking in the midst of their camp was signified his presence with the angels. The reason why they were to cover it was, because all those places in hell, where troops of such spirits have their abode, were covered and closed up, on which account also it is said, "lest he see the nakedness of the thing." It has been granted me to see that all those places in hell are closed up, and also that when they were opened, as was the case when a new demon entered, such a horrid stench issued from them, that it infested my belly with its noisomeness; and what is wonderful, those stenches are to the inhabitants as delightful as dunghills are to swine. From these considerations it is evident, how it is to be understood, that the impurity in the church is from adulterous love, and its purity from conjugial love.

432. VIII. ADULTEROUS LOVE MORE AND MORE MAKES A MAN (homo) NOT A MAN (homo), AND A MAN (vir) NOT A MAN (vir), AND CONJUGIAL LOVE MAKES A MAN (homo) MORE AND MORE A MAN (homo), AND A MAN (vir). That conjugial love makes a man (homo) is illustrated and confirmed by all the considerations which were clearly and rationally demonstrated in the first part of this work, concerning love and the delights of its wisdom; as 1. That he that is principled in love truly conjugial, becomes more and more spiritual; and in proportion as any one is more spiritual, in the same proportion he is more a man (homo). 2. That he becomes more and more wise; and the wiser any one is, so much the more is he a man (homo). 3. That with such a one the interiors of the mind are more and more opened, insomuch that he sees or intuitively acknowledges the Lord; and the more any one is in the sight or acknowledgement, the more he is a man. 4. That he becomes more and more moral and civil, inasmuch as a spiritual soul is in his morality and civility; and the more any one is morally civil, the more he is a man. 5. That also after death he becomes an angel of heaven; and an angel is in essence and form a man; and also the genuine human principle in his face shines forth from his conversation and manners: from these considerations it is manifest, that conjugial love makes a man (homo) more and more a man (homo). That the contrary is the case with adulterers, follows as a consequence from the opposition of adultery and marriage, which is the subject treated of in this chapter; as, 1. That they are not spiritual but in the highest degree natural; and the natural man separate from the spiritual man, is a man only as to the understanding, but not as to the will: this he immerses in the body and the concupiscences of the flesh, and at those times the understanding also accompanies it. That such a one is but half a man (homo), he himself may see from the reason of his understanding, in ease he elevates it. 2. That adulterers are not wise, except in their conversation and behaviour, when they are in the company of such as are in high station, or as are distinguished for their learning or their morals; but that when alone with themselves they are insane, setting at nought the divine and holy things of the church, and defiling the morals of life with immodest and unchaste principles, will be shewn in the chapter concerning adulteries. Who does not see that such gesticulators are men only as to external figure, and not as to internal form? 3. That adulterers become more and more not men, has been abundantly confirmed to me by what I have myself been eye-witness to respecting them in hell: for there they are demons, and when seen in the light of heaven, appear to have their faces full of pimples, their bodies bunched out, their voice rough, and their gestures antic. But it is to be observed, that such are determined and confirmed adulterers, but not non-deliberate adulterers: for in the chapter concerning adulteries and their degrees, four kinds are treated of. Determined adulterers are those who are so from the lust of the will; confirmed adulterers are those who are so from the persuasion of the understanding; deliberate adulterers are those who are so from the allurements of the senses; and non deliberate adulterers are those who have not the faculty or the liberty of consulting the understanding. The two former kinds of adulterers are those who become more and more not men; whereas the two latter kinds become men as they recede from those errors, and afterwards become wise.

433. That conjugial love makes a man (homo) more a man (vir), is also illustrated by what was adduced in the preceding part concerning conjugial love and its delights; as, 1. That the virile faculty and power accompanies wisdom, as this is animated from the spiritual things of the church, and that hence it resides in conjugial love; and that the wisdom of this love opens a vein from its fountain in the soul, and thereby invigorates, and also blesses with permanence, to the intellectual life, which is the very essential masculine life. 2. That hence it is, that the angels of heaven are in this permanence to eternity, according to their own declarations in the MEMORABLE RELATION, n. 355, 356. That the most ancient men in the golden and silver ages, were in permanent efficacy, because they loved the caresses of their wives, and abhorred the caresses of harlots, I have heard from their own mouths; see the MEMORABLE RELATIONS, n. 75, 76. That that spiritual sufficiency is also in the natural principle, and will not be wanting to those at this day, who come to the Lord, and abominate adulteries as infernal, has been told me from heaven. But the contrary befalls determined and confirmed adulterers who are treated of above, n. 432. That the virile faculty and power with such is weakened even till it ceases; and that after this there commences cold towards the sex; and that cold is succeeded by a kind of fastidiousness approaching to loathing, is well known, although but little talked of. That this is the case with such adulterers in hell, I have heard at a distance, from the sirens, who are obsolete venereal lusts, and also from the harlots there. From these considerations it follows, that adulterous love makes a man (homo) more and more not a man (homo) and not a man (vir) and that conjugial love makes a man more and more a man (homo) and a man (vir).

434. IX. THERE ARE A SPHERE OF ADULTEROUS LOVE AND A SPHERE OF CONJUGIAL LOVE. What is meant by spheres, and that they are various, and that those which are of love and wisdom proceed from the Lord, and through the angelic heavens descend into the world, and pervade it even to its ultimates, was shewn above, n. 222-225; and n. 386-397. That every thing in the universe has its opposites, may be seen above, n. 425: hence it follows, that whereas there is a sphere of conjugial love, there is also a sphere opposite to it, which is called a sphere of adulterous love; for those spheres are opposed to each other, as the love of adultery is opposed the love of marriage. This opposition has been treated of in the preceding parts of this chapter.

435. X. THE SPHERE OF ADULTEROUS LOVE ASCENDS FROM HELL, AND THE SPHERE OF CONJUGIAL LOVE DESCENDS FROM HEAVEN. That the sphere of conjugial love descends from heaven, was shewn in the places cited just above, n. 434; but the reason why the sphere of adulterous love ascends from hell, is, because this love is from thence, see n. 429. That sphere ascends thence from the impurities into which the delights of adultery are changed with those who are of each sex there; concerning which delight see above, n. 430, 431.

436. XI. THOSE TWO SPHERES MEET EACH OTHER IN EACH WORLD; BUT THEY DO NOT UNITE. By each world is meant the spiritual world and the natural world. In the spiritual world those spheres meet each other in the world of spirits, because this is the medium between heaven and hell; but in the natural world they meet each other in the rational plane appertaining to man, which also is the medium between heaven and hell: for the marriage of good and truth flows into it from above, and the marriage of evil and the false flows into it from beneath. The latter marriage flows in through the world, but the former through heaven. Hence it is, that the human rational principle can turn itself to either side as it pleases, and receive influx. If it turns to good, it receives it from above; and in this case the man's rational principle is formed more and more to the reception of heaven; but if it turns itself to evil, it receives that influx from beneath; and in this case the man's rational principle is formed more and more to the reception of hell. The reason why those two spheres do not unite, is, because they are opposites; and an opposite acts upon an opposite like enemies, one of whom, burning with deadly hatred, furiously assaults the other, while the other is in no hatred, but only endeavours to defend himself. From these considerations it is evident, that those two spheres only meet each other, but do not unite. The middle interstice, which they make, is on the one part from the evil not of the false, and from the false not of the evil, and on the other part from good not of truth, and from truth not of good: which two may indeed touch each other, but still they do not unite.

437. XII. BETWEEN THOSE TWO SPHERES THERE IS AN EQUILIBRIUM, AND MAN IS IN IT. The equilibrium between them is a spiritual equilibrium, because it is between good and evil; from this equilibrium a man has free will, in and by which he thinks and wills, and hence speaks and acts as from himself. His rational principle consists in his having the option to receive either good or evil; consequently, whether he will freely and rationally dispose himself to conjugial love, or to adulterous love; if to the latter, he turns the hinder part of the head, and the back to the Lord; if to the former, he turns the fore part of the head and the breast to the Lord; if to the Lord, his rationality and liberty are led by himself; but if backwards from the Lord, his rationality and liberty are led by hell.

438. XIII. A MAN CAN TURN HIMSELF TO WHICHEVER SPHERE HE PLEASES; BUT SO FAR AS HE TURNS HIMSELF TO THE ONE, SO FAR HE TURNS HIMSELF FROM THE OTHER. Man was created so that he may do whatever he does freely, according to reason, and altogether as from himself: without these two faculties he would not be a man but a beast; for he would not receive any thing flowing from heaven, and appropriate it to himself as his own, and consequently it would not be possible for anything of eternal life to be inscribed on him; for this must be inscribed on him as his, in order that it may be his own; and whereas there is no freedom on the one part, unless there be also a like freedom on the other, as it would be impossible to weigh a thing, unless the scales from an equilibrium could incline to either side: so, unless a man had liberty from reason to draw near also to evil, thus to turn from the right to the left, and from the left to the right, in like manner to the infernal sphere, which is that of adultery, as to the celestial sphere, which is that of marriage, (it would be impossible for him to receive any thing flowing from heaven, and to appropriate it to himself.)

439. XIV. EACH SPHERE BRINGS WITH IT DELIGHTS; that is, both the sphere of adulterous love which ascends from hell, and the sphere of conjugial love which descends from heaven, affects the recipient man (homo) with delights; because the ultimate plane in which the delights of each love terminate, and where they fill and complete themselves, and which exhibits them in their own proper sensory, is the same. Hence, in the extremes, adulterous caresses and conjugial caresses are perceived as similar, although in internals they are altogether dissimilar; that hence they are also dissimilar in the extremes, is a point not decided from any sense of discrimination; for dissimilitudes are not made sensible from their discriminations in the extremes, to any others than those who are principled in love truly conjugial; for evil is known from good, but not good from evil; so neither is a sweet scent perceived by the nose when a disagreeable one is present in it. I have heard from the angels, that they distinguish in the extremes what is lascivious from what is not, as any one distinguishes the fire of a dunghill or of burnt horn by its bad smell, from the fire of spices or of burnt cinnamon by its sweet smell; and that this arises from their distinction of the internal delights which enter into the external and compose them.

440. XV. THE DELIGHTS OF ADULTEROUS LOVE COMMENCE FROM THE FLESH AND ARE OF THE FLESH EVEN IN THE SPIRIT; BUT THE DELIGHTS OF CONJUGIAL LOVE COMMENCE IN THE SPIRIT AND ARE OF THE SPIRIT EVEN IN THE FLESH. The reason why the delights of adulterous love commence from the flesh is, because the stimulant heats of the flesh are their beginnings. The reason why they infect the spirit and are of the flesh even in the spirit, is, because the spirit, and not the flesh, is sensible of those things which happen in the flesh. The case is the same with this sense as with the rest: as that the eye does not see and discern various particulars in objects, but they are seen and discerned by the spirit; neither does the ear hear and discern the harmonies of tunes in singing, and the concordances of the articulation of sounds in speech, but they are heard and discerned by the spirit; moreover, the spirit is sensible of every thing according to its elevation in wisdom. The spirit that is not elevated above the sensual things of the body, and thereby adheres to them, is not sensible of any other delights than those which flow in from the flesh and the world through the senses of the body: these delights it seizes upon, is delighted with, and makes its own. Now, since the beginnings of adulterous love are only the stimulant fires and itchings of the flesh, it is evident, that these things in the spirit are filthy allurements, which, as they ascend and descend, and reciprocate, so they excite and inflame. In general the cupidities of the flesh are nothing but the accumulated concupiscences of what is evil and false: hence comes this truth in the church, that the flesh lusts against the spirit, that is, against the spiritual man; wherefore it follows, that the delights of the flesh, as to the delights of adulterous love, are nothing but the effervescences of lusts, which in the spirit become the ebullitions of immodesty.

441. But the delights of conjugial love have nothing in common with the filthy delights of adulterous love: the latter indeed are in the spirit of every man; but they are separated and removed, as the man's spirit is elevated above the sensual things of the body, and from its elevation sees their appearances and fallacies beneath: in this case it perceives fleshly delights, first as apparent and fallacious, afterwards as libidinous and lascivious, which ought to be shunned, and successively as damnable and hurtful to the soul, and at length it has a sense of them as being undelightful, disagreeable, and nauseous; and in the degree that it thus perceives and is sensible of these delights, in the same degree also it perceives the delights of conjugial love as innocent and chaste, and at length as delicious and blessed. The reason why the delights of conjugial love become also delights of the spirit in the flesh, is, because after the delights of adulterous love are removed, as was just said above, the spirit being loosed from them enters chaste into the body, and fills the breasts with the delights of its blessedness, and from the breasts fills also the ultimates of that love in the body; in consequence whereof, the spirit with these ultimates, and these ultimates with the spirits, afterwards act in full communion.

442. XVI. THE DELIGHTS OF ADULTEROUS LOVE ARE THE PLEASURES OF INSANITY; BUT THE DELIGHTS OF CONJUGIAL LOVE ARE THE DELIGHTS OF WISDOM. The reason why the delights of adulterous love are the pleasures of insanity is, because none but natural men are in that love, and the natural man is insane in spiritual things, for he is contrary to them, and therefore he embraces only natural, sensual, and corporeal delights. It is said that he embraces natural, sensual, and corporeal delights, because the natural principle is distinguished into three degrees: in the supreme degree are those natural men who from rational sight see insanities, and are still carried away by the delights thereof, as boats by the stream of a river; in a lower degree are the natural men who only see and judge from the senses of the body, despising and rejecting, as of no account, the rational principles which are contrary to appearances and fallacies; in the lowest degree are the natural men who without judgement are carried away by the alluring stimulant heats of the body. These last are called natural-corporeal, the former are called natural-sensual, but the first natural. With these men, adulterous love and its insanities and pleasures are of similar degrees.

443. The reason why the delights of conjugial love are the delights of wisdom is, because none but spiritual men are in that love, and the spiritual man is in wisdom; and hence he embraces no delights but such as agree with spiritual wisdom. The respective qualities of the delights of adulterous and of conjugial love, may be elucidated by a comparison with houses: the delights of adulterous love by comparison with a house whose walls glitter outwardly like sea shells, or like transparent stones, called selenites, of a gold color; whereas in the apartments within the walls, are all kinds of filth and nastiness: but the delights of conjugial love may be compared to a house, the walls of which are refulgent as with sterling gold, and the apartments within are resplendent as with cabinets full of various precious stones.


444. To the above I shall add the following MEMORABLE RELATION. After I had concluded the meditations on conjugial love, and had begun those on adulterous love, on a sudden two angels presented themselves, and said, "We have perceived and understood what you have heretofore meditated upon; but the things upon which you are now meditating pass away, and we do not perceive them. Say nothing about them, for they are of no value." But I replied, "This love, on which I am now meditating, is not of no value; because it exists." But they said, "How can there be any love, which is not from creation? Is not conjugial love from creation; and does not this love exist between two who are capable of becoming one? How can there be a love which divides and separates? What youth can love any other maiden than the one who loves him in return? Must not the love of the one know and acknowledge the love of the other, so that when they meet they may unite of themselves? Who can love what is not love? Is not conjugial love alone mutual and reciprocal? If it be not reciprocal, does it not rebound and become nothing?" On hearing this, I asked the two angels from what society of heaven they were? They said, "We are from the heaven of innocence; we came infants into this heavenly world, and were educated under the Lord's auspices; and when I became a young man, and my wife, who is here with me, marriageable, we were betrothed and entered into a contract, and were joined under the first favorable impressions; and as we were unacquainted with any other love than what is truly nuptial and conjugial, therefore, when we were made acquainted with the ideas of your thought concerning a strange love directly opposed to our love, we could not at all comprehend it; and we have descended in order to ask you, why you meditate on things that cannot be understood? Tell us, therefore, how a love, which not only is not from creation, but is also contrary to creation, could possibly exist? We regard things opposite to creation as objects of no value." As they said this, I rejoiced in heart that I was permitted to converse with angels of such innocence, as to be entirely ignorant of the nature and meaning of adultery: wherefore I was free to converse with them, and I instructed them as follows: "Do you not know, that there exist both good and evil, and that good is from creation, but not evil; and still that evil viewed in itself is not nothing, although it is nothing of good? From creation there exists good, and also good in the greatest degree and in the least; and when this least becomes nothing, there rises up on the other side evil: wherefore there is no relation or progression of good to evil, but a relation and progression of good to a greater and less good, and of evil to a greater and less evil; for in all things there are opposites. And since good and evil are opposites, there is an intermediate, and in it an equilibrium, in which evil acts against good; but as it does not prevail, it stops in a conatus. Every man is educated in this equilibrium, which, because it is between good and evil, or, what is the same, between heaven and hell, is a spiritual equilibrium, which, with those who are in it, produces a state of freedom. From this equilibrium, the Lord draws all to himself; and if a man freely follows, he leads him out of evil into good, and thereby into heaven. The case is the same with love, especially with conjugial love and adultery: the latter love is evil, but the former good. Every man that hears the voice of the Lord, and freely follows, is introduced by the Lord into conjugial love and all its delights and satisfactions; but he that does not hear and follow, introduces himself into adulterous love, first into its delights, afterwards into what is undelightful, and lastly into what is unsatisfactory." When I had thus spoken, the two angels asked me, "How could evil exist, when nothing but good had existed from creation? The existence of anything implies that it must have an origin. Good could not be the origin of evil, because evil is nothing of good, being privative and destructive of good; nevertheless, since it exists and is sensibly felt, it is not nothing, but something; tell us therefore whence this something existed after nothing." To this I replied, "This arcanum cannot be explained, unless it be known that no one is good but God alone, and that there is not anything good, which in itself is good, but from God; wherefore he that looks to God, and wishes to be led by God, is in good; but he that turns himself from God, and wishes to be led by himself, is not in good; for the good which he does, is for the sake either of himself or of the world; thus it is either meritorious, or pretended, or hypocritical: from which considerations it is evident, that man himself is the origin of evil; not that that origin was implanted in him by creation; but that he, by turning from God to himself, implanted it in himself. That origin of evil was not in Adam and his wife; but when the serpent said, 'In the day that ye shall eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, ye shall be as God' (Gen. iii. 5), they then made in themselves the origin of evil, because they turned themselves from God, and turned to themselves, as to God. To eat of that tree, signifies to believe that they knew good and evil, and were wise, from themselves, and not from God." But the two angels then asked, "How could man turn himself from God, and turn to himself, when yet he cannot will, think, and thence do anything but from God? Why did God permit this?" I replied, "Man was so created, that whatever he wills, thinks, and does, appears to him as in himself, and thereby from himself: without this appearance a man would not be a man; for he would be incapable of receiving, retaining, and as it were appropriating to himself anything of good and truth, or of love and wisdom: whence it follows, that without such appearance, as a living appearance, a man would not have conjunction with God, and consequently neither would he have eternal life. But if from this appearance he induces in himself a belief that he wills, thinks, and thence does good from himself, and not from the Lord, although in all appearance as from himself, he turns good into evil with himself, and thereby makes in himself the origin of evil. This was the sin of Adam. But I will explain this matter somewhat more clearly. The Lord looks at every man in the forepart of his head, and this inspection passes into the hinder part of his head. Beneath the forepart is the cerebrum, and beneath the hinder part is the cerebellum; the latter was designed for love and the goods thereof, and the former for wisdom and the truths thereof; wherefore he that looks with the face to the Lord receives from him wisdom, and by wisdom love; but he that looks backward from the Lord receives love and not wisdom; and love without wisdom, is love from man and not from the Lord; and this love, since it conjoins itself with falses, does not acknowledge God, but acknowledges itself for God, and confirms this tacitly by the faculty of understanding and growing wise implanted in it from creation as from itself; wherefore this love is the origin of evil. That this is the case, will admit of ocular demonstration. I will call hither some wicked spirit who turns himself from God, and will speak to him from behind, or into the hinder part of the head, and you will see that the things which are said are turned into their contraries." I called such a spirit and he presented himself, and I spoke to him from behind and said, "Do you know anything about hell, damnation, and torment in hell?" And presently, when he was turned to me, I asked him what he heard? He said, "I heard, 'Do you know anything concerning heaven, salvation, and happiness in heaven?'" and afterwards when the latter words were said to him from behind, he said that he heard the former. It was next said to him from behind, "Do you know that those who are in hell are insane from falses?" and when I asked him concerning these words what he heard, he said, "I heard, 'Do you know that those who are in heaven are wise from truths?'" and when the latter words were spoken to him from behind, he said that he heard, "Do you know that those who are in hell, are insane from falses?" and so in other instances: from which it evidently appears, that when the mind turns itself from the Lord, it turns to itself, and then it perceives things contrary. "This, as you know, is the reason why, in this spiritual world, no one is allowed to stand behind another, and to speak to him; for thereby there is inspired into him a love, which his own intelligence favors and obeys for the sake of its delight; but since it is from man, and not from God, it is a love of evil, or a love of the false. In addition to the above, I will relate to you another similar circumstance. On certain occasions I have heard goods and truths let down from heaven into hell; and in hell they were progressively turned into their opposites, good into evil, and truth into the false; the cause of this, the same as above, because all in hell turn themselves from the Lord." On hearing these two things the two angels thanked me, and said, "As you are now meditating and writing concerning a love opposite to our conjugial love, and the opposite to that love makes our minds sad, we will depart;" and when they said, "Peace be unto you," I besought them not to mention that love to their brethren and sisters in heaven, because it would hurt their innocence. I can positively assert that those who die infants, grow up in heaven, and when they attain the stature which is common to young men of eighteen years old in the world, and to maidens of fifteen years, they remain of that stature; and further, that both before marriage and after it, they are entirely ignorant what adultery is, and that such a thing can exist. New Thought Video delights the eyes and warms the heart.

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