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Spiritual Life and the Word of God Emanuel Swedenborg

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Spiritual Life and the Word of God

by Emanuel Swedenborg

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Part Third—PROFANATIONS OF GOOD AND TRUTH

I. Goods and Truths and Their Opposites

The Divine good that goes forth from the Lord is united with His Divine truth, as heat from the sun is with light in the time of spring. But angels, who are recipients of the Divine good and Divine truth going forth from the Lord, are distinguished as celestial and spiritual. Those who receive more of the Lord's Divine good than of His Divine truth are called celestial angels; because these constitute the kingdom of the Lord that is called the celestial kingdom. But the angels who receive more of the Lord's Divine truth than of his Divine good are called spiritual angels, because of these the Lord's spiritual kingdom consists. This makes clear that goods and truths have a twofold origin, namely, a celestial origin and a spiritual origin. Those goods and truths that are from a celestial origin are the goods and truths of love to the Lord; while those goods and truths that are from a spiritual origin are the goods and truths of love toward the neighbor. The difference is like that between higher and lower, or between inner and outer; thus like that between things that are in a higher or inner degree, and those that are in a lower or outer degree; and what this difference is can be seen from what has been said in the work on Heaven and Hell about the three degrees of the heavens, and thus of the angels and their intelligence and wisdom (H.H., n. 33, 34, 38, 39, 208, 209, 211, 435). (A.E., n. 1042.)

As the heavens are divided into two kingdoms, namely, into a celestial kingdom and a spiritual kingdom, so are the hells divided into two domains opposite to those kingdoms. The domain opposite to the celestial kingdom is called devilish, and the domain opposite to the spiritual kingdom is called infernal. These domains are distinguished in the Word by the names Devil and Satan. There are two domains in the hells, because the heavens and the hells are opposite to each other; and opposite must fully correspond to opposite that there may be equilibrium. For the springing forth and permanence of all things, both in the natural world and in the spiritual world, depend upon an exact equilibrium between two activities that are opposite; and when these act against each other manifestly, they act by forces, but when not manifestly they act by endeavors (canatus). By means of equilibriums all things in both worlds are preserved; without this all things would perish. In the spiritual world the equilibrium is between good from heaven and evil from hell; and thus between truth from heaven and falsity from hell. For the Lord arranges unceasingly that all kinds and species of good and truth in the heavens shall have opposite to them in the hells evils and falsities of kinds that correspond by opposition; thus goods and truths from a celestial origin have for their opposites evils and falsities that are called devilish; and in like manner goods and truths from a spiritual origin have for their opposites evils and falsities that are called infernal. The cause of these equilibriums is to be found in the fact that the same Divine goods and Divine truths that the angels in the heavens receive from the Lord, the spirits in the hells turn into evils and falsities. All angels, spirits, and men are kept by the Lord in equilibrium between good and evil, and thus between truth and falsity, in order that they may be in freedom; and thus may be led from evil to good and from falsity to truth easily and as if by themselves, although in fact they are led by the Lord. For the same reason they are led in freedom from good to evil, and from truth to falsity, and this, too, as if by themselves, although the leading is from hell. (A.E., n. 1043.) New Thought cards support us to live better

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