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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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VI. Conjunction by the Word

Since it is from creation that end, cause, and effect shall together make one, so it is from creation that the heavens shall make one with the church on the earth, but by means of the Word, when it is read by man from a love of truth and good. For the Word was given by the Lord to this end, that there might be a perpetual conjunction of the angels of heaven with men on the earth, and a perpetual communication according to conjunction. Without this medium there would be no conjunction or communication with heaven on this earth. The conjunction and communication are instantaneous, and for the reason that all things of the Word in the sense of the letter are as effects, in which the cause and the end exist together, and the effects, which are in the Word, are called uses, their cause truths, and their ends goods; and the Divine love, which is the Lord, unites these three together in the man who is in an affection for uses from the Word.

How a man draws and calls forth from the Word in the letter the natural sense, a spiritual angel the spiritual sense, and a celestial angel the celestial sense, and this instantly, from which there is a communication and a conjunction, shall be illustrated by comparisons; first by something in the animal kingdom, afterward by something in the vegetable kingdom, and finally by something in the mineral kingdom.

From the Animal Kingdom:—From the food, when it has been changed into chyle, the vessels draw and call forth their blood, the fibers of the nerves their fluid, and the substances that are the origins of fibers their spirit, which is called the animal spirit; and this is done through the vital heat, which in its essence is love. The vessels, the fibers, and the substances which are their origins, are distinct from each other, and yet they act as one throughout the body, and they act together and on the instant.

From the Vegetable Kingdom:—The tree, with its trunk and branches, leaves and fruits, stands upon its root, and from the soil where its root is draws and calls forth its sap, a coarser sap for the trunk and branches, a purer for the leaves, and a still purer and also nobler for the fruits and for the seeds in them; and this is done by means of heat from the sun. Here the branches, leaves, and fruit are distinct, and yet they extract together and instantly and from the same soil foods of such different purity and nobleness.

From the Mineral Kingdom:—In the bosom of the earth in certain places there are minerals impregnated with gold, silver, copper, and iron. From vapors stored up in the earth the gold attracts its element, silver its element, copper and iron theirs, distinctly, together, and on the instant, and this by means of some power of unknown heat.

As it is allowable to illustrate spiritual things by means of comparisons drawn from natural things, these will serve to illustrate how interior things, which are spiritual and celestial, and by which a man of the church has communication and conjunction with the heavens, can be drawn and called forth and extracted and eliminated from the Word in its outmosts, that is, the sense of the letter. Comparisons can be made with these, because all things in the three kingdoms of nature, animal, vegetable, and mineral, correspond to the spiritual things that are in the three heavens, as the food of the body with which a comparison has been made, corresponds to the food of the soul, which is knowledge, intelligence, and wisdom; a tree, with which also a comparison has been made, corresponds to man, the tree to man himself, the wood to his good, the leaves to his truths, and the fruits to his uses; so, too, gold, silver, copper, and iron, correspond to goods and truths, gold to celestial good, silver to spiritual truth, copper to natural good, and iron to natural truth. Moreover, these things have these significations in the Word. And what is wonderful, the purer are contained in the grosser and are drawn from them, as the animal spirit and the nerve fluid are contained in blood from which the original substances and nerve fibers draw and extract their distinct portions. So, again, fruits and leaves draw theirs from the gross fluid that is brought up from the soil by the wood and its bark, and so on. Thus comparatively, as has been said, the purer senses of the Word are drawn and called forth from the sense of the letter. (A.E., n. 1084.) the Keys to Heaven are with our grasp right now

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