Extracts

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Understanding and will

swedenborg

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[1 of 1] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Humans, makeup, nature of" (search under Outer Life/Body)": source "Arcana Coelestia, vol.9": detail "Section 7179 - 7181"
Man has two faculties, one of which is called the understanding, and the other the will. The will was given man for the sake of the good which is of love, and the understanding for the sake of the truth which is of faith, for the good which is of love has relation to the will, and the truth which is of faith has relation to the understanding. Each faculty communicates wonderfully with the other. They become conjoined with those who are in good and thence in truth; and they also become conjoined with those who are in evil and thence in falsity: with both the latter and the former, those two faculties constitute one mind. It is otherwise with those who are in truth as to faith, and in evil as to the life; likewise with those who are in falsity as to faith, and in apparent good as to the life.
 It is not allowed man to divide his mind, and to separate those two faculties from each other, that is, to understand and speak truth, and to will and do evil; for in this case one faculty would look upwards or towards heaven, and the other would look downwards or towards hell, and thus the man would remain suspended between them. But let him know that the will carries him along, and that the understanding favours. From these considerations it is evident how the case is with faith and with love, and with the state of a man if they are separated.
 Nothing is more necessary for man than to know whether heaven or hell be within him; for in one or the other he must live to eternity. In order that he may know this, it is necessary that he should know what good is and what evil is, for good constitutes heaven, and evil constitutes hell. The doctrine of charity teaches both.