Extracts

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Conjunction

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[1 of 1] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Conjunction, between God, angel, man" (search under Inner Life/Teachings)": source "True Christian Religion": detail "Section 371"
There are two kinds of reciprocation by which conjunction is produced; one is alternate, the other mutual. Alternate reciprocation, by which conjunction is produced, may be illustrated by the respiration of the lungs. A man draws in the air, and thus dilates the thorax or chest; presently after he emits the air he had drawn in, and thus compresses the thorax. This attraction and consequent dilation is effected by means of the incumbent air, in proportion to its column; but the emission and consequent compression is effected by the strength of the muscles acting upon the ribs. Such is the reciprocal conjunction of air and the lungs, on which depends the life of all the senses and motions of the body; for when respiration ceases, all sense and motion instantly cease with it.
 The reciprocal conjunction of the Lord and man is not however of this sort, but is a mutual conjunction, not effected by action and reaction, but by co-operations; for the Lord acts, and the man receives action from the Lord, and operates as from himself, yet of himself from the Lord. This operation of the man from the Lord is imputed to him as his own, for he is continually kept in free-will by the Lord. The free-will thence resulting is this, that he has power to will and think from the Lord, that is, from the Word (Bible), and also has power to will and think from the devil, that is, against the Lord and the Word. The Lord gives a man this freedom, in order that he may be capable of performing his part in effecting this reciprocal conjunction, and of being gifted, through such conjunction, with eternal life and happiness, which, without reciprocal conjunction, cannot possibly be attained.
 This reciprocal conjunction, which is of the mutual kind, may also he illustrated by various things in man and the world. Such is the conjunction of soul and body in every particular person, such is the conjunction of the will and action, and such also that of the thought and speech; such likewise is that of the two eyes with each other, and of the two ears, and of the two nostrils. The conjunction of the two eyes with each other is reciprocal after its manner, as is evident from the optic nerve, in which the fibres from both hemispheres of the cerebrum are folded together, and in that folded state extend to both the eyes. The case is similar with the ears and nostrils. The same reciprocal mutual conjunction exists between light and the eye, sound and the ear, smell and the nostril, taste and the tongue, touch and the body; for the eye is in the light, and the light is in the eye; sound is in the ear, and the ear is in the sound: smell is in the nostril, and the nostril is in the smell; taste is in the tongue, and the tongue is in the taste; and touch is in the body, and the body is in the touch. This reciprocal conjunction may also be compared with the conjunction of a horse and a chariot, of an ox and a plough, of a wheel and a machine, of a sail and the wind, of a musical pipe and the air; in short, such is the reciprocal conjunction of the end and the cause, and such also that of the cause and the effect.