God outside space and time


[1 of 1] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "God, outside of space and time" (search under Beings/God)": source "Divine Love and Wisdom": detail "Section 69 - 70"
The Divine fills all the spaces of the universe apart from space. There are two things proper to nature, space and time. From these in the natural world man forms the ideas of his thought, and thence his understanding. If he remains in these ideas, and does not raise his mind above them, he can never perceive anything spiritual and Divine; for he involves them in ideas which flow from space and time; and in proportion as he does this, the light [lumen] of his understanding becomes merely natural. To think from this lumen in reasoning about spiritual and Divine things, is like thinking from the thick darkness of night concerning those things which appear only in the light of day. This is the origin of naturalism. But he who knows how to raise his mind above the ideas of thought which flow from space and time, passes from thick darkness into light, and apprehends spiritual and Divine things, and at last sees those things which are in them and from them; and then from that light he disperses the thick darkness of the natural lumen, and relegates its fallacies from the middle to the sides. Every man who has understanding is able to think above the properties of nature, and also actually does so think; and then he affirms and sees that the Divine, because it is omnipresent, is not in space. He is also able to affirm and to see those things which have been adduced above. But if he denies the Divine Omnipresence, and ascribes all things to nature, in that case he does not wish to be raised, although he can be.
 All who die and become angels put off those two properties of nature, which, as said above, are space and time. They enter then into spiritual light, in which the objects of thought are truths, and the objects of sight are similar to the objects in the natural world, but correspondent to their thoughts. The objects of their thought which, as just stated, are truths, draw nothing at all from space and time; but the objects of their sight appear indeed as in space and in time, but still they do not think from these. The cause is that spaces and times there are not settled as in the natural world, but mutable according to the states of their life. Hence, in their stead, in the ideas of their thought there are states of life; instead of spaces there are such things as have relation to states of love, and instead of times there are such things as have relation to states of wisdom.