Ignorance of spiritual life


[1 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Ignorance, and causes of" (search under Inner Life/Evil, Negative Emotion, Vice)": source "Divine Providence": detail "Section 149"
One reason why man does not wish to come out of spiritual servitude into spiritual freedom is that he does not know what either is; he does not have the truths to teach this, and without them spiritual servitude is believed to be freedom and spiritual freedom to be servitude. A second reason is that the religion of Christendom has closed the understanding, and "faith alone" has sealed it shut. Each has built an iron wall around itself in the dogma that theological matters transcend and cannot be approached by the reason, but are for the blind and not the seeing. So truths that would teach what spiritual liberty is have been hidden. A third reason is that few examine themselves and see their sins, and one who does not see and quit them is in the freedom that sins have, which is infernal freedom, in itself enslavement. To view heavenly freedom, which is genuine freedom, from that freedom is like trying to see daylight in pitch darkness or sunshine from under a black cloud. So it happens that it is not known what heavenly freedom is, or that the difference between it and infernal freedom is like the difference between what is living and what is dead.

[2 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Ignorance, and causes of" (search under Inner Life/Evil, Negative Emotion, Vice)": source "Spiritual Experiences, vol.1": detail "Section 205"
Angels were very amazed that people of the present time, even those reputed to be learned, do not grasp the fact that the human being is composed of three distinct faculties—in addition to the body, which will die—that actually relate to so many heavens of angels. And they were also surprised that people still do not know that a human being's life does not at all belong to the person, but that all life is poured in by God the Messiah.
 In other words, people are under such great shadows and deceptions, that they can hardly believe otherwise than that the eye sees of itself, thus that the mind within feels of itself, and that the human intellect understands of itself—when yet a lower entity is governed by one higher than itself, and all are governed by the Highest, thus by God the Messiah. It is only instrumental functions that human beings have from Him, by which they are individuated, as everyone can understand.
 Therefore, if we do not dispel these fallacies, we can never be said to abide in truth. To have faith, it is necessary that one believe truth; this opens up the way to God the Messiah, Who is Truth Itself.
 Therefore they are also greatly amazed—since human beings do not perceive by sense even the most nearby causes behind the objects of nature and yet believe they are there—that they should be unwilling to believe in the spiritual, heavenly and Divine realities that are remote, remoter and remotest, unless they perceive them with the eyes, and practically feel them.