Extracts

image_left

Life and actions

swedenborg

image_right
[1 of 1] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Actions, relation to intentions" (search under Inner Life/Teachings)": source "Heaven and Hell": detail "Section 475"
It must be understood that in deeds or works the whole man is exhibited, and that his will and thought or his love and faith, which are his interiors, are not complete until they exist in deeds or works, which are his exteriors, for these are the outmosts in which the will and thought terminate, and without such terminations they are interminate, and have as yet no existence, that is, are not yet in the man. To think and to will without doing, when there is opportunity, is like a flame that is enclosed in a vessel and goes out; also like seed cast upon the sand, which fails to grow, and so perishes with its power of germination. But to think and will and from that to do is like a flame that gives heat and light all around, or like a seed in the ground that grows up into a tree or flower and continues to live. Everyone can know that willing and not doing, when there is opportunity, is not willing; also that loving and not doing good, when there is opportunity, is not loving, but mere thought that one wills and loves; and this is thought separate, which vanishes and is dissipated. Love and will constitute the soul itself of a deed or work, and give form to its body in the honest and just things that the man does. This is the sole source of man's spiritual body, or the body of his spirit; that is, it is formed solely out of the things that the man does from his love or will. In a word, all things of man and his spirit are contained in his deeds or works.