Extracts

image_left

Uses of evil

swedenborg

image_right
[1 of 3] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Evil, uses of" (search under Inner Life/Evil, Negative Emotion, Vice)": source "On the Earths in the Universe": detail "Section 77"
They are taught what is evil, and consequently what is good; for by evil is learnt what good is, the quality of good being discerned by its opposite, because all perception in every case is according to reflection, in relation to differences and distinctions suggested by opposites, in various manners and various degrees.

[2 of 3] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Evil, uses of" (search under Inner Life/Evil, Negative Emotion, Vice)": source "Heaven and Hell": detail "Section 508[6]"
Nevertheless, the insanity of such [the wicked] is restrained by the Lord that it may not rush beyond the limits of use; for even such spirits perform some use. In them good spirits see what evil is and its nature, and what man is when he is not led by the Lord. Another of their uses is their collecting together evil spirits like themselves and separating them from the good; and another, that the truths and goods that the evil had outwardly professed and feigned are taken away from them, and they are brought into the evils of their life and the falsities of their evil, and are thus prepared for hell.

[3 of 3] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Evil, uses of" (search under Inner Life/Evil, Negative Emotion, Vice)": source "Spiritual Experiences, vol.2": detail "Section 1054"
Sometimes, and in fact quite often, evil spirits are permitted to slip cunningly into heaven, that is, into the company of angels—for this is being in heaven, since heaven is not a separate place but rather societies having a heavenly character and heavenly intelligence. Sometimes, and when angels of the inward heaven are in certain states of mind, evil spirits gain admittance by imitating goodness, and so putting on the appearance of being angels; for angels gladly let them in. But when they are discovered, which happens because of their disharmony, then they are cast out of heaven.
 The reason for this is that also the angels are thereby tempted and tested as to whether they are as heavenly beings ought to be; for their dregs are ever clinging to them, and must in the course of time be put aside.
 So the angels are led astray, and their blemishes exposed. Evil spirits are like a ferment that stirs up evil. If the angels then let themselves be misled, then they too are banished from heaven for a time, and undergo the appropriate kinds of chastening, after which they are again let in. So I have heard several times.