Extracts

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Immortality

swedenborg

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[1 of 1] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Immortality" (search under Afterlife/Afterlife, Heaven, Hell)": source "Spiritual Experiences, vol.2": detail "Section 2147 - 2149"
I began thinking about the fact that there are people who strive for immortality of fame by their deeds, writings, and such, also by sepulchral statues and other things. These things show that something was moving them to long for immortality, even though they knew they were going to die. Most of them hardly believed that they would live after death, as was certainly the case with the Romans, who were known to have striven for immortality more than others. They would expose themselves to death for the sake of their country, if only their name might live on after their death. Many of them hardly thought at all about immortality of the soul, or a life after death.
 The thought occurred to me, as to where this longing came from, for unless a higher cause flowed in, it could not exist. I spoke about the same subject with the heavenly angels, and then realized that the cause is, that the Lord imparts to everyone an awareness of immortality, with the purpose that it should be hidden to no one that they will live after death.
 This is a general inflow into all people, just as affection toward one's children, is a general inflow from the Lord, without which that affection could not possibly exist. So it is also with the desire for fame, and for inward fame, that is, immortality after death.
 But just as it is with everything else, all this inflow is qualified in the receivers or objects by their character, nature, form. When this reminder constantly streams in, as it does with some, with others it is distorted, and turned, depending on their lives or desires, into a passion only; with yet others, something else. With many it is turned only into lust for renown, just to obtain the objects of their passions. With some, it almost vanishes.
 In short, it is qualified by their lives, that is, their passions and longings.