Extracts

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Sex and afterlife

swedenborg

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[1 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Sex, reproduction, porneia" (search under Inner Life/Evil, Negative Emotion, Vice)": source "Conjugial Love": detail "Section 46 - 48"
The love of sex remains with every man after death, according to its interior quality; that is, such as it had been in his interior will and thought in the world. Every love follows a man after death, because it is the esse (being) of his life; and the ruling love, which is the head of the rest, remains with him to eternity, and together with it the subordinate loves. The reason why they remain, is because love properly appertains to the spirit of man, and to the body by derivation from the spirit; and a man after death becomes a spirit and thereby carries his love along with him; as love is the esse of a man's life, it is evident, that such as a man's life has been in the world, such is his lot after death. The love of sex is the most universal of all loves, being implanted from creation in the very soul of man, from which the essence of the whole man is derived, and this for the sake of the propagation of the human race. The reason why this love chiefly remains, is because after death a male is a male, and a female a female, and because there is nothing in the soul, the mind, and the body, which is not male (or masculine) in the male, and female (or feminine) in the female; and these two (the male and female) are so created, that they have a continual tendency to conjunction, yea, to such a conjunction as to become a one. This tendency is the love of sex, which precedes conjugial love. Now, since a conjunctive inclination is inscribed on every part and principle of the male and of the female, it follows that this inclination cannot be destroyed and die with the body.
 The reason why the love of sex remains such as it was interiorly in the world, is, because every man has an internal and an external, which are also called the internal and external man; and hence there is an internal and an external will and thought. A man when he dies, quits his external, and retains his internal; for externals properly belong to his body, and internals to his spirit. Now since every man is his own love, and love resides in the spirit, it follows, that the love of sex remains with him after death, such as it was interiorly with him: as for example, if the love interiorly had been conjugial and chaste, it remains such after death; but if it had been interiorly adulterous (anti-conjugial), it remains such also after death. It is however to be observed that the love of sex is not the same with one person as with another; its differences are infinite: nevertheless, such as it is in any one's spirit, such it remains.
 Conjugial love in like manner remains such as it had been interiorly; that is, such as it had been in the man's interior will and thought in the world. As the love of sex is one thing, and conjugial love another, therefore mention is made of each; and it is said, that the latter also remains after death such as it has been internally with a man, during his abode in the world: but as few know the distinction between the love of sex and conjugial love, therefore, it may be expedient briefly to point it out. The love of sex is directed to several, and contracted with several of the sex; but conjugial love is directed to only one, and contracted with one of the sex; moreover, love directed to and contracted with several is a natural love; for it is common to man with beasts and birds, which are natural: but conjugial love is a spiritual love, and peculiar and proper to men; because men were created, and are therefore born to become spiritual; therefore, so far as a man becomes spiritual, so far he puts off the love of sex, and puts on conjugial love. In the beginning of marriage the love of sex appears as if conjoined with conjugial love; but in the progress of marriage they are separated; and in this case, with such as are spiritual, the love of sex is removed, and conjugial love is imparted; but with such as are natural, the contrary happens. From these observations it is evident, that the love of sex, being directed to and contracted with several and being in itself natural, yea, animal, is impure and unchaste, and being vague and indeterminate in its object, is adulterous; but the case is altogether different with conjugial love.


[2 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Sex, reproduction, porneia" (search under Inner Life/Evil, Negative Emotion, Vice)": source "Conjugial Love": detail "Section 37 - 38"
The love of sex especially remains [after death]; and with those who go to heaven, which is the case with all who become spiritual here on earth, conjugial love remains. The reason why the love of sex remains with man after death, is, because after death a male is a male and a female a female; and the male principle in the male is male (or masculine) in the whole and in every part thereof; and so is the female principle in the female; and there is a tendency to conjunction in all their parts, even the most singular; and as this conjunctive tendency was implanted from creation, and thence perpetually influences, it follows, that the one desires and seeks conjunction with the other. Love, considered in itself, is a desire and consequent tendency to conjunction; and conjugial love to conjunction into a one; for the male-man and the female-man were so created, that from two they may become as it were one man, or one flesh; and when they become a one, then, taken together they are a man in his fullness; but without such conjunction, they are two, and each is a divided or half-man. Now as the above conjunctive tendency lies concealed in the inmost of every part of the male, and of every part of the female, and the same is true of the faculty and desire to be conjoined together into a one, it follows, that the mutual and reciprocal love of sex remains with men after death.
 We speak distinctively of the love of sex and of conjugial love, because the one differs from the other. The love of sex exists with the natural man; conjugial love with the spiritual man. The natural man loves and desires only external conjunctions, and the bodily pleasures thence derived; whereas the spiritual man loves and desires internal conjunctions and the spiritual satisfactions thence derived; and these satisfactions he perceives are granted with one wife, with whom he can perpetually be more and more joined together into a one: and the more he enters into such conjunction the more he perceives his satisfactions ascending in a similar degree, and enduring to eternity; but respecting anything like this the natural man has no idea. This then is the reason why it is said, that after death conjugial love remains with those who go to heaven, which is the case with all those who become spiritual here on earth.