Senses and perception


[1 of 1] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Senses, relation to spirit" (search under Outer Life/Body)": source "Arcana Coelestia, vol.12": detail "Section 10199"
All things perceived by man by means of the sensory organs, as smell, taste, sight, hearing, and touch, signify spiritual things that have the relation to the good of love and the truths of faith. Hence smell signifies the perception of interior truth from the good of love; taste, the perception and affection of knowing and growing wise; sight, the understanding of the truths of faith; hearing, perception from the good of faith and from obedience; and touch in general, communication, transference, and reception. The reason of this is, that all external sensations derive their origin from internal sensations which belong to the understanding and the will, that is, in man, from the truths of faith and from the good of love; for these constitute the Intellectual and the Voluntary in man. But the internal sensations, which belong to man's understanding and will, do not sensate like the external senses, but are turned into such things when they flow in. For all things perceived by means of the external sensory organs, flow in from internal things; for all influx is from internal things into external, but not the reverse, because there is no such thing as physical influx, that is, from the natural world into the spiritual; but influx takes place from the spiritual into the natural world. The man's interiors belonging to his understanding and will, are in the spiritual world, and his exteriors which are proper to the bodily senses are in contact with the natural world; hence it is clear what correspondence is, and what its nature.