Extracts

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Sex

swedenborg

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[1 of 1] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Sex, reproduction, porneia" (search under Inner Life/Evil, Negative Emotion, Vice)": source "Conjugial Love": detail "Section 98"
The love of sex with man is not the origin of conjugial love, but its first rudiment; thus it is like an external natural principle, in which an internal spiritual principle is implanted. The subject here treated of is love truly conjugial, and not ordinary love, which also is called conjugial, and which with some is merely the limited love of sex. Love truly conjugial exists only with those who desire wisdom, and who consequently advance more and more into wisdom. These the Lord foresees, and provides for them conjugial love; which love indeed commences with them from the love of sex, or rather by it; but still it does not originate in it; for it originates in proportion to the advancement in wisdom and the dawning of the light thereof in man; for wisdom and that love are inseparable companions.
 The reason why conjugial love commences by the love of sex is because before a suitable consort is found, the sex in general is loved and regarded with a fond eye, and is treated with civility from a moral ground: for a young man has to make his choice; and while this is determining, from an innate inclination to marriage with one, which lies concealed in the interiors of his mind, his external receives a gentle warmth.
 A further reason is, because determinations to marriage are delayed from various causes even to riper years, and in the meantime the beginning of that love is as lust; which with some actually goes astray into the love of sex; yet with them it is indulged no further than may be conducive to health. This, however, is to be understood as spoken of the male sex, because it has enticements which actually inflame it; but not of the female sex.
 From these considerations it is evident that the love of sex is not the origin of love truly conjugial; but that it is its first rudiment in respect to time, yet not in respect to end; for what is first in respect to end, is first in the mind and its intention, because it is regarded as primary; but to this first there is no approaching unless successively through mediums, and these are not first in themselves, but only conducive to what is first in itself.