Extracts

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Appearance, of life/action from oneself

swedenborg

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[1 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Appearance, of life/action from oneself" (search under Inner Life/Teachings)": source "Arcana Coelestia, vol.8": detail "Section 5846 - 5847"
The influx from the spiritual world into man is in general of such a nature that man cannot think or will anything of himself, but everything flows in; good and truth from the Lord through heaven, thus through the angels who are with the man; evil and falsity from hell, thus through the evil spirits who are with the man; and this into the man's thought and will. This I know will seem to be a very great paradox, because it is contrary to the appearance; but experience itself shall declare how the matter stands.
 No man, spirit, or angel ever has any life from himself, thus neither can he think and will from himself; because in thinking and willing is man's life, and speaking and acting is the life thence derived. For there is one only Life, that of the Lord, which flows into all, but is variously received, and indeed according to the quality that a man has induced on his soul by his life. Hence with the evil, goods and truths are turned into evils and falsities, but with the good they are received — goods as goods, and truths as truths. This may be compared to the light of the sun flowing into objects, which is modified and varied in them diversely according to the form of the parts, and thus is turned into colours, some sad and some cheerful. While a man lives in the world he induces a form on the purest substances of his interiors, so that it may be said that he forms his soul, that is, its quality.


[2 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Appearance, of life/action from oneself" (search under Inner Life/Teachings)": source "Divine Providence": detail "Section 154"
The appearance is that man is led and taught by himself; in reality he is led and taught by the Lord alone. Those who confirm the appearance in themselves and not the reality at the same time are unable to remove evils from themselves as sins, but those who confirm the appearance and at the same time the reality can do so; for evils are removed as sins apparently by the man, but really by the Lord. The latter can be reformed, but the former cannot.
 All who confirm the appearance in themselves and not the reality also, are idolaters inwardly, for they are worshipers of self and the world. If they have no religion they become worshipers of nature and thus atheists; if they have some religion they become worshipers of men and of images. Such are meant now in the first commandment of the Decalogue under those who worship other gods. Those, however, who confirm in themselves the appearance and also the reality become worshipers of the Lord, for he raises them out of what is their own, in which the appearance is, conducts them into the light in which the reality is, and which is the reality, and gives them to perceive inwardly that they are not led and taught by themselves but by him.
 The rational capacity of the two may seem much the same to many, but it differs. In those who are at once in the appearance and the reality, it is a spiritual reasoning ability, but in those in the appearance but not at the same time in the reality it is a natural reasoning ability; this can be likened to a garden in winter light, and the spiritual reasoning capacity to a garden in springtime light.