Aims, motives


[1 of 1] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Aims" (search under Inner Life/Practices)": source "Spiritual Experiences, vol.1": detail "Section 800 - 803"
According to the goals that we set for ourself during bodily life, in every respect—regarding ourself, society in common, heaven, the Lord—we are assigned a place after bodily life as a member in that greatest body.
 That people's goals or motives determine their placement is clear from the fact that our life consists of our motives, which are mostly the same as our loves; and our motives, taken together, are like our soul—and such indeed does our soul become. For one's soul looks only toward purposes, and is a bundle of purposes. So it is that during bodily life, we develop a soul for ourself, which is our character and instinct.
 That our purposes determine our place is also clear from the fact that whenever people are looking to a personal goal, such as themselves, or something connected with themselves, even if they are benefitting the community, so that the common good is thus served, they are still not at all rewarded for that, because their motive was not the common good, but a personal goal. It is same as when devils are striving for the harm and destruction of a person, of society, and of the human race, and the Lord turns it into something good and salutory: yet that devil who had had an evil, a most evil, intention, remains nevertheless a devil, and becomes worse.
 The worst purpose of all is that of one whose goal is self. Then common and universal interests are focused upon oneself. Next worse is the purpose of those who have the world as their goal.