Cause, effect and end in world and man


[1 of 3] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Cause, effect, end, in world and man" (search under Cosmology/Science)": source "Conjugial Love": detail "Section 400"
All operations in the universe have a progression from ends through causes into effects. These three are in themselves indivisible, although in idea they appear divided; but still the end, unless the intended effect is seen together with it, is not anything; nor does either become anything, unless the cause supports, contrives, and conjoins it. Such a progression is inherent in every man in general, and in every particular, altogether as will, understanding, and action: every end in regard to man relates to the will, every cause to the understanding, and every effect to the action.

[2 of 3] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Cause, effect, end, in world and man" (search under Cosmology/Science)": source "Divine Love and Wisdom": detail "Section 167 - 169"
The end of creation exists in ultimates, which end is, that all things may return to the creator, and that there may be conjunction. In the first place, something shall be said of ends. There are three things which follow in order, which are called the first end, the middle end, and the last end; and they are also called the end, the cause, and the effect. These three must be together in everything, in order that it may be anything. For a first end without a middle end, and at the same time a last end, is impossible; or, what is the same thing, an end alone without a cause and an effect is impossible. So neither is a cause alone possible without an end from which it is, and without an effect in which it is; nor is an effect alone possible, that is, an effect without a cause and its end. That this is so may be comprehended if it be considered that an end without an effect, that is, separated from an effect, is not an existing thing, and therefore is a mere term. Thus an end, in order that it may actually be an end, must be terminated, and it is terminated in its effect, in which it is for the first time called an end, because it is an end. It appears as if the agent or efficient exists by itself; but this is an appearance arising from the fact that it is in the effect; but if it is separated from the effect it is annulled in a moment. From these things it appears that these three, end, cause, and effect, must be in everything to make it anything.
 Moreover it requires to be known, that the end is the all in the cause, and also the all in the effect: hence it is that the end, the cause, and the effect, are called the first end, the middle end, and the last end. But that the end may be all in the cause, there must be something out of the end in which the end shall be; and that it may be all in the effect, there must be something out of the end through the cause, in which the end shall be. The end cannot be in itself alone, but it must be in something existing from itself, in which it may dwell as to all that is its own, and effect deeds of action, until at last it subsists. That in which it subsists is the last or ultimate end, which is called the effect.
 These three things, namely, end, cause, and effect, are in the created universe, both in its greatest things and in its least things. These three are in the greatest and least things of the created universe, because these three are in God the Creator.

[3 of 3] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Influx (influences), God to man" (search under Beings/God)": source "Divine Providence": detail "Section 124"
To this let me append two arcana of angelic wisdom showing further what divine providence is like. One is that the Lord never acts on one thing by itself in man, but on all things at the same time, and the other is that he acts at once from inmosts and outmosts. He never acts on some one thing by itself but on all things together because all things in man are in such connection and from this in such form that they act not as a number but as one. We know that there is such connectedness and by it such organization in man’s body. The human mind is in similar form as a result of the connection of all things, for the mind is the spiritual man and truly the man. Hence man's spirit or the mind in the body in its entire form is man. Consequently man is man after death equally as he was in the world with the sole difference that he has thrown off the clothing which made up his body in the world.
 As the human form, then, is such that all its parts form a community which acts as a whole, some one thing cannot be moved out of place or altered in state except with adaptation of the rest, for if it were, the form which acts as a whole would suffer. Hence it is plain that the Lord never acts on any one thing without acting on all. So he acts on the total angelic heaven since in his view it is like one man; so he acts on each angel, for each angel is heaven in least form; so he acts also on each man, most nearly on all things of mans mind and by these on all things of his body; for man's mind is his spirit and in the measure of conjunction with the Lord is an angel, and the body is obedience.