Extracts

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Creation, as hierarchy

swedenborg

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[1 of 1] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Creation, as hierarchy" (search under Cosmology/Cosmology, Laws)": source "Arcana Coelestia, vol.9": detail "Section 7270"
He who does not understand how the case is with order in successive degrees, is unable to know how the case is with influx; therefore the subject shall be briefly stated.
 As the truth which proceeds immediately from the Lord is from the Infinite Divine itself, it cannot possibly be received by any living substance which is finite, thus not by any angel; wherefore the Lord created successive degrees or substances, through which as media the Divine Truth proceeding immediately might be communicated. But the first successive substance from this is still too full of the Divine to be received by any living substance which is finite, thus by any angel; wherefore the Lord created another successive degree or substance, through which the Divine Truth proceeding immediately might be capable of being received as to some portion: this successive degree is the truth Divine which is in heaven.
 The first two degrees are above the heavens, and are as it were radiant belts from a flaming substance, and encompass the [spiritual] Sun, which is the Lord. Such is the successive order even to the heaven nearest to the Lord, which is the third heaven, where are those who are innocent and wise. From this they are continued successively even to the last heaven, and from the last heaven to the sensual and corporeal degree of man, which receives the influx last. From these considerations it appears that there are continual successions from the First, that is, from the Lord, even to the last things which are with man, yea, to the last things which are in nature. The last things which are with man, as well as those in nature, are relatively inert, and thus cold, and they are relatively general, and thus obscure.
 From this it is also evident, that by means of those successions there is a continuous nexus of all things with the First Esse [Being]. Influx is circumstanced according to those successions, for the Divine Truth which proceeds immediately from the Divine Good flows in successively; and in the way, or around each new successive degree, it becomes more general, and thus grosser and more obscure, and it becomes slower, and thus more inert, and colder. From these considerations it appears what is the character of the Divine order of successive degrees, and consequently of influxes. But it must be well borne in mind that the Truth Divine, which inflows into the third heaven that is nearest the Lord, at the same time flows in, without any successive formation, into the ultimates of order, and there also governs and provides all things in general and particular immediately from the First. Thus the successive [formations] are held together in their order and nexus.
 That this is the case, may also in some measure be manifest from a maxim not unknown to the learned in the world, that there is but one substance, which is substance, and that all others are formations from it, and that in the formations this one only substance rules, not only as form, but even as not form, as in its origin. If this were not the case, what is formed could in nowise subsist and act. But these remarks are for him who is intelligent.