Discernment, and spiritual insight


[1 of 1] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Discernment, and spiritual insight" (search under Inner Life/Experiences)": source "Spiritual Experiences, vol.3": detail "Section 4644a"
I spoke with spirits about perception, saying that perception is twofold, one kind in regard to civil and moral matters, being a perception of what is just and right, the second in regard to heavenly and spiritual matters, being a perception of goodness and truth. The former is for people in the world, which they come by at birth, the latter for people in the other life, or for their spirit. The former kind is inward, or higher, the latter is outward, or lower, and the latter is a base for the former, for good and truth can flow into justice and righteousness, with which they interact.
 As for the lower kind of perception, or the kind in civil and moral matters, it exists with people on earth, and pertains to what is just and right, and is called common sense. Those who have a sense of what is just are able at once from the few things they know to perceive whether something is just or not; while those who have a sense of what is right cannot know this in the same way, but from laws, and from what they have learned. That the former is superior to the latter, is obvious. These perceptions they come by at birth. But at this day there is not a perception of heavenly good and spiritual truth. A perception of heavenly good had been given to those who were from the heavenly Church, and is called the perception of good, and is directly from the Lord. A perception of truth is given to those who have conscience, but according to truth that they have learned, impressed upon themselves, and are familiar with. These perceptions being also from the Lord, by means of conscience, are therefore called spiritual; but how different they are, is clear. From the perception in civil and moral matters, they are called rational, from the perception of good, they are called heavenly, and from that of truth, they are called spiritual and are eminently rational.