Extracts

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Form

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[1 of 1] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Form" (search under Cosmology/Cosmology, Laws)": source "Divine Providence": detail "Section 4"
Divine love created all things, but nothing apart from the divine wisdom. But as it is not known how two distinct things can act as one, I wish now to show that there is no "one" apart from form, and that the form itself makes it a unit; then, that a form makes a "one" the more perfectly as the elements entering into it are distinctly different and yet united.
 Everyone who brings his mind to bear on the matter can see clearly that there is no "one" apart from form, and if a thing exists at all, it is a form. For what exists at all derives from form what is known as its character and its predicates, its changes of state, also its relevance, and so on. A thing without form has no way of affecting us, and what has no power of affecting, has no reality. The form itself supplies all these attributes. And as all things have a form, then if the form is perfect, all things in it regard each other mutually, as link does link in a chain. It follows that it is form which makes a thing a unit and thus an entity of which character, state, condition or anything else can be predicated; each is predicated of it according to the perfection of the form.
 Such a unit is every object which meets the eye in the world. Such, too, is everything not seen with the eye, whether in interior nature or in the spiritual world. The human being is such a unit, human society is, likewise the church, and in the Lord's view the whole angelic heaven too; in short, all creation in general and in every particular. For each and all things to be forms, he who created all things must be Form itself, and all things made must be from that form.
 A form makes a "one" the more perfectly as the elements entering into it are distinctly different and yet united. This hardly falls into a comprehension not elevated, for the appearance is that a form cannot make a "one" except as its elements are quite alike. I have spoken with angels often on the subject.
 They said that this is a secret perceived clearly by their wiser men, obscurely by the less wise. They said it is the truth that a form is the more perfect as its constituents are distinctly different and yet severally united. They established the fact from the societies which in the aggregate constitute the form of heaven, and from the angels of a society, for as these are different and free and love their associates from themselves and from their own affection, the form of the society is more perfect. They also illustrated the fact from the marriage of good and truth, in that the more distinguishably two these are, the more perfectly do they make a one; similarly, of love and wisdom. The indistinguishable is confusion, they said, whence comes imperfection of form.
 In various ways they went on to establish the manner in which perfectly distinct things are united and thus make a one, especially by what is in the human body, in which are innumerable things quite distinct and yet united, held distinct by coverings and united by ligaments. It is so with love, they said, and all its things, and wisdom and all its things, for love and wisdom are not perceived except as one.