Extracts

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Friendship, for its own sake only

swedenborg

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[1 of 1] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Friendship, for its own sake only" (search under Inner Life/Teachings)": source "Arcana Coelestia, vol.5": detail "Section 4054"
But there are societies [in the afterlife] that have no end or purpose of use, except to be among friends, male and female, and to have pleasures there, thus seeking their own gratification only, and making much of themselves exclusively, whether at home or publicly, it being all for the same end. Of such spirits there are at this day more societies than anyone could believe. As soon as they approach, their sphere begins to work, and extinguishes in others the affections of truth and good; and when these have been extinguished, then these spirits are in the pleasures of their friendship. These are the obstructions of the brain, and induce on it stupidity. Many societies of such spirits have been with me, and their presence was perceived by a dullness, sluggishness, and loss of affection; and I have sometimes spoken with them. They are pests and banes, although in the civic life of this world they had appeared good, delightful, witty, and also talented; for they know the proprieties of society, and how to insinuate themselves thereby, especially into friendships. What it is to be a friend to good, or what the friendship of good is, they neither know, nor desire to know. A sad lot awaits them; for at last they live in squalor, and in such stupidity that scarcely any human apprehension remains. For it is the end that makes the man, and such as is the end, such is the man.