Extracts

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Outer, holds inner in order

swedenborg

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[1 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Outer, holds inner in order" (search under Cosmology/Cosmology, Laws)": source "Arcana Coelestia, vol.11": detail "Section 9824"
That the outermost is more holy than the internal things, is on this ground, that by the external all interior things are held together in their order, and in their form and connection, and indeed to such a degree, that should the external be removed, the internal things would be dispersed, because the internal things not only terminate in the external, but are also together in it. That this is so, may be known to those who are aware how the case is with things successive and things simultaneous, namely, that the successive things which proceed and follow one another in their order, are nevertheless also presented together in the last or ultimate things.
 Let the end, the cause, and the effect serve as an example: the end is the first in order, the cause the second, and the effect the last; thus also they progress successively, but, nevertheless, the cause is presented together in the effect which is the last, and the end in the cause; wherefore, the effect is a container filled up, in which interior, that is, prior things are likewise brought together, and where they lodge. With the willing, thinking, and doing in man the case is the same; willing is the first, thinking the second, and doing the last; this last also is the effect, in which prior, that is, interior things exist together, for so far as a man's doing, or his deed, contains in itself what the man thinks, and what he wills, so far the interior things are held together in their form and connection.
 On this ground it is declared in the Word (Bible) that a man will be judged according to his deeds, that is, according to his works, by which is meant that he will be judged according to his thinking and willing; because these are in his doings as the soul is in its body. Now, inasmuch as the interior things present themselves together in the last or ultimate, therefore, as said above, if order is perfect, the ultimate is regarded as more holy than the interior things, because in the ultimate or last the holiness of the interior things is gathered up.


[2 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Mind" (search under Inner Life/Mind, Psyche, Soul, Spirit)": source "Divine Love and Wisdom": detail "Section 260 - 263"
Because the natural mind is the covering and continent of the higher degrees of the human mind, it is reactive; and if the higher degrees are not opened, it acts against them, but if they are opened, it acts with them. Because the natural mind is in the ultimate degree, it envelops and encloses the spiritual mind and the celestial mind, which are higher than it as regards degrees. It is now to he shown that the natural mind reacts against the higher or interior minds. The cause why it reacts is, that it covers, includes and contains them, and this is not possible to be done apart from reaction; for unless it reacted, the interior or enclosed things would loosen, protrude outwards, and fall to pieces. So if the tunics around the human body were not in reaction, the viscera, which are the interiors of the body, would push forth, and welter asunder. So also if the membrane investing the motor fibres of a muscle did not react against the forces of these fibres in action, not, only would action cease, but all the inner tissues would be broken down.
 The like is the case with every ultimate degree of the degrees of altitude; consequently with the natural mind relatively to the higher degrees; for, as was said above, there are three degrees of the human mind, the natural, the spiritual, and the celestial, and the natural mind is in the ultimate degree. Another reason why the natural mind reacts against the spiritual mind, is that the natural mind consists not only of substances of the spiritual world, but also of substances of the natural world, and the substances of the natural world from their nature react against the substances of the spiritual world; for the substances of the natural world in themselves are dead, and are acted on from without by the substances of the spiritual world, and those substances which are dead, and which are acted on from without, from their nature resist, and so from their nature react. Hence it may appear that the natural man reacts against the spiritual man, and that there is combat. It is the same thing whether you say the natural and spiritual man, or the natural and spiritual mind.
 From these things it may appear, that if the spiritual mind is closed up, the natural mind continually acts against those things which are of the spiritual mind, and fears lest anything should flow in therefrom to perturb its states. All that which flows in through the spiritual mind, is from heaven, for the spiritual mind is in form a heaven; and all which inflows into the natural mind is from the world, for the natural mind is in form a world. From this it follows that the natural mind, when the spiritual mind is closed up, reacts against all things of heaven, and does not admit them into it excepting in so far as they serve it for means for acquiring and possessing those things which belong to the world. And when the things which are of heaven also serve the natural mind as means to its own ends, then those means, although they appear heavenly, nevertheless become natural; for the end qualifies them, and they become like the scientifics of the natural man, in which intrinsically there is nothing of life. But because heavenly things cannot be so conjoined with natural things that the two act as one, therefore they separate, and the heavenly things with merely natural men take their place from without in a circuit around the natural things which are within. Hence it is that a merely natural man can say and preach heavenly things, and also feign them by his actions, although inwardly he thinks against them; the latter he does when he is alone, but the former when he is in company. But of these things more in what follows.
 By virtue of the reaction which is in him from birth, the natural mind or man, when he loves himself and the world above all things, acts against those things which are of the spiritual mind or man. Then also he feels delight in evils of every kind, as in adulteries, defraudings, revenges, blasphemings, and other the like things. And then also he acknowledges nature as creative of the universe: and confirms all these things by his rational faculty; and after the confirmations he either perverts, or suffocates, or repels the goods and truths of heaven and the church; and at length he either shuns them, or turns his back upon them, or hates them. This he does in his spirit, and in the body just so far as he dares to speak with others from his spirit without fear of the loss of good name as a means to honour and lucre. When a man is such, he successively shuts up the spiritual mind closer and closer; confirmations of evil by falsities especially shut it. Hence it is, that evil and falsity confirmed, after death cannot be extirpated; they are extirpated only in the world by repentance.
 But the state of the natural mind is altogether different when the spiritual mind is open: in this case the natural mind is disposed for submission to the spiritual mind, and is subordinated. For the spiritual mind acts from above or from within upon the natural mind, and removes those things which there react, and adapts to itself those which act in like manner with itself; hence the overbearing reaction is gradually taken away. It is to be noted, that in the greatest and least things of the universe, whether living or dead, action and reaction exist; hence the equilibrium of all things: this is lost when action overcomes reaction, and vice versa. Similar is the case with the natural mind and with the spiritual mind.
 The natural mind by birth is in opposition to those things which belong to the spiritual mind, which opposition, as is well known, it derives by heredity from parents. Such is the change of state which is called reformation and regeneration. The state of the natural mind before reformation may be compared to a spiral twisting or circumflexing downwards; but after reformation it may be compared to a spiral twisting or circumflexing upwards; wherefore a man before reformation looks downwards to hell, but after reformation he looks upwards to heaven.