Extracts

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Substance, and matter

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[1 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Substance, and matter" (search under Cosmology/Science)": source "Divine Love and Wisdom": detail "Section 300 - 301"
There is one only substance from which all things are, and that the sun of the spiritual world is that substance; and because the Divine is not in space, and because it is the same in the greatest and least things, therefore that sun which is the first proceedent of God Man is so likewise. And further, that that one only substance, which is the sun, proceeding by means of atmospheres according to continuous degrees or those of latitude, and at the same time according to discrete degrees or those of altitude, presents the varieties of all things in the created universe. The angels also said that these things can in no wise be comprehended, unless spaces be removed from ideas; and that if they are not removed, appearances must, necessarily induce fallacies. Yet these fallacies cannot be induced so long as the thought is held that God is the very Esse from which all things come.
 Moreover, from angelic ideas, which are apart from space, it is manifest that nothing lives in the created universe but God Man alone, that is the Lord; and that nothing is moved but by life from Him; and that nothing is but through the sun from Him; so that it is a truth, that in God we live, are moved, and are.


[2 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Substance, and matter" (search under Cosmology/Science)": source "Divine Providence": detail "Section 6"
Many avow that there is a single substance which is also the first, from which are all things, but what that substance is, is not known. The belief is that it is so simple nothing is more so, and that it can be likened to a point without dimensions, and that dimensional forms arose out of an infinite number of such points. But this is a fallacy, springing from an idea of space. To such an idea there seems to be such a least thing. The truth is that the simpler and purer a thing is, the more replete it is and the more complete. This is why the more interiorly a thing is examined, the more wonderful, perfect, and well-formed are the things seen in it, and in the first substance the most wonderful, perfect, and fully formed of all. For the first substance is from the spiritual sun, which is from the Lord and in which he is. That sun is therefore the sole substance and, not being in space, is all in all, and is in the greatest and least things of the created universe.
 As that sun is the first and sole substance from which all things are, it follows that in it are infinitely more things than can possibly appear in substances arising from it, called substantial and lastly material. This infinity cannot appear in derivative substances because these descend from that sun by degrees of two kinds in accord with which perfections decline. For that reason, as we said above, the more interiorly a thing is regarded, the more wonderful, perfect, and well-formed are the things seen. This has been said to establish the fact that the divine is in some image in every created thing, but is less and less manifest with the descent over degrees, and still less when a lower degree, parted from the higher by being closed, is also choked with earthy matter.