DIVINE LOVE >> Heat >> Will >> Heart
LOVE IS THE LIFE OF MAN.
Man knows that there is such a thing as love, but he does not know what love is. He knows that there is such a thing as love from common speech, as when it is said, he loves me, a king loves his subjects, and subjects love their king, a husband loves his wife, a mother her children, and conversely; also, this or that one loves his country, his fellow citizens, his neighbor; and likewise of things abstracted from person, as when it is said, one loves this or that thing. But although the word love is so universally used, hardly anybody knows what love is. And because one is unable, when he reflects upon it, to form to himself any idea of thought about it, he says either that it is not anything, or that it is merely something flowing in from sight, hearing, touch, or interaction with others, and thus affecting him. He is wholly unaware that love is his very life; not only the general life of his whole body, and the general life of all his thoughts, but also the life of all their particulars. This a man of discernment can perceive when it is said: If you remove the affection which is from love, can you think anything, or do anything? Do not thought, speech, and action, grow cold in the measure in which the affection which is from love grows cold? And do they not grow warm in the measure in which this affection grows warm? But this a man of discernment perceives simply by observing that such is the case, and not from any knowledge that love is the life of man. [DLW1]
What the life of man is, no one knows unless he knows that it is love. If this is not known, one person may believe that man’s life is nothing but perceiving with the senses and acting, and another that it is merely thinking; and yet thought is the first effect of life, and sensation and action are the second effect of life. Thought is here said to be the first effect of life, yet there is thought which is interior and more interior, also exterior and more exterior. What is actually the first effect of life is inmost thought, which is the perception of ends. But of all this hereafter, when the degrees of life are considered. [DLW2]
Some idea of love, as being the life of man, may be had from the sun’s heat in the world. This heat is well known to be the common life, as it were, of all the vegetations of the earth. For by virtue of heat, coming forth in springtime, plants of every kind rise from the ground, deck themselves with leaves, then with blossoms, and finally with fruits, and thus, in a sense, live. But when, in the time of autumn and winter, heat withdraws, the plants are stripped of these signs of their life, and they wither. So it is with love in man; for heat and love mutually correspond. Therefore love also is warm. [DLW3]
GOD ALONE, CONSEQUENTLY THE LORD, IS LOVE ITSELF,
BECAUSE HE IS LIFE ITSELF AND ANGELS AND MEN ARE RECIPIENTS OF LIFE.
This will be fully shown in treatises on Divine Providence and on Life; it is sufficient here to say that the Lord, who is the God of the universe, is uncreate and infinite, whereas man and angel are created and finite. And because the Lord is uncreate and infinite, He is Being [Esse] itself, which is called “Jehovah,” and Life itself, or Life in itself. From the uncreate, the infinite, Being itself and Life itself, no one can be created immediately, because the Divine is one and indivisible; but their creation must be out of things created and finited, and so formed that the Divine can be in them. Because men and angels are such, they are recipients of life. Consequently, if any man suffers himself to be so far misled as to think that he is not a recipient of life but is Life, he cannot be withheld from the thought that he is God. A man’s feeling as if he were life, and therefore believing himself to be so, arises from fallacy; for the principal cause is not perceived in the instrumental cause otherwise than as one with it. That the Lord is Life in Himself, He Himself teaches in John:
As the Father hath life in Himself, so also hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself (5:26)
He declares also that He is Life itself (John 11:25; 14:6).
Now since life and love are one (as is apparent from what has been said above, n. 1, 2), it follows that the Lord, because He is Life itself, is Love itself. [DLW4]
But that this may reach the understanding, it must needs be known positively that the Lord, because He is Love in its very essence, that is, Divine Love, appears before the angels in heaven as a sun, and that from that sun heat and light go forth; the heat which goes forth therefrom being in its essence love, and the light which goes forth therefrom being in its essence wisdom; and that so far as the angels are recipients of that spiritual heat and of that spiritual light, they are loves and wisdoms; not loves and wisdoms from themselves, but from the Lord. That spiritual heat and that spiritual light not only flow into angels and affect them, but they also flow into men and affect them just to the extent that they become recipients; and they become recipients in the measure of their love to the Lord and love towards the neighbor. That sun itself, that is, the Divine Love, by its heat and its light, cannot create any one immediately from itself; for one so created would be Love in its essence, which Love is the Lord Himself; but it can create from substances and matters so formed as to be capable of receiving the very heat and the very light; comparatively as the sun of the world cannot by its heat and light produce germinations on the earth immediately, but only out of earthy matters in which it can be present by its heat and light, and cause vegetation. In the spiritual world the Divine Love of the Lord appears as a sun, and from it proceed the spiritual heat and the spiritual light from which the angels derive love and wisdom, as may be seen in the work on Heaven and Hell (n. 116-140). [DLW5]
THE DIVINE ESSENCE ITSELF IS LOVE AND WISDOM
Sum up all things you know and submit them to careful inspection, and in some elevation of spirit search for the universal of all things, and you cannot conclude otherwise than that it is Love and Wisdom. For these are the two essentials of all things of man’s life; everything of that life, civil, moral, and spiritual, hinges upon these two, and apart from these two is nothing. It is the same with all things of the life of the composite Man, which is, as was said above, a society, larger or smaller, a kingdom, an empire, a church, and also the angelic heaven. Take away love and wisdom from these, and consider whether they be anything, and you will find that apart from love and wisdom as their origin they are nothing. [DLW28]
Love together with wisdom in its very essence is in God. This no one can deny; for God loves every one from love in Himself, and leads every one from wisdom in Himself. The created universe, too, viewed in relation to its order, is so full of wisdom coming forth from love that all things in the aggregate may be said to be wisdom itself. For things limitless are in such order, successively and simultaneously, that taken together they make a one. It is from this, and this alone, that they can be held together and continually preserved. [DLW29]
It is because the Divine Essence itself is Love and Wisdom that man has two capacities for life; from one of these he has understanding, from the other will. The capacity from which he has understanding derives everything it has from the influx of wisdom from God, and the capacity from which he has will derives everything it has from the influx of love from God. Man’s not being truly wise and not loving rightly does not take away these capacities, but merely closes them up; and so long as they are closed up, although the understanding is still called understanding and the will is called will, they are not such in essence. If these two capacities, therefore, were to be taken away, all that is human would perish; for the human is to think and to speak from thought, and to will and to act from will. From this it is clear that the Divine has its seat in man in these two capacities, the capacity to be wise and the capacity to love (that is, that one may be wise and may love). That in man there is a possibility of loving [and of being wise], even when he is not wise as he might be and does not love as he might, has been made known to me from much experience, and will be abundantly shown elsewhere. [DLW30]
It is because the Divine Essence itself is Love and Wisdom, that all things in the universe have relation to good and truth; for everything that proceeds from love is called good, and everything that proceeds from wisdom is called truth. But of this more hereafter. [DLW31]
It is because the Divine Essence itself is Love and Wisdom, that the universe and all things in it, alive and not alive, have unceasing existence from heat and light; for heat corresponds to love, and light corresponds to wisdom; and therefore spiritual heat is love and spiritual light is wisdom. But of this, also, more hereafter. [DLW32]
From Divine Love and from Divine Wisdom, which make the very Essence that is God, all affections and thoughts with man have their rise-affections from Divine Love, and thoughts from Divine Wisdom; and each and all things of man are nothing but affection and thought; these two are like fountains of all things of man’s life. All the enjoyments and pleasantnesses of his life are from these-enjoyments from the affection of his love, and pleasantnesses from the thought therefrom. Now since man was created to be a recipient, and is a recipient in the degree in which he loves God and from love to God is wise, in other words, in the degree in which he is affected by those things which are from God and thinks from that affection, it follows that the Divine Essence, which is the Creator, is Divine Love and Divine Wisdom. [DLW33]
DIVINE LOVE AND DIVINE WISDOM MUST NECESSARILY HAVE BEING [Esse]
AND HAVE FORM [Existere] IN OTHERS CREATED BY ITSELF.
It is the essential of love not to love self, but to love others, and to be conjoined with others by love. It is the essential of love, moreover, to be loved by others, for thus conjunction is effected. The essence of all love consists in conjunction; this, in fact, is its life, which is called enjoyment, pleasantness, delight, sweetness, bliss, happiness, and felicity. Love consists in this, that its own should be another’s; to feel the joy of another as joy in oneself, that is loving. But to feel one’s own joy in another and not the other’s joy in oneself is not loving; for this is loving self, while the former is loving the neighbor. These two kinds of love are diametrically opposed to each other. Either, it is true, conjoins; and to love one’s own, that is, oneself, in another does not seem to divide; but it does so effectually divide that so far as any one has loved another in this manner, so far he afterwards hates him. For such conjunction is by its own action gradually loosened, and then, in like measure, love is turned to hate. [DLW47]
Who that is capable of discerning the essential character of love cannot see this? For what is it to love self alone, instead of loving some one outside of self by whom one may be loved in return? Is not this separation rather than conjunction? Conjunction of love is by reciprocation; and there can be no reciprocation in self alone. If there is thought to be, it is from an imagined reciprocation in others. From this it is clear that Divine Love must necessarily have being (esse) and have form (existere) in others whom it may love, and by whom it may be loved. For as there is such a need in all love, it must be to the fullest extent, that is, infinitely in Love Itself. [DLW48]
With respect to God: it is impossible for Him to love others and to be loved reciprocally by others in whom there is anything of infinity, that is, anything of the essence and life of love in itself, or anything of the Divine. For if there were beings having in them anything of infinity, that is, of the essence and life of love in itself, that is, of the Divine, it would not be God loved by others, but God loving Himself; since the Infinite, that is, the Divine, is one only, and if this were in others, Itself would be in them, and would be the love of self Itself; and of that love not the least trace can possibly be in God, since it is wholly opposed to the Divine Essence. Consequently, for this relation to be possible there must be others in whom there is nothing of the Divine in itself. That it is possible in beings created from the Divine will be seen below. But that it may be possible, there must be Infinite Wisdom making one with Infinite Love; that is, there must be the Divine Love of Divine Wisdom, and the Divine Wisdom of Divine Love (concerning which see above, n. 35-39) [DLW49]
ALL THINGS IN THE UNIVERSE WERE CREATED FROM THE DIVINE LOVE
AND THE DIVINE WISDOM OF GOD-MAN.
So full of Divine Love and Divine Wisdom is the universe in greatest and least, and in first and last things, that it may be said to be Divine Love and Divine Wisdom in an image. That this is so is clearly evident from the correspondence of all things of the universe with all things of man. There is such correspondence of each and every thing that takes form in the created universe with each and every thing of man, that man may be said to be a sort of universe. There is a correspondence of his affections, and thence of his thoughts, with all things of the animal kingdom; of his will, and thence of his understanding, with all things of the vegetable kingdom; and of his outmost life with all things of the mineral kingdom. That there is such a correspondence is not apparent to any one in the natural world, but it is apparent to every one who gives heed to it in the spiritual world. In that world there are all things that take form in the natural world in its three kingdoms, and they are correspondences of affections and thoughts, that is, of affections from the will and of thoughts from the understanding, also of the outmost things of the life, of those who are in that world, around whom all these things are Visible, presenting an appearance like that of the created universe, with the difference that it is in lesser form. From this it is very evident to angels, that the created universe is an image representative of God-Man, and that it is His Love and Wisdom which are presented, in an image, in the universe. Not that the created universe is God-Man, but that it is from Him; for nothing whatever in the created universe is substance and form in itself, or life in itself, or love and wisdom in itself, yea, neither is man a man in himself, but all is from God, who is Man, Wisdom and Love, also Form and Substance, in itself. That which has Being-in-itself is uncreate and infinite; but whatever is from Very Being, since it contains in it nothing of Being-in-itself, is created and finite, and this exhibits an image of Him from whom it has being and has form. [DLW52]
ALL THINGS IN THE CREATED UNIVERSE ARE RECIPIENTS OF THE DIVINE LOVE
AND THE DIVINE WISDOM OF GOD-MAN.
It is well known that each and all things of the universe were created by God; hence the universe, with each and every thing pertaining to it, is called in the Word the work of the hands of Jehovah. There are those who maintain that the world, with everything it includes, was created out of nothing, and of that nothing an idea of absolute nothingness is entertained. From absolute nothingness, however, nothing is or can be made. This is an established truth. The universe, therefore, which is God’s image, and consequently full of God, could be created only in God from God; for God is Esse itself, and from Esse must be whatever is. To create what is, from nothing which is not, is an utter contradiction. But still, that which is created in God from God is not continuous from Him; for God is Esse in itself, and in created things there is not any Esse in itself. If there were in created things any Esse in itself, this would be continuous from God, and that which is continuous from God is God. The angelic idea of this is, that what is created in God from God, is like that in man which has been derived from his life, but from which the life has been withdrawn, which is of such a nature as to be in accord with his life, and yet it is not his life. The angels confirm this by many things which have existence in their heaven, where they say they are in God, and God is in them, and still that they have, in their esse, nothing of God which is God. Many things whereby they prove this will be presented hereafter; let this serve for present information. [DLW55]
Every created thing, by virtue of this origin, is such in its nature as to be a recipient of God, not by continuity, but by contiguity. By the latter and not the former comes its capacity for conjunction. For having been created in God from God, it is adapted to conjunction; and because it has been so created, it is an analogue, and through such conjunction it is like an image of God in a mirror. [DLW56]
From this it is that angels are angels, not from themselves, but by virtue of this conjunction with God-Man; and this conjunction is according to the reception of Divine Good and Divine Truth, which are God, and which seem to proceed from Him, though really they are in Him. This reception is according to their application to themselves of the laws of order, which are Divine truths, in the exercise of that freedom of thinking and willing according to reason, which they possess from the Lord as if it were their own. By this they have a reception, as if from themselves, of Divine Good and of Divine Truth, and by this there is a reciprocation of love; for, as was said above, love is impossible unless it is reciprocal. The same is true of men on the earth. From what has been said it can now first be seen that all things of the created universe are recipients of the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom of God-Man. [DLW57]
It cannot yet be intelligibly explained how all other things of the universe which are unlike angels and men, that is, the things below man in the animal kingdom, and the things below these in the vegetable kingdom, and the things still below these in the mineral kingdom, are also recipients of the Divine Love and of the Divine Wisdom of God-Man; for many things need to be said first about degrees of life, and degrees of the recipients of life. Conjunction with these things is according to their uses; for no good use has any other origin than through a like conjunction with God, but yet different according to degrees. This conjunction in its descent becomes successively such that nothing of freedom is left therein, because nothing of reason, and therefore nothing of the appearance of life; but still they are recipients. Because they are recipients, they are also re-agents; and forasmuch as they are re-agents, they are containants. Conjunction with uses which are not good will be discussed when the origin of evil has been made known. [DLW58]
From the above it can be seen that the Divine is in each and every thing of the created universe, and consequently that the created universe is the work of the hands of Jehovah, as is said in the Word; that is, the work of Divine Love and Divine Wisdom, for these are meant by the hands of Jehovah. But though the Divine is in each and all things of the created universe there is in their esse nothing of the Divine in itself; for the created universe is not God, but is from God; and since it is from God, there is in it an image of Him like the image of a man in a mirror, wherein indeed the man appears, but still there is nothing of the man in it. [DLW59]
Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)