GENERATION AND REGENERATION
“There are heavenly societies to which correspond all and each of the members and organs allotted to generation in each sex. Those societies are distinct from others, as also that province in man is properly distinguished and separate from the rest. That those societies are heavenly is because marriage love is the fundamental love of all loves... It excels the rest also in use, and consequently in delight; for marriages are the seminaries of the whole human race, and also the seminaries of the Lord's heavenly kingdom, for heaven is from the human race. They who have loved infants most tenderly, as mothers who do so, are in the province of the womb and of the organs round about, namely in the province of the neck of the womb, and of the ovaries; and they who are there, are in the sweetest and most delightful life, and in heavenly joy above others.” (AC 5053, 5054)
Of these heavenly societies we read further,—
“They who are there are in peace beyond all others. Peace in the heavens is comparatively like the spring season in the world, which gives delight to all things; it is the heavenly itself in its origin. The angels who dwell there are the wisest of all, and from innocence appear to others as children. They also love infants much more than their fathers and mothers do. They are present with infants in the womb, and by them the Lord takes care that infants there shall be nourished and perfected. Thus they have char-e over those who are with child.” (AC 5052)
“It was told me that the organs of Generation form a distinct kingdom by themselves, as in man also they are distinct or separate.” (SE 499½)
This province is said to be separate from the rest of the heaven as the corresponding organs of the body are; and although in position the lowest of the abdominal provinces, the angels who compose it are said to be the wisest and best of the angels. And this is because they constitute the ultimate in which the Lord is immediately present, and through which He produces the mediates. By means of these provinces the minds of men are formed, even to their inmosts in which life from the Lord is immediately received; therefore there is a greater fulness of the Divine Life here than elsewhere. And, as we shall see presently, here in the ultimate the three heavenly degrees exist simultaneously.
Swedenborg says that “the spirits who are below heaven wonder very much when they hear and see that heaven is below as well as above; for they are in a similar faith and opinion with men in the world, that heaven is nowhere else than above; for they do not know that the situation of the heavens is as the situation of the members, organs, and viscera in man, of which some are above and some below.” (HH 66)
The world of spirits, in which are the spirits who wonder thus, is in the plane of the stomach; and some provinces are above and some are below that plane. The position of the organs of generation, below that plane, seems to be referred to in Psalm cxxxix., where it is spoken of as “the lowest parts of the earth.”
“Thou hast possessed my reins: Thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.
I will give thanks unto Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are Thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
My frame was not hid from Thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Thine eyes did see my unperfect substance, and in Thy book were all my members written, which day by day were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” (v. 13-16)
This position of the organs is like that of the altar of burnt-offering in the court at the door of the tabernacle; and all the worship at that altar had a correspondence with processes of regeneration, and these correspond to natural Generation. More will be said of this correspondence presently.
It is necessary that these provinces should be in immediate relation with men on the earth, because both generation and regeneration must be effected, or at least begun, in the natural world. Like the work of the hands and the feet, this is one of the ultimates of the work of the heavens ' in which they act together with men upon the earth.
As the work of regeneration is a work of purification from evil, as well as of reception of new life from the Lord, the corresponding organs of generation are also organs of excretion; for the be-innings of new life from the Lord are received as false and evil things are repented of and rejected, and the sense of reception is in the faculty of rejection. The embryo is matured between the bladder and the rectum; and so the things of regenerate life are nourished and grow in the midst of efforts to control and put away evil and falsity.
In approaching the more particular explanation of the uses and correspondences of these things, we are met by the difficulty which Swedenborg expresses as follows:—
“But who and of what quality the societies are which pertain to the particular organs of generation, it has not been given me to know; for they are more interior than can be comprehended by one who is in a lower sphere. They also relate to the uses of those organs, which are concealed, and also are withdrawn from knowledge for a reason which also is of the Divine Providence, lest such things as are in themselves most heavenly should be hurt by unclean thoughts of lasciviousness, scortation, and adultery, which thoughts are excited with very many when those organs are only mentioned.” (AC 5055)
We shall, however, I trust, be able to describe and interpret the uses in general; and I have hope that the innocent and holy thoughts that will appear to belong to them, will be permanently associated with them in our minds, and be a lasting influence for purity and protection. Natural prolification is from spiritual, and they help to illustrate each other.
“The seed of man is conceived interiorly in the understanding, and is formed in the will, and thence is transferred into the testicle, where it puts on a natural covering; and so it is carried on into the womb, and enters the world.” (TCR 584)
It is inmostly the masculine perception of truth, which is formed in the will by the intent to propagate it. In regard to spiritual propagation—truth to be propagated must first be clothed and expressed. In its purest state it is only the form of love; its purest clothing is that of ideas of thought ; then follow illustrations or formulated thoughts which can be retained in the memory;-and then words. When thus triply clad, it can be expressed and communicated. And upon reaching a receptive mind there is a correlative series of unclothings. First, the words or natural expressions are cast aside, and the illustrations or formulas are understood; then the pure ideas are seen interiorly, and received; and then the love, which affects the mind inmostly.
There is a corresponding series of clothing and unclothings of the seed which embodies naturally the spiritual truth.
Its first natural embodiment is in the pure animal spirit separated in the testicle; without being too sure of the exact series of clothings, it appears to be true that this receives a first clothing in the epididymes, which are a series of much convoluted tubes attached to the testicles; the second clothing is apparently imparted in the seminal vesicles, where the seed may be stored, like ideas in definite thoughts, until ready for utterance; and the last is added in the very act of ejections, the by prostate gland.
But when received, this outer clothing appears to be separated, or absorbed, by the neck of the womb; the second, by the womb itself, before the entrance into the Fallopian tubes; and the third by the Fallopian tubes, setting free the pure spirit to enter the ovum. Thus, if I understand the parallel correctly, the ovum answers to the testicle, and receives only the pure spirit secreted by it; the Fallopian tubes answer to the epididymes; the womb to the seminal vesicles; and the neck of the womb to the prostate gland. It may be that in the ovum even the first natural embodiment of the spiritual substance from the mind is separated, and the mental substance is set free for an entirely new embodiment from the mother; for Swedenborg says that “all the spiritual which man has is from the father, and all the material is from the mother.” (TCR 92)
There seems to be in this successive clothing a series of degrees answering to the degrees of the heavens; the inmost answering to the state of wisdom of the inmost heaven, which is love and the perceptions of love, rather than thought; the clothing of the epididymes answering to the intelligence of the angels of the second heaven; that of the vesicles answering to the representatives, or the formulas of knowledge in the memory, of the first heaven; and that of the prostate to the literal expressions.
Of the angels of the inmost heaven we are told many beautiful things; the following (from AE 828) illustrate what has just been said of the inmosts of this province : —
“They appear before the angels of the lower heavens as infants, some as children, and all as simple. They also go naked. They appear as infants and as children because they are in innocence, and love to the Lord from the Lord is innocence; hence also by infants and children in the Word innocence and also love to the Lord is signified. They appear simple because they cannot speak about the holy things of heaven and the church; for they do not have them in the memory, whence is all thought, but in the life, and thence in the understanding—not as thought, but as affection for good in its own form, which does not come down into speech, and if it did descend it would not speak, but only sound; and they who cannot speak of such things, appear to themselves and to others as simple; and also they are in humility of heart, knowing that it is wisdom to perceive that what they know is scarcely any thing compared with what they do not know. They go naked because nakedness in the spiritual sense is innocence, and because garments signify truths clothing good, and the truths which clothe are in the memory and thence in the thought; but with these, truths are in the life, thus bidden, and do not manifest themselves except to the perception whilst others speak them, and their ministers preach them from the Word.” (Also see HH 178, 179; SE 5179)
The three degrees are present simultaneously in the ultimates, in the giving of the Word, and in the prolification which corresponds to it. But the ultimate of prolification, which corresponds to the propagation of wisdom, is not a communication of words, or of distinct thoughts, but of the living soul itself -of the specific modifications of which, thoughts and words are the interpretation. (See CL 220)
If it were a propagation of definite thoughts, children would be born thoughts; but as it is a propagation of soul they are born affections for wisdom or goodness, with an aptitude for thoughts; of wisdom and enjoyments of goodness.
“Children born of parents who are in true marriage love, derive from their parents the faculty of marriage of good and truth, from which they have an inclination and -faculty, if sons, to perceive the things of wisdom, and if daughters to love the things which wisdom teaches.” (CL 202)
And so, also, if there were a propagation of distinct thoughts, the wife would receive from her husband such definite thoughts. It is evident that she does not; but receives such affection for wisdom as keeps her in sympathy with him, and in a state to understand and enjoy such spiritual wisdom as he enjoys.
In marriages in the heavens there is no begetting of separate human beings; but there is the multiplication of spiritual affections and perceptions in the minds of the partners. On earth there is this spiritual prolification, and also a natural prolification; the spiritual prolification is from the actual reception of the soul of the husband by the wife, and her cherishing of it in herself and in him; and the natural prolification is from the reception of the propagations of his soul in the ova which are cherished and nourished, even till the time of birth, in the womb.
To speak first of the spiritual effects: In a true marriage the husband is in the love of doing good to the wife, of sharing his life with her, and increasing her life. What might have been a selfish and lustful thing is changed to this pure and beneficent thing; and he ceases to act from any mere selfish motive. The wife, also, is in the love of receiving the life of her husband, and making, it delightful to him, which she does by her bosom-love. And in both, in this interchange, there is a sense of openness to the Lord, and of reception of life from Him, as in no other act. This is so with those who are in marriage from religion, and with an interior acknowledgment of the Lord. In such marriage there is a full ultimate of the marriage of the Lord and the church (AE 984), and a fuller sense of union with Him than is possible otherwise. It comes down from within, and opens all the vessels of mind and body to the reception of life from the Lord.
Interiorly this is called the marriage of good and truth; for it is a marriage between the love of receiving wisdom from the Lord and the love of the goodness of that wisdom. A true man of the church is in love for the Lord's love, and for the wisdom that reveals that love. And a true woman of the church is stirred by the nobleness of that wisdom, and by a sense of the goodness to which it will lead in life. And when they unite in loving the wisdom and the goodness of it, and doing the good works which it teaches, they are a full recipient and embodiment of the Lord's love; and He unites them to Himself, and Himself to, them, filling them with the sense of life from Him. In such marriage, it is the state of the wisdom of love in the husband which arouses the love of the wife, and the love of the wife which makes it delightful to the husband, and incites to the attainment of more wisdom. Each has his enjoyment from the other, and each communicates that which is essential to the happiness of the other; and in both is the sense that all that makes them happy is from the Lord, and that the life of the Lord is in it all. Such marriage love is therefore the very spring whence comes the growth of the church and of heaven in man, and the increase of the marriage between the Lord and the church. (CL 65; AE 993)
This growth and increase have an outward embodiment in the multiplication of men; but inwardly they consist in the increase of perceptions of wisdom and of joys in goodness. Perceptions of wisdom are spiritual sons, and joys in goodness are spiritual daughters. In the begetting of sons, spiritual and natural, the masculine mind is in the perception of truth in the begetting of daughters, it is in the perception of the goodness of that truth, which is made sensible to it by the love of the wife. The soul is from the father in both cases, and its sex depends upon the state of the father; but in the one case his state is masculine, and in the other it is relatively feminine. It is masculine when he is in the attitude of perceiving and expressing new truth; it is relatively feminine when he is in the perception of what is good. Swedenborg says, “I inquired, I How is what is feminine produced from a male soul?' and I received for answer that, it was from intellectual good; because this in its essence is truth; for the understanding can think that this is good, thus that it is true that it is good. It is otherwise with the will; this does not think what is good and true, but loves it and does it.” (CL 220) A daughter born of such perception—that "it is true that a thing is good” —when she hears things that are true anDWise, perceives and feels the goodness of them, and thus is wholly feminine towards them. The church as a whole is feminine toward the Lord, and in that relation every member of it is feminine. In relation to one another every one is masculine when he is propagating new truth; and every one is feminine when he is receiving such truth from another and perceiving the goodness of it. Sons thus begotten from the love of truth have “the faculty of perceiving the things of wisdom,” and are in the love of reaching out for true thin-s that are beyond the reach of sense, and bringing them down to the apprehension; and daughters love the good of the things of wisdom when thus brought down to affect the feelings. (See CL 168)
The temporary clothing of the communicated soul is from the husband, and. for the sake of communication only. The permanent clothing is from the wife. As to that which is received and absorbed by her, she herself is the permanent clothing. The angels say that “the prolific things imparted from the husbands are received universally by the wives, and add themselves to their life; and that thus the wives lead a life unanimous, and successively more unanimous, with their husbands; and that hence is effectively produced a union of souls and a conjunction of minds. They declared this to be because in what is prolific from the husband is his soul, and also his mind as to its interiors which are conjoined to the soul. They added that this was provided from creation, in order that the wisdom of the man, which constitutes his soul, may be appropriated to the wife, and that thus they may become, according to the Lord's words, one flesh.” (CL 127)
For the soul which is to make a separate, human being, the mother furnishes a permanent clothing, in the ovum, which passes back through the Fallopian tube to the womb, and there is nourished to its full development by means of the placenta. The children that are brought forth may be thought of as having the father's state of wisdom as their life, clothed by the mother with her thought of the practical usefulness of it.
We have thought of the seminal vesicles as answering to the use of clothing ideas in illustrative thoughts. The womb is the feminine correlative, answering to the clothing of the wisdom received, not with illustrative thought, but with thought from the circumstances of life in regard to its applications and usefulness,— thought which embodies it in a plan for usefulness, which is brought forth in useful work. It is in accordance with this that the animating fire or zeal of one's life is from the father; and the ability of practical application is from the mother. The clothing from the mother is the means by which the soul works. If wholly inadequate, it may wholly prevent its development and expression in this world, and modify it permanently; but if of great power and ability, it may make the very most of even a little spiritual energy.
In the quotation above from CL 172, it is said that in what is from the father “is his soul, and also his mind as to its interiors which are conjoined to the soul.” We are taught, also, that the soul which is from the father is the man himself, and the body which is from the mother is not the man in itself but is from him. This is only his clothing, woven from such things as: are in the natural world; but the soul from such things as are in the spiritual world. Every man after death lays down the natural which he has taken from the mother, and retains the spiritual which is from the father, together with a certain covering about it from the purest things of nature.” (TCR 103)
This purest covering from nature must be added by the mother; otherwise the seed of the father would alone produce permanent offspring. That it is essential to permanence and thus to propagation is shown in D.LOVE 8.
The child when born is nourished by milk from its mother's breasts; and the milk is a correspondence of the instruction from a mother's love, by which a child is nurtured. There is also a real communication with the mother's milk, not of thought, but of affection, which nourishes in the child its love of knowing, and other things of its natural disposition, so that it is common to say that a child imbibed this or that love or taste with its mother's milk.
In regard, also, to the soul of the father not separately developed, but received by the wife, and added to her soul, there is a similar affection for nourishing it through the breasts. And there is an actual nourishing of the soul of the husband by the love of the wife imparted through her breasts. Her love thus adds itself to his life as the and delight of it.” Their intimate union,” Swedenborg says, “is like that of the soul and the heart; the soul of the wife the husband, and the heart of the husband is wife; the husband communicates his soul and conjoins it to his wife by love in act; it is in his seed, and the wife receives it in her heart; hence the two become one, and thus everything in the body of one regards its, mutual in the other.” (AE 1004)
This is the very process of the increase of heavenly life, by which the two become a more and more full recipient of life from the Lord. The reception of wisdom from the Lord by the husband produces a love for its goodness in the wife, and her love makes it delightful to him. In the bodily union his state of wisdom is communicated to her, and her love for it comes back through the heart to him. Thus the members of generation are means of developing receptacles of the life of the Lord in the partners, and thus are means of regeneration; and if used for this end they are holy and innocent, and full of the heavenly life for which they form receptacles.
There are other aspects of the work of regeneration, all of which have relation to natural generation, and are illustrated by it. In the “Arcana Coelestia ” we read as follows:—
“Man knows nothing of how he is regenerated, and scarcely that he is regenerated; but if he desires to know this, let him attend only to the ends which he proposes to himself, and which he rarely discloses to any one; if the ends are good, namely, that he cares more for his neighbor and the Lord than for himself, he is then in a state of regenerated; but if the ends are to evil, namely, that he cares more for himself than for his neighbor and the lord for himself, he then is in a state of regeneration. Man by the ends of his life is in the other life; by, ends of good, in heaven with angels, and by ends of evil, in hell with devils. Ends with man are nothing else than his lovers; for what man loves, they are his inmost life... Ends of good with man are in his rational, and these are what is called his rational as to good, or the good or the good of the rational. By ends of good, or by good therein, the Lord disposes all things which are in the natural; for the end is as the soul and the natural is as the body of that soul. Such as the soul is, such is the body, with which it is encompassed; thus, such as the rational is as to good, such is the natural with which it is invested. It is known that the soul of man has its beginning in the ovum of the mother [it being there first permanently clothed], and is afterwards perfected in her womb; and is there encompassed with a tender body, and this of such a nature that by it the soul may be able to act suitably in the world into which it is born. The case is similar when man is born again, that is, when he is regenerated. The new soul which he then receives is the end of good, which has its beginning in the rational, at first as in an ovum there, and afterwards it is there perfected as in a womb. The tender body with which this soul is encompassed, is the natural and the good therein, which becomes such as to act obediently according to the ends of the soul. The truths therein are like fibers in the body; for truths are formed from good.... Hence it is evident that an image of the reformation of man is exhibited in his formation in the womb; and, if you will believe it, celestial good and spiritual truth, which are from the Lord, are also what forms him, and thus impresses an ability to receive each of them successively, and this in quantity and quality according as he, like a man, has respect to the ends of heaven, and not like a brute animal to the ends of the world.” (AC 3570)
“The angels have life from good, and have form from truths, which is the human form.” (AC 9043; see also TCR 583)
The end of good has a form in the definite thought of what is good. The beginning of conscious regeneration is in such definite thought with desire and determination. The clothing of this seed is by meditation upon it in regard to its application to the uses of life, and from truths which conduce to this application. And the birth is in the life.
But this end of good, which is the beginning of new life, is from the Lord’s love and is communicated to man by the Word. The seed of the heavenly life is sown by the Son of Man. And this seed, or revelation of the Divine, contains the Divine love clothed successively in the several senses of the Word, and at last in the literal sense. It is received by the church, and is successively clothed by her – variously, of course – Until the Divine love is perceived in it. This love becomes an end of good in those who perceive It and would live from it. The “ovum in the rational” which receives it, is from the remains implanted by the innocent angels who are most in love to the Lord in the earliest stages of in- fancy. “The natural and the good therein” which “afterwards encompasses it as with a body,” is from the later remains laid up in childhood and youth, and even in maturer life. From these it is nourished interiorly by goodness and truth relating to the Lord and heaven and heavenly life, and exteriorly by goodness and truth relating to moral and civil life, until the man openly begins to live a good spiritual life. And afterwards he is further nourished and sustained by the affection and instructions of the church.
This circle of life is thus described by Swedenborg: –
“When man is regenerated, the truths which must be of faith are insinuated by hearing and sight, and are implanted in the memory of his natural man; from that memory they are brought into the thought which is of the understanding, and those which are loved become of the will; and so far as the become of the will, they become of the life, for the will of man is life; and so far as they become of his life they become of his affection, thus of charity in the will and of faith in the understanding. Afterwards from that life, which is a life of charity and faith, he speaks and acts, – from charity which is of the will goes forth the speech of the mouth, and also the acts of the body, both by an intellectual way, thus by the way of faith. From these thins it is plain that the circle of the regeneration of man is like the cricle of his life in general; and that it is similarly established in the will by influx from heaven from the Lord. Hence also it is evident that there are two states in man who is regenerated, the first when the truths of faith are being implanted, and conjoined to the good of charity and the second when from the good of charity he speaks by means of the truths of faith acts according to him; so that the first state is from the world through the natural man in too the spiritual man, thus into heaven, and the second from heaven through the spiritual man into the natural, this into the world... This circle is the circle of man’s regeneration, and hence is the circle of his spiritual life.” (AC 10057)
The subject is further illustrate by the representation of the altar of burnt-offering with its offerings and sacrifices; which in all particulars has relation to purification from evils and faslities, the reception of good and truth, and the conjunction of good from the Lord with truth, thus to the processes of regeneration.
“The place where the door of the tent of meeting was, represented the marriage of Divine good with Divine truth; for by the altar, which also was placed at the door of the tent, was represented the Lord as to Divine good, and by the tent of meeting was represented the Lord as to Divine truth. Hence by the place at the door of the tent was represented the conjunction of good and truth, which conjunction is called the heavenly marriage.” (AC 10001; see also AC 10143, 10053, 10124)
“By burnt-offerings and sacrifices in general was represented purification from evils and falsities; and since purification was represented, the implantation of good and truth from the Lord, and likewise their conjunction, was also represented; for when man is purified from evils and falsities, which is effected by their removal, then good and truth from the Lord flow in, and so far as good and truth in that state flow in, so far they are implanted, and so far conjoined; for the Lord is continually present with good and truth in every man, but he is not received except so far as evils and falsities are removed, thus so far as man is purified from them; the conjunction of good and truth is regeneration.” (AC 10022)
“By the altar is also signified heaven and the church as to the reception of Divine good from the Lord there; for it is the Divine of the Lord that makes heaven and the church, inasmuch as the Lord dwells there in His own, and not in the proprium of man. Hence also it is that by the altar is likewise signified the man himself in whom is heaven, or in whom is the church, thus in whom is the Lord; and abstractly from person the altar denotes the good itself which is from the Lord with the angels of heaven and with the men of the church.” (AC 10124)
It is on account of this representation by the altar of the conjunction of the Lord and the church, that the altar is called the Holy of Holies “which signifies,” we are told, ” the celestial kingdom, where the Lord is present in the good of love.... That celestial good is the Holy of Holies, and spiritual good Holy, is because celestial good is the inmost good, thus also that good is the good of the inmost heaven; but spiritual good is the good proceeding from it, and therefore is the good of the middle heaven; and this good is so far good, and therefore so far holy, as it has in it celestial good; for this flows into the other, and conceives it and produces it as a father a son. By celestial good is meant the good of love from the Lord to the Lord, and by spiritual good is meant the good of charity towards the neighbor from the Lord. The good itself of love to the Lord from the Lord is the Holy of Holies, because the Lord by it conjoins Himself immediately; but the good of charity towards the neighbor is Holy, because the Lord by it conjoins Himself immediately; and He so far conjoins Himself as it has in it the good of love to the Lord.” (AC 10129)
Thus the altar of burnt-offering, and the worship there, though situated in the court of the tabernacle and at the door of entrance, was the most holy thing of the representative worship because it represented the reception of life from the Lord in the ultimates of life, and the multiplication of good and true things in the church by that life. The coals from the altar were carried into the tabernacle, and laid in the censer upon the altar of incense, and the smoke of fragrant spices ascended from it, as the love of a faithful wife goes forth from her heart, and also the prayers and praises of a faithful church.
To return again to the correspondence of these things with the heavens, we read,—
“All the members dedicated to generation, in both sexes, especially the womb, correspond to societies in the inmost or third heaven. The reason is that true marriage love is derived from the lord's love for the church, and from the love of good and truth which love is the love of angels of the third heaven. Wherefore marriage love, which descends thence, like the love of that heaven, is innocence, which is the very esse of all good in the heavens. Hence embryos in the womb are in a state of peace, and infants after they are born are in a state of innocence, as also their mother in relation to them. Since there is such correspondence of the genital members of both sexes, it is evident that they are holy from creation, and therefore dedicated solely to chaste and pure marriage love, and that they ought not to be profaned by unchaste and impure love of adultery by this man turns the heaven in himself into hell for as marriage love corresponds to the love of the highest heaven, which is love to the Lord from the Lord, so the love of adultery corresponds to the love of the lowest hell. The love of marriage is so holy and heavenly because it begins from the Lord Himself in the inmosts of man, and according to order descends to the ultimates of the body, and thus fills the whole man with heavenly love, and induces upon him the form of the Divine love, which form is the form of heaven, and is the image of the Lord.” (AE 985)
“The angels of the inmost heaven are innocences. In the next [*] and the interior heavens there are also innocences, but not the same; those innocences constitute as it were their inmost, or as it may be called their centre, like an axis or nucleus. Nor can any heaven subsist unless its centre, or inmost as it were, is innocence, and other things are like circumferences into which comes innocence from the centre; for no one can be in heaven unless he has something of innocence. So also the inmost heaven communicates with the next by means of its centre, namely innocences, and so the inmost[**] through the next with the interior. From this may be understood the quality of the communication from the iinmosts and from the Lord according to the order instituted by the Lord.”
It is the inmost heaven through which the Lord insinuates marriage love; the beginning or origin of this is from the inmost heaven, also through the centre of the lower heavens. From this also is parental love; for the celestial angels of the inmost heaven so love infants, much more than fathers or mothers. Indeed they are present with infants and take care of them; and, as has been told me, they are present in their mother's womb, and take care of them that they may be nourished; thus they have charge over those who are with child.” (SE 1200, 1201)
“They who most tenderly love infants, so that they be only foetuses or infants, are as most tender mothers, so that they can scarcely live unless they are in a state where the tender love of infants reigns. These constitute the province in the situation of the testicles and organs thence depending; and, in woman, the neck of the womb, and the womb, with the ovaries and the things annexed. They who are in this province live in the sweetest, most delightful, and happy life, such as cannot be described ; only its state is gentleness and sweetness. Their province is between the loins (interlumbos).” (SE 3152)
[*] “In cælo intimiori et interiori.” “Intimius” seems to mean “comparatively inmost,” but not the positively inmost.
[**] “Intimum per intimius cum interiori”
They are innocent because innocence consists in the acknowledgment from the heart that we are nothing, and that the Lord is all; and these provinces are more than others in the perception that all of life is from the Lord ; and in the love of receiving life sensitively from Him, and communicating it to others.
From them comes the sense of new life from the Lord to all the heavens, and thus also the sense of conjunction with Him. And, as will be seen presently, they also are the means of multiplying recipients of His life.
It would seem that those who are in the province of the testicles are primarily in the love of receiving sensitively and imparting the Lord's life in forms of wisdom, and they who are in the province of the ovaries and the womb are primarily in love for protecting and defending the things of wisdom, and showing the goodness of them. (See CL 127)
That the organs of both sexes have their correspondence with societies in heaven, and yet the heaven is one man, may perhaps be illustrated by the following teaching:—
“There are married partners there who are in such marriage love that the two can be one flesh, and also are one when they will, and thus they appear as one man. I have seen them and talked with them, and they are like the life of good in truth, and the life of truth in good, and that they are like the pairs in man, namely, like the two hemispheres of the brain covered with one membrane, the two chambers of the heart within a common covering, and likewise the two lobes of the lungs; which, although they are two, still are one as to life, and the exercises of llife which are uses.” (AE 1004)
As this is the most perfect form of man, and the whole heaven is more full and perfect than any individual in it, we may conclude that the heavens are such a one, and that the intercommunication is constant (compare AE 992); and we may think of the uses and joys of marriage love as affecting the whole heaven through these provinces, as in such a married pair.
In them is chiefly the innocence of the heavens (AE 996), or the sense that all of life even to ultimates is from the Lord alone. There is also the sense of the reception of life from the Lord in states of wisdom, and of joy in the goodness which wisdom teaches, and in the delight of the union of wisdom and goodness, in which is the fullest reception of the Lord.
The male provinces are in the actual reception of wisdom from the Lord to increase the life of the heavens; and the female, in love for the goodness of this wisdom, and in the desire to bring to full fruition. [Spiritual prolification is described in AE 991; HH 382; CL 52.]
There are in these provinces the three degrees of communication, as in individuals, answering to the several planes of life in the heavens. In the inmosts are those who have the inmost sense of the reception of wisdom and love from the Lord, and of the. oneness of them; in the outer parts are those who are in intelligence concerning these things of wisdom and love, and the marriage of them in the Lord and in men. And in the outmost are those who are in natural fondness for infants and for professions and forms of marriage love (SE 3704); and some there are with very little spiritual life, who yet serve as guards and for protection. (SE 3390; see also on circumcision, AC 4462)
Through these provinces the whole heaven, and every individual in the heavens, are affected with the delight of the union of love anDWisdom from the Lord; and this delight extends through all the forms of marriage love. But everywhere the chief influence received is that of innocence, of the sense that life is from the Lord alone, and also every living form of love anDWisdom; and from this comes the delight in new births of love anDWisdom from the Lord for the increase of the life of the heavens.
To the earths also the influence of these provinces descends for the uses of generation, and of regeneration; for without them there would be upon the earth neither love nor power for propagating either the race or the truth. The life of the heavens and of every angel in it, also of every man that is born, is the Lord's love for man. From this love, through the Divine wisdom, all things are created. The Divine wisdom from the Divine love has in view an Infinite heaven, and provides means for creating it. In the continual increase of the heavens, it operates through the heavens that already exist, expanding and developing them forever towards the Infinite ideal. The angels that are in these provinces of the heavens receive the Lord's love anDWisdom for the increase of the heavens most fully. They also perceive in the states of all the heavens their need and desire for increase and development, and not only inspire into them the love anDWisdom that they are capable of receiving, but inspire the same into the souls of men on earth, to form new recipients. And the inspiration from the Lord through these provinces is the very desire and the ability to propagate the soul, and the wisdom which is the substance of the soul. In a discussion in the spiritual world concerning the origin of marriage love and its ability, a wise African said: “You Christians deduce marriage or ability from various causes rational and natural; but we Africans deduce it from the state of man's conjunction with the God of the universe. This we call the state of religion, but you call it the state of the church; for when the love is derived from that state, and is stable and permanent, it must needs produce its own power, which resembles it, and thus also is stable and permanent. True marriage love is known only by those few who live near to God; consequently the ability of that love is known to no others. This ability is described by the angels of heaven as the delight of a perpetual spring.” (CL I 13)?
Through them descends the desire and ability of propagation to man, and is received by him according to the state of his life, purely or perversely. But inmostly in it there is ever the life of the Lord, and the love and wisdom of the inmost heaven. It is not possible for a soul to live and be born but from this love anDWisdom for the development of the heavens; and thus it is not possible for one to be born without capacity for doing a use in the heavens, and making them a more perfect man.
“It is provided by the Lord,” Swedenborg says (EU 9), ” that whensoever there is a deficiency in any place as to the quality or quantity of correspondence, a supply be instantly made from another earth, to fill up the deficiency, so that the proportion may be preserved, and thus heaven be kept in due consistence.” This may refer only to the transfer of men from the natural world to the spiritual; but I think it refers also to the production of such as are needed. The sense of need would affect the heaven. In every society there must be a sense of delightful uses to be done, which yet they are not able to do, and a desire that they should be done, and to love and support those who can do them. And this is itself a love of propagating, which can only be effective through those who are in the function of prolification and are operating upon man; and it is like the supply of pure fluids furnished to those provinces from the brains and the general circulation for the sake of their use.
The perverseness of the externals through which these heavenly things of the soul come down, increases the difficulty of developing and expressing them, but does not destroy them. Even an evil man has in him the inmost of the soul in which the Lord dwells immediately, also the celestial and spiritual planes of the mind, all of which are beyond his reach, and therefore unperverted. If it were not for these, there would be no propagation of his soul. The angels of these provinces arouse to activity both the internals and the externals, though the man is wholly unconscious of the heavenly possibilities of the internals, and perceives only the perverse possibilities of the externals. They also operate upon the concealed processes of the interiors of the body, of which the man knows nothing, that they may act according to the order of right development. “Many nerves of the cerebellum,” Swedenborg says, “come together in the regions of the loins, for the sake of propagation.... For propagation is exempt in almost all respects from the voluntary things of man.” (SE 3862)
And during and after conception, they are present with the new soul in the ovum and through all its life in the womb, to remove from it evil influences, as far as possible, and to nurture in it all the possibilities of good; that there may never be lacking in the new being the power to see and to love and to do the uses for the sake of which he is created, and the love of which is his inmost life from the Lord.
As in a man the soul acts upon the body, and the body reacts of itself, with a degree of independence-and this because the body lives from the general influx of the heavens -so in the womb the body must before by this general influx of the heavens, reacting to the life which is in the soul from the Lord. The angels of the male organs of the heavens are with the father cooperating in the propagation of the interior receptacles of life of which he knows nothing, and in the clothing of these spiritual forms so that they may be communicated to the wife. The angels of the female organs are with the mother, cooperating with her in receiving these spiritual forms, and in giving them a permanent clothing. And through the angels of the womb the whole heaven is present, forming the body of the child in response to and accord with the life from the Lord in the soul; and this in such a manner that the influence of every province of the heavens forms the corresponding organ of the body; and thus, being formed in response to the impulses of life from the soul, it continues to react to them afterwards.
When the time of regeneration arrives, and “the end of good,” which Swedenborg says is the life is the spiritual man, comes to the rational perception, the capacity for perceiving it is from the very love of use which from the Lord through the angels formed from the beginning those faculties which he now first exercises consciously. And the angels who have attended him in the womb have had perception of this, and labored to provide for the right development of his organs of thought and sense and action so that he might have all the means of receiving the truth and bringing it forth in good life.
“I have spoken with angels, concerning the progression of truth to good, thus of faith to charity: that there is joy with the angels when a child or a boy on earth from affection learns and receives truths, thus when truths become knowledge, and that there is still greater joy, when from knowledge they become of the understanding — then there is joy with the angels of the Lord's spiritual kingdom; and still greater joy when from the understanding they become of the will — then there is joy with the angels of the Lord's celestial kingdom; and when from the will they become of the act, then there is joy with the angels of the three heavens. How great are the joy and the enjoyments in that progression, cannot be described, because it is ineffable; for thus a man enters more and more into heaven, and becomes a heaven in the least form. I have perceived this, in speaking with the angels, from the progression of the enjoy life of marriage love even to the ultimate effect by which man is propagated; such is the progression of the conjunction with heaven, that is, with the Lord; and such is the new creation of man, and the formation of heaven, or of angel, in him; for heaven is the form of the Divine truth thus progressing; from this a man becomes love, and in no other way is the marriage of good and truth formed in him.” (SE 6011)
In regeneration the good seed is from the wisdom of the Divine love, successively clothed in the several senses of the Word, even to its ultimate precepts (AE 1066, 1072). The reception and successive unclothing is by the natural and the rational thought of man, even until the love within is perceived. The development is through the gathering and arrangement of truths which are the means of bringing the good end to pass, and the new birth is the bringing forth of the end in words and works. In every step of this work the influence of the angels of these provinces, and their love for the reception of the Lord's love anDWisdom, is the nurturing influence which makes the work possible. And in the completed work of regeneration their innocence finds its delight in the state of the man who has learned the truth which is the very receptacle of innocence, that man has nothing of goodness and truth of his own, but all is from the Lord.
[In AC 5056, SE 875, EU 79, we read of one who was intensely eager to enter heaven, and when prepared was in the province of the seminal vesicles. He was of the chastising spirits from the planet of Jupiter, was in the love of truth, acknowledged himself to be vile in himself, and was eager to be admitted into a better state and better uses. Apparently he was in such a stage of regeneration that he was ready to receive with benefit and delight the influence of those who are in the love of the good things which wisdom teaches, and to mature under their influence a fuller heavenly life. ]
In thinking of the Word as the successive clothing of the Divine wisdom by which regeneration is effected, and the heavens are multiplied, it appears to be true that the states of the church in which this clothing was effected were masculine as to their function, and the states of the church in which the unclothing is or will be successively effected, are relatively feminine; or, words, that the ages down to the time of the coming of the Lord, were relatively masculine, and those since His coming are feminine.
We may even go further than this, and say that the giving of the Word in its successive clothing from inmost to outmost was from the masculine in the Divine, and the opening of the inner meanings of the Word and manifesting the goodness of them was from the feminine in the Divine; for, as will be seen presently, the Divine Human is feminine relatively to the inmost Divine.
It was by the unfolding of the real meaning of the Word, and bringing forth the good of it in His human life, that the Divine marriage was accomplished in the Lord. For “the union of the Divine Essence with the Human, and of the Human with the Divine,” we are taught, “is the Divine marriage of good with truth, and of truth with good, from which is the heavenly marriage.” (AC 2803)
“The Divine marriage of the Lord is not between Divine good and Divine truth in His Divine Human, but between the good of the Divine Human and the Divine Itself, that is, between the Father and the Son; for the Divine good of the Lord's Divine Human is what is called in the Word the Son of God, and the Divine Itself the Father.” (AC 3952)
“From the Divine marriage, which is the union of the Father and the Son, or of the Divine Itself of the Lord with the Divine Human, comes the heavenly marriage. The heavenly marriage is what is called the kingdom of the Lord, and also heaven, and this because it exists from the Divine marriage, which is the Lord.” (AC 3960)
The church which would enter into this heavenly marriage must learn from Him the truth of heavenly life, which is the truth of His own human life, and herself live it, and become a form of the good of it; and so far as she does this, the Lord unites Himself wish her, and her with Himself; for He says: ” As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you; continue ye in my love.” The fruits of this marriage of the Lord and the church will be truths rationally seen and naturally expressed; and good works, heavenly in their spirit, natural in their embodiment. The first fruits of it were in the first Christian acknowledgment of the Lord as the one God, Who fulfilled the Scriptures and established a heavenly kingdom. And the brining forth of this doctrine the Lord compared to the pains of birth: “A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow because her hour is come; but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more her anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And ye now therefore have sorrow but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.”
The birth of the doctrines of the New Church is also likened in the Apocalypse to the birth of a man-child from a woman clothed with the sun, and having the moon under her feet. These doctrines were derived from the Scriptures interiorly and truly understood, and the birth of them is a type of the continual births of wisdom and goodness with which the church will be multiplied and perfected, as she receives into herself the interior things of the Scriptures, and from them receives the Lord's life and adds it to her own life.
The Lord began the unfolding of the real meaning of the Word in His teaching; in His own thought and life there was a perfect unfolding of it; and He has given the means of a perfect unfolding now to the New Church. The very life of the New Church will come from her opening the inner meanings of the Word, even till the love anDWisdom of the Lord Himself are perceived in it, and she receives these into her heart, and adds them to her life. The marriage of the Lord and the church is thus effected by means of the opening and living by her of the inner meanings of the Word. And it is possible only so far as the church is in the acknowledgment of the Divine Human of the Lord; for with no other idea of Him is conjunction possible, and no other opens the Divine Love anDWisdom in the Word, the union of which constitutes this heavenly marriage. Therefore, also, we are taught that no true marriage love is possible except with those who are in the acknowledgment of the Divine Human of the Lord; for only thus can the love anDWisdom be received, the union of which is the origin and essence of marriage love. (CL 70; AE 995)
Some confirmation of this view of the Word, and of the churches before and after the coming of the Lord, may be had from these considerations: The age of the Race when the Lord came, answers to the time of youth, when the desire for marriage begins. (See AE 641) Swedenborg also says of the Word:
“Since the members of generation in each sex correspond to societies of the third heaven, and the love of a married pair to the love of good and truth, therefore also those members and that love correspond to the Word. The reason is that the Word is Divine Truth united to Divine Good proceeding from the lord; hence it is that the Lord is called the Word. From this also there is in every part of the Word the marriage of good and truth, or the heavenly marriage.” (AE 985)
Besides the marriage in every part of the Word, there appears to be a marriage between the Old and the New Testaments. In the Old Testament we have the Truth from God descending and clothing itself successively even to ultimates. In the New Testament we have the beginnings of the unfolding of this truth, and the explanation of the real goodness in it, at first on the natural plane. And then in the Apocalypse we have a prediction of the future unfolding of ii e same Scriptures for the purification of the church and the establishment of a New Church which shall be the Bride, the Lamb's Wife.
The lord's kingdom includes both heaven and the church; and “the Word is the medium of conjunction” (CL 128) between the Lord and the whole. When man reads the Word in its ultimate, the literal sense, the heavens successively evolve instantaneously their several senses, even to the inmost in which the Love anDWisdom of the Lord are most distinctly perceived. (TCR 234-239) There is thus a conjunction of the Lord with His whole Kingdom, through the letter of the Word. And while this is a fullest reception of the Lord and conjunction with Him, in every individual who reads and looks to the Lord and lives according to His precepts there is in his degree a similar unfolding of the interiors of the Word, by his natural thought, his spiritual thought, and his reception of the Lord's love into his soul, where it becomes new ends of good life.
And so far as one is thus conjoined to the Lord, from this heavenly marriage descends the love of the marriage of good and truth, and thus a heavenly marriage love, into all the degrees of his thought and feeling and life. It is a love which none can have ” but those who go to the Lord, and love the truths of the church, an practise its goods ” (CL 70) because no others can receive from Him the sense of His merciful saving love, and the love of the truth of heavenly life, which are united in the heavenly marriage.
Of such marriage love Swedenborg says:—
“It is in its first essence love to the Lord from the Lord, and hence also it is innocence; therefore also marriage love is peace, such as the angels have in heaven; for as innocence is the very esse of all good, so peace is the very esse of all enjoyment of good, consequently it is the very esse of all joy between the married two. Now because all joy is of love, and marriage love is the fundamental love of all the loves of heaven, therefore peace itself resides principally in marriage love. Peace is the blessedness of heart and soul arising from the conjunction of the Lord with heaven and the church; thus also from the conjunction of good and truth, when all strife and combat of what is evil and false with what is good and true cease.... And because marriage love descends from those conjunctions, therefore also all the enjoyment of that love descends and has its essence from heavenly peace.” (AE 997)
Author: JOHN WORCESTER 1889