THE HEART >> Will >> Love >> Heat

HRT827 The will corresponds to the heart. This can not be seen so clearly taken by itself as when the will is considered in its effects (as was said above). Taken by itself it can be  seen  by this, that all affections, which are of love, induce changes in the heart’s pulsations, as is evident from the pulse of the arteries, which act synchronously with the heart. The heart’s changes and pulsations in accordance with the love’s affections are innumerable. Those felt by the finger are only that the beats are slow or quick, high or low, weak or strong, regular or irregular, and so on; thus that there is a difference in joy and in sorrow, in tranquillity of mind and in wrath, in fearlessness and in fear, in hot diseases and in cold, and so on. Because the two motions of the heart, systolic and diastolic, change and vary in this manner according to the affections of each one’s love, many of the ancient and after them some modern writers have assigned the affections to the heart, and have made the heart their dwelling-place. From this have come into common language such expressions as a stout heart, a timid heart, a joyful heart, a sad heart, a soft heart, a hard heart, a great heart, a weak heart, a whole heart, a broken heart, a heart of flesh, a heart of stone; likewise being gross, or soft, or tender in heart; giving the heart to a thing, giving a single heart, giving a new heart, laying up in the heart, receiving in the heart, not reaching the heart, hardening one’s heart, a friend at heart; also the terms concord, discord, folly [vecordia], and other similar terms expressive of love and its affections. There are like expressions in the Word, because the Word was written by correspondences.  Whether you say love or will it is the same, because the will is the receptacle of love, as was explained above. [DLW378] 

That heaven is divided into two kingdoms, one called the celestial kingdom and the other the spiritual kingdom, may be seen above in its own chapter. The celestial kingdom corresponds in general to the heart and all things of the heart in the whole body, and the spiritual kingdom to the lungs and to all things of the lungs in the whole body. Likewise in man heart and lungs form two kingdoms, the heart ruling there through the arteries and veins, and the lungs through the tendinous and motor fibers, both together in every exertion and movement. So in every man, in his spiritual world, which is called his spiritual man, there are two kingdoms, one of the will and the other of the understanding, the will ruling through affections for good, and the understanding through affections for truth; and these kingdoms correspond to the kingdoms of the heart and of the lungs in the body. It is the same in the heavens; the celestial kingdom is the voluntary part of heaven, and in it good of love reigns; the spiritual kingdom is the intellectual part of heaven, and in it truth reigns. These are what correspond to the functions of the heart and lungs in man. It is on account of this correspondence that in the Word the “heart” signifies the will and also good of love, and the “breath” of the lungs signifies the understanding and the truth of faith. For the same reason affections are ascribed to the heart, although they are neither in it nor from it.{1} [HH95]   

(1) Love or the will is man’s very life. This follows from the correspondence of the heart with the will (considered above, n. 378-381).  For as the heart acts in the body, so does the will act in the mind; and as all things of the body depend for existence and motion upon the heart, so do all things of the mind depend for existence and life upon the will.  It is said, upon the will, but this means upon the love, because the will is the receptacle of love, and love is life itself (see above, n. 1-3), and love, which is life itself, is from the Lord alone. By the heart and its extension into the body through the arteries and veins it can be seen that love or the will is the life of man, for the reason that things that correspond to each other act in a like manner, except that one is natural and the other spiritual. How the heart acts in the body is evident from anatomy, which shows that wherever the heart acts by means of the vessels put forth from it, everything is alive or subservient to life; but where the heart by means of its vessels does not act, everything is lifeless.  Moreover, the heart is the first and last thing to act in the body. That it is the first is evident from the fetus, and that it is the last is evident from the dying, and that it may act without the cooperation of the lungs is evident from cases of suffocation and swooning; from which it can be seen that the life of the mind depends solely upon the will, in the same way as the substitute life of the body depends on the heart alone; and that the will lives when thought ceases, in the same way as the heart lives when breathing ceases. This also is evident from the fetus, from the dying, and from cases of suffocation and swooning. From which it follows that love or the will is man’s very life. [DLW399] 

(3) Love or the will is unable to effect anything by its human form without a marriage with wisdom or the understanding. This also is evident from the correspondence of the heart with the will. The embryo man lives by the heart, not by the lungs. For in the fetus the blood does not flow from the heart into the lungs, giving it the ability to respire; but it flows through the foramen ovale into the left ventricle of the heart; consequently the fetus is unable to move any part of its body, but lies enswathed, neither has it sensation, for its organs of sense are closed.  So is it with love or the will, from which the fetus lives indeed, though obscurely, that is, without sensation or action. But as soon as the lungs are opened, which is the case after birth, he begins to feel and act, and likewise to will and think. From all this it can be seen, that love or the will is unable to effect anything by means of its human form without a marriage with wisdom or the understanding. [DLW401] 

In order that I might know not only that there is a correspondence of the celestial things which are of love with the motions of the heart, and of the spiritual things which are of faith from love with the motions of the lungs, but also how the case is with this correspondence, it was given me for a considerable space of time to be among the angels, who showed it me to the life. By a wonderful and indescribable flowing into gyres they formed a semblance of a heart and another semblance of lungs, together with all the interior and exterior contextures that are in them. They then followed the flow of heaven in a free way; for heaven is in the endeavor toward such a form, from the influx of love from the Lord. Thus they presented the several parts that are in the heart; and afterwards the union between the heart and the lungs, which they also represented by the marriage of good and truth. From this it was evident that the heart corresponds to the celestial which is of good, and the lungs to the spiritual which is of truth; and that the conjunction of these two in a material form is precisely as is that of the heart and the lungs. I was also told that the case is similar in the body throughout (that is, in its several members, organs, and viscera) in regard to the things therein which are of the heart, and those which are of the lungs; for where both do not act, and each distinctly take its turn, there cannot be any motion of life from any principle of the will, nor any feeling of life from any principle of the understanding..[AC3889]


The church of today knows both from the Word and from reason that a regenerated man is a renewed or new man. From the Word, by the following passages:

Make you a new heart and a new spirit; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? (Ezek. 18:31).
I will give you a new heart and a new spirit in the midst of you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give you a heart of flesh; and I will put My spirit within you (Ezek. 36:26, 27).
Henceforth know we no man after the flesh, therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature (2 Cor. 5:16, 17).

In these passages "a new heart" means a new will, and "a new spirit" means a new understanding; for "heart" in the Word signifies the will, and "spirit," when connected with heart, signifies the understanding. The church also knows from reason that the regenerated man has a new will and a new understanding, since these two faculties constitute man, and they are what are regenerated. Therefore every man is such as he is with respect to these two faculties, that is, he is evil whose will is evil, and still more so he whose understanding favors the evil; while the reverse is true of the good. Religion alone renews and regenerates man. Religion occupies the highest seat in the human mind, and sees beneath it the civil matters pertaining to the world; it also ascends by means of them, as the pure sap ascends through a tree to its very top, and from that height it surveys what is natural, as from a tower or mountain one surveys the plains below.[TCR601]

The heavens are divided into two kingdoms, one called celestial, the other spiritual; in the celestial kingdom love to the Lord reigns, and in the spiritual kingdom wisdom from that love. The kingdom where love reigns is called heaven’s cardiac kingdom, the one where wisdom reigns is called its pulmonic kingdom. Be it known, that the whole angelic heaven in its aggregate represents a single man, and before the Lord appears as a single man; consequently its heart makes one kingdom and its lungs another. For there is a general cardiac and pulmonic movement throughout heaven, and a particular movement therefrom in each angel. The general cardiac and pulmonic movement is from the Lord alone, because love and wisdom are from Him alone. For these two movements are in the sun where the Lord is and which is from the Lord, and from that in the angelic heavens and in the universe. Banish spaces and think of omnipresence, and you will be convinced that it is so. That the heavens are divided into two kingdoms, celestial and spiritual, see the work on Heaven and Hell (n. 20-28); and that the whole angelic heaven in the aggregate represents a single man (n. 59-67). [DLW381]

Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG  (1688-1772)

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