NATURAL SUN >> Heat + Light >> Human Body

natural-sunp To the angels the sun of the world appears like a dense darkness opposite to the sun of heaven, and the moon like a darkness opposite to the moon of heaven, and this  constantly; and for the reason that the world’s fieriness corresponds to the love of self, and the light from it corresponds to what is false from that love; and the love of self is the direct opposite of the Divine love; and what is false from that love is the direct opposite of the Divine truth; and the opposite of the Divine love and the Divine truth is to the angels thick darkness. Therefore, in the Word, to worship the sun and moon of this world and bow down to them, signifies to love self and the falsities that spring from the love of self, and it is said that such would be cut off. (Deut. 4:19; 16:3-5; Jer. 8:1, 2; Ezek. 8:15, 16, 18; Apoc. 16:8; Matt. 13:6).{1} [HH122]



Creation itself cannot be ascribed in the least to the sun of the natural world, but must be wholly ascribed to the sun of the spiritual world; because the sun of the natural world is altogether dead; but the sun of the spiritual world is living; for it is the first proceeding of Divine Love and Divine Wisdom; and what is dead does not act at all from itself, but is acted upon; consequently to ascribe to it anything of creation would be like ascribing the work of an artificer to the tool which is moved by his hands. The sun of the natural world is pure fire from which everything of life has been withdrawn; but the sun of the spiritual world is fire in which is Divine Life. The angelic idea of the fire of the sun of the natural world, and of the fire of the sun of the spiritual world, is this; that in the fire of the sun of the spiritual world the Divine Life is within, but in the fire of the sun of the natural world it is without. From this it can be seen that the actuating power of the natural sun is not from itself, but from a living force proceeding from the sun of the spiritual world; consequently if the living force of that sun were withdrawn or taken away, the natural sun would have no vital power. For this reason the worship of the sun is the lowest of all the forms of God-worship, for it is wholly dead, as the sun itself is, and therefore in the Word it is called “abomination.” [DLW157]

As the sun of the natural world is pure fire, and therefore dead, the heat proceeding from it is also dead, likewise the light proceeding from it is dead; so also are the atmospheres, which are called ether and air, and which receive in their bosom and carry down the heat and light of that sun; and as these are dead so are each and all things of the earth which are beneath the atmospheres, and are called soils, yet these, one and all, are encompassed by what is spiritual, proceeding and flowing forth from the sun of the spiritual world. Unless they had been so encompassed, the soils could not have been stirred into activity, and have produced forms of uses, which are plants, nor forms of life, which are animals; nor could have supplied the materials by which man begins and continues to exist. [DLW158]

Now since nature begins from that sun, and all that springs forth and continues to exist from it is called natural, it follows that nature, with each and every thing pertaining thereto, is dead. It appears in man and animal as if alive, because of the life which accompanies and actuates it. [DLW159]

Since these lowest things of nature which form the lands are dead, and are not changeable and varying according to states of affections and thoughts, as in the spiritual world, but unchangeable and fixed, therefore in nature there are spaces and spatial distances. There are such things, because creation has there terminated, and abides at rest. From this it is evident that spaces are a property of nature; and because in nature spaces are not appearances of spaces according to states of life, as they are in the spiritual world, these also may be called dead. [DLW160]

Since times in like manner are settled and constant, they also are a property of nature; for the length of a day is constantly twenty-four hours, and the length of a year is constantly three hundred and sixty-five days and a quarter. The very states of light and shade, and of heat and cold, which cause these periods to vary, are also regular in their return.  The states which recur daily are morning, noon, evening, and night; those recurring yearly are spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Moreover, the annual states modify regularly the daily states. All these states are likewise dead because they are not states of life, as in the spiritual world; for in the spiritual world there is continuous light and there is continuous heat, the light corresponding to the state of wisdom, and the heat to the state of love with the angels; consequently the states of these are living. [DLW161]

From all this the folly of those who ascribe all things to nature can be seen. Those who have confirmed themselves in favor of nature have brought such a state on themselves that they are no longer willing to raise the mind above nature; consequently their minds are shut above and opened below. Man thus becomes sensual-natural, that is, spiritually dead; and because he then thinks only from such things as he has imbibed from his bodily senses, or through the senses from the world, he at heart even denies God. Then because conjunction with heaven is broken, conjunction with hell takes place, the capacity to think and will alone remaining; the capacity to think, from rationality, and the capacity to will, from freedom; these two capacities every man has from the Lord, nor are they taken away. These two capacities devils have equally with angels; but devils devote them to insane thinking and evil doing, and angels to becoming wise and doing good. [DLW162]


The universe in general is divided into two worlds, the spiritual and the natural. In the spiritual world are angels and spirits, in the natural world men. In external appearance these two worlds are entirely alike, so alike that they cannot be distinguished; but as to internal appearance they are entirely unlike. The men themselves in the spiritual world, who (as was said above) are called angels and spirits, are spiritual, and, being spiritual, they think spiritually and speak spiritually. But the men of the natural world are natural, and therefore think naturally and speak naturally; and spiritual thought and speech have nothing in common with natural thought and speech. From this it is plain that these two worlds, the spiritual and the natural, are entirely distinct from each other, so that they can in no respect be together.[DLW163]

Now as these two worlds are so distinct, it is necessary that there should be two suns, one from which all spiritual things are, and another from which all natural things are. And as all spiritual things in their origin are living, and all natural things from their origin are dead, and these origins are suns, it follows that the one sun is living and the other dead; also, that the dead sun itself was created by the Lord through the living sun. [DLW164]

A dead sun was created to this end, that in outmosts all things may be fixed, settled, and constant, and thus there may be forms of existence which shall be permanent and durable. In this and in no other way is creation founded. The terraqueous globe, in which, upon which, and about which, things exist, is a kind of base and support; for it is the outmost work [ultimum opus], in which all things terminate, and upon which they rest. It is also a kind of matrix, out of which effects, which are ends of creation, are produced, as will be shown in what follows. [DLW165]

That all things were created by the Lord through the living sun, and nothing through the dead sun, can be seen from this, that what is living disposes what is dead in obedience to itself, and forms it for uses, which are its ends; but not the reverse. Only a person bereft of reason and who is ignorant of what life is, can think that all things are from nature, and that life even comes from nature. Nature cannot dispense life to anything, since nature in itself is wholly inert. For what is dead to act upon what is living, or for dead force to act upon living force, or, what is the same, for the natural to act upon the spiritual, is entirely contrary to order, therefore so to think is contrary to the light of sound reason. What is dead, that is, the natural, may indeed in many ways be perverted or changed by external accidents, but it cannot act upon life; on the contrary life acts into it, according to the induced change of form.  It is the same with physical influx into the spiritual operations of the soul; this, it is known, does not occur, for it is not possible. [DLW166]

Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG  (1688-1772)

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