THE TONGUE >> Affection of Truth >> Speech


TG837 The tongue affords entrance to the lungs, and also to the stomach, thus it represents as it were the court to spiritual and celestial things - to spiritual because it ministers to  the lungs and thence to the speech, to celestial because it ministers to the stomach, which supplies food to the blood and heart. That the lungs correspond to spiritual, and the heart to celestial things, may be seen above (n. 3635, 3883-3896). Wherefore the tongue corresponds in general to the affection of truth, or to those in the Grand Man who are in the affection of truth, and afterwards in the affection of good from truth; and therefore they who love the Word of the Lord, and desire there from the knowledges of truth and of good, belong to this province; but with the difference that there are some who belong to the tongue itself, some to the larynx and the trachea, some to the throat, some to the gums, and some to the lips; for there does not exist even the least thing in man with which there is not correspondence. That they who are in the affection of truth belong to this province as understood in a wide sense, has often been granted me to experience, and this by manifest influx from them, now into the tongue, and now into the lips; and it has also been given me to converse with them, and to observe that there are some who correspond to the interiors of the tongue and of the lips, and others to the exteriors. The operation of those who receive with affection exterior truths only, and not interior, but without rejecting the latter, I felt not into the interiors of the tongue, but into the exteriors. [AC4791]

As food and nourishment correspond to spiritual food and nourishment, therefore taste corresponds to the perception and affection of this food. Spiritual food is knowledge, intelligence, and wisdom, for from these, spirits and angels live and are nourished, and they desire and have appetite for them just as men who are hungry desire and have appetite for food. Hence appetite corresponds to this desire. And wonderful to say, from this food they grow to maturity; for little children who die appear in the other life no otherwise than as little children, and also are such as to understanding; but as they increase in intelligence and wisdom, they appear not as little children, but as advancing in age, and at last as adults. I have conversed with some who had died in infancy, and were seen by me as young men, because they were then intelligent. From this it is evident what spiritual food and nourishment are. [AC4792]

As the taste corresponds to the perception and affection of knowing, understanding, and growing wise, and as the life of man is in this affection, therefore no spirit or angel is permitted to flow into man's taste, for this would be to flow into the life which is proper to him. Yet there are roaming spirits of the infernal crew, more pernicious than others, who because they had accustomed themselves in the life of the body to enter into man's affections for the purpose of doing harm, in the other life also retain this desire, and strive in every way to enter into man's taste, and when they have entered into it they possess his interiors, that is, the life of his thoughts and affections, for as before said they correspond, and things which correspond act as a one. Very many at this day are possessed by these spirits; for there are at this day interior obsessions, but not as formerly exterior ones.

[2] Interior obsessions are effected by such spirits, and their quality may be seen if attention is paid to the thoughts and affections, especially to the interior intentions, which men fear to manifest, and which are so insane in some that unless they were restrained by external bonds, such as honor, gain, reputation, the fear of death and of the law, they would more than the obsessed rush into murder and robbery. Who and of what quality those spirits are who obsess the interiors of such men may be seen above (n. 1983).

[3] In order that I might know how this is, they were permitted to attempt to enter into my taste, which they endeavored to the utmost of their power to do; and I was then told that if they penetrated quite into the taste they would possess the interiors also, for the reason that the taste depends on these interiors by correspondence. But this was permitted only to the end that I might know how the case is with the correspondence of the taste; for they were instantly driven away from there.

[4] These pernicious spirits try especially to loose all internal bonds, which are the affections of what is good and true, and of what is just and fair, fear of the Divine law, and a sense of shame in doing harm to society and to one's country; and when these internal bonds are loosed the man is obsessed by such spirits. When they are not able to get into the interiors by persistent endeavor, they try to do so by magical arts, of which there are many in the other life wholly unknown in the world; and by means of them they pervert the memory-knowledges in the man, and apply those only which favor their foul desires. Such obsessions cannot be avoided unless the man is in the affection of good, and hence in faith in the Lord.

[5] It was also shown how they were driven away. When they thought that they were penetrating toward the interiors of the head and brain, they were conveyed along by excrementitious passages, and thence toward the externals of the skin; and they were then seen to be cast into a ditch full of liquid filth. I was informed that such spirits correspond to the dirty little pits in the outermost skin, where scall arises, thus that they correspond to scall. [AC4793]

A spirit, or man after death, has all the senses that he had while he lived in the world, namely, sight, hearing, smell, and touch; but not taste, but instead of it something analogous which is adjoined to the sense of smell. The reason why he has not taste is that he may not be able to enter into the taste of man and thus possess his interiors; also that this sense may not turn him away from the desire of knowing and of being wise, thus from spiritual appetite. [AC 4794]

 From all this it is evident why the tongue is assigned a double office, namely, the office of aiding in speech, and that of aiding in nourishment. For insofar as it aids in nourishment it corresponds to the affection of knowing, understanding, and being wise as to truths; for which reason also wisdom [sapientia] and being wise [sapere] are so called from relish [sapor]; and insofar as it aids in speech, it corresponds to the affection of thinking and producing truths. [AC4795]

 Because heavy of mouth and heavy of tongue am I. That this signifies that the voice and speech from the Divine are not heard or perceived, is evident from the signification of "mouth," as being voice; and from the signification of "tongue," as being speech. By "mouth," is signified voice, because it is the organ of the voice; and by "tongue" is signified speech, because it is the organ of speech. The difference between voice and speech is plain to everyone, also that "to be heard" is said of the voice, and "to be perceived" of speech. This cannot be expressed in the historic sense of the letter, where Moses is spoken of as a man, and who could speak, but with difficulty, otherwise than by being "heavy of mouth and heavy of tongue." But when this passes into the internal sense, it is perceived by the angels as being said in respect to the subject treated of; and when it is said of the Divine, it is perceived that the voice proceeding thence cannot be heard nor the speech be perceived immediately, but mediately through spirits, according to what was said above (n. 6982). [AC 6985]

And as it were the voice of mighty thunders, signifies the glorification of the Lord from the goods of love. This is evident from the signification of a "voice," as being the glorification of the Lord (as above); also from the signification of "thunders," as being the goods of love sounding (see n. 821, 855); therefore "mighty thunders" mean all goods with the angels that give forth sound. In the speech of man two things unite, namely, sound and its articulation into words. The sound belongs to the affection of man's will, and the articulation of the sound belongs to the thought of his understanding. These two unite in human speech, but are distinguished by the hearing. For the affection is known from the sound, and the thought from the words, which are articulations of the sound. This is so natural a thing that man gives little thought to it; but he knows it to be true when he hears it. This distinction is more clearly perceived by angels and spirits than by men, because they are spiritual, and the spiritual think from affection and also speak from affection, those who are in the celestial kingdom from the affection of good, and those in the spiritual kingdom from the affection of truth; thus they are distinguished by their tones. The sound of the speech of the angels in the higher parts of heaven is heard variously below, for it increases as it goes on, as sound does in the world when it descends from above. The sound of the spiritual angels is thus heard as the sound of roaring waters, and the sound of the celestial angels as the sound of thunders. (On the further signification of "thunders" see above, n. 273, 353, 498, 702, 704, 1014.) (Continuation) [2] Infinity and Eternity, also Providence and Omnipotence, as belonging to the Lord, have been treated of; now the Omnipresence and Omniscience that belong to Him shall be treated of. In every religion it is acknowledged that God is omnipresent and omniscient; therefore prayer is offered to God that He will hear and that He will see and will have mercy; which would not be done unless His omnipresence and omniscience were believed in. This belief is from an influx out of heaven into those that have any religion, for it does not come into question from religion itself whether it is granted or how it is granted. But at this day, especially in the Christian world, natural men have become very numerous, and such see nothing of God; and unless they see they do not believe, or if they profess to believe it is either done from conventionality or from blind knowledge, or from hypocrisy; and yet they have the ability to see. In order, therefore, that the things relating to God may be seen, it is permitted to treat of them from light and from consequent rational sight. [3] For every man, even a merely natural and sensual man, is endowed with an understanding that can be raised up into the light of heaven, and can see spiritual things, and even Divine things, and can comprehend them, but only while he is hearing them or reading about them; and afterwards he can talk about them from the memory, but cannot think about them within himself from himself. The reason of this is that when he is listening or reading, the understanding is separated from its own affection, and when so separated it is in the light of heaven, but when he is thinking within himself from himself the understanding is joined to the affection of his will, and that affection fills the understanding and occupies it, and hinders it from going out of itself. Nevertheless, the fact is that the understanding can be separated from the affection of the will, and thus can be raised up into the light of heaven with such natural men as have any affection of truth and as have not confirmed themselves in falsities; but scarcely with those that have no affection of truth from having rejected all Divine things or from having confirmed themselves in falsities. In such, between spiritual light and natural light there is a sort of darkening veil, although with many this is transparent. [4] Since, then, any man, even a corporeal sensual man, when he reaches adult age is endowed with such an ability to understand that he can comprehend the things that relate to God when he is listening or reading, and afterwards can retain them in his memory, and thus talk, teach, and write about them, it is important that this treatise on the Divine attributes should be continued as it was begun. Here, then, the Divine Omnipresence and the Divine Omniscience shall be considered, lest the merely natural man, from a lack of willingness (which he calls a lack of ability) to understand anything Divine or spiritual, should bring these into doubt, and even denial. [AE1216]

Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)

site search by freefind advanced


Copyright © 2007-2013 A. J. Coriat All rights reserved.