UNDERSTANDING >> Wisdom >> Lungs >> Horses

undrstandingp_500_332 That light in the heavens is spiritual and that this light is Divine truth may be inferred also from the fact that men as well as angels have spiritual light, and have  enlightenment from that light so far as they are in intelligence and wisdom from Divine truth.  Man’s spiritual light is the light of his understanding, and the objects of that light are truths, which he arranges analytically into groups, forms into reason, and from them draws conclusions in series.

{1} The natural man does not know that the light from which the understanding sees such things is a real light, for he neither sees it with his eyes nor perceives it by thought. And yet there are many who recognize this light, and distinguish it from the natural light in which those are who think naturally and not spiritually.  Those think naturally who take account of the world only, and attribute all things to nature; while those think spiritually who take account of heaven and attribute all things to the Divine. It has often been granted me to perceive and also to see that there is a true light that enlightens the mind, wholly distinct from the light that is called natural light [lumen]. I have been raised up interiorly into that light by degrees; and as I was raised up my understanding became so enlightened as to enable me to perceive what I did not perceive before, and finally such things as I could not even comprehend by thought from natural light. Sometimes I felt indignant that I could not comprehend these things when they were so clearly and plainly perceived in the light of heaven.

{2} Because there is a light that belongs to the understanding, the same things are said of it as of the eye, as that it sees and is in light when it perceives, and is in obscurity and shade when it does not perceive, and so on. [HH130]  


This shall be shown in the following series:

(1)          All things of the mind have relation to the will and understanding, and all things of the body to the heart and lungs.

(2)          There is a correspondence of the will and understanding with the heart and lungs, consequently a correspondence of all things of the mind with all things of the body.

(3)          The will corresponds to the heart.

(4)          The understanding corresponds to the lungs.

(5)          By means of this correspondence many arcana relating to the will and understanding, thus also to love and wisdom, may be disclosed.

(6)          Man’s mind is his spirit, and the spirit is the man, while the body is the external by means of which the mind or spirit feels and acts in its world.

(7)          The conjunction of man’s spirit with his body is by means of the correspondence of his will and understanding with his heart and lungs, and their separation is from non-correspondence. [DLW 371]   

(1) All things of the mind have relation to the will and understanding, and all things of the body to the heart and lungs. By the mind nothing else is meant than the will and understanding, which in their complex are all things that affect man and all that he thinks, thus all things of man’s affection and thought. The things that affect man are of his will, and the things that he thinks are of his understanding.  That all things of man’s thought are of his understanding is known, since he thinks from the understanding; but it is not so well known that all things of man’s affection are of his will, this is not so well known because when man is thinking he pays no attention to the affection, but only to what he is thinking; just as when he hears a person speaking, he pays no attention to the tone of the voice but only to the language. Yet affection is related to thought as the tone of the voice is to the language; consequently the affection of the one speaking is known by the tone, and his thought by the language. Affection is of the will, because all affection is of love, and the will is the receptacle of love, as was shown above. He that is not aware that affection is of the will confounds affection with understanding, for he declares it to be one with thought, yet they are not one but act as one. That they are confounded is evident from the common expression, I think I will do this, meaning, I will to do it. But that they are two is also evident from a common expression, I wish to think about this matter; and when one thinks about it, the affection of the will is present in the thought of the understanding, like the tone in speech, as was said before. That all parts of the body have relation to the heart and lungs is known, but that there is a correspondence of the heart and lungs with the will and understanding is not known. This subject will therefore be treated in what follows. [DLW 372] 

Because the will and understanding are the receptacles of love and wisdom, these two are organic forms, or forms organized out of the purest substances; for such they must be to be receptacles. It is no objection that their organization is imperceptible to the eye; it lies beyond the reach of vision, even when this is increased by the microscope. The smallest insects are also too small to be seen, yet they have organs of sense and motion, for they feel, walk, and fly. That they have brains, hearts, pulmonary pipes, and viscera, acute observers have discovered from their anatomy by means of the microscope. Since minute insects themselves are not visible, and still less so their component viscera, and since it is not denied that they are organized even to each single particle in them, how can it be said that the two receptacles of love and wisdom, called will and understanding, are not organic forms? How can love and wisdom, which are life from the Lord, act upon what is not a subject, or upon what has no substantial existence? Without organic forms, how can thought inhere; and from thought inherent in nothing can one speak? Is not the brain, where thought comes forth, complete and organized in every part? The organic forms themselves are there visible even to the naked eye; and the receptacles of the will and understanding, in their first principles, are plainly to be seen in the cortical substance, where they are perceptible as minute glands (On which see above, n. 366). Do not, I pray, think of these things from an idea of vacuum. Vacuum is nothing, and in nothing nothing takes place, and from nothing nothing comes forth.  (On the idea of vacuum, see above, n. 82.)[DLW 373]   

0035c (2) There is a correspondence of the will and understanding with the heart and lungs, consequently a correspondence of all things of the mind with all things of the body. This is new: it has hitherto been unknown because it has not been known what the spiritual is, and how it differs from the natural; therefore it has not been known what correspondence is; for there is a correspondence between things spiritual and things natural, and by means of correspondence they are conjoined. It is said that heretofore there has been no knowledge of what the spiritual is, or of what its correspondence with the natural is and therefore what correspondence is; yet these might have been known. Who does not know that affection and thought are spiritual, therefore that all things of affection and thought are spiritual? Who does not know that action and speech are natural, therefore that all things of action and speech are natural: who does not know that affection and thought, which are spiritual, cause man to act and to speak? From this who cannot see what correspondence is between things spiritual and things natural? Does not thought make the tongue speak, and affection together with thought make the body act? There are two distinct things: I can think without speaking, and I can will without acting; and the body, it is known, neither thinks nor wills, but thought falls into speech, and will descends into action.  Does not affection also beam forth from the face, and there exhibit a type of itself? This everyone knows. Is not affection, regarded in itself, spiritual, and the change of countenance, called the expression, natural?  From this who might not conclude that there is correspondence; and further, a correspondence of all things of the mind with all things of the body; and since all things of the mind have relation to affection and thought, or what is the same, to the will and understanding, and all things of the body to the heart and lungs, - that there is a correspondence of the will with the heart and of the understanding with the lungs? Such things have remained unknown, though they might have been known, because man has become so external as to be unwilling to acknowledge anything except the natural. This has become the joy of his love, and from that the joy of his understanding; consequently it has become distasteful to him to raise his thought above the natural to anything spiritual separate from the natural; therefore, from his natural love and its delights, he can think of the spiritual only as a purer natural, and of correspondence only as a something flowing in by continuity; yea, the merely natural man cannot think of anything separate from the natural; any such thing to him is nothing. Again, these things have not heretofore been seen and known, because everything of religion, that is, everything called spiritual, has been banished from the sight of man by the dogma of the whole Christian world, that matters theological, that is, spiritual, which councils and certain leaders have decreed, are to be believed blindly because (as they say) they transcend the understanding. Some, therefore, have imagined the spiritual to be like a bird flying above the air in an ether to which the sight of the eye does not reach; when yet it is like a bird of paradise, which flies near the eye, even touching the pupil with its beautiful wings and longing to be seen. By the sight of the eye intellectual vision is meant. [DLW 374] 

 The correspondence of the will and understanding with the heart and lungs cannot be abstractly proved, that is, by mere reasonings, but it may be proved by effects. It is much the same as it is with the causes of things which can be seen rationally, yet not clearly except by means of effects; for causes are in effects, and by means of effects make themselves visible; and until causes are thus made visible, the mind is not assured respecting them. In what follows, the effects of this correspondence will be described. But lest any one should fall into ideas of this correspondence imbibed from hypotheses about the soul, let him first read over carefully the propositions in the preceding chapter, as follows: Love and wisdom, and the will and understanding therefrom, make the very life of man (n. 363, 365). The life of man is in first principles in the brains, and in derivatives in the body (n. 365). Such as life is in first principles, such it is in the whole and in every part (n. 366).  By means of these first principles life is in the whole from every part, and in every part from the whole (n. 367). Such as the love is, such is the wisdom, consequently such is the man (n. 368). [DLW 375]

It is permitted to introduce here, in the way of evidence, a representation of the correspondence of the will and understanding with the heart and lungs which was seen in heaven among the angels. By a wonderful flowing into spiral movements, such as no words can express, the angels formed the likeness of a heart and the likeness of lungs, with all the interior structures therein; and in this they were falling in with the flow of heaven, for heaven from the inflowing of love and wisdom from the Lord strives to come into such forms. They thus represented the conjunction of the heart and lungs, and at the same time the correspondence of these with the love of the will and with the wisdom of the understanding. This correspondence and union they called the heavenly marriage; saying that in the whole body, and in its several members, organs, and viscera, it is the same as in the things belonging to the heart and lungs; also that where the heart and lungs do not act, each in its turn, there can be no motion of life from any voluntary principle, and no sensation of life from any intellectual principle. [DLW 376] 

(4) The understanding corresponds to the lungs. This follows from what has been said of the correspondence of the will with the heart; for there are two things, will and understanding, which reign in the spiritual man, that is, in the mind, and there are two things, heart and lungs, which reign in the natural man, that is, in the body; and there is correspondence (as was said above) of all things of the mind with all thinks of the body; from which it follows that as the will corresponds to the heart, so the understanding corresponds to the lungs. Moreover, that the understanding corresponds to the lungs any one may observe in himself, both from his thought and from his speech. (1) From thought: No one is able to think except with the concurrence and concordance of the pulmonary respiration; consequently, when he thinks tacitly he breathes tacitly, if he thinks deeply he breathes deeply; he draws in the breath and lets it out, contracts and expands the lungs, slowly or quickly, eagerly, gently, or intently, all in conformity to his thought, thus to the influx of affection from love; yea, if he hold the breath entirely he is unable to think, except in his spirit by its respiration, which is not manifestly perceived.  (2) From speech: Since not the least vocal sound flows forth from the mouth without the concurrent aid of the lungs, - for the sound, which is articulated into words, all comes forth from the lungs through the trachea and epiglottis, - therefore, according to the inflation of these bellows and the opening of the passage the voice is raised even to a shout, and according to their contraction it is lowered; and if the passage is entirely closed speech ceases and thought with it. [DLW 382] 

Since the understanding corresponds to the lungs and thought therefrom to the respiration of the lungs, in the Word, “soul” and “spirit” signify the understanding; for example: 

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul (Matt. 22:37).

God will give a new heart and a new spirit (Ezek. 36:26; Psalm 51:10).

That “heart” signifies the love of the will was shown above; therefore “soul” and “spirit” signify the wisdom of the understanding. That the spirit of God, also called the Holy Spirit, means Divine Wisdom, and therefore Divine Truth which is the light of men, may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Lord (n. 50, 51), therefore, The Lord breathed on His disciples, and said, Receive ye the Holy Spirit (John 20:22);for the same reason it is said that:

Jehovah God breathed into the nostrils of Adam the breath of lives, and he was made into a living soul (Gen. 2:7);

also He said to the prophet:

Prophesy upon the breath, and say unto the wind, Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live (Ezek. 37:9);

likewise in other places; therefore the Lord is called “the breath of the nostrils,” and “the breath of life.” Because respiration passes through the nostrils, perception is signified by them; and an intelligent man is said to be keen-scented, and an unintelligent man to be dull-scented. For the same reason, spirit and wind in the Hebrew, and in some other languages, are the same word; for the word spirit is derived from a word that means breathing; and therefore when a man dies he is said to give up the ghost [anima]. It is for the same reason that men believe the spirit to be wind, or an airy something like breath breathed out from the lungs, and the soul to be of like nature. From all this it can be seen that to “love God with all the heart and all the soul” means to love Him with all the love and with all the understanding, and to “give a new heart and a new spirit” means to give a new will and a new understanding.

Because “spirit” signifies understanding, it is said of Bezaleel:

That he was filled with the spirit of wisdom, of intelligence, and of knowledge (Exod. 31:3);

and of Joshua:

That he was filled with the spirit of wisdom (Deut. 34:9);

and Nebuchadnezzar says of Daniel:

That an excellent spirit of knowledge, of intelligence, and of wisdom, was in him (Dan. 5:11, 12, 14);

and it is said in Isaiah:

They that err in spirit shall learn intelligence (29:24);

likewise in many other places. [DLW 383] 

Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG  (1688-1772)

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