varietyp That divine providence in all that it does looks to what is infinite and eternal from itself is evident from the fact that every created thing proceeds from a first, which is the  infinite and eternal, to things last, and from things last to the first whence it is (as was shown in the work Divine Love and Wisdom, in the part in which the creation of the world is treated of). But the first whence anything is, is inmostly in all the progression, and therefore the proceeding Divine or divine providence in all that it does has in view some image of the infinite and eternal. It does so in all things, in some obviously so that it is perceptible, in others not. It makes that image evident to perception in the variety, and in the fructification and multiplication, of all things.  

[2] _An image of the infinite and eternal is apparent in the variety of all things,_ in that no one thing is the same as another nor can be to eternity. The eye beholds this in the variety of human faces ever since creation; in the variety of minds, of which faces are types; and in the variety of affections, perceptions and thoughts, for of these the mind consists. In all heaven, therefore, no two angels or spirits are the same, nor can be to eternity. The same is true of every object to be seen in either the natural or the spiritual world. Plainly, the variety is infinite and eternal.  

[3] _An image of the infinite and eternal is manifest in the fructification and multiplication of all things,_ in the vegetable kingdom in the capacity implanted in seeds, and in the animal kingdom in reproduction, especially in the family of fishes. Were the seeds to bear fruit and the animals to multiply in the measure of ability, they would fill all the world, even the universe, in a generation. Obviously there is latent in that ability an endeavor after self-propagation to infinity.  And as fructification and multiplication have not failed from the beginning of creation and never will, plainly there is in that ability an endeavor after self-propagation to eternity also. [DP56] 

vtyThe like is true of human beings as to their affections, which are of love, and their perceptions, which are of wisdom. The variety of either is infinite and eternal; so, too, is their fructification and multiplication, which is spiritual. No person enjoys an affection and perception so like another’s as to be identical with it, nor ever will.  Affections, moreover, may be fructified and perceptions multiplied without end. Knowledge, it is well known, is inexhaustible. This capacity of fructification and multiplication without end or to infinity and eternity exists in natural things with men, in spiritual with the spiritual angels, and in celestial with the celestial angels. Affections, perceptions and knowledges have this endless capacity not only in general, but in every least particular. They have it because they exist from the infinite and eternal in itself through what is infinite and eternal from itself. But as the finite has in it nothing of the Divine, nothing of the kind, not the least, is in the human being as his own. Man or angel is finite and only a receptacle, by itself dead. Whatever is living in him is from the proceeding Divine, joined to him by contact, and appearing in him as if it were his. The truth of this will be seen in what follows. [DP57]

Almost all who enter the other life think that hell is the same to everyone, and heaven the same; and yet in both there are infinite varieties and diversities, and in no case is hell or heaven wholly the same to one as to another; as it is impossible that any one man, spirit or angel should ever be wholly like another even as to the face. At my mere thought of two being just alike or equal the angels expressed horror, saying that everyone thing is formed out of the harmonious concurrence of many things, and that the one thing is such as that concurrence is; and that it is thus that a whole society in heaven becomes a one, and that all the societies of heaven together become a one, and this from the Lord alone by means of love.{1} Uses in the heavens are likewise in all variety and diversity, and in no case is the use of one wholly the same as and identical with the use of another; so neither is the happiness of one the same as and identical with the happiness of another. Furthermore, the delights of each use are innumerable, and these innumerable delights are likewise various, and yet conjoined in such order that they mutually regard each other, like the uses of each member, organ, and viscus, in the body, and still more like the uses of each vessel and fiber in each member, organ and viscus; each and all of which are so affiliated as to have regard to another’s good in their own good, and thus each in all, and all in each. From this universal and individual aspect they act as one. [HH405]

From all this it is now evident what is the nature of heaven, and from what ground heaven is called the Grand Man; that is to say, the varieties as regards the life of good and truth therein are innumerable, and are in accordance with the reception of life from the Lord. These varieties have a relation to each other altogether similar to that which subsists between the organs, members, and viscera in man, all of which are forms in perpetual variety recipient of life from their soul, or rather through their soul from the Lord; and yet notwithstanding they are in such variety, they together constitute one man. [AC3744}

 How great this variety is, and of what nature, may be seen from the variety in the human body. It is known that one organ or member is not like another; for instance, that the organ of sight is not like the organ of hearing, and that the same is true of the organ of smelling, the organ of taste, and also the organ of touch, which last is diffused throughout the whole body. So also with the members-the arms, hands, loins, feet, and soles of the feet; and also with the viscera that lie hidden within, as those of the head, namely, the cerebrum, cerebellum, medulla oblongata, and medulla spinalis, with all the minute organs, viscera, vessels, and fibers of which they are composed; also those belonging to the body below the head, as the heart, lungs, stomach, liver, pancreas, spleen, intestines, mesentery, and kidneys; and also those which are appropriated to generation in both sexes. It is known that all of these both in general and in particular are dissimilar in form and in function; so dissimilar that they are entirely different. In like manner there are forms within forms, which also are of such variety that no one form, nor even one particle, is altogether like another, that is to say, so like that it may be substituted in place of it, without some alteration however slight. All these things in both general and particular correspond to the heavens, but in such a manner that the things with man that are corporeal and material are there celestial and spiritual; and they correspond in such a way that it is from this that they come forth and subsist. [AC3745}

Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)

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