Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/100

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CONCERNING GOD.

to whom when the very Divine appeared He appeared as a Divine Man. (A. C. n. 8705.)

 

God is not in Space.

That God, and the Divine which immediately proceeds from Him, is not in space, although He is omnipresent,—even with every man in the world, with every angel in heaven, and with every spirit under heaven,—cannot be comprehended by a merely natural conception; but it can be in some measure by a spiritual conception. The reason why it cannot be comprehended by a merely natural conception, is that in this there is space; for it is formed from such things as are in the world, in all and each of which, that appear before the eyes, there is space. Every idea of great and small, in the world, is according to space; all length, breadth, and height,—in a word, every measure, figure, and form therein, is of space. But yet a man may comprehend it by natural thought if only he admits into it something of spiritual light. Something shall therefore first be said concerning a spiritual conception and thought thence. A spiritual conception derives nothing from space, but derives its all from state. State is predicated of love, of life, of wisdom, of affections, and of the joys from these; in general, of good and of truth. A truly spiritual conception of these has nothing in common with space. It is higher, and sees conceptions derived from space below itself, as heaven looks down upon the earth. But as angels and spirits equally with men see with their eyes, and objects cannot be seen except in space, therefore in the spiritual world, where spirits and angels dwell, spaces appear similar to the spaces on earth. And yet they are not spaces, but appearances; for they are not fixed and stated as on earth, but may be lengthened and shortened, may be changed and varied. Now because they thus cannot be determined by measurement, they cannot there be comprehended by any natural conception, but only by a spiritual conception; which conception of distances in space is no other than as of distances of good, or distances of truth, which are affinities and likenesses according to their states. It is evident from these considerations that by a merely natural conception a man cannot comprehend that the Divine is everywhere, and yet not in space; and that angels and spirits comprehend it clearly: consequently, that man also can do so, if only he admit something of spiritual light into his thought. The reason that man can comprehend it is because it is not his body that thinks but his spirit, thus not his natural but his spiritual. And the reason why many do not comprehend it is that they love the natural,