Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/103

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CONCERNING GOD.

of the object enters the eye, and affects its substance and form. For it is the same with the sight as with the hearing; the hearing does not go out of the ear to catch the sound, but the sound enters the ear and affects it. It thus appears that the affection of a substance and form, which constitutes sense, is not a thing separate from the subject, but only causes a change in it, the subject remaining the subject then, as before, and after. Hence it follows that sight, hearing, smell, taste, and feeling, are not a something volatile flowing from those organs, but that they are the organs themselves, considered in their substance and form, and that whilst they are affected the sense is produced.

It is the same with love and wisdom, with this only difference that the substances and forms which are love and wisdom are not extant before the eyes, like the organs of the external senses. But still no one can deny that those things of wisdom and love which are called thoughts, perceptions, and affections, are substances and forms, and that they are not volatile entities flowing from nothing, or abstract from that real and actual substance and form which is the subject. For in the brain there are innumerable substances and forms, in which every interior sense that has relation to the understanding and the will, resides. All the affections, perceptions, and thoughts therein are not exhalations from the substances, but are actually and really the subjects which do not emit anything from themselves, but only undergo changes, according to the influences which affect them, as may evidently appear from what has been said above concerning the senses.

Hence it may first be seen that the Divine love and the Divine wisdom in themselves are substance and form, for they are very Being and Existing; and if they were not such a Being and Existing as that they are substance and form, they would be a mere creature of reason which in itself is not anything. (D. L. W. n. 40-43.)

 

God is Love itself and Life itself.

If it is thought that Life itself is God, or that God is Life itself, and there is at the same time no idea of what life is, in that case there is no intelligence of what God is beyond these expressions. The Divine love—which in the Divine wisdom is Life itself, which is God—cannot be conceived of in its essence; for it is infinite, and so transcends human apprehension. But in its appearance it may be conceived of. The Lord appears before the eyes of the angels as a sun, from which heat and light proceed. That sun is the Divine love; the heat is the Divine love going forth, which is called Divine good; and the