Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/550

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The State of Married Partners after Death.

There are two states through which man passes after death, an external and an internal. He comes first into his external, and afterwards into his internal state. And while in the external, one married partner,—if both are dead,—meets and recognises the other, and if they have lived together in the world they consociate, and for some time live together. And while they are in this state one does not know the inclination of the other to him or her self, because this conceals itself in the internals. But afterwards when they come into their internal state the inclination manifests itself; and if it be concordant and sympathetic they continue their conjugial life, but if it be discordant and antipathetic they discontinue it. If a man has had several wives he joins himself to them in succession while in the external state; but when he enters the internal state, in which he perceives the inclinations of the love as they are, he then either chooses one or leaves them all. For in the spiritual world as well as in the natural, it is not permitted any Christian to take more than one wife, because this destroys and profanes religion. It is the same with a woman who has had several husbands. But they do not attach themselves to their husbands; they only present themselves, and the husbands attach them to themselves. It should be known that husbands rarely recognise their wives; but wives easily recognise their husbands. The reason is, that women have an interior perception of love, and men only an exterior. (C. L. n. 47.)

If they can live together they remain consorts; but if they cannot live together they separate,—sometimes the husband from the wife, sometimes the wife from the husband, and sometimes each from the other. Separations take place after death because the conjunctions that are formed on earth are seldom formed from any internal perception of love, but from an external perception which hides the internal. The external perception of love has its cause and origin from such things as pertain to the love of the world and of the body. Wealth and large possessions especially are [objects] of the love of the world; and dignities and honours are objects of the love of the body. And in addition to these there are also various seductive allurements; such as beauty, and a simulated elegance of manners, and sometimes also unchastity. And besides, marriages are contracted within the country, city, or village of birth or of abode, where no choice is given except as restricted and limited to the families that are known,—and within these limits to those of corresponding fortune. Hence it is that marriages entered into in the world