Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/564

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468
MARRIAGE

be entered into on earth, because there the choice of internal similitudes cannot be provided of the Lord just as in the heavens. For it is restricted in many ways; as, to equals in rank and station, within the country, city, and village of their abode. And accordingly for the most part external [attractions], and so not internal [qualities] there bind them together. These do not come forth until after an interval of marriage, and are only known when they force themselves into the externals, (ib. n. 320.)

 

True Conjugial Love is scarcely known at this Day.

Love which is truly conjugial is at this day so rare that it is unknown what the nature of it is, and almost that it exists; because the state of pleasurable gratifications before marriage is changed after it into a state of indifference, from insensibility to them. The reasons of this change of state are more than can here be adduced, but will be referred to hereafter, when the causes of coldness, separation, and divorce are to be laid open in their order; from which it will be seen, that with most persons at this day that image of conjugial love which exists in the first state after marriage is so completely destroyed, and with it the cognition of it, that it is not known what conjugial love is, and scarcely that there is such a love. It is known that every man when he is born is merely corporeal; and that from corporeal he becomes more and more interiorly natural, and thus rational, and finally spiritual. That he is thus progressive is because the corporeal is as the ground in which the natural, rational, and spiritual in their order are implanted. Thus man becomes more and more a man. Almost the same takes place when he enters into marriage. Man then becomes a completer man, because he is conjoined with a consort with whom he acts as one man. But this takes place in the first state in a certain image, referred to above. Then likewise he begins from the corporeal, and advances into the natural,—but in respect to conjugial life and thence conjunction into one. They who then love corporeal-natural things, and only love rational things from them, cannot be conjoined with a consort as into one, except as to these externals; and when the externals fail coldness enters into the internals, which dissipates the delights of that love, as from the mind so from the body, and afterwards as from the body so from the mind; and this until no reminiscence is left of the first state of their marriage, and consequently no cognition of it. Now, as this takes place with the most at this day, it is plain that it is not known what truly conjugial love is, and scarcely that there