Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/624

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DIVINE PROVIDENCE.

they are entirely unlike as to internals. They are therefore manifestly unlike when the externals are laid aside by death; the one is carried up into heaven, and the other is borne down into hell. (A. E. n. 1145.)

The Lord flows into the interiors of man's mind, and through these into its exteriors; and into the affection of his will, and through this into the thought of his understanding; and not contrariwise. To flow into the interiors of man's mind and through these into the exteriors, is to form a root and from the root to produce, — the root being in the interiors and production in the exteriors; and to flow into the affection of the will and through this into the thought of the understanding, is first to inspire a soul, and through this to form the things following. For the affection of the will is as the soul through which the thoughts of the understanding are formed. This, too, is influx from the internal into the external, which there is. Man knows nothing at all of what flows into the interiors of his mind, nor of what flows into the affection of his thought. ... But how the Lord flows in, and man is thus led, can only be known from the spiritual world. As to his spirit, and therefore as to his affections and the thoughts from them, he is in that world; for both these are of his spirit. It is this, and not the body, which thinks from his affection. The affections of a man, whence his thoughts proceed, have an extension into societies there, in every direction; into more or fewer societies, according to the strength and character of the affection. As to his spirit man is within these societies, is bound to them as with extended cords which circumscribe the space wherein he walks. And then as he proceeds from one affection into another, so he proceeds from one society into another; and the society in which he is, and his place in it, is the centre from which the affection and its thought runs out to the other societies, as to the circumferences, — which are thus in unbroken connection with the affection of the centre from which he then thinks and speaks. This sphere, which is the sphere of his affections and the thoughts from them, a man procures for himself in the world, — in hell if he is an evil man, if he is a good man in heaven. Man does not know that it is so, for he is unaware that such things exist. Through these societies man — that is his mind — walks, free though bound, and the Lord leads him; nor does he take a step in which and by which He does not lead. And He continually gives man to know no otherwise than that he goes in full liberty, of himself;[1] and he is permitted to persuade

1 This alone, or apart from the light of the author's teaching elsewhere, might seem to imply that man's freedom is not actual; but it is necessary to bear in mind the important distinction he makes between acting freely "from himself" (ex se), which man does not, and acting freely "as if from himself" (sicut ex se), which he does. The freedom is actual; but that the action is from himself is only apparent, inasmuch as man has no life and source of anything in himself.

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