Emanuel Swedenborg.

The Delights of Wisdom Pertaining to Conjugial Love online

. (page 8 of 60)
Online LibraryEmanuel SwedenborgThe Delights of Wisdom Pertaining to Conjugial Love → online text (page 8 of 60)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

rational things only as grounded therein, cannot be conjoined to a
consort as into a one, except as to those externals: and when those
externals fail, cold takes possession of the internals; in consequence
whereof the delights of that love are dispersed and driven away, as from
the mind so from the body, and afterwards as from the body so from the
mind; and this until there is nothing left of the remembrance of the
primeval state of their marriage, consequently no knowledge respecting
it. Now since this is the case with the generality of persons at this
day, it is evident that love truly conjugial is not known as to its
quality, and scarcely as to its existence. It is otherwise with those
who are spiritual. With them the first state is an initiation into
lasting satisfactions, which advance in degree, in proportion as the
spiritual rational principle of the mind, and thence the natural sensual
principle of the body, in each party, conjoin and unite themselves with
the same principles in the other party; but such instances are rare.

things in the universe have relation to good and truth, is acknowledged
by every intelligent man, because it is a universal truth; that likewise
in every thing in the universe good is conjoined with truth, and truth
with good, cannot but be acknowledged, because this also is a universal
truth, which agrees with the former. The reason why all things in the
universe have relation to good and truth, and why good is conjoined with
truth, and truth with good, is, because each proceeds from the Lord, and
they proceed from him as a one. The two things which proceed from the
Lord, are love and wisdom, because these are himself, thus from himself;
and all things relating to love are called good, or goods, and all
things relating to wisdom are called true, or truths; and as these two
proceed from him as the creator, it follows that they are in the things
created. This may be illustrated by heat and light which proceed from
the sun: from them all things appertaining to the earth are derived,
which germinate according to their presence and conjunction; and natural
heat corresponds to spiritual heat, which is love, as natural light
corresponds to spiritual light, which is wisdom.

61. That conjugial love proceeds from the marriage of good and truth,
will be shewn in the following section or paragraph: It is mentioned
here only with a view of shewing that this love is celestial, spiritual,
and holy, because it is from a celestial, spiritual, and holy origin. In
order to see that the origin of conjugial love is from the marriage of
good and truth, it may be expedient in this place briefly to premise
somewhat on the subject. It was said just above, that in every created
thing there exists a conjunction of good and truth; and there is no
conjunction unless it be reciprocal; for conjunction on one part, and
not on the other in its turn, is dissolved of itself. Now as there is a
conjunction of good and truth, and this is reciprocal, it follows that
there is a truth of good, or truth grounded in good, and that there is a
good of truth, or good grounded in truth; that the truth of good, or
truth grounded in good, is in the male, and that it is the very
essential male (or masculine) principle, and that the good of truth, or
good grounded in truth, is in the female, and that it is the very
essential female (or feminine) principle; also that there is a conjugial
union between those two, will be seen in the following section: it is
here only mentioned in order to give some preliminary idea on the

LORD AND THE CHURCH; that is, that as the Lord loves the church, and is
desirous that the church should love him, so a husband and a wife
mutually love each other. That there is a correspondence herein, is well
known in the Christian world: but the nature of that correspondence as
yet is not known; therefore we will explain it presently in a particular
paragraph. It is here mentioned in order to shew that conjugial love is
celestial, spiritual, and holy, because it corresponds to the celestial,
spiritual, and holy marriage of the Lord and the church. This
correspondence also follows as a consequence of conjugial love's
originating in the marriage of good and truth, spoken of in the
preceding article; because the marriage of good and truth constitutes
the church with man: for the marriage of good and truth is the same as
the marriage of charity and faith; since good relates to charity, and
truth to faith. That this marriage constitutes the church must at once
be acknowledged, because it is a universal truth; and every universal
truth is acknowledged as soon as it is heard, in consequence of the
Lord's influx and at the same time of the confirmation of heaven. Now
since the church is the Lord's, because it is from him, and since
conjugial love corresponds to the marriage of the Lord and the church,
it follows that this love is from the Lord.

63. But in what manner the church from the Lord is formed with two
married partners, and how conjugial love is formed thereby, shall be
illustrated in the paragraph spoken of above: we will at present only
observe, that the church from the Lord is formed in the husband, and
through the husband in the wife; and that when it is formed in each, it
is a full church; for in this case is effected a full conjunction of
good and truth; and the conjunction of good and truth constitutes the
church. That the uniting inclination, which is conjugial love, is in a
similar degree with the conjunction of good and truth, which is the
church, will be proved by convincing arguments in what follows in the

nature and quality of conjugial love from its origin, which is the
marriage of good and truth, was briefly shewn above; but the subject was
then barely touched upon: in like manner that such is the nature and
quality of that love, from its correspondence with the marriage of the
Lord and the church. These two marriages, from which conjugial love, as
a slip or shoot, descends, are essentially holy, therefore if it be
received from its author, the Lord, holiness from him follows of
consequence, which continually cleanses and purifies it: in this case,
if there be in the man's will a desire and tendency to it, this love
becomes daily and continually cleaner and purer. Conjugial love is
called celestial and spiritual because it is with the angels of heaven;
celestial, as with the angels of the highest heaven, these being called
celestial angels; and spiritual, as with the angels beneath that heaven,
these being called spiritual angels. Those angels are so called, because
the celestial are loves, and thence wisdoms, and the spiritual are
wisdoms and thence loves; similar thereto is their conjugial principle.
Now as conjugial love is with the angels of both the superior and the
inferior heavens, as was also shewn in the first paragraph concerning
marriages in heaven, it is manifest that it is holy and pure. The reason
why this love in its essence, considered in regard to its origin, is
holy and pure above every other love with angels and men, is, because it
is as it were the head of the other loves: concerning its excellence
something shall be said in the following article.

LOVES, AND THENCE OF ALL NATURAL LOVES. The reason why conjugial love
considered in its essence is the foundation love of all the loves of
heaven and the church, is, because it originates in the marriage of good
and truth, and from this marriage proceed all the loves which constitute
heaven and the church with man: the good of this marriage constitutes
love, and its truth constitutes wisdom; and when love draws near to
wisdom, or joins itself therewith, then love becomes love; and when
wisdom in its turn draws near to love, and joins itself therewith, then
wisdom becomes wisdom. Love truly conjugial is the conjunction of love
and wisdom. Two married partners, between or in whom this love subsists,
are an image and form of it: all likewise in the heavens, where faces
are the genuine types of the affections of every one's love, are
likenesses of it; for, as was shewn above, it pervades them in the whole
and in every part. Now as two married partners are an image and form of
this love, it follows that every love which proceeds from the form of
essential love itself, is a resemblance thereof; therefore if conjugial
love be celestial and spiritual, the loves proceeding from it are also
celestial and spiritual. Conjugial love therefore is as a parent, and
all other loves are as the offspring. Hence it is, that from the
marriages of the angels in the heavens are produced spiritual offspring,
which are those of love and wisdom, or of good and truth; concerning
which production, see above, n. 51, 52.

66. The same is evident from man's having been created for this love,
and from his formation afterwards by means of it. The male was created
to become wisdom grounded in the love of growing wise, and the female
was created to become the love of the male grounded in his wisdom, and
consequently was formed according thereto; from which consideration it
is manifest, that two married partners are the very forms and images of
the marriage of love and wisdom, or of good and truth. It is well to be
observed, that there is not any good or truth which is not in a
substance as in its subject: there are no abstract goods and truths;
for, having no abode or habitation, they no where exist, neither can
they appear as airy unfixed principles; therefore in such case they are
mere entities, concerning which reason seems to itself to think
abstractedly; but still it cannot conceive of them except as annexed to
subjects: for every human idea, however elevated, is substantial, that
is, affixed to substances. It is moreover to be observed, that there is
no substance without a form; an unformed substance not being any thing,
because nothing can be predicated of it; and a subject without
predicates is also an entity which has no existence in reason. These
philosophical considerations are adduced in order to shew still more
clearly, that two married partners who are principled in love truly
conjugial, are actually forms of the marriage of good and truth, or of
love and wisdom.

67. Since natural loves flow from spiritual, and spiritual from
celestial, therefore it is said that conjugial love is the foundation
love of all celestial and spiritual loves, and thence of all natural
loves. Natural loves relate to the loves of self and of the world;
spiritual loves to love towards the neighbour; and celestial loves to
love to the Lord; and such as are the relations of the loves, it is
evident in what order they follow and are present with man. When they
are in this order, then the natural loves live from the spiritual, and
the spiritual from the celestial, and all in this order from the Lord,
in whom they originate.

LAST. All delights whatever, of which a man (_homo_) has any perception,
are delights of his love; the love manifesting itself, yea, existing and
living thereby. It is well known that the delights are exalted in
proportion as the love is exalted, and also in proportion as the
incident affections touch the ruling love more nearly. Now as conjugial
love is the foundation love of all good loves, and as it is inscribed on
all the parts and principles of man, even the most particular, as was
shewn above, it follows that its delights exceed the delights of all
other loves, and also that it gives delight to the other loves,
according to its presence and conjunction with them; for it expands the
inmost principles of the mind, and at the same time the inmost
principles of the body, as the delicious current of its fountain flows
through and opens them. The reason why all delights from first to last
are collected into this love, is on account of the superior excellence
of its use, which is the propagation of the human race, and thence of
the angelic heaven; and as this use was the chief end of creation, it
follows that all the beatitudes, satisfactions, delights,
pleasantnesses, and pleasures, which the Lord the Creator could possibly
confer upon man, are collected into this his love. That delights follow
use, and are also communicated to man according to the love thereof, is
manifest from the delights of the five senses, seeing, hearing,
smelling, taste, and touch: each of these has its delights with
variations according to the specific uses of each; what then must be the
delight annexed to the sense of conjugial love, the use of which
comprehends all other uses?

69. I am aware that few will acknowledge that all joys and delights from
first to last are collected into conjugial love; because love truly
conjugial, into which they are collected, is at this day so rare that
its quality is not known, and scarcely its existence, agreeably to what
was explained and confirmed above, n. 58, 59; for such joys and delights
exist only in genuine conjugial love; and as this is so rare on earth,
it is impossible to describe its super-eminent felicities any otherwise
than from the mouth of angels, because they are principled in it. They
have declared, that the inmost delights of this love, which are delights
of the soul, into which the conjugial principle of love and wisdom, or
of good and truth from the Lord, first flows, are imperceptible and
thence ineffable, because they are the delights of peace and innocence
conjointly; but that in their descent they become more and more
perceptible; in the superior principles of the mind as beatitudes, in
the inferior as satisfactions, in the breast as delights thence derived;
and that from the breast they diffuse themselves into every part of the
body, and at length unite themselves in ultimates and become the delight
of delights. Moreover the angels have related wonderful things
respecting these delights; adding further, that their varieties in the
souls of conjugial pairs, and from their souls in their minds, and from
their minds in their breasts, are infinite and also eternal; that they
are exalted according to the prevalence of wisdom with the husband; and
this, because they live to eternity in the bloom of their age, and
because they know no greater blessedness than to grow wiser and wiser.
But a fuller account of these delights, as given by the angels, may be
seen in the MEMORABLE RELATIONS, especially in those added to some of
the following chapters.

PRACTISE ITS GOODS. The reason why none come into that love but those
who approach the Lord, is, because monogamical marriages, which are of
one husband with one wife, correspond to the marriage of the Lord and
the church, and because such marriages originate in the marriage of good
and truth; on which subject, see above, n. 60 and 62. That from this
origin and correspondence it follows, that love truly conjugial is from
the Lord, and exists only with those who come directly to him, cannot be
fully confirmed unless these two arcana be specifically treated of, as
shall be done in the chapters which immediately follow; one of which
will treat on the origin of conjugial love as derived from the marriage
of good and truth, and the other on the marriage of the Lord and the
church, and on its correspondence. That it hence follows, that,
conjugial love with man (_homo_) is according to the state of the church
with him, will also be seen in those chapters.

71. The reason why none can be principled in love truly conjugial but
those who receive it from the Lord, that is, who come directly to him,
and by derivation from him live the life of the church, is, because this
love, considered in its origin and correspondence, is celestial,
spiritual, holy, pure, and clean, above every love implanted in the
angels of heaven and the men of the church; as was shewn above, n. 64;
and these its distinguishing characters and qualities cannot possibly
exist, except with those who are conjoined to the Lord, and by him are
consociated with the angels of heaven; for these shun extra-conjugial
loves, which are conjunctions with others than their own conjugial
partner, as they would shun the loss of the soul and the lakes of hell;
and in proportion as married partners shun such conjunctions, even as to
the libidinous desires of the will and the intentions thence derived, so
far love truly conjugial is purified with them, and becomes successively
spiritual, first during their abode on earth, and afterwards in heaven.
It is not however possible that any love should become perfectly pure
either with men or with angels; consequently neither can this love:
nevertheless, since the intention of the will is what the Lord
principally regards, therefore so far as any one is in this intention,
and perseveres in it, so far he is initiated into its purity and
sanctity, and successively advances therein. The reason why none can be
principled in spiritual conjugial love, but those who are of the above
description by virtue of conjunction with the Lord, is, because heaven
is in this love; and the natural man, whose conjugial love derives its
pleasure only from the flesh, cannot approach to heaven nor to any
angel, no, nor to any man principled in this love, it being the
foundation of all celestial and spiritual loves; which may be seen
above, n. 65-67. That this is the case, has been confirmed to me by
experience. I have seen genii in the spiritual world, who were in a
state of preparation for hell, approaching to an angel while he was
being entertained by his consort; and at a distance, as they approached,
they became like furies, and sought out caverns and ditches as asylums,
into which they cast themselves. That wicked spirits love what is
similar to their affection, however unclean it is, and hold in aversion
the spirits of heaven, as what is dissimilar, because it is pure, may be
concluded from what was said in the PRELIMINARY MEMORABLE RELATION, n.

72. The reason why those who love the truths of the church and practise
its goods, come into this love and are capable of remaining in it, is,
because no others are received by the Lord; for these are in conjunction
with him, and thereby are capable of being kept in that love by
influence from him. The two constituents of the church and heaven in man
(_homo_) are the truth of faith and the good of life; the truth of faith
constitutes the Lord's presence, and the good of life according to the
truths of faith constitutes conjunction with him, and thereby the church
and heaven. The reason why the truth of faith constitutes the Lord's
presence, is, because it relates to light, spiritual light being nothing
else; and the reason why the good of life constitutes conjunction, is,
because it relates to heat; and spiritual heat is nothing but the good
of life, for it is love; and the good of life originates in love; and it
is well known, that all light, even that of winter, causes presence, and
that heat united to light causes conjunction; for gardens and
shrubberies appear in all degrees of light, but they do not bear flowers
and fruits unless when heat joins itself to light. From these
considerations the conclusion is obvious, that those are not gifted by
the Lord with love truly conjugial, who merely know the truths of the
church, but those who know them and practise their good.

IN THE GOLDEN, SILVER, AND COPPER AGES. That conjugial love was the love
of loves with the most ancient and the ancient people, who lived in the
ages thus named, cannot be known from historical records, because their
writings are not extant; and there is no account given of them except by
writers in succeeding ages, who mention them, and describe the purity
and integrity of their lives, and also the successive decrease of such
purity and integrity, resembling the debasement of gold to iron: but an
account of the last or iron age, which commenced from the time of those
writers, may in some measure be gathered from the historical records of
the lives of some of their kings, judges, and wise men, who were called
_sophi_ in Greece and other countries. That this age however should not
endure, as iron endures in itself, but that it should be like iron mixed
with clay, which do not cohere, is foretold by Daniel, chap. ii. 43. Now
as the golden, silver, and copper ages passed away before the time when
writing came into use, and thus it is impossible on earth to acquire any
knowledge concerning their marriages, it has pleased the Lord to unfold
to me such knowledge by a spiritual way, by conducting me to the heavens
inhabited by those most ancient people, that I might learn from their
own mouths the nature and quality of their marriages during their abode
here on earth in their several ages: for all, who from the beginning of
creation have departed by death out of the natural world, are in the
spiritual world, and as to their loves resemble what they were when
alive in the natural world, and continue such to eternity. As the
particulars of this knowledge are worthy to be known and related, and
tend to confirm the sanctity of marriages, I am desirous to make them
public as they were shown me in the spirit when awake, and were
afterwards recalled to my remembrance by an angel, and thus described.
And as they are from the spiritual world, like the other accounts
annexed to each chapter, I am desirous to arrange them so as to form six
MEMORABLE RELATIONS according to the progressions of the several periods
of time.

* * * * *

74. THESE SIX MEMORABLE RELATIONS from the spiritual world, concerning
conjugial love, discover the nature and quality of that love in the
earliest times and afterwards, and also at the present day; whence it
appears that that love has successively fallen away from its sanctity
and purity, until it became adulterous; but that nevertheless there is a
hope of its being brought back again to its primeval or ancient

75. THE FIRST MEMORABLE RELATION. On a time, while I was meditating on
conjugial love, my mind was seized with a desire of knowing what had
been the nature and quality of that love among those who lived in the
GOLDEN AGE, and afterwards among those who lived in the following ages,
which have their names from silver, copper, and iron: and as I knew that
all who lived well in those ages are in the heavens, I prayed to the
Lord that I might be allowed to converse with them and be informed: and
lo! an angel presented himself and said, "I am sent by the Lord to be
your guide and companion: I will first lead and attend you to those who
lived in the first age or period of time, which is called golden:" and
he said, "The way to them is difficult; it lies through a shady forest,
which none can pass unless he receive a guide from the Lord." I was in
the spirit, and prepared myself for the journey; and we turned our faces
towards the east; and as we advanced I saw a mountain, whose height
extended beyond the region of the clouds. We passed a great wilderness,
and came to the forest planted with various kinds of trees and rendered
shady by their thickness, of which the angel had advertised me. The
forest was divided by several narrow paths; and the angel said, that
according to the number of those paths are the windings and intricacies
of error: and that unless his eyes were opened by the Lord, so as to see
olives entwined with vine tendrils, and his steps were directed from
olive to olive, the traveller would miss his way, and fall into the
abodes of Tartarus, which are round about at the sides. This forest is
of such a nature, to the end that the passage may be guarded; for none
but a primeval nation dwells upon that mountain. After we had entered
the forest, our eyes were opened, and we saw here and there olives
entwined with vines, from which hung bunches of grapes of a blue or
azure color, and the olives were ranged in continual wreaths; we
therefore made various circuits as they presented themselves to our

Online LibraryEmanuel SwedenborgThe Delights of Wisdom Pertaining to Conjugial Love → online text (page 8 of 60)