Divine Consciousness: Part 7 of 7

This series of seven, short vignettes has been designed with the intent of taking the participant on a journey of exploration and discovery, with regards to the concept of Divine Consciousness. The images, questions and quotes from the Heavenly Doctrines are offered as forms to ignite thoughts and perceptions, in relation to the participant’s own personal experiences. Thus, they are by no means exhaustive of the topic, which is in itself is infinite in how it may be expressed and made manifest.

Feel free to pause the video as needed, when you wish to spend more time with the images.


Arcana Coelestia (Potts)  10028​

When a man is being purified, then first of all are learned such truths as can be apprehended by the sensuous man, such  as are the truths in the sense of the letter of the Word; afterward are learned more interior truths, such as are collected from  the Word by those who are in enlightenment, for these collect its interior sense from various passages where the sense of  the letter is unfolded. From these, when known, truths still more interior are afterward drawn forth by those who are  enlightened, which truths together with the former serve the church for doctrine, the more interior truths for doctrine to  those who are men of the internal church, the less interior for doctrine to those who are men of the external church.​


Arcana Coelestia (Potts)  5497

In order that it may be known what the exterior and the interior natural are, it shall be again briefly explained. A boy, being not yet of mature age, cannot think from anything higher than the exterior natural; for he composes his ideas from things of sense. But as he grows up, and from things of sense draws conclusions as to causes, he thereby begins to think from the interior natural; for from things of sense he then forms some truths, which rise above the senses, but still remain within the things that are in nature. But when he becomes a young man, if as he then matures he cultivates his rational, he thus forms reasons from the things in the interior natural, which reasons are truths still higher, and are as it were drawn out from the things in the interior natural. The ideas of thought from these are called in the learned world intellectual and immaterial ideas; while the ideas from the memory-knowledges in both naturals, insofar as from the senses they partake of the world, are called material ideas. In this way man mounts in his understanding from the world toward heaven. But still he does not come into heaven with his understanding unless he receives good from the Lord, which is continually present and flowing in; and if he receives good, truths also are bestowed on him, for in good all truths find their abode; and according as truths are bestowed on him, so also is understanding, by reason of which he is in heaven.


Arcana Coelestia (Potts)  10604 (2)

The ideas of thought of the angels are not natural, as are the ideas of thought of men; but are spiritual. But the quality of their spiritual ideas can with difficulty be comprehended by man except by means of interior thought and reflection upon the first beginnings of his thoughts. That these are devoid of words of speech is known from the fact that they are of such a nature that a man can in a moment comprehend more things than he is able to express by speech within a considerable time. These ideas of thought belong to his spirit. But the ideas of thought which man comprehends, and which fall into words, are natural, and by the learned are called material; whereas the former, or interior ideas, are called spiritual, and by the learned, immaterial. Into these ideas man comes after death when he becomes a spirit, and by means of these ideas he engages in discourse with other spirits. There is a correspondence between these two classes of ideas; and by means of this correspondence the spiritual ideas are turned into natural ones when the man is speaking. This is not known to the man, because he does not reflect upon it, and none are able to reflect upon it except those who think interiorly, that is, who think in their spirit abstractedly from the body. Sensuous men are quite unable to do this.


Arcana Coelestia (Potts)  2994​

So long as he lives in the body, man can feel and perceive but little of this; for the celestial and spiritual things with him fall into the natural things in his external man, and he there loses the sensation and perception of them. Moreover the representatives and correspondences in his external man are such that they do not appear like the things in the internal man to which they correspond, and which they represent; therefore neither can they come to his knowledge until he has put off those external things. When this happens, blessed is the man who is in correspondence, that is, whose external man corresponds to his internal man.


Arcana Coelestia (Potts)  8920(4)

From all this it is also evident that unless truth Divine or the Word were presented in an accommodated form, it could not be apprehended; for if it were in a more exalted form than the state of perception, it would not fall into the understanding, thus not into the faith. Hence it is that truth Divine was given to man such as is the Word in the letter; for if it were to appear such as it is in heaven, no man would apprehend it, and on the first view and notice would reject it, because it would not fall into such things as are of natural light; and moreover it would be full of arcana such as could in no wise enter into any idea of man, because they are altogether repugnant to the appearances and fallacies which are derived from the world through the external senses; to say nothing of the deeper arcana which lie hidden within these arcana in manifold series, and that cannot possibly be expressed except by means of variations and changes of state of heavenly light and flame, by which angelic speech and thought are carried on.


Arcana Coelestia (Potts)  4857(3)

It indeed appears incredible that it should be so, but this is because so long as man lives in the world he thinks from the natural and worldly things which are there, and not from spiritual and celestial things; and they who are immersed in bodily and earthly things do not know that there is anything spiritual and celestial, and still less that spiritual and celestial things are distinct from worldly and natural things, when yet they are distinct as the spirit of man is distinct from his body. Neither do they know that the spiritual sense lives in the literal sense as the spirit of man in his body, and also that the spiritual sense in like manner survives when the literal sense perishes; whence the internal sense may be called the soul of the Word.


Arcana Coelestia (Potts)  2625

There are two things which while man lives in the world appear to be essential, because they are proper to nature, namely, space and time. Hence to live in space and time is to live in the world or in nature. But in the other life these two things are of no consequence. In the world of spirits indeed they do appear to be of some consequence, for the reason that spirits fresh from the body still retain the idea of natural things; yet it is not long before they perceive that there is no space and time there, but state instead; and that in the other life states correspond to spaces and times in nature; to spaces states as to Being [esse], and to times states as to Coming forth [existere]. (In regard to space or place see above, n. 1274137913801382)

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1379-1380)


Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead) 870

There are two universals through which the Divine is expressed, namely, the infinite and the eternal. The infinite is the Divine as to its being [esse]; and the eternal is the Divine as to its existence [existere]; each of which must be understood in a supereminent sense, namely, without space and without time. Anyone who thinks about the infinite and the eternal from space and time falls into errors; for space and time belong to nature, and man’s ideas are in these so long as he lives in the natural world, but are not in them when he leaves this world and comes into heaven. Spaces and times indeed appear in heaven exactly similar to those in the world; but they are only appearances of the states with angels, for the states of their affection and consequent thought are presented in appearance before their external senses as spaces and as times, and yet they are not spaces and times like those in the natural world.


Divine Love and Wisdom (Ager) 70

All who die and become angels put off the two above- mentioned properties of nature, namely, space and time; for they then enter into spiritual light, in which objects of thought are truths, and objects of sight are like those in the natural world, but are correspondent to their thoughts. The objects of their thought which, as just said, are truths, derive nothing at all from space and time; and though the objects of their sight appear as if in space and in time, still the angels do not think from space and time. The reason is, that spaces and times there are not fixed, as in the natural world, but are changeable according to the states of their life. In the ideas of their thought, therefore, instead of space and time there are states of life, instead of spaces such things as have reference to states of love, and instead of times such things as have reference to states of wisdom. From this it is that spiritual thought, and spiritual speech therefrom, differ so much from natural thought and natural speech therefrom, as to have nothing in common except as regards the interiors of things, which are all spiritual. Of this difference more will be said elsewhere. Now, because the thoughts of angels derive nothing from space and time, but everything from states of life, when it is said that the Divine fills spaces angels evidently cannot comprehend it, for they do not know what spaces are; but when, apart from any idea of space, it is said that the Divine fills all things, they clearly comprehend it.


Heaven and Hell (Ager) 266(3)

Furthermore, the thoughts of angels are not limited and contracted by ideas from space and time, as human thoughts are, for spaces and times belong to nature, and the things that belong to nature withdraw the mind from spiritual things, and deprive intellectual sight of its proper range. (That the ideas of angels are apart from time and space, and thus less limited than human ideas, may be seen above, 162-169 and 191-199.) Again, the thoughts of angels are neither brought down to earthly and material things, nor interrupted by anxieties about the necessities of life; thus they are not withdrawn by such things from the delights of wisdom, as the thoughts of men in the world are;


Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead) 1219

angels can have no idea of spaces, but they have instead an idea of their states; for the changeableness of the spaces gives rise to the idea that they are from a spiritual origin, thus from a likeness or unlikeness of affections and of thoughts therefrom.

[4] It is the same in regard to times, for as spaces are, so are times, since progressions through spaces are also progressions through times.


Arcana Coelestia (Potts)  5605

But as before said this cannot but seem strange to him who knows nothing about life in the spiritual world; for there are no spaces or times there, but states of life instead. These states produce in externals a most living appearance of progressions and motions. The appearance is as living and real as that life itself is in us and therefore our own, when yet life flows in from the Lord, who is the fountain of all life


Arcana Coelestia (Potts)  5497(2)

From this anyone can see what kind of an idea a man may have, while in the world or in nature, respecting the things of the other life and many arcana of faith; namely, that he is not willing to believe them until he apprehends them by means of the things in the world, nay, by sensuous things; for he must needs suppose that if he were to put off the idea of space and time, and still more space and time themselves, he would become absolutely nothing; and thus that he would have nothing left from which he could feel and think, except something confused and incomprehensible; when yet the case is exactly the reverse. Angelic life is of such a nature as to be the wisest and happiest of all.


Conjugial Love (Acton) 328

328. We then withdrew, and speaking further on this subject, I said: “These distinctions exist solely because you, being in the spiritual world and therefore being yourselves spiritual, are in things substantial and not in things material, and things substantial are the beginnings of things material. You are in principles and thus in simples, while we are in principiates and compounds. You are in particulars, we in generals; and just as generals cannot enter into particulars, so neither can things natural, which are material, enter into things spiritual, which are substantial, exactly as a ship’s cable cannot enter or be drawn through the eye of a needle, or a nerve enter or be drawn into one of the fiber of which it consists, or a fiber into one of the fibrils of which it consists. This, moreover, is known in the world, it being the consensus of the learned, that there is no influx of the natural into the spiritual but only of the spiritual into the natural. This then is the reason why the natural man cannot think the thoughts which the spiritual man thinks, and therefore cannot speak them. Therefore Paul says that the words which he heard out of the third heaven were unutterable.

[2] Add to this, that to think spiritually is to think apart from time and space, and to think naturally is to think with time and space; for something of time and space adheres to every idea of natural thought, but not to any spiritual idea. The reason is, because the spiritual world is not in space and time like the natural world, but in the appearance of space and time. In the same way also do thoughts and affections differ [in the two worlds]. Therefore, you can think of the essence and omnipresence of God from eternity, that is, of God before the creation of the world, because you think of the essence of God from eternity apart from time, and of His omnipresence apart from space. Thus you can comprehend things which transcend the ideas of the natural man.”

[3] I then told him that once I had thought of the essence and omnipresence of God from eternity, that is, of God before the creation of the world. Being unable as yet to remove spaces and times from the ideas of my thought, I became troubled; for instead of God, the idea of nature entered in. But it was told me, “Remove the ideas of space and time and you will see.” It was then given me to remove them, and I did see. From that time on, I could think of God from eternity and not at all of nature from eternity; for God is in all time without time, and in all space without space, while nature is in all time in time, and in all space in space; and nature with her time and space must needs have a beginning and origin, but not God who is without time and space. Therefore, nature is from God–not from eternity but in time; that is to say, she is from God together with her time, and with her space.


Divine Wisdom (Whitehead) 7[5] 5.

A natural man is wholly different from a spiritual man, and a spiritual man from a natural man; the difference is so great that they cannot be given together. One who does not know what the spiritual is in its essence may believe that the spiritual is only a purer natural, which in man is called the rational; but the spiritual is above the natural, and as distinct from it as the light of midday from the evening shadow in the time of autumn. The distinction and the difference can be known only to one who is in both worlds, the natural and the spiritual, and who can change alternately from one to the other, and be in one and then in the other, and by reflection can look at one from the other. From this privilege, which has been granted to me, I have learned what the natural man is and what the spiritual man is who is a spirit. That this may be known it shall be described briefly. In all things of his thought and speech, and in all things of his will and action, the natural man has as his subject matter, space, time and quantity; with him these are fixed and permanent, and without them he can have no idea of thought and speech from it, and no affection of the will and action from it. The spiritual man or the spirit does not have these as subjects, but only as objects.

[2] The reason is that in the spiritual world the objects are altogether similar to those in the natural world; there are lands, plains, fields, gardens and forests, houses containing rooms, and in them all useful things; moreover, there are garments for women and for men, such as are in the world; there are tables, food, and drinks, such as are in the world; there are also animals both gentle and destructive; there are spaces and times, and numbers and measures. All these things have such a resemblance to the things that are in the world that to the eye they cannot be distinguished, and yet all these are appearances of the wisdom belonging to the understanding of angels, and perceptions of loves belonging to their wills; for these objects are created in a moment by the Lord, and in a moment are dissipated. They are permanent or not permanent according to the constancy or inconstancy of the spirits or angels in the things of which they are the appearances. This is why these things are merely objects of their thoughts and affections, while their subjects are those things of which these are the appearances, which, as has been said, are such things as relate to wisdom and love, thus spiritual things. For example, when they see spaces they do not think of them from space; when they see gardens containing trees, fruits, shrubs, flowers, and seeds, they do not think of these from their appearance but according to the things from which these appearances spring; and so in all other cases.

[3] In consequence of this the thoughts of the spiritual, and their affections also, are wholly different from the thoughts and affections of the natural, and so different that they transcend natural ideas and do not fall into them except in some measure into the interior rational sight, and this in no other way than by withdrawals or removals of quantities from qualities.


Arcana Coelestia (Potts)  10194

all the representatives in the other life are outward things shaped according to the states of the interior ones; for in this way the spiritual world presents itself to view there.


Arcana Coelestia (Potts)  3485

The representations that come forth in the other life are appearances, but living ones, because they are from the light of life. The light of life is the Divine wisdom, which is from the Lord alone. Hence all things that come forth from this light are real; and are not like those things that come forth from the light of the world. Wherefore they who are in the other life have sometimes said that the things they see there are real things, and the things which man sees are in comparison not real; because the former things live, and thus immediately affect their life, while the latter things do not live, thus do not immediately affect the life, except insofar and in such a manner as the things in their minds which are of this world’s light conjoin themselves fitly and correspondently with the things of the light of heaven.


Arcana Coelestia (Potts)  4882

… That in the internal sense “to go” is to live does indeed appear rather remote or abstracted from the ideas of thought in which man is, and this because man is in space and in time, and has formed the ideas of his thought therefrom, as for instance his idea of going, advancing, journeying, traveling, and moving. As these actions exist in space, and also in time, and as space and time are therefore inwoven in his ideas concerning them, it is difficult for man to apprehend that states of life are signified by them. But when the idea from space and time concerning them is separated or put off, there results the spiritual thing which is signified. For in the spiritual world or in heaven nothing of space or time enters the ideas, but instead what belongs to the state of life (n. 127413822625278828373356340438274814). It does indeed appear to spirits and angels that they advance and move from place to place, just as it appears to men; but still it is changes of the state of life that produce this appearance; just as it appears to them, as well as to men, that they live from themselves, when yet they do not live from themselves, but from the Divine of the Lord from whom is the all of life. These appearances with the angels are called real, because they appear as if they really were.

[2] I have sometimes spoken with spirits about these appearances; and those who are not in good, and consequently not in truth, are unwilling to hear that it is an appearance that they live of themselves, for they wish to live of themselves. But besides their being shown by living experience that they do not live of themselves, and that progressions from place to place are changes and progressions of the state of life, they were also told that they might be satisfied in not knowing but that they have life from themselves, as they could have no more even if the life in them were really from themselves; but that still it is better to know how the case really is, because then they are in the truth, and if in the truth, they are also in the light of heaven, for the light of heaven is the truth itself which is from the Divine of the Lord; and thus they would neither claim good for themselves, nor would evil adhere to them. The angels are in this truth, not only by knowledge, but also by perception.

Click here to read Divine Consciousness: Part 6 of 7

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