The Third Round: Heaven is Communion in what is Human

True Christian Religion 735

[5] The angel afterwards called together his companions, and as they went along, he gave them the following instruction concerning heaven. “There are in heaven, as well as in the world, food and drink, feasts and repasts. For leading personages the tables furnished with richest food, delicate and splendid, by which their minds are exhilarated and refreshed. There are sports and stage shows, instrumental music and song, and all in the highest perfection. Such things are pleasures to those for whom they are provided, but not happiness; which indeed will be found in pleasures, and which springs from them. When it is present in them it causes them to be real pleasures, enriching and elevating them, and preventing them from degenerating and becoming distasteful but happiness comes to every one from the use he performs in his own vocation.

[6] “There is in the affection of the will of every angel a latent tendency which induces the mind to do something; and this tranquilizes and satisfies it. Satisfaction and tranquillity create a state of mind receptive of the love of use from the Lord; and it is from the reception of this love that heavenly happiness results, which is the very life of those pleasures already referred to.

Heavenly food in its essence is the harmonious union of love, wisdom and use; that is, use from love through the exercise of wisdom.

For this reason food for the body is given to every one in heaven according to the use which he performs, sumptuous to those who perform uses of an outstanding character, moderately fine but of choice flavor to those whose uses are of moderate importance, and plain to those who perform humble uses of lesser importance; but none to the indolent.”

 

Heaven and Hell 85

But, that God is Man can scarcely be comprehended by those who judge all things from the sense-experiences of the external man. For the sensual man can think of the Divine only from the world and the things that are therein, thus of a Divine and Spiritual Man in the same way as of a corporeal and natural man. From this he concludes that, if God were a man He would be as large as the universe, and if He ruled heaven and earth it would be done through many, after the manner of kings in the world.

If told that in heaven there is no extension of space as in the world, he would not in the least comprehend. For he who thinks from nature and its light only, never thinks otherwise than from an extension such as there is before his eyes. But they are completely deceived when they think in this way about heaven.

The extension there is not like extension in the world. In the world, extension is determinate and thus measurable, but in heaven it is not determinate and therefore not measurable. What, however, extension in heaven is, will be seen in the pages to follow in connection with space and time in the spiritual world. Besides, everyone knows how far the sight of the eye extends, namely, to the sun and stars which are so remote. Whoever thinks more deeply knows that the internal sight, which is that of thought, has a still wider extension and therefore that a still more interior sight must extend even more widely. What, then, must not the Divine sight be which is the inmost and highest of all? Because thoughts are capable of such extension, all things of heaven are communicated with everyone there, so too are all things of the Divine which makes heaven and fills it-as has been shown in the preceding sections.

Conjugial Love 183(3-5)

The angels replied: “Without use, love and wisdom are merely abstract ideas of thought, and after some tarrying in the mind, these pass away like the wind; but in use, the two are brought together and become a one which is called real. Love, being the activity of life, cannot rest unless it is doing something; nor can wisdom exist and subsist except when doing something from love and with it; and doing is use. Therefore we define use as the doing of good from love by means of wisdom. Use is good itself.

Since these three, love, wisdom, and use, flow into the souls of men, it can be evident whence comes the saying that all good is from God; for every deed done from love by means of wisdom is called good, and use is also a deed. What is love without wisdom but something fatuous? and, without use, what is love together with wisdom but a state of the mind? But with use, love and wisdom not only make the man, they are the man. Indeed, and this perhaps will astonish you, they propagate man; for in man’s seed is his soul in perfect human form, covered over with substances from the purest things of nature, from which, in the mother’s womb, is formed a body. This use is the supreme and ultimate use of Divine Love by means of Divine Wisdom.”

Finally the angels said: “The conclusion then must be that in its origin all fructification, all propagation, and all prolification is from the influx of love, wisdom, and use from the Lord—from immediate influx from the Lord into the souls of men, from mediate influx into the souls of animals, and from influx yet more mediate into the inmost parts of plants; and all are effected in ultimates from firsts. That fructifications, propagations, and prolifications are continuations of creation is evident; for creation can come from no other source than Divine Love by means of Divine wisdom in Divine Use. Therefore, all things in the universe are procreated and formed from use, in use, and for use.”

 

Third Round posts are short audio clips taken from Round 3 comments offered in the online Logopraxis Life Group meetings. The aim is to keep the focus on understanding the Text in terms of its application to the inner life along with reinforcing any key LP principles that have been highlighted in the exchanges.

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