The Third Round: What is the difference between belief and faith? What is the function of doubt?

On doubt and seeing opposites

Arcana Colestia 7298 [2] Be it further known that it is according to the laws of order that no one ought to be persuaded about truth in a moment, that is to say, that truth should be so confirmed in a moment as to leave no doubt whatever about it; because the truth which is so impressed becomes persuasive truth, and is devoid of any extension, and also of any yielding quality. Such truth is represented in the other life as hard, and as such that it does not admit good into it so as to become applicable. Hence it is that as soon as in the other life any truth is presented before good spirits by a manifest experience, there is soon afterward presented something opposite which causes doubt. In this way it is given them to think about it, and to consider whether it be so, and to collect reasons, and thus to bring that truth into their minds rationally. By this there is effected an extension in the spiritual sight in respect to that truth, even to its opposites; and thence it sees and perceives in the understanding all the quality of the truth, and thence can admit influx from heaven according to the states of the objects, for truths receive various forms according to the circumstances. This is the reason why the magicians were allowed to do as Aaron did; for thereby doubt was excited among the sons of Israel about the miracle, whether it was Divine; and thus an opportunity was given them of thinking and considering whether it was Divine, and of finally confirming themselves that it was so. 
Divine Providence 24. The conjunction of good and truth is provided by the Lord by means of relation; since the quality of a good is known only by its relation to what is less good, and by its contrariety to evil. From this comes all power to perceive and to feel, since from this comes the quality of these powers; for thereby every thing enjoyable is perceived and felt from the less enjoyable and by means of what is not enjoyable, every thing beautiful from the less beautiful and by means of the unbeautiful; and likewise every good, which is of love, from the less good and by means of evil; and every truth, which is of wisdom, from the less true and by means of falsity. In every matter, from the greatest to the least of it, there must be variety; and when there is variety also in its opposite from its least to its greatest, and there is equilibrium between them, then there is relation according to degrees on both sides; and the perception and sensation of the thing either increase or diminish. But an opposite, as we should know, may take away perceptions and sensations or may exalt them; when it mingles itself it takes away; but when it does not mingle itself it exalts; and for this reason the Lord exactly separates good and evil in man, that they may not be mingled, just as He separates heaven and hell.
Heaven and Hell 541. Hell is divided into societies in the same manner as heaven, and also into as many societies as heaven; for every society in heaven has a society opposite to it in hell, and this for the sake of equilibrium. But the societies in hell are distinct according to evils and their falsities, because the societies in heaven are distinct according to goods and their truths. That every good has an opposite evil, and every truth an opposite falsity, may be known from this, that there is not anything that has not reference to its opposite, and that its quality and degree is known from its opposite, and its degree; and this is the origin of all perception and sensation is derived. On this account the Lord continually provides that every society of heaven has its opposite in a society of hell, and that there  is equilibrium between the two.
True Christian Religion 763. It is according to order that a first should go forth to its last both in general and in particular, in order that variety may exist in all things, and through varieties every quality; for quality is perfected by means of differences relating to what is more or less opposite. Who cannot see that truth takes on its quality through the existence of falsity, and good likewise through the existence of evil, as light takes on its quality through the existence of darkness, and heat through the existence of cold? What would color be if there were no black and nothing but white? If it were otherwise the quality of intermediate colors could not but be imperfect. What is sensation apart from relation; and what is relation except to things opposite? Is not the sight of the eye obscured by looking at white only, and quickened by a color that inwardly derives something from black, such, for example, as green? Is not the sense of bearing dulled by the continued strain of one tone upon its organs, and stimulated by a modulation that is varied by relative sounds? What is the beautiful without relation to the unbeautiful? So in some pictures in order to present vividly the beauty of a virgin, an ugly face is placed beside the handsome one. What are joy and happiness without relation to what is joyless and unhappy? Will not one become insane by dwelling upon one idea only, uninterrupted by a variety that tends to things opposite? It is the same with the spiritual things of the church, the opposites of which have relation to evil and falsity, which, nevertheless, are not from the Lord, but from man who has freedom of choice which he can turn either to a good use or an evil use; comparatively as it is with darkness and cold, which are not from the sun but are from the earth, which by its revolutions in turn withdraws from the sun and returns to it; and without its turning from and to the sun there would be neither day nor year, consequently no person and no thing on the earth. I have heard that churches which are in different goods and truths, provided their goods relate to love to the Lord, and their truths to faith in Him, are like so many gems in a king’s crown.

Jesus and Thomas

Now Thomas, one of the twelve, termed Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.”  The other disciples, then, said to him, “We have seen the Lord!Yet he said to them, “Should I not perceive in His hands the print of the nails, and thrust my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will by no means be believing.”  And after eight days His disciples were again within, and Thomas was with them. The doors having been locked, Jesus is coming and stood in the midst and said, “Peace to you!”  Thereafter He is saying to Thomas, “Bring you finger here and perceive My hands, and bring your hand and thrust it into My side, and do not become unbelieving, but believing.”  And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Now Jesus is saying to him, “Seeing that you have seen Me, you have believed. Happy are those who are not perceiving and believe.”  John 20:24- 29

Truth before regeneration and the truth after 

AC 6717… How it is to be understood that the truth whose origin is from good, is conjoined with good, shall be told. The truth which is instilled by the Lord in the man who is being regenerated, has its origin from good. In the first period the good does not show itself, because it is in the internal man, but the truth shows itself, because it is in the external man; and as the internal acts into the external, and not the converse (n. 6322), it is good which acts into truth, and makes this its own, for nothing else than good acknowledges and receives truth. This is apparent from the affection of truth that is present in the man who is being regenerated. The affection itself is from good, for an affection which is of love cannot come from any other source. But this truth which is received in this first period, that is, before regeneration, is not the genuine truth of good, but it is the truth of doctrine. For at this time the man does not consider whether it is truth, but acknowledges it because it is of the doctrine of the church; and so long as he does not consider whether it is truth, and from this acknowledges it, it is not his, and therefore is not appropriated to him. This is the first state with the man who is being regenerated.

[2] But when he has been regenerated, then good shows itself, especially by his loving to live according to the truth which he of himself acknowledges to be truth. Then because he wills the truth which he acknowledges, and acts according to it, it is appropriated to him; because it is not as before merely in the understanding, but is also in the will, and what is in the will is appropriated. And as the understanding then makes one with the will, for the understanding acknowledges and the will performs, there is a conjunction of the two, namely, of good and truth. When this conjunction has been effected, then as from a marriage, offspring are continually born, which are truths and goods with their blessednesses and delights. These two states are what are meant by the origin of truth from good, and by their conjunction.

“Thy faith has made thee whole”

And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour. Matthew 9: 20-22

And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee. And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus. And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way. Mark 10: 49-52

And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole. Luke 17: 12-19

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.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments