Working with truths brings about states of temptation (3 mins)

On the nature of temptations and doubt as being part of it

Arcana Coelestia 6829… When a man is in temptation, he is beset round by falsities and evils which impede the influx of light from the Divine, that is, the influx of truth and good, and then the man is as it were in darkness. Darkness in the other life is nothing else than this besetment by falsities, for these take away the light from the man who is in temptation, and thus the perception of consolation by truths. But when the man emerges from temptation, then the light appears with its spiritual heat, that is, truth with its good, and from this he has gladness after anxiety. This is the morning which in the other life follows the night. The reason why good is then perceived, and truth appears, is that after temptation truth and good penetrate toward the interiors, and there take root. For when a man is in temptation, he is as it were in hunger for good, and in thirst for truth; and therefore when he emerges he draws in good as a hungry man devours food, and receives truth as a thirsty man imbibes drink. Moreover, when light from the Divine appears, falsities and evils are removed, and when these are removed, the way is opened for truth and good to penetrate more interiorly. These are the reasons why after temptations the good of love appears with its light from the Lord. That after the obscurity and anxiety of temptations, brightness and gladness appear, is known to all in the other life, because it is there a common occurrence.

AC 1820. He who is in temptation is in doubt concerning the end in view. The end in view is the love, against which the evil spirits and evil genii fight, and thereby put the end in doubt; and the greater the love is, the more do they put it in doubt. If the end which is loved were not put in doubt, and indeed in despair, there would be no temptation. Assurance respecting the result precedes the victory, and belongs to the victory.

[2] As few know how the case is with temptations, it may here be briefly explained. Evil spirits never fight against other things than those which the man loves; the more ardently he loves them, the more fiercely do they wage the combat. It is evil genii who fight against the things that pertain to the affection of good, and evil spirits that fight against those which pertain to the affection of truth. As soon as they notice even the smallest thing which a man loves, or perceive as it were by scent what is delightful and dear to him, they forthwith assault it and endeavor to destroy it, and thereby the whole man, for man’s life consists in his loves. Nothing is more delightful to them than to destroy a man in this way, nor would they desist, even to eternity, unless they were driven away by the Lord. They who are malignant and crafty insinuate themselves into man’s very loves by flattering them, and thus bring the man among themselves; and presently, when they have brought him in, they attempt to destroy his loves, and thereby murder the man, and this in a thousand ways that cannot be comprehended.

[3] Nor do they wage the combat simply by reasoning against things good and true, because such combats are of no account, for if they were vanquished a thousand times they would still persist, since reasonings against goods and truths can never be wanting. But they pervert the goods and truths, and inflame with a certain fire of cupidity and of persuasion, so that the man does not know otherwise than that he is in the like cupidity and persuasion; and at the same time they enkindle these with delight that they snatch from the man’s delight in something else, and in this way they most deceitfully infect and infest him; and this they do with so much skill, by leading him on from one thing to another, that if the Lord did not aid him, the man would never know but that the case was really so.

[4] They act in a similar way against the affections of truth that make the conscience: as soon as they perceive anything of conscience, of whatever kind, then from the falsities and failings in the man they form to themselves an affection; and by means of this they cast a shade over the light of truth, and so pervert it; or they induce anxiety and torture him. They also hold the thought persistently in one thing, and thus fill it with phantasies; and at the same time they clandestinely clothe the cupidities with the phantasies; besides innumerable other arts, which cannot possibly be described to the apprehension. These are a few of the means, and only the most general, by which they can make their way to man’s conscience, for this above all else they take the greatest delight in destroying.

[5] From these few statements, and they are very few, it may be seen what temptations are, and that they are, in general, such as the loves are, and from this we may see what was the nature of the Lord’s temptations, that they were the most terrible of all, for such as is the greatness of the love, such is the fearful character of the temptation. The Lord’s love was the salvation of the whole human race, and was most ardent; consequently it was the whole sum of the affection of good and affection of truth in the highest degree. Against these, with the most malignant wiles and venom, all the hells waged the combat; but still the Lord conquered them all by His own power. Victories are attended with the result that the malignant genii and spirits afterwards dare not do anything; for their life consists in their being able to destroy, and when they perceive that a man is of such a character that he can resist, then at the first onset they flee away, as they are wont to do when they draw near to the first entrance to heaven, for they are at once seized with horror and terror, and hurl themselves backward.


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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Paddy Morahan
12 days ago

I’ve been going through some tough states of late and have thought about these states as being more ‘real’ than those in which I fall back into the proprium’s embrace, feel ‘normal’ and ‘happy’ and ‘content’ and rarely question the supremacy of my ‘self’ (except when doing my LP task of course!). I guess an interesting way to see it is that perhaps the inner critic that heaps scorn, shame and guilt on me and refuses to let me feel hope is the same inner voice that praises and reassures and tells me I’m ‘special’. Two expressions of falsity that… Read more »

Sarah Walker
Reply to  Paddy Morahan
11 days ago

In this I am recalled to the current reading regarding the lumen/light of heaven versus the lumen of the world that is in falsity because the Sensual is ruling -(AC 6945 6948, 6954). In the latter hence there is a belief that what the senses convey is true – that I am a self that is independent from Divine Life and therefore ‘I am’ self sustaining. The self is god. So the ‘real’ states are seeing that this isn’t true but only appears that way, which can only happen when the Word/truth is active for us. The question I heard… Read more »