The Essence of God: 3. Because God is love itself and wisdom itself, he is life itself, or life in itself.

The Gospel of John says, “The Word was with God, and the Word was God. In it there was life, and that life was the light for humankind” (John 1:1, 4). “God” in this case means divine love, and “the Word” means divine wisdom. Divine wisdom is actually life, and life is actually the light that radiates from the sun in the spiritual world—the sun that surrounds Jehovah God.

Divine love produces life the way fire produces light. Fire has two qualities: burning and shining. Its burning radiates heat and its shining radiates light. Likewise love has two qualities. The burning quality of fire corresponds to one of them; it is something that affects our will at the deepest level. The shining quality of fire corresponds to the other; it is something that affects our intellect at the deepest level. This is where our love and intelligence come from, because, as I have said several times now, the heat that radiates from the sun in the spiritual world is essentially love, and its light is essentially wisdom. That love and that wisdom flow into each and every thing in the universe and affect them at the deepest level. In us, they flow into our will and intellect; both were created as vessels to receive what flows in, the will as a vessel for love and the intellect as a vessel for wisdom.

From all this three points emerge: that our life finds its home in our intellect; that that life is only as good as our wisdom; and that that life is modified by the love in our will.

We also read in John, “As the Father has life in himself, so he also granted the Son to have life in himself” (John 5:26). This means that as the Divine itself that has existed from eternity is alive in itself, so also the human aspect that it acquired in time is alive in itself. “Life in itself” means the absolute and only life from which all angels and people on earth are alive.

Our reason is capable of seeing this in relation to the light that radiates from the sun in the physical world. That light cannot be created, but the forms for receiving it can. Our eyes are forms tuned to receive that light. When the light flows in from the sun, we see. It is similar with life. Life, as I just pointed out, is light radiating from the sun in the spiritual world. That light too cannot be created, but it is at all times flowing in. As it enlightens our intellect, it also brings it to life. Because light, life, and wisdom are one, wisdom cannot be created either, nor can faith, truth, love, goodwill, or goodness; but forms for receiving those things have been created. They are human and angelic minds.

Be very careful, then, not to convince yourself that you are alive from yourself—do not think you are wise, have faith, are loving, perceive truth, or will or do what is good from yourself. As people do convince themselves of these things, they cast their mind down from heaven to earth and change from being spiritual to being oriented to nature, their own senses, and their own body. They close the higher regions of their mind. Doing so blinds them to everything having to do with God, heaven, or the church. Then whatever they happen to think, reason, or say on these subjects is ridiculous, because they are in the dark.

At the same time, ironically, they gain greater confidence in the wisdom of their perspective. Since the higher regions of their mind are closed, where the true light of life makes its home, a lower region of their mind opens up that is attuned only to the glimmer of the world. That glimmer, devoid of light from the higher regions, is faint and deceptive. In it, false things seem true and true things false; argumentation on false premises seems like wisdom, and on true premises seems like madness. People like this truly believe they have the visual powers of an eagle, when in fact they cannot see what comes from wisdom any more than a bat can see in broad daylight.

from True Christianity, Sections 39, 40

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