We Are Life-Receivers, not Life

If this is to be intelligible, though, it is essential to realize that the Lord, being love in its very essence or divine love, is visible to angels in heaven as a sun; that warmth and light flow from that sun; that the outflowing warmth is essentially love and the outflowing light essentially wisdom; and that to the extent that angels are receptive of that spiritual warmth and spiritual light, they themselves are instances of love and wisdom—instances of love and wisdom not on their own, but from the Lord.

Spiritual warmth and spiritual light flow into and affect not only angels but also us, precisely to the extent that we become receptive. Our receptivity develops in proportion to our love for the Lord and our love for our neighbor.

That sun itself, or divine love, cannot use its warmth and light to create anyone directly from itself. If it did, the creature would be love in its essence, which is the Lord himself. It can, however, create people out of material substances so formed as to be receptive of its actual warmth and light. In the same way, the sun of our world cannot use its warmth and light to bring forth sprouts in the earth directly. Rather, the sun uses substances in the soil in which it can be present through its warmth and light to make plants grow. (On the Lord’s divine love being seen as the sun in the spiritual world, with spiritual warmth and light flowing from it, giving angels their love and wisdom, see Heaven and Hell 116–142.)

Since we are life-receivers, not life, it follows that our conception from our parents is not the conception of life but simply the conception of the first and purest forms that can accept life. These forms serve as a nucleus or beginning in the womb, to which are added, step by step, material substances in forms suited, in their various patterns and levels, to the reception of life.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 5, 6

Notes:

Sections 116-140 from Heaven and Hell: Published 11/15/2016-12/2/2016
Sections 141-142 from Heaven and Hell: Published 7/8/2-17/9/2017

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