2. People who live lives based on truth but lack good intent; and also the nature of truths that lack goodness

Truths that lack goodness are not truths in and of themselves, because they have no life: the whole life of truth comes from what is good. This means these truths are like a body without a soul. People like this mistake their knowledge about truth and goodness for actual truth and goodness themselves, but their knowledge resides only in their memory and has not been applied to their lives. Truths are not internalized for us or made our own if we merely know them and acknowledge them for reasons arising from our self-love and love for the world.

The truths that are internalized, though, are the ones we acknowledge for the sake of truth and goodness themselves. Truths apart from what is good are not accepted by the Lord and do not save us. People who are focused on truths apart from what is good are not part of the church. They cannot be regenerated, either. The Lord does not flow into truths except by way of what is good.

Without what is good, truth is harsh. In the spiritual world it looks hard and sharply pointed. Truth without goodness is like the light of winter, in which everything in the earth is dormant and nothing is produced; but truth that comes from goodness is like the light of spring and summer, in which everything blooms and bears fruit. This kind of winter light turns into deep darkness when light flows in from heaven; and people devoted to those [wintry] truths then become blind and stupid.

People who separate truths from goodness are in darkness; they do not know what truth is and are mired in falsities. They plunge from false convictions into evil practices. The Word is closed to them. They do not pay attention to or even see all the things the Lord said about love and caring and therefore about goodness. They do not know what goodness is, and therefore they do not know what heavenly love is or what caring is. In the other life, people who know the truths that belong to religious faith and yet live evil lives misuse truths in order to gain power.

Divine truth condemns us to hell, while divine goodness raises us to heaven. Divine truth is terrifying, but divine goodness is not. What it is like to be judged from the standpoint of truth as opposed to being judged from the standpoint of goodness.

from New Jerusalem, Section 22

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