The Human Made Divine

THE LORD MADE HIS HUMAN DIVINE FROM THE DIVINE IN HIMSELF; AND HE THUS BECAME ONE WITH THE FATHER.

It is according to the doctrine of the church received throughout the Christian world, “That our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is both God and Man; and although He is God and Man, still there are not two, but there is one Christ. He is one, because the Divine took to itself the Human; yea, He is altogether one, for He is one Person: since as soul and body make one man, so God and Man are one Christ.” (These are taken from the Athanasian Creed, which is accepted throughout the Christian world.) These are the essential things therein concerning the union of the Divine and the Human in the Lord. . .

From this it is clearly manifest that it is according to the faith of the Christian Church that the Divine and the Human in the Lord are not two, but one, as the soul and body are one man; and that the Divine in Him took on the Human. From this it follows that the Divine cannot be separated from the Human, nor the Human from the Divine; for to separate them would be like separating soul and body. That it is so, every one will acknowledge who reads what is cited above from two of the Evangelists (Luke 1:26-36, and Matthew 1:18-25), concerning the Lord’s birth; from which it is plain that Jesus was conceived of Jehovah God, and born of virgin Mary; so that the Divine was in Him, and it was his Soul. Now, as his Soul was the Divine itself of the Father, it follows that his Body or Human was also made Divine; for where the one is, the other must be also. Thus and not otherwise are the Father and the Son one; the Father in the Son, and the Son in the father.

Also all things of the Son are the Father’s, and all things of the Father are the Son’s as the Lord Himself teaches in his Word; but how the union was effected will be told in order:

from The Human Made Divine, pages 128-129

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Motivation and Understanding (Continued)

Nothing is more worth knowing than how our motivation and understanding work together as one mind. They do this in the same way goodness and truth work together. There is the same kind of marriage between motivation and understanding as there is between goodness and truth. We can get a clear idea of what this marriage is like from what I said before about goodness and truth.

Specifically, goodness is the essential reality of a thing, and truth is its visible existence. In the same way, our motivation is our life’s essential reality, and our understanding (which comes from our motivation) is our life’s visible existence. The good impulses in our motivation give themselves form in our understanding and make themselves visible.

When we do good things and have true ideas, we have motivation and understanding. But when we do harmful things and have false ideas, we do not have motivation and understanding. Instead of motivation we have desire, and instead of understanding we have knowledge.

A truly human motivation is a storehouse of good impulses, and a truly human understanding is a storehouse of true ideas. So we cannot call bad impulses “motivation,” or false ideas “understanding”—they are just the opposite, and opposites destroy each other. Because of this, when we do harmful things and have false ideas, we are not rational, wise, or understanding. Also, the deeper parts of a harmful person’s mind are closed, and our motivation and understanding are mainly in these parts of our mind.

We may think harmful people also have motivation and understanding, since they say they intend things and understand things. But their motivation is only desire, and their understanding is only knowledge.

from The Heavenly City, Chapter 2

Motivation and Understanding

As human beings, we have two capabilities that make up our life: motivation and understanding. These capabilities are distinct from each other, but they are created so that they form a single entity. Taken together, they are called the mind. These capabilities are the human mind, and that is where all our life force is.

Just as everything in the universe that is in harmony with the divine plan relates to goodness and truth, everything in a human being relates to motivation and understanding. The goodness in us is our motivation, and the truth in us is our understanding. These two capabilities, or life forces, are the reservoir and ground for the goodness and truth in us. Motivation is the reservoir and ground for all our good qualities, and understanding is the reservoir and ground for all our true ideas. The goodness and truth in us are nowhere else. This means the love and faith in us are nowhere else either, since love and goodness relate to each other, and faith and truth relate to each other.

So everything in the universe relates to goodness and truth, and everything in religion relates to the good qualities that come from love and the true ideas that are part of faith. Also, our two capabilities of motivation and understanding are what make us human. That is why an explanation of motivation and understanding is also included in this religious philosophy. Otherwise we would not have a clear idea about them, and there would not be a solid basis for our thinking.

Motivation and understanding also make up our spirit, since our wisdom, our understanding, and our life as a whole are contained in them. Our body simply does what it is told to do.

from The Heavenly City, Chapter 2

Goodness and Truth

Everything in the universe that is in harmony with the divine plan relates to goodness and truth. Goodness and truth come from the divine, which is the source of everything. This means there cannot be anything in heaven or on earth that does not relate to these two things.

With this in mind, we can see that nothing is more important than knowing, what is good and what is true, and how the two are attracted to each other and united. Religious people especially should understand these things, since just as everything in heaven relates to goodness and truth, so does everything in religion. What is good and true in heaven is also good and true in religion. So I will begin with goodness and truth.

To be in harmony with the divine plan, goodness and truth should be united as one thing, not separated into two. They come from the divine together, they are together in heaven, and they should be together in religion, too. In heaven, the relationship between goodness and truth is called heavenly marriage. All the angels there have this kind of marriage inside them. That is why heaven is compared to a marriage in the Bible. The Lord is called the bridegroom and husband, and heaven and religion are called the bride and wife. Heaven and religion are called this because the people in them accept divine goodness according to true ideas.

All the understanding and wisdom of the angels comes from this marriage. None of it comes from goodness separated from truth or truth separated from goodness. It is the same for religious people.

Since the relationship between goodness and truth takes the form of a marriage, we can see that goodness loves truth, and truth loves goodness. They want to be together. If we are religious but do not have this kind of love and desire, we do not have a heavenly marriage inside ourselves. This means religion is not yet inside us, since the relationship between goodness and truth makes religion.

There are many different kinds of goodness. In general, there is spiritual goodness, material-level goodness, and both together in genuine ethical goodness. There are the same kinds of truth as there are of goodness, because truth goes with goodness. It is the form goodness takes.

It is the same with evil and falsity as with goodness and truth, except that they are opposites. Everything in the universe that is in harmony with the divine plan relates to goodness and truth, but everything that is opposed to the divine plan relates to evil and falsity. Goodness and truth love to be together, and evil and falsity love to be together. And all understanding and wisdom grow out of the relationship between goodness and truth, but all irrationality and foolishness grow out of the relationship between evil and falsity. The relationship between evil and falsity is called hellish marriage.

Evil and falsity are the opposite of goodness and truth. So we can see that we cannot combine truth with evil, or goodness with falsity that comes from evil. If we connect truth to evil, it is no longer true, but false, because it becomes distorted. If we connect goodness to falsity that comes from evil, it is no longer good, but evil, because it becomes corrupted. However, falsity that does not come from evil can be combined with goodness.

When we rationalize and live out our bad traits and the false ideas we get from them, we cannot see what is good and true, since evil thinks of itself as good, and falsity thinks of itself as true. But if we strengthen and live out our good qualities and the true ideas we get from them, we can see what is evil and false. This is why: all our good qualities and the true ideas that go with them are heavenly in essence—or if they are not, they still come from a heavenly source. But all our bad traits and the false ideas that go with them are hellish in essence—or if they are not, they still come from a hellish source. And everything heavenly is brightly lit, but everything hellish is in the dark.

from The Heavenly City, Chapter 1

Heat and Light Vs. Love and Faith

There are two things in the natural world which make the life there, namely, heat and light; and there are two things in the spiritual world which make the life there, namely, love and faith. Heat in the natural world corresponds to love in the spiritual world, and light in the natural world corresponds to faith in the spiritual world. Hence it is that when spiritual heat or fire is mentioned, love is meant; and when spiritual light is mentioned, faith is meant. Moreover, love is actually the vital heat of man, for it is known that man grows warm from love; and faith is actually the light of man, for it can be known that man is illumined from faith.

The heat and light in the natural world arise from the sun of the world; but spiritual heat and light, or love and faith, arise from the sun of heaven. The sun of heaven is the Lord; the heat which comes from Him as a sun is love, and the light which comes from Him as a sun is faith. That the Lord is light is evident from these words in John: Jesus said, I am the light of the world, he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life (John 8:12); and that the Lord is a sun is evident in Matthew: When Jesus was transfigured, His face shone as the sun, and His garments became white as the light (Matt. 17:2).

From this correspondence it can also be known how the case is with faith and with love. Faith without love is like light without heat, as is the light of winter; and faith with love is like light with heat, as is the light of spring. That in the light of spring each and all things grow and flower, is known; and also that in the light of winter all things become torpid and die. It is similar with faith and love.

from Arcana Coelestia, Sections 7082-7084

After Death, We Are in a Complete Human Form

Years and years of daily experience have witnessed to me that after separation from the body the human spirit is a person and is in a similar form. I have seen this thousands of times, I have heard such spirits, and I have talked with them even about the fact that people in the world do not believe that they are what they are, and that scholars think people who do believe are simpletons. Spirits are heartsick over the fact that this kind of ignorance is still common in the world and especially in the church.

This is why almost all the people who arrive from this world are as astonished as they can be to find that they are alive and that they are just as human as ever, that they are seeing and hearing and talking, that their bodies are still endowed with the sense of touch, and that nothing at all has changed.

When we first enter the world of spirits (which happens shortly after the reawakening just described), our spirit has a similar face and tone of voice as it did in the world. This is because at that point we are in the state of our external concerns, with our deeper concerns not yet uncovered. This is our initial state after decease. Later, though, our face changes and becomes quite different. It comes to look like the ruling affection in which the deeper reaches of our minds were engaged in the world, the kind of affection characteristic of the spirit within our body, because the face of our spirit is very different from the face of our body. We get our physical face from our parents and our spiritual face from our affection, which it images. Our spirit takes on this face after our physical life is over, when the outer coverings have been removed. This is our third state.

I have seen some newcomers from the world and have recognized them by their faces and voices; but when I saw them later, I did not recognize them. People who were engaged in good affections had lovely faces, while people who were engaged in evil affections had ugly ones. Seen in its own right, our spirit is nothing but our affections, whose outward form is our face.

The reason our faces change is that in the other life no one is allowed to pretend to affections they do not really have, so we cannot put on a face that is contrary to the love we are engaged in. We are all refined down to a state in which we say what we think and manifest in expression and act what we intend.

It does need to be known that our human form is lovelier after death to the extent that we have more deeply loved divine truths and have lived by them, since our deeper levels are opened and formed according to both our love of these truths and our life. So the deeper the affection and the more it accords with heaven, the lovelier the face. This is why the angels who are in the inmost heaven are the loveliest—because they are forms of heavenly love. On the other hand, people who have loved divine truths more outwardly and have therefore lived by them more outwardly are less lovely, since only the more outward aspects radiate from their faces, and the deeper heavenly love—which means the form of heaven as it is in its own right—does not shine through these more outward forms. You can see something relatively dim in their faces, not enlivened by a light of their inner life shining through. In short, all perfection increases as you move inward and lessens as you move outward. As the perfection increases or lessens, so does the beauty.

I have seen faces of angels of the third heaven so beautiful that no painters, with all their skill, could render a fraction of their light with their pigments or rival a thousandth part of the light and life that show in their faces. The faces of angels of the outmost heaven, though, can be mirrored to some extent.

Finally, I should like to offer a secret no one has ever known before, namely that everything good and true that comes from the Lord and makes heaven is in the human form. This is true not only of the greatest whole but also of every least part. This form influences everyone who accepts what is good and true from the Lord, and causes everyone in heaven to be in a human form according to that acceptance. This is why heaven is consistent with itself in general and in particular, why the human form is the form of the whole, of each community, and of each angel. I need to add here that this is also the form of the details of thought that come from heavenly love in angels. This secret may not fit well into the understanding of anyone on earth, but it is clear to the understanding of angels because they are in heaven’s light.

from Afterlife, Pages 12-15

Our Revival from the Dead and Entry into Eternal Life (Continued)

Then the spirits who were around me gradually drew away, thinking that I was dead. I sensed a sweet odor like that of an embalmed body, for when heavenly angels are present anything having to do with a corpse smells sweet. When spirits sense this, they cannot come near. This is also how evil spirits are kept away from our spirit when we are being admitted into eternal life.

The angels who were sitting beside my head were silent, simply sharing their thoughts with mine (when these are accepted [by the deceased], the angels know that the person’s spirit is ready to be led out of the body). They accomplished this sharing of thoughts by looking into my face. This is actually how thoughts are shared in heaven. Since I had been left in possession of thought and perception so that I could learn and remember how awakening happens, I noticed that at first the angels were checking to see whether my thoughts were like those of dying individuals, who are normally thinking about eternal life. They wanted to keep my mind in these thoughts. I was later told that as the body is breathing its last, our spirit is kept in its final thought until eventually it comes back to the thoughts that flowed from our basic or ruling affection in the world.

Especially, I was enabled to perceive and even to feel that there was a pull, a kind of drawing out of the deeper levels of my mind and therefore of my spirit from my body; and I was told that this was being done by the Lord and is what brings about our resurrection.

When heavenly angels are with people who have been awakened they do not leave them, because they love everyone. But some spirits are simply unable to be in the company of heavenly angels very long, and want them to leave. When this happens, angels from the Lord’s spiritual kingdom arrive, through whom we are granted the use of light, since before this we could not see anything but could only think.

I was also shown how this is done. It seemed as though the angels rolled back a covering from my left eye toward the center of my nose so that my eye was opened and able to see. To the spirit, it seems as though this were actually happening, but it is only apparently so. As this covering seemed to be rolled back, I could see a kind of clear but dim light like the light we see through our eyelids when we are first waking up. It seemed to me as though this clear, dim light had a heavenly color to it, but I was later told that this varies. After that, it felt as though something were being rolled gently off my face, and once this was done I had access to spiritual thought. This rolling something off the face is an appearance, for it represents the fact that we are moving from natural thinking to spiritual thinking. Angels take the greatest care to shield the awakening person from any concept that does not taste of love. Then they tell the individual that he or she is a spirit.

After the spiritual angels have given us the use of light, they do everything for us as newly arrived spirits that we could ever wish in that state. They tell us—at least to the extent that we can grasp it—about the realities of the other life. However, if our nature is such that we do not want to be taught, then once we are awakened we want to get out of the company of angels. Still, the angels do not leave us, but we do leave them. Angels really do love everyone. They want nothing more than to help people, to teach them, to lead them into heaven. This is their highest joy.

When spirits leave the company of angels, they are welcomed by the good spirits who are accompanying them and who also do all they can for them. However, if they had led the kind of life in the world that makes it impossible for them to be in the company of good people, then they want to get away from these as well. This happens as long and as many times as necessary, until they find the company of people their earthly life has fitted them for. Here they find their life; and remarkable as it may sound, they then lead the same kind of life they had led in the world.

This first stage of our life after death does not last more than a few days, though. In the following pages I will be describing how we are then brought from one state into another until finally we arrive either in heaven or in hell.

I have talked with some people on the third day after their death. I talked with three whom I had known in the world and told them that their funeral services were now being planned so that their bodies could be buried. When they heard me say it was so that they could be buried, they were struck with a kind of bewilderment. They said that they were alive, and that people were burying what had been useful to them in the world. Later on, they were utterly amazed at the fact that while they had been living in their bodies they had not believed in this kind of life after death, and particularly that this was the case for almost everyone.

from Afterlife, Pages 8-12

Our Revival from the Dead and Entry into Eternal Life

When someone’s body can no longer perform its functions in the natural world in response to the thoughts and affections of its spirit (which it derives from the spiritual world), then we say that the individual has died. This happens when the lungs’ breathing and the heart’s systolic motion have ceased. The person, though, has not died at all. We are only separated from the physical nature that was useful to us in the world. The essential person is actually still alive. I say that the essential person is still alive because we are not people because of our bodies but because of our spirits. After all, it is the spirit within us that thinks, and thought and affection together make us the people we are.

We can see, then, that when we die we simply move from one world into another. This is why in the inner meaning of the Word, “death” means resurrection and a continuation of life.

The deepest communication of our spirit is with our breathing and our heartbeat; thought connects with our breathing, and affection, an attribute of love, with our heart. Consequently, when these two motions in the body cease, there is an immediate separation. It is these two motions, the respiratory motion of the lungs and the systolic motion of the heart, that are essential ties. Once they are severed, the spirit is left to itself; and the body, being now without the life of its spirit, cools and decays.

After this separation, our spirit stays in the body briefly, but not after the complete stoppage of the heart, which varies depending on the cause of death. In some cases the motion of the heart continues for quite a while, and in others it does not. The moment it does stop, we are awakened, but this is done by the Lord alone. “Being awakened” means having our spirit led out of our body and into the spiritual world, which is commonly called “resurrection.”

The reason our spirit is not separated from our body until the motion of the heart has stopped is that the heart answers to affection, an attribute of love, which is our essential life, since all of us derive our vital warmth from love. Consequently, as long as this union lasts there is a responsiveness, and therefore the life of the spirit is [still] in the body.

I have not only been told how the awakening happens, I have been shown by firsthand experience. The actual experience happened to me so that I could have a full knowledge of how it occurs.

I was brought into a state in which my physical senses were inoperative—very much, then, like the state of people who are dying. However, my deeper life and thought remained intact so that I could perceive and retain what was happening to me and what does happen to people who are being awakened from death. I noticed that my physical breathing was almost suspended, with a deeper breathing, a breathing of the spirit, continuing along with a very slight and silent physical one.

At first then a connection was established between my heartbeat and the heavenly kingdom, because that kingdom corresponds to the human heart. I also saw angels from that kingdom, some at a distance, but two sitting close to my head. The effect was to take away all my own affection but to leave me in possession of thought and perception. I remained in this state for several hours.

from Afterlife, Pages 6-8

Each of Us Is Inwardly a Spirit

Anyone who thinks things through carefully can see that it is not the body that thinks, because the body is material. Rather, it is the soul, because the soul is spiritual. The human soul, whose immortality has been the topic of many authors, is our spirit; it is in fact immortal in all respects, and it is also what does the thinking in our bodies. The matter that is proper to the body is an addendum and almost an attachment to the spirit. Its purpose is to enable our spirit to lead its life and perform its services in a natural world that is material in all respects and essentially lifeless. Since matter is not alive—only spirit—we may conclude that whatever is alive in us is our spirit and that the body only serves it exactly the way a tool serves a live and activating force.

Since everything that is alive in the body—everything that acts and feels because of life—belongs to the spirit alone and none of it belongs to the body, it follows that the spirit is the actual person. In other words, we are essentially spirits and have much the same form as well. You see, everything that is alive and sensitive within us belongs to our spirit, and there is nothing in us, from head to toe, that is not alive and sensitive. This is why when our bodies are separated from our spirits, which is called dying, we still continue to be human and to be alive.

We may gather that inwardly we are spirits from the fact that after we depart from our bodies, which happens when we die, we are still alive and just as human as ever. To convince me of this, [the Lord] has allowed me to talk with almost all the people I had ever met during their physical lives, with some for a few hours, with some for weeks and months, and with some for years. This was primarily so that I could be convinced and could bear witness.

I may add here that even while we are living in our bodies, each one of us is in a community with spirits as to our own spirits even though we are unaware of it. Good people are in angelic communities by means of [their spirits] and evil people are in hellish communities. Further, we come into those same communities when we die. People who are coming into the company of spirits after death are often told and shown this.

from Afterlife, Pages 4-6

Everything said so far can be found in many places in the Word

Everything said so far can be found in many places in the Word. I may cite only the following few. The Word tells us that no one can be focused on doing good and doing evil at the same time, or—which amounts to the same thing—with respect to our souls we cannot be in heaven and in hell at the same time. It tells us this by saying,

No one can serve two masters; for you will either hate the one and love the other or hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Mammon. (Matthew 6:24)

How can the things you say be good when you are evil? Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Good people out of the good treasure of their hearts bring forth good things, and evil people out of the evil treasure bring forth evil things. (Matthew 12:34, 35)

A good tree does not bear bad fruit, and a bad tree does not bear good fruit. Every tree is known by its own fruit. People do not gather figs from thorns or harvest grapes from a bramble bush. (Luke 6:43, 44)

The Word tells us that none of us can do what is good on our own; our actions are good only if they come from the Lord.

Jesus said, “I am the vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away; and every branch that bears fruit he prunes, so that it will bear more fruit. Abide in me, and I [will abide] in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it abides in the vine, the same goes for you unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who abide in me and in whom I abide bear much fruit, because without me you cannot do anything. If any do not abide in me they are cast out as branches and wither; people gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.” (John 15:1–6)

The Word tells us in the following passage that to the extent that we are not purified from our evils, any good things we do are not good, any devout deeds are not devout, and we are not wise; but the reverse is the case if we are purified.

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you make yourselves like whitewashed tombs that look beautiful outwardly, but are inwardly full of dead people’s bones and filth of every kind. Even so, you look righteous outwardly, but are inwardly full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Woe to you, because you cleanse the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of extortion and excess. Blind Pharisee, cleanse the inside of the cup and the plate first, so that the outside of them may be clean as well. (Matthew 23:25–28)

Then there are these words of Isaiah:

Hear the word of Jehovah, you princes of Sodom! Hear the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah! What use to me are your abundant sacrifices? Do not keep bringing worthless offerings! Incense is an abomination to me, your new moons and Sabbaths. I cannot abide iniquity. My soul hates your new moons and prescribed feasts, so when you spread forth your hands I hide my eyes from you. Even though you multiply your prayers, I am not listening—your hands are full of blood. Wash yourselves! Purify yourselves! Take away the evil of your deeds from before my eyes! Stop doing evil! Even if your sins have been like scarlet, they will become white like snow; even if they have been red, they will be like wool. (Isaiah 1:10–18)

Put briefly, this is saying that unless we turn our backs on evil deeds, none of our worship is any good. The same holds true for everything we do, since it says “I cannot abide iniquity; purify yourselves; take away the evil of your deeds; stop doing evil.” In Jeremiah,

Turn back, all of you, from your evil way, and make your works good. (Jeremiah 35:15)

These people are not wise, either. See the following from Isaiah:

Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and intelligent in their own estimation. (Isaiah 5:21)

Again,

The wisdom of the wise will perish, as will the intelligence of the intelligent. Woe to those whose wisdom is profound and whose deeds are done in darkness. (Isaiah 29:14, 15)

And yet again,

Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and who rely on horses, who trust in an abundance of chariots and in the strength of riders, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel and do not seek Jehovah. He will rise up against the house of the malicious and against the aid of those who work iniquity, because Egypt is not God, and its horses are flesh, and not spirit. (Isaiah 31:1, 2, 3)

That is how our own intelligence is described. Egypt is mere facts; a horse is our understanding of those facts; chariots are religious teachings based on those facts; and riders are the intelligence we develop as a result. Of these qualities we read, “Woe to those who do not look to the Holy One of Israel and do not seek Jehovah.” “He will rise up against the house of the malicious and against the aid of those who work iniquity” means the destruction of these qualities by evils. “Egypt is human, not God, and her horses are flesh, and not spirit” means that this understanding comes from our own sense of self-importance and that therefore there is no life in it. “Human” and “flesh” are our own sense of self, and “God” and “spirit” are life that comes from the Lord. The horses of Egypt are the intelligence that we claim as our own.

from Life/Faith, Section 28-30