The divine love and wisdom that emanate from the Lord as the sun and constitute heaven’s warmth and light is the emanating Divinity that is the Holy Spirit (Continued)

Since Divinity itself is present with angels and with us through its spiritual warmth and light, we look at people who are caught up in the truth of divine wisdom and the goodness of divine love, who are moved by them, and who are therefore in heartfelt thought, and we say that they are being “warmed by God.” Sometimes this happens so openly that it can be noticed and felt, as when a preacher speaks with passion. We also say of such people that they are being “enlightened by God” because with his emanating divinity, the Lord not only kindles human intentions with spiritual warmth but also floods human minds with spiritual light.

We can see from the following passages in the Word that the Holy Spirit is the same as the Lord and is the very truth that is the source of our enlightenment. “Jesus said, ‘When the spirit of truth has come, he will lead you into all truth. He will not speak on his own, but will say what he has heard’” (John 16:13). “He will glorify me because he will receive from me and will proclaim to you” (John 16:14, 15). He will be with the disciples and in them (John 15:26 [14:17]). “Jesus said, ‘The things I am telling you are spirit and life’” (John 6:63). We can see from these passages that the very truth that emanates from the Lord is called the Holy Spirit, which enlightens us because it is in the light.

While the enlightenment attributed to the Holy Spirit actually comes from the Lord, it happens through the agency of spirits and angels. I cannot yet describe what kind of agency it is, but can say only that in no way can angels and spirits enlighten us on their own because they, like us, are enlightened by the Lord. Since they are enlightened in this same way, it follows that all enlightenment is from the Lord alone. It happens through angels and spirits because when we are receiving enlightenment we are surrounded by the angels and spirits who are receiving more enlightenment than others from the Lord alone.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 148-150

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3. What an earthly-minded person is like whose spiritual level has not been opened but is not yet closed.

The spiritual level is not opened in us but is still not closed when we are leading a life that involves some goodwill but do not know very much real truth. This is because that level is opened by a union of love and wisdom, or of warmth and light. Love alone, or spiritual warmth alone, will not do it, and neither will wisdom alone or spiritual light alone. It takes both together. So if we do not know the real truths that constitute wisdom or light, love cannot manage to open that level. All it can do is keep it able to be opened, which is what “not being closed” means. The same holds true for plant life. Warmth alone will not make seeds sprout or trees leaf out. Warmth together with light is what does it.

We need to realize that everything true is a matter of spiritual light and that everything good is a matter of spiritual warmth, and that what is good opens the spiritual level by means of true things, since goodness does what is helpful by means of truths. Helpful acts are the good that love does, deriving their essence from the union of what is good and what is true.

What happens after death to people whose spiritual level is not opened but still not closed is that since they are still earthly-minded and not spiritual-minded, they are in the lowest parts of heaven, where they sometimes have a hard time of it. Alternatively, they may be around the edges of a somewhat higher heaven, where they live in a kind of twilight. This is because in heaven and in each distinct community the light decreases from the center to the circumference, and the people who are especially engaged with divine truths are in the middle, while the people who are only slightly engaged in truths are at the borders. People are only slightly engaged with truths if all they have learned from their religion is that God exists, that the Lord suffered for their sake, and that goodwill and faith are the essential qualities of the church, without making any effort to find out what faith is and what goodwill is. Yet essentially, faith is truth, and truth is complex, while goodwill can be defined as every duty we fulfill because of the Lord. We do things because of the Lord when we abstain from evils as sins.

This is just what I have already said. The purpose is the whole substance of the means, and the purpose through the means is the whole substance of the result. The purpose is thoughtful action, or some good, the means is faith, or something true, and the results are good deeds or acts of service. We can see from this that nothing of goodwill can be instilled into our deeds except to the extent that our goodwill is united to those truths that we attribute to faith. They are the means by which goodwill enters into works and gives them their quality.

from Regeneration, Pages 107-108

Spiritual light flows in within us through three levels, but not spiritual warmth except to the extent that we abstain from evils as sins and turn to the Lord.

Light and warmth emanate from the sun of heaven, that sun that is the first emanation of divine love and wisdom [the Lord]. The light emanates from his wisdom and the warmth from his love. Further, the light is the vessel of wisdom and the warmth is the vessel of love; and the more we are engaged in wisdom, the more we come into that divine light, and the more we are engaged in love, the more we come into that divine warmth.

We can also tell from what has been presented that there are three levels of light and three levels of warmth, or three levels of wisdom and three levels of love, and that these levels are formed within us in such a way that we are open to divine love and wisdom and therefore to the Lord.

The present task, then, is to show that while spiritual light flows in through these three levels in us, spiritual warmth does not—except to the extent that we abstain from evils as sins and turn to the Lord; or what amounts to the same thing, to show that we can accept wisdom all the way to the third level, but not love—unless we abstain from evils as sins and turn to the Lord; or (what again amounts to the same thing) to show that our understanding can be raised up into wisdom, but our will cannot be raised up [into love]—except to the extent that we abstain from evils as sins.

It has become abundantly clear to me from my experiences in the spiritual world that our understanding can be raised up into heaven’s light, or into angelic wisdom, but that our will cannot be raised up into heaven’s warmth or angelic love unless we abstain from evils as sins and turn to the Lord. I have often seen and sensed that very ordinary spirits who knew only that God exists and that the Lord was born as a human—hardly anything else—understood the mysteries of angelic wisdom completely, almost the way angels do. Nor were they the only ones. Even many members of the demonic mob understood. They understood while they were listening, that is, but not in their private thinking. When they were listening, light flowed into them from above; but in their private thinking the only light that could get in was the light that agreed with their warmth or love. So even after they had heard these mysteries and grasped them, when they turned their hearing away they retained nothing. In fact, the members of the devil’s mob spat it out and denied it categorically. The reason was that the fire of their love and its light, being mindless, brought down a darkness that snuffed out the heavenly light that was flowing in from above.

It is the same in this world. Anyone who has any sense at all and has not become inwardly convinced of false principles on the grounds of intellectual pride, on hearing people talk about higher things or on reading about them understands, retains them, and eventually affirms them if there is any desire for learning. This holds true for evil and good people alike. Even evil people who at heart deny the divine gifts of the church can understand, discuss, and preach higher things, and can defend them in scholarly writing. However, when they are left on their own to think about them, their thinking is based on their hellish self-centeredness, and they deny them. We can see from this that our understanding can be in spiritual light even though our will may not be in spiritual warmth. It also follows from this that our understanding does not lead our will, or that wisdom does not give rise to love. It merely teaches and shows the way. It teaches how we should live and shows us the way we should follow. It also follows from this that our will leads our understanding and gets it to work in unison with itself. The love that is the substance of our will gives the name of “wisdom” to whatever in our understanding it finds harmonious.

On its own, apart from understanding, our will accomplishes nothing. Everything it does, it does in conjunction with our understanding. However, our will gains the cooperation of our understanding by flowing into it, and not the other way around.

Now I need to describe how light flows into the three levels that make up the human mind. From our birth, the forms that are receptive of warmth and light or love and wisdom (which are in a threefold pattern or on three levels) are translucent and let spiritual light pass through, the way clear glass lets physical light through. This is why we can be raised up all the way to the third level in respect to our wisdom. These forms are not opened, though, until spiritual warmth, or the love of wisdom, is united to the spiritual light. It is through this union that the translucent forms are opened level by level.

This is like the light and warmth of the world’s sun and plant life on earth. The winter light is just as bright as summer light, but it does not open anything in seeds or trees. However, when the warmth of spring is united to that light then things open. The resemblance stems from the fact that spiritual light is analogous to physical light and spiritual warmth is analogous to physical warmth.

The only way to gain that spiritual warmth is by abstaining from evils as sins and then turning to the Lord, since as long as we are caught up in evil pursuits we are caught up in a love for them. We are enmeshed in our cravings for them; and that love for what is evil, that craving, is a form of love that is opposed to spiritual love and desire. Further, the only way to get rid of that love or craving is by abstaining from evils as sins; and since we cannot do that on our own, but only by the Lord’s agency, we need to turn to him. When we do abstain from our evils by the Lord’s agency, then, our love for evil and its warmth are put aside and a love for what is good, with its warmth, is brought in in its place, enabling a higher level to be opened. The Lord actually flows in from above and opens it and unites the love or spiritual warmth with wisdom or spiritual light. As a result of this union we begin to blossom spiritually like a tree in springtime.

We are differentiated from animals by the inflow of spiritual light into all three levels of our minds; and beyond what animals can do, we can think analytically; we can see things that are true not only on the earthly level but on the spiritual level as well; and when we see them, we can acknowledge them and so be reformed and regenerated. Our ability to accept spiritual light is what we call rationality, already discussed. It is a gift from the Lord to each one of us, and one that is not taken away, since if it were taken away, we could not be reformed. It is because of this ability called rationality that we not only can think but can say what we are thinking, which animals cannot do. Then because of that second ability called freedom, also discussed above, we can do what we have thought intellectually.

from Regeneration, Pages 100-104

In the Spiritual World, Divine Love and Wisdom Look Like a Sun.

There are two worlds, one spiritual and one physical; and the spiritual world does not derive anything from the physical one, nor does the physical one derive anything from the spiritual one. They are completely distinct from each other, communicating only by means of correspondence, whose nature has been amply explained elsewhere. The following example may be enlightening. Warmth in the physical world is the equivalent of the good that thoughtfulness does in the spiritual world, and light in the physical world is the equivalent of the truth that faith perceives in the spiritual world. No one can fail to see that warmth and the goodness of being thoughtful, and light and the truth of faith, are completely distinct from each other.

At first glance, they seem as distinct as two quite different things. That is what comes to the fore when we start thinking about what the goodness of being thoughtful has in common with warmth and what the truth of faith has in common with light. Yet spiritual warmth is that very “goodness” and spiritual light is that very “truth.”

In spite of the fact that they are so distinct from each other, though, they still make a single whole by means of their correspondence. They are so united that when we read about warmth and light in the Word, the spirits and angels who are with us see thoughtfulness in the place of warmth and faith in the place of light.

I include this example to make it clear that the two worlds, the spiritual one and the physical one, are so distinct from each other that they have nothing in common, and that still they have been created in such a way that they communicate with each other and are actually united through their correspondence.

Because these two worlds are so distinct each other, it is quite obvious that the spiritual world is under a different sun that is the physical world. There is just as much warmth and light in the spiritual world as there is in the physical world, but the warmth there is spiritual and so is the light. Spiritual warmth is the good that thoughtfulness does and spiritual light is the truth that faith perceives.

Now, since the only possible source of warmth and light is a sun, it stands to reason that there is a different sun in the spiritual world than there is in the physical world. It also stands to reason that because of the essential nature of the spiritual world’s sun, spiritual warmth and light can come forth from it, while because of the essential nature of the physical world’s sun, physical warmth and the light can come forth from it. The only possible source of anything spiritual–that is, anything that has to do with what is good and true–is divine love and wisdom. Everything good is a result of love and everything true is a result of wisdom. Any wise individual can see that this is their only possible source.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 83, 84

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