(AC) - A Disclosure of the Hidden Treasures of Heaven Contained in the Holy Scripture or Word of the Lord, Together with Amazing Things Seen in the World of Spirits and in the Heaven of Angels

AC 1937

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1937. Humble thyself under her hands. That this signifies that it ought to compel itself to be under its sovereign power, is evident without explication. "To humble oneself" is expressed in the original tongue by a word which signifies "to afflict." That "to afflict oneself" is, in the internal sense, to compel oneself, may be seen from very many passages in the Word, and will be treated of in what follows. That man ought to compel himself to do what is good, to obey the things commanded by the Lord, and to speak truths, which is to "humble himself under" the Lord's hands, or to submit himself to the sovereign power of the Divine good and truth, involves more arcana than can be explained in a few words.
[2] There are certain spirits who during their life in the world, because they had been told that all good is from the Lord, and that a man can do nothing of himself, had held it as a principle not to compel themselves in anything, but to cease from all effort, thinking that as the case was so, all effort would be in vain; and therefore they had waited for immediate influx into the effort of their will, and did not compel themselves to do anything good, going so far that when anything evil crept in, as they felt no resistance from within, they resigned themselves to it also, supposing that it was permissible to do so. But these spirits are as it were devoid of what is their own, so that they have no determination to anything, and are therefore among the more useless, for they suffer themselves to be led alike by the evil and by the good, and suffer much from the evil.
[3] But they who have compelled themselves to resist what is evil and false-although at first they supposed that this was from themselves or from their own power, but were afterwards enlightened to see that their effort was from the Lord, even to the least of all the particulars of the effort-these in the other life cannot be led by evil spirits, but are among the happy. Thus we may see that a man ought to compel himself to do what is good and to speak what is true. The arcanum herein contained is that a man is thus gifted by the Lord with a heavenly Own, for this heavenly Own of man is formed in the effort of his thought; and if he does not maintain this effort by compelling himself (as the appearance is), he certainly does not maintain it by not compelling himself.
[4] That we may see how this is, let it be observed that in all self-compulsion to what is good there is a certain freedom, which is not discerned as such while the man is engaged in this self-compulsion, but still it is within. For instance, in one who is willing to undergo the risk of death for the sake of a certain end, or in one who is willing to suffer bodily pain for the sake of health, there is a willingness and thus a certain freedom from which the man acts, although the dangers and the pains, while he is in them, take away his perception of this willingness or freedom; and such is the case also with those who compel themselves to do what is good: there is a willingness within, and thus a freedom, from which and for the sake of which they compel themselves, that is to say, they do so for the sake of obedience to what the Lord has commanded, and for the sake of the salvation of their souls after death, within which although the man is not aware of it, there is still more interiorly a regard for the Lord's kingdom, and even for the Lord Himself.
[5] This is the case most of all during temptations, for in these-when the man compels himself to resist the evil and falsity which are infused and suggested by evil spirits, there is more of freedom than is possible in any state out of temptations-although at the time the man cannot comprehend this-for there is an interior freedom, from which he wills to subjugate evil, and which is so great as to equal the force and strength of the evil that is assailing him, for otherwise he could not possibly wage the combat. This freedom is from the Lord, who insinuates it into the man's conscience, and by means of it causes him to overcome the evil as from what is his own. Through this freedom man acquires an Own in which the Lord can work what is good. Without an Own acquired, that is, given, through freedom, no man can possibly be reformed, because he cannot receive the new will, which is conscience. The freedom thus given is the very plane into which there is an influx of good and truth from the Lord. Hence it is that they who in temptations do not resist from their own will, or in freedom, give way.
[6] In all freedom there is man's life, because there is his love. Whatever a man does from love appears to him free. But in this freedom, when the man is compelling himself to resist what is evil and false, and to do what is good, there is heavenly love, which the Lord then insinuates, and through which He creates the man's Own; and therefore the Lord wills that it should appear to the man as his, although it is not his. This Own which man during his bodily life thus receives through what is apparently compulsory, is filled by the Lord in the other life with illimitable delights and happinesses. Such persons are also by degrees enlightened to see and even to be confirmed in the truth, that of themselves they have not compelled themselves one atom, but that all things of the effort of their will, even the smallest, had been from the Lord; and that the reason why it had appeared as if it was of themselves was in order that a new will might be given them by the Lord as their own, and that in this way the life of heavenly love might be appropriated to them. For the Lord wills to communicate to everyone what is His, and therefore He wills to communicate what is heavenly, so that it may appear as the man's, and in him, although it is not his. The angels are in such an Own; and in proportion as they are in the truth that all good and truth are from the Lord, they are in the delight and happiness of this Own.
[7] But they who despise and reject all good and truth, and who are willing to believe nothing that is repugnant to their cupidities and reasonings, cannot compel themselves; and thus cannot receive this Own of conscience, or new will. From what has been said above it is also evident that to compel oneself is not to be compelled; for no good ever comes from compulsion, as when a man is compelled by another man to do what is good; but it is evident that in the case we are now considering the self-compulsion comes from a certain freedom that is unknown to the man, since from the Lord there is never any compulsion. Hence it is a universal law that all that which is good and true is inseminated in freedom, for otherwise the ground cannot possibly receive and cherish that which is good, and in fact there is no ground in which the seed can grow.


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