(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 3646

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3646. With brute animals the case is similar to what it is with men in respect to influxes and correspondences, namely, that with them there is an influx from the spiritual world and an afflux from the natural world by which they are held together and live; but the very operation exhibits itself in different ways in accordance with the forms of their souls and thence of their bodies. The case is as with the light of the world, which flows into various objects of the earth in a like degree and manner, and nevertheless acts diversely in different forms, producing beautiful colors in some, and colors not beautiful in others. So when spiritual light flows into the souls of brutes, it is received altogether differently, and thus actuates them differently from what it does when it flows into the souls of men.
[2] For the latter are in a higher degree, and in a more perfect state, and are such that they can look upward, thus to heaven and to the Lord, and therefore the Lord can adjoin them to Himself, and give them eternal life; but the souls of brutes are such that they cannot do otherwise than look downward, thus to earthly things alone, and therefore can be adjoined solely to such things; wherefore also they perish together with the body. The ends are what show the quality of the life which man has; and the quality of the life which beasts have. Man is able to have spiritual and heavenly ends; he may see them, acknowledge them, believe them, and be affected with them, whereas beasts can have no other than natural ends. Thus man is able to be in the Divine sphere of ends and uses which is in heaven and which constitutes heaven; but beasts cannot be in any other sphere than that of earthly ends and uses. Ends are nothing but loves, for that which is loved is regarded as the end.
[3] The reason why very many men do not know how to distinguish between their life and the life of beasts, is that they in like manner are in external things, and at heart are solely concerned about earthly, bodily, and worldly objects; and such persons believe themselves to be like the beasts in respect to life also, and suppose that after death they will be dissipated like them; for as to what spiritual and celestial things are they know not, because they care not. Hence comes the insanity of our age, in that men compare themselves to brute beasts and do not see the internal distinction; but he who believes in celestial and spiritual things, or suffers spiritual light to flow in and act, sees altogether differently, and likewise how far he is above brute animals. But the life of brute animals will of the Lord's Divine mercy be treated of separately.


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