(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 995

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995. Shall be food for you. That this signifies its delight which they should enjoy, is evident from this, that any pleasure not only affects man, but also sustains him, like food. Pleasure without delight is not pleasure, but is something without life, and only from delight is and is called pleasure. Such also as is the delight, such is the pleasure. Corporeal and sensuous things are in themselves only material, lifeless, and dead; but from delights which come in order from the interiors, they have life. From this it is evident that such as is the life of the interiors, such is the delight in the pleasures, for in the delight there is life. The delight in which there is good from the Lord is alone living, for it is then from the very life of good; for which reason it is here said, "every creeping thing that liveth shall be food for you" that is, for enjoyment.
[2] Some think that no one ought ever to live in the pleasures of the body and its senses who wishes to be happy in the other life, but that all these should be renounced on the ground that they are corporeal and worldly, withdrawing man and keeping him away from spiritual and heavenly life. But those who think so and therefore reduce themselves to voluntary misery while they live in the world, are not well-informed as to what the real case is. No one is forbidden to enjoy the pleasures of the body and its senses, that is, the pleasures of possession of lands and wealth; the pleasures of honor and office in the state; the pleasures of conjugial love and of love for infants and children; the pleasures of friendship and of interaction with companions; the pleasures of hearing, or of the sweetness of singing and music; the pleasures of sight, or of beauties, which are manifold, as those of becoming dress, of elegant dwellings with their furniture, beautiful gardens, and the like, which are delightful from harmony of form and color; the pleasures of smell, or of fragrant odors; the pleasures of taste, or of the flavors and benefits of food and drink; the pleasures of touch. For these are most external or bodily affections arising from interior affections, as already said.
[3] Interior affections, which are living, all derive their delight from good and truth; and good and truth derive their delight from charity and faith, and in this case do so from the Lord, thus from life itself; wherefore the affections and pleasures therefrom are living. And since genuine pleasures have this origin, they are denied to no one. Indeed, when they are from this origin their delight indefinitely surpasses delight not from this source, which is in comparison unclean. For example, the pleasure of conjugial love, when it has its origin from true conjugial love, surpasses immeasurably pleasure that has not this origin, so much so that those who are in true conjugial love are in heavenly delight and happiness, since it comes down from heaven. This was acknowledged by the men of the Most Ancient Church. The delight from adulteries felt by adulterers was to those men so abominable that when they thought of it they shuddered. From all this it is evident what is the nature of the delight that does not flow from the true fountain of life, or from the Lord.
[4] That the pleasures above mentioned are never denied to man, and that so far from being denied they are then first really pleasures when they come from their true origin, may also be seen from the fact that very many who have lived in power, dignity, and opulence in the world, and who had all pleasures in abundance, both of the body and of the senses, are among the blessed and happy in heaven, and with them now the interior delights and happinesses are living, because they have had their origin in the goods of charity and the truths that are of faith in the Lord. And since they had regarded all their pleasures as coming from charity and faith in the Lord, they regarded them from use, which was their end. Use itself was the most delightful thing to them, and from this came the delight of their pleasures. (See what has been related from experience, n. 945.)


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