(DP) - Angelic Wisdom about Divine Providence

DP 308

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NEARLY everyone believes that man thinks and wills from himself and consequently speaks and acts from himself. Who from himself can suppose otherwise, since the appearance of it is so strong that it does not differ at all from actually thinking, willing, speaking and acting from himself? And yet this is not possible. In ANGELIC WISDOM CONCERNING THE DIVINE LOVE AND WISDOM, it was shown that there is only one life, and that men are recipients of life; also that man's will is the receptacle of love, and his understanding the receptacle of wisdom, and that these two constitute this sole life. It was also shown that it is ordained from creation, and therefore unceasingly from the Divine Providence, that this life should appear in man exactly as if it belonged to him, and consequently as if it were his own, the purpose of this appearance being that man may serve as a receptacle for it. It was also shown above (n. 288-294) that no man thinks from himself but from others, and that these others do not think from themselves but all from the Lord, the wicked as well as the good. It was shown further that this is well known in the Christian world, especially among those who not only say but also believe that all good and truth originate from the Lord, also all wisdom and thus all faith and charity; and, moreover, that all evil and falsity originate from the devil, that is, from hell.
[2] From all this no other conclusion can follow than that everything a man thinks and wills flows into him; and since all speech flows from thought, as an effect from its cause, and since all action flows in like manner from the will, it follows that everything a man says and does also flows in, although derivatively, that is, mediately. It cannot be denied that everything a man sees, hears, smells, tastes and feels flows in; why not then what he thinks and wills? Can there be any other difference than that such things as are in the natural world flow into the organs of the external senses or those of the body, while such things as are in the spiritual world flow into the organic substances of the internal senses or those of the mind? Therefore, as the organs of the external senses or those of the body are receptacles of natural objects so the organic substances of the internal senses or those of the mind are receptacles of spiritual objects. Since this is the state of man, what then is his proprium? His proprium does not consist in being a receptacle of this or that kind, because such a proprium is merely what he is with regard to reception and is not a living proprium; for by proprium no one understands anything else than that he lives from himself, and consequently thinks and wills from himself; but that such a proprium does not exist in man, indeed cannot exist in anyone, follows from what has been said above.


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