(HH) - Heaven and Its Wonders and Hell - From Things Heard and Seen

HH 108

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108. That all things in the world spring from the Divine, and are clothed with such things in nature as enable them to exist there and perform use, and thus to correspond, is clearly evident from the various things seen in both the animal and vegetable kingdoms. In both there are things that any one who thinks interiorly can see to be from heaven. For illustration a few things out of a countless number may be mentioned; and first some things from the animal kingdom. Many are aware what knowledge there is engrafted as it were in every animal. Bees know how to gather honey from flowers, to build cells out of wax in which to store their honey, and thus provide food for themselves and their families, even for a coming winter. That a new generation may be born their queen lays eggs, and the rest take care of them and cover them. They live under a sort of government which all know by instinct. They preserve the working bees and cast out the drones, depriving them of their wings; besides other wonderful things implanted in them from heaven for the sake of their use, their wax everywhere serving the human race for candles, their honey for adding sweetness to food. [2] Again, what wonders do we see in worms, the meanest creatures in the animal kingdom! They know how to get food from the juice of the leaves suited to them, and afterward at the appointed time to invest themselves with a covering and enter as it were into a womb, and thus hatch offspring of their own kind. Some are first turned into nymphs and chrysalides, spinning threads about themselves; and this travail being over they come forth clad with a different body, furnished with wings with which they fly in the air as in their heaven, and celebrate marriages and lay eggs and provide posterity for themselves. [3] Besides these special instances all creatures in general that fly in the air know the proper food for their nourishment, not only what it is but where to find it; they know how to build nests for themselves, one kind in one way and another kind in another way; how to lay their eggs in the nests, how to sit upon them, how to hatch their young and feed them, and to turn them out of their home when they are able to shift for themselves. They know, too, their enemies that they must avoid and their friends with whom they may associate, and this from early infancy; not to mention the wonders in the eggs themselves, in which all things lie ready in their order for the formation and nourishment of the chicks; besides numberless other things. [4] Who that thinks from any wisdom of reason will ever say that these instincts are from any other source than the spiritual world, which the natural serves in clothing what is from it with a body, or in presenting in effect what is spiritual in the cause? The beasts of the earth and the birds of the air are born into all this knowledge, while man, who is far superior to them, is not; for the reason that animals are in the order of their life, and have not been able to destroy what is in them from the spiritual world, because they have no rational faculty. Man, on the other hand, whose thought is from the spiritual world, having perverted what is in him from that world by a life contrary to order, which his rational faculty has favored, must needs be born into mere ignorance and afterwards be led back by Divine means into the order of heaven.


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