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

HH 277

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277. The innocence of childhood or of children is not genuine innocence, for it is innocence not in internal form but only in external form. Nevertheless one may learn from it what innocence is, since it shines forth from the face of children and from some of their movements and from their first speech, and affects those about them. It can be seen that children have no internal thought, for they do not yet know what is good and what is evil, or what is true and what is false, of which such thought consists. [2] Consequently they have no prudence from what is their own, no purpose or deliberation, thus no end that looks to evil; neither have they anything of their own acquired from love of self and the world; they do not attribute anything to themselves, regarding all that they have as received from their parents; they are content with the few and paltry things presented to them, and find delight in them; they have no solicitude about food and clothing, and none about the future; they do not look to the world and covet many things from it; they love their parents and nurses and their child companions with whom they play in innocence; they suffer themselves to be led; they give heed and obey. [3] And being in this state they receive everything as a matter of life; and therefore, without knowing why, they have becoming manners, and also learn to talk, and have the beginning of memory and thought, their state of innocence serving as a medium whereby these things are received and implanted. But this innocence, as has been said above, is external because it belongs to the body alone, and not to the mind;# for their minds are not yet formed, the mind being understanding and will and thought and affection therefrom. [4] I have been told from heaven that children are specially under the Lord's auspices, and that they receive influx from the inmost heaven, where there is a state of innocence that this influx passes through their interiors, and that in its passing through, their interiors are affected solely by the innocence; and for this reason innocence is shown in their faces and in some of their movements and becomes evident; and that it is this innocence by which parents are inmostly affected, and that gives rise to the love that is called storge.
# The innocence of children is not true innocence, but true innocence has its abode in wisdom (n. 1616, 2305, 2306, 3494, 4563, 4797, 5608, 9301, 10021)
The good of childhood is not spiritual good, but it becomes such by the implantation of truth (n. 3504).
Nevertheless the good of childhood is a medium whereby intelligence is implanted (n. 1616, 3183, 9301, 10110).
Without the good of innocence in childhood man would be a wild man (n. 3494).
Whatever the mind is imbued with in childhood appears natural (n. 3494).


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