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

HH 351

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351. It is believed in the world that those who have much knowledge, whether it be knowledge of the teachings of the church and the Word or of the sciences, have a more interior and keen vision of truth than others, that is, are more intelligent and wise; and such have this opinion of themselves. But what true intelligence and wisdom are, and what spurious and false intelligence and wisdom are, shall be told in what now follows. [2] True intelligence and wisdom is seeing and perceiving what is true and good, and thereby what is false and evil, and clearly distinguishing between them, and this from an interior intuition and perception. With every man there are interior faculties and exterior faculties; interior faculties belonging to the internal or spiritual man, and exterior faculties belonging to the exterior or natural man. Accordingly as man's interiors are formed and made one with his exteriors man sees and perceives. His interiors can be formed only in heaven, his exteriors are formed in the world. When his interiors have been formed in heaven the things they contain flow into his exteriors which are from the world, and so form them that they correspond with, that is, act as one with, his interiors; and when this is done man sees and perceives from what is interior. The interiors can be formed only in one way, namely, by man's looking to the Divine and to heaven, since, as has been said, the interiors are formed in heaven; and man looks to the Divine when he believes in the Divine, and believes that all truth and good and consequently all intelligence and wisdom are from the Divine; and man believes in the Divine when he is willing to be led by the Divine. In this way and none other are the interiors of man opened. [3] The man who is in that belief and in a life that is in accordance with his belief has the ability and capacity to understand and be wise; but to become intelligent and wise he must learn many things, both things pertaining to heaven and things pertaining to the world - things pertaining to heaven from the Word and from the church, and things pertaining to the world from the sciences. To the extent that man learns and applies to life he becomes intelligent and wise, for to that extent the interior sight belonging to his understanding and the interior affection belonging to his will are perfected. The simple of this class are those whose interiors have been opened, but not so enriched by spiritual, moral, civil and natural truths. Such perceive truths when they hear them, but do not see them in themselves. But the wise of this class are those whose interiors have been both opened and enriched. Such both see truths inwardly and perceive them. All this makes clear what true intelligence is and what true wisdom is.


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