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

HH 352

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352. Spurious intelligence and wisdom is failing to see and perceive from within what is true and what is good, and thereby what is false and what is evil, but merely believing that to be true and good and that to be false and evil which is said by others to be so, and then confirming it. Because such see truth from some one else, and not from the truth itself, they can seize upon and believe what is false as readily as what is true, and can confirm it until it appears true; for whatever is confirmed puts on the appearance of truth; and there is nothing that can not be confirmed. The interiors of such are opened only from beneath; but their exteriors are opened to the extent that they have confirmed themselves. For this reason the light from which they see is not the light of heaven but the light of the world, which is called natural light [lumen]; and in that light falsities can shine like truths; and when confirmed they can even appear resplendent, but not in the light of heaven. Of this class those are less intelligent and wise who have strongly confirmed themselves, and those are more intelligent and wise who have less strongly confirmed themselves. All this shows what spurious intelligence and wisdom are. [2] But those are not included in this class who in childhood supposed what they heard from their masters to be true, if in a riper age, when they think from their own understanding, they do not continue to hold fast to it, but long for truth, and from that longing seek for it, and when they find it are interiorly moved by it. Because such are moved by the truth for the truth's sake they see the truth before they confirm it.# [3] This may be illustrated by an example. There was a discussion among spirits why animals are born into all the knowledge suited to their nature, but man is not; and the reason was said to be that animals are in the order of their life, and man is not, consequently man must needs be led into order by means of what he learns of internal and external things. But if man were born into the order of his life, which is to love God above all things and his neighbor as himself, he would be born into intelligence and wisdom, and as knowledges are acquired would come into a belief in all truth. Good spirits saw this at once and perceived it to be true, and this merely from the light of truth; while the spirits who had confirmed themselves in faith alone, and had thereby set aside love and charity, were unable to understand it, because the light of falsity which they had confirmed had made obscure to them the light of truth.
# It is the part of the wise to see and perceive whether a thing is true before it is confirmed and not merely to confirm what is said by others (n. 1017, 4741, 7012, 7680, 7950).
Only those can see and perceive whether a thing is true before it is confirmed who are affected by truth for the sake of truth and for the sake of life (n. 8521).
The light of confirmation is not spiritual light but natural light, and is even sensual light which the wicked may have (n. 8780).
All things, even falsities, may be so confirmed as to appear like truths (n. 2477, 2480, 5033, 6865, 8521).


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