(ISB) - The Interaction between Soul and Body That Some Attribute to a Flow of Energy from the Body, Some to a Flow of Energy from the Spirit, and Some to a Preestablished Harmony

ISB 11

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11. IX.

The spiritual clothes itself with the natural, as a man clothes himself with a garment.

It is known that in every operation there is an active and a passive; and that from the active alone nothing exists, and nothing from the passive alone. It is the same with the spiritual and the natural; the spiritual, because it is a living force, is active, and the natural, because it is a dead force, is passive. Hence it follows that whatever has existed in this solar world from the beginning, and afterwards exists every moment, is from the spiritual through the natural, and this not only in the subjects of the animal kingdom, but also in the subjects of the vegetable kingdom. [2] Another similar thing is also known, namely, that in everything which is effected there is a principal and an instrumental, and that these two, when anything is done, appear as one, although they are distinctly two; wherefore this also is one of the canons of wisdom, that the principal cause and the instrumental cause make together one cause; so also do the spiritual and the natural. That these two in producing effects appear as one, is because the spiritual is within the natural as the fibre is within the muscle, and as the blood is within the arteries; or as the thought is within the speech, and the affection in sounds; and it makes itself felt by means of the natural. From these things, but still as if through a lattice, it is evident that the spiritual clothes itself with the natural, as a man clothes himself with a garment. [3] The organic body with which the soul clothes itself is here likened to a garment, because it clothes the soul, and the soul also puts off the body, and casts it away as exuviae when by death it emigrates from the natural world into its own spiritual world. For the body grows old like a garment; but not the soul, because this is a spiritual substance, which has nothing in common with the changes of nature, which progress from their beginnings to their ends, and are periodically terminated. [4] They who do not consider the body as the vesture or covering of the soul, and as being in itself dead, and only adapted to receive the living forces flowing in through the soul from God, cannot help concluding, from fallacies, that the soul lives by itself, and the body by itself, and that there is a preestablished harmony between the lives of the two; or even that the life of the soul flows into the life of the body, or the life of the body into the life of the soul, and thus they conceive influx as either spiritual or natural; when yet it is a truth which is proved by everything that is created, that what is posterior does not act from itself, but from what is prior, from which it proceeded; thus that neither does this act from itself, but from something still prior; and thus that nothing acts except from the First which acts from itself, thus from God. Besides, there is only one life, and this is not capable of being created, but is eminently capable of flowing into forms organically adapted to its reception. Such forms are each and all of the things in the created universe. [5] It is believed by many that the soul is life, and thus, that a man, because he lives from the soul, lives from his own life, thus from himself, and therefore not by an influx of life from God; but these cannot help tying a sort of Gordian knot of fallacies, and entangling in it all the judgments of their mind, whence are mere insanities in spiritual things; or constructing a labyrinth, from which the mind can never, by any thread of reason, retrace its way and extricate itself; they also actually let themselves down as it were in caverns under the earth, where they dwell in eternal darkness. [6] For from such a belief proceed innumerable fallacies, each of which is horrible; as that God transfused and transcribed Himself into men, and that thus every man is a sort of Deity, which lives from itself, and thus that he does good and is wise from himself; likewise that he possesses faith and charity in himself, and thus derives them from himself, and not from God; besides many monstrous beliefs such as prevail with those in hell, who, when they were in the world, believed that nature lived, or produced life by its own activity. When these look towards heaven they see its light as mere thick darkness. I once heard the voice of one saying from heaven, that if a spark of life in man were his own, and not of God in him, there would be no heaven, nor anything therein, and hence that there would not be any church on earth, and consequently no life eternal. More upon this subject may be consulted in the Relation inserted in the work on Conjugal Love (n. 132-136).


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