(ML) - Wisdom's Delight in Marriage Love: Followed by Insanity’s Pleasure in Promiscuous Love

ML 10

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10. After this, the angel and his companions returned to the place of assembly from which the companies of the wise had not yet departed. There he called to him those who believed that heavenly joy and eternal happiness are merely admission into heaven--and admission by Divine grace; and that they will then have joy, as do those in the world who on festive days enter the palaces of kings, or by invitation go to a wedding. To these the angel said: "Remain here awhile. I will sound the trumpet, and hither will come men famed for wisdom in the spiritual things of the church."
After some time, there came nine men, each decked with laurel as a mark of his renown. The angel introduced them into the house of assembly wherein all were present who had been called earlier. In their presence, the angel addressed the laurelled nine and said: "I know that, by your wish and in accordance with your idea, it has been granted you to ascend into heaven, and that you have returned into this lower or sub-heavenly earth with full knowledge of the state of heaven. Tell us, therefore, how heaven appeared to you."
[2] They answered in turn. The FIRST said: "From early boyhood to the end of my life in the world, my idea of heaven had been that it was a place of all blessedness, happiness, enjoyment, pleasantness and pleasure; and that if I should be admitted there, I would be surrounded with an aura of felicities, and would breathe them in with full breast, like a bridegroom when he celebrates his nuptials and enters the bridal chamber with his bride. With this idea, I ascended into heaven and passed the first guards and also the second; but when I came to the third, the officer of the guard addressed me and said: "Friend, who are you?" I answered: "Is not this heaven? From the longing of my desire I have ascended hither. Pray, let me in." He then let me in, and I saw angels in white raiment. They walked around me, and after examining me, murmured, "Lo, a new guest not clad in the garments of heaven." Hearing this, I thought: "This seems to me like the case of the man of whom the Lord said that he had come to the wedding without a wedding garment." So I said, "Give me such a garment." And they laughed. Then one came running from the court with the command, "Strip him naked, cast him out and throw his garments after him." And so I was cast out."
[3] The SECOND in order said: "I believed as he did, that if only I could be let into heaven which is above my head, joys would flow around me and I would be animated by them to eternity, and I, too, obtained my wish. But on seeing me, the angels fled and said among themselves, "What is this monster? How came this bird of night hither?" And I actually had the feeling of being changed from a man [into a bird of night], although I was not changed--a feeling which came upon me from drawing in the heavenly atmosphere. But presently one came running from the court with the command that two servants should lead me out and take me back to my home by the way up which I had come. And when I was at home, I appeared to others and to myself as a man."
[4] The THIRD said: "My constant idea of heaven was derived from place and not from love. Therefore, when I came into this world I longed for heaven with a great longing; and seeing those who were ascending, I followed them and was admitted, though no farther than a few steps. But when, by reason of my idea of the joys and beatitudes there I wanted to gladden my animus,* then, owing to the light of heaven which was white as snow and the essence of which is said to be wisdom, a stupor invaded my mind, and hence darkness my eyes, and I began to rave; and soon, owing to the heat of heaven which corresponded to the brightness of that light and the essence of which is said to be love, my heart palpitated, anxiety took possession of me and, tormented with inward pain, I threw myself flat on the ground. Then, as I lay prostrate, attendants from the court came with the command to carry me gently away into my own light and heat; and when I came into these, my spirit and my heart returned to me."
[5] The FOURTH said that he also had been in the idea of a place respecting heaven, and not in an idea of love. "When I first came into the spiritual world"' he said, "I asked the wise whether one would be permitted to ascend into heaven. They told me that it was permitted every one, but that men should take heed lest they be cast down. At this I laughed, and I ascended, believing, as do others, that all in the whole world are capable of receiving the joys of heaven in their fullness. But in truth, as soon as I was in, I almost lost my breath, and from pain and consequent torment in head and body, I threw myself on the ground and, writhing like a serpent before a fire, crawled to a precipice and threw myself over it. Afterwards I was picked up by some bystanders below and carried to an inn, where sanity returned to me."
[6] The five others also gave amazing accounts of their ascent into heaven, comparing the changes of the states of their life to the state of fishes when lifted out of water into the air, and to that of birds in the ether. They said that after these severe experiences, they no longer had any desire for heaven but only for a life in companionship with their like, wherever they were; and they added, "We now know that in the world of spirits where we are, all are first prepared, the good for heaven and the evil for hell; and when prepared, they see ways open for them to societies of their like with whom they will dwell forever. They then enter these ways with delight because they are the ways of their love."
Upon hearing these accounts, all who were first summoned confessed that they, too, had had no other idea of heaven than as of a place where with open mouth they would drink in to all eternity the joys which surrounded them.
[7] After this, the angel of the trumpet said to them: "You now see that the joys of heaven and eternal happiness are not the joys of a place but of the state of a man's life, and that the state of heavenly life is from love and wisdom; and because the containant of these two is use, the state of heavenly life is from their conjunction in use. It is the same thing if it be said charity, faith, and good works; for charity is love, faith is truth from whence is wisdom, and good works are uses. Moreover, in our spiritual world there is place just as in the natural world, otherwise there would be no habitations and separate abodes. But here place is not place but an appearance of place according to the state of love and wisdom, or charity and faith. [8] Every one who becomes an angel carries his heaven within him, because he carries within him the love of his heaven; for, by creation, man is a least effigy, image and type of the great heaven, the human form being nothing else. Therefore, every man comes into that society of heaven of which he is the form in individual effigy, and when he enters that society, he enters into a form corresponding to himself. Thus, he enters into that self-form as of himself, and from that form, as it were, into the same form in himself, breathing its life as his own and his own as its. Each society is as one common whole; and the angels there, are as the similar parts from which this common whole coexists. From this it now follows, that they who are in evils and thence in falses have formed within themselves an effigy of hell, and in heaven this effigy is in torment by reason of the influx of opposite into opposite, and of the violence resulting from their activity; for infernal love is opposed to heavenly love, and therefore the delights of the two loves clash with each other as enemies, and when they come together, they destroy each other."
* Throughout Swedenborg's theological and philosophical works, the word animus (plural, animi) is used to designate the external mind which man has in common with animals, as distinguished from mens designating the rational mind which is peculiar to man. Animus also means the disposition, and is sometimes so translated in the present work.


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