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

ML 156

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156. XIV. THAT THE STATE OF MARRIAGE IS TO BE PREFERRED TO THE STATE OF CELIBACY is evident from what has thus far been said concerning marriage and celibacy. That the state of marriage is to be preferred is because this state exists from creation; because its origin is the marriage of good and truth; because its correspondence is with the marriage of the Lord and the Church; because the Church and conjugial love are constant companions; because its use is more excellent than the uses of all else in creation, for thence is the propagation of the human race according to order, and also of the angelic heaven, this being from the human race. Add to this, that marriage is the fullness of man; for by its means man becomes a complete man, as will be shown in the following chapter. In celibacy, all these things are lacking.
[2] If the proposition is made that the state of celibacy is more excellent than the state of marriage, and if this is submitted to examination that it may receive assent and be established by confirmation, the result of the confirmation will then be, that marriages are not holy nor any of them chaste; nay, that in the female sex, those only are chaste who abstain from marriage and vow perpetual virginity; and further, that it is those who vow perpetual celibacy who are meant by eunuchs who make themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of God (Matt. 19:12); besides many other conclusions which, as coming from a proposition which is not true, are themselves not true. By eunuchs who make themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of God are meant spiritual eunuchs, being those who in marriages abstain from the evils of whoredom. That Italian eunuchs are not meant, is evident.

156a. To the above I will add two Memorable Relations. First:
Returning home from the sport of wisdom spoken of above (no. 132), I saw on the way an angel in raiment of the color of hyacinth. He came to my side and said: "I see that you have come from a sport of wisdom, and have been gladdened by what you heard there. I also perceive that you are not fully in this world, since you are at the same time in the natural world. Therefore you do not know about our Olympic Gymnasiums where the ancient Sophi meet together and learn from those who come from your world what changes and successions of state wisdom has undergone and is still undergoing. If you wish, I will conduct you to a place where dwell many of the ancient Sophi and their sons, that is, their disciples."
He then led me to the border-land between the north and the east. Looking thitherward from a high place, lo, I saw a city, and on one side of it two hills, the one nearer the city being lower than the other; and the angel remarked, "That city is called Athens, the lower hill Parnassus, and the higher Helicon. They are so called because in and about the city dwell the ancient Sophi of Greece, such as Pythagoras, Socrates, Aristippus, Xenophon, together with their disciples and novices." When I asked about Plato and Aristotle, he said: "They and their followers dwell in another region because they taught matters of reason which pertain to the understanding, while the others taught morals which pertain to life. [2] From the city of Athens," he continued, "studious men are frequently sent to the literati among Christians, that the latter may tell them what men think at this day concerning God, the creation of the universe, the immortality of the soul, the state of man relative to that of beasts, and other subjects which are matters of interior wisdom." He added that a herald had that day announced an assembly, a sign that their emissaries had met new-comers from the earth, from whom they had heard some curious news.
We then saw many men coming from the city and its vicinity, some with laurels on their heads, some carrying palms in their hands, some with books under their arms, and some with pens under the hair of the left temple. We mingled with them and went up together. And lo, on the hill an octagonal palace which was called the Palladium. This we entered, and behold, therein were eight hexagonal recesses, and in each a library and also a table at which were sitting the laureates. In the body of the Palladium were seen seats cut out of the rock, and on these the rest had seated themselves.
[3] Then a door at the left was opened, through which were introduced two new-comers from the earth. When they had been duly received, one of the laureates asked them, "WHAT NEWS FROM THE EARTH? They said: "The news is that in the woods have been found men like beasts or beasts like men. From face and body, however, it was recognized that they had been born men and had been lost or abandoned in the woods when they were two or three years old." They went on to say, "They could not utter a single thing pertaining to thought, nor could they be taught to articulate sound into any word. They did not know what food was suitable to them as do beasts, but put into their mouth the wild growths of the woods, both clean and unclean; not to speak of much else of the same sort. From this, some of the learned among us have made many surmises, and others, many conclusions respecting the state of men relative to that of beasts."
[4] On hearing this, some of the ancient Sophi asked what the surmises and conclusions from these facts were, and the two new-comers answered: "There were a number of them, but they can be reduced to the following: 1. That of his own nature and by birth, man is more stupid and hence viler than any beast, and if not instructed, he remains such. 2. That he can be instructed, for he has learned to articulate sound and hence to speak, and thereby he began to express thoughts, and this gradually more and more until at last he could put forth laws of society, many of which, however, are impressed on beasts by birth. 3. That beasts have rationality equally with men. 4. Therefore, if beasts could talk, they would reason on any subject as cleverly as men, an indication of which lies in the fact that they think from reason and prudence equally as do men. [5] 5. That understanding is merely a modification of light from the sun by the mediation of ether, and with the co-operation of heat; thus that it is only an activity of interior nature; and this activity can be heightened until it appears as wisdom. 6. That therefore it is idle to believe that a man lives after death any more than a beast; except that possibly, from the exhalation of the life of his body he may appear for a few days after his decease as a vapor under the appearance of a specter, until this is dissipated into nature scarcely otherwise than as a plant resuscitated from its ashes has the appearance of being in the likeness of its original form. 7. Consequently, that religion, which teaches a life after death, is an invention for the purpose of inwardly holding the simple in bonds by its laws, as they are held outwardly by the laws of the state." To this they added, that the merely ingenious reason in this way, but not the intelligent. When asked what the intelligent think, they said that they had not heard, but this was their opinion.

156b. Hearing these things, all who were sitting at the tables exclaimed, "What times are now on earth! Alas, what changes has wisdom undergone! Is it not turned into fatuous ingenuity? The sun is set and is below the earth diametrically opposite to its meridian! Who cannot see, from the example of those lost and found in the woods, that such is the nature of man when not instructed? Is he not a man according as he is instructed? Is he not born in greater ignorance than beasts? Must he not learn to walk and to talk? If he did not learn to walk, would he stand erect upon his feet? and if he did not learn to talk, could he give utterance to any thought? Is not every one a man according as he is taught, insane from falsities, or wise from truths? and, when insane from falsities, is he not entirely possessed with the fantasy that he is wiser than one who is wise from truths? Are there not fatuous and insane men who are no more men than those found in the woods? Are not those who have lost their memory like them? [2] From all this, we conclude that, without instruction, man is neither man nor beast, but is a form which can receive that which makes a man; thus, that he is not born a man but becomes a man; and that man is born such a form in order that he may be an organ receiving life from God, to the end that he may be a subject into which God can bring every good, and which by union with Himself, He can render blessed to eternity. From what you have said, we perceive that at this day wisdom is so far extinguished or infatuated that men know nothing whatever about the state of man's life relative to that of beasts. Hence it is, that neither do they know the state of man's life after death; and those who might have known this but do not wish to know it and therefore deny it, as do many of your Christians, we may liken to those found in the woods; not that they have become thus stupid for want of instruction, but that they have made themselves stupid by fallacies of the senses, which are the darkness of truths."

156c. Upon this, a man standing in the middle of the Palladium and holding a palm in his hand, said: "I beg you to unfold this arcanum: How could man created in the form of God be changed into the form of the devil? I know that the angels of heaven are forms of God, and that the angels of hell are forms of the devil; and these two forms are opposites, the latter being forms of insanity, the former forms of wisdom. Explain how man, created a form of God, could pass from day into such night that he could deny God and eternal life."
[2] To this, the teachers replied in order, first the Pythagoreans, then the Socratists, and afterwards the others, among whom was a Platonist. This man spoke last and his view, prevailed. It was as follows: "In the Saturnian era or Golden Age, men knew and acknowledged that they were forms receptive of life from God. Wisdom was therefore inscribed on their souls and hearts, and hence they saw truth from the light of truth, and by means of truths perceived good from the delight of the love thereof. But in subsequent ages, as the human race fell away from the acknowledgment that every truth of wisdom with them and thence every good of love continually flowed in from God, they ceased to be habitations of God. Then discourse with God, and consociation with angels also ceased. For from its former direction, their mind, which as to its interiors had been raised upwards to God by God, was bent more and more in an oblique direction outwards to the world and so to God by God through the world; and finally it was turned in the opposite direction, which is downwards to self. And since God cannot be held in view by man when the man is inwardly inverted and thus averted, men separated themselves from God and became forms of hell or of the devil. [3] Whence it follows, that in the first Ages, men acknowledged in heart and soul that every good of love and hence every truth of wisdom was theirs from God; and also, that these were God's in them, and thus that they themselves were mere receptacles of life from God, and hence were called images of God, sons of God, and born of God. But in the succeeding Ages, they acknowledged this, not in heart and soul but from persuasive and later from historical faith, and finally with the mouth only; and to acknowledge this with the mouth only is not acknowledgment, nay, at heart it is denial. From this it can be seen what is the nature of wisdom among Christians at this day, when, despite the fact that from written revelation they can be inspired by God, they do not know the difference between man and beast, and many therefore believe that if man lives after death so also will a beast, or because a beast does not live after death, neither will man. Has not our spiritual light which enlightens the sight of the mind become thick darkness with them? and their natural light which enlightens only the sight of the body become splendor?"

156d. After this, they all turned to the two new-comers and, thanking them for their coming and their narration, begged them to report what they had heard to their brethren. The new-comers replied that they would confirm their brethren in the truth, that so far as they attribute every good of charity and truth of faith to the Lord and not to themselves, so far are they men and so far do they become angels of heaven.

156e. The second Memorable Relation:
One morning some sweet singing, heard from a height above me, woke me from sleep. Hence, in the first waking moments which are more internal, peaceful, and sweet than the following hours of the day, I could be held for some time in the spirit, as though out of the body, and could give exquisite attention to the affection which was being sung. The singing of heaven is nothing else than an affection of the mind issuing from the mouth as melody; for the tone springing from an affection of love is what gives life to speech, and this apart from the words of the speaker. In that state, I perceived that it was the affection of the delights of conjugial love which was being expressed in melody by wives in heaven. This I observed from the sound of the singing wherein those delights were varied in marvelous ways.
After this, I arose and looked abroad into the spiritual world. And there, in the east below the sun, was seen what seemed like A GOLDEN SHOWER. It was the morning dew coming down in such abundance that, when touched by the rays of the sun, it presented before my sight the appearance of a golden shower. More fully awakened by this sight, I walked forth in the spirit and asked an angel whom I then chanced to meet, whether he had seen the golden shower coming down from the sun. [2] He answered that he sees it whenever he is in meditation on conjugial love. Then, directing his eyes thither, he said: "That shower is falling upon a hall in which are three husbands with their wives who dwell in the center of an eastern paradise. Such a shower is seen falling from the sun upon that hall because with them abides wisdom concerning conjugial love and its delights with the husbands, concerning conjugial love and with the wives concerning its delights. But I perceive that you are in meditation on the delights of conjugial love. I will therefore conduct you to that hall and introduce you."
He then led me through paradisal scenes to houses constructed of olive wood, with two columns of cedar before the entrance; and introducing me to the husbands, he asked that I might be permitted, in their presence, to speak with their wives; and the husbands gave their assent and called them. The wives looked searchingly into my eyes, and I asked why. They said, "We are able exquisitely to see what your inclination is in respect to love of the sex, and hence what your affection, and from this what your thought; and we see that you are meditating on it intensely but yet chastely." They then asked, "What do you wish us to tell you about it?"
I answered, "Tell me, I pray, something about the delights of conjugial love." Nodding assent, the husbands then said, "If agreeable to you, disclose something about them. Their ears are chaste."
[3] The wives then asked me, "Who instructed you to question us about the delights of that love? Why not question our husbands?" I answered, "This angel who is with me whispered in my ear that wives are receptacles and sensories of those delights because they are born loves, and all delights pertain to love."
To this they answered with smiling lips: "Be prudent and do not say any such thing save in an ambiguous sense, for it is a wisdom deeply reserved in the hearts of our sex and not disclosed to any husband unless he is in love truly conjugial. There are many reasons for this--reasons which we hide within ourselves."
The husbands then said: "Our wives know all the states of our mind, nothing whatever being hidden from them. They see, perceive, and feel all that proceeds from our will, while we on the other hand know nothing of what passes with them. Wives have this gift because they are most tender loves and ardent zeals, as it were, for the preservation of conjugial friendship and confidence, and so for the happiness of the life of both partners; for, from the wisdom implanted in their love, they have this in view both for their husbands and for themselves. This wisdom is so full of prudence that they do not wish, and so are not able, to say that they love, but only that they are loved."
I asked the wives why they do not wish and so are not able? They replied that if the least such thing escaped their lips, cold would come over their husbands and separate them from bed and chamber and sight. "But this is the case with husbands who do not regard marriages as holy and therefore do not love their wives from spiritual love. Not so with those who do. In the minds of these, that love is spiritual, and it is from this that it is natural in the body. We in this hall are in the latter love from the former, and therefore entrust to our husbands arcana that concern our delights of conjugial love."
[4] I courteously requested that they disclose something of these arcana to me also. They at once looked towards a window in the south, and lo, there was seen a white dove, its wings shining as from silver, and its head marked with a crown as of gold. It was perched on a bough from which grew an olive. When the dove was in the effort of spreading its wings, the wives said, "We will disclose something. So long as this dove is seen, it is a sign to us that we may." They then said: "Every man has five senses, sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch; but we have in addition a sixth sense, being the sensation of all the delights of the husband's conjugial love. We have this sense in the palms of our hands, when touching the breasts, arms, hands or cheeks of our husbands, especially the breasts, and also when touched by them; and all the gladness and pleasantness of the thought of their mind, and all the joys and delights of their animus, and the festive and cheerful things of their bosom, pass from them to us and take form and become perceptible, sensible, tangible. We then discern them as exquisitely and distinctly as the ear discerns the modulations of song, or the tongue distinguishes the flavor of delicacies. In a word, in us, the spiritual delights of our husbands put on, as it were, a natural embodiment, and for this reason we are called by our husbands the sensory organs of chaste conjugial love and hence of its delight. But this sense of our sex exists, subsists, persists, and is exalted, in the degree that our husbands love us from wisdom and judgment, and we in turn love them for the same in them. In the heavens, this sense of our sex is called the sport of wisdom with its love, and of love with its wisdom."
[5] Stirred by these words with the desire of learning more, I asked concerning the variety of the delights. They answered, "It is infinite but we do not wish to say more and therefore cannot; for the dove at our window, with the olive branch under its feet, has flown away."
I then waited for its return, but in vain. Meanwhile I asked the husbands, "Have you a like sense of conjugial love?" They answered: "We have it in general but not in particular. We have a general blessedness, a general delight, and a general pleasantness from the particulars of these as they are with our wives; and this general sense, which we get from them, is like the serenity of peace."
After these words, behold, through the window was seen a swan standing on the branch of a fig tree; and he spread his wings and flew away. Seeing this, the husbands said, "That is a sign to us for silence about conjugial love. Return at another time and perhaps more may be disclosed." They then withdrew and we departed.

That from creation there was implanted in man and woman an inclination to conjunction as into a one, and also the faculty thereof, and that these are in man and woman still, is evident from the Book of Creation and at the same time from the Lord's words. In the Book of Creation, which is called Genesis, we read:
Jehovah God built the rib which he had taken from man into a woman, and brought her to the man. And the man said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; her name shall be called Ishah [woman], because she was taken out of Ish, man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh. Gen. II. 22-4.
The same was said by the Lord in Matthew:
Have ye not read, that he who [made them] from the beginning made [them] male and female, said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; AND THEY TWAIN SHALL BE ONE FLESH? WHEREFORE THEY ARE NO MORE TWAIN BUT ONE FLESH. 19:4, 5.
[2] From these passages it is evident that woman was created out of man, and that there is in both an inclination and a faculty of reuniting themselves into a one. That the reunion is into one man is also evident from the Book of Creation where both together are called Man; for we read, In the day that God created man, male and female created he them, and called their name Man. It is said here, He called their name Adam, but in the Hebrew language, Adam and Man are the same word. Moreover, in chapters 1:27 and 3:22-4 of the same book, both together are again called Man. "One man" is also meant by "one flesh," as is evident from passages in the Word where it speaks of all flesh, by which is meant every man; as in Genesis 6:12, 13, 17, 19; Isaiah 40:5, 6; 49:26; 66:16, 23, 24; Jeremiah 25:31; 32:27; 14:5; Ezekiel 20:48; 21:4, 5; and elsewhere.
[3] As to what is meant by the rib of the man which was built into[3] a woman; what by the flesh which was closed up in the place thereof; and so, what by "bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh," and by the father and mother whom after marriage man is to leave; also by "cleave unto his wife"; this has been shown in THE ARCANA CAELESTIA where the two books, Genesis and Exodus are explained as to their spiritual sense. It is there shown that by rib is not meant a rib, nor by flesh, nor by bone, nor by cleave, but the spiritual things which correspond to them and so are signified by them. That what are meant are the spiritual things which of two make one man, is plain from the fact that it is conjugial love that conjoins them, and this love is spiritual. That love of the man's wisdom is transcribed into the wife has been stated several times above and will be more fully confirmed in the chapters which follow. But for the present we must not turn aside and thus digress from the subject here proposed, which is the conjunction of two married partners into one flesh by the union of souls and minds. This union shall be elucidated in the following order.
I. That from creation there has been implanted in each sex, a faculty and inclination, giving them the ability and the will to be conjoined as into a one.
II. That conjugial love conjoins two souls and thence minds into one.
III. That the wife's will conjoins itself with the man's understanding, and hence the man's understanding with the wife's will.
IV. That the inclination to unite the man to herself is constant and perpetual with the wife, but inconstant and alternating with the man.
V. That conjunction is inspired into the man by the wife according to her love, and is received by the man according to his wisdom.
VI. That from the first days of marriage this conjunction is effected successively, and with those who are in love truly conjugial, more and more deeply to eternity.
VII. That the conjunction of the wife with the rational wisdom of the husband is effected from within, but with his moral wisdom from without.
VIII. That with this conjunction as an end, the wife is given a perception of the affections of the husband and also the highest prudence in moderating them.
IX. That for causes which are necessities, wives store up this perception with themselves and conceal it from their husbands, in order that conjugial love, friendship, and confidence, and thus the blessedness of cohabitation and the happiness of life, may be firmly established.
X. That this perception is the wife's wisdom, and that it is not possible with the man; nor is the man's rational wisdom possible with the wife.
XI. That from her love, the wife is continually thinking about the inclination of the man to herself with the purpose of conjoining him to herself, not so the man.
XII. That the wife conjoins herself to the man by applications to the desires of his will.
XIII. That the wife is conjoined to her husband by the sphere of her life going forth from her love.
XIV. That the wife is conjoined to the husband by the appropriation of the forces of his manhood, but that this takes place according to their mutual spiritual love.
XV. That the wife thus receives into herself the image of her husband, and hence perceives, sees, and feels his affections.
XVI. That there are offices proper to the man and offices proper lo the wife; and that the wife cannot enter into the offices proper to the man, nor the man into the offices proper to the wife, and rightly perform them.
XVII. That according as there is mutual aid, these offices also conjoin the two into a one, and at the same time make one home.
XVIII. That according to the above-mentioned conjunctions, married partners become more and more one man.
XIX. That those who are in love truly conjugial feel themselves to be a united man and as one flesh.
XX. That, regarded in itself, love truly conjugial is a union of souls, a conjunction of minds, and an effort to conjunction in breasts and thence in the body.
XXI. That the states of this love are innocence, peace, tranquillity, inmost friendship, full confidence, and a mutual desire of animus and heart to do the other every good; and from these, blessedness, happiness, delight, pleasure; and from the eternal fruition of these, heavenly felicity.
XXII. That these are by no means possible except in the marriage of one man with one wife.
The explanation of the above now follows.


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