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

ML 267

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267. The second Memorable Relation:
Some time later I entered a grove, and while walking there in meditation upon those who are in the concupiscence and hence in the fantasy of possessing the things of the world, I saw at some distance from me two angels conversing together and every now and then looking at me. Therefore I went nearer to them, and as I was approaching, they spoke to me and said, "We perceive within us that you are meditating on the subject of which we are speaking, or that we are speaking of the subject on which you are meditating; this comes from a reciprocal communication of affections."
[2] I therefore asked them what was the subject of their conversation. They said that it was fantasy, concupiscence, and intelligence, and that just now they were speaking of those who take delight in the vision and imagination of possessing all things in the world. I then asked them to express their minds on those three subjects, concupiscence, fantasy, and intelligence.
Commencing their discourse. they said: "From birth everyone is inwardly in concupiscence, and from education outwardly in intelligence, but no one is in intelligence inwardly, thus as to his spirit, still less in wisdom, except from the Lord; for every one is withheld from the concupiscence of evil and held in intelligence according as he looks to the Lord and at the same time is conjoined with Him. Without this, man is nothing but concupiscence. Yet, from education he is in intelligence in external matters, that is, as to the body; for man lusts after honors and riches, or eminence and wealth, and he cannot attain these two unless he has the appearance of being moral and spiritual, thus intelligent and wise. Therefore he learns to put on this appearance from very infancy. This is the reason why, as soon as he comes among men or into company, he inverts his spirit, removes it from concupiscence, and speaks and acts from becoming and honorable principles which he has learned from infancy and retains in the memory of his body, taking the greatest care that nothing of the insanity of concupiscence in which his spirit is shall come out. [3] Hence every man who is not inwardly led by the Lord is a dissembler, a sycophant, and a hypocrite, thus an apparent man and yet not a man. Of such a man it can be said that his shell or body is wise and his kernel or spirit insane, and that his external is human and his internal ferine. Such men look upwards with the back of their head and downwards with the front, and thus walk as if beset with heaviness, with head hanging down and face turned to the earth. When they put off the body and become spirits and so are set free, they become the insanities of their concupiscence; for those who are in the love of self, desire to have dominion over the universe, yea, to extend its limits, that they may enlarge their dominion; they never see the end. Those who are in the love of the world desire to possess all things thereof and are grieved and envious if any treasures lie hidden with others. Therefore, in the natural world,* lest such men become mere concupiscences and thus not men, it is granted them to think from fear of the loss of reputation and thus of honor and gain, and also from fear of the law and its punishments. It is also granted them to apply their mind to some study or occupation whereby they are kept in externals and thus in a state of intelligence, however delirious and insane they are inwardly."
[4] I then asked whether all who are in concupiscence are also in the fantasy thereof. They replied: "Those are in the fantasy of their concupiscence who think inwardly within themselves and over-indulge their imagination by talking with themselves; for they almost separate their spirit from its connection with the body, and from vision, overwhelm the understanding and fatuously divert themselves as though from universal ownership. Into this delirium is that man let after death who has abstracted his spirit from the body and has not wished to withdraw from the delight of his delirium by some thought from religion concerning evils and falsities, and still less by thought concerning the unbridled love of self as destructive of love to the Lord, and the unbridled love of the world as destructive of love towards the neighbor."
* The Latin is in mundo spirituali (in the spiritual world) but this is manifestly an error.


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