388. III. THAT THESE TWO SPHERES FLOW, UNIVERSALLY AND SINGLY, INTO ALL THINGS OF HEAVEN AND ALL THINGS OF THE WORLD, FROM THE FIRST OF THEM TO THE LAST. It is said universally and singly because, when universal is mentioned, then at the same time are meant the single things of which it consists, it being from these that it has its existence and consistence; thus, from these it has its name, just as a general is so called from its parts.* If, therefore, you take away the single things, the universal is a mere name and is like a surface within which is nothing. Therefore, the attributing of a universal government to God, while taking away the single things of that government, is an empty expression and is like a predication of inanity. No comparison with the universal government of kings on earth is valid. Hence it is here said that these two spheres flow in universally and singly.
* Swedenborg distinguishes between universal and singular on the one hand, and general and particular on the other. The universal is wholly present in every singular thereof, e.g., the soul is universally present in the blood and in every globule thereof. But a general has no existence apart from particulars, e.g., a general body has no existence apart from its particular members. To illustrate both usages: A heavenly society as a society exists only from its members, but the love of God is universally present in the whole society and in each single member thereof. See no. 229.