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

ML 405

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405. XVI. THAT THE LOVE OF INFANTS [AND CHILDREN] IS OF ONE KIND WITH SPIRITUAL MARRIED PARTNERS, AND OF ANOTHER WITH NATURAL. With spiritual partners the love of infants is the same in appearance as the love of infants with natural partners; but it is more internal and hence more tender, inasmuch as it exists from the innocence with themselves, and from a closer reception and a more present perception thereof; for the spiritual are spiritual in the degree that they partake of innocence. But after they have tasted the sweetness of the innocence present with their infants, [spiritual] fathers and mothers love their children in a far different way than do natural fathers and mothers. The spiritual love their children for the spiritual intelligence and moral life of those children, thus for their fear of God and their actual piety or piety of life, and at the same time for their devotion and application to uses serviceable to society, thus for their virtues and their upright conduct. It is mainly from their love of these that they provide for their needs and supply them; and therefore, if they do not see such virtues in them, they alienate their mind from them, and what they do for them is done solely from duty.
[2] With natural fathers and mothers, the love of infants is indeed also from innocence, but, as received by them, this innocence is wrapped around their own love. Hence it is from the latter and at the same time from innocence that they love their infants, kissing and hugging them, carrying them about, pressing them to their bosoms, fondling them beyond measure, and regarding them as being one heart and soul with themselves. Then, after their state of infancy and up to adolescence and beyond, when innocence is no longer operative, they continue to love them, but not from the presence with them of any fear of God and actual piety or piety of life, or of any rational and moral intelligence. They pay little and indeed scarcely any attention to their internal affections and hence to their virtues and good conduct, seeing only the external things which they themselves favor. To these they adjoin, attach, and cement their affections; thus shutting their eyes to the faults of their children, excusing and favoring them. The reason is because with them, the love of their progeny is also the love of themselves, and this love clings to its object outwardly, but does not enter into that object, just as the object does not enter into it.


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