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

ML 44

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44. The Second Memorable Relation:
I once saw three spirits newly arrived from the world, who were wandering about, observing and inquiring. They were in wonderment at the fact that they were living as men, just as before, and that they saw the same things as before; for they knew that they had departed from the former or natural world, and that there they had thought they would not live as men until after the day of the Last Judgment, when they would be clothed with the flesh and bones which had been laid in their graves. Therefore, to free themselves of all doubt whether they really were men, they now and again inspected and touched themselves and others. Moreover, they felt objects, and by a thousand proofs convinced themselves that they were now men as in the former world, except that they saw each other in brighter light, and saw objects in greater splendor and thus more perfectly. [2] Just then, two angelic spirits chanced to meet them and, stopping, they asked them: "Whence are you?" They answered: "We have departed from a world, and are again living in a world; thus we have migrated from one world to another. We are now wondering at this."
The three novitiates then questioned the two angelic spirits about heaven; and because two of the novitiates were adolescents, and from their eyes gleamed a fire as though of lust for the sex, the angelic spirits said: "Perchance you have seen women?" and they replied, "We have."
Since they had inquired about heaven, the angelic spirits spoke as follows: "In heaven all things are magnificent and splendid such as eye has never seen. There are there maidens and young men, maidens of such beauty that they may be called beauty in its very form, and young men of such morality that they may be called morality in its very form; and the beauty of the maidens and the morality of the young men correspond to each other as reciprocal and mutually adaptable forms."
The two novitiates then asked whether human forms in heaven were exactly the same as those in the natural world, and they were answered: "They are exactly the same; nothing is taken from man and nothing from woman. In a word, a man is a man and a woman a woman, in all the perfection of form in which they were created. If you like, step aside and examine yourselves and see whether anything whatever is lacking, and whether you are not men just as before."
[3] The novitiates further said: "In the world from whence we have departed, we heard that in heaven they are not given in marriage because they are angels. Is there then no love of the sex?" The angelic spirits replied: "Not your love of the sex but angelic love of the sex which is chaste, being devoid of all the allurement of lust.
To this the novitiates said: "If it is love of the sex without allurement, what then is love of the sex?" And, thinking of this love, they sighed and exclaimed: "Oh, how dry is the joy of heaven. What young man can then wish for heaven? Is not such a love barren and void of life?"
The angelic spirits, laughing, made answer: "Yet the angelic love of the sex, being that love as it is in heaven, is full of inmost delights. It is a most pleasing expansion of all things of the mind, and thence of all things of the breast; and within the breast it is like the heart sporting with the lungs, from which sport comes respiration, sound, and speech. These delights make the companionship between the sexes, that is, between young men and women, to be heavenly sweetness itself, which is pure. [4] All novitiates ascending into heaven are explored as to their chastity; for they are admitted into the companionship of maidens, the beauties of heaven, and from their tone, their speech, their face, their eyes, their gestures, and the sphere emanating from them, these maidens perceive what their nature is in respect to love of the sex. If it is unchaste, they flee away and tell their companions that they have seen satyrs or priapi. Moreover, before the eyes of angels, such new-comers actually undergo a change, appearing hairy, and as to their feet like calves or leopards; and soon they are cast down, lest with their lust they pollute the aura of heaven."
Hearing this, the two novitiates again said: "Then there is no love of the sex in heaven. What is a chaste love of the sex but a love emptied of the essence of its life? Are not then the companionships of young men and women there dry joys? We are not stones and stocks but perceptions and affections of life."
[5] Hearing this, the two angelic spirits indignantly replied: "Because you are not yet chaste, you are entirely ignorant of what chaste love of the sex is. That love is the very delight of the mind, and thence of the heart, but not at the same time of the flesh below the heart. Angelic chastity, which is common to both sexes, prevents the passing of that love below the barrier of the heart; but within that barrier and above it, the morality of the youth is delighted with the beauty of the maid, being delighted with the delights of a chaste love of the sex, delights which are too interior and too rich in pleasantness to be described in words. Angels have this love of the sex because they have conjugial love, and this is not possible simultaneously with an unchaste love of the sex. Love truly conjugial is a chaste love and has nothing in common with unchaste love. It is with one only of the sex, all others being removed; for it is a love of the spirit and thence of the body, and not of the body and thence of the spirit, that is, not a love that infests the spirit."
[6] The two novitiate adolescents rejoiced at hearing this and said: "Then there is love of the sex there; what else is conjugial love?" But to this the angelic spirits replied: "Think more deeply, reflect, and you will perceive that your love of the sex is an extra-conjugial love, and that conjugial love is wholly different being as distinct from the other love as wheat from chaff, or rather as the human from the bestial. Ask women in heaven what extra-conjugial love is, and I assure you they will answer, "What thing is that? what are you speaking of? How can such an expression which so offends the ears come from your mouth? How can a love not created, be generated in man?" And if you were to ask them what love truly conjugial is, I know they would answer that it is not love of the sex but love of one of the sex. This exists only when a young man sees the virgin provided by the Lord, and the virgin the young man, and both feel the conjugial to be enkindled in their hearts, and perceive, he that she is his, and she that he is hers; for when love meets love, it meets itself, and causes it to recognize itself and at once conjoins their souls and then their minds; and from there it enters into their bosoms, and after the nuptials still farther, and so becomes plenary love; and from day to day this grows into conjunction until they are no more two but as though one. [7] I know also that they would swear that they know no other love of the sex; for they say, "How can there be love of the sex unless it be so mutual and reciprocal that it breathes eternal union, a union which makes the two to be one flesh?"
To this, the angelic spirits added: "In heaven, they are entirely ignorant of what whoredom is, not knowing that it exists or that it is possible. Angels are cold in their whole body to an unchaste or extra-conjugial love, and, on the other hand, are warm in their whole body from chaste or conjugial love. With men there, all the nerves collapse at sight of a harlot, and recover their tension at sight of the wife."
[8] Hearing this, the three novitiates asked whether there is the same love between married partners in heaven as on earth, and the two angelic spirits answered that it is the same in every respect. Then, perceiving that they wished to know whether there were the same ultimate delights there, they said: "They are the same in every respect, but far more blessed, inasmuch as angelic perception and sensation is far more exquisite than human perception and sensation. And what is the life of that love if not from a vein of potency. If this fails, does not the love fail and grow cold? and is not that vigor the very measure, degree, and basis of the love? is it not its beginning, its foundation, and its completion? It is a universal law, that primes exist, subsist, and persist from ultimates. So is it also with this love. Therefore, unless there were ultimate delights, there would not be any delights of conjugial love."
[9] The novitiates then asked whether offspring are born there from the ultimate delights of that love? and if offspring are not born, of what use are those delights? The angelic spirits replied that there are no natural offspring but spiritual offspring.
The novitiates then asked, "What are spiritual offspring?" They answered: "By means of ultimate delights, married partners become more united in the marriage of good and truth, and the marriage of good and truth is the marriage of love and wisdom. It is love and wisdom that are the offspring born of that marriage; and because the husband there is wisdom, and the wife the love of that wisdom, and because both are spiritual, therefore no other than spiritual offspring can be conceived and born there. Hence it is, that angels do not become sad after the delights, as some do on earth, but cheerful. This comes from the continual influx of fresh powers which succeed the former and at the same time bring renovation and enlightenment; for all who come into heaven return into their vernal youth and into the vigor of that age, and remain so to eternity."
[10] Hearing this, the three novitiates said, "Do we not read in the Word that in heaven there are no nuptials because they are angels?" To this the angelic spirits replied, "Look up into heaven and you will be answered." And they asked, "Why look up into heaven?" They said, "Because it is from thence that we have all interpretations of the word. The word within is spiritual, and angels, being spiritual, will teach its spiritual meaning."
Then, after some delay, heaven was opened above their head and two angels came into sight; and they said: "There are nuptials in heaven as on earth; but for none save those who are in the marriage of good and truth, nor are any others angels. Thus it is spiritual nuptials that are there meant, being the nuptials of the marriage of good and truth. These nuptials take place on earth and not after death, thus not in the heavens. Therefore it is said of the five foolish virgins who also were invited to the wedding, that they could not enter because there was in them no marriage of good and truth, for they had no oil but only lamps, by oil being meant good, and by lamps truth; and to be given in marriage is to enter into heaven where the marriage of good and truth is."
On hearing this, the three novitiates were made glad; and, filled with desire for heaven and with the hope of nuptials there, they said, "We will strive eagerly after morality and a virtuous life, that we may realize our desires."


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