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

ML 461

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461. To the above shall be added the following Memorable Relation:
I was once speaking with a novitiate spirit who while in the world had meditated much on heaven and hell. By novitiate spirits are meant men recently deceased who, being then spiritual men, are called spirits. As soon as he entered the spiritual world, this novitiate began in like manner to meditate on heaven and hell; and he seemed to himself to be in joy when meditating on heaven, and in sadness when meditating on hell. When he noticed that he was in the spiritual world, he at once inquired where heaven was, and where hell; also what these two were, and what their nature; and he received the answer, "Heaven is above your head, and hell is beneath your feet, for you are now in the world of spirits which is mediate between heaven and hell; but as to what heaven and hell are, and what their nature, this we cannot describe in a few words."
Burning with the desire of learning, he then threw himself on his knees and devoutly prayed to God that he might be instructed. And lo, an angel appeared at his right hand and, raising him up, said, "You have made supplication that you may be instructed about heaven and hell. INQUIRE AND LEARN WHAT DELIGHT IS AND YOU WILL KNOW"' and having said these words, the angel was taken up.
[2] The novitiate spirit then said within himself: "What is this? Inquire and learn what delight is and you will know what heaven and hell are, and what their nature." Leaving that place, he then wandered about, and addressing those whom he met, he said, "Pray tell me, if you please, what delight is?" And some said, "What sort of question is that? Who does not know what delight is? Is it not joy and gladness? Therefore, delight is delight; one delight is like another; we know of no distinction." Others said that delight was laughter of the mind; "for when the mind laughs, the face is merry, the speech jocular, the gestures playful, and the whole man is in delight." Still others said, "Delight is nothing else than feasting and eating delicacies, and drinking and getting drunk on generous wine, and then talking together on various subjects, especially the sports of Venus and Cupid."
[3] Indignant on hearing these answers, the novitiate spirit said to himself, "These are the answers of boors and not of cultured men; such delights are neither heaven nor hell. Would that I might meet some wise men." And, leaving them, he inquired, "Where are there wise men?" He was then seen by an angelic spirit who said: "I perceive that you are kindled with the desire of knowing what the universal of heaven is, and what the universal of hell; and since this universal is delight, I will lead you to a hill whereon is a daily meeting of men who examine effects, of men who investigate causes, and of men who explore ends. They are three companies: Those who examine effects are called Spirits of the Sciences and, abstractly, Sciences; those who investigate causes are called Spirits of Intelligence and, abstractly, Intelligences; and those who explore ends are called Spirits of wisdom and, abstractly, Wisdoms. Directly above them in heaven are angels who from ends see causes, and from causes effects. From these angels the three companies have illustration."
[4] Taking the novitiate spirit by the hand, he then led him up the hill and to the company of those who explore ends and are called wisdoms. To these the novitiate spirit said "Pardon me for coming to you. The reason is because from childhood I have meditated on heaven and hell. I have lately come into this world, and some spirits who were then associated with me said that here heaven is above my head and hell beneath my feet; but they did not tell me what they are and what their nature. Therefore, coming into a state of anxiety from constant thought about them, I prayed to God; and then an angel stood by me and said, Inquire and learn what delight is and you will know. I have inquired, but as yet in vain. I beg you, therefore, to teach me, if you please, what delight is."
[5] To this the wisdoms responded: "Delight is the all of life with all in heaven, and the all of life with all in hell. With those who are in heaven, it is the delight of good and truth, but with those who are in hell, it is the delight of evil and falsity; for all delight pertains to love, and love is the esse of man's life. Therefore, since man is a man according to the nature of his love, he is a man according to the nature of his delight. The activity of love is what makes the sensation of delight. In heaven its activity is with wisdom, in hell it is with insanity. In their subjects, both activities present themselves as delight; but the heavens and the hells are in opposite delights because in opposite loves. The heavens are in the love and thence in the delight of doing good, but the hells are in the love and thence in the delight of doing evil. If, therefore, you know what delight is, you know what heaven and hell are, and what their nature. But make further inquiry and learn what delight is from those who investigate causes and are called Intelligences. They are to the right from here."
[6] Leaving the wisdoms, the novitiate then approached the Intelligences, and telling them the cause of his coming, asked if they would instruct him as to what delight is. They were rejoiced at the question and said: "It is true that he who knows what delight is, knows what heaven and hell are and what their nature. The will, from which man is a man, is not moved a single jot except by delight; for regarded in itself, the will is nothing but the affection and effect of some love, thus of some delight, it being something pleasing, agreeable, and pleasurable that makes men will. And since it is the will that moves the understanding to think, therefore, not the least jot of an idea of thought is possible save from delight flowing in from the will. This is because the Lord, by influx from Himself, actuates all things of the soul and all things of the mind with angels, spirits, and men; and He actuates them by the influx of love and wisdom. It is this influx that is the activity from which comes all delight. In its origin this delight is called blessed, blissful, and happy, and in its derivation, delightful, pleasant, and pleasurable; in a universal sense, it is called good. But spirits of hell turn all that is with them around. Thus they turn good into evil and truth into falsity, their delight being permanently the same; for without this permanence of delight, they would have neither will nor sensation, and so no life. What the delight of hell is, and its nature and source, is thus manifest, and also what the delight of heaven is, and its nature and source."
[7] After hearing this, the novitiate was led down to the third company where were those who examine effects and are called Sciences. These said: "Descend into the lower earth and ascend into the higher earth, and in the latter you will perceive and sensate the enjoyments of the angels of heaven, and in the former, the enjoyments of the spirits of hell."
And lo, at a distance from them, the ground then yawned open, and through the opening rose three devils who seemed to be on fire, and this from the delight of their love. Perceiving that the three devils had risen from hell providentially, the novitiate's companions said to them, "Come no nearer, but from the place Where you are, tell us something about your delights." The devils then said, "Know this then: Every one, Whether good or evil, is in his own delight, a good man in the delight of his good, and an evil man in the delight of his evil." Being then asked, "What is your delight?" they said that it was the delight of committing whoredom, stealing, defrauding, blaspheming.
Being further asked, "What is the nature of these delights?" they said, "By others they are smelled as fetid odors from excrement, and as the stench of dead bodies, and the rank smell from stagnant urine."
They were then asked, "Are they delightful to you?" and they answered, "They are most delightful."
They then said, "Then you are like those unclean beasts which pass their lives in such stenches." They replied, "If we are, We are; but such stenches are the delights of our nostrils."
[8] They were then asked, "What more?" They answered: "Every one is allowed to be in his own delight, even the most unclean as they call it, if only they do not molest good spirits and angels. But because, from our delight, we cannot do otherwise than molest them, we are cast into workhouses where we suffer direful things. There, the restraining and withdrawal of our delights is what is called the torment of hell. It is also interior pain."
They were further asked, "Why did you molest the good?" They said that they could not help it. When they saw any angel and smelled the Divine sphere around him, it was as if fury invaded them.
The angels then said, "In this also you are like wild beasts."
And then, as soon as the devils saw the novitiate spirit with the angels, they were overcome with a fury which appeared like the fire of hatred. Therefore, that they might do no harm, they were cast back into hell.
After this, the angels appeared who from ends see causes, and through causes effects, and who were in the heaven above the three companies. They were seen in a bright light which rolled downwards in spiral curves and brought with it a garland of flowers. This they placed on the head of the novitiate spirit. Then, from that heaven there came to him a voice saying "This laurel is given you because from childhood you have meditated on heaven and hell."


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