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

ML 495

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495. XV. THAT ADULTERIES FROM PURPOSE OF THE WILL, AND ADULTERIES FROM CONFIRMATION OF THE UNDERSTANDING, RENDER MEN NATURAL, SENSUAL, AND CORPOREAL. Man is man and is distinguished from the beast by the fact that his mind is distinguished into three regions, being as many as are the heavens, and that he can be elevated from the lowest region into the higher and from this into the highest, and so can become an angel of the one [or the other] heaven, and also of the third. For this end, man is given the faculty of elevating his understanding even to the third heaven; but if the love of his will is not elevated at the same time, he does not become spiritual but remains natural. Nevertheless, he retains the faculty of elevating his understanding. The reason why he retains this, is that he may be reformed; for he is reformed by means of the understanding, and the reformation is effected by knowledges of good and truth and by rational intuition therefrom. If he views these knowledges rationally and lives according to them, then the love of his will is also elevated, and in the same degree his human character is perfected and he becomes more and more a man. [2] Different is the result if he does not live according to the knowledges of good and truth. Then the love of his will remains natural and his understanding becomes spiritual by turns; for alternately it raises itself up like an eagle and looks down upon what is of its love beneath, and then, seeing it, flies down and conjoins itself with it. If, therefore, concupiscences of the flesh belong to its love, then, from its height, it lets itself down to them and in conjunction with them takes pleasure in their delights. Then, for the securing of a reputation, it again raises itself on high that it may be deemed wise; and so, as just said, it leaps up and down by turns.
[3] That adulterers of the third and fourth degree, being those who have made themselves adulterers from the purpose of their will and the confirmation of their understanding, are utterly natural and become progressively sensual and corporeal, is because they immerse the love of their will and with it, at the same time, their understanding, in the unclean things of scortatory love, and take pleasure therein, as in delicacies and dainties, like as do unclean birds and beasts in things stinking and stercoraceous; for the effluvient exhalations rising up from the flesh so fill the habitacle of the mind with their gross odors that the will sensates nothing purer and more desirable. After death it is these who become corporeal spirits, and from whom spring the unclean things of hell and of the Church spoken of above (nos. 430, 431).

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