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

ML 76

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76. The Second Memorable Relation:
The next day, the same angel came to me and said, "You wish me to guide and accompany you to the peoples who lived in the SILVER AGE or period, that from them we may hear about the marriages of their time"; and he added, "These also may not be approached save under the Lord's auspices."
Being in the spirit as before, I accompanied my guide. We came first to a hill on the border between the east and the south. And when we were on its summit, he showed me a widely extended stretch of country. In the far distance we saw a height resembling a mountain, between which and the hill on which we stood, was a valley, and beyond that, a plain from which rose a gentle acclivity.
We descended the hill to cross the valley, and here and there on either side we saw images of men and of various beasts, birds, and fishes carved in wood and stone, and I asked the angel, "What are these? Are they idols?" He replied: "No, indeed. They are figures representative of various moral virtues and spiritual truths. Among the peoples of this age flourished the science of correspondences; and as every man, beast, bird, and fish corresponds to some quality, therefore each sculptured form represents some particular aspect of a virtue or truth, and many together represent the virtue or truth itself in a general extended form. They are what in Egypt were called hieroglyphics."
[2] We pursued our way through the valley, and when we entered the plain, lo, we saw horses and chariots--horses variously harnessed and caparisoned, and chariots of different forms, some carved like eagles, some like whales, some like stags with horns, some like unicorns; and also, at the farther end, some wagons, and round about at the sides, stables. As we drew near, however, both horses and chariots disappeared and in their stead we saw men in couples, walking, talking with each other, and discussing. The angel then said to me: "Seen at a distance, the different kinds of horses, chariots, and stables are appearances of the rational intelligence of the men of this Age; for, from its correspondence, a horse signifies the understanding of truth, a chariot the teaching thereof, and stables the places of instruction. You know that in this world all things appear according to correspondences."
[3] Passing these by, we went up a long ascent and at last saw a city. This we entered, and walking through its streets and public places, we examined its houses which were so many palaces built of marble. In front of them were steps of alabaster, and at the sides of the steps, columns of jasper. We also saw temples built of precious stone of the color of sapphire and lapis lazuli. The angel then told me: "Their houses are of stone because stones signify natural truths, and precious stones spiritual truths, and all those who lived in the Silver Age had intelligence from spiritual truths and thence from natural. Silver also has a like signification."
[4] As we wandered through the city, we saw here and there consorts walking in pairs; and as they were husbands and wives, we hoped that we might be invited in somewhere. As we were walking along with this in mind, one couple called us back into their house, and we mounted the steps and entered. Speaking for me, the angel then explained to them the reason why we had come to this heaven, that it was "for the sake of information respecting marriages among the ancients from whom you in this heaven are."
They answered: "We were from a people in Asia; and the study of our Age was the study of truths, by which we had intelligence. This study was the study of our souls and minds. While the study of our bodily senses was the representation of truths in forms; and the science of correspondences conjoined the sensations of our bodies with the perceptions of our minds and gave us intelligence."
[5] On hearing this, the angel requested that they would tell us something about marriages among them. The husband then said: "There is a correspondence between spiritual marriage, which is that of truth with good, and natural marriage which is that of a man with one wife. Having studied correspondences, we have seen that the Church with its truths and goods can by no means exist save with those who live with one wife in love truly conjugial; for the marriage of good and truth is the Church with man. Therefore, we who are here, all say that the husband is truth and the wife the good thereof, and that good cannot love any other truth than its own, nor, in return, can truth love any other good than its own. If any other were loved, the internal marriage which makes the Church would vanish. Marriage would then become merely external, and to this corresponds, not the Church, but idolatry. For this reason, we call marriage with one wife a sacrament, but were it to take place among us with more than one, we would call it a sacrilege."
[6] After he had thus spoken, we were introduced into a room adjoining the bed-chamber. Here, on the walls, were many works of art and some small images as though cast in silver; and I asked "What are these?" He said: "They are pictures and forms representative of the many qualities, attributes, and delights which belong to conjugial love. Some represent the unity of souls, some the conjunction of minds, some the concord of hearts, and some the delights arising therefrom."
While examining these representations, we saw upon the wall a rainbow, as it were, composed of three colors, crimson, hyacinthine, and white; and we saw how that the crimson passed through the hyacinthine and tinged the white with dark blue, while the white flowed back through the hyacinthine into the crimson and raised it to a flamy beam, as it were.
[7] The husband then asked me, "Do you understand this?" I answered, "Instruct me"; whereupon he said: "From its correspondence, the crimson signifies the conjugial love of the wife, the white the intelligence of the husband, the hyacinthine the beginning of conjugial love in the husband's perception from the wife, and the dark blue with which the white was tinged, conjugial love then in the husband. The flowing back of this color through the hyacinthine into the crimson and the raising of the latter to a flamy beam, as it were, signifies the conjugial love of the husband flowing back to the wife. Such things are represented on these walls whenever, from meditation on conjugial love and its mutual, successive, and simultaneous union, we look with intent gaze at the rainbows there pictured."
To this I said: "At the present day, such things are more than mystical for they are representative appearances of the arcana of the conjugial love of one man with one wife." He replied: "They are; but to us here they are not arcane and therefore are not mystical."
[8] When he had thus spoken, there appeared at some distance a chariot drawn by small white horses. Seeing this, the angel said, "That chariot is a sign for us to depart." Then, as we descended the steps, our host gave us a cluster of white grapes with the vine leaves attached; and lo [in our hands],* the leaves became silver; and we brought them away as a sign that we had spoken with people of the Silver Age.
* See CORONIS, n. 44 where this Relation is repeated.


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