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

ML 8

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8. After this, the angel returned to the house of assembly of the wise from the Christian world, and called those to him who had deluded themselves with the belief that the joys of heaven and eternal happiness were paradisal delights. To these he said: "Follow me, and I will introduce you into paradise, your heaven, that you may enter upon the blessedness of your eternal happiness."
Then, through a lofty gateway formed by the interlacing boughs and branches of noble trees, he introduced them [into a paradisal garden], and there led them around through winding paths from place to place. It was actually a paradise at the first entrance of heaven into which those are admitted who, in the world, had believed that the whole of heaven is a single paradise because it is so called, and had impressed on themselves the idea, that after death there is complete rest from all labor; that this rest is nothing else than breathing in the very soul of delights, walking upon roses, being gladdened with the most delicate juices of grapes, and celebrating festive banquets; and that this life is found only in the heavenly paradise.
[2] Led by the angel, they beheld a vast multitude of old and young men, and of boys; also of women and girls, some sitting upon beds of roses, in groups of threes and tens, making garlands with which to adorn the heads of the old men and the arms of the young, and bouquets for the breasts of the boys; others plucking fruit from the trees and carrying it in osier baskets to their companions; others pressing into cups and genially quaffing the juice of grapes, cherries and berries; others drawing into their nostrils the fragrant odors exhaled and diffused from flowers and fruits and fragrant leaves; others singing melodious songs with which they softly charmed the listeners' ears; others sitting by fountains and diverting the waters of the gushing stream into various forms; others walking about, talking together and throwing off witticisms; others running, playing and dancing, here in groups and there in circles; others entering into little summer-houses to repose on couches; not to mention many other paradisal enjoyments. [3] When they had seen all this, the angel led his companions hither and thither through winding ways, and finally to some spirits sitting in a most beautiful rose garden surrounded by olive, orange, and citron trees. With swaying bodies and with their cheeks in their hands, they were wailing and weeping. Addressing them, the companions of the angel said, "Why sit ye thus?"
They answered: "It is now the seventh day since we came into this paradise. When we entered, our minds seemed as though elevated into heaven and admitted to the inmost enjoyment of its joys. But after three days, this happiness began to grow dull and to be diminished in our minds and become imperceptible, and so to become null. And when our imaginary joys thus ended, we feared the loss of all the delight of our life, and became doubtful about eternal happiness, doubtful even whether there is any eternal happiness. We then wandered through paths and open places seeking the gate by which we had entered. We wandered round and round in circle after circle and inquired the way of those we met, some of whom said: "The gate cannot be found because this paradisal garden is so spacious a labyrinth that whoever wishes to go out, enters more deeply in; so there is nothing else for you to do than stay here forever. You are in the midst of it, where all delights are in their very center"." They said further to the angel's companions: "Here now have we sat for a day and a half; and being without hope of finding the way out, we have lain down on this bed of roses. We see around us an abundance of olives, grapes, oranges, and citrons, but the more we look at them, the more is our sight wearied with seeing, our smell with smelling, and our taste with tasting. This is the cause of the sadness in which you see us, and of our wailing and weeping."
[4] Hearing this, the angel of the company said to them: "This paradisal labyrinth is truly an entrance into heaven. I know the way out and will lead you."
At these words the sitters rose up and embraced the angel. Then together with his group they accompanied him. On the way, the angel taught them what heavenly joy is, and hence eternal happiness; that they are not external paradisal delights unless, together with these, there are also internal paradisal delights. "External paradisal delights are merely delights of the senses of the body, but internal paradisal delights are delights of the affections of the soul. Unless these latter are present in the former there is no heavenly life in them, because no soul, and without its corresponding soul, every delight gradually grows feeble and torpid, and wearies the animus more than labor. In the heavens there are paradisal gardens everywhere, and angels derive joy from them, this joy being a joy to them so far as the delight of the soul is within it."
[5] Hearing this, they all inquired: "What is delight of the soul, and whence is it?" The angel replied: "Delight of the soul is from love and wisdom from the Lord; and since love is effective, being effective by means of wisdom, therefore the seat of both is in the effect, and the effect is use. This delight flows from the Lord into the soul, and descends through the higher and lower degrees of the mind into all the senses of the body, and there comes to fullness. Hence joy becomes joy and becomes eternal from the Eternal from whom it is. You have seen things paradisal, and I assure you that there is not a single thing therein, not so much as a little leaf, which is not from the marriage of love and wisdom in use. Therefore, if a man is in this marriage, he is in a heavenly paradise and so in heaven."


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