588. For the sake of this end there has been given to man the ability to elevate his understanding almost into the light in which the angels of heaven are, that he may see what he must will and must do therefrom, that he may be prosperous in the world for a time and blessed after death to eternity. He becomes prosperous and blessed if he acquires for himself wisdom, and keeps his will in obedience thereto; but he becomes unprosperous and unhappy if he makes his understanding subservient to his will. This is because the will by birth inclines to evils, even to enormities; therefore unless it is held in check by means of the understanding, man left to the freedom of his will would rush into great wickedness, and from the ferine nature inherent in him would plunder and slaughter for his own sake all who did not favor him and indulge his cupidities. Moreover, if man were not able to perfect his understanding separately, and to perfect his will by means of it, he would not be a man, but a beast; for without that separation, and without the ascent of the understanding above the will, he would not be able to think, and from thought to speak, but would be able to express his affections by sounds only; nor would he be able to act from reason, but only from instinct; still less could he recognize what relates to God, and thereby God Himself, and thus be conjoined with Him and live for ever. For man exercises thought and will as if of himself; and this as if of himself, is the reciprocal element in conjunction, for conjunction without reciprocation is impossible, as there can be no conjunction of an active with a passive without adaptation or application. God alone acts; man permits himself to be acted upon, and cooperates to all appearance as if of himself, although interiorly from God. But from a right perception of these things, it can be seen what the love of man's will is when it is elevated by means of the understanding; also what it is when not elevated; thus what man is.