Format: Global Grey free PDF, epub, Kindle ebook
Pages (PDF): 41
Publication Date: 1762. This translation by John Whitehead, 1914
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Subjects include: In The World It Is Little Comprehended What Love Is; And Yet It Is Man's Very Life; The Lord Alone Is Love Itself, Because Life Itself; While Men And Angels Are Only Recipients; Life, Which Is The Divine Love, Is In A Form; That Form Is A Form Of Use In Its Whole Complex; In Such A Form Is Man Individually; In Such A Form Is Man In General; In Such A Form Is Heaven; All Things Of The World Also Tend To Such A Form; There Are As Many Affections As There Are Uses; There Are Genera And Species Of Affections, And Varieties Of Species To Infinity; So Of Uses, and more.
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That this is little comprehended is evident from the common saying "What is love?" What it is, is not known for the reason that love is not manifest to the understanding, and the understanding is the receptacle of the light of heaven. What comes into that light is interiorly seen, for what a man thinks, that he has knowledge of. For this reason a man says that this or that is in the light of his understanding, also that he sees this to be so; likewise he prays that he may be enlightened and illumined by God. Moreover, there is spiritual light to which natural light corresponds, and it is from this that one says, with reference to his understanding, that he sees. and a wise man prays to be enlightened and to be illumined by God, that is, that he may understand. Man, therefore, can form no idea concerning love, for this reason, that although the understanding, by means of the thought, presents itself to be seen, love does not. And yet love is the very soul or life of thought, and if love be taken away thought grows cold and dies, like a flower deprived of heat; for love enkindles, vivifies, and animates thought. Set your mind at work and consider whether you can think apart from some affection that is of love; and you will find in your own case that it is impossible. From this it is plain that love is the life of the understanding and of thought therefrom; and what is the life of the understanding and of thought therefrom is also the life of the whole man; for it is the life of all the senses and of all motions, thus the life of the organs by means of which senses and motions exist. That it is also the life of the rest of the viscera, will be seen in what follows. It is not known what love is, for the further reason that man's love is universal life. By universal life is meant life that is in most minute particulars; for of these the term universal is used, as the term general is of parts. What is thus universal is perceived simply is a one; and a one without a particular perception of the particulars is obscure, comparatively as it is with an intense light that blinds the eye. Such also is the universal Divine in the most minute particulars of the world; consequently this Divine is so obscure to man as not to be manifest to the eye when opened, but only to the eye, when closed; for the whole of the world is a work of the Divine love and the Divine wisdom; and wisdom in its most minute particulars is, as was said before, an intense Divine light that blinds.
This has already been illustrated by many things, to which the following only are to be added. The Lord, because He is the God of the universe, is uncreate and infinite, but men and angels are created and finite. The uncreate and infinite is the Very Divine in itself. Out of this man cannot be formed, for in such case he would be the Divine in itself; but he can be formed out of things created and finite, in which the Divine can be, and to which it can communicate its own life, and this by heat and light from itself as a sun, thus from its own Divine love; comparatively as it is with germinations in the earth, which cannot be formed from the very essence of the sun of the world, but must needs be formed out of created things of which soil is composed, within which the sun can be by its heat and light, and to which it can communicate its life. From this it is plain that a man and an angel are not in themselves life, but are only recipients of life. From all this it also follows, that the conception of man from his father is not a conception of life, but only of a first and purest form capable of receiving life; to which, as a stamen or initiament, substances and matters, succeeding one another, add themselves in the womb, in forms adapted to the reception of life in their own order and their own degree, even to the last, which is suited to the modes of the nature of the world.