Divine Love and Wisdom (Rogers) n. 254

Previous Number Next Number Next Translation See Latin 

254. (4) The nature of the natural person in whom the spiritual degree has been completely closed. The spiritual degree is closed in people who are caught up in evils in the life they lead, and still more in people who as a result of evils are caught up in falsities. The case here is similar to that with the fibril of a nerve, which at the least touch of anything foreign contracts, as does also every motor fiber of a muscle, indeed the muscle itself, as well as the whole body, at the touch of something hard or cold. In like manner, too, do the substances and forms of the spiritual degree in a person contract at the presence of evils and falsities, inasmuch as these are foreign to it. For the spiritual degree, being in the form of heaven, grants entrance only to goods and to truths springing from good. These are kindred to it, whereas evils and the falsities connected with evil are foreign to it. [2] This degree contracts, and as a result of the contraction is closed, especially in people who in the world from a love of self are caught up in a love of ruling, since this love is opposed to love directed to the Lord. It is closed also, but not as much, in people who from a love of the world are caught up in a mad lust to possess the goods of others. These loves close the spiritual degree for the reason that they are the origins of evils. The contraction or closing of this degree is like the twisting of a spiral into the opposite direction. So it is that after this degree has been closed, it repels the light of heaven. Instead of the light of heaven, therefore, it has in it darkness. Consequently truth, which exists in the light of heaven, becomes repugnant. [3] In such people not only is this degree closed, but also the higher region of the natural degree, which we call rational, until at last only the lowest region of the natural degree remains open, which we call sensual. We call it sensual, for this region is closest to the world and to the external senses of the body, and it is in accordance with these that the person afterward thinks, speaks and reasons. The natural person who has become sensual as a result of evils and consequent falsities does not appear in the spiritual world in the light of heaven as human, but as a monster, and one with a flattened nose. The person appears to have a flattened nose because the nose corresponds to the perception of truth. He also cannot endure a ray of the light of heaven. The only light people of this character have in their caverns is such as is emitted from embers or burning coals. It is apparent from this who and of what character those people are in whom the spiritual degree has been closed.

This page is part of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg

© 2000-2001 The Academy of the New Church