Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 657

Previous Number Next Number Next Translation See Latin 

657. The lowest, second, and third storeys' means factual knowledge, rational concepts, and intellectual concepts. In man there are three degrees in the understanding part; the lowest of these constitutes his factual knowledge, the middle his rational awareness, and the highest his intellectual awareness. These three are so distinct and separate from one another that they ought never to be confused. Man however is not directly conscious of this distinction, the reason being that he focuses life solely on sensory experience and factual knowledge. And as long as he clings to this attitude he is not even capable of recognizing that his rational awareness, still less his intellectual, is anything different from factual knowledge. Yet the situation is as follows: The Lord flows by way of man's intellectual degree into his rational, and by way of the rational into factual knowledge belonging to the memory. And from there comes the life of the senses - of seeing and hearing. This is the true influx and the true interaction of the soul and the body. Without the influx of the Lord's life into man's intellectual concepts - or rather into the desires of the will, and by way of these desires of the will into intellectual concepts, and by way of intellectual concepts into rational concepts, and by way of rational concepts into his factual knowledge which belongs to the memory - no life can possibly exist with man. And even when a person is under the influence of falsities and of evils there is still this influx of the Lord's life by the way of the desires of the will and intellectual concepts. But the things that flow in are received in the rational part according to the form the understanding takes. It is this influx also that enables a person to be rational, to reflect, and to understand what truth and good are. These matters however will in the Lord's Divine mercy be dealt with later on, as also will life as it exists with animals.

This page is part of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg

© 2000-2001 The Academy of the New Church