399. (iii) LOVE IN GENERAL.
1. A person's life really is his love, and the nature of his love determines the nature of his life, and in fact the whole person. But it is the dominant or ruling love which makes the person. This love has a number of other loves subordinate to it, which are derivatives of it. These look to be different, but are each of them present in the dominant love, and together with it make up a single kingdom. The dominant love is, so to speak, their king and head; it controls them, and by using them as mediate aims keeps in view and pursues its own aim, which is both the primary and ultimate aim of all, and this both directly and indirectly.
 2. It is characteristic of a dominant love that it is loved above all else. What a person loves above all else is constantly present in his thoughts, because it is in his will, and constitutes the very essence of his life. For instance, anyone who loves wealth above all else, whether it be money or possessions, is continually turning over in his mind how to acquire wealth; he experiences the most intense pleasure on acquiring it, the most intense grief on losing it, for his heart is in it. Anyone who loves himself above all else keeps himself in mind at every moment, thinks of himself, talks about himself, acts to his own advantage, for his life is the life of self.
 3. A person's aim is what he loves above all else; that is what he keeps in view in every single thing. It is in his will, like an invisible current in a river, deflecting and carrying him away, even when he is doing something else; for that is what animates him. It is the sort of thing one person looks for in another, and seeing it, uses it either to lead him or to act together with him.
 4. A person is exactly like the dominant feature of his life; this is what distinguishes him from others, and this determines his heaven, if he is good, and his hell, if he is wicked. This is his very will, his self (proprium) and his nature, for it is the very being of his life. After death this cannot be changed, because it is the person himself.
 5. Everyone's sense of pleasure, bliss and happiness comes from his dominant love, and is dependent on this. For a person calls pleasant what he loves, because he feels pleasure in it. Something, however, he thinks about without loving he may also call pleasant, but this is not the pleasure of his life. The pleasure of love is what a person regards as good, and the unpleasant is what he regards as evil.
 6. There are two loves from which all the kinds of good and truth come into being, as from their sources; and there are two loves which are the sources of all evils and falsities. The two loves which are the sources of all the kinds of good and truth are love to the Lord and love towards the neighbour. But the two loves which are the sources of all evils and falsities are self-love and the love of the world. When these two latter loves are dominant, they are the exact opposites of the two former loves.
 7. The two loves, being as has been said love to the Lord and love towards the neighbour, make heaven exist with a person, since they are dominant in heaven. And because they make heaven, they also make the church exist with him. The two loves which are the sources of all evils and falsities, being as has been said self-love and the love of the world, make hell exist with a person, for they are dominant in hell. Consequently they also destroy the church with him.
 8. The two loves which are the sources of all the kinds of good and truth, being as stated the loves of heaven, open up and form the internal spiritual man, because that is where they dwell. But the two loves which are the sources of all evils and falsities, being as stated the loves of hell, when dominant shut off and destroy the internal spiritual man, causing a person to be natural and sensual in proportion to the extent and nature of their dominion.