Conjugial Love (Rogers) n. 48

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48. (2) Conjugial love likewise continues to be what it was like inwardly, that is, what it was like in the inner will and thought in the person in the world. Since a love for the opposite sex is one kind of love and conjugial love another, therefore we mention both and say that conjugial love also remains after death and continues to be what it was like in a person, in his inner self, when he lived in the world. But because few people know the difference between a love for the opposite sex and conjugial love, I must therefore say something about it at the outset of this discussion. A love for the opposite sex is love for several of the opposite sex and experienced with several, whereas conjugial love is love solely for one of the opposite sex and experienced with one. Love for several and experienced with several is moreover a natural love, being shared in common with animals and birds, which are natural, while conjugial love is a spiritual love, being particular and peculiar to human beings, because human beings were created and are thus born to become spiritual. The more spiritual a person becomes, therefore, the more he divests himself of a love for the opposite sex and clothes himself in conjugial love. It appears to begin with in marriage as though a love for the opposite sex were bound together with conjugial love. But as the marriage progresses, the two loves are separated, and then in the case of people who are spiritual, a love for the opposite sex is banished and conjugial love insinuated. In the case of those who are natural, however, the opposite occurs. From what we have now said, it is apparent that a love for the opposite sex is impure and unchaste, because it is experienced with several and is in itself natural, being, in fact, animal, and that it is licentious, because it is promiscuous and not restricted. It is altogether different, on the other hand, with conjugial love. In the following chapters it will be clearly seen that conjugial love is spiritual and peculiarly human.

47r. [repeated]* (3) Most married couples meet after death, recognize each other, associate, and live together for a time, which occurs in their first state, thus while they are still maintaining the outward aspects of their lives as they did in the world. There are two states that a person goes through after death, an external state and an internal state. A person comes first into the external state, and afterwards into the internal one. It is during the external state - if both partners have died - that they meet, recognize each other, and, if they lived together in the world, associate and live together for a time. And when they are in this state, one partner does not know the other's feelings toward him, because these feelings keep themselves hidden inside. Later, however, when they come into their internal state, the feelings manifest themselves. And if these feelings are concordant and congenial, the partners continue their married life. But if these feelings are discordant and uncongenial, they end it. If a man has had several wives, he associates with them in turn, so long as he is in the external state. But when he comes into the internal state, and perceives what their feelings of love are like, he then either chooses one or leaves them all. For in the spiritual world, just as in the natural world, a Christian is never allowed to have several wives, because this attacks religion and profanes it. A similar thing happens with a wife who has had several husbands, although wives in this case do not attach themselves to their husbands. They only present themselves, and the husbands attach the wives to them. Let it be known that husbands rarely recognize their wives, but that wives readily recognize their husbands. The reason is that women have an interior perception of love, while men have only a more superficial perception.

48r. [repeated] (4) Progressively, however, as married partners put off outward appearances and enter into their inward qualities, they gradually perceive what sort of love and mutual feeling they had had for each other, and consequently whether it is possible for them to live together or not. There is no need to explain this further, since it follows as a conclusion from what was explained under the preceding heading. We will only clarify here how it is that a person puts off outward appearances and takes on inward qualities. Everyone is first introduced after death into a world that is called the world of spirits, which is midway between heaven and hell; and there he is prepared, for heaven if he is good, and for hell if he is evil. [2] The purpose of the preparation in that world is to bring the inner reality and the outer appearance into harmony, so that the internal and external become one, instead of being at variance and divided in two. They are divided in two in the natural world, and only in the case of people who have an honest heart do they become one. (That they are divided in two is apparent from crafty and deceitful people, especially from hypocrites, flatterers, fakes and liars.) In the spiritual world, however, one is not permitted to have a mind divided like that, but a person who had been evil inwardly must also be evil outwardly. So, too, with a good person, who must be good in both ways. [3] For every person after death becomes what he had been like inwardly, and not what he had been like outwardly. To achieve this end, the person is then brought by turns into his external character and alternately into his internal one. And everybody is wise so long as he is in his external character; that is, he tries to appear wise - even one who is evil. But if he is evil, the same person is irrational in his internal character. By these alternations he can see his insanities and recover from them. However, if he had not come to his senses in the world, he cannot do so afterward, because he loves his insanities and wants to remain in them. Therefore he forces his external character into becoming similarly irrational as well. So his internal and external characters become one, and when this happens, he is ready for hell. [4] It is quite different, on the other hand, if the person is good. Because he had looked to God and come to his senses in the world, in his internal character he was wiser than in his external life. In his external life he sometimes even acted irrationally owing to the enticements and vanities of the world. Therefore his external character is also reduced to harmony with his internal one, which, as we said, is wise. And when this happens, he is ready for heaven. This makes clear how it is that the outward character is put off and the internal character taken on after death. * Numbers 47 and 48 were used twice by Swedenborg

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