Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 1594

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1594. That 'they were separated, man from his brother' means that those things bring the separation about follows from what has just been stated. What 'a man, a brother' is has already been stated above at verse 8, namely unity, and therefore 'being separated, man from brother' means severance. What it is that severs the external man from the internal, the individual does not know; and there are a number of reasons for his not knowing. For one thing he does not know of - or if he has heard of, does not believe in - the existence of the internal man. And for another thing he does not know - or if he has heard, does not believe - that self-love and its desires are what cause the severance, also the love of the world and its desires, though not so much as self-love.

[2] The reason he does not know of - or if he has heard of, does not believe in - the existence of the internal man is that the life he leads is immersed in things of the body and the senses, which cannot possibly see what is interior. Interior things are able to see that which is exterior, but exterior things cannot possibly see what is interior. Take the power of sight; the internal sight can see what external sight is, but external sight cannot possibly see what internal sight is. Or take the power of understanding and of rationality; this is able to perceive what factual knowledge is, and the nature of it, but not vice versa. A further reason why the existence of the internal man is not known or believed in by the individual is that he does not believe in the existence of the spirit which is separated from the body at death, and scarcely in the existence of that internal life which people call the soul. For when the person whose mind is immersed in things of the body and the senses thinks of the spirit being separated from the body it strikes him as an impossibility because he regards the body as the place where life resides, and confirms himself in this view from the fact that animals have life as well and yet do not live on after death, in addition to many other considerations. All these ideas of his arise from the fact that the life he leads is immersed in things of the body and the senses, a life which regarded in itself is little different from the life of animals. The only difference is that man is able to think and to reason about whatever he encounters; but even then he does not reflect on this ability which places him above animals.

[3] But this is not the major cause of the severance of the external man from the internal man, for the greater number of people possess such unbelief, the highly learned more than the simple That which causes the severance is chiefly self-love, and also love of the world, though not so much as self-love does. The reason a person does not know this is that his life is devoid of charity, and when his life is devoid of charity, how can he see that the life of self-love and its desires is so contrary to heavenly love? Also there is within self-love and its desires a kind of flame, and from it a feeling of delight which so affect a person's life that he can scarcely conceive of eternal happiness consisting of anything else. For this reason also many people suppose that eternal happiness means becoming great following the life of the body and being served by others, even by angels, while they themselves are not willing to serve anybody except for the concealed motive of being served themselves. When at such times they assert that they wish to serve the Lord alone, it is a lie, for people who are ruled by self-love wish that even the Lord should serve them. And to the extent this does not happen they depart, so strong is the desire in their hearts to become lords and rule the entire universe. What kind of government it would be when the majority, or indeed all, are like this, anyone can think out for himself. Would it not be a government like that exercised in hell where everyone loves himself more than anybody else? This is what lies hidden within self-love From this it may become clear what the nature of self-love is, and also from the fact that it conceals within itself hatred of all who do not submit themselves to it as its slaves. And because it conceals hatred, it also conceals forms of revenge, cruelty, deceit, and further unspeakable things.

[4] Mutual love however, which alone is heavenly, consists in not only saying but also acknowledging and believing that one is utterly undeserving, and something worthless and filthy, which the Lord in His infinite mercy is constantly drawing away and holding back from the hell into which the person constantly tries, and indeed longs, to cast himself. He acknowledges and believes this because it is the truth. Not that the Lord or any angel wishes him to acknowledge and believe it just to gain his submission, but to prevent his vaunting himself when he is in fact such. This would be like excrement calling itself pure gold, or a dung-fly a bird of paradise. To the extent therefore that a person acknowledges and believes that he really is what he in fact is, he departs from self-love and its desires, and loathes himself. To the extent that this happens he receives from the Lord heavenly love, that is, mutual love, which is willing to serve all. These are the people meant by the least who become the greatest in the Lord's kingdom, Matt 20:26-28; Luke 9:46-48.

[5] These considerations show what it is that severs the external man from the internal - chiefly self- love. And the chief thing that unites the external man to the internal is mutual love, which is in no way attainable until self-love departs, for they are complete opposites. The internal man is nothing else than mutual love. The human spirit itself, or soul, is the interior man which lives after death. It is organic, for it is joined to the body so long as the person lives in the world. This interior man - that is, his soul or spirit - is not the internal man, but the internal man is within the interior when the latter has mutual love within it. The things that belong to the internal man are the Lord's, so that one may say that the internal man is the Lord. Yet because the Lord grants an angel or man, so long as his life has mutual love in it, a heavenly proprium so that he has no idea but that he does good from himself, an internal man is therefore attributed to a person as though it were his own. The person in whom mutual love dwells however acknowledges and believes that everything good and true is not his own but the Lord's He acknowledges and believes that his ability to love another as himself- and if he is like the angels, more than himself- is a gift from the Lord and that he ceases to enjoy that gift and its happiness to the extent he departs from acknowledging that it is the Lord's

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