Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 6326

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6326. There was a philosopher who had died several years earlier, one of the quite renowned and level-headed. I spoke to him about the degrees of life in human beings. I said that a person consists of nothing but forms which are made for receiving life, and that one form is more internal than another. I said that one has derived its existence from another and is kept in existence by it, and also that a higher or more internal form still has life even when the lower or more external one may have been released from it. All workings of the mind, I continued, are variations of form, and when these variations occur in the purer substances, they are so perfect that they defy description. The ideas constituting a person's thought are nothing else than such variations, which take place as changes occur in the state of a person's affections.

[2] How utterly perfect the variations in purer forms are, I pointed out, can be deduced from the lungs. The lungs curl in varying ways and effect varying forms to produce particular sounds uttered in speech, particular notes struck in singing, particular movements made by the body, and also particular states of thought and affection. What then of more internal things which, when compared with such an important organ as the lungs, exist in an utterly perfect state of perfection? The philosopher endorsed all this and swore that such matters had been well known to him when he had lived in the world. He added that the world ought to be using philosophical arguments for such purposes and ought not to be fixing its attention merely on stock phrases and disputes about them, and so sweating away in the dust.

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