Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 7342

Previous Number Next Number Next Translation See Latin 

7342. 'And he did not take this to heart' means resistance arising in the will and consequent obstinacy. This is clear from the meaning of 'not taking something to heart' as paying no attention; and since among the evil paying no attention to Divine things is the result of resistance arising in the will, this too is meant by those same words. And since 'not taking it to heart' implies the same as being unyielding, obstinacy is also meant, as previously in 7272, 7300, 7338. With respect to resistance arising in the will, it should be recognized that the will is what rules a person. Some people think that the understanding rules; but the understanding does not do so unless the will has the same leanings. The understanding accords with the will, for regarded in itself the understanding is nothing other than the outward form which the will takes. The expression 'the will' is used here to mean the desires that belong to a person's love, for his will is nothing other. Those desires are what rule a person, for they are his life. If a person's desires are those of self-love and love of the world, then his entire life is nothing else than such desires. Nor can he resist them, for to do so would be to resist his own life. Fundamental ideas of truth make no impression whatever. If the desires belonging to those kinds of love predominate they haul truth over to their own side and so falsify it, or if it does not fully support them reject it. This explains why fundamental ideas of truth taught by faith have no effect whatever on a person unless the Lord instills desires belonging to spiritual love, that is, love towards the neighbour. And in the measure that he receives those desires he receives also the truths of faith. The desires belonging to this love are what constitute the new will. From all this it may now be seen that a person never takes any truth to heart if his will is resistant to it. So it is that those in hell, having an affection or desires for evil within them, cannot receive the truths of faith, consequently cannot undergo correction. So it is too that the evil falsify the truths of faith, so far as they can.

This page is part of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg

© 2000-2001 The Academy of the New Church