Divine Love and Wisdom, by Emanuel Swedenborg, , tr. by John C. Ager  at sacred-texts.com
THE LORD CREATED THE UNIVERSE AND ALL THINGS OF IT BY MEANS OF THE SUN WHICH IS THE FIRST PROCEEDING OF DIVINE LOVE AND DIVINE WISDOM. By "the Lord" is meant God from eternity, that is, Jehovah: who is called Father and Creator, because He is one with Him, as has been shown in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Lord; consequently in the following pages, where also creation is treated of, He is called the Lord152.
That all things in the universe were created by Divine Love and Divine Wisdom was fully shown in Part I., (particularly in n. 52, 53); here now it is to be shown that this was done by means of the sun, which is the first proceeding of Divine Love and Divine Wisdom. No one who is capable of seeing effects from causes, and afterwards by causes effects in their order and sequence, can deny that the sun is the first of creation, for all the things that are in its world have perpetual existence from it; and because they have perpetual existence from it, their existence was derived from it. The one involves and is proof of the other; for all things are under the sun's view, since it is determined that they should be, and to hold under its view is to determine perpetually; therefore it is said that subsistence is perpetual existence. If, moreover, any thing were to be withdrawn entirely from the sun's influx through the atmospheres, it would instantly be dissipated; for the atmospheres, which are purer and purer, and are rendered active in power by the sun, hold all things in connection. Since, then, the perpetual existence of the universe, and of every thing pertaining to it, is from the sun, it is plain that the sun is the first of creation, from which [is all else]. The sun is spoken of as creating, but this means the Lord, by means of the sun; for the sun also was created by the Lord.153.
There are two suns through which all things were created by the Lord, the sun of the spiritual world and the sun of the natural world. All things were created by the Lord through the sun of the spiritual world, but not through the sun of the natural world, since the latter is far below the former; it is in middle distance; above it is the spiritual world and below it is the natural world. This sun of the natural world was created to render aid, as a kind of substitute; this aid will be spoken of in what follows.154.
The universe and all things thereof were created by the Lord, the sun of the spiritual world serving as a medium, because that sun is the first proceeding of Divine Love and Divine Wisdom, and from Divine Love and Divine Wisdom all things are (as was pointed out above, n. 52-82). In every thing created, greatest as well as least, there are these three, end, cause and effect. A created thing in which these three are not, is impossible. In what is greatest, that is, in the universe, these three exist in the following order; in the sun, which is the first proceeding of Divine Love and Divine Wisdom, is the end of all things; in the spiritual world are the causes of all things; in the natural world are the effects of all things. How these three are in things first and in things last shall be shown in what follows. Since, then, no created thing is possible in which these three are not, it follows that the universe and all things of it were created by the Lord through the sun, wherein is the end of all things.155.
Creation itself cannot be brought within man's comprehension unless space and time are removed from thought; but if these are removed, it can be comprehended. Removing these if you can, or as much as you can, and keeping the mind in ideas abstracted from space and time, you will perceive that there is no difference between the maximum of space and the minimum of space; and then you cannot but have a similar idea of the creation of the universe as of the creation of the particulars therein; you will also perceive that diversity in created things springs from this, that there are infinite things in God-Man, consequently things without limit in the sun which is the first proceeding from Him; these countless things take form, as in an image, in the created universe. From this it is that no one thing can anywhere be precisely the same as another. From this comes that variety of all things which is presented to sight, in the natural world, together with space, but in the spiritual world with appearance of space; and it is a variety both of generals and of particulars. These are the things that have been pointed out in Part I., where it is shown that in God-Man infinite things are one distinctly (n. 17-22); that all things in the universe were created by Divine Love and Divine Wisdom, n. 52, 53); that all things in the created universe are recipients of the Divine Love and of the Divine Wisdom of God-Man (n. 54-60); that the Divine is not in space (n. 7-10); that the Divine apart from space fills all spaces (n. 66 - 72); that the Divine is the same in things greatest and least (n. 77-82).156.
The creation of the universe, and of all things of it, cannot be said to have been wrought from space to space, or from time to time, thus progressively and successively, but from eternity and from infinity; not from eternity of time, because there is no such thing, but from eternity not of time, for this is the same with the Divine; nor from infinity of space, because again there is no such thing, but from infinity not of space, which also is the same with the Divine. These things, I know, transcend the ideas of thoughts that are in natural light, but they do not transcend the ideas of thoughts that are in spiritual light, for in these there is nothing of space and time. Neither do they wholly transcend ideas that are in natural light; for when it is said that infinity of space is not possible, this is affirmed by every one from reason. It is the same with eternity, for this is infinity of time. If you say "to eternity," it is comprehensible from time; but "from eternity" is not comprehensible, unless time is removed.157.
THE SUN OF THE NATURAL WORLD IS PURE FIRE, CONSEQUENTLY DEAD; NATURE ALSO IS DEAD, BECAUSE IT DERIVES ITS ORIGIN FROM THAT SUN. Creation itself cannot be ascribed in the least to the sun of the natural world, but must be wholly ascribed to the sun of the spiritual world; because the sun of the natural world is altogether dead; but the sun of the spiritual world is living; for it is the first proceeding of Divine Love and Divine Wisdom; and what is dead does not act at all from itself, but is acted upon; consequently to ascribe to it anything of creation would be like ascribing the work of an artificer to the tool which is moved by his hands. The sun of the natural world is pure fire from which everything of life has been withdrawn; but the sun of the spiritual world is fire in which is Divine Life. The angelic idea of the fire of the sun of the natural world, and of the fire of the sun of the spiritual world, is this; that in the fire of the sun of the spiritual world the Divine Life is within, but in the fire of the sun of the natural world it is without. From this it can be seen that the actuating power of the natural sun is not from itself, but from a living force proceeding from the sun of the spiritual world; consequently if the living force of that sun were withdrawn or taken away, the natural sun would have no vital power. For this reason the worship of the sun is the lowest of all the forms of God-worship, for it is wholly dead, as the sun itself is, and therefore in the Word it is called "abomination."158.
As the sun of the natural world is pure fire, and therefore dead, the heat proceeding from it is also dead, likewise the light proceeding from it is dead; so also are the atmospheres, which are called ether and air, and which receive in their bosom and carry down the heat and light of that sun; and as these are dead so are each and all things of the earth which are beneath the atmospheres, and are called soils, yet these, one and all, are encompassed by what is spiritual, proceeding and flowing forth from the sun of the spiritual world. Unless they had been so encompassed, the soils could not have been stirred into activity, and have produced forms of uses, which are plants, nor forms of life, which are animals; nor could have supplied the materials by which man begins and continues to exist.159.
Now since nature begins from that sun, and all that springs forth and continues to exist from it is called natural, it follows that nature, with each and every thing pertaining thereto, is dead. It appears in man and animal as if alive, because of the life which accompanies and actuates it.160.
Since these lowest things of nature which form the lands are dead, and are not changeable and varying according to states of affections and thoughts, as in the spiritual world, but unchangeable and fixed, therefore in nature there are spaces and spatial distances. There are such things, because creation has there terminated, and abides at rest. From this it is evident that spaces are a property of nature; and because in nature spaces are not appearances of spaces according to states of life, as they are in the spiritual world, these also may be called dead.161.
Since times in like manner are settled and constant, they also are a property of nature; for the length of a day is constantly twenty-four hours, and the length of a year is constantly three hundred and sixty-five days and a quarter. The very states of light and shade, and of heat and cold, which cause these periods to vary, are also regular in their return. The states which recur daily are morning, noon, evening, and night; those recurring yearly are spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Moreover, the annual states modify regularly the daily states. All these states are likewise dead because they are not states of life, as in the spiritual world; for in the spiritual world there is continuous light and there is continuous heat, the light corresponding to the state of wisdom, and the heat to the state of love with the angels; consequently the states of these are living.162.
From all this the folly of those who ascribe all things to nature can be seen. Those who have confirmed themselves in favor of nature have brought such a state on themselves that they are no longer willing to raise the mind above nature; consequently their minds are shut above and opened below. Man thus becomes sensual-natural, that is, spiritually dead; and because he then thinks only from such things as he has imbibed from his bodily senses, or through the senses from the world, he at heart even denies God. Then because conjunction with heaven is broken, conjunction with hell takes place, the capacity to think and will alone remaining; the capacity to think, from rationality, and the capacity to will, from freedom; these two capacities every man has from the Lord, nor are they taken away. These two capacities devils have equally with angels; but devils devote them to insane thinking and evil doing, and angels to becoming wise and doing good.163.
WITHOUT A DOUBLE SUN, ONE LIVING AND THE OTHER DEAD, NO CREATION IS POSSIBLE. The universe in general is divided into two worlds, the spiritual and the natural. In the spiritual world are angels and spirits, in the natural world men. In external appearance these two worlds are entirely alike, so alike that they cannot be distinguished; but as to internal appearance they are entirely unlike. The men themselves in the spiritual world, who (as was said above) are called angels and spirits, are spiritual, and, being spiritual, they think spiritually and speak spiritually. But the men of the natural world are natural, and therefore think naturally and speak naturally; and spiritual thought and speech have nothing in common with natural thought and speech. From this it is plain that these two worlds, the spiritual and the natural, are entirely distinct from each other, so that they can in no respect be together.164.
Now as these two worlds are so distinct, it is necessary that there should be two suns, one from which all spiritual things are, and another from which all natural things are. And as all spiritual things in their origin are living, and all natural things from their origin are dead, and these origins are suns, it follows that the one sun is living and the other dead; also, that the dead sun itself was created by the Lord through the living sun.165.
A dead sun was created to this end, that in outmosts all things may be fixed, settled, and constant, and thus there may be forms of existence which shall be permanent and durable. In this and in no other way is creation founded. The terraqueous globe, in which, upon which, and about which, things exist, is a kind of base and support; for it is the outmost work [ultimum opus], in which all things terminate, and upon which they rest. It is also a kind of matrix, out of which effects, which are ends of creation, are produced, as will be shown in what follows.166.
That all things were created by the Lord through the living sun, and nothing through the dead sun, can be seen from this, that what is living disposes what is dead in obedience to itself, and forms it for uses, which are its ends; but not the reverse. Only a person bereft of reason and who is ignorant of what life is, can think that all things are from nature, and that life even comes from nature. Nature cannot dispense life to anything, since nature in itself is wholly inert. For what is dead to act upon what is living, or for dead force to act upon living force, or, what is the same, for the natural to act upon the spiritual, is entirely contrary to order, therefore so to think is contrary to the light of sound reason. What is dead, that is, the natural, may indeed in many ways be perverted or changed by external accidents, but it cannot act upon life; on the contrary life acts into it, according to the induced change of form. It is the same with physical influx into the spiritual operations of the soul; this, it is known, does not occur, for it is not possible.167.
THE END OF CREATION HAS FORM [existat] IN OUTMOSTS, WHICH END IS THAT ALL THINGS MAY RETURN TO THE CREATOR AND THAT THERE MAY BE CONJUNCTION. In the first place, something shall be said about ends. There are three things that follow in order, called first end, middle end, and last end; they are also called end, cause, and effect. These three must be together in every thing, that it may be anything. For a first end without a middle end, and at the same time a last end, is impossible; or, what is the same, an end alone, without a cause and an effect is impossible. Equally impossible is a cause alone without an end from which and an effect in which it is, or an effect alone, that is, an effect without its cause and end. That this is so may be comprehended if it be observed that an end without an effect, that is, separated from an effect, is a thing without existence, and therefore a mere term. For in order that an end may actually be an end it must be terminated, and it is terminated in its effect, wherein it is first called an end because it is an end. It appears as if the agent or the efficient exists by itself; but this so appears from its being in the effect; but if separated from the effect it would instantly vanish. From all this it is evident that these three, end, cause, and effect, must be in every thing to make it anything.168.
It must be known further, that the end is everything in the cause, and also everything in the effect; from this it is that end, cause, and effect, are called first end, middle end, and last end. But that the end may be everything in the cause, there must be something from the end [in the cause] wherein the end shall be; and that the end may be everything in the effect, there must be something from the end through the cause [in the effect] wherein the end shall be. For the end cannot be in itself alone, but it must be in something having existence from it, in which it can dwell as to all that is its own, and by acting, come into effect, until it has permanent existence. That in which it has permanent existence is the last end, which is called effect.169.
These three, namely, end, cause, and effect, are in the created universe, both in its greatest and least parts. They are in the greatest and least parts of the created universe, because they are in God the Creator, who is the Lord from eternity. But since He is Infinite, and in the Infinite in finite things are one distinctly (as was shown above, n. 17-22), therefore also these three in Him, and in His infinites, are one distinctly. From this it is that the universe which was created from His Esse, and which, regarded as to uses, is His image, possesses these three in each and all of its parts.170.
The universal end, that is, the end of all things of creation, is that there may be an eternal conjunction of the Creator with the created universe; and this is not possible unless there are subjects wherein His Divine can be as in Itself, thus in which it can dwell and abide. In order that these subjects may be dwelling-places and mansions of Him, they must be recipients of His love and wisdom as of themselves; such, therefore, as will elevate themselves to the Creator as of themselves, and conjoin themselves with Him. Without this ability to reciprocate no conjunction is possible. These subjects are men, who are able as of themselves to elevate and conjoin themselves. That men are such subjects, and that they are recipients of the Divine as of themselves, has been pointed out above many times. By means of this conjunction, the Lord is present in every work created by Him; for everything has been created for man as its end; consequently the uses of all created things ascend by degrees from outmosts to man, and through man to God the Creator from whom [are all things] (as was shown above, n. 65-68).171.
To this last end creation progresses continually, through these three, namely, end, cause, and effect, because these three are in the Lord the Creator (as was said just above); and the Divine apart from space is in all space (n. 69-72); and is the same in things greatest and least (77 - 82); from which it is evident that the created universe, in its general progression to its last end, is relatively the middle end. For out of the earth forms of uses are continually raised by the Lord the Creator, in their order up to man, who as to his body is also from the earth. Thereafter, man is elevated by the reception of love and wisdom from the Lord; and for this reception of love and wisdom, all means are provided; and he has been so made as to be able to receive, if he will. From what has now been said it can be seen, though as yet only in a general manner, that the end of creation takes form [existat] in outmost things; which end is, that all things may return to the Creator, and that there may be conjunction.172.
That these three, end, cause, and effect, are in each and every thing created, can also be seen from this, that all effects, which are called last ends, become anew first ends in uninterrupted succession from the First, who is the Lord the Creator, even to the last end, which is the conjunction of man with Him. That all last ends become anew first ends is plain from this, that there can be nothing so inert and dead as to have no efficient power in it. Even out of sand there is such an exhalation as gives aid in producing, and therefore in effecting something.173.
PART THIRD. IN THE SPIRITUAL WORLD THERE ARE ATMOSPHERES, WATERS AND LANDS, JUST AS IN THE NATURAL WORLD; ONLY THE FORMER ARE SPIRITUAL, WHILE THE LATTER ARE NATURAL. It has been said in the preceding pages, and shown in the work Heaven and Hell, that the spiritual world is like the natural world, with the difference only that each and every thing of the spiritual world is spiritual, and each and every thing of the natural world is natural. As these two worlds are alike, there are in both, atmospheres, waters, and lands, which are the generals through and from which each and all things take their form [existunt] with infinite variety.174.
As regards the atmospheres, which are called ethers and airs, they are alike in both worlds, the spiritual and the natural, with the difference only that they are spiritual in the spiritual world, and natural in the natural world. The former are spiritual, because they have their form from the sun which is the first proceeding of the Divine Love and Divine Wisdom of the Lord, and from Him receive within them the Divine fire which is love, and the Divine light which is wisdom, and carry these down to the heavens where the angels dwell, and cause the presence of that sun there in things greatest and least. The spiritual atmospheres are divided substances, that is, least forms, originating from the sun. As these each singly receive the sun, its fire, distributed among so many substances, that is, so many forms, and as it were enveloped by them, and tempered by these envelopments, becomes heat, adapted finally to the love of angels in heaven and of spirits under heaven. The same is true of the light of that sun. In this the natural atmospheres are like spiritual atmospheres, that they also are divided substances or least forms originating from the sun of the natural world; these also each singly receive the sun and store up its fire in themselves, and temper it, and carry it down as heat to the earth, where men dwell. The same is true of natural light.175.
The difference between spiritual and natural atmospheres is that spiritual atmospheres are receptacles of Divine fire and Divine light, thus of love and wisdom, for they contain these interiorly within them; while natural atmospheres are receptacles, not of Divine fire and Divine light, but of the fire and light of their own sun, which in itself is dead, as was shown above; consequently there is nothing interiorly in them from the sun of the spiritual world, although they are environed by spiritual atmospheres from that sun. That this is the difference between spiritual and natural atmospheres has been learned from the wisdom of angels.176.
That there are atmospheres in the spiritual, just as in the natural world, can be seen from this, that angels and spirits breathe, and also speak and hear - just as men do in the natural world; and respiration, speech, and hearing are all effected by means of a lowest atmosphere, which is called air; it can be seen also from this, that angels and spirits, like men in the natural world, have sight, and sight is possible only by means of an atmosphere purer than air; also from this, that angels and spirits, like men in the natural world, think and are moved by affection, and thought and affection are not possible except by means of still purer atmospheres; and finally from this, that all parts of the bodies of angels and spirits, external as well as internal, are held together in connection by atmospheres, the external by air and the internal by ethers. Without the surrounding pressure and action of these atmospheres the interior and exterior forms of the body would evidently dissolve away. Since angels are spiritual, and each and all things of their bodies are held together in connection, form, and order by means of atmospheres, it follows that these atmospheres are spiritual; they are spiritual, because they arise from the spiritual sun which is the first proceeding of the Lord's Divine Love and Divine Wisdom.177.
That there are also waters and lands in the spiritual as well as in the natural world, with the difference that these waters and lands are spiritual, has been said above and has been shown in the work Heaven and Hell; and because these are spiritual, they are moved and modified by the heat and light of the spiritual sun, the atmospheres therefrom serving as mediums, just as the waters and lands in the natural world are moved and modified by the heat and light of the sun of their world, its atmospheres serving as mediums.178.
Atmospheres, waters, and lands are here specified, because these three are generals, through and from which each and all things have their form [existunt] in infinite variety. The atmospheres are the active forces, the waters are the mediate forces, and the lands are the passive forces, from which all effects have existence. These three forces are such in their series solely by virtue of life that proceeds from the Lord as a sun, and that makes them active.179.
THERE ARE DEGREES OF LOVE AND WISDOM, CONSEQUENTLY DEGREES OF HEAT AND LIGHT ALSO DEGREES, OF ATMOSPHERES. The things which follow cannot be comprehended unless it be known that there are degrees, also what they are, and what their nature is, because in every created thing, thus in every form, there are degrees. This Part of Angelic Wisdom will therefore treat of degrees. That there are degrees of love and wisdom can be clearly seen from the fact that there are angels of the three heavens. The angels of the third heaven so far excel the angels of the second heaven in love and wisdom, and these, the angels of the lowest heaven, that they cannot be together. The degrees of love and wisdom distinguish and separate them. It is from this that angels of the lower heavens cannot ascend to angels of higher heavens, or if allowed to ascend, they do not see the higher angels or anything that is about them. They do not see them because the love and wisdom of the higher angels is of a higher degree, transcending the perception of the lower angels. For each angel is his own love and his own wisdom; and love together with wisdom in its form is a man, because God, who is Love itself and Wisdom itself, is a Man. It has sometimes been permitted me to see angels of the lowest heaven who have ascended to the angels of the third heaven; and when they had made their way thither, I have heard them complaining that they did not see any one, and all the while they were in the midst of the higher angels. Afterwards they were instructed that those angels were invisible to them because their love and wisdom were imperceptible to them, and that love and wisdom are what make an angel appear as a man.180.
That there must be degrees of love and wisdom is still more evident when the love and wisdom of angels are compared with the love and wisdom of men. It is well known that the wisdom of angels, when thus compared, is ineffable; also it will be seen in what follows that to men who are in natural love, this wisdom is incomprehensible. It appears ineffable and incomprehensible because it is of a higher degree.181.
Since there are degrees of love and wisdom, there are also degrees of heat and light. By heat and light are meant spiritual heat and light, such as angels in the heavens have, and such as men have as to the interiors of their minds; for men have a heat of love similar to that of the angels, and a similar light of wisdom. In the heavens, such and so much love as the angels have, such and so much is their heat; and the same is true of their light as compared with their wisdom; the reason is, that with them love is in the heat, and wisdom in the light (as was shown above). It is the same with men on earth, with the difference, however, that angels feel that heat and see that light, but men do not, because they are in natural heat and light; and while they are in the natural heat and light spiritual heat is not felt except by a certain enjoyment of love, and spiritual light is not seen except by a perception of truth. Now since man, so long as he is in natural heat and light, knows nothing of the spiritual heat and light within him, and since knowledge of these can be obtained only through experience from the spiritual world, the heat and light in which the angels and their heavens are, shall here be especially spoken of. From this and from no other source can enlightenment on this subject be had.182.
But degrees of spiritual heat cannot be described from experience, because love, to which spiritual heat corresponds, does not come thus under ideas of thought; but degrees of spiritual light can be described, because light pertains to thought, and therefore comes under ideas of thought. Yet degrees of spiritual heat can be comprehended by their relation to the degrees of light, for the two are in like degree. With respect then to spiritual light in which angels are, it has been granted me to see it with my eyes. With angels of the higher heavens, the light is so glistening white as to be indescribable, even by comparison with the shining whiteness of snow, and so glowing as to be indescribable even by comparison with the beams of this world's sun. In a word, that light exceeds a thousand times the noonday light upon earth. But the light with angels of the lower heavens can be described in a measure by comparisons, although it still exceeds the most intense light of our world. The light of angels of the higher heavens is indescribable, because their light makes one with their wisdom; and because their wisdom, compared to the wisdom of men, is ineffable, thus also is their light. From these few things it can be seen that there must be degrees of light; and because wisdom and love are of like degrees, it follows that there must be like degrees of heat.183.
Since atmospheres are the receptacles and containants of heat and light, it follows that there are as many degrees of atmospheres as there are degrees of heat and light; also that there are as many as there are degrees of love and wisdom. That there are several atmospheres, and that these are distinct from each other by means of degrees, has been manifested to me by much experience in the spiritual world; especially from this, that angels of the lower heavens are not able to breathe in the region of higher angels, and appear to themselves to gasp for breath, as living creatures do when they are raised out of air into ether, or out of water into air. Moreover, spirits below the heavens appear in a kind of cloud. That there are several atmospheres, and that they are distinct from each other by means of degrees, may be seen above (n. 176).184.
DEGREES ARE OF A TWOFOLD KIND, DEGREES OF HEIGHT AND DEGREES OF BREADTH. A knowledge of degrees is like a key to lay open the causes of things, and to give entrance into them. Without this knowledge, scarcely anything of cause can be known; for without it, the objects and subjects of both worlds seem to have but a single meaning, as if there were nothing in them beyond that which meets the eye; when yet compared to the things which lie hidden within, what is thus seen is as one to thousands, yea, to tens of thousands. The interiors which are not open to view can in no way be discovered except through a knowledge of degrees. For things exterior advance to things interior and through these to things inmost, by means of degrees; not by continuous degrees but by discrete degrees. "Continuous degrees" is a term applied to the gradual lessenings or decreasings from grosser to finer, or from denser to rarer; or rather, to growths and increasings from finer to grosser, or from rarer to denser; precisely like the gradations of light to shade, or of heat to cold. But discrete degrees are entirely different: they are like things prior, subsequent and final; or like end, cause, and effect. These degrees are called discrete, because the prior is by itself; the subsequent by itself; and the final by itself; and yet taken together they make one. There are atmospheres, from highest to lowest, that is, from the sun to the earth, called ethers and airs that are separated into such degrees; they are like simples, collections of simples, and again collections of these, which taken together are called a composite. Such degrees are discrete [or separate], because each has a distinct existence, and these degrees are what are meant by "degrees of height;" but the former degrees are continuous, because they increase continuously and these degrees are what are meant by "degrees of breadth."185.
Each and all things that have existence in the spiritual world and in the natural world, have conjoint existence from discrete degrees and from continuous degrees together, that is, from degrees of height and from degrees of breadth. The dimension which consists of discrete degrees is called height, and the dimension that consists of continuous degrees is called breadth; their position relatively to the sight of the eye does not alter the designation. Without a knowledge of these degrees nothing can be known of how the three heavens differ from each other; nor can anything be known of the differences of love and wisdom of the angels there; nor of the differences of heat and light in which they are; nor of the differences of atmospheres which environ and contain these. Nor without a knowledge of these degrees can anything be known of the differences among the interior powers of the minds of men, thus nothing of their state as regards reformation and regeneration; nor anything of the differences among the exterior powers of the bodies both of angels and men; and nothing whatever can be known of the distinction between spiritual and natural, thus nothing of correspondence. Nor, indeed, can anything be known of any difference between the life of men and that of beasts, or between the more perfect and the less perfect animals; neither of the differences among the forms of the vegetable kingdom, nor among the matters of the mineral kingdom. From which it can be seen that they who are ignorant of these degrees are unable to see causes from anything of judgment; they see only effects, and from these judge of causes, which is done for the most part by an induction that is continuous with effects. But causes produce effects not continuously but discretely; for cause is one thing, and effect is another. The difference between the two is like the difference between prior and subsequent, or between that which forms and that which is formed.186.
That it may be still better comprehended what discrete degrees are, what their nature is, and how they differ from continuous degrees, the angelic heavens may serve as an example. There are three heavens, and these are separated by degrees of height; therefore the heavens are one below another, nor do they communicate with each other except by influx, which proceeds from the Lord through the heavens in their order to the lowest; and not contrariwise. Each heaven by itself, however, is divided not by degrees of height but by degrees of breadth. Those who are in the middle, that is, at the center, are in the light of wisdom; but those who are around about, even to the boundaries, are in the shade of wisdom. Thus wisdom grows less and less even to ignorance, as light decreases to shade, which takes place continuously. It is the same with men. The interiors belonging to their minds are separated into as many degrees as the angelic heavens; and these degrees are one above another; therefore the interiors of men which belong to their minds are separated by discrete degrees, that is, degrees of height. Consequently a man may be in the lowest degree, then in a higher, and also in the highest degree, according to the degree of his wisdom; moreover, when he is in the lowest degree only, the higher degree is shut, - but is opened as he receives wisdom from the Lord. There are also in a man, as in heaven, continuous degrees, that is degrees of breadth. A man is like the heavens because as regards the interiors of his mind, he is a heaven in least form, in the measure in which he is in love and wisdom from the Lord. That man as regards the interiors of his mind is a heaven in least form may be seen in the work Heaven and Hell (n. 51-58.)187.
From all this it can be seen, that one who knows nothing about discrete degrees, that is, degrees of height, can know nothing about the state of man as regards his reformation and regeneration, which are effected through the reception of love and wisdom of the Lord, and then through the opening of the interior degrees of his mind in their order. Nor can he know anything about influx from the Lord through the heavens nor anything about the order into which he was created. For if anyone thinks about these, not from discrete degrees or degrees of height but from continuous degrees or degrees of breadth, he is not able to perceive anything about them from causes, but only from effects; and to see from effects only is to see from fallacies, from which come errors, one after another; and these may be so multiplied by inductions that at length enormous falsities are called truths.188.
I am not aware that anything has been known hitherto about discrete degrees or degrees of height, only continuous degrees or degrees of breadth have been known; yet nothing of the real truth about cause can become known without a knowledge of degrees of both kinds. These degrees therefore shall be treated of throughout this Part; for it is the object of this little work to uncover causes, that effects may-be seen from them, and thus the darkness may be dispelled in which the man of the church is in respect to God and the Lord, and in respect to Divine things in general which are called spiritual things. This I may mention, that the angels are in grief for the darkness on the earth; saying that they see light hardly anywhere, and that men eagerly lay hold of fallacies and confirm them, thereby multiplying falsities upon falsities; and to confirm fallacies men search out, by means of reasonings from falsities and from truths falsified, such things as cannot be controverted, owing to the darkness in respect to causes and the ignorance respecting truths. The angels lament especially over confirmations respecting faith separate from charity and justification thereby; also over men's ideas about God, angels and spirits, and their ignorance of what love and wisdom are.189.
DEGREES OF HEIGHT ARE HOMOGENEOUS, AND ONE IS FROM THE OTHER IN SUCCESSION LIKE END, CAUSE, AND EFFECT. As degrees of breadth, that is continuous degrees, are like gradations from light to shade, from heat to cold, from hard to soft, from dense to rare, from thick to thin, and so forth; and as these degrees are known from sensuous and ocular experience, while degrees of height, or discrete degrees, are not, the latter kind shall be treated of especially in this Part; for without a knowledge of these degrees, causes cannot be seen. It is known indeed that end, cause, and effect follow in order, like prior, subsequent, and final; also that the end begets the cause, and, through the cause, the effect, that the end may have form; also about these many other things are known; and yet to know these things, and not to see them in their applications to existing things is simply to know abstractions, which remain in the memory only so long as the mind is in analytical ideas from metaphysical thought. From this it is that although end, cause, and effect advance according to discrete degrees, little if anything is known in the world about these degrees. For a mere knowledge of abstractions is like an airy something which flies away; but when abstractions are applied to such things as are in the world, they become like what is seen with the eyes on earth, and remains in the memory.190.
All things which have existence in the world, of which threefold dimension is predicated, that is, which are called compounds, consist of degrees of height, that is, discrete degrees; as examples will make clear. It is known from ocular experience, that every muscle in the human body consists of minute fibers, and these put together into little bundles form larger fibers, called motor fibers, and groups of these form the compound called a muscle. It is the same with nerves; in these from minute fibers larger fibers are compacted, which appear as filaments, and these grouped together compose the nerve. The same is true of the rest of the combinations, bundlings and groupings out of which the organs and viscera are made up; for these are compositions of fibers and vessels variously put together according to like degrees. It is the same also with each and every thing of the vegetable and mineral kingdoms. In woods there are combinations of filaments in threefold order. In metals and stones there are groupings of parts, also in threefold order. From all this the nature of discrete degrees can be seen, namely, that one is from the other, and through the second there is a third which is called the composite; and that each degree is discreted from the others.191.
From these examples a conclusion may be formed respecting those things that are not visible to the eye, for with those it is the same; for example, with the organic substances which are the receptacles and abodes of thoughts and affections in the brains; with atmospheres; with heat and light; and with love and wisdom. For atmospheres are receptacles of heat and light; and heat and light are receptacles of love and wisdom; consequently, as there are degrees of atmospheres, there are also like degrees of heat and light, and of love and wisdom; for the same principle applies to the latter as to the former.192.
That these degrees are homogeneous, that is, of the same character and nature, appears from what has just been said. The motor fibers of muscles, least, larger, and largest, are homogeneous. Woody filaments, from the least to the composite formed of these, are homogeneous. So likewise are parts of stones and metals of every kind. The organic substances which are receptacles and abodes of thoughts and affections, from the most simple to their general aggregate which is the brain, are homogeneous. The atmospheres, from pure ether to air, are homogeneous. The degrees of heat and light in series, following the degrees of atmospheres, are homogeneous, therefore the degrees of love and wisdom are also homogeneous. Things which are not of the same character and nature are heterogeneous, and do not harmonize with things homogeneous; thus they cannot form discrete degrees with them, but only with their own, which are of the same character and nature and with which they are homogeneous.193.
That these things in their order are like ends, causes, and effects, is evident; for the first, which is the least, effectuates its cause by means of the middle, and its effect by means of the last.194.
It should be known that each degree is made distinct from the others by coverings of its own, and that all the degrees together are made distinct by means of a general covering; also, that this general covering communicates with interiors and inmosts in their order. From this there is conjunction of all and unanimous action.195.
THE FIRST DEGREE IS THE ALL IN EVERYTHING OF THE SUBSEQUENT DEGREES. This is because the degrees of each subject and of each thing are homogeneous; and they are homogeneous because produced from the first degree. For their formation is such that the first, by bundlings or groupings, in a word, by aggregations of parts, produces the second, and through this the third; and discretes each from the other by a covering drawn around it; from which it is clear that the first degree is chief and singly supreme in the subsequent degrees; consequently that in all things of the subsequent degrees, the first is the all.196.
When it is said that degrees are such in respect to each other, the meaning is that substances are such in their degrees. This manner of speaking by degrees is abstract, that is, universal, which makes the statement applicable to every subject or thing which is in degrees of this kind.197.
This can be applied to all those things which have been enumerated in the preceding chapter, to the muscles, the nerves, the matters and parts of both the vegetable and mineral kingdoms, to the organic substances that are the subjects of thoughts and affections in man, to atmospheres, to heat and light, and to love and wisdom. In all these, the first is singly supreme in the subsequent things; yea, it is the sole thing in them, and because it is the sole thing in them, it is the all in them. That this is so is clear also from these well-known truths; that the end is the all of the cause, and through the cause is the all of the effect; and thus end, cause, and effect are called first, middle, and last end. Further, that the cause of the cause is also the cause of the thing caused; and that there is nothing essential in causes except the end, and nothing essential in movement excepting effort [conatus]; also, that the substance that is substance in itself is the sole substance.198.
From all this it can clearly be seen that the Divine, which is substance in itself, that is, the one only and sole substance, is the substance from which is each and every thing that has been created; thus that God is the All in all things of the universe, according to what has been shown in Part First, as follows. Divine Love and Divine Wisdom are substance and form (n. 40-43); Divine Love and Divine Wisdom are substance and form in itself, therefore the Very and the Only (n. 44-46); all things in the universe were created by Divine Love and Divine Wisdom (n. 52-60); consequently the created universe is His image (n. 61-65); the Lord alone is heaven where angels are (n. 113-118).199.
ALL PERFECTIONS INCREASE AND ASCEND ALONG WITH DEGREES AND ACCORDING TO THEM. That degrees are of two kinds, degrees of breadth and degrees of height has been shown above (n. 185-188); also that degrees of breadth are like those of light verging to shade, or of wisdom verging to ignorance; but that degrees of height are like end, cause and effect, or like prior, subsequent and final. Of these latter degrees it is said that they ascend or descend, for they are of height; but of the former that they increase or decrease for they are of breadth. These two kinds of degrees differ so much that they have nothing in common; they should therefore be perceived as distinct, and by no means be confounded.200.
All perfections increase and ascend along with degrees and according to them, because all predicates follow their subjects, and perfection and imperfection are general predicates; for they are predicated of life, of forces and of forms. Perfection of life is perfection of love and wisdom; and because the will and understanding are receptacles of love and wisdom, perfection of life is also perfection of will and understanding, consequently of affections and thoughts; and because spiritual heat is the containant of love, and spiritual light is the containant of wisdom, perfection of these may also be referred to perfection of life. Perfection of forces is perfection of all things that are actuated and moved by life, in which, however, there is no life. Atmospheres as to their active powers are such forces; the interior and exterior organic substances with man, and with animals of every kind, are such forces; all things in the natural world that are endowed with active powers both immediately and mediately from its sun are such forces. Perfection of forms and perfection of forces make one, for as the forces are, such are the forms; with the difference only, that forms are substances but forces are their activities; therefore like degrees of perfection belong to both. Forms that are not at the same time forces are also perfect according to degrees.