Failing To Be A ‘Better’ Person (5 mins)

Arcana Coelestia 141. Innumerable things might be said about man’s proprium in describing its nature with the corporeal and worldly man, with the spiritual man, and with the celestial man.

With the corporeal and worldly man, his proprium is his all, he knows of nothing else than his proprium, and imagines, as before said, that if he were to lose this proprium he would perish.

With the spiritual man also his proprium has a similar appearance, for although he knows that the Lord is the life of all, and gives wisdom and understanding, and consequently the power to think and to act, yet this knowledge is rather the profession of his lips than the belief of his heart.

But the celestial man discerns that the Lord is the life of all and gives the power to think and to act, for he perceives that it is really so. He never desires his proprium, nevertheless a proprium is given him by the Lord, which is conjoined with all perception of what is good and true, and with all happiness. The angels are in such a proprium, and are at the same time in the highest peace and tranquility, for in their proprium are those things which are the Lord’s, who governs their proprium, or them by means of their proprium. This proprium is the veriest celestial itself, whereas that of the corporeal man is infernal. 
AC 868. Everyone believes at the present day that the evils and falsities in man are entirely separated and abolished during regeneration, so that when he becomes regenerate, nothing of evil or falsity remains, but he is clean and righteous, like one washed and purified with water. This notion is, however, utterly false; for not a single evil or falsity can be so shaken off as to be abolished; but whatever has been hereditarily derived from infancy, and acquired by act and deed, remains; so that man, notwithstanding his being regenerate, is nothing but evil and falsity, as is shown to the life to souls after death.

The truth of this may be sufficiently manifest from the consideration, that there is nothing of good and nothing of truth in man except from the Lord, and that all evil and falsity are man’s from his proprium; and that man, and spirit, and even angel, if left in the least to himself, would rush of himself into hell; wherefore also it is said in the Word that heaven is not pure. This is acknowledged by angels, and he who does not acknowledge it cannot be among angels. It is the Lord’s mercy alone that liberates them, and even draws them out of hell and keeps them from rushing thither of themselves. That they are kept by the Lord from rushing into hell, is manifestly perceived by the angels, and even in a measure by good spirits. Evil spirits, however, like men, do not believe this; but it has often been shown them, as of the Lord’s Divine mercy will be told from experience hereafter.

[2] Since therefore the state of man is such that no evil and falsity can ever be so shaken off as to be abolished, because the life that is proper to him consists in evil and falsity, the Lord, from Divine mercy, while He regenerates man, through temptations so subdues his evils and falsities that they appear as if dead, though they are not dead, but are only subdued so that they cannot fight against the goods and truths which are from the Lord. At the same time also the Lord through temptations gives man a new faculty of receiving goods and truths, by gifting him with ideas and affections of good and of truth, to which evils and falsities can be bent, and by inserting in his generals (of which above) particulars, and in these singulars, which are stored up in man and which he knows nothing about, for they are interior to the sphere of his apprehension and perception. These are of a nature to serve for receptacles or vessels, so that charity can be insinuated into them by the Lord, and into charity innocence.

By their wonderful tempering with man, spirit, and angel, a kind of rainbow may be represented, and for this reason the rainbow was made the sign of the covenant (Genesis 9:12-17), concerning which, of the Lord’s Divine mercy we shall speak under that chapter. When man has been thus formed, he is said to be regenerate, all his evils and falsities still remaining, yet at the same time all his goods and truths being preserved. With an evil man all his evils and falsities, just as he had them in the life of the body, return in the other life and are turned into infernal phantasies and punishments. But with a good man, all his states of good and truth, such as those of friendship, of charity, and of innocence, are recalled in the other life, and together with their delights and happinesses, are there immensely augmented and multiplied.

Divine Love and Wisdom 114 . Not only is the Lord in heaven but He also is heaven itself, because love and wisdom make the angel, and these two with angels are the Lord’s. Hence it follows that the Lord is heaven. For angels are not angels from their proprium.  Their proprium is exactly like that of a man and this is evil. That an angel’s proprium is such is because all angels have been men, and that proprium adheres to them from birth. It is only removed, and to the extent that it is removed, to that extent they receive love and wisdom, that is, the Lord in themselves. Anyone can see if only he will raise his understanding a little that the Lord can dwell with angels only in what is His, that is, in what is His Very Own, which is Love and Wisdom, and certainly not in the angels’ proprium which is evil. Hence it is that so far as evil is removed, so far the Lord is in them, and so far they are angels. The very angelic itself of heaven is the Divine Love and Wisdom. This Divine is called the angelic when it is in angels. From this again it is clear that angels are angels from the Lord, and not from themselves; consequently, the same is true regarding heaven.

Third Round posts are short audio clips taken from Round 3 comments offered in the online Logopraxis Life Group meetings. The aim is to keep the focus on understanding the Text in terms of its application to the inner life along with reinforcing any key Logopraxis principles that have been highlighted in the exchanges.

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