3. In everything it does, divine providence focuses on what is infinite and eternal from itself, especially in the intent to save the human race (Continued)

We may be assured that divine providence focuses on what is infinite and eternal in everything it does by the fact that everything that has been created by a First Being who is infinite and eternal goes to its limits, and then from those limits goes back to the First Being who is its source (see the section of Divine Love and Wisdom that deals with the creation of the universe). Further, since the First, the source, is present at the heart of every sequence, it follows that the emanating divinity or divine providence focuses on some image of what is infinite and eternal in everything it does so in all cases, though in some instances it is clearly noticeable and in others it is not.

Divinity shows us this image clearly in the variety of everything and in the way everything bears fruit and multiplies.

We can see an image of what is infinite and eternal in the variety of everything in the fact that nothing is exactly like anything else and nothing can be to eternity. We can see in the faces of all the people there have been since the beginning of creation, and from their characters as well, which are reflected in their faces. We can see it from their feelings, perceptions, and thoughts, too, since these are elements of their character. This is why there are no two identical angels or spirits in all of heaven and never will be to eternity. It is the same for everything we can see in both worlds, the physical and the spiritual. This shows that the variety is ininfinite and eternal.

There is evidence of an image of what is infinite and eternal in the way everything bears fruit and multiplies in the [reproductive] ability of seeds in the plant kingdom and in the process of reproduction in the animal kingdom, especially in the genus of fish. If they were to be fruitful and multiply to the full extent of their ability, they would fill all the space in the world, even in the universe, within a century. We can see from this that within this ability there lies an impulse to reproduce to infinity. Then too, since this fruitfulness and multiplication have not failed since the beginning of creation and will never fail, not to eternity, it follows that there is also within this ability an impulse to reproduce to eternity.

from Divine Providence, Section 56

3. In everything it does, divine providence focuses on what is infinite and eternal from itself, especially in the intent to save the human race

What is intrinsically infinite and eternal is Divinity itself or the essential Lord. What is secondarily infinite and eternal, though, is divinity emanating, or the Lord in others created from himself–in us and in angels, that is.

This divinity is the same as divine providence because the Lord provides by means of that derivative divinity that everything be kept in the design in which and into which it was created. Since it is emanating divinity that is accomplishing this, it follows that all of it is divine providence.

from Divine Providence, Section 55

2. What is intrinsically infinite and eternal can only focus on what is infinite from itself in what is finite (Continued)

It seems as though what is infinite cannot be united to what is finite because there is no ratio between the infinite and the finite and because the finite cannot contain the infinite. There are two reasons, though, why there can be a union. The first is that the Infinite One created everything from himself (as explained in Divine Love and Wisdom 282-284); and the second is that the Infinite One cannot focus on anything in finite beings except what is infinite from him. This can seem to finite beings as though it were within them; and this provides a ratio between what is finite and what if infinite. The ratio does not come from anything finite but from the Infinite One within it. In this way, too, the finite can contain the infinite. What does this is not the finite being in and of itself, but the finite being in its apparent autonomy, derived from the One who is intrinsically infinite. (There will be more on this subject later [Sections 55, 64, 202, 219, 294].)

from Divine Providence, Section 54

2. What is intrinsically infinite and eternal can only focus on what is infinite from itself in what is finite (Continued)

Examples are needed, though, if this is to be more clearly understood.

Divinity cannot focus on anything but Divinity, and it cannot focus on that anywhere except in what it has created. This is evidenced by the fact that none of us can focus on others except on the basis of what is inwardly our own. If we love others, we look at them from our own love within us. If we are wise, we look at others from our own wisdom within us.

It may seem as though others either love us or do not love us, that they are either wise or not, but we see this on the basis of the love and wisdom that is within ourselves. This means that we unite ourselves to them to the extent they love us the way we love them, or to the extent that their wisdom is like ours. This is how we unite.

It is the same with Divinity in itself. The inner Divinity cannot look at itself from some other, from any person, spirit, or angel, because they have nothing within themselves of the Divinity that is their source. To look at divinity from some other individual in whom there is no trace of divinity would be to look at divinity from no divinity, which is impossible. This is why the Lord is united to people, spirit, and angels in such a way that everything that has to do with divinity is not from them but from the Lord. It is common knowledge, that is, that everything good and everything true that anyone has is not from us but from the Lord. We cannot even name the Lord or say the names of “Jesus” or “Christ” except from him.

It follows, then, that what is infinite and eternal (which is the same as Divinity) has an infinite regard for everything in finite beings and unites itself to them in proportion to their inner acceptance of wisdom and love. In short, the Lord cannot make his home and dwell with us or with angles in anything but what is his own. He cannot dwell in what belongs to us or to angels, because that is evil. Even if it were good it would still be finite, and that cannot contain what is infinite within itself or in anything it produces.

We can see from this that there is no way for any finite being to look at what is infinite, but that it is possible for the infinite One to look at what is infinite from himself in finite beings.

from Divine Providence, Section 53

2. What is intrinsically infinite and eternal can only focus on what is infinite from itself in what is finite.

By “what is intrinsically infinite and eternal,” I mean Divinity itself, as explained in the previous sections 48-51. By “what is finite,” I mean everything created by Divinity, especially people, spirits, and angels. By “focusing on what is infinite and eternal from itself,” I mean focusing on what is divine in them–on itself, that is–the way we look at ourselves in a mirror. The truth of this has been amply demonstrated in Divine Love and Wisdom, especially where I explained that there is a human image in the create universe and that this is an image of what is infinite and eternal (Sections 317-318) and therefore an image of God the Creator or the Lord from eternity.

We still need to realize that intrinsic divinity is in the Lord, while derivative divinity is divinity from the Lord in his creatures.

from Divine Providence, Section 52

Notes:

Sections 48-51: Published 5/8/2022-5/11/2022

1. What is intrinsically infinite and intrinsically eternal is the same as Divinity (Continued)

This leads us to the conclusion that we should think about what is infinite and eternal and therefore about the Lord nontemporally and nonspatially, and that we can do so. Further, it shows that this is how we think on the deeper level of our rationality, and that what is infinite and eternal is the same as the Lord. That is how angels and spirits think. Thought withdrawn from space and time enables us to understand divine omnipresence and omniscience and Divinity from eternity; while this is absolutely impossible for thought that has spatial and temporal concepts in it.

We can see from this that it is possible to think about God from eternity but definitely not about the material world from eternity. We can therefore think about the creation of the universe by God but definitely not at all about creation by the material world, since space and time are properties of the material world, while Divinity is devoid of them. On Divinity being devoid of space and time, see Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 7-10, 69-72, 73-76 and elsewhere Sections130, 156, 285.

from Divine Providence, Section 51

Divine Love and Wisdom:

Sections 7-10: Published 4/10/2018-4/11/2018

Sections 69-71: Published 5/28/2018-5/29/2018

Sections 72-76: Published 5/29/2018-5/31/2018

Section 130: Published 2/27/2019

Section 156: Published 3/8/2019

1. What is intrinsically infinite and intrinsically eternal is the same as Divinity (Continued)

Since angels and spirits are feelings derived from love and their consequent thoughts, they are not in space and time; they are simply in what seems to be space and time. The kind of apparent space and time they are in depends on the state their feelings and consequent thoughts. As a result, when anyone thinks affectionately about someone else, with the focused intent of seeing or talking with that other individual, there is an instantaneous presence.

This is why we all have spirits present with us who are feeling the way we are. There are evil spirits with us when we feel drawn toward something that is evil the way evil spirits are, and good spirits with us when we feel drawn toward something that is good the way good spirits are. They are just as present as though we were accepted members of their community. Space and time have nothing to do with this presence, because a feeling and its consequent thought are not in space and time, and spirits and angels are feelings and their consequent thoughts.

Firsthand experience over many years has taught me that this is so. I have also learned it from talking with any number of people after their death, both people from the various nations of Europe and people from various nations in Asia and Africa, and all of them were near at hand. If they had been in space and time, It would have taken a journey and the time that a journey requires.

Actually, we all know this instinctively, or in our own minds. This has been brought home to me by the fact that no one has started thinking in terms of spatial distance when I have described conversations with deceased people in Asia, Africa, or Europe; with Calvin, Luther, or Melanchthon, for example; or with some monarch, official, or priest in a faraway land. It has not occurred to people to ask, “How could anyone talk with people who lived there, and how could they get here when there are so many lands and seas in between?” This also showed me that people are not thinking on the basis of space and time when they think about people who are in the spiritual world.

See Heaven and Hell 162-169 and 191-199, though, on the fact that people in the spiritual world do have what seem to be space and time.

from Divine Providence, Section 50

Notes:

Heaven and Hell:

Sections 162-169: Published 4/30/2017-5/2/2017

Sections 191-199: Published 6/21/2019-6/24/2019

1. What is intrinsically infinite and intrinsically eternal is the same as Divinity (Continued)

I realize that many people will be saying to themselves, “How can anyone grasp something on a deeper level of rationality, something that has nothing to do with space and time? How can anyone grasp the notion that this not only exists but is the All, the very source of everything?” Think more deeply, though. Think whether love or any of its desires, whether wisdom or any of its perceptions, whether even your thought itself is in space and time, and you will discover that they are not. Given the fact that Divinity is love itself and wisdom itself, then, it follows that Divinity cannot be conceived of in space and time, so neither can the Infinite.

To understand this more clearly, consider whether your though is in time and space. Take the course of your thinking over ten or twelve hours–is it not true that this span of time can seem like one or two hours and can also seem like one or two days? It depends on the emotional state that underlies the thinking. If you are feeling happy with no awareness of the passage of time, the thoughts of ten or twelve hours can seem to take one or two hours, and if you are feeling distress and are conscious of the passage of time, it is just the reverse.

We can see from this that time is simply an appearance that depends on the emotional state that gives rise to our thoughts. The same is true of spatial distances in thought, whether on a walk or on a journey.

from Divine Providence, Section 49

1. What is intrinsically infinite and intrinsically eternal is the same as Divinity

This is supported by material presented in a number of places in Divine Love and Wisdom. The principle that what is intrinsically infinite and intrinsically eternal is Divinity comes from an angelic concept. By “what is infinite,” angels understand simply the divine reality; and by “what is eternal” the divine manifestation. We on earth, though, both can see and cannot see that what is intrinsically infinite and intrinsically eternal is Divinity. We can see it if we think of what is infinite nonspatially and of what is eternal nontemporally. We cannot see it if we think about what is infinite and eternal on the basis of space and time. This means that we can see it if we think on a higher level, that is, with a deeper kind of rationality; but we cannot see it if we think on a lower level, that is, more superficially.

People who see it think that there cannot be an infinite amount of space or an infinite amount of time, so there can be no infinite amount of time as the eternity from which all things arise. This is because what is infinite has no first or last limit, no boundaries. They also think that there can be no derivative infinite being, because this presupposes a boundary and a beginning, something prior as source. This makes it meaningless to talk about a derivative infinite and eternal being, because that would ne like talking about a derivative reality, which is a contradiction in terms. A derivative infinite being would be an infinite being derived from infinite being, and a derivative reality would be a reality derived from reality, so that infinite being or realty would either be the same as the original infinite being or would actually be finite.

We can see from things like this that are evident to our deeper rationality that there is something intrinsically infinite and intrinsically eternal, and that these are Divinity, the source of everything.

from Divine Providence, Section 48

In Everything That It Does, the Lord’s Divine Providence Is Focusing on What Is Infinite and Eternal (Continued)

Now, since we are dealing with divine providence, and are dealing at this point with the fact that it focuses on what is infinite and eternal in everything it does, and since this can be conveyed clearly only if it is put in a particular sequence, that sequence will be as follows:

  1. What is intrinsically infinite and intrinsically eternal is the same as Divinity.
  2. What is intrinsically infinite and eternal can only focus on what is infinite from itself in what is finite.
  3. In everything it does, divine providence focuses on what is infinite and eternal from itself, especially in the intent to save the human race.
  4. There is an image of what is infinite and eternal in the angelic heaven made up of members of the human race who have been saved.
  5. The very core of divine providence is its focus on what is infinite and eternal in the forming of the angelic heaven so that it can be a single person in the Lord’s sight, a person who is his image.

from Divine Providence, Section 47