Two Substances of the Brain

The brains consist of two substances called the cortical substance and the medullary substance, with the cortical substance consisting of countless little glandlike things and medullary substance of countless fiberlike things.

An Excerpt from Divine Love and Wisdom, Section 366

Angels’ Homes and Houses (Continued)

On this matter of correspondences, I have also been told that not only the palaces and the homes but all the little things within and outside them correspond to the deeper qualities that they receive from the Lord. In general terms, their houses correspond to the good that occupies them and the items within their houses to the various things that constitute that good. The items that are outside the homes refer to true things that derive from the good, and also to experiences of perception and recognition. Since these correspond to the good and true things they receive from the Lord, they correspond to their love and therefore to their wisdom and intelligence, because love is a matter of what is good, wisdom of what is both good and true, and intelligence of truth that stems from the good. This, they tell me, is the sort of thing angels perceive when they look at their houses; and this is why these sights delight and move their minds more than their eyes.

So I could see why the Lord calls himself the temple that is in Jerusalem (John 2:19, 21). I could also see why the New Jerusalem appeared as a city of pure gold, with gates of pearl and foundations of precious gems (Revelation 21): it is because a temple offers an image of the Lord’s divine human; the New Jerusalem refers to the church that was going to be founded; and the twelve gates are the truths that lead to what is good, and the foundations are the truths on which it is based.

The angels who constitute the Lord’s heavenly kingdom live for the most part in loftier places that look like mountains above the ground. The angels who constitute the Lord’s spiritual kingdom live in less lofty places that look like hills, while the angels who live in the lowest regions of heaven live in places that look like rocky cliffs. These things also stem from correspondences, since the deeper things correspond to higher ones and the more outward to lower ones. This is why mountains in the Word mean heavenly love, hills mean spiritual love, and rocks mean faith.

There are angels who do not live in communities but apart, home by home. They live in the center of heaven because they are the best angels.

The houses angels live in are not constructed as houses in our world are, but are given them by the Lord gratis, to each individual according to his or her acceptance of what is good and true. They also change slightly in response to the changes of state of their deeper natures (see above, Sections 154–160). Whatever angels possess, they attribute to the Lord, and anything they need is given to them.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 186-190


Sections 154-160 from Heaven and Hell: Published 4/27/2017-4/29/2017

Angels’ Homes and Houses (Continued)

But it would be better to present some experiential evidence at this point. Whenever I have talked with angels face to face, I have been with them in their houses. Their houses were just like the houses on earth that we call homes, but more beautiful. They have chambers, suites, and bedrooms in abundance, and courtyards with gardens, flower beds, and lawns around them. Where there is some concentration of people, the houses are adjoining, one near another, arranged in the form of a city with streets and lanes and public squares, just like the ones we see in cities on our earth. I have been allowed to stroll along them and look around wherever I wished, at times entering people’s homes. This has happened when I was fully awake, with my inner sight opened.

I have seen palaces in heaven that were so splendid as to be beyond description. Their upper stories shone as though they were made of pure gold, and their lower ones as though they were made of precious gems. Each palace seemed more splendid than the last. It was the same inside. The rooms were graced with such lovely adornments that neither words nor the arts and sciences are adequate to describe them. On the side that faced south there were parklands where everything sparkled in the same way, here and there the leaves like silver and the fruits like gold, with the flowers in their beds making virtual rainbows with their colors. On the horizon of sight there were other palaces that framed the scene. The architecture of heaven is like this, so that you might call it the very essence of the art—and small wonder, since the art itself does come to us from heaven.

Angels tell me that things like this and countless others even more perfect are presented to their view by the Lord; but that such sights actually delight their minds more than their eyes because they see correspondences in the details, and through their correspondences they see things divine.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 184, 185

Angels’ Homes and Houses

SINCE there are communities in heaven, with people living there the way we do, they too have homes; and these vary depending on the state of the life of each individual. They are splendid for people who are especially deserving and less splendid for people who are of lower rank.

At times, I have talked with angels about homes in heaven, telling them that nowadays hardly anyone would believe that they have homes and houses—some because they do not see them, some because they do not realize that angels are people, some because they believe that the angelic heaven is the sky they see about them with their eyes. Since this appears to be empty and they think that angels are ethereal forms, they come to the conclusion that angels live in the ether. Further, they do not grasp the fact that the same kinds of thing exist in the spiritual world as in the natural, because they know nothing about the spiritual.

Angels have told me that they were aware that this kind of ignorance was prevalent in the world nowadays and, remarkably enough, mainly within the church, and more among the intellectuals there than among the ones labeled simple. They have also said that people could know from the Word that angels are people because the ones that have been seen have been seen as people. So too was the Lord, who took on his full humanity. People could then realize that since angels are people, they have houses and homes and do not fly around in the air, that even though they are called “spirits” they are not breezes, as the ignorance (which angels call insanity) of some would have it.

They could also grasp this if when they thought about angels and spirits they would step outside their preconceptions, which happens when they are not constantly questioning and consciously pondering whether this is so. Everyone actually has a general notion that angels are in human form and that they have homes that are called heavenly dwellings, which are more splendid than earthly houses. But this general notion (which comes from an inflow from heaven), the angels said, promptly collapses into nothing when it becomes the center of conscious attention and is faced with the question whether it is so. This happens particularly among scholars who have used their self-generated intelligence to shut off from themselves both heaven and the passage of light from it.

Much the same happens in regard to faith in our life after death. People who talk about it without thinking at the same time from scholarly concepts of the soul or the doctrine of reunion with our physical bodies believe that after death we will live as people—among angels if we have lived well—and that then we will see magnificent sights and experience raptures. But the moment they focus on the doctrine of reunion with our bodies or some hypothesis about “the soul,” and therefore begin to wonder whether the soul is really like this, whether it is all true, their former notion vanishes.

from Heaven and Hell, Section 183

Divine love and wisdom are substance and form in and of themselves, and are therefore wholly “itself” and unique

I have just given evidence that divine love and wisdom is substance and form, and I have also said that the divine reality and its manifestation is reality and manifestation in and of itself. We cannot say that it is reality and manifestation derived from itself, because that would involve a beginning, a beginning from something else that had within it some intrinsic reality and manifestation; while true reality and its manifestation in and of itself exists from eternity. Then too, true reality and manifestation in and of itself is uncreated; and nothing that has been created can exist except from something uncreated. What is created is also finite; and what is finite can arise only from what is infinite.

Anyone who can pursue and grasp inherent reality and its manifestation at all thoughtfully will necessarily come to grasp the fact that it is wholly itself and unique. We call it wholly itself because it alone exists; and we call it unique because it is the source of everything else.

Further, since what is wholly itself and unique is substance and form, it follows that it is the unique substance and form, and wholly itself; and since that true substance and form is divine love and wisdom, it follows that it is the unique love, wholly itself, and the unique wisdom, wholly itself. It is therefore the unique essence, wholly itself, and the unique life, wholly itself, since love and wisdom is life.

All this shows how sensually people are thinking when they say that nature exists in its own right, how reliant they are on their physical senses and their darkness in matters of the spirit. They are thinking from the eye and are unable to think from the understanding. Thinking from the eye closes understanding, but thinking from understanding opens the eye. They are unable to entertain any thought about inherent reality and manifestation, any thought that it is eternal, uncreated, and infinite. They can entertain no thought about life except as something volatile that vanishes into thin air, no other thought about love and wisdom, and no thought whatever about the fact that they are the source of everything in nature.

The only way to see that love and wisdom are the source of everything in nature is to look at nature on the basis of its functions in their sequence and pattern rather than on the basis of some of nature’s forms, which register only on our eyes. The only source of nature’s functions is life, and the only source of their sequence and pattern is love and wisdom. Forms, though, are vessels of functions. This means that if we look only at forms, no trace is visible of the life in nature, let alone of love and wisdom, and therefore of God.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 44-46

Divine love and wisdom is substance and is form

The everyday concept of love and wisdom is that they are something floating around in, or breathed out by, thin air or ether. Hardly anyone considers that in reality and in function they are substance and form.

Even people who do see that love and wisdom are substance and form sense them as something outside their subject, flowing from it; and they refer to what in their perceptions is outside the subject and flowing from it as substance and form even though they sense it as floating around. They do not realize that love and wisdom are the actual subject, and that what they sense as floating out from the subject is only the appearance of the inherent state of the subject.

There are many reasons why this has not come to light before. One of them is that appearances are the first things the human mind draws on in forming its understanding, and the only way to dispel these appearances is through careful probing into cause. If a cause is deeply hidden, we cannot probe into it unless we keep our discernment in spiritual light for a protracted period of time; and we cannot hold it there for a long time because of the earthly light that keeps pulling us back.

Still, the truth is that love and wisdom are the real and functional substance and form that make up the very subject.

Since this truth is counter to appearance, though, it may seem unworthy of credence unless some evidence is supplied; and since the only way to supply evidence is with the kinds of thing we perceive with our physical senses, that is what I need to draw on.

We have five external senses, called touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight. The subject of touch is the skin that envelops us: the very substance and form of the skin make it feel what comes into contact with it. The sense of touch is not in the things that come into contact with it but in the substance and form of the skin. That is the subject, and the sense itself is simply the way it is affected by contact.

It is the same with taste. This sense is simply the way a substance and form, this time of the tongue, are affected. The tongue is the subject. It is the same with smell. We recognize that odors affect the nostrils and are in the nostrils, and that smell is the way impinging aromas affect them. It is the same with hearing. It seems as though hearing were in the place where the sound originates, but hearing is in the ear and is the way its substance and form are affected. It is only an appearance that hearing happens at a distance from the ear.

This is true of sight as well. When we see objects at a distance, it seems as though our sight were where they are. However, sight is in the eye, which is the subject; and sight is the way the eye is affected, too. Distance is simply what we infer about space on the basis of intervening objects or on the basis of reduced size and consequent loss of clarity of an object whose image is being presented within the eye according to its angle of incidence. We can see from this that sight does not go out from the eye to the object, but that an image of the object enters the eye and affects its substance and form. It is the same for both sight and hearing. Hearing does not go out of the ear to seize on the sound, but the sound enters the ear and affects it.

It stands to reason, then, that the affecting of substance and form that constitutes a sense is not something separate from the subject. It is simply the effecting of a change within the subject, with the subject remaining the subject throughout and thereafter. It then follows that sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch are not things that go floating out from their organs. They are the organs themselves, in respect to their substance and form. Sensation happens when they are affected.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 40, 41

Divine love is a property of divine wisdom, and divine wisdom is a property of divine love (Continued)

In the Word, “justice” and “judgment” mean divine love and divine wisdom, “justice” meaning divine love and “judgment” meaning divine wisdom; so in the Word justice and judgment are ascribed to God. For example, we read in David, “Justice and judgment are the foundation of your throne” (Psalms 79:15 [89:14]); and again, “Jehovah will bring out his justice like light and his judgment like noonday” (Psalms 37:6); in Hosea, “I will betroth myself to you forever in justice and judgment” (Hosea 2:19); in Jeremiah, “I will raise up a just branch for David who will rule as king and make judgment and justice in the land” (Jeremiah 23:5); in Isaiah, “He will sit on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to make it secure in judgment and in justice” (Isaiah 9:6 [9:7]); and again, “Let Jehovah be extolled, because he has filled the earth with judgment and justice” (Isaiah 33:5); in David, “When I shall have learned the judgments of your justice . . . seven times a day I will praise you over the judgments of your justice” (Psalms 119:7, 164). “Life” and “light” in John mean the same: “In him was life, and the life was the light of humanity” (John 1:4). “Life” here means the Lord’s divine love, and “light” his divine wisdom. “Life” and “spirit” mean the same in John as well: “Jesus said, ‘The words that I speak to you are spirit and life’” (John 6:63).

Even though love and wisdom seem to be two separate things in us, essentially they are distinguishably one. This is because the quality of our love determines the quality of our wisdom and the quality of our wisdom the quality of our love. Any wisdom that is not united to our love seems like wisdom, but it is not; and any love that is not united to our wisdom seems like wisdom’s love even though it is not. Each gets its essence and its life from the other in mutual fashion.

The reason the wisdom and love within us seem to be two separate things is that our ability to understand can be raised into heaven’s light, while our ability to love cannot, except to the extent that we act according to our understanding. So any trace of apparent wisdom that is not united to our love for wisdom relapses into the love with which it is united. This may not be a love for wisdom, and may even be a love for insanity. We are perfectly capable of knowing, from our wisdom, that we ought to do one thing or another, and then of not doing it because we have no love for it. However, to the extent that we do the bidding of our wisdom, from love, we are images of God.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 38-39


Section 38: First published 4/15/2016

Section 38: First published 4/19/2016

Divine love is a property of divine wisdom, and divine wisdom is a property of divine love

On the divine reality and the divine manifestation being distinguishably one in the Divine-Human One, see Sections 14–16 above. Since the divine reality is divine love and the divine manifestation is divine wisdom, these latter are similarly distinguishably one.

We refer to them as “distinguishably one” because love and wisdom are two distinguishable things, and yet they are so united that love is a property of wisdom and wisdom a property of love. Love finds its reality in wisdom, and wisdom finds its manifestation in love. Further, since wisdom derives its manifestation from love (as noted in Section 15 [14] above), divine wisdom is reality as well. It follows from this that love and wisdom together are the divine reality, though when they are distinguished we call love the divine reality and wisdom the divine manifestation. This is the quality of the angelic concept of divine love and wisdom.

Because there is such a oneness of love and wisdom and of wisdom and love in the Divine-Human One, the divine essence is one. In fact, the divine essence is divine love because that love is a property of divine wisdom, and it is divine wisdom because that wisdom is a property of divine love. Because of this oneness, the divine life is a unity as well: life is the divine essence. The reason divine love and wisdom are one is that the union is reciprocal, and a reciprocal union makes complete unity. But there will be more to say about reciprocal union later [Sections 115–116].

There is a union of love and wisdom in every divine work as well. This is why it endures, even to eternity. If there were more divine love than divine wisdom or more divine wisdom than divine love in any created work, nothing would endure in it except what was equal. Any excess would pass away.

As divine providence works for our reformation, regeneration, and salvation, it shares equally in divine love and divine wisdom. We cannot be reformed, regenerated, and saved by any excess of divine love over divine wisdom or by any excess of divine wisdom over divine love. Divine love wants to save everyone, but it can do so only by means of divine wisdom. All the laws that govern salvation are laws of divine wisdom, and love cannot transcend those laws because divine love and divine wisdom are one and act in unison.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 34-37


Sections 14-16: Published 4/14/2018

The True Divine Essence is Love and Wisdom (Continued)

It is because the divine essence itself is love and wisdom that everything in the universe involves what is good and what is true. Everything that flows from love is called good, and everything that flows from wisdom is called true. But more on this later [Sections 83–102].

It is because the divine essence itself is love and wisdom that the universe and everything in it, whether living or not, depends on warmth and light for its survival. Warmth in fact corresponds to love and light corresponds to wisdom, which also means that spiritual warmth is love and spiritual light is wisdom. But more on this as well later [Sections 83–84, 89–92].

All human feelings and thoughts arise from the divine love and wisdom that constitute the very essence that is God. The feelings arise from divine love and the thoughts from divine wisdom. Further, every single bit of our being is nothing but feeling and thought. These two are like the springs of everything that is alive in us. They are the source of all our life experiences of delight and enchantment, the delight from the prompting of our love and the enchantment from our consequent thought.

Since we have been created to be recipients, then, and since we are recipients to the extent that we love God and are wise because of our love for God (that is, the extent to which we are moved by what comes from God and think as a result of that feeling), it therefore follows that the divine essence, the Creatress, is divine love and wisdom.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 31-33