There Are Levels of Both Kinds in Everything That Has Been Created, No Matter How Large or Small (Continued)

It is also an item of angelic wisdom that the perfection of the created universe comes from a resemblance in regard to levels between inclusive forms and their particular constituents, or between the largest and smallest things. This means that each thing sees the other as a kindred with which it can unite in nits whole function and with which it can realize its whole purpose in actual results.

All this may seem paradoxical, true, because it has not been presented with application to things we can see. Still, since abstract principles are universal, they are often easier to grasp than the applications. The applications vary constantly, and the variation is confusing.

Some people say that there is a substance so simple that it is not a form made up of lesser forms, and that by putting enough of this substance together, secondary substances or compounds come into being, eventually leading to the substances that we refer to as “matter.” However, there is no such things as these “simplest substances.” What would a substance be without some form? It would be something without attributes, and nothing can be constituted by putting together things that have no attributes.

Later, when I discuss forms, we will see that there are countless elements in the very first created substances, the very smallest and simplest ones.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 227-229

There Are Levels of Both Kinds in Everything That Has Been Created, No Matter How Large or Small (Continued)

The reason there is not the slightest trace of love and wisdom or of desire and thought or of a mental image that does not have levels of both kinds in it is that love and wisdom, and likewise desire and thought, are substance and form [as I have explained in Sections 40-43 above]. As I have already stated [Section 223] there is no form that does not involve levels of both kinds. It follows that they involve these same levels. To separate love and wisdom or desire and thought from substance-in-form is to annihilate them, because they do not occur apart from their subjects. They are actually manifested by the states of these subjects as we perceive them then they change.

The largest things that involve levels of both kinds include the universe in all its fullness and the physical world in all its fullness. They include the spiritual world in its fullness, every empire and every monarchy in its fullness and their every moral and spiritual features in its fullness, the whole animal kingdom, the whole plant kingdom, and the whole mineral kingdom, each in all its fullness. Then there are the atmospheres of each world taken as a whole, and their forms of warmth and light. The same holds for less inclusive entities, such as ourselves in our fullness, every animal in its fullness, every tree and shrub in its fullness, even every stone and metal in its fullness.

Their forms are similar in this respect, namely that they are made up of levels of both kinds. This is because the Divinity by which they were created is the same in the largest and smallest things, as noted above in Sections 77-82. All their details, no matter how minute, resemble their shared aspects–no matter how widely shared those aspects are among them–in being forms made up of levels of both kinds.

The fact that the largest and smallest things are forms made up of levels of both kinds results in their being connected from beginning to end; their likeness actually unites them. Still, there is not the least thing that is identical to something else, which is why there is a distinctiveness of everything, down to the least detail.

The reason there are no identical elements in any form or between different forms is that there are the same kinds of levels in the largest entities, and the largest entities are made up of the smallest ones. When the largest entities are made up of these levels, with corresponding constant distinctions from top to bottom and from center to circumference, it follows that there is nothing in them involving these levels, nothing lesser or least, that is identical.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 224-226


Sections 40-43: Published 4/23/2018-4/24/2018

Section 223: Published $/28/2020

Sections 77-82: Published 6/1/2018-6/2/2018

There Are Levels of Both Kinds in Everything That Has Been Created, No Matter How Large or Small

There is no way to offer visible examples of the fact that the largest and smallest things of all are made up of distinct and gradual, or vertical and horizontal, levels, because the smallest things that occur are not visible to our eyes and the largest do not seem to be marked off into levels. The only available way to explain this principle, then, is by looking to universal phenomena; and since angels are engaged in wisdom on the basis of universal principles and derive knowledge about details on that basis, I may offer some of the things they have said on the subject.

Angelic pronouncements on the subject are as follows. there is no thing so small that it does not contain levels of both kinds–not the smallest thing in any animal, not the smallest thing in any plant, not the smallest thing in any mineral, not the smallest thing in the ether or the air. Further, since the ether and air are vessels of warmth and light, this holds for the smallest trace of warmth and light, and since spiritual warmth and spiritual light are vessels of love and wisdom, there is not the smallest bit of these in which there are not levels of both kinds.

Another pronouncement of angels is that every least bit of desire, every least bit of thought, even every least bit of a mental image, is made up of levels of both kinds, and that any least thing that is not made up of these levels is actually nothing. It has no form, so it has no characteristics, no state that can shift and change so that it becomes manifest.

Angels support this by the truth that the infinite things in God the Creator, who is the Lord from eternity, are “distinguishably one,” with infinite things within those infinite things of his and levels of both kinds within those infinitely infinite things that are also distinguishably one in him. Since these are within him, then, and since everything was created by him and everything so created offers a kind of image of what is within him, it follows that there is not the smallest finite thing that does not have these levels in it. The reason these levels are in the smallest and the largest things alike is that Divinity is the same in the largest and smallest things.

On infinite things being distinguishably one in the Divine-Human One, see Sections 17-22 above; and on Divinity being the same in the largest and smallest things, Section 77-82. There are further examples in Sections 155, 169, and 171.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 222-223


Sections 17-22: Published 4/15/2018-4/15/2018

Sections 77-82: Published 6/1/2018-6/2/2018

Section 155: Published 3/8/2019

Section 169: Published 1/10/2020

Section 171: published 1/11/2020

The Vertical Levels Find Their Full Realization and Power in Their Final Form (Continued)

I am now allowed to disclose two secrets that can be brought within comprehension through what has just been said.

The first thing is that the Word finds its fullest expression and power in its literal meaning. There are three meanings in the Word answering to the three levels–a heavenly meaning, a spiritual meaning, and an earthly meaning. Since the Word contains these three meanings by the three vertical levels and their union is through correspondence, the final meaning, the earthly one that we call the literal meaning, is not only the composite, vessel, and foundation of the deeper, corresponding meanings, it is also the Word in its fullest expression and its full power. There is an abundance of evidence and support for this in Teaching for the New Jerusalem on Sacred Scripture (Sections 27-69).

The second secret is that the Lord came into the world and took on a human nature in order to gain access to the power to conquer the hells and bring everything in the heavens and on earth back into order. He put on this human nature over the human nature he had before. The human nature he put on in this world was like our own worldly nature, but each nature was still divine and therefore infinitely transcendent of our own and angels’ finite human nature. Further, since he completely transformed his physical human level all the way to its limits, he, unlike anyone else, rose from death with his whole body. By taking on this human nature he clothed himself with a divine omnipotence not only for the conquest of the hells and the reordering of the heavens but also for keeping the hells subject forever and saving us. This power is what is meant by sitting at the right hand of the power and might of God.

Since the Lord made himself divine truth in ultimate form by taking on a physical human nature, he is called “the Word,” and it says that the Word was made flesh. Divine truth in its ultimate form is the Word in its literal meaning. He made himself that Word by fulfilling everything about himself in the Word, in Moses and the prophets.

Everyone is his or her own good and true nature. Nothing else makes us human. Because he took on a physical human nature, the Lord is divine good and divine truth itself, or in other words, divine love and divine wisdom itself, in both their primal and their ultimate forms. This is why he looks like a sun in the angelic heavens with greater glory and fuller brilliance after his coming into the world than before his coming. This is a secret that can be brought within comprehension by the principle of levels.

I will be discussing later [Section 233] his omnipotence before his coming into the world.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Section 221

The Vertical Levels Find Their Full Realization and Power in Their Final Form (Continued)

Since the whole being or body focuses its powers primarily in the arms and hands, which are the extremities, arms and hands in the Word mean power, with the right hand meaning the greater power. Since this is how the levels unfold and express themselves in power, the angels who are with us and are sensitive to everything in us can tell simply from a single action of our hand what we are like in discernment and intent, in charity and faith, and therefore in the inner life of our minds and the outer life in our bodies, which comes from the inner life.

I have often been astounded by the kind of recognition angels have simply from the physical action of a hand, but it has been shown to me often enough and by personal experience. I have also been told that this is why induction into ministry is done by the laying on of hands and why touching the hand means sharing, among other things. This leads to the conclusion that the whole of charity and faith is in works and that charity and faith without works are like halos around the sun that dissipate and vanish when a cloud passes by. So time after time the Word talks about works and doing and says that our salvation depends on such things. Then too, the one who does something is called wise and the one who does not in called foolish.

We should realize, though, that “works” means deeds of service that are put into action. The whole of charity and faith is in them and depends on them. The correspondence is with acts of service because while the correspondence is spiritual, it happens through the substances and materials that are its subjects.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Section 220

The Vertical Levels Find Their Full Realization and Power in Their Final Form (Continued)

Let me apply these principles to living energy, living force, and living motion. Living energy in us, who are the living subjects, is our volition in union with our discernment. The living forces in us are what make up the inner parts of our bodies, throughout which there are motor fibers interconnected in various ways. Living motion in us is the action that is produced by volition in union with discernment through the agency of these forces. The deeper levels of volition and discernment constitute the first level, the inner parts of the body constitute the second level, and the whole body, their composite, constitutes the third level. It is common knowledge that the deeper levels of the mind are not empowered except through forces in the body, and that the forces become powerful and effective only through the action of the body.

These three stages do not act by continuity but by distinct levels, and acting by distinct levels is acting by responsiveness. The deeper levels of the mind answer to the inner parts of the body and the inner parts of body answer to those outer parts that give rise to actions; so the two prior stages are empowered through the outer parts of the body.

It might seem as though our inner energy and forces had some power even in the absence of action–in dreams, for example, or when we are at rest–but at such times the energy and forces find definition in our general physical motions, those of heart and lungs. Once these stop, however, the forces stop as well, and with them the energy.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Section 129

The Vertical Levels Find Their Full Realization and Power in Their Final Form

I explained in the preceding section that the final level is the composite and vessel of the prior levels. It follows from this that the prior levels find their full realization in their final level. That is where they are in their effect, and every effect is a summary of its causes.

Everything I have already cited from what we can sense and perceive may be used in support of the proposition that the rising and falling levels, the ones we call antecedent and subsequent or vertical and distinct levels, find their power in their final stage. At this point, though, I want to cite only energy, force, and motion in lifeless and living entities.

It is common knowledge that energy does not accomplish anything by itself, but only through forces responsive to it, using them to cause motion. This is why energy is the whole essence of force, and through force, the whole essence of motion. Since motion is the final stage of energy, energy exercises its power through motion. The only way energy, force, and motion are united is by vertical levels, a union that is not one of continuity, since the levels are distinct, but of responsiveness. Energy, that is, is not force, and force is not motion. Rather, force is produced by energy, and force is energy being exercised; and motion is produced by force. This means that there is not power in pure energy or pure force, but in the motion that they produce.

The truth of this may appear debatable because I have not illustrated it by application to things we can sense and perceive in the physical world. Still, this is the nature of stages that culminate in power.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 217-218

The Final Level Is the Composite, Vessel, and Foundation of the Prior Level (Continued)

According to angelic wisdom, unless volition and discernment, or desire and thought, or charity and faith, devote themselves to involvement in works or deeds whenever possible, they are nothing but passing breezes, so to speak, or images in the air that vanish. They first take on permanence in us and become part of our life when we perform and do them. The reason is that the final stage is the composite, vessel, and foundation of the prior stages.

Faith apart from good works is just this kind of airy nothing or image, and so are faith and charity apart from their practice. The only difference is that people who put faith and charity together know what is good and are able to intend and do it, but not people who are devoted to faith apart from charity.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Section 216

The Final Level Is the Composite, Vessel, and Foundation of the Prior Level (Continued)

People have recognized that the last member of each sequence–service, act, deed, and practice–is the composite and vessel of all the earlier members. It seems as though there were nothing more within service, act, deed, or practice than there is within motion. However, all these prior stages are actively present within, so completely present that nothing is missing. They are enclosed within it the way wine is enclosed in a bottle or furnishings in a house.

The reason this is not noticed is that we look at acts of service from the outside only, and things seen from the outside are simply events and motions. It is like seeing our arms and hands move and not knowing that a thousand motor fibers are cooperating in each movement, with a thousand elements of thoughts and desire answering to those thousand motor fibers and stimulating them. Since these things are happening far inside, they are not visible to any of our physical senses. This much is known, that nothing is done in or through the body except from volition and through thought; and since these two are acting, every element of volition and thought must necessarily be present within the act. They cannot be separated. This is why we draw conclusions on the basis of deeds or works about each other’s purposeful thought, which we refer to as “intent.”

I have learned that angels can sense and see from someone’s single deed or work everything about the intention and thought of the one who is doing it. From the person’s volition, angels of the third heaven see the purpose for which it is being done, and angels of the second heaven see the means through which the purpose is working. This iswhy deeds and works are so often mandated in the Word, and why it says that we are known by our works.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Section 215

The Final Level Is the Composite, Vessel, and Foundation of the Prior Level (Continued)

Desire, thought, and act occur on a sequence of similar levels, since every desire has to do with love, every thought with wisdom, and every act with service. Charity, faith, and good works occur on the same sequence of levels, since charity is a matter of desire, faith of thought, and good works of act. Volition, discernment, and practice occur on the same sequence of levels as well, since volition is a matter of love and therefore of desire, discernment of wisdom and therefore of faith, and practice of service and therefore of deeds. Just as all the elements of wisdom and love dwell within service, all the elements of thought and desire dwell within act, and all the elements of faith and charity dwell within deeds, and so on. This means all the elements that are of the same kind, that are harmonious.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Section 214