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

We can tell quite clearly that the final level is the composite, vessel and foundation of the prior ones by looking at the way purpose and means progress to result. Enlightened reason can grasp the fact that the effects is the composite, vessel, and foundation of the means and the purpose, but cannot grasp as clearly the fact that the purpose in all fullness and the means in all fullness are actively present in the result, with the result being completely inclusive of them.

This follows from what has already been said in this part, especially from the fact that one level comes from another in a three-stage sequence and that a result is simply a purpose in its final form. Since the final form is this kind of composite, it follows that the final form is their vessel and also their foundation.

As for love and wisdom, love is the purpose, wisdom the means, and service the result. Further, service is the composite, vessel, and foundation of wisdom and love, such a composite and such a vessel that every bit of love and every bit of wisdom is actively present in it. It is their total presence. We need to be absolutely clear, though, that in keeping with what was presented in Sections 189-194 above, what are present in service are all the elements of love and wisdom that are of the same kind, harmonious.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 212-213

Notes:

Section 189-194: Published 4/2/2020-4/5/2020

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

Since we can think about volition and discernment, about feelings and thoughts, and about charity and faith apart from the substantial realities that are their subjects, and since we have thought about them in this way, we have lost any appropriate concepts of them, any realization that they refer to the states of substantial realities and forms. Exactly the same principle applies to sensations and actions, which are not things in the abstract apart from our sensory and motor organs. In the abstract, or apart from their organs, they are theoretical constructs only. They are like sight with no eye, hearing with no ear, taste with no tongue , and so on.

Since all societal, moral, and spiritual events, like all physical ones, happen not only by gradual levels but also on distinct levels, and since processes on distinct levels are like the processes of purpose to means and means to result, I should like to illustrate and demonstrate the present topic (that the final level is the composite, vessel, and foundation of the prior levels) by what I have just mentioned, namely instances of love and wisdom, of volition and discernment, of feeling and thought, and of charity and faith.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 210-211

The Final Level is the Composite, Vessel, and Foundation of the Prior Levels

Examples of the principle of levels that is under discussion in this part have thus far been drawn from various things that occur in our two worlds–levels of heavens where angels live, for example, levels of the warmth and light that surround them, of the atmospheres, of various parts of the human body, and of things in the animal and mineral kingdoms. The principle of levels has a wider range, though. Its range includes not only physical phenomena but also societal, moral, and spiritual ones in all their detail.

There are two reasons why the principle of levels includes such matters. The first is that there is a trine in everything that can be said to have attributes, a trine called purpose, means, and results; and these three are related to each other by vertical levels. The second reason is that no societal, moral, or spiritual phenomenon is abstract or disembodied. They are matters of substance, for just as love and wisdom are not abstractions but substance (as I have explained above in Sections 40-43), so are all the things we refer to as societal, moral, and spiritual. We can of course think about them in the abstract, as disembodied, but in their own right they are not abstractions. Take feeling and thought, for example, or charity and faith, or volition and discernment. What applies to love and wisdom applies to them as well, namely that they do not happen apart from subjects that are substantial. They actually have to do with the state of those subjects and substances. We will see later [Sections 273, 316] that they are shifts of state that give rise to change. “Substance” means form as well, since there is no such things as a formless substance.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Section 209

Notes:

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

In a Sequential Arrangement, the First Level is the Highest and the Third the Lowest, While in a Simultaneous Arrangement, the First Level is the Center and the Third is the Circumference (Continued)

In short, there are levels like this in every final form and therefore in every effect, since every final form consists of antecedents that in turn consist of things primary to them. Likewise every result comes form a means and every means from a purpose, the purpose being the whole essence of the means and the means the whole essence of the result, as I have just explained [Sections 168, 197]. Further, the purpose constitutes the center, the means of intermediate, and the result the final outcome.

We will see later [Sections 224, 231, 232, 235, 236-241] that the same holds for levels of love and wisdom, warmth and light, and for the organized forms of feelings and thoughts within us. I have discussed the sequence of these levels in sequential and simultaneous arrangements in Teachings for the New Jerusalem on Sacred Scripture 38 and elsewhere, showing that there are similar levels in all the details of the Word.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Section 208

Section 168: Published 1/9/2020

Section 197: Published 4/7/2020

In a Sequential Arrangement, the First Level is the Highest and the Third the Lowest, While in a Simultaneous Arrangement, the First Level is the Center and the Third is the Circumference (Continued)

Since the highest thing in sequential arrangement is the central thing in simultaneous arrangement and the lowest is the outermost, “higher” in the Word means more internal and “lower” means more external. The same holds for “upward” and “downward” and for “high” and “low.”

In every final form there are distinct levels in simultaneous arrangement. This is the arrangement of the motor fibers in every muscle, the fibers in every nerve, the fibers and tiny vessels in all our viscera and organs. At the heart of each are the simplest and most perfect substance, while the outside is formed from their compounds.

The same arrangement of these levels is found in every seed, every fruit, even in every metal and rock. This is the nature of the parts that constitute their totality. Their central, intermediate, and outermost parts are on these levels, and they themselves are successive compounds, aggregates, or masses of these simple components that are their primary substance and materials.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Sections 206-207

In a Sequential Arrangement, the First Level is the Highest and the Third the Lowest, While in a Simultaneous Arrangement, the First Level is the Center and the Third is the Circumference

There is a sequential arrangement and a simultaneous one. The sequential arrangement of these levels is from highest to lowest or from top to bottom. This is the arrangement of the angelic heavens, with the third heaven as the highest, the second in the between, and the first as the lowest. These are their relative locations.

The same sequential arrangement applies to states of love and wisdom among angels in heaven, to warmth and light, and to spiritual atmospheres. The same arrangement applies to all the processes of perfection of events and forms there.

When the vertical and distinct levels are in this sequential arrangement, they are like a tower divided into three floors so that one can go up or down. The most perfect and lovely things are on the top floor, less perfect and lovely things on the middles floor, and still less perfect and lovely things on the lowest floor.

In a simultaneous arrangement of the same levels, though, it looks different. Then the highest elements of the sequential arrangement–as I have mentioned, the most perfect and lovely ones–are in the center, the lower ones in an intermediate region, and the lower on the outside. It is as though there were a solid object made up of these three levels with the finest substances in the middle or center, less fine particles around that, and on the outside, forming a kind of envelope, parts composed of these and therefore coarsest. It is as though the tower we were talking about had settled into a plane, with the top floor becoming the center, the middle floor an intermediate region, and the lowest floor the outside.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Section 205

All Processes of Perfection Increase and Rise by and according to Levels (Continued)

It may seem as though antecedent things are less perfect than subsequent ones and constituent things are less perfect than compounds, but in fact the antecedent things that give rise to subsequent ones are more perfect, as are the constituents from which compounds are formed. This is because the antecedent or constituent things are less covered, less shrouded by lifeless substances and materials. They are more divine, so to speak, and as such are closer to the spiritual sun where the Lord is. Perfection itself is in the Lord and therefore in the sun that is the first emanation of his divine love and wisdom. It comes from there into things that are next in sequence, and so on in order down to the lowest things, which are more imperfect as they are more remote.

If it were not for this supreme perfection in things antecedent and constituent, neither we nor any living creature could arise from seed and then continue in existence. The seeds of trees and shrubs could not sprout and spread, either. The more antecedent a thing is, or the more whole it is, the more immune it is to harm because of its greater perfection.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Section 204

All Processes of Perfection Increase and Rise by and according to Levels (Continued)

Since the deeper reaches of our own minds, of our volition and discernment, are like the heavens as far as levels are concerned (we are actually miniature heavens as to the deeper reaches of our minds), their processes of perfection are similar. However, these processes are not perceptible to any of us as long as we are living in this world, since we are then on the lowest level; and the higher levels are unrecognizable from the lowest level. After death, though, we can identify them, since then we are on whatever level answers to our love and wisdom. Then we become angels and think and say things that are indescribable to our physical self. The raising up of everything in our minds then is not by some simple ratio but by the threshold ratio that is the ratio of vertical levels. The simple ratio applies to horizontal levels.

The only people who rise or are brought up to those levels, though, are the ones who have been attentive to truths in this world and have applied them to their lives.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Section 203

All Processes of Perfection Increase and Rise by and according to Levels (Continued)

There are three heavens in the spiritual world, arranged by vertical levels. The angels in the highest heaven are better in every respect than those of the intermediate heaven, and the angels in the intermediate heaven are better in every respect than those of the lowest heaven. Because of these levels of perfection, angels of the lowest heaven cannot even approach the threshold of the perfection of angels of the intermediate heaven, and these latter in turn cannot approach the threshold of the perfection of angels of the highest heaven. This may appear paradoxical, but it is the truth. The reason is that they are grouped by distinct levels and not by gradual ones.

Experience has taught me that there is such a difference between angels of the highest and lowest heavens in feelings and thoughts and therefore in speech that they have nothing in common. Communication happens only by the correspondences that arise through the Lord’s direct inflow into all the heavens and the indirect inflow through the highest heaven to the lowest.

Because of the nature of the distinctions, they cannot be expressed in earthly language, so I cannot describe them. Angels thoughts do not fit into earthly concepts because they are spiritual. They can only be expressed and described by angels in their own language and words and writings, but not in human ones. This is why it says that people have heard and seen indescribable things in the heavens.

The following may afford some understanding of these differences. The thoughts of angels of the highest or third heaven are thoughts of purposes; the thoughts of angels of the intermediate or second heaven are thoughts of means; and the thoughts of angels of the lowest or first heaven are thoughts of results. It is important to realize that it is one thing to think on the basis of purposes and another to think about purposes, one thing to think on the basis of means and another to think about means, one thing to think on the basis of results and another to think about result. Angels of the lowest heavens do think about means and about purposes; but angels of the higher heavens think on the basis of means and on the basis of purposes. Thinking on the basis of such things comes from a higher level of wisdom, while thinking about them comes from a lower level. Thinking on the basis of purposes comes from wisdom; thinking on the basis of means comes from intelligence; and thinking on the basis of results comes from being informed.

We can see from this that all processes of perfection rise and fall by and according to levels.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Section 202

All Processes of Perfection Increase and Rise by and according to Levels (Continued)

There is no need at this point to discuss the way processes of perfection of life, events, and forms rise and fall by horizontal or gradual levels because these levels are familiar in our world. There is, however, a need to discuss the way processes of life, events, and forms rise and fall by vertical or distinct levels, because these levels are not familiar in our world. From what we can see in this physical world, it is almost impossible to understand how these processes rise and fall by distinct levels, but it is clear in what we can see in the spiritual world. All we discover from what we see in the physical world is that the deeper we look, the more wondrous are the things we run into–in our eyes, for example, or our ears, tongue, muscles, heart, lungs, liver, pancreas, and kidneys, and the rest of our internal organs, as well as in seeds, fruits, and flowers and even in metals, minerals, and rocks. It is widely known that we run into more wondrous things in all these phenomena the deeper we probe; but little attention has been paid to the fact that the deeper perfection increases by vertical or distinct levels. Our ignorance of these levels had kept this hidden.

Since these levels are openly visible in the spiritual world, though, with that whole world clearly marked off by them from top to bottom, we can gain familiarity with these levels on that basis and then draw conclusions about the processes of perfection of events and forms that occur on comparable levels in this physical world.

from Divine Love and Wisdom, Section 201