d. If We Separate the Lord, Goodwill, and Faith, However, Instead of Being a Form That Accepts These Qualities We Are a Form That Destroys Them

If we separate the Lord from goodwill and faith, we separate the life from goodwill and faith. Then goodwill and faith either cease to exist or become deformed. (See above Section 358, on the point that the Lord is life itself.) If we acknowledge the Lord but we leave out goodwill, we acknowledge the Lord only with our lips. Our acknowledgement and confession of him is something frozen that has no faith, because the spiritual essence of faith is lacking. Goodwill is the essence of faith. If we practice goodwill but do not acknowledge that the Lord is the God of heaven and earth and is one with the Father, as he himself teaches, then our practice of goodwill is only earthly and has no eternal life within it.

People in the church know that every good thing that is truly good is from God, and therefore from the Lord who is “the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20). The same is true of goodwill, because goodness and goodwill are one.

Faith separated from goodwill is not faith, because faith is the light of human life and goodwill is its heat. Therefore if goodwill is separated from faith, the situation is the same as when heat is separated from the light. Our state in that case is like the state of the world in winter when everything on earth dies away. For goodwill to be goodwill and faith to be faith, they cannot be separated any more than will and intellect can be separated. If will and intellect are separated, the intellect becomes nothing, and will soon follows. The same is the case for goodwill and faith because goodwill dwells in the will and faith in the intellect.

Separating goodwill and faith is like separating essence and form. The learned world knows that an essence without a form and a form without an essence are nothing. An essence has no quality without its form, and a form has no underlying reality without its essence. Therefore nothing can be attributed to either of them if they are separated from each other. Goodwill is the essence of faith and faith is the form of goodwill, just as goodness is the essence of truth and truth is the form of goodness, as I said just above.

These two things, goodness and truth, are in each and everything that really exists. Goodwill relates to goodness and faith relates to truth. Therefore goodwill and faith can be illustrated by comparisons with with many things in the human body and many things on earth.

A comparison with the respiration of the lungs and systolic motion of the heart provides perfect parallel. Goodwill cannot be taken away from faith any more than the heart can be taken away from the lungs. If the heartbeat stops, the lungs immediately stop breathing. On the other hand, if the lungs stop breathing, all sensation shuts down, all movement of muscles is lost, and soon the heart stops and the whole life comes to an end. This comparison provides a perfect parallel because the heart corresponds to the will and also to goodwill, while the breathing of the lungs corresponds to the intellect and also to faith, in that goodwill dwells in the will and faith dwells in the intellect, as I have said before. In the Word, “heart” and “spirit” have exactly these meanings.

Separating goodwill and faith is also perfectly parallel to separating blood and flesh. When blood is separated from flesh it is gore at first and later becomes pus. Flesh that has been separated from blood progressively rots and breeds little worms. In the spiritual meaning of “blood” means truth that is related to wisdom and faith, and “flesh” means goodness that is related to love and goodwill. This meaning of “blood” was demonstrated in Revelation Unveiled 379; this meaning of “flesh” was demonstrated in Revelation Unveiled 832.

For both goodwill and faith to be anything, they cannot be separated any more than we can separate food and water or bread and wine. If we consume food or bread without water or wine, all they do is bloat our stomach. In the form of undigested lumps, they ruin our stomach and become like rotten, foul-smelling muck inside it. If we consume water or wine without food or bread, they too bloat our stomach and swell our blood-vessels and internal passages, which become so bereft of nutrition that they emanate the body even to the point of death. This comparison as well is a perfect parallel, since in the spiritual meaning “food” and “bread” mean goodness that relates to love and goodwill, and “water” and “wine” mean truth that relates to wisdom and faith n(see Revelation Unveiled 50, 316, 778, 932).

Goodwill that is connected to faith and faith that is reciprocally connected to goodwill could be likened to a lovely young woman whose facial color is beautiful because redness and whiteness are integrated in it. This simile is also a perfect parallel because love, and therefore goodwill, glows red in the spiritual world due to the fire of the sun there, while truth, and therefore faith, shines white because of the light of that sun. Therefore goodwill that is separate from faith can be llikened to a face that is blazing red with pimples, and faith that is separate from goodwill can be likened to the pale white face of a corpse.

Faith that is separate from goodwill can also be likened to the paralysis of one side of the body, or hemiplegia. As it progresses, people die from it. It can also be likened to Saint Vitus’s or Saint Guy’s dance, which befalls people who have been bitten by a tarantula. These victims have a rtionally comparable to that of people who have faith without goodwill. In both cases they dance with a fury and think of themselves as being alive, but in fact they have no more ability to focus their reasoning and think about spiritual truths than someone lying in bed being crushed by a suffocating nightmare.

This provides adequate support for two of the topics in this chapter–the earlier one that faith without goodwill is not faith; goodwill without faith is not goodwill; and that neither of them is living unless it comes from the Lord [Sections 355-361]; and the current one, that the Lord, goodwill, and faith form a unity in the same way our life, our will, and our intellect from a unity; if we separate them, each one crumbles like a pearl that is crushed to powder [Sections 362-367].

from True Christianity, Section 367


Sections 355-367: Published 12/19/2020-12/31/2020

c. The Qualities That Flow in from the Lord Are Received by Us According to Our Form

“Form” here means our state in regard to love and wisdom. Therefore it includes the state of our desires to do good out of goodwill and the state of our insights about the truths of faith.

God is one indivisible entity that is the same from eternity to eternity. He is not the same simple thing: he is the same infinite thing. All variation is supplied by the object in which it occurs, as I showed above [Section 364]. It is the receiving form or state that causes variations, as we can see from the life that is in little children, teenagers, young adults, middle-aged adults, and the elderly. Because we keep the same soul, we have the same life inside from infancy to old age; but as our state goes through life stages and different circumstances, we perceive the life inside us differently.

God’s life is present in all its fullness not only in people who are good and religious but also in people who are evil and ungodly. That life is the same in angels of heaven as it is in spirits of hell. The difference is that evil people block the road and shut the door to prevent God from coming down into the lower areas of their mind. Good people, on the other hand, smooth the road and open the door. They invite God to enter the lower areas of their mind since he already inhabits the highest areas of it. They change the state of their will so that love and good will may flow in, and change the state of their intellect so that wisdom and faith may flow in–they open themselves to God.

Evil people block that inflow with various bodily cravings and spiritual garbage that they spread around to prevent access. Nevertheless, God with all his divine essence still dwells in the highest parts of evil people and gives them the ability to will what is good and understand what is true. This ability is something that all human beings have, although it would not be theirs at all if life from God were not present in their soul. Many experiences have taught me that even the evil have this ability.

The way we individually receive life from God depends on our form. This can be illustrated with comparisons to every kind of plant. Every species of tree, every species of bush, every type of shrub, and every type of grass receives the inflowing heat and light according to its own form. This is true not only for plants that serve a good purpose but also for those that serve an evil purpose. The sun and its heat do not alter the form of the plants. Instead the forms themselves alter the effects of the sun.

The same is true of substances in the mineral kingdom. Every different substance, whether it has high quality or little value, receives what flows in according to the form of the structure of its component parts. No two types of stone, no two minerals, no two metals receive the inflowing heat and light in the same way. Some of them dapple themselves with exquisitely beautiful colors; some transmit light without altering it; some scramble the light inside themselves or suffocate it.

As you can see on the basis of these few examples, the sun in our world, along with its heat and light, is just as present in one object as it is in another, but the forms that receive it vary its effects; likewise the Lord is equally present to all, shining down from the sun in heaven, in whose midst he is, along with his heat (which is essentially love) and his light (which is essentially wisdom). It is our form as shaped by the state of our life that varies his effects. Therefore the Lord is not responsible for our failure to be reborn and saved; we ourselves are.

from True Christianity, Section 366

Section 364: Published 12/28/2020

b. Therefore the Lord Flows into Everyone with the Entire Essence of Faith and Goodwill

This follows from the previous point, since the essence of faith is life from divine wisdom and the essence of goodwill is life from divine love. Therefore, since the Lord is present along with these things that belong to him (namely, divine wisdom and divine love), he is also present along with all the true perceptions related to faith and all the good actions related to goodwill. “Faith” means all the truth from the Lord that we perceive, think, and speak. “Goodwill” means all the goodness from the Lord which moves us and which we then intend and do.

As I said just above, the divine love that emanates from the Lord as a sun is perceived by the angels as heat, and the divine wisdom from that love is perceived as light. Someone who does not think beyond appearances might surmise that the heat I just mentioned is mere heat and that the light is mere light, like the heat and light that emanates from the sun in our world. In fact, the heat and light that emanate from the Lord as a sun hold in their core all the infinities that are in the Lord. That heat holds all the infinities of his love and that light holds all the infinities of wisdom. Therefore they also hold an infinity that includes everything good related to goodwill and everything true related to faith. The reason for this is that the spiritual sun is present everywhere that its heat and light are present. That sun is a sphere that immediately surrounds the Lord, radiating from his divine love together with his divine wisdom. (as I have noted a number of times before [Sections 24, 29, 35, 39, 41, 49, 63, 66, 75, 76, 360], the Lord is within that sun.)

These facts make it clear that nothing stands in the way of our being able to draw from the Lord everything good that relates to goodwill and everything true that relates to faith, since he is omnipresent. An example showing that nothing stands in the way is the love and wisdom that heaven’s angels have from the Lord. The angels’ love and wisdom are beyond words and incomprehensible to our earthly self; they are also capable of increasing to eternity.

The fact that there are infinite things in the heat and light that emanate from the Lord, although they are perceived as simple heat and light, can be illustrated by various phenomena on earth. For example, we hear the tone of someone’s voice in speech as a noncomposite sound, yet when angels hear it they perceive in it all that person’s feelings, and can list and describe each one. We too can sense to some extent that there are qualities that lie within a voice when we listen to people talking to us. We can tell if there is contempt, ridicule, or hatred, or else goodwill, benevolence, cheerfulness, or other feelings behind what they say. Similar things lie hidden in the visual impression we receive when we look at someone.

This phenomenon can also be illustrated by the fragrances in an ample garden or in a vast field full of flowers. The sweet smell given off by those plants consists of thousands and even tens of thousands of different elements; yet they are sensed as one impression. It is similar with many other things that appear on the outside as something uniform but are inwardly complex.

The source of human attraction and repulsion is feelings that emanate from people’s mind. These feelings attract others who have similar feelings and repel others who do not. Although these emanations are countless and are not picked up by any physical sensation, they are perceived by the sensation of our soul as a single thing. In the spiritual world, all connections and associations are formed on the basis of them.

I have mentioned these things to illustrate what I said before about the spiritual light that emanates from the Lord. It contains all things related to wisdom and all things related to faith. It is this light that enables our intellect to see and perceive the objects of reason in an analytical way, just as our eye sees and perceives earthly objects in a proportional way.

from True Christianity, Section 365

a. The Lord Flows into Everyone with All His Divine Love, All His Divine Wisdom, and All His Divine Life

In the Book of Creation, we read that we were created in the image of God and that God breathed the breath of life into our nostrils (Genesis 1:27; 2:7). This means that we are not life, we are merely organs that receive life. God could not create another being like himself. If he could have done so, there would be as many gods as there are people. God could not create life or light either. God could, however, create people as forms that receive life, just as he created the eye as a form that receive light. God could not and still cannot divide his own essence–it is an indivisible oneness. Therefore since God alone is life, it follows without doubt that God uses his life to bring us all to life. Without being brought to life, we would all have flesh that was no more than a sponge and bones that were no more than a skeleton. We would have no more life than a clock that moves because of its pendulum and a weight or a spring. Given this fact, it also follows that God flows into every human being with all his divine life, that is, with all his divine love and divine wisdom. (For these two things constituting his divine life, see above Sections 39-40). Divinity is indivisible.

Furthermore, we can understand how God flows in with all his divine life just as we understand that the sun in our world flows with all its essence (heat and Light) into every tree, every bush, and every flower, and even into every stone, both precious and common. Every object draws it own share from the general inflow. The sun does not divide up its heat and light and give part of it to this thing and another part to that one.

The same thing is true of the sun in heaven–the source from which divine love emanates in the form of heat and divine wisdom in the form of light. Love and wisdom flow into human minds the way heat and light from the world’s sun flow into bodies, bringing them to life depending on the quality of their form. Each form takes what it needs from the general inflow.

What the Lord says applies here:

Your Father makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:45)

The Lord is omnipresent; and everywhere he is present, he is present with his entire essence. It is impossible for him to take out some of his essence and give part of it to one person and another part to another. He give it all. He also gives us the ability to adopt as much as we wish of it, whether a little or a lot. The Lord says that he has a home with those who do his commandments, and that the faithful are in him and he is in them. In a word, all things are full of God. We each take our own portion from that fullness.

This is true of atmospheres and oceans, and also of everything that is universal. The atmosphere is the same on a small and a large scale. It does not limit itself to giving one aspect of itself to someone who is breathing, a second aspect to a bird that is flying, a third aspect to the sails of a ship, and a fourth aspect to the vanes of a windmill. Instead, each thing draws on certain aspects of the atmosphere and applies to itself as much as it needs.

It is the same s a barn full of grain. The owners draw from it the provisions they need for a given day. The barn does not determine what they receive.

from True Christianity, Section 364


Sections 39-40: Published 1/18/2018

6. The Lord, Goodwill, and Faith Form a Unity in the Same Way Our Life, Our Will, and Our Intellect From a Unity; If We Separate Them, Each One Crumbles Like a Pearl That is Crushed to Powder (Continued)

Now to the current point about faith–namely, that the Lord, goodwill, and faith form a unity in the same way our life, our will, and our intellect from a unity; and if we separate them, each one crumbles like a pearl that is crushed to power. To see and acknowledge the truth of this, it is important to consider it in the following order:

a. The Lord flows into everyone with all his divine love, all his divine wisdom, and all his divine life.

b. Therefore the Lord flows into everyone with the entire essence of faith and goodwill.

c. These qualities are received by us according to our form.

d. If we separate the Lord, goodwill, and faith, however, instead of being a form that accepts these qualities we are a form that destroys them.

from True Christianity, Section 363

6. The Lord, Goodwill, and Faith Form a Unity in the Same Way Our Life, Our Will, and Our Intellect From a Unity; If We Separate Them, Each One Crumbles Like a Pearl That is Crushed to Powder

First I must mention some things that till now have been unknown in the scholarly world and therefore also unknown to the clergy. These things have been as hidden, in fact, as things that re buried in the ground. Yet they are treasure chests full of wisdom. Unless they are dug up and presented to the public, people will struggle in vain to develop a just concept of God, faith , and goodwill; we will not knowhow we ought to mange and prepare the state of our life now for state of eternal life.

The things that have been unknown are these: We are nothing but an organ that receives life. Everything belonging to life flowers into us from the God of Heaven, who is the Lord. There are two faculties in us that receive life: They are called called the will and the intellect. The will is a vessel for love and the intellect is a vessel for wisdom. Therefore the will is a vessel for goodwill and the intellect is a vessel for goodwill and the intellect is vessel for faith.

All our willing and all our understanding flow in from outside us. The good impulses that relate to love and goodwill and the true insights that relate to wisdom and faith flow in from the Lord. All the things that oppose these flow in from hell. The Lord has provided that we feel inside us, as if they were our own, the things that flow in from outside. As a result, we produce from ourselves good impulses and true insights as if they were our own, although none of them is actually ours. They are nonetheless attributed to us as our own in order to give us free choice in willing and thinking, and to grant us concepts of what is good and what is true from which we can freely select whatever suits our temporal and eternal life.

If you look askance or through squinting eyes at what I have just presented, you might draw many insane conclusions from it; but if you look at it squarely, you will be able to draw many wise conclusions from it. To help you look at it squarely, I needed first to present judgments and crucial teachings related to God and the divine Trinity. Later in the work I will lay out judgments and crucial teachings related to faith and goodwill, free choice, reformation and regeneration, and the assignment of spiritual credit or blame, as well as repentance, baptism, and the Holy Supper as means to an end.

from True Christianity, Section 362

d. Nevertheless, No Faith, No Goodwill, and None of the Life within Faith or Goodwill Comes from Ourselves; Instead They Come from the Lord Alone (Continued)

People who have faith in the Lord and goodwill toward their neighbor have spirituality within their earthly self, and as a result their earthly self becomes translucent. Once we realize this, we can see that the more translucent their earthly self becomes the more wisdom they have about spiritual things. They also have more wisdom about earthly things, because as they are thinking, reading, or hearing about something, they see inside themselves whether it is true or not. This is an awareness they have from the Lord as spiritual light and heat flow down from him into the higher sphere of their intellect.

The more spiritual our faith and our goodwill become, the more we are drawn away from our self-centeredness. We do not focus on ourselves, on payment, or on reward; we focus only on the pleasure of perceiving truths that relate to faith and doing good actions that relate to love. The more our spirituality increases, the more blissful that pleasure becomes. This process is the source of our salvation, which is called eternal life.

This human state is comparable to the things that are most beautiful and most pleasant in our world. In fact, it is compared with them in the Word. It is compared to fruit-bearing trees, and the gardens in which they stand; flowering fields; precious stones and exquisite food. This state is also compared to weddings and the festivities and celebrations that follow them.

When this state is upside-down, however–that is, when an earthly self lies within our spirituality, and therefore we are inwardly devils although we are outwardly angels–then our state is comparable to a dead person in a coffin made out of precious, gilded wood. This state is also like a skeleton dressed up in someone’s clothes riding around in a magnificent carriage. It is like a corpse in a tomb that is built like the temple of Diana. Our inner self can be pictured as a mass of snakes in a cave, while our outer self is like butterflies whose wings are tinged with colors of every kind; yet these butterflies glue their polluted eggs to the leaves of productive trees, with the result that the fruit is consumed. In this state our inner self could be compared to a hawk, and our outer self to a dove: our faith and goodwill are like a hawk flying over a fleeing dove that eventually becomes worn out; then the hawk flies down and devours it.

from True Christianity, Section 361

d. Nevertheless, No Faith, No Goodwill, and None of the Life within Faith or Goodwill Comes from Ourselves; Instead They Come from the Lord Alone (Continued)

In the preceding sections, I stated that our faith starts out as something earthly, but as we move toward the Lord it becomes spiritual; and the same applies to our goodwill. No one yet knows the difference, however, between earthly and spiritual faith and goodwill. This great mystery needs to be disclosed.

There are two worlds, the physical world and the spiritual world. Each world has a sun. From each sun emanates heat and light. The heat and light from the sun of the spiritual world have an intrinsic life in them from the Lord, who is within that sun. The heat and light from the sun of the physical world, on the other hand, have no intrinsic life in them. Instead they serve as vessels for the two higher forms of heat and light (as instrumental causes usually do for their principal causes) and serve to convey that higher heat and light to people.

It is important to realize, therefore, that the heat and light from the sun in the spiritual world are the source of all that is spiritual. That heat and that light are themselves spiritual as well, because they have spirit and life within them. The heat and light from the sun in the physical world are the source of all physical things. Physical things in and of themselves have no spirit or life.

Now, since faith relates to light and goodwill to heat, clearly it we are in the light and heat that emanate from the sun of the spiritual world, we have a faith and goodwill that are spiritual. If we are limited to the heat and light that emanate from the sun of physical world, we are limited to a faith and a goodwill that are earthly.

As spiritual light lies within physical light as if it was in its own vessel or container, and spiritual heat lies within physical heat in the same way, it follows that spiritual faith lies within earthly faith, and spiritual goodwill within earthly goodwill. The two come together with every step we take as we progress from the physical world into the spiritual world. We make this progress as we believe in the Lord, who is the light itself, the way, the truth, and the life, as he himself teaches.

Since this is the case, when we have spiritual faith we clearly also have earthly faith, in that spiritual faith lies within earthly faith, as I just said. And because faith relates to light, it follows that when spiritual faith comes into us our earthly self becomes translucent, so to speak. Our earthly self also becomes beautifully colored, depending on how united our faith is to goodwill. The reason it takes on colors is that goodwill is a growing red and faith is a shining white. Goodwill glows red with the flame of spiritual fire, and faith shines white the brilliance of the light from that fire.

Just the opposite happens, however, if we do not have spirituality in our earthly self, but instead have something earthly in our spirituality. This is what happens to people who reject faith and goodwill. For these people, the inner level of the mind, where they go when they are left to their own thinking, is heelish. In fact, although they do not realize it, their thinking comes from hell. The outer level of their mind, from which they operate when they are talking to their friends in the world, may be spiritual in a way, but it is also riddled with things that are like the filthiness of hell. These people are in fact in hell, in the sense that they are in a state that is upside-down compared to the state of the people we were talking about before.

from True Christianity, Section 360

d. Nevertheless, No Faith, No Goodwill, and None of the Life within Faith or Goodwill Comes from Ourselves; Instead They Come from the Lord Alone

We read,

We cannot receive anything unless it is given to us from heaven (John 3:27).

And Jesus said,

Those who live in me and I in them bear much fruit, because without me you cannot do anything (John 15:5).

This has to be understood, however, in a particular way: On our own we cannot acquire any faith for ourselves except earthly faith, which is a persuasion that something is the case because a man in authority said so. On our own we cannot acquire any goodwill for ourselves except earthly goodwill, which is our working to gain favor for the sake of some reward. In both of them the self is present, but life from the Lord is not present yet. Nevertheless, with this earthly faith and goodwill we are preparing ourselves to be a vessel for the Lord. As we are preparing ourselves, the Lord comes in and turns our earthly faith into spiritual faith, does the same with our goodwill, and brings them from both to life. These things happen when we go to the Lord as the God of heaven and earth.

Because we have been created as images of God, we have been created as vessels for God. Therefore the Lord says,

The people who love me are those who have my commandments and follow them. I will love these people, come to them, and make a home with them (John 14:21, 23).


Behold! I am standing at the door and knocking. If any hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and will dine with them and they with me (Revelation 3:20).

In Conclusion, as we prepare ourselves in an earthly way to receive the Lord, the Lord comes in and makes all the earthly things in us spiritual and therefore alive. On the other hand, however, the less we prepare ourselves, the more we distance the Lord from ourselves and do everything on our own; and what we do on our own has no life in it.

These points cannot be put in any clearer light before we come to the chapters on goodwill [Sections 392-462] and free choice [Section 463-508]. Similar points will also appear later on in the chapter on reformation and regeneration [Section 571-625].

from True Christianity, Section 359

c. We Are Also Able to Acquire the Life within Faith and Goodwill for Ourselves

The situation is again the same. We acquire this life as we go to the Lord, who is life itself. No one’s access to him is blocked. He constantly invites every person to come toward him. He says,

Those who come to me will not hunger; those who believe in me will never thirst. Those who come to me I will not throw out the door. (John 6:35, 37)

Jesus stood and cried out, “If any are thirsty, they must come to me and drink.” (John 7:37)

The kingdom of heavens is like someone who put on a wedding for his son and sent his servants to call those who had been invited. Finally he said, “Go to the ends of the street and invite any people you find to the wedding.” (Matthew 22:1-9)

Surely everyone knows that the Lord’s invitation or calling is universal. So is the grace to accept it.

By going to the Lord, we gain life because the Lord is life itself. He is not only the life within faith but also the life within goodwill. It is clear from the following passages that this life is the Lord and comes to us from the Lord:

In the beginning was the Word. In it there was life, and that life was the light for humankind. (John 1:1, 4)

Just as the Father raises the dead and bring them to life, so also the Son brings to life those whom he wishes to. (John 5:21)

As the Father has life in himself, so he has given the Son to have life in himself. (John 5:26)

The bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. (John 6:33)

The words that I speak to you are spirit and are life. (John 6:63)

Jesus said,

Those who follow me will have the light of life. (John 8:12)

I have come to that they may have life and abundance. (John 10:10)

Those who believe in me, even if they die, they will live. (John 11:25)

I am the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:6)

Because I live, you too will live. (John 14:19)

These things have been written so that you may have life in his name. (John 20:31)

He is eternal life. (1 John 5:20)

“The life within faith and goodwill” means the spiritual life the Lord gives people in their earthly lives.

from True Christianity, Section 358