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

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