When the Three Universal Categories of Love Are Prioritized in the Right Way They Improve Us; When They Are Not Prioritized in the Right Way They Damage Us and Turn Us Upside Down (Continued)

If, however, love for ourselves or love of power constitutes the head, then love for heaven goes down the body to the lower legs. The more this love grows. the more love for heaven moves through the ankles into the feet. If love for ourselves grows even more, love for heaven passes through the shoes and is trampled.

There is a love for power that comes from loving our neighbor and a love for power that comes from loving ourselves. People who have a love for power that comes from loving their neighbor are ambitious for power for the purpose of benefiting both the general public and individual citizens. In the heavens, in fact, power is entrusted to people like this.

If emperors, monarchs, and generals who were born and raised to be leaders humble themselves before God, they sometimes have less self-love than people who come from a lowly family and whose pride makes them long for superior status over others.

On the other hand, people who have a love for power that comes from loving themselves use love for heaven as their footstool. They put their feet on it in view of the crowd. If there is no crowd in sight, they either toss it in the corner or throw it out the door. Why? Because they love only themselves. As a result, they plunge the willing and thinking of their minds into self-absorption. Self-absorption is in fact a hereditary evil; it is the polar opposite of love for heaven.

If we have a love for power that comes from loving ourselves, we also have evils that accompany that love. They are generally the following: despising others, jealousy, viewing people as our enemies if they do not show us special favor, hostility, hatred, vengefulness, mercilessness, savagery, and cruelty. Despising God is another such evil, as is despising the divine things that are the true insights and good actions taught by the church. If we give these things any honor, we only pay them lip service to prevent the church hierarchy from attacking our reputation and to stave off verbal abuse from everyone else.

Love for power is different for the clergy than it is for the laity. In the clergy this love surges upward, as long as it is given the reins, until they want to be gods. Lay people, on the other hand, want to be monarchs. That is how far the imagination of that love takes their minds.

In spiritually well-developed people, love for heaven occupies the highest place and constitutes the head of what follows it; love for the world is beneath it and is like the torso below the head; love for themselves is below this love in the role of the lower legs. It follows then that if love for ourselves constitutes the head, we are completely upside-down. In that case we look to the angels like people sleeping with their heads on the ground and their rear ends up in the air. When people like this are worshiping, they look as if they are frolicking on all fours like panther cubs. Furthermore, they look like various kinds of two-headed creatures–the head on top has the face of a wild animal, while the other below it has a human face that is continually pushed down from above and forced to kiss the ground.

All people of this type are sense-oriented. They are like the people described above Section 402.

from True Christianity, Section 405

Notes:

Section 402: Published 2/4/2021

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