Scientific discovery of Spiritual Laws given in Rational Scientific Revelations


There is free Web access to Swedenborg's Writings full text!
Click here to see List of Swedenborg's Writings

Back to Glossary of Swedenborg Related Concepts by Leon James

The Ennead Matrix

see also The Divine Trinity ||  see also Anatomical Diagram of the Mind in Relation to God and Universe
see also Personality Structure in the Three Phases of Religious Behavior


The word "ennead" means a structure of 9 (from the Greek ennea or the number nine). A matrix is a dynamic chart that portrays the confluence of two factors acting in concert. The elements that compose one factor act in functional relation with the elements of the other factor. For example, think of a calendar page that people use to enter notes for specific days of the month. Across the page running horizontally are seven columns or boxes that represent the progression of the week, while running down vertically are the weeks within a month. So the calendar page is a 7 by 4 matrix--not an ennead, but it shows you what a matrix is and the functional relation between the horizontal and vertical dimensions of the matrix. For instance the third row intersects with the second column to give you Monday the 15th, and so on. But months are not equivalent so the 7 by 4 matrix is adjusted by the calendar to fit each month. Another example of a matrix is a list of names next to which you write information such as Item Ordered, Method of Payment, and Shipping Date. If you have 100 names, the page will be a 100 by 3 matrix. You can run down the column Shipping Date and see in a glance what's ahead in terms of shipping jobs. And so on. The existence of matrices in our lives is well established and is nothing but a visual representation of scheduled operations or recognized functional relations.

The ennead matrix consists of nine squares or intersecting zones made by two factors each having three components, one running horizontally and the other vertically. The 3 by 3 matrix of anything is called an enneadic matrix. It expresses the structure or anatomy of territory constructed by two factors acting jointly to create a dynamic or functional field. Position in the ennead structure determines function and operation. The nine zones of the ennead matrix are distinct, each having properties defined by the joint action of the components of the two factors. Here is one way of representing an ennead matrix:

  Factor 2 ------>horizontal------->
Factor 1
Levels (down)
3 zone A3 zone C3 zone S3
2 zone A2 zone C2 zone S2
1 zone A1 zone C1 zone S1

Zone A3 is different from zone C3 because they are produced or defined by different intersection components. Therefore the operations, events, or functions that take place in each zone are determined by the particular intersections. By knowing the components of each factor one can rationally deduce the functional dynamic properties acting within each zone. The strongest enneadic structures are those where the components are ordered in accordance with each of the two Factors.   For example, let's identify the levels in Factor 1 shown above as developmental stages going from 1 to 3 and the other factor as domains of behavior in psychology--which are known as affective (feelings, motives), cognitive (thoughts, plans), and sensorimotor (sensations, motor reactions). The ennead would then represent the psychological zones of human life. Thus, zone A3 would mean the third stage of the affective domain--in other words, "mature feelings" or feelings one has in maturity. Similarly, zone C2 would localize the cognitive or mental states at the second stage of development--such as intelligent goal-directed problem solving or planning. And so on. Many illustrative applications are presented in the section below.

The ennead matrix is an important level of analysis for theistic science. This is because scientific revelations have established it as the unit structure of all phenomena, physical and spiritual. Quotations from the Writings of Swedenborg are also provided below.

Illustrations of Ennead Applications in Psychology and Physics

For a background article by physicist Dr. Ian Thompson, please click on this article:


For background articles by psychologist Dr. Leon James, please click on these articles:

Theistic Science Diagrams

Comprehensive Discourse Analysis Diagrams (general entry)

Comprehensive Discourse Analysis Diagrams (part 1)

Comprehensive Discourse Analysis and Its Applications (part 3)

SPIRITUAL GEOGRAPHY The Horizontal and Vertical Communities of our Dual Citizenship

Social Psychology Applications to Personality

The Organization & Operations of the Mind: The Ennead of Religious Behaviorism

Ethnographic Discourse Methodology:  A tool for the mind

Traffic Psychology Applications (part 1)

Traffic Psychology Applications (part 2)

Current issues being worked out by Dr. Thompson and Dr. James (1999)

Dr. Thompson and Dr. James have both independently discovered the 3X3 matrix that Dr. James calls The Ennead Matrix.  This is wonderful!  But it's not totally unexpected given that (a) they're both scientists interested in bringing about what Dr. James calls Theistic Science, and (b) they base their theory entirely on Swedenborg's Writings, attempting to 'translate' its concepts into modern science.  At this point we're continuing to develop our ideas,  each on our own, but we're interested in showing the similarity and harmony between theistic science concepts from physics and psychology.


Part 1:  Analysis Level One in the two systems:   A=Affective  C=Cognitive  S=sensorimotor

A C S Thompson



celestial affections


ends of ends


celestial cognitions


thoughts of ends


celestial uses


effects of ends






rational-spiritual affections


ends of thoughts


rational-spiritual cognitions


thoughts of thoughts


rational-spiritual uses


effects of thoughts






natural affections


ends of effects


natural cognitions


thoughts of effects


natural uses


effects of effects




Part 2A:  Analysis Level Two in the two systems:   A=Affective  C=Cognitive  S=sensorimotor


James &
  A C S  




Thoughts of ends of ends
ends ends thoughts



Thoughts of ends of causes
causes ends thoughts



Thoughts of ends of effects
effects ends thoughts





Thoughts of causes of ends
ends causes thoughts



Thoughts of causes of causes
causes causes thoughts



Thoughts of causes of effects
effects causes thoughts





Thoughts of effects of ends
ends effects thoughts



Thoughts of effects of causes
cause effects thoughts



Thoughts of effects of effects
effects effects thoughts




Part 2B:  Analysis Level Two in the two systems:   A=Affective  C=Cognitive  S=sensorimotor

James &
    A C S




Results of ends of ends
ends ends results)

reception of love



Results of ends of causes
causes ends results)

reception of thoughts



Results of ends of effects
ends ends results)

reception of decisions





Results of causes of ends
ends causes results



Results of causes of causes
causes causes results

dynamic Laws



Results of causes of effects
effects causes results)

virtual events





Results of effects of ends
ends effects results



wave functions



actual selections

See Dr. Thompson's article:

(to be continued)

Love as Substance

substance1.gif (10819 bytes)


Selections from the Writings

True Christian Religion


A distinction has been made between the Esse of God and the essence of God, because there is a distinction between the infinity of God and the love of God, infinity being applicable to the Esse of God, and love to the essence of God, since the Esse of God, as has just been said, is more universal than His essence; just as the infinity of God is more universal than His love; and for this reason the word infinite is an adjective that is applicable to the essentials and attributes of God, which are all called infinite; as we say of the Divine love that it is infinite, of the Divine wisdom that it is infinite, also of the Divine power; not because of any pre-existence of the Esse of God, but because it enters into the essence as joined to it, cohering with it, determining and forming and also exalting it. But this section of this chapter, like the previous ones, shall be presented under the following divisions:

(1) God is Love itself and Wisdom itself, and these two constitute His Essence.

(2) God is Good itself and Truth itself, because Good is of Love and Truth is of Wisdom.

(3) Love itself and wisdom itself are Life itself, which is Life in itself.

(4) Love and Wisdom in God make one.

(5) It is the essence of Love to love others outside of one-self, to desire to be one with them, and to render them blessed from oneself.

(6) These essentials of the Divine Love were the cause of the universe, and are the cause of its preservation.

But of these separately.

TCR 37. (1) God is Love itself and Wisdom itself, and these two constitute His Essence. In the earliest ages it was seen that love and wisdom are the two essentials to which all the infinite things that are in God and proceed from God have reference; but succeeding ages, as they withdrew their minds from heaven and immersed them in things worldly and corporeal, gradually became unable to see this, for they gradually ceased to know what love is in its essence, and thus what wisdom is in its essence, not knowing that love abstracted from a form is impossible, and that love operates in a form and through a form. Since, then, God is the Itself and the Only, and thus the first substance and form, the essence of which is love and wisdom, and since from Him were made all things that were made, it follows that He created the universe with each thing and all things of it from love by means of wisdom; consequently the Divine love, together with the Divine wisdom, is in each and all created subjects. Love, moreover, is not merely the essence that forms all things, it is also that which unites and conjoins them, and thus, when they are formed, holds them in connection.

[2] All this may be illustrated by innumerable things in the world; as by the heat and light from the sun, which are the two essentials and universals by means of which each thing and all things on the earth have their existence and subsistence. Heat and light are there because they correspond to the Divine love and Divine wisdom; for the heat that goes forth from the sun of the spiritual world is in its essence love, and the light from it is in its essence wisdom. This, again, may be illustrated by the two essentials and universals, namely, the will and the understanding, by means of which human minds have their existence and subsistence; for of these two everyone's mind consists, and they are in, and operate in, each thing and all things of the mind. This is because the will is the receptacle and habitation of love, as the understanding is of wisdom; and for this reason these two correspond to the Divine love and the Divine wisdom in which they originated. The same truth may be illustrated further by the two essentials and universals by means of which the human body has its existence and subsistence, namely, the heart and lungs, or the contraction and dilatation of the heart and the respiration of the lungs. It is known that these two are operative in each and all things in the body; and for the reason that the heart corresponds to love, and the lungs to wisdom; which correspondence is fully demonstrated in the Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom, published at Amsterdam.

[3] That love as a bridegroom and husband produces or begets all forms, yet only by wisdom as a bride and wife, can be proved by things innumerable in both the spiritual world and in the natural world, provided only it is kept in mind that the entire angelic heaven is arranged in its form, and kept in it, from the Divine love through the Divine wisdom. Those who deduce the creation of the world from any other source than the Divine love through the Divine wisdom, not knowing that these two constitute the Divine Essence, descend from reason's sight to eyesight, and bestow kisses on nature as the creator of the universe; and thereby conceive chimeras and bring forth specters. They devise fallacies, and reason from them; and their conclusions are eggs that contain birds of night. Such should not be called minds, but eyes and ears without understanding, or thoughts without soul. They talk of colors as if these existed without light; of trees as if they existed without seed; and of all things in the world as existing without the sun; for they make derivatives to be first principles and things caused to be causes; thus they turn all things upside down, lull their reason to sleep, and the things they see are dreams.

TCR 38. (2) God is Good itself and Truth itself, because Good is of Love and Truth is of Wisdom. It is universally known that all things have reference to good and truth; which is proof that all things sprang from love and wisdom; for everything that proceeds from love is called good, for this is what is felt, and the delight by which the love becomes manifest is to everyone good; while every thing that proceeds from wisdom is called truth, since wisdom consists solely of truths, and affects its objects with the pleasantness of light; and this pleasantness, when it is perceived, is truth from good. Love is therefore the complex of all varieties of goodness, and wisdom the complex of all varieties of truth; but both the latter and the former are from God, who is love itself and thus good itself, and is wisdom itself and thus truth itself. It is from this that in the church there are two essentials, called charity and faith; and of these each thing and all things of the church consist, and these must be in each and all things of it; and for the reason that every good of the church pertains to charity, and is called charity; and every truth of the church pertains to faith, and is called faith. It is the delights of love, which are also the delights of charity, that cause what is delightful to be called good; and it is the pleasantness of wisdom, which is also the pleasantness of faith, that causes what is true to be called true; for delights and pleasantnesses are what give life to good and truth; and without life from these, goods and truths are like something inanimate, and are also barren.

[2] But the delights of love are of two kinds; so, too, are the pleasantnesses that seem to pertain to wisdom, namely, delights of the love of good and delights of the love of evil, and in consequence, the pleasantnesses of faith in what is true and of faith in what is false. In the subjects in which they exist, both of these kinds of delights, because of the feeling they produce, are called goods, and both of these kinds of pleasantness of faith, because of the perception they cause, are also called good; but as these are in the understanding they are in reality truths. Nevertheless, the two kinds are opposites, the good of one love being good, and the good of the other being evil, and the truth of one faith true, and that of the other false. The love whose delight is essentially good is like the sun's heat in its work of fructifying, vivifying, and operating upon fertile soil, and useful trees and fields of grain; and where it operates the place becomes like a paradise, a garden of Jehovah, and like the land of Canaan; while the pleasantness of the truth of that love is like the sun's light in spring, or like light flowing into a crystalline vase containing beautiful flowers, from which, when opened, a delightful odor goes forth. But the delight of the love of evil is like the sun's heat when it parches and destroys, or when it operates upon barren soil or upon noxious growths, as thorns and brambles; and where it operates the place becomes an Arabian desert where there are water snakes and venomous snakes; and the pleasantness of its falsity is like the sun's light in winter, or like light flowing into a bottle containing worms swimming in vinegar, and reptiles of offensive smell.

[3] It must be understood that every kind of good gives itself form by means of truths, and clothes itself about with truths, and thus distinguishes itself from every other good; also that the various kinds of good belonging to the same family bind themselves into bundles, and swathe these about, and thus distinguish themselves from other families. That they are formed in this way is shown in each and all things in the human body; and as there is an invariable correspondence of all things of the mind with all things of the body the human mind is evidently formed in like ways. And from this it follows that the human mind is organized inwardly of spiritual substances, and outwardly of natural substances, and lastly of material substances. The mind whose love's delights are good is formed inwardly of such spiritual substances as exist in heaven; while the mind whose love's delights are evil is formed inwardly of such spiritual substances as exist in hell; and its evils are bound into bundles by falsities, while the goods in the former mind are bound into bundles by truths. Because of such bindings of good and of evil into bundles the Lord says:

That the tares must be gathered together into bundles to be burned, as well as all things that offend (Matt. 13:30, 40-41; John 15:6).

TCR 39. (3) Because God is Love itself and Wisdom itself He is Life itself, which is Life in itself. It is said in John:

The Word was with God, and God was the Word. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men (John 1:1, 4).

By "God" here the Divine love is meant, and by "the Word" the Divine wisdom; and strictly speaking "life" means the Divine wisdom, and the life strictly is the light that goes forth from the sun of the spiritual world, in the midst of which sun is Jehovah God. As fire forms light so does the Divine love form life. In fire there are two properties, burning and shining; from its burning property heat proceeds, and from its shining property, light. There are two like properties in love, one to which the burning property of fire corresponds, which is a something that inmostly affects the will of man, and another to which the shining property of fire corresponds, which is a something that inmostly affects the understanding of man. This is the source of man's love and intelligence; for, as repeatedly said before, from the sun of the spiritual world a heat goes forth that in its essence is love, and a light that in its essence is wisdom. These two flow into all things and each thing in the universe, and inmostly affect them, and with men these flow into their will and their understanding, for these two were created to be receptacles of influx-the will a receptacle of love, and the understanding a receptacle of wisdom. Thus it is manifest that the life of man dwells in his understanding, and is such as his wisdom is; and that it is modified by the love of the will.

TCR 40. We also read in John:

As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son also to have life in Himself (5:26),

which means that just as the Divine Itself, which was from eternity, has life in itself, so the Human, which He took on in time, has life in itself. Life in itself is the very and only life, from which all angels and men have life. This can be seen by human reason from the light that goes forth from the sun of the natural world, in that this light is not creatable, but that forms for receiving it have been created. For example, the eyes are forms for receiving this light, and light flowing in from the sun is what makes them to see. The same is true of life which (as has been said) is the light that goes forth from the sun of the spiritual world, in that it is not creatable, but flows in unceasingly, and as it illuminates it also vivifies man's understanding. So in consequence, as sight and life and wisdom are one, wisdom is not creatable, neither is faith, nor truth, nor love, nor charity, nor good; but forms for receiving these have been created; and these forms are human and angelic minds. Therefore let everyone beware of persuading himself that he lives from himself, or that he is wise, believes, loves, perceives truth, and wills and does good, from himself. For so far as anyone is so persuaded he casts his mind down from heaven to earth, and from being spiritual becomes natural, sensual, and corporeal; for he shuts up the higher regions of his mind, and thus makes himself blind in regard to every thing relating to God, heaven, and the church; and then all that he happens to think, reason, and say about these things is done in darkness and consequently in foolishness; while at the same time he adopts a confidence that it all belongs to wisdom. For when the higher regions of the mind, where the true light of life resides, are closed up, the region of the mind below these opens, into which the light of the world only is admitted; and when this light is separated from the light of the higher regions it is a delusive light, in which what is false seems true and what is true seems false, and reasoning from what is false appears to be wisdom, and from what is true to be folly. Then man believes himself to be endowed with the keen vision of an eagle, although he sees what belongs to wisdom no better than a bat sees in the light of day.

TCR 41. (4) Love and Wisdom in God make one. Every wise man in the church knows that every good of love and charity is from God, also every truth of wisdom and faith; and human reason is able to see this when it knows that the origin of love and wisdom is the sun of the spiritual world, in the midst of which is Jehovah God, or what is the same thing, that they are from Jehovah God through the sun which is round about Him; for the heat that goes forth from that sun is in its essence love, and the light that goes forth from it is in its essence wisdom. It is therefore as plain as the open day that in that origin love and wisdom are one, consequently are one in God, from whom that sun has its origin. This may be illustrated by the sun of the natural world, which is pure fire, in that from its fire heat goes forth, and from the shining of its fire light goes forth; thus the two in their origin are one.

[2] But that these are separated in their going forth becomes evident from their subjects, some of which receive more of heat and others more of light. This is especially true of men in whom the light of life which is intelligence and the heat of life which is love, are separated; and this is done because man needs to be reformed and regenerated, which is impossible unless he is taught by the light of life, which is intelligence, what ought to be willed and loved. It must be understood, however, that God is continually working to conjoin love and wisdom in man; while man, unless he looks to God and believes in him, is continually working to separate them; so far, therefore, as these two, the good of love or charity, and the truth of wisdom or faith, are conjoined in man, so far he becomes an image of God, and is raised up towards and into heaven where angels are; and on the other hand, so far as these two are separated by man he becomes an image of Lucifer and the dragon, and is cast down from heaven to earth, and finally below the earth into hell. From the conjunction of these two, man's state becomes like that of a tree in spring, when heat and light in equal measure are conjoined, whereby the tree buds, blooms, and bears fruit; but on the other hand, by the separation of these two, man's state becomes like that of a tree in winter, when the heat withdraws from the light, whereby the tree is stripped and made bare of all its foliage and verdure.

[3] When spiritual heat, which is love, separates itself from spiritual light, which is wisdom, or, what is the same thing, when charity separates itself from faith, man becomes like sour or rotting soil in which worms are bred; and if it brings forth plants their leaves become covered with lice, and are eaten up. For the allurements of the love of evil, which in themselves are lusts, break forth, not being subdued and restrained by intelligence, but loved, fostered, and nourished by it. In a word, to separate love and wisdom, or charity and faith, which two things God constantly strives to bring together, is like depriving the face of its ruddiness, which leaves a death-like pallor, or like taking away the whiteness from the ruddiness, which makes the face like a burning torch. It is also like dissolving the marriage bond between two persons, making the wife a harlot and the husband an adulterer. For love or charity is like a husband, and wisdom or faith is like a wife: and when the two are separated, spiritual idolatry and whoredom follow, which are the falsification of truth and the adulteration of good.

TCR 42. Furthermore, it must be understood that there are three degrees of love and wisdom, and consequently three degrees of life, and that the human mind is formed into regions, as it were, in accordance with these degrees; and that in the highest region life is in its highest degree, in the second region in a less degree, and in the outmost region in the lowest degree. These regions are opened in men successively-the outmost region, where there is life in the lowest degree, from infancy to childhood; and this is done by means of knowledges: the second region, where there is life in a larger degree, from childhood to youth; and this is done by means of thought from knowledges: and the highest region, where there is life in the highest degree, from youth to early manhood and onward; and this is done by means of perceptions of moral and spiritual truths. It must be further understood that it is not in thought that the perfection of life consists, but in the perception of truth from the light of truth. From this it may be inferred what the differences of life are in men; for there are some who the moment they hear a truth perceive that it is true; and these in the spiritual world are represented by eagles. There are others who have no perception of truth, but reach conclusions by means of confirmations from appearances; and these are represented by singing birds. Others believe a thing to be true because it has been asserted by a man of authority; these are represented by magpies.

Finally, there are some who have no desire and no ability to perceive what is true, but only what is false, for the reason that they are in a delusive light, in which falsity appears to be true, and what is true seems either like something overhead concealed in a dense cloud, or like a meteor, or like something false. The thoughts of these are represented by birds of night, and their speech by screech owls. Of this class those that have confirmed their falsities cannot bear to hear truths, and the moment any truth strikes the ear they repel it with aversion, as a stomach overcharged with bile from nausea vomits its food.

TCR 43. (5) It is the essence of Love to love others outside of one self, to desire to be one with them, and to render them blessed from oneself. The essence of God consists of two things, love and wisdom; while the essence of His love consists of three things, namely, to love others outside of Himself, to desire to be one with them, and from Himself to render them blessed. And because love and wisdom in God make one, as has been shown above, the same three things constitute the essence of His wisdom; and love desires these three things, and wisdom brings them forth.

[2] The first essential, which is to love others outside of one's self, is recognized in God's love for the whole human race; and for its sake God loves all things that He has created because they are means; for when the end is loved the means also are loved. All men and things in the universe are outside of God, because they are finite and God is infinite. The love of God goes forth and extends not only to good men and good things, but also to evil men and evil things; consequently not only to the men and things in heaven but also in hell, thus not only to Michael and Gabriel but also to the devil and satan; for God is everywhere, and is from eternity to eternity the same. He says also:

That He makes the sun to rise on the good and on the evil, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust (Matt. 5:45).

But the reason why evil men continue to be evil, and evil things continue to be evil, lies in the subjects and objects themselves, in that they do not receive the love of God as it is, and as it is inmostly in them, but as they themselves are; in the same way as thorns and thistles receive the heat of the sun and the rain of heaven.

[3] The second essential of the love of God, which is a desire to be one with others, is recognized in His conjunction with the angelic heaven, with the church on earth, with everyone there, and with every thing good and true that enters into and constitutes man and the church. Moreover, love viewed in itself is nothing but an endeavor towards conjunction; therefore that this aim of the essence of love might be realized man was created by God into His own image and likeness, with which a conjunction is possible. That the Divine love continually seeks conjunction is evident from the Lord's own words:

That He wishes them to be one, He in them and they in Him, and that the love of God might be in them (John 17:21-23, 26).

[4] The third essential of the love of God, which is to render others blessed from Himself, is recognized in eternal life, which is the endless blessedness, happiness, and felicity that God gives to those who receive into themselves His love. For as God is love itself, so is He blessedness itself; for all love breathes forth delight from itself, and the Divine love breathes forth blessedness itself, happiness, and felicity to eternity. Thus God from Himself renders the angels blessed, and men after death; and this He does by conjunction with them.

TCR 44. That such is the nature of the Divine love is known from its sphere, which pervades the universe, and affects everyone in accordance with his state. It especially affects parents, and is the source of their tender love for their children (who are outside of themselves), and their desire to be one with them, and to render them blessed from themselves. This sphere of Divine love affects not only the good, but also the evil, and not only men but also birds and beasts of every kind. What else does a mother think about when she has brought forth her child than uniting herself with it, as it were, and providing for its good? What other concern has a bird, when she has hatched her young from the egg, than to cherish them under her wings, and through their little mouths put food into their throats? It is known that even serpents and vipers love their offspring. This universal sphere especially affects those who receive within themselves this love of God, who are such as believe in God and love their neighbor. Charity with such is an image of that love. With those who are not good, friendship simulates that love; for at his table a man gives his friend the better things, kisses him, caresses and holds his hand, and proffers him useful offices. This love is also the sole origin of the sympathies and endeavors after union of those who are homogeneous or similar. This same Divine sphere is also operative in things inanimate, as trees and plants, but by means of the sun of the world, and its heat and light; for its heat enters them from without and unites with them, causing them to germinate, bloom, and bear fruit; and these resemble blessedness in things animate. The sun's heat does this because it corresponds to spiritual heat, which is love. Representations of the operation of this love are also found in the various subjects of the mineral kingdom. Types of this are presented in the exaltation to use of these, and their consequent preciousness.

TCR 45. From this description of the essence of the Divine love the essential nature of diabolical love can be seen. This can be seen as being an opposite. Diabolical love is the love of self. That is called love, although viewed in itself it is hatred; for it loves no one outside of itself; neither does it desire to be joined with others in order to benefit them, but only to benefit itself. From its inmost it continuously aspires to rule over all and to possess the goods of all, and finally to be worshiped as God. This is why those who are in hell do not acknowledge God, but acknowledge as gods those who surpass others in power; thus they acknowledge lower and higher, or lesser and greater gods, according to the extent of their power. And as this is what everyone there has at heart, everyone burns with hatred against his own god, and this latter against those who are under his sway, regarding them as vile slaves, to whom he speaks courteously so long as they worship him, but he rages as if with fire against all others, and also inwardly, or in his heart, against his own vassals. For the love of self is the same as that of robbers; who kiss each other so long as they are engaged in robberies, but afterwards burn with a desire to kill each other, in order to take all the plunder. In hell: where it rules, this love causes its lusts to appear at a distance like various kinds of wild beasts, some like foxes and leopards, some like wolves and tigers, and some like crocodiles and poisonous serpents; it causes the deserts, which are places of abode there, to consist of nothing but heaps of stones or bare gravel, with bogs interspersed in which frogs croak; and it causes doleful birds to fly and screech above their huts. Such are "the doleful creatures (ochim)," "the wild beasts of the desert (tziim)," and "the wild beasts of the islands (ijim)," mentioned in the prophetic parts of the Word, where the love of rule from self-love is treated of (Isa. 13:21; Jer. 50:39; Ps. 74:14).

TCR 46. (6) These essentials of the Divine Love were the cause of the creation of the universe, and are the cause of its preservation. That these three essentials were the cause of creation can be clearly seen by a careful investigation of them. That the first, which is to love others outside of oneself, was a cause, is seen in the universe in that it is outside of God, as the world is outside of the sun, and in that He is thus able to extend His love to it, and exercise His love upon it, and thus rest in it. So we read that after God had created the heavens and the earth He rested, and that this was why the Sabbath day was instituted (Gen. 2:2, 3). That the second essential, which is a desire to be one with others, was also a cause, is seen in the creation of man in the image and likeness of God, which means that man was made a form for receiving love and wisdom from God, thus a being with whom God could unite Himself, and also for man's sake with each thing and all things in the universe, which are nothing but means; for conjunction with a final cause is also conjunction with mediate causes. That all things were created for the sake of man is plain also from the Book of Creation, or Genesis (1:28-30). That the third essential, which is to render others blessed from oneself, is a cause, is seen in the angelic heaven, which is provided for every man who receives the love of God, and in which the blessedness of all comes from God alone. These three essentials of the love of God are also the cause of the preservation of the universe, since preservation is perpetual creation, as subsistence is perpetual existence; and the Divine love is the same from eternity to eternity, that is, such as it was in creating the world, such it is and continues to be in the world when created.

TCR 47. From these things when rightly understood it can be seen that the universe is a coherent work from first things to last, because it is a work that includes ends, causes, and effects in an indissoluble connection. And because in every love there is an end, in all wisdom there is a promotion of an end by means of mediate causes, and through these causes effects, which are uses, are attained, it follows that the universe is a work that includes Divine love, Divine wisdom, and uses, and is thus in every respect a word coherent from things first to last. That the universe consists of perpetual uses, brought forth by wisdom but initiated by love, every wise man can observe as in a mirror, as soon as he acquires a general conception of the creation of the universe, and from that observes the particulars; for particulars adapt themselves to their own general, and the general arranges them in a form in which they are in harmony. The truth of this will be illustrated in many ways in what follows.

TCR 48. To this I will add this Memorable Relation:

I was once talking with two angels, one from the eastern and the other from the southern heaven. When they perceived that I was meditating upon the arcana of wisdom respecting love, they said, "Do you know anything about the schools of wisdom in our world?"

I answered, "Not yet."

They said that there were many such, and that those who love truths from spiritual affection, or because they are truths, and because by means of them wisdom is acquired, come together at a given signal and discuss and settle those questions that spring from a deeper understanding.

They then took me by the hand, saying, "Follow us, and you shall see and hear; the signal has been given for a meeting today."

I was led over a plain to a hill; and behold, at the foot of the hill was an arcade of palms reaching to its very top. This we entered and ascended; and on the top or summit of the hill a grove was seen, and among its trees the raised ground formed a kind of theater, within which was a level spot paved with little stones of various colors. Around this in quadrangular form seats were placed upon which lovers of wisdom were sitting; and in the middle of the theater there was a table, upon which was laid a paper sealed with a seal.

[2] Those who were seated invited us to the still vacant seats; but I answered, "I have been brought here by two angels to see and hear, not to sit."

Then the two angels went to the table in the middle of the level spot, and broke the seal of the paper, and read to those seated the arcana of wisdom written on the paper, which they were now to discuss and unfold. These arcana were written by angels of the third heaven, and let down upon the table. There were three: First, What is "the image of God," and what is "the likeness of God," into which man was created? Second, Why is man not born into the knowledge proper to any love, when even beasts and birds, both the noble and the ignoble, are born into the knowledges proper to all their loves? Third, What does "the tree of life" and what does "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" signify, and what is signified by "eating" of them?

Underneath was written, "Unite the answers to these three in one opinion. Write it on a fresh paper, and place it on this table, and we shall see. If the opinion seems well-balanced and correct, each one of you shall receive the prize for wisdom." Having read this the two angels withdrew, and were taken up into their heavens.

Then those sitting upon the seats began to discuss and unfold the arcana proposed to them, speaking in this order, first those, who sat on the north side, then those on the west, next those on the south, and lastly those on the east. And they took up the first subject of discussion, which was, What is "the image of God" and what is "the likeness of God" into which man was created? In the first place there was read to all of them these words from the Book of Creation

God said, Let us make man into Our image, after Our likeness. So God created man into His own image, into the likeness of God made He him (Gen. 1:26, 27).

In the day that God created man, into the likeness of God made He him (Gen. 5:1).

[3] Those who sat on the north spoke first, saying that an image of God and a likeness of God are the two lives breathed into man by God, which are the life of the will and the life of the understanding; for we read:

Jehovah God breathed into the nostrils [of Adam] the breath of lives, and man was made into a living soul (Gen. 2:7).

This seems to mean that there was breathed into him the will of good and the perception of truth, thus the soul of lives. And inasmuch as life from God was breathed into him, image and likeness signify integrity in him from love and wisdom, and from righteousness and judgment."

To this those sitting on the west assented, adding, however, that the state of integrity breathed into Adam from God is continually breathed into every man after him; but in man it is as into a receptacle; and man is an image and likeness of God in proportion as he becomes a receptacle.

[4] Afterwards the third in order, who were those seated at the south, said, "An image of God and a likeness of God are two distinct things but in man they are united by creation; and we see as if from some interior light that while the image of God may be destroyed by man, the likeness of God cannot. This we see as through a network, in that Adam retained the likeness of God after he had lost the image of God; for after the curse we read:

Behold the man has become as one of us, knowing good and evil (Gen. 3:22)

and after this he was called a likeness of God, but not an image of God (Gen. 5:1). But let us leave to our companions who sit at the east, and are therefore in superior light, to sag what is properly an image of God, and what is properly a likeness of God. "

[5] Then after a period of silence, those seated towards the east arose from their seats and looked up to the Lord, and again took their seats, and said that an image of God is a receptacle of God; and as God is love itself and wisdom itself, an image of God is the reception in that receptacle of love and wisdom from God; while a likeness of God is a perfect likeness and full appearance that love and wisdom are in man, and are therefore entirely his. For man has no other feeling than that he loves from himself and is wise from himself, or that he wills what is good and understands truth from himself; nevertheless, this is not from himself in the least degree, but from God. God alone loves from Himself and is wise from Himself, because He is love itself and wisdom itself. The likeness or appearance that love and wisdom, or good and truth, are in man as his own, is what makes man to be man, and makes him capable of conjunction with God, and thus of living to eternity; from which it follows that man is man from his being able to will what is good and understand truth wholly as if from himself, and yet with the ability to know and believe that he does so from God; for as man knows and believes this, God puts His image in man; but not so if man believes that he does this from himself, and not from God.

[6] When this had been said there came upon them a zeal arising from a love for the truth, from which they spoke as follows: "How can man receive anything of love and wisdom, and retain it and reproduce it, unless he feels it to be his own? And how is any conjunction with God by means of love and wisdom possible unless there has been given to man something by which he may reciprocate the conjunction? For without a reciprocal no conjunction is possible. And the reciprocal of conjunction is man's loving God and doing what is of God as if from himself, and yet believing that it is from God. Moreover, how can man live to eternity unless he is joined to the eternal God? Consequently, how can man be man without that likeness in him?"

[7] These remarks were approved by all, and they said, "Let us form a conclusion from all this." This was done as follows: "Man is a receptacle of God, and a receptacle of God is an image of God; and as God is love itself and wisdom itself, man is a receptacle of these; and the receptacle becomes an image of God in the measure in which it receives. And man is a likeness of God from his feeling that the things that are from God are in him as his own; and yet from that likeness he is only so far an image of God as he acknowledges that love and wisdom, or good and truth, are not his own in him, and are not from him, but are solely in God, and consequently from God."

[8] After this they took up the second subject of discussion, Why is man not born into the knowledge proper to any love, when even beasts and birds, both the noble and the ignoble, are born into the knowledges proper to all their loves? They first confirmed the truth of the proposition by various arguments, as, that man is born into no knowledge, not even into a knowledge of marriage love. They inquired and learned from investigators the fact that an infant from connate knowledge does not even know its mother's breast, but learns of it from the mother or nurse by being put to the breast; that it merely knows how to suck, and this it has acquired from continual suction in the mother's womb; that subsequently it does not know how to walk, or to articulate sound into any human word, and not even to express by sounds its love's affections as beasts do; furthermore, that it does not know what food is suitable for it, as beasts do, but seizes upon whatever comes in its way, clean or unclean, and puts it in its mouth. The investigators said that man without instruction knows nothing whatever of the modes of loving the sex, virgins and youths even knowing nothing about it until they have been taught by others. In a word, man is born a purely corporeal thing, like a worm, and so continues unless he acquires knowledge, understanding, and wisdom from others. [9] After this they confirmed the fact that both noble and ignoble animals, as the beasts of the earth, the birds of heaven, reptiles, fishes, and the smaller creatures called insects, are born into all the knowledges proper to their life's loves, as into all things pertaining to nutrition, to their habitations, to sexual love and prolification, and all things pertaining to the rearing of their offspring. All this they confirmed by wonderful facts which they recalled to memory from what they had seen, heard, and read in the natural world, where they had formerly lived, and where the animals are real and not representative. When the truth of the proposition had been thus established, they applied their minds to the investigation and discovery of the reasons by means of which this arcanum might be unfolded and made clear. And they all said that these things could spring only from the Divine wisdom, to the end that man might be man, and beast might be beast; and thus man's imperfection at birth becomes his perfection, and the beast's perfection at birth is its imperfection.

[10] Then those on the north began to express their views; and they said that man is born without knowledges in order that he may be able to receive all knowledges; while if he were born into knowledges he would not be capable of receiving other knowledges beyond those into which he had been born, nor would he be capable of making any knowledge his own. This they illustrated by the comparison that man at birth is like ground in which no seed has been sown, but which nevertheless is capable of receiving all seeds and of causing them to grow and bear fruit; while a beast is like ground already sown, and full of grasses and herbs, which can receive no other seeds than those already sown, or if it did, would choke them. For this reason man is many years in coming to maturity, during which he can be cultivated, like soil, and bring forth, as it were, all kinds of crops, flowers, and trees, while the beast matures in a few years, during which it is capable of improvement only in the things into which it was born.

[11] Afterwards those on the west spoke, and said, "Man is not, as a beast is, born a knowledge, but is born a faculty and inclination-a faculty for knowing and an inclination for loving. Moreover, he is born a faculty for loving both what pertains to self and the world and what pertains to God and heaven. Consequently, man at birth is merely an organ, living only an obscure life through the external senses, and with no internal senses, to the end that his life may develop step by step, and he may become first a natural man, then a rational man, and finally a spiritual man; and this he could not become if he were born into knowledges and loves as beasts are. For that development is limited by connate knowledges and affections of love, while mere connate faculties and inclinations do not limit it. This is what gives man the ability to be perfected to eternity in knowledges, intelligence, and wisdom.

[12] Those on the south followed, and pronounced their opinion, saying that it is impossible for man to derive any knowledge from himself, and since he has no connate knowledge he can only gain it from others. "And as man can acquire no knowledge from himself, neither can he any love, since where knowledge is not love is not. Knowledge and love are inseparable companions, as inseparable as will and understanding, or as affection and thought, or even as essence and form. Therefore as man acquires knowledge from others, love unites with it as a companion. The most general love that unites itself is the love of knowing, and afterwards the love of understanding and of being wise. No beast has these loves, but man only; and they flow in from God. [13] We agree with our fellow-members on the west that man is not born into any love, and consequently not into any knowledge, but is born merely into an inclination for loving and thus into a faculty for receiving knowledge, not from himself but from others, that is, through others. We say through others, because neither do these receive anything from themselves, but originally from God. We agree also with our fellow-members on the north, that man at his birth is like soil in which no seeds have been planted, but in which all seeds, both noble and ignoble, may be planted. This is why man was called homo [man], from humus [soil], and Adam [Hebrew for man], from adamah, which means soil. To this we add that beasts are born into natural loves, and from these into knowledges corresponding thereto; and yet they have no ability to learn or to think or to understand or to be wise from knowledges; but are impelled to these by their loves, much as the blind are conducted through the streets by dogs (for beasts are blind so far as understanding is concerned; or rather, beasts are like persons walking in sleep, who do whatever they do from blind knowledge, their understanding being asleep)."

[14] Finally those on the east spoke and said, "We assent to what our brethren have said, that man derives no knowledge from himself, but only from and through others, in order that he may recognize and acknowledge that all his knowledge, understanding, and wisdom are from God; also that man can in no other way be born and begotten of God, and become His image and likeness. For man becomes an image of God by acknowledging and believing that he has received and continues to receive from God every good of charity and every truth of wisdom and faith, and none whatever from himself; while he is a likeness of God by his feeling these goods and truths to be in himself as if they were from himself. This he feels because he is not born into knowledges but acquires them; and what he requires seems to him to be from himself. Moreover to so feel is bestowed upon man by God in order that he may be a man and not a beast, since it is through man's willing, thinking, loving, understanding, and being wise as if from himself, that he receives knowledges, and exalts them to intelligence, and, by using them, to wisdom; thus God conjoins man to Himself, and man conjoins himself to God. All this could not be done unless it had been provided by God that man should be born in total ignorance."

[15] After this had been said it was the desire of all that a conclusion be drawn from the points discussed, and this was done as follows: "Man is born into no knowledge that he may be capable of entering into all knowledge and progressing into intelligence, and through this into wisdom; and he is born into no love that he may be capable of entering, into all love by the application of knowledges from intelligence, and into love to God through love of the neighbor, and thus of being conjoined to God, and thereby becoming man and living forever."

[16] After this they took up the paper and read the third subject of discussion, which was, What is signified by "the tree of life," and by "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil," and by "eating" of them? They all requested that those in the east should unfold this arcanum, because it was a matter of deeper understanding, and because those from the east were in flaming light, that is, in the wisdom of love, and this wisdom is meant by "the garden of Eden," in which those two trees were placed.

They replied, "We will speak; but as man receives nothing from himself, but everything from God, we will speak from Him, and yet from ourselves as if from ourselves." And they said, "A tree signifies man, and its fruit the good of life therefore `the tree of life' signifies man living from God; and as love and wisdom, or charity and faith, or good and truth, constitute the life of God in man, `the tree of life' signifies a man who has these within him from God, and in consequence, eternal life. The tree of life of which it shall be given to eat (mentioned in Apoc. 2:7; 22:2, 14) has the same signification.

[17] `The tree of the knowledge of good and evil' signifies a man who believes that he lives from himself and not from God; thus that love and wisdom, or charity and faith, that is, good and truth, are not God's in man, but his own, the reason for this belief being that man thinks and wills and speaks and acts in all likeness and appearance as if from himself; and as man thereby persuades himself that he is himself a god, the serpent said

God doth know that in the day ye eat of the fruit of that tree your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil (Gen. 3:5).

[18] "`Eating' of these trees signifies reception and appropriation, `eating of the tree of life' reception of eternal life, and `eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil' the reception of damnation. `The serpent' means the devil in respect to the love of self and the conceit of one's own intelligence; this love is the possessor of that tree, and the men who are in the conceit derived from that love are such trees. It is therefore a monstrous error to believe that Adam was wise and did good from himself, and that this was his state of integrity; when in fact Adam was himself cursed on account of that belief; for this is what is meant by his `eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil;' and this was why he then fell from his state of integrity, which had been his possession because of his believing that he was wise and did good from God, and in no respect from himself, which is what is meant by his `eating of the tree of life.' The Lord alone when He was in the world was wise from Himself and did good from Himself, because the Divine Itself was in Him, and was His from His birth; therefore by His own power He became the Redeemer and Savior."

[19] From all this they formed this conclusion: "`The tree of life, ' `the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,' and `eating' therefrom, mean that man's life is God in him, and when God is in him he has heaven and eternal life; while the death of man is the persuasion and belief that his life is not God, but himself, and this belief leads to hell and eternal death, which is damnation."

[20] After this they looked at the paper left by the angels on the table, and saw written upon it, "Bring these three together in one opinion;" and bringing them together they saw that the three formed one coherent series, and the series or opinion was as follows: "Man was so created as to be capable of receiving love and wisdom from God, and yet in all likeness as if from himself, and this for the sake of reception and conjunction; and this is why man is not born into any love, nor into any knowledge, nor even into any power to love and be wise from himself. Therefore when he attributes every good of love and every truth of faith to God he becomes a living man; but when he attributes them to himself he becomes a dead man."

This they wrote on a fresh paper, and placed it on the table; and behold, immediately angels came in, a bright cloud and carried the paper away to heaven.

And when it had been read there, those sitting upon the seats heard from heaven the words, "Well done, well done, well done." And presently one from heaven was seen flying as it were with what appeared like two wings on his feet and two on his temples, bringing rewards, which were robes, caps, and laurel wreaths. He descended and gave to those sitting at the north robes of an opaline color; to those at the west robes of scarlet; to those at the south caps with borders ornamented with bands of gold and pearls, and with their tops on the left side adorned with diamonds cut in the form of flowers; while to those on the east he gave wreaths of laurel in which were rubies and sapphires. And all, decorated with these rewards, went home from the school of wisdom with joy.


In the Lord the three degrees of height are infinite and uncreate, because the Lord is Love itself and Wisdom itself (as has been already shown); and because the Lord is Love itself and Wisdom itself, He is also Use itself. For love has use for its end, and brings forth use by means of wisdom; for without use love and wisdom have no boundary or end, that is, no home of their own, consequently they cannot be said to have being and have form unless there be use in which they may be. These three constitute the three degrees of height in subjects of life. These three are like first end, middle end which is called cause, and last end which is called effect. That end, cause and effect constitute the three degrees of height has been shown above and abundantly proved.

DLW 231. That in man there are these three degrees can be seen from the elevation of his mind even to the degrees of love and wisdom in which angels of the second and third heavens are; for all angels were born men; and man, as regards the interiors pertaining to his mind, is a heaven in least form; therefore there are in man, by creation, as many degrees of height as there are heavens. Moreover, man is an image and likeness of God; consequently these three degrees have been inscribed on man, because they are in God-Man, that is, in the Lord. That in the Lord these degrees are infinite and uncreate, and in man finite and created, can be seen from what was shown in Part First; namely, from this, that the Lord is Love and Wisdom in Himself; and that man is a recipient of love and wisdom from the Lord; also, that of the Lord nothing but what is infinite can be predicated, and of man nothing but what is finite.

DLW 232. These three degrees with the angels are called Celestial, Spiritual, and Natural; and for them the celestial degree is the degree of love, the spiritual the degree of wisdom, and the natural the degree of uses. These degrees are so called because the heavens are divided into two kingdoms, one called the celestial, the other the spiritual, to which is added a third kingdom wherein are men in the world, and this is the natural kingdom. Moreover, the angels of whom the celestial kingdom consists are in love; the angels, of whom the spiritual kingdom consists are in wisdom; while men in the world are in uses; therefore these kingdoms are conjoined. How it is to be understood that men are in uses will be shown in the next Part.

DLW 233. It has been told me from heaven, that in the Lord from eternity, who is Jehovah, before His assumption of a Human in the world, the two prior degrees existed actually, and the third degree potentially, as they do also with angels; but that after the assumption of a Human in the world, He put on over these the third degree, called the natural, thereby becoming Man, like a man in the world; but with the difference, that in the Lord this degree, like the prior degrees, is infinite and uncreate, while in angel and in man they are all finite and created. For the Divine which, apart from space, had filled all spaces (n. 69-72), penetrated even to the outmosts of nature; yet before the assumption of the Human, the Divine influx into the natural degree was mediate through the angelic heavens, but after the assumption it was immediate from Himself. This is the reason why all churches in the world before His Advent were representative of spiritual and celestial things, but after His Advent became spiritual-natural and celestial-natural, and representative worship was abolished. This also was the reason why the sun of the angelic heaven, which, as was said above, is the first proceeding of His Divine Love and Divine Wisdom, after the assumption of the Human shone out with greater effulgence and splendor than before the assumption. And this is what is meant by these words in Isaiah:

In that day the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days (30:26).

This is said of the state of heaven and of the church after the Lord's coming into the world. Again, in the Apocalypse:

The countenance of the Son of man was as the sun shineth in his strength (1:16);

and elsewhere (as in Isaiah 60:20; 2 Sam. 23:3, 4; Matt. 17:1, 2). The mediate enlightenment of men through the angelic heaven, which existed before the coming of the Lord, may be compared to the light of the moon, which is the mediate light of the sun; and because after His coming this was made immediate, it is said in Isaiah,

That the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun (30:26);

and in David:

In His days shall the righteous flourish, and abundance of peace until there is no longer any moon (72:7).

This also is said of the Lord.

DLW 234. The reason why the Lord from eternity, that is, Jehovah, put on this third degree by the assumption of a Human in the world, was that He could enter into this degree only by means of a nature like human nature, thus only by means of conception from His Divine and by birth from a virgin; for in this way He could put off a nature which, although a receptacle of the Divine, is in itself dead, and could put on the Divine. This is meant by the Lord's two states in the world, which are called the state of exinanition and the state of glorification, which are treated of in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Concerning the Lord.

DLW   235. Of the threefold ascent of the degrees of height this much has been said in general; but these degrees cannot here be discussed in detail, because (as was said in the preceding chapter) there must be these three degrees in things greatest and things least; this only need be said, that there are such degrees in each and all things of love, and therefrom in each and all things of wisdom, and from both of these in each and all things of use. In the Lord all these degrees are infinite; in angel and man they are finite. But how there are these three degrees in love, in wisdom, and in uses cannot be described and unfolded except in series.

Back to the Glossary Index

Back to the Index of Swedenborgian Marriage Handbook for Husbands

Back to Swedenborg Home Page Hawaii

Back to Leon James Home Page

Source pages

Authors: Leon James &  Diane Nahl Webmaster: I.J. Thompson