Scientific discovery of Spiritual Laws given in Rational Scientific Revelations

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Who Is My Neighbor

See also Regeneration

From Swedenborg: 

Charity  210. 210. (I.) To will not to do evil to the neighbor is to love him. For he who loves another does not do evil to him. And Paul says that he who loves the neighbor obeys the commandment of the Decalogue. He does not will to commit murder; he does not will to commit adultery with another's wife; he does not will to steal; he does not bear false witness. Therefore he says that charity is the fulfillment of the law. But the question is, which is prior and which posterior? Whether the first thing is to love the neighbor, and from that love not to do these evils; or to put away these evils from one's self, and so love the neighbor? This is evident, that he who loves the neighbor does not commit these evils. But the point of inquiry is, how one can love the neighbor? Whether he can do so before he shuns these evils and fights against them? It appears as if this love itself fights. And it does fight; but not until a man is in it. It is obvious that he cannot come into that love until he removes these evils, from the fact that every man is by birth in evils of every kind; that he desires nothing but what is evil; and that if he does not repent of them he remains in them. These evils stand therefore in the way, so that he cannot love the neighbor from that spiritual love. Paul therefore says also that the flesh is against the spirit; and that the flesh must be crucified, with its lusts; and that the man thus becomes spiritual, and a new creature. From which it may be seen, that in so far as a man crucifies the flesh he lives in the spirit. And therefore, since man is by birth of such a nature, it follows that his spirit cannot love the neighbor unless he crucifies his flesh, which is done by repentance. And in proportion as he does this, he is spirit, that is inwardly, loves the neighbor. And to love the neighbor from the heart, before this, is against man's nature. The belief prevails in the Christian world, that whoever has faith loves the neighbor; but that belief is erroneous. No one can have faith in which there is any life unless he shuns evils as sins, yea so far as he shuns them.

From all this now it is plain that the first of charity is not to do evil to the neighbor, for not to do evil to the neighbor is to fight against the evils in one's self, and repent of them; and that the second of charity is to do good to the neighbor. Anyone, from the principle that it is Christian not to do evil to the neighbor, also does not do it. He, however, who from that principle only does not do evil to the neighbor and does good to him, still does not love him. It is from obedience to the Divine laws that he does not do evil to him, and not from an affection of love towards the neighbor. No one knows anything of this affection but he who shuns evils as sins, that is, who does not love evils. Such a man comes into the affection of that love. For it is one thing not to do evil but good from obedience, and another not to do evil but good to him from an affection of love towards the neighbor. The difference is as between nocturnal heat and light from the moon and stars, and the heat and light of day, from the sun. Neither the warmth of that love nor the light of it is in obedience, but in affection. For affection of love is warmth. And therefore they that do good from obedience are in the lowest parts of heaven, and in light and heat as of the moon. Even the light of their understanding is as shade. They do not see any spiritual truths in the light.

There is also the difference that they who do good from obedience do it from fear of penalty, and so likewise do they abstain from doing evils; while they that do good from affection do not do it from any fear of penalty. Yea, they that do good from obedience are natural, and they that do it from affection are spiritual. And they that do good from obedience are those that are being reformed, the state which precedes; while they that do good from affection are being regenerated, which state follows the other in order. All who believe that man is saved by faith alone, if they live as Christians, confessing that they are sinners, and who do not examine themselves, do good from obedience and not from affection. But they know nothing about faith, nor about love, nor about God, except what they hear from a preacher; yet they do good. They that do good from obedience take the lead in acts of benevolence, such as giving to the poor, assisting the needy, and endowing temples and hospitals. And they cannot but place merit in these things; nor do they understand the Word otherwise, where it says that they shall have their reward. They do not know that the affection of good itself with its delights, is itself the reward.

Heavenly Doctrine  106. 106. FROM THE ARCANA COELESTIA. Heaven is distinguished into two kingdoms, one of which is called the celestial kingdom, and the other the spiritual kingdom; the love in the celestial kingdom is love to the Lord, and is called celestial love; and the love in the spiritual kingdom is love towards the neighbor, or charity, and is called spiritual love (n. 3325, 3653, 7257, 9002, 9835, 9961). Heaven is distinguished into two kingdoms, see the work on Heaven and Hell (n. 20-28); and the Divine of the Lord in the heavens is love to Him, and charity towards the neighbor (n. 13-19, in the same). It cannot be known what good is and what truth is, unless it be known what love to the Lord and love towards the neighbor are, because all good is of love, and all truth is of good (n. 7255, 7366). To know truths, to will truths, and to be affected with them for the sake of truths, that is, because they are truths, is charity (n. 3876, 3877). Charity consists in an internal affection of doing truth, and not in an external affection without an internal one (n. 2429, 2442, 3776, 4899, 4956, 8033).

Thus charity consists in performing uses for the sake of uses (n. 7038, 8253). Charity is the spiritual life of man (n. 7081). The whole Word is the doctrine of love and charity (n. 6632, 7262). It is not known at this day what charity is (n. 2417, 3398, 4776, 6632). Nevertheless man may know from the light of his own reason, that love and charity make the man (n. 3957, 6273). Also that good and truth agree together, and that one is of the other, and so also love and faith (n. 7627). The Lord is the neighbor in the highest sense, because He is to be loved above all things; and hence all is the neighbor which is from Him, and in which he is, thus good and truth (n. 2425, 3419, 6706, 6819, 6823, 8124). The distinction of neighbor is according to the quality of good, thus according to the presence of the Lord (n. 6707-6710). Every Man and every society, also our country and the church, and, in the universal sense, the kingdom of the Lord, are the neighbor, and to do good to them according to the quality of their state from the love of good, is to love the neighbor; thus the neighbor is their good, which is to be consulted (n. 6818-6824, 8123). Civil good, which is justice, and moral good, which is the good of life in society, and is called sincerity, are also the neighbor (n. 2915, 4730, 8120-8122). To love the neighbor does not consist in loving his person, but in loving that with him from which he is, consequently good and truth (n. 5028, 10336).

They who love the person, and not that which is with him from which he is, love evil as well as good (n. 3820). And they do good to the evil as well as to the good, when nevertheless doing good to the evil is doing evil to the good, which is not loving the neighbor (n. 3820, 6703, 8120). The judge who punishes the evil that they may be amended, and that the good may not be contaminated by them, loves the neighbor (n. 3820, 8120, 8121). To love the neighbor is to do what is good, just, and right, in every work and in every office (n. 8120-8122). Hence charity towards the neighbor extends itself to each and every thing which man thinks, wills, and does (n. 8124). To do what is good and true is to love the neighbor (n. 10310, 10336). They who do this love the Lord, who in the highest sense is the neighbor (n. 9210). The life of charity is a life according to the commandments of the Lord; and to live according to Divine truths is to love the Lord (n. 10143, 10153, 10310, 10578, 10645). Genuine charity is not meritorious (n. 2027, 2343, 2400, 3887, 6388-6393). Because it is from internal affection, consequently from the delight of the life of doing good (n. 2373, 2400, 3887, 6388-6393). They who separate faith from charity, in another life hold faith and the good works which they have done in the external form as meritorious (n. 2373). They who are in evils from the love of self or the love of the world, do not know what it is to do good without remuneration, thus what that charity is which is not meritorious (n. 8037). The doctrine of the Ancient Church was the doctrine of life, which is the doctrine of charity (n. 2385, 2417, 3419, 3420, 4844, 6628). Thence they had intelligence and wisdom (n. 2417, 6629, 7259-7262). Intelligence and wisdom increase immensely in the other life with those who have lived a life of charity in the world (n. 1941, 5859).

The Lord flows in with Divine truth into charity, because into the essential life of man (n. 2063). The man with whom charity and faith are conjoined is like a garden; but like a desert with whom they are not conjoined (n. 7626). Man recedes from wisdom in proportion as he recedes from charity; and they who are not in charity, are in ignorance concerning Divine truths, however wise they think themselves (n. 2417, 2435). The angelic life consists in performing the goods of charity, which are uses (n. 454). The spiritual angels, who are they that are in the good of charity, are forms of charity (n. 553, 3804, 4735). All spiritual truths regard charity as their beginning and end (n. 4353). The doctrinals of the church effect nothing unless they regard charity as their end (n. 2049, 2116). The presence of the Lord with men and angels is according to their state of love and charity (n. 549, 904). Charity is the image of God (n. 1013). Love to the Lord, consequently the Lord, is within charity, although man does not know it (n. 2227, 5066, 5067). They who live a life of charity are accepted as citizens both in the world and in heaven (n. 1121). The good of charity is not to be violated (n. 2359). They who are not in charity cannot acknowledge and worship the Lord except from hypocrisy (n. 2132, 4424, 9833). The forms of hatred and of charity cannot exist together (n. 1860).

True Christian Religion  400. 400. (4) Love of self and love of the world in particular. 1. The love of self is wishing well to oneself only, and not to others except for the sake of self, not even to the church, one's country, any human society, or to a fellow citizen; it is also doing good to them solely for the sake of one's own reputation, honor, and glory; and when these are not perceived in the good done to others, saying in one's heart, "What matters it? Why should I do this? What will I gain by it?"-and so leaving it undone. This makes evident that he who is in the love of self does not love the church, or his country, or society, or his fellow citizen, or anything truly good, but only himself and his own.

[2] 2. Man is in the love of self, when he has no regard for the neighbor in what he thinks and does, thus no regard for the public, still less for the Lord, but only for himself and those who belong to him, and therefore does everything for the sake of himself and those who belong to him, or if for the public's sake, it is for appearance only, or if for the neighbor, it is to obtain his favor.

[3] 3. It is said, for the sake of himself and those who belong to him; for he who loves himself loves also those who belong to him, who are especially his children and grandchildren, and in general all who make one with him, whom he calls his own. Loving these is loving himself, for he regards them, as it were, in himself, and himself in them. Among those whom he calls his own are also included all who praise, and honor, and pay court to him. All others he indeed looks upon with his bodily eyes as men, but with the eyes of his spirit he scarcely regards them otherwise than as specters.

[4] 4. That man is in the love of self, who despises his neighbor in comparison with himself, and who regards his neighbor as an enemy if he does not favor him and does not venerate and pay court to him. Still more in the love of self is he who for these reasons hates his neighbor and persecutes him; and still more he who on this account burns with revenge against him and desires his destruction. Such at length love to be cruel.

[5] 5. The nature of the love of self can be made clear by comparison with heavenly love. Heavenly love is loving uses for the sake of the uses, or goods for the sake of the goods which a man does for the church, his country, human society, and the fellow citizen. But he who loves these for his own sake, loves them only as he loves his household servants, because they serve him. From this it follows that he who is in the love of self, wishes the church, his country, society, and his fellow citizens to serve him, instead of his serving them; he places himself above them, and them beneath himself.

[6] 6. Again, so far as anyone is in heavenly love, which is loving uses and goods and having a heartfelt delight in promoting them, so far he is led by the Lord, because that is the love in which the Lord is, and which is from Him. But so far as anyone is in the love of self, so far he is led by himself, and so far is led by what is his own [proprium]; and man's own is nothing but evil, for it is his inherited evil, which is loving oneself more than God and the world more than heaven.

[7] l. Moreover, the love of self is such, that so far as the reins are given to it, that is, so far as external bonds are removed, which are fear of the law and its penalties, of the loss of reputation, honor, wealth, office, or life, so far it rushes on until its desire is not only to rule over the whole world, but also over heaven, and even over God Himself. There is nowhere any limit or end to it. This lurks in everyone who is in the love of self, although it is not apparent before the world, where it is held in check by the reins and bonds just mentioned; and any such man, when the impossible blocks his way, remains quiet until the possible comes about. Because of all this the man who is in such a love is not aware that such an insane and limitless cupidity lurks within him. Nevertheless, that it is so, no one can help seeing in rulers and kings, to whom there are no such reins and bonds and impossibilities, who rush on and subjugate provinces and kingdoms, and so long as they are successful, aspire to unlimited power and glory. And still more is it visible in those who extend their dominion into heaven, and transfer to themselves the whole of the Lord's Divine power. These continually desire more.

[8] 8. There are two kinds of dominion; one of love towards the neighbor, and another of love of self. These two kinds of dominion are opposites. He who exercises dominion from love towards the neighbor, desires the good of all, and loves nothing better than to perform uses, thus to serve others. Serving others is doing good from good will, and performing uses. Such is his love, and the delight of his heart. Moreover, so far as he is elevated to dignities he rejoices in it, not on account of the dignities, but on account of the uses which he can then perform to a greater extent and in a higher degree. Such is dominion in the heavens. But he who exercises dominion from love of self desires the good of none but himself and his own. The uses he performs are for the sake of his own honor and glory, which to him are the only uses. His end in serving others is that he himself may be served and honored, and may rule. He seeks dignities not for the sake of the goods he may do, but in order that he may gain eminence and glory, and may thereby be in his heart's delight.

[9] 9. His love of dominion remains with everyone after his life in the world; but to those who have exercised dominion from love towards the neighbor there is also entrusted dominion in the heavens, and then it is not they who rule, but the uses and goods which they love; and when uses and goods rule, the Lord rules. But those who in the world exercised dominion from self-love, after their life in the world are made to abdicate, and are reduced to servitude. From all this it is known who these are who are in the love of self. It does not matter what they may seem to be externally, whether haughty or humble, since such things reside in the internal man, and, by most men, the internal man is kept hidden, while the external is trained to counterfeit what belongs to the love of the public and the neighbor, thus the contrary of what is within; and this too is done for the sake of self; for they know that loving the public and the neighbor interiorly affects all men, and that they to that extent gain esteem. This love thus affects men because heaven flows into it.

[10] 10. The evils that prevail with those who are in love of self are, in general, contempt of others, envy, enmity toward those who do not favor them, from which results hostility, hatred of various kinds, revenge, craft, deceit, unmercifulness, cruelty. And where such evils prevail, there is also a contempt of God, and of Divine things, which are the truths and goods of the church. If they honor these things, it is with the lips only, not with the heart. And because such evils are from love of self, like falsities are also from it; for falsities are from evils.

[11] 11. But love of the world is a desire to draw to oneself the wealth of others by any device whatever, to set the heart upon riches, and to permit the world to withdraw and lead one away from spiritual love, which is love towards the neighbor, that is, from heaven. Those are in love of the world who long to draw to themselves the goods of others by various devices, but especially those who wish to do so by craft and deceit, caring nothing for the good of the neighbor. Those who are in that love covet the goods of others, and so far as they do not fear the law and the loss of reputation on account of the gain, they get possession of others' goods, and even plunder them.

[12] 12. But love of the world is not opposed to heavenly love to such a degree as the love of self is, because so great evils are not concealed within it,

[13] 13. This love is manifold. There is a love of wealth as a means of being raised to honors; a love of honors and dignities as means of acquiring wealth; a love of wealth for the sake of various uses that afford worldly pleasure; a love of wealth for the mere sake of wealth, such as the avaricious have; and so on. The end for the sake of which wealth is sought is called the use, and it is the end or use from which love draws its quality; for such as the end is for which anything is done, such is the love; all else serves it as means

[14] 14. In a word, love of self and love of the world are directly opposite to love to the Lord and love towards the neighbor. Consequently love of self and love of the world, such as have just been described, are infernal loves, and these reign in hell, and also constitute hell in man. But love to the Lord and love towards the neighbor are heavenly loves, and these reign in heaven, and also constitute heaven in man.

Arcana Coelestia  2425. 2425. And I cannot escape to the mountain. That this signifies doubt as to his being able to have the good of charity, that is, to think and act from that good, is evident from the signification of a "mountain," as being love and charity (see n. 795, 1430).

[2] As regards this doubt, the case is this. Within the affection of truth of those who are in this affection there is the affection of good, but so obscurely that they do not perceive, thus do not know, what the affection of good is, and what genuine charity is. They do suppose that they know, but it is from truth, thus from memory-knowledge, and not from good itself. Nevertheless they do the goods of charity, not in order to merit anything thereby, but from obedience; and this insofar as they apprehend that it is the truth. For they suffer themselves to be led by the Lord out of their obscurity of good by means of the truth which appears to them to be truth. For example: being ignorant what the neighbor is, they do good to everyone whom they suppose to be the neighbor; especially to the poor, because these call themselves poor on account of being destitute of worldly wealth; to orphans and widows, because they are so termed; to strangers, because they are such; and so on with all the rest and this they do so long as they are ignorant what is signified by the poor, by orphans, widows, strangers, and others. Nevertheless seeing that in their affection of apparent truth there lies in obscurity the affection of good, by which the Lord leads them to such action, they are at the same time in good as to their interiors, and in this good the angels are present with them, and are delighted there with their appearances of truth by which such persons are affected.

[3] But they who are in the good of charity, and from this in the affection of truth, do all things with discrimination, for they are in light; since the light of truth is from no other source than good, because the Lord flows in by means of good. These persons do not do good to the poor, to orphans, to widows, and to strangers, for the mere reason that they are so termed; for they know that those who are good, whether poor or rich, are neighbors more than all others; since by the good, good is done to others; and therefore insofar as these persons do good to the good, they do it to others through them. They also know how to make distinctions among goods, and so among good men. They call the general good itself their neighbor in a greater degree, for in this there is regarded the good of still greater numbers. As still more their neighbor to whom charity is to be done they acknowledge the Lord's kingdom on earth, which is the church; and the Lord's kingdom itself in the heavens even still more. But they who set the Lord before all these-who adore Him alone and love Him above all things-derive the neighbor in all these degrees from Him; for the Lord alone is the neighbor in the highest sense, thus all good is the neighbor insofar as it is from Him.

[4] But they who are in the opposite derive the degrees of the neighbor from themselves, and acknowledge only those as neighbor who favor and serve them-calling no others brethren and friends-and this with a distinction, accordingly as they make one with them. All this shows what the neighbor is, namely, that a man is our neighbor according to the love in which he is; and that he is truly the neighbor who is in love to the Lord and in charity toward his neighbor, and this with every possible difference; thus it is the good itself with everyone that determines the point in question.

Arcana Coelestia  6023. 6023. Brought he with him into Egypt. That this signifies that they were brought into the memory-knowledges of the church, is evident from the signification of "coming" or "going down, into Egypt," as being to initiate and bring truths into the memory-knowledges of the church (of which above, n. 6004, 6018). The same is also signified by "bringing with him into Egypt" (n. 5373, 6004). Truths are initiated and brought in when memory-knowledges are ruled by truths; and they are ruled by truths when truth is acknowledged because the Lord has so said in the Word, and the memory-knowledges which affirm it are accepted, but those which oppose it are removed. Thus truth becomes lord over those memory-knowledges which are affirmative of it, while those not affirmative are rejected. When this is the case, then the man in thinking from memory-knowledges is not led into falsities, as is the case where truths are not within. For memory-knowledges are not true from themselves, but from the truths within them, and such as are the truths in them, such a general truth is the memory-knowledge. For a memory-knowledge is merely a vessel (n. 1469, 1496), which is capable of receiving both truths and falsities, and this with endless variety.

[2] As for example the memory-knowledge of the church that every man is the neighbor. Into this memory-knowledge may be initiated and brought truths in endless abundance; as that every man is indeed the neighbor, but each one with a difference; that he is most the neighbor who is in good, and this also with a difference according to the quality of the good; that the origin of the neighbor is from the Lord Himself, so that the nearer any are to Him, that is, the more they are in good, the more they are the neighbor; and the more remote they are from Him, the less; and also that a society is more the neighbor than an individual man, and a kingdom in general more than a society, but our own country more than other kingdoms; that the church is still more the neighbor than our country, and the Lord's kingdom still more; and also that the neighbor is loved when anyone discharges his office aright for the good of others, or of his country, or of the church; and so on. This shows how many truths can be brought into this one memory-knowledge of the church, for they are so many that it is difficult to distribute them into genera, and to assign to each genus some specific truths, in order that it may be distinguished and recognized. This was a study in the ancient churches.

[3] That the same memory-knowledge can be filled with falsities in endless abundance, may also be seen by inverting the above truths, and saying that everyone is neighbor to himself, and that in every instance the origin of the neighbor is from self; and that therefore a man's nearest neighbor is he who most favors him, and makes one with him, and thereby presents himself in him as an image of himself; nay, that neither is his country the neighbor, except insofar as concerns his own advantage; and so on without end. Yet the memory-knowledge remains the same: that every man is the neighbor. But by one this is filled with truths, by another with falsities. The case is similar with all other memory-knowledges.

Divine Love  13. 13. XIII.


From the love of uses we are taught what is meant by loving the Lord and loving the neighbor, also what is meant by being in the Lord and being a man. To love the Lord means to do uses from Him and for His sake. To love the neighbor means to do uses to the church, to one's country, to human society, and to the fellow-citizen. To be in the Lord means to be a use. And to be a man means to perform uses to the neighbor from the Lord for the Lord's sake. To love the Lord means to do uses from Him and for His sake, for the reason that all the good uses that man does are from the Lord; good uses are goods, and it is well known that these are from the Lord. Loving these is doing them, for what a man loves he does. No one can love the Lord in any other way; for uses, which are goods, are from the Lord, and consequently are Divine; yea they are the Lord Himself with man. These are the things that the Lord can love.

The Lord cannot be conjoined by love to any man, and consequently cannot enable man to love Him, except through His own Divine things; for man from himself cannot love the Lord; the Lord Himself must draw him and conjoin him to Himself; and therefore loving the Lord as a Person, and not loving uses, is loving the Lord from oneself, which is not loving. He that performs uses or goods from the Lord performs them also for the Lord's sake. These things may be illustrated by the celestial love in which the angels of the third heaven are. These angels are in love to the Lord more than the angels in the other heavens are; and they have no idea that loving the Lord is anything else than doing goods which are uses, and they say that uses are the Lord with them. By uses they understand the uses and good works of ministry, administration, and employment, as well with priests and magistrates as with merchants and workmen; the good works that are not connected with their occupation they do not call uses; they call them alms, benefactions, and gratuities.

[2] Loving the neighbor means performing uses to the church, one's country, society, and the fellow-citizen, because these are the neighbor in the broad and in the limited sense; neither can these be loved otherwise than by the uses that belong to each one's office. A priest loves the church, the country, society, the citizen, and thus the neighbor, if he teaches and leads his hearers from zeal for their salvation. Magistrates and officers love the church, the country, society, the citizen, and thus the neighbor, if they discharge their respective functions from zeal for the common good; judges, if from zeal for justice; merchants, if from zeal for sincerity; workmen, if from rectitude; servants, if from faithfulness; and so forth. When with all these there is faithfulness, rectitude, sincerity, justice, and zeal, there is the love, of use from the Lord; and from Him they have love to the neighbor in the broad and in the limited sense; for who that in heart is faithful, upright, sincere and just, does not love the church, the country, and his fellow-citizen?

From what has now been said it is plain that loving the Lord is performing uses from Him, and loving the neighbor is performing uses to him, and the object on account of whom uses are performed is the neighbor, use, and the Lord; and that love thus returns to Him from whom it is. For every love as source through love for its object returns to love as source, which return constitutes its reciprocal. And love continually goes forth and returns through deeds, which are uses, since to love is to do. For love, unless it becomes deed, ceases to be love, since deed is the effect of love's end, and is that in which it exists.

[3] So far as man is in the love of use so far is he in the Lord; because so far is he in the Church, and so far in heaven; and the church and heaven from the Lord are as one man; the forms of which (called higher or lower organic forms, also interior and exterior) are made up of all who love uses by doing them; and the uses themselves are what compose that Man, because it is a spiritual Man, that does not consist of persons, but of the uses with them. Yet all those are there who receive from the Lord the love of uses; and these are they who do them for the neighbor's sake, for use's sake, and for the Lord's sake; and since this Man is the Divine that proceeds from the Lord, and the Divine proceeding is the Lord in the church and in heaven, it follows that they all are in the Lord.

These are a Man, because every use that in any way promotes the general good or serves the public, is a man, beautiful and perfect according to the quality of the use, and at the same time the quality of its affection. The reason of this is, that in each single part of the human body there is, from its use, an idea of the whole; for the part looks to the whole as its source, and the whole sees the part in itself, as its agent. It is from this idea of the whole in each part that each use therein is a man, in small as well as in greater parts; there are organic forms in the part as well as in the whole; in fact, the parts of parts, which are interior, are men more than the composite parts, because all perfection increases toward the interiors. For all organic forms in man are composed of interior forms, and these of forms still more interior, even to inmosts, by means of which communication is given with every affection and thought of man's mind. For man's mind, in all its particulars, extends into all things of his body; its range is into all things of the body; for it is the very form of life. Unless the mind had such a field, there would be neither mind nor man. From this it is that the choice and decision of man's will are determined instantly, and produce and determine actions, just as if thought and will were themselves in the things of the body, and not above them. That every least thing in man, from its use, is a man, does not fall into the natural idea as it does into the spiritual; in the spiritual idea man is not a person, but a use; for the spiritual idea is apart from an idea of person, as it is apart from an idea of matter, space, and time; therefore when one sees another in heaven, he sees him indeed as a man, but he thinks of him as a use. An angel also appears in face according to the use in which he is, and affection for the use makes the life of the face. From all this it can be seen that every good use is in form a man.

Heavenly Doctrine  89. 89. That love is what causes anyone to be the neighbor, and that everyone is the neighbor according to the quality of his love, appears manifestly from those who are in the love of self. These acknowledge for their neighbor those who love them most, that is, so far as they belong to themselves; these they embrace, they kiss them, they confer benefits on them and call them brothers; yea, because they are evil, they say, that these are the neighbor more than others: they esteem others as the neighbor in proportion as they love them, thus according to the quality and quantity of their love. Such persons derive the origin of neighbor from self, by reason that love constitutes and determines it. But they who do not love themselves more than others, as is the case with all who belong to the kingdom of the Lord, will derive the origin of neighbor from Him whom they ought to love above all things, consequently, from the Lord; and they will esteem everyone as the neighbor according to the quality of his love to Him and from Him. From these things it appears from whence the origin of neighbor is to be drawn by the man of the church; and that everyone is the neighbor according to the good which he possesses from the Lord, thus good itself is the neighbor.

Apocalypse Revealed  356. 356. Verse 7. Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand, signifies spiritual love, which is love towards the neighbor or charity, with those who will be of the Lord's New Heaven and New Church. By "Simeon," in the highest sense, is signified providence; in the spiritual sense, love towards the neighbor or charity; and, in the natural sense, obedience and hearing. In the two foregoing series they are treated of who are in the Lord's celestial kingdom; but in this series they are treated of who are in the Lord's spiritual kingdom; the love of the latter is called spiritual love, which is love towards the neighbor, and charity. The reason why Simeon and his tribe represented this love, and therefore signify it in the Word, is because he was born after Reuben, and immediately before Levi, and by these three, Reuben, Simeon, and Levi, in their order, is signified truth in the understanding, or faith; truth in the will, or charity; and truth in act, or good work; in like manner as by Peter, James, and John. That Simeon and his tribe might therefore represent truth in the will, which is both charity and obedience, he was named from hearing, and to hear signifies both to understand truth and to will or obey it; to understand it when it is said to hear anyone, and to will and obey it, when it is said to listen to anyone, or to hearken.

[2] Here something shall be said concerning love towards the neighbor, or charity: love towards the neighbor, is the love of obeying the Lord's commandments, which are chiefly those contained in the second table of the Decalogue, and which are, thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not commit whoredom; thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not bear false witness; thou shalt not covet the things which are thy neighbor's. The man who will not do such things because they are sins, loves the neighbor; for he does not love the neighbor who hates him, and from hatred wishes to kill him; he does not love the neighbor who desires to commit whoredom with his wife; nor does he love the neighbor who wishes to steal and plunder his goods, and so on. This, also, Paul teaches in the following words: For he that loveth another, hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit whoredom, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet, and if there be any other commandment, it is comprehended in this word, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself; therefore charity is the fulfilling of the law (Rom. 8:8-10).

Heaven and Hell  481. 481. (iii) The man who has heavenly and spiritual love goes to heaven; while the man who has corporeal and worldly love and no heavenly and spiritual love goes to hell. This has been made evident to me from all whom I have seen taken up into heaven or cast into hell. The life of those taken up into heaven had been derived from a heavenly and spiritual love, while the life of those cast into hell had been derived from a corporeal and worldly love. Heavenly love consists in loving what is good, honest, and just, because it is good, honest and just, and in doing this from love; and those that have this love have a life of goodness, honesty, and justice, which is the heavenly life. Those that love what is good, honest, and just, for its own sake, and who do this or live it, love the Lord above all things, because this is from Him; they also love the neighbor, because this is the neighbor who is to be loved.# But corporeal love is loving what is good, honest, and just, not for its own sake but for the sake of self, because reputation, honor, and gain can thus be acquired. Such, in what is good, honest, and just, do not look to the Lord and to the neighbor, but to self and the world, and find delight in fraud; and the goodness, honesty and justice that spring forth from fraud are evil, dishonesty, and injustice, and these are what are loved by such in their practice of goodness, honesty, and justice.

[2] As the life of everyone is determined by these different kinds of love, as soon as men after death enter the world of spirits they are examined to discover their quality, and are joined to those that are in a like love; those that are in heavenly love to those that are in heaven, and those that are in corporeal love to those that are in hell; and after they have passed through the first and second state they are so separated as to no longer see or know each other; for each one becomes his own love, both in respect to his interiors pertaining to his mind, and in respect to his exteriors pertaining to his face, body, and speech; for everyone becomes an image of his own love, even in externals. Those that are corporeal loves appear gross, dusky, black and misshapen; while those that are heavenly loves appear fresh, bright, fair and beautiful. Also in their minds and thoughts they are wholly unlike, those that are heavenly loves being intelligent and wise, while those that are corporeal loves are stupid and as it were silly.

[3] When it is granted to behold the interiors and exteriors of thought and affection of those that are in heavenly love, their interiors appear like light, and some like a flamy light, while their exteriors appear in various beautiful colors like rainbows. But the interiors of those that are in corporeal love appear as if black, because they are closed up; and the interiors of some who were interiorly in malignant deceit appear like a dusky fire. But their exteriors appear of a dirty color, and disagreeable to the sight. (The interiors and exteriors of the mind and disposition are made visible in the spiritual world whenever the Lord pleases.)

[4] Those that are in corporeal love see nothing in the light of heaven; to them the light of heaven is thick darkness; but the light of hell, which is like light from burning coals, is to them as clear light. Moreover, in the light of heaven their inward sight is so darkened that they become insane; consequently they shun that light and hide themselves in dens and caverns, more or less deeply in accordance with the falsities in them derived from their evils. On the other hand those who are in heavenly love, the more interiorly and deeply they enter into the light of heaven, see all things more clearly and all things appear more beautiful to them, and they perceive truths more intelligently and wisely.

[5] Again, it is impossible for those who are in corporeal love to live at all in the heat of heaven, for the heat of heaven is heavenly love; but they can live in the heat of hell, which is the love of raging against others that do not favor them. The delights of that love are contempt of others, enmity, hatred and revenge; and when they are in these delights they are in their life, and have no idea what it is to do good to others from good itself and for the sake of good itself, knowing only what it is to do good from evil and for the sake of evil.

[6] Those who are in corporeal love are unable to breathe in heaven. When any evil spirit is brought into heaven he draws his breath like one struggling in a contest; while those that are in heavenly love have a freer respiration and a fuller life the more interiorly they are in heaven. All this shows that heaven with man is heavenly and spiritual love, because on that love all things of heaven are inscribed; also that hell in man is corporeal and worldly love apart from heavenly and spiritual love, because on such loves all things of hell are inscribed. Evidently, then, he whose love is heavenly and spiritual enters heaven, and he whose love is corporeal and worldly apart from heavenly and spiritual love enters hell. # In the highest sense, the Lord is the neighbor, because He is to be loved above all things; but loving the Lord is loving what is from Him, because He Himself is in everything that is from Him, thus it is loving what is good and true (n. 2425, 3419, 6706, 6711, 6819, 6823, 8123). Loving what is good and true which is from the Lord is living in accordance with good and truth, and this is loving the Lord (n. 10143, 10153, 10310, 10336, 10578, 10645). Every man and every society, also one's country and the church, and in a universal sense the Lord's kingdom, are the neighbor, and doing good to these from a love of good in accord with their state is loving the neighbor; that is, their good that should be consulted is the neighbor (n. 6818-6824, 8123). Moral good also, which is honesty, and civil good, which is justice, are the neighbor; and to act honestly and justly from the love of honesty and justice is loving the neighbor (n. 2915, 4730, 8120-8123). Thus charity towards the neighbor extends to all things of the life of man, and loving the neighbor is doing what is good and just, and acting honestly from the heart, in every function and in every work (n. 2417, 8121, 8124). The doctrine in the Ancient Church was the doctrine of charity, and from that they had wisdom (n. 2385, 2417, 3419, 3420, 4844, 6628).

Apocalypse Explained  834. 834. As celestial love and spiritual love have been treated of, it now remains to say something about the spiritual-natural love in which are the angels of the first or ultimate heaven. This love is what is properly called charity towards the neighbor. As these angels are nearly alike in respect to the understanding as men in the world are, and as they are natural, their understanding is raised but little above what it was while they were in the world; therefore they do not see truths in the light as the angels of the second heaven do; but they receive, acknowledge, and believe truths from doctrine, in which they are instructed before they are admitted into heaven. For this reason only the more intelligent of them know what charity towards the neighbor is, the simple there believing that every man is the neighbor, and that charity is to assist the needy, and to do good to the poor, the sojourner, and so on. For the most part they consider persons and what they say, and not the interiors which are the source of what they say. This is so because they are natural; and a natural man does not think abstractedly from what his eyes see except to the extent that he admits light from heaven into his natural lumen.

Nevertheless, those are there taught that "neighbor" does not mean in the Word a man merely in respect to person, but in respect to the quality in him that makes him to be such and such a man; also that the quality of a man is from his understanding and will, and the quality of his understanding is from truths, and the quality of his will is from goods, and the quality of both the understanding and the will is from his love. From this it is known that while every man is a neighbor, every man is a neighbor from his quality, and consequently that it is the quality of a man from which he is a man that is meant in the spiritual sense by "neighbor;" for otherwise a bad man would be as much a neighbor as a good man; and yet to do good to the evil is sometimes doing evil to the good. That this is so anyone can see from natural lumen. If you were to choose a helper or servant from those in your neighborhood, and ten were brought before your eyes from whom you were to choose one, would you choose from the face alone? Would you not choose from some quality that you love, as integrity, modesty, piety, uprightness? These you would consider as you looked upon them. It is similar in respect to the neighbor; it is the man's quality that is to be loved. From this it follows that the neighbor in the spiritual sense is that with a man which makes him be such and such a man.


That man is the neighbor is known. A society is the neighbor because a society is a composite man. One's own country is the neighbor because the country consists of many societies, and is therefore a still more composite man. And the human race is the neighbor because the human race is composed of great societies, each of which is a composite man; and hence it is a man in the widest sense.

The subject shall be explained in this order: (I.) Every man is the neighbor according to the quality of his good. (II.) A society, smaller or larger, is the neighbor according to the good of its use. (III.) One's own country is the neighbor according to its good, spiritual, moral, and civil. (IV.) The human race is the neighbor in the widest sense; but as it is divided into empires, kingdoms, and republics, anyone of them is the neighbor according to the good of its religion, and according to the good that it performs to the country and to itself.

Charity  73. 73. (I.) Every man is the neighbor according to the quality of his good. Since in the spiritual idea good is the neighbor, and man is the subject of good, and also the object of him who does good, it follows that in the natural idea man is the neighbor.

Charity  74. 74. Nor is one man more the neighbor than another as to his person merely, but as to the good by virtue of which he is such or such a man; for there are as many differences of neighbor as there are of good, and the differences of good are infinite.

Charity  75. 75. It is believed that a brother, kinsman, or relation is more a neighbor than a stranger; and that he who is born in one's country is more a neighbor than one born out of the country. But everyone is a neighbor according to his good, be he Greek or Gentile.

Charity  76. 76. For everyone is the neighbor according to spiritual affinity and relationship. This may be seen from the fact that after death every man comes among his own, with whom as to good, or, what is the same, as to the affections, there is a mutual likeness. Moreover, natural affinities vanish after death, and are succeeded by spiritual affinities; for in the same heavenly society they know one another, and are associated, because they are in similar good. Of ten brothers in the world, five may be in hell, and five in heaven, and these five in different societies; and when they meet they do not know each other. Also all have a face according to their affections. It is therefore plain that every man is the neighbor according to the quality of his good.

Charity  77. 77. The goods according to the quality of which [men are distinguished] are especially spiritual goods. These charity primarily regards.

Charity  78. 78. (II.) A society, smaller or larger, is the neighbor according to the good of its use. Every society in a kingdom is established according to uses, which are various. There are societies whose business it is to administer various civil affairs, which are manifold; various judicial affairs; various economical affairs; societies-such as consistories, academies, and schools-for various ecclesiastical purposes; and there are societies, which also are many, for the advancement of knowledge.

Charity  79. 79. A society cannot be regarded otherwise than as a man in the composite. It is therefore one's neighbor according to the good of its use which it performs. If it performs distinguished uses it is more the neighbor; if low uses, it is less the neighbor; if evil uses, it is no otherwise neighbor than as an evil man, whose good I desire, that he may become good, and, as far as possible, to provide means for his improvement, even though it be by threats, chastisement, penalties, and privations.

Charity  80. 80. No one can regard a society having one function but as one composite man. When a kingdom is regarded as a man, certain persons are called members of the government; and they constitute among them one man, whose members are the individuals therein.

Charity  81. 81. It is the same as in heaven. There every society, less and greater, is as one man; and it appears as one man. I have seen a distinguished society as one man. The form of heaven is the human form.

Charity  82. 82. So also does a society on earth appear as one man to the angels in the heavens.

Charity  83. 83. (III.) One's own country is the neighbor according to its goods, spiritual, moral, and civil. In the idea of every man his country is as one. All the laws, therefore, both the laws of justice and economical laws, are enacted as for one. One's country, then, is as it were a man in the concrete; and it is called a body, in which the king is supreme. Its good which is to be promoted is called the public good, and the common good. It is said also of the king that the people are in the body of his government.

Charity  84. 84. And when it is the Lord's good pleasure, any kingdom is presented as a man before the angels of heaven, in a form that is the likeness of its quality. The form is the form of its spiritual affection; the form of the face is that of the affection of its spiritual good; the form of the body is the form of its civil good; while its manners, speech, and the like, manifest its rational good. When one views a kingdom as one man its quality can be seen, and according to this it is the neighbor.

Charity  85. 85. Birth does not make one more the neighbor than another, not even mother and father; neither does education. These are from natural good. Nor does nearness of abode, nor relationship make one man more the neighbor than another; nor, therefore, one's native country. This is to be loved according to the quality of its good. But it is a duty to benefit one's country, which is done by promoting its use; because one thus promotes the good of all. It is not so much a duty to other kingdoms, outside of one's country, because one kingdom does not will another's good, but wills to destroy it as to its wealth and its power, and thus, also, as to its means of defense. To love another kingdom more, therefore, by doing more to promote its use, makes against the good of the kingdom in which one dwells. For this reason one's own country is to be loved in a higher degree.

Charity  86. 86. For example: if I had been born in Venice or in Rome, and were a Reformed Christian, am I to love my country, or the country where I was born, because of its spiritual good? I cannot. Nor with respect to its moral and civil good, so far as this depends for existence upon its spiritual good. But so far as it does not depend upon this I can, even if that country hates me. Thus, I must not in hatred regard it as an enemy, nor as an adversary, but must still love it; doing it no injury, but consulting its good, so far as it is good for it, not consulting it in such a way that I confirm it in its falsity and evil. But more about the love of country in another place.

Charity  87. 87. (IV.) The human race is the neighbor in the widest sense; but as it is divided into empires, kingdoms, and republics, anyone of them is neighbor according to the good of its religion and morals, and according to the good that it performs to the country, and makes to be one with its own good. These subjects are too extensive to be separately illustrated. Suffice it to say, that if any man whatever, from whatsoever kingdom, is with me, and I dwell with him in the same house or in the same city, he is my neighbor according to his good. It is the same with all the individuals in that kingdom to whom that man is like. Suppose that he is the ambassador of the kingdom, who represents his king and therefore the kingdom; it cannot be denied that he is my neighbor, according to the good of its religion and morals, and according as it wills to do good to my country and to itself; especially so far as this good makes one with his own good.

Charity  88. 88. I am speaking of no other good than the good of charity, and the good of genuine charity. The evil, even robbers and devils, can mutually love each other, but not from charity or the good of interior love. But as they unite in evil-doing, stealing, committing whoredom, avenging, killing, blaspheming, among themselves they are neighbors. But these are not meant; for charity is here treated of, and its good.

Charity  89. 89. I can love all in the universe according to their religion, not more those in my own country than in other kingdoms, nor more those in Europe than in Africa. I love a Gentile more than a Christian if he lives well according to religion, if from the heart he worships God, saying, "I will not do this evil because it is against God." But I do not love him according to his doctrine, but according to his life; since if I love him according to his doctrine alone, I love him as an external man; but if according to his life, I love him also as an internal man. For if he has the good of religion he has also moral and civil good. They cannot be separated. But a man who is only in doctrine cannot have religion. His moral and civil good has, therefore, no life in it. It is merely external. It wishes to be seen, and to have it believed that it is good.

Heaven and Hell  15. 15. In heaven there are two distinct loves, love to the Lord and love towards the neighbor, in the inmost or third heaven love to the Lord, in the second or middle heaven love towards the neighbor. They both go forth from the Lord, and they both make heaven. How these two loves are distinct and how they are conjoined is seen in heaven in clear light, but in the world only obscurely. In heaven loving the Lord does not mean loving Him in respect to His person, but it means loving the good that is from Him; and to love good is to will and do good from love; and to love the neighbor does not mean loving a companion in respect to his person, but loving the truth that is from the Word; and to love truth is to will and do it. This makes clear that these two loves are distinct as good and truth are distinct, and that they are conjoined as good is conjoined with truth.# But this can scarcely be comprehended by men unless it is known what love is, what good is, and what the neighbor is.## # To love the Lord and the neighbor is to live according to the Lord's commandments (n. 10143, 10153, 10310, 10578, 10648). ## To love the neighbor is not to love the person, but to love that in him from which he is what he is, that is, his truth and good (n. 5028. 10336). Those who love the person, and not that in him from which he is what he is, love evil and good alike (n. 3820). Charity is willing truths and being affected by truths for the sake of truths (n. 3876, 3877). Charity towards the neighbor is doing what is good, just, and right, in every work and in every function (n. 8120-8122).

True Christian Religion  330. 330. It has been said that so far as man shuns what is evil he wills what is good. This is so because evils and goods are opposites; for evils are from hell and goods from heaven; therefore so far as hell, that is, evil, is removed, so far heaven approaches and man looks to good. That this is so is very manifest from the eight commandments of the Decalogue when so viewed; thus, (i.) So far as one refrains from worshiping other gods, so far he worships the true God. (ii) So far as one refrains from taking the name of God in vain, so far he loves what is from God. (iii.) So far as one refrains from the wish to commit murder, or to act from hatred and revenge, so far he wishes well to his neighbor. (iv. ) So far as one refrains from a wish to commit adultery, so far he wishes to live chastely with a wife. (v.) So far as one refrains from a wish to steal, so far he pursues sincerity. (vi.) So far as one refrains from a wish to bear false witness, so far he wishes to think and say what is true. (7 and 8) So far as one refrains from coveting what belongs to the neighbor, so far he wishes the neighbor to enjoy his own. From all this it is evident that the commandments of the Decalogue contain all things of love to God and love towards the neighbor. Therefore Paul says: He that loveth another, hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Love worketh no ill to the neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law (Rom. 13:8-10). To this must be added two canons for the service of the New Church: (i.) That no one can of himself shun evils as sins and do good that is good in the sight of God; but that so far as anyone shuns evils as sins, so far he does good, not of himself, but from the Lord. (ii.) That man ought to shun evils as sins and to fight against them as if of himself; but if one shuns evils for any other reason than because they are sins he does not shun them, but only prevents their appearance before the world.

True Christian Religion  287. 287. IN THE SENSE OF THE LETTER THE DECALOGUE CONTAINS THE GENERAL PRECEPTS OF DOCTRINE AND LIFE, BUT IN THE SPIRITUAL AND CELESTIAL SENSES IT CONTAINS ALL PRECEPTS UNIVERSALLY. It is known that in the Word the Decalogue is called by way of eminence the Law, because it contains all things of Doctrine and life; for it contains both all things that look to God, and all things that look to man. For this reason the law was written on two tables, one of which treats of God, the other of man. It is also known that all things belonging to doctrine and life have reference to love to God and love towards the neighbor; and all things pertaining to these loves are contained in the Decalogue. That in the whole Word nothing else is taught can be seen from these words of the Lord: Jesus said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God from all thy heart, and in all thy soul, and in all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang the law and the prophets (Matt. 22:37, 39-40). "The law and the prophets" signify the whole Word.

And again: A certain lawyer, tempting Jesus, said, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself. And Jesus said, This do, and thou shalt live (Luke 10:25-28). Since then, love to God and love towards the neighbor are the whole of the Word, and the first table of the Decalogue contains in a summary all things pertaining to love to God, and the second table all things pertaining to love to the neighbor, it follows that the Decalogue contains all things of doctrine and life. From these two tables so regarded it is plain that they are connected in such a manner that God from His table looks to man, and man from his table in turn looks to God, thus the looking is reciprocal, that is, it is such that God on His part never ceases to look to man and to make operative such things as relate to man's salvation; and when man receives and does what is written on his table, a reciprocal conjunction is effected; and then comes to pass what the Lord said to the lawyer, "This do, and thou shalt live."

Divine Love  14. 14. XIV.


Those who love themselves and the world are able to perform good uses, and do perform them; but the affections of use with them are not good, because such affections are from self and have regard to self, and are not from the Lord, and do not have regard to the neighbor. They say, indeed, and persuade that these affections have regard to the neighbor in the broad and in the restricted sense; that is, have regard to the church, their country, society, and their fellow-citizens. Some of them even dare to say that they have regard to God, because they are from His commandments in the Word; and also that they are from God, because they are goods, and every good is from God; when yet the uses they perform have regard to self, because they are from self, and have regard to the neighbor only that they may return to self. These are known, and are distinguished from those who perform uses from the Lord, having regard to the neighbor in the broad and in the restricted sense, in that such look to self and the world in everything, and love reputation on account of various ends that are uses in behalf of self. Such persons are moved to perform uses so far as in them they see self and what is their own; moreover, their enjoyments are all bodily enjoyments, and these are what they seek from the world.

What kind of men they are may be shown by this comparison:-They themselves are the head; the world is the body; church, country, and fellow-citizens are the soles of the feet; and God is the shoe. But with those that love* uses from the love of uses, the Lord is the head; church, country, and citizens (which are the neighbor) are the body down to the knees; and the world is the feet, from the knees to the soles; and they themselves are the soles beautifully shod. Thus it is plain that they who perform uses from self, that is, from the love of self, are wholly inverted, and that there is nothing of man in them.

[2] There are two origins of all loves and affections; one from the sun of heaven, which is pure love; the other from the sun of the world, which is pure fire. They whose love is from the sun of heaven are spiritual and alive, and are raised by the Lord out of their selfhood (proprium); while they whose love is from the sun of the world are natural and dead, and they are plunged by themselves into their selfhood (proprium). From this it is that they see nature alone in all the objects of sight; and if they acknowledge God, it is with the mouth and not with the heart. These are they that in the Word are meant by worshipers of the sun, moon, and all the host of the heavens. In the spiritual world they appear indeed as men, but in the light of heaven as monsters; and to themselves their life appears as life, but to the angels as death. Among these are many who in the world were accounted as learned; and, what I have often wondered at, they believe themselves wise because they ascribe all things to nature and to prudence, even regarding all others as simple.

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