Spiritual Life and the Word of God
Spiritual Life and the Word of God
Life and the Word of God by Emmanuel Swedenborg
A powerful explanation of the supernatural by Swedenborg. In this book, the writer, a notable authority on metaphysical teachings, challenges traditional beliefs on charity, evil, religion and commandments.
He offers deep mystical teachings on what truly comprises evil and the battle between man and satan.
The Ten Commandments are reinterpreted and expanded to include previously unimagined. Swedenborg also discusses holiness in its true sense, the word of God and profanity.
Part First--THE SPIRITUAL LIFE
I. How Spiritual Life is Acquired
II. Goods of Charity
III. Shunning Evils
IV. Cleansing the Inside
V. What Religion Consists In
Part Second--THE COMMANDMENTS
I. The First Commandment
II. The Second Commandment
III. The Third Commandment
IV. The Fourth Commandment
V. The Fifth Commandment
VI. The Sixth Commandment
VII. The Seventh Commandment
VIII. The Eighth Commandment
IX. The Ninth and Tenth Commandments
X. The Commandments in General
Part Third--PROFANATIONS OF GOOD AND TRUTH
I. Goods and Truths and Their Opposites
II. The First Kind of Profanation
III. The Second Kind of Profanation
IV. The Third Kind of Profanation
V. The Fourth and Fifth Kinds of Profanation
Part Fourth--THE DIVINE WORD
I. The Holiness of the Word
II. The Lord is the Word
III. The Lord's Words Spirit and Life
IV. Influx and Correspondence
V. The Three Senses of the Word
VI. Conjunction by the Word
VII. The Sense of the Letter
Spiritual life is acquired solely by a life according to the commandments in the Word. These commandments are given in summary in the Decalogue, namely, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet the goods of others. These commandments are the commandments that are to be done, for when a man does these his works are good and his life is spiritual, and for the reason that so far as a man shuns evils and hates them so far he wills and loves goods.
For there are two opposite spheres that surround man, one from hell, the other from heaven; from hell a sphere of evil and falsity therefrom, from heaven a sphere of good and of truth therefrom; and these spheres do [not immediately] affect the body, but they affect the minds of men, for they are spiritual spheres, and thus are affections that belong to the love.
In the midst of these man is set; therefore so far as he approaches the one, so far he withdraws from the other. This is why so far as a man shuns evils and hates them, so far he wills and loves goods and the truths therefrom; for no one can at the same time serve two masters, for he will hate the one and will love the other. (Matt. vi.
But let it be noted, that man must do these commandments from religion,
because they are commanded by the Lord; and if he does this from any other consideration whatever, for instance, from regard merely to the civil law or the moral law, he remains natural, and does not become spiritual. For when a man acts from religion, he acknowledges in heart that there is a God, a heaven and a hell, and a life after death.
But when he acts from regard merely to the civil and moral law, he may act in the same way, and yet in heart may deny that there is a God, a heaven and a hell, and a life after death.
And if he shuns evils and does goods, it is merely in the external form, and not in the internal; thus
while he is outwardly in respect to the life of the body like a Christian, inwardly in respect to the life of his spirit he is like a devil. All this makes clear that a man can become spiritual, or receive spiritual life, in no other way than by a life according to religion from the Lord.