Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Titel:
Dictionary of philosophy and psychology including many of the principal conceptions of ethics, logics, aesthetics ... and giving a terminology in English, French, German and Italian, vol. 2 [lead-zwing]
Person:
Baldwin, James Mark
PURL:
https://digitalesammlungen.uni-weimar.de/viewer/image/lit29448/651/
SWEDENBORG 
In the works De Regno Animali he analysed 
the statements of anatomists, avoiding his 
own observations lest they should be made to 
favour his views, and dealing with the organs 
in an ascending series and as the servants of 
the mind. This brought him to a perception 
of the constant interaction of the mental and 
the material or of the spiritual and the natural 
in man, of which he treated in a small work 
called The Hieroglyphic Key of natural and 
spiritual Arcana, written in 1741. 
In this progress, aloof from theology and 
pursued uninterrupted by self-seeking, he had 
reached the point where he must stop or 
enter the field of the soul’s relation to God. 
He took up the study of the Hebrew Bible, 
producing in the last thirty years of his life a 
series of works of about the same number as in 
the previous stage. These works dealt with 
the interpretation of Scripture by means of the 
relation of earthly objects to spiritual realities, 
the spiritual world as substantial and directly 
known to him, and the teachings so derived 
as forming a purified Christianity which will 
realize the era of the New Jerusalem. 
The philosophy of these works is especially 
set forth in those on The Love and, Wisdom of 
God, and on The Divine Providence. The 
former is in five parts, treating of love as 
the life of man and of God as Love itself. 
His Wisdom is as the existere of his Love, 
the esse. He is Infinite Man. These two 
qualities in him are distinctly one and are 
as substance and form. Love by Wisdom 
creates eternally. Man, like all other crea¬ 
tions, is a recipient of life, thus finited, and 
represents in himself all creation. The In¬ 
finite is in time and space, but not of them. 
The first of creation is the sun of heaven, 
which animates the spiritual world and fills 
all degrees of life, which are not continuous 
but discrete, so that the connection of a higher 
with a lower degree is that of cause and effect 
or of correspondence. Matter is the ultimate 
of creation. Man is born in the lowest de¬ 
gree with power to develop the higher degrees, 
and this development or regeneration is the 
history of the race repeated in the individual. 
It is the first chapter of Genesis repeated in 
its spiritual meaning. The mind is composed 
of will and intellect, corresponding to the 
Divine Love and Wisdom. Evil is man’s 
perversion of love received. Man is preserved 
free. There is no Divine reprobation. Every 
one who is in order fulfils his destiny, his own 
use here and hereafter. 
Death severs the correspondence of the 
6 
spiritual part of man with the material, and 
he is thenceforth in his spiritual body a 
denizen of the spiritual world. Angels are 
the risen souls who conform to the Divine 
order ; evil spirits are those who oppose that 
order through self-love, and who therefore live 
in less freedom. Evil is permitted, but always 
from a good purpose, and this permission is 
a part of Providence, which has no other end 
than the formation of heaven. Though con¬ 
tinually led of this Providence man must act 
as of himself. In the other life, freed from 
the trammels of space and time, man enjoys 
the highest form of life of which he is capable, 
in the best companionship and in the most 
congenial service of all others. Sex is of the 
mind in the unequal combination of will and 
intellect in man and woman, so that an un¬ 
selfish union of two minds forms the true unit 
of humanity in both the natural and spiritual 
worlds. Procreation is only of the natural 
world. Life hereafter is in an environment 
which perfectly corresponds with the spirit. 
All the angels form a grand unit, a maximus 
homo. 
The religion of this system is similar. 
There is one Divine Being. Men first dwelt 
with him in childlike ignorance and innocence, 
the Eden of the Bible, the golden age of tradi¬ 
tion. As man developed in intelligence he 
very gradually became wayward, and the loss 
of his innocence led at length to an evil con¬ 
dition called the Flood. Idolatry with gross 
rites followed, and man was near losing his 
humanity. Then the same Fatherliness which 
had hitherto watched over him took on a 
nature like his own by virgin maternity, and 
withstood the rising evil tide, and redeemed 
man by subduing with love all self-love in that 
nature. In the order of man’s regeneration 
the Son of Man was glorified, and in him 
‘ dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily.’ 
In the Divine as in man there is the Trinity, 
not of persons in a crude sense, but of Love 
the Father or substance, Wisdom the Son or 
form, and Creative Life the Holy Spirit or 
useful activity. 
The sacred Scripture is divinely inspired in 
possessing within its homely exterior a spiri¬ 
tual or prophetic sense fulfilled in the Re¬ 
deemer (the ‘ Word made flesh ’) and in the 
regenerated soul. The deeper meaning is 
therefore the creative order or truth in the 
universe embodied in words, as a soul is in its 
body. A symbol cannot mean two things, 
buk-denotes that which it has as its cause of 
being, as the face denotes the mind. 
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