Remembering that the Lord Has Us in a Process

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From the work, Heaven and Hell 532

532. Everyone may know that thoughts are led or tend in accord with the intentions, that is, in the directions that one intends; for thought is man’s internal sight, and resembles the external sight in this, that to whatever point it is directed or aimed, thither it turns and there it rests. Therefore when the internal sight or the thought is turned towards the world and rests there, the thought in consequence becomes worldly; when it turns to self and self-honor it becomes corporeal; but when it is turned heavenwards it becomes heavenly. So, too, when turned heavenwards it is elevated; but when turned selfward it is drawn down from heaven and immersed in what is corporeal; and when turned towards the world it is also turned down-wards from heaven, and is spent upon those objects that are presented to the natural sight. [2] Man’s love is what constitutes his intention and determines his internal sight or thought to its objects; thus the love of self fixes it upon self and its objects, the love of the world upon worldly objects, and the love of heaven upon heavenly objects; and when the love is known the state of the interiors which constitute the mind can be known, that is, the interiors of one who loves heaven are raised towards heaven and are opened above; while the interiors of one who loves the world or who loves himself are closed above and are opened outwardly. From this the conclusion follows that when the higher regions of the mind are closed above, man can no longer see the objects pertaining to heaven and the church, but those objects are in thick darkness to him; and what is in thick darkness is either denied or not understood. And this is why those that love themselves and the world above all things since the higher regions of their minds are closed, in heart deny Divine truths; and if from their memory they say anything about them they nevertheless do not understand them. Moreover, they regard them in the same way as they regard worldly and corporeal things. And being such they are able to direct the mind to those things only that enter through the senses of the body, and in these alone do they find delight. Among these are also many things that are filthy, obscene, profane and wicked; and these cannot be removed, because into the minds of such no influx from heaven is possible, since their minds, as just now said, are closed above. [3] Man’s intention, by which his internal sight or thought is determined, is his will; for what a man wills he intends, and what he intends he thinks. Therefore when his intention is heavenward his thought is determined heavenward, and with it his whole mind, which is thus in heaven; and from heaven he beholds the things of the world beneath him like one looking down from the roof of a house. So the man that has the interiors of his mind open can see the evils and falsities that are in him, for these are beneath the spiritual mind. On the other hand, the man whose interiors are not open is unable to see his evils and falsities, because he is not above them but in them. From all this one may conclude whence man has wisdom and whence insanity, also what a man will be after death when he is left to will and think and to act and speak in accordance with his interiors. All this also has been said in order to make clear what constitutes a man’s interior character, however he may seem outwardly to resemble others.

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