The Third Round: The Importance of not Identifying with what is of the Proprium as our Self

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From the work, Arcana Coelestia 4151.5-7

According to the doctrinals from the Word, the devil is continually endeavoring to seduce man, and is continually inspiring evil; and therefore when anyone commits a great crime; it is said that he has suffered himself to be led astray by the devil. And this is the real fact, although few if any believe it; for as all good and truth are from the Lord, so all evil and falsity are from hell, that is, from the devil, for hell is the devil. From this we can also see that as all good and truth flow in, so also do all evil and falsity, and consequently also all the thinking and willing of evil. As these also flow in, all who have any judgment and are able to reflect, can infer that all life flows in, although it appears as if it were in man.

[6] That this is the case has frequently been shown to spirits who had come recently from the world into the other life. But some of them have said that if all evil and falsity also flow in, nothing of evil and falsity can be attributed to them, and they are not in fault, because these come from another source. But they received for answer that they had appropriated evil and falsity by believing that they think and will of themselves; whereas if they had believed as the case really is, they would not then have appropriated the evil and falsity, for they would have believed all good and truth to be from the Lord; and if they had believed this, they would have suffered themselves to be led by the Lord, and therefore would have been in a different state; and then the evil which entered into their thought and will would not have affected them, because not evil but good would have gone out of them; for it is not the things that enter in, but those which go out that affect us; according to the Lord’s words in Mark 7:15.

[7] Many can know this, but few believe it. Even those who are evil can know, but still not believe it, for they desire to be in what is their own, and they love this to such a degree that when they are shown that everything flows in, they come into anxiety and urgently entreat that they may be permitted to live in what is their own, insisting that if this should be taken away from them, they could live no longer. Such is the belief even of those who know. These things have been said in order that it may be known how the case is with societies of spirits which are in mediate good, when they are conjoined with others and when they are separated from them; namely, that when they are conjoined, they know no otherwise than that the goods and truths are their own, although they are not theirs.

From the work, Heaven and Hell 302

If man only believed, as is really true, that all good is from the Lord and all evil from hell, he would neither make the good in him a matter of merit nor would evil be imputed to him; for he would then look to the Lord in all the good he thinks and does, and all the evil that flows in would be cast down to hell from which it comes. But because man does not believe that anything flows into him either from heaven or from hell, and therefore supposes that all things that he thinks and wills are in himself and therefore from himself, he appropriates the evil to himself, and the good that flows in he defiles with merit.

From the work, Arcana Coelestia 977

With the regenerate man there is a new will and a new understanding, and this new will and new understanding are his conscience, that is, they are in his conscience, and through this the Lord works the good of charity and the truth of faith.

From the work, Arcana Coelestia 4299.2

[2] Conscience is a new will and a new understanding from the Lord; thus it is the Lord’s presence in a man; and this the nearer, in proportion as the man is in the affection of good or of truth. If the Lord’s presence is nearer than in proportion as the man is in the affection of good or of truth, the man comes into temptation. The reason is that the evils and falsities which are in the man, tempered by the goods and truths that are in him, cannot endure a nearer presence. This may be seen from the things that take place in the other life: that evil spirits cannot possibly approach any heavenly society without beginning to feel anguish and torment; also that evil spirits cannot endure to have angels look upon them, for they are instantly tortured and fall into a swoon; and also from the fact that hell is remote from heaven, for the reason that it cannot endure heaven, that is, the Lord’s presence which is in heaven. This is the reason why it is said of such in the Word:
Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall upon us; and to the hills, Hide us (Luke 23:30).
And elsewhere:
They shall say to the mountains and to the rocks, Fall down upon us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth upon the throne (Rev. 6:16).
Moreover the foggy and pitch-dark sphere which exhales from the evils and falsities of those who are in hell appears like a mountain or rock, under which they are hidden (see n. 1265, 1267, 1270).

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