A RESUME. We have already shown that the Infinite Esse is Substance in Itself, that it does not consist of a sum of bounded particles, that it is a purely continuous substance, but that creation begins with myriads of minimal leasts finited in the Substance of the Infinite. These primal points are afterwards massed, concreted, arranged by God into forms or individua, and held together by Him. For to create is not only to cause to be, or to bring into existence, but afterwards to hold together.
The first finiting of Infinity, then, is the production of vortico-spiral rings of motion, small as points, in the substance of the Infinite ; these are the primitives of the Spiritual Sun, and the seeds of the universe from which all creation is framed by God.
The only finiting in the substance of the Infinite, possible to take place without severance or infringement of the Substantial Unity of God, is a finiting by means of motion which delineates a boundary and encloses and marks an area; and the simplest motion that can enclose and bound an area, is a circling motion. The ideal and fulness of a circling motion is the circulo-spiral, or perpetual vortical. In it are summed all possible circling motions of all degrees and types ; and in it all the powers of Mechanics, both active and passive, exist in potency.
We have also observed that Love in God is a substance, and that the nature of all love is perpetually to return as in a circle to its source. Hence the activity of love as a substance flows into recircling lines; supremely so in the primitives and firsts of finiting, which embody, and are, the creative love of God in immediate outgo, activity, and gift. And all things framed and concreted thereof show feature of a like reflexing potency and activity.
It is from this ground, and no other, that all the atmospheres, which are four, successively formed, move by circling and recircling lines. At every touch they flow into such lines ; nor can they move, act, or react, in any other way or path. The celestial atmosphere, or first aura, has this character essentially; and the others, though grosser in constitution, are not much behind it in their aptitude to run into vortices and circuits at every touch, stimulus, or strain acting upon them. It is their form of reaction.
In the organic world it is the same. It is from the same deep cause in the perpetually reflexing or circling motion in these seeds of creation, (supremely involving as they do the living ends of the created universe), that bloods arise and are established, and circulations run their rounds. The vegetative world also partakes in this gyre and power. And the mineral world has its emulation thereof. Even the dust of the ground is framed and compacted of the primitives of the Spiritual Sun. For there is no other substance given of which creation is formed. And the striving and tendency of these primitives of the Spiritual Sun, from which they are made, is in them, even in their far off concreteness.
We have also seen that the points or primitives of the Spiritual Sun are not inert, nor quiescent. And what they are in conatus, the like they are in act. They gyre about among themselves perpetually, in reflexing, recircling orbits, patterned after their inner endeavor. This circling and reflexing motion, pattern of their own interior conatus and flow, is the very thing, the very power and action, which carries the endeavor of creative love to farther ultimation, governs the form of that ultimation, acts in it as the spring of new and emulous endeavor, and serves as the efficient instrument of the orderly confluence and composition of the primitives into a series of derivative finites or substantials of five grades or degrees. But as they are produced in a series, they ever increase in size, with lessening velocity and penetrative force of impact; although the larger they are, the larger is the diameter of the vortical orbit they circle. By this series of derivative substantials the universe is successively finited more and more.
THE FIRST ATMOSPHERE AND ITS USES IN THE MACROCOSM AND MICROCOSM. The third thing brought forth from the Spiritual Sun, is an atmosphere. This is the first atmosphere or aura, the third successive, received into the celestial heaven, and extended throughout the universe to the ultimates thereof. For that which proceeds from the inmost extends everywhere. This is the Divine proceeding from the Lord, which is called the sphere or atmosphere, which fills both worlds, the spiritual and the natural, which operates the effects of those ends which the Lord predestined at creation, and for which He provides ever since the creation, — the very conjugial itself. For from this aura and in it is generated the human soul, by which the Lord weaves the organic man.
This first atmosphere, proximate to the Spiritual Sun, is of the very essence of that Sun. It is the first aura of the Principia and the Economy, without which no effects could flow from their first causes according to order.” Generated from this first or universal aura, the human soul receives the life of God immediately; and in this is the ground of human immortality. For the Lord enters with it, frames, sustains, and dwells within the human organism or individual forever.
This aura, then, is the plane and determinant of the soul, or human spirituous fluid, or human formative substance, which therefore derives from this aura, or first atmosphere of the universe, its own power of forming, by descent and derivation, all the degrees of the human form in mind and body.
Moreover, as is the rank, use, and office of the formative substance in the microcosm, so is the rank, use, and office of the first aura in the macrocosm.
This first aura, third from the primitives of finition, from the Spiritual Sun, in one sole unique volume fills the extense of the universe. It is the universal atmosphere by which the Lord is immediately present and immanent alike in the universe as He is in heaven; and acts alike upon and in the lasts of order, as upon and in the firsts; without which indeed there would be no sustentative ground in the universe for the Lord’s immediate presence and operation in all things from first to last.
As belonging to the human conjugial sphere, or being that sphere, it is the very sphere of religion itself, and of the Church; and it is that universal sphere or atmosphere of the Divine as to use or operation, which fills all the natural world and all the spiritual world, and elevates all to heaven. Being the most universal and most elevated of all, it is that by which all things are created, sustained, and held together, and which effects all arrangements into order. It is both creation and providence. It is that primal plane of the Divine proceeding, formed as atm.osphere, by which the heavens were created, and all the worlds of the universe.
Vertical cross-section: the red represents the envelope of second finites,
the gold the active centre of the first finites.
THE INTERNAL CONSCTRUCTION OF THE AURA. The first aura is not in the nature of a third substantiate or finite, or a new, larger, more compounded vortex-ring corpuscle. It is a combination of the two grades of finites already in existence, the first and second. These two compounded make a finest bullular or foam-like form, very flexible, very elastic, constituting a volume or sphere, extended in the Infinite, vast enough to fill the universe.
The walls or envelopes of the particles or bullae of this aura are formed of the second grade of finites or substantials, set side by side, operating in long recircling lines. Within this envelope, certain uncombined first finites play in their free reflexive activity. They are called the first actives. These interior active spaces are the souls of the bullae; the envelopes which encircle and finite the active spaces are the bodies of the bullae.
This elastic bullular aura is the first form created that is able to transmit light, for it is the first form tliat is capable of elastic reciprocation. And the whole volume of this marvellous aura, in its whole and in each bulla, is kept forever in the stream and rhythm of the life of God Man, and everywhere beats and pulsates with the cardiac motion of the Spiritual Sun.
These two things, the bullular structure and the perpetual expansion and contraction, characterize every atmosphere or aura, from the first to the last. All the planes of the Divine proceeding from the Spiritual Sun, formed successively into four auras, are bullular or foam-like structures ; and all are kept in a rhythmic beating of alternate expansion and contraction. Although the bullae are successively larger, and the cardiac beating increasingly reluctant and slow in the descending series, yet all four of the auras are kept forever in the stream of such alternate expansion and contraction, or they would lose their pristine elementary or atmospheric character. But this animatory motion is derived to each aura, or the bullae thereof, direct or indirect from its source in the Spiritual Sun. The one and universal volume of the first aura derives this motion from the Spiritual Sun immediately. The second aura derives it mediately through the natural sun; the third through the second aura, and the fourth through the third.
In the first atmosphere, which, as we have said, is the third successive from the primitives of finiting, all these things are in their supreme, and as it were incomprehensible to the lower sensory and thought; so elevated and so active are they. Yet we may conceive of it, by elevation of thought, as a marvellous pulsating aura, extended through the universe, spiritual and natural, in volume wide as creative thought and operation, brought forth in the Infinite Esse of God; everywhere throbbing, and in all its bullae beating in and out, in rhythm with the Spiritual Sun, where the cardiac and pulmonic motion of the Divine acts perpetually. It is from this wondrous protoplasm of the universe, this living plasm, this homoplasm, that we are given to understand that the created universe is organic. And, as we have already seen, the origin of the human organic form is in this universal aura, and the human spirituous fluid, the human formative substance, is generated from it, even in all men on every earth.
THIS HUMAN SPIRITUOUS FLUID, the human internal, is not a mind, it is not a body ; it is a blood, supremely fluent, a sublime essence, the life itself of man. It is not our own, although it forms, builds, makes us men, and holds us individual and one. It is wise for us, elevates, sustains, and strives. It is the Lord with us, since it lives the life of God, and not our own. By it the Lord is immediately present with and in man, whether he be in heaven or hell; though the man live at one side of the universe or the other, be bodied upon our little earth, or on an earth in the remotest bound of the universe. In it all who are human, all in the universe, are one. For the aura which generates it is one and universal, and looks and acts to one universal end. It is as wise in the unborn babe as in the sage. Though suns and solar systems be dispersed, it would remain unharmed, as the aura that gave it birth. It flows as life and light into every plane of our minds, having all the wisdom of creation connate in it, the abundance of which shall be ours, so soon as we present the cups meet to be filled with such wine. And it flows into the whole body, also, and all the viscera, with instant and immediate providence.
Such are the qualities, the predicates, the rank, the office, of the human spirituous fluid or soul, as given in the Economy, the Animal Kingdom, and the Principia. Such in the succession from the Infinite is the rank, office, and predication of the primal aura in the scheme of God’s creation of the universe.
This human spirituous fluid, in its circling outgo and return, outlines all the vessels and structures of the four degrees of human faculties.” It is not a brain, nor a fibre, tissue or membranous structure, or a mind; but it is verily a fluid, a blood, and thus Swedenborg calls it an essence. It is above imagination. It partakes of Life. It is far above the “anatomical sphere.” It is the motive and determinant principle, the life and essence of all our human form. Swedenborg says, “words fail us to express what it is, for words are taken from a lower sphere.” Still we must use words; and the use of the term fluid or blood marks a necessary distinction, since we know the distinction between a fluid and its vessel, or between blood and tissue, between the content and the containant.
THE SIMPLE FIBRE. This flowing human internal, however, this human spirituous fluid and soul, is not the whole organic stake which the human form possesses in the first aura. From a portion of the substance of its own flowing stream, compressed, condensed, it forms as it were the analogue of a tunic or vessel, to clothe and garment its streaming substance. It gives a portion of its own self substance to be used to frame a reflexing containant vessel, which becomes something like a membrane.” This tunic is sensitive, alive, wonderful, and is as to substance a compressed and compacted form of that supreme fluid, which “is perfectly alive in all its singulars or individual parts. This is the most eminent fibril or tunic, wonderful beyond measure or imagination, which transmits the human formative substance, the human spirituous fluid ; and from which all other forms and substances of the human organism, sensitive or motor, receive the form of their existence.
THE CELESTIAL CORTEX. The first determination or use, which the human internal or soul makes of this fibril, is to weave therewith the sensitive and motor organism of a plane of supereminent faculty ; an organic structure and faculty of celestial mind and life; to become its own immediate consort on the plane of the first aura, — a sort of celestial cortex, as it were, a simple full celestial brain, to act as its own proximate correspondent, its own form and body.
This is the human faculty, the supra-mental faculty, the celestial, which the human soul forms first, — the celestial cortex founded in the first aura as the eye is founded in the ether, or the ear is founded in the air, as the universal human is founded in God. And because this is the first form of the human, which the Lord creates after the very soul itself, without which no other human organic is determined, no cortical glands, no fibres, nor weaving body, therefore, this inmost or celestial cortex may be called the fiirst organic, or membranous human plane, where finite bounded man first begins to be man, existent, objectized, recipient. This also is
given in the father’s seed.
Since this celestial faculty, this inmost human cortex, exists in all human beings in the universe, the way to it may be opened, and man may live the celestial life, or belong to the celestial heaven. And as the first aura, in which the life of this cortex is founded, is one and universal for all earths and solar systems of the created universe, so all men from all earths, in whom this degree of the human organism is opened, dwell in one common heaven.
This simple cortex, or simple cortical substance is the truly celestial form. It is the simplest, purest, most eminent of all the organs, and at the same time the supreme sensitive and compositive of the human form.” It is, as a faculty, as wise in the embryo as in the adult and the sage.
In all the operations of the cerebellum, and in the cerebrum itself during sleep, every force begins in the simple cortex, the celestial organic, or pure intellect. A defect alone of instrumental causes, or intermediates, hinders its full act in the cerebrum, during waking hours. It cannot be instructed from below or from the outside, for it is already full of the arcana of nature and the created universe. It presents already simultaneously in itself, all that the middle mind, or the rational, will ever attain to successively. It is called the pure intellectory or intellect, which mediates between the soul itself, and the mind, or understanding, the rational.
It would seem therefore to be that intellectual referred to in A. C. 1495. where the warning is given not to proceed from scientific and rational truths to the celestial, without intellectual truths as mediia.
This celestial or super-rational form and cortex, then, is that most holy place and degree, in man, viewed as a little tabernacle for the Divine, where the ark of the covenant of life abides; and God alone is the light thereof.
The soul builds this plane answerable to the primal aura; but there are four successive atmospheres, or anras, which are as it were the four apartments of the Divine Proceeding, as the Tabernacle in the universe, where God appoints to meet with man. To these four atmospheres are formed, or in them are founded, as many successive fibrous or membranous planes in man, the celestial, the rational or intermediate mind, the natural sensory and the physical itself. But the full consideration of these must be reserved for a future occasion ; and so let us return to the general subject of the auras themselves.
THE SECOND AURA. The first aura is one and in one volume throughout the universal creation, spiritual and natural; but the second aura is not brought forth as one volume, but as many. For there are as many volumes of second aura as there are starry suns in the created universe.
For this reason the celestial heaven, which is founded in the first and universal atmosphere of creation, is one heaven. But the spiritual heaven, which is founded in the second aura, is not one but many; it consists of as many heavenly societies, or heavens, as are the number of the starry suns of creation ; each society or heaven thereof being founded in a specific volume and vortex of second aura, generated by and around its own star or sun. Thus as the first aura is answerable to the highest or inmost place of the tabernacle where God is the sufficient light thereof, the second aura may stand as the holy place, the second room of the tabernacle heavens, where the candles of the stars give light.
Vertical cross-section: the blue represents the envelope of third finites,
the red the active centre of the second finites.
THE BULLAE OF THE SECOND OR MAGNETIC AURA are larger than those of the first, and cannot be kept in their palpitant motion by the finer action of the Spiritual Sun directly or without a medium. The bullae are not only larger, but at the same time stifFer and slower in elastic expansion and contraction; they are of less velocity and aptitude to motion, and their circling orbits are of a lower type. The living cardiac motions of the Spiritual Sun are too rapid, too subtle, too fine, to set the stiffer, larger bullae of the second aura into consonant pulsatile motion. But they can be maintained in their rhythmic expansion and contraction by the animatory motion of the Spiritual Sun, acting as a large centre or soul, in and by the medium of the gross radiant envelope of primitive metallic substantials and fourth finites, which form the encrusting body of a star or sun, such as we behold it with our natural eyes.
For natural suns as we see them are double suns. The Spiritual Sun is their centre and soul, the very active central space within; and fiery least metallic substantials are their body. The two act as one sun. From this origin all things are double. As men we live in a double world, the spiritual and the natural; we are double men, having a soul and a body. All things that exist in the world of effects are double things, having as it were a soul and a body, or a spiritual cause and a natural effect, or a spiritual active center and a natural envelope or body, which act together as one cause. It is thus that the law of correspondence arises.
Moreover, the first and second successive, constituting the two radiant belts below the Spiritual Sun, do not afford materials sufficing for the stiffer envelopes of the larger bullae of the second aura For them some substantial or finites, more highly compounded still, are requisite ; some new finites of larger mass, lowered velocity, and widened circle of motion.* These are the third Unites, formed by compression and composition of the particles or bullae of the first aura; which together with the fourth fi’nites form the mass of the natural sun as seen by our eyes, that is, the mass of the fiery metallic shell or envelope around the active centre of the Spiritual Sun within.
THE ACCOMODATION OF THE SPIRITUAL SUN. In order that the Spiritual Sun might form the second degree or atmosphere, that in which the spiritual heaven is founded, it was necessary for that Sun to accommodate and instrument itself about with a certain dense envelope or body. It is this accommodation and embodiment of the Spiritual Sun which appears in the natural world as a sun or star. For the spiritual or soul is always first and takes to itself a body, that it may do uses. The natural sun thus lies around and encloses the active spiritual centre, as the shell of a nut around its living kernel.
But the greater the accommodation, the more narrowed the range of outgoing action. Hence the Spiritual Sun, acting into and from a sun or star, as an enveloping body, does not extend its influence far. Hence many natural suns are required in the universe to develop volumes of second aura. There are thus as many volumes of second atmospheres or aura, as the number of the stars in the sky; each volume being developed about its parent star, and localized about it for its very maintenance ; and each volume of the second aura, as we have said, is the ground and habitat of one society of the spiritual heaven, that is, the angels of the spiritual heaven dwell interiorly of the expanse of the second aura. For “although the expanse around the Sun of the angelic heaven is not an extense, still it is in the extense of the natural sun, and with the subjects there according to their form.”
THE VOLUMES OF THE SECOND AURA. It is further apparent, that, as no two suns are precisely alike, as star differs from star in glory, the volumes of second aura differ likewise. Great volumes belong to great stars, small volumes to small ones; and modifications as to form extend even to the bullae thereof. And such a difference is the basis of a special individuation of genius and type in the society of the heavens founded therein. That no two worlds or systems are precisely the same, as to atmospheres, earths, or forms arising out of them, see the Divine Love and Wisdom, n. 318.
Now as this second aura differs somewhat in every solar system of the created universe , it is evident that the correlated plane in man, the intermediate human, the rational, is framed in and to the second aura of the individual solar system, upon one of whose earths he is brought forth, grows, and is educated; and that all the form and genius, — individual and social, — of that solar system, with all its peculiar features, will be stamped upon him. The result would be so markedly different, that men of two solar systems could scarcely understand each other. And it is evident that, after death, a man who goes only to the spiritual heaven, which is founded in this second aura, will remain in relation with the volume of the second aura around that particular sun, under whose rays he was born. For only there do those live who are of like genius with himself; and only in the range and sphere of that partcular vortex can he abide, and be free and at home.
For the units of the gray or cortical glandular forms of the human organic mind are built to the size of the bullae of the second aura, and natively expand and contract in sympathetic rhythm and consonance therewith ; that is, they expand and contract with the animatory pulsation of the natural sun of their own solar system.
Herein follows a marvel! Even as the myriads of cortical glandules in the microcosmic man, so in the Grand Man is the number, the order, the situation, and relation of the societies of the spiritual heaven ; and the same is the number, the order, the connection of the starry suns of creation, and their vortices about them. Hence the order and situation of the suns and their solar systems in the universe, are as the order and situation of the cortical glandules which form in their complex the intermediate and proper faculty of man. Therefore it is that the Lord from creation, foreseeing the number of such units of the second order or degree, which would be necessary to fill the human form of that degree, provided even from the first of creation for as many suns or stars.
These innumerable starry suns with their vortices are linked each with each in a stupendous order and form, connecting throughout the universe. And Swedenborg says that no change can happen in one which is not perceived in all the others. Nor is the form ever full and closed. Stars as yet latent may blaze forth. Ever new forms, new heavens and new earths, may arise carrying the human creation to fuller and more varied perfection without end.
DISCRETE DEGREES. The history of the formation of the volumes of second aura instructs us as to the formation of discrete degrees. Every created thing is finite, and in the progress of creation one thing was formed from another. Thence were made degrees.
The Economy notes that an understanding of degrees is basic to the knowledge and recognition of correspondence; and we learn therefrom how derivative forms are concreted, formed, and maintained, from the substance of a plane, older, finer, more fluid, and more active, and at the same time more universal, more all-embracing, than the derivative, posterior, more compounded, and more ultimate degrees. Also how these new and more finited forms, although consubstantiate with the higher and prior plane, shall be in quality and determination so distinct from that prior, that they deserve to receive a new and distinct name, and become a substance that exists as it were by itself. The doctrine of degrees then exhibits the very ladder of universal creation ;’ and the understanding of it teaches the very nature of order in the actual successions and subordinations of creation.
“We rarely entertain a distinct idea of degrees.” We think of idiscrete degrees as if they were something that existed eternally. But according to Swedenborg degrees are finite things, and have come about by finiting processes and definite laws. They were made, and can be conceived as unmade. In the organic world discrete degrees are actually at every instant made and unmade, compounded and resolved. At every round of the transcendent circulation of the three-fold human blood, there is a perpetual descent and ascent according to degrees, and this most distinctly and discretely.
Moreover, the history of the rise, succession, and the correspondential relations of the four auras or atmospheres of the universe, is the making of the great elemental series of four degrees, distinct, discrete, extended in the universe as the tabernacle of the heavens with its four distinct apartments.
Now when a posterior or more finited degree is to be brought into existence, the substance of the prior degree, by means of flowing currents in its volume, outlines and delineates the form, or faculty, about to be created. This representation of the yet unborn posterior in the prior, extends, Swedenborg says, as a cause to all causates, both in the kingdom of the auras, and in the animal body. And after the posterior is constructed as an individual form or plane, the flowing currents of the prior, which delineated the posterior or secondary form, still hold the second form together, and maintain it perpetually.
The lines of the pattern, thus primarily represented in the prior substance, are afterwards as it were infilled with entia, bullae, particles, or finites, proper to the degree of the plane to be produced, having been first formed from the prior degree by composition and compression. These Myriads of infilling particles are then held together in the flow- ing matrix of the superior plane which surrounds and encompasses them.
Whatever be the potency of the units or substantiates in themselves, so soon as they enter with others into the construction of a more finited and concrete form, their active potency is finited to the general choral march or gyre of the form of which they are now part and parcel. There remains in the substance but the effort and the intuitive instinct to endeavor back again, to ascend again to the source from which it set forth ; and thus operate an inner endeavor to resolve the form of which it is part, and ascend even by the death of that form to its own purer and higher degrees ; especially if the ultimate form becomes non-correspondent to the ends of creation, to the reception of the Divine, and cooperation, in the service of its uses. It seems to have been from this action of the Divine endeavor in ultimates, that the antediluvian race was corporeally destroyed at the time of the flood.
It is, indeed, a common law of spiritual compound form, that whatever may be the power of action of the primal units or substantial in themselves, in their own prior plane, whenever they unite together to frame compound forms of a lower character and degree, their action is then limited and defined to the form and plane of which they now make a part ; there remaining only a conatus to resolve and ascend to the higher degree.
A celestial man loses his wisdom when he descends to a lower plane; and the human spirituous fluid, — in which resides per se a range of knowledge and of action commensurate with creation, — when its substance is mated with etherial and aerial salts and compounded into the red blood, lives but a common and obscure life.
In it, during the stage of its composition as red blood, there remains only the endeavor towards resolution through the walls of the capillaries, — the endeavor towards the death of its composite form, by the laying down of the inert copulating salts, and thereby its own freeing, separation, resolution, ascent and return to its pristine activity and life.
Indeed, the death of the outer body as a whole, and at the same time the resurrection to higher planes of knowledge and life, is but a laying down at once en masse, of all the salts and inert particles in the blood, and from the blood in the tissues. By that death the human spirituous fluid ascends and returns to its own full human life together with the simplest fibre which is released with it, in all its complex of organism, — the latter being conditioned according to the modification of its form, stamped by the habit of individual mental life, — and carrying with it such and so much of the subtle spheres, given off by lower organic planes of the mind and their activities, as have contributed to its own opening and infilling.
The story of the formation, then, of a human organism at birth, by successive compositions of the spirituous fluid or human internal, and the re-ascent at death, is exactly the story of the circle of descent by discrete degrees of compounding, and ascent by degrees of death or lying down or resolution, which is repeated momentarily in the course of the transcendent circulation of human internal to ultimate effect, form, and use, and back again to its origin and source.
The Principia instructs us therefore as to the true mode and manner of the formation of discrete degrees, in the story of the successive formation of finites from their first origin in the Spiritual Sun, by successive stages of composition even to the ultimates of nature. The Writings repeat the same story in general, summing together the details that are given in the Principia.
*Compression as an agent or engine in the concretion of substance begins only with the production of the third substantiates or finites. With the first and second grades of finites, compression does not enter as a cause of formation. Their only agent of formaMon or composition, their only bond of connection, is the motion of their component particles or vortex-points in like circular orbits. This is the only tie that holds them together. (Principia. Part I. chap. III. 12.)
Author: Lillian G. Beekman From AN OUTLINE OF SWEDENBORG’S COSMOLOGY (1907