SELF-LOVE AND THE LOVE OF THE WORLD
1. Loving oneself is wishing oneself alone well, and no others except for one’s own sake, so neither the church, nor one’s country, nor any human community or fellow citizen. It also includes for instance doing good to them solely for the sake of one’s own reputation, honour and glory. If someone does not see these advantages in the good deeds he does to them, he says in his heart, ‘What does this matter? Why should I do this, and what do I get out of it?’ So he puts a stop to them. From this it is plain that a person who is in a state of self-love does not love the church, his country or community, nor his fellow citizen, nor anything that is truly good, but only himself and what is his.
A person is in a state of self-love when in his thoughts and deeds he does not pay regard to the neighbour, so not to the public, much less the Lord, but only to himself and his own people; and consequently when he does everything for his own sake or for the sake of his people. If he does something for the sake of the public, it is only for show; and if he does it for his neighbour’s sake, it is to win his favour.
We say for his own sake or for the sake of his people, because the person who loves himself also loves his people. These are in particular his children and grandchildren, and generally speaking all who act as one with him and whom he calls his own. Loving either of these groups is also loving oneself, for he looks on them as, so to speak, in himself, and he sees himself in them. The people he calls his own include also all who praise, honour and respect him. Other people he may regard as human beings with his physical eyes, but with the eyes of his spirit as hardly more than ghosts.
A person is in a state of self-love, when he despises the neighbour compared with himself, when he treats him as an enemy if he does not take his part, revere and respect him. He is even more in a state of self-love if on this account he hates the neighbour and persecutes him; more still, if on this account he burns to get his revenge on him and longs for his ruin. Such people end up by loving cruelty.
A comparison with heavenly love can show what self-love is like. Heavenly love is loving to perform services for their own sake, or the good deeds which a person does for the church, his country, his fellow men and fellow citizens for the sake of the good deeds themselves. On the other hand the person who loves them for his own sake, only loves them as he would servants, because they are of use to him. It follows from this that a person who is in a state of self-love wants the church, his country, the communities he belongs to and fellow citizens to be of use to him, rather than himself to be of use to them; so he sets himself above them and them beneath him.
Further, in so far as anyone has heavenly love, which is loving forms of service and good deeds and being heartily pleased when he performs them, so far is he led by the Lord, because that is the Lord’s love and the love that comes from Him. On the other, in so far as anyone loves himself, so far does he lead himself, and so far is he led by the self (proprium). A person’s self is inevitably evil, for it is his hereditary evil, which is loving oneself more than God, and the world more than heaven.
Another characteristic of self-love is that in so far as its restraints are relaxed, so far, that is, as external bonds are removed – fear of the law and legal penalties, fear of losing one’s reputation, honours, profit, office and life – so far does it rush headlong, until it not only wants to rule over the whole world, but even heaven, in fact, God Himself. Nowhere does it set itself an end or limit. This desire lurks hidden in every person in a state of self-love, even if it is not plain for the world to see, since there the restraints and bonds just mentioned hold him back; and anyone of this character, when confronted with an impossibility, simply stops there until it does become possible. The result of both these facts is that a person who is in that state is unaware that such a crazy, limitless craving lies hidden within him. Yet the truth of this must be apparent to everyone in the case of dictators and kings who meet none of these restraints, bonds or impossibilities. They rush to subdue provinces and kingdoms so far as their success permits and they aspire to unlimited power and glory; even more so, if they extend their dominion to heaven and arrogate to themselves all the Lord’s Divine power. These people continually seek to go further.
There are two types of power, one based on love towards the neighbour, the other on self-love. These two types of power are opposites. A person who wields power as a result of love to the neighbour, wishes the good of all, and likes nothing better than performing uses, or being of service to others. (Being of service to others is doing good to others because one wishes them well, and performing uses.) This is his love, and this is the pleasure of his heart. Also, in so far as he is advanced to high rank, he is pleased, not because of his rank, but because of the uses he is then better able to perform, and in more cases. Such is power in the heavens. On the other hand, the person who wields power as a result of self-love, wishes no one well, only himself and his own people. The services he performs are for his own honour and glory, for these are the only uses he recognises. He is of service to others only for the sake of having services done to him, of being honoured and given power. He seeks high rank not so as to be able to do good, but so as to hold a leading position and be highly honoured, and so fulfil his heart’s pleasure.
The love of power still remains with everyone after his life in the world; but those who wielded power out of love towards the neighbour have power entrusted to them in the heavens too, but then it is not they, but the services and good deeds they love, which wield the power. It is the Lord who wields the power when services and deeds do. Those, however, who wielded power in the world out of self-love, are, after their life in the world is over, deposed and reduced to slavery. These are the signs by which those who are in a state of self-love can be recognised. It makes no difference what they look like in outward appearance, whether they are proud or submissive. For such things belong in the internal man, and most people hide the internal, and train the external to put on a pretence of love for people and the neighbour, the opposite of what he really feels. They do this for their own sakes, for they know that loving people and the neighbour inwardly disposes all in their favour, so that they are the more esteemed. The reason people are so disposed is the influence heaven exerts on that love.
The evils to be found in those who are in a state of self-love are in general contempt for others, envy, unfriendliness to those who do not take their part, hostility arising from this, various kinds of hatred, vengeful behaviour, trickery, guile, hard-heartedness and cruelty. Where such evils exist, there is also contempt for God and what is God’s, the truths and kinds of good which belong to the church. Any respect they pay to these is mere lip-service and not from the heart. Since evils of this sort arise from this love, there are also similar falsities, because falsities arise from evils.
The love of the world, however, is wanting by any means to divert others’ wealth to oneself, setting one’s heart on riches, and allowing worldly considerations to withdraw and seduce one from spiritual love, which is love towards the neighbour and so of heavenly origin. Those who love the world are those who desire to divert others’ goods to themselves by various means, especially those who do so by guile and trickery, paying no heed to the neighbour’s good. Those in the power of that love long for other people’s goods, and, in so far as they are not afraid of the laws or loss of reputation by seeking gain, they deprive them of their goods, or rather plunder them.
But the love of the world is not so diametrically opposed to heavenly love as is self-love, since there are no such great evils hidden within it.
The love of the world takes many forms. It includes the love of wealth as a means of advancement to honours; the love of honours and distinctions as a means to acquiring wealth; the love of wealth for various purposes which give pleasure in the world; the love of wealth simply for the sake of wealth (that is the love of the miserly), and so on. The purpose for which wealth is desired is called its use; and it is the purpose or use which gives a love its quality, for the quality of love is determined by the purpose for which it is desired – all else serves as its means.
In short, self-love and the love of the world are totally opposed to love to the Lord and love towards the neighbour. Self-love and the love of the world, as described above, are therefore hellish loves; they are dominant in hell, and also cause hell to exist in a person. Love to the Lord, however, and love towards the neighbour are heavenly loves; they are dominant in heaven and also cause heaven to exist in a person. [TCR 400]
ON SELF-LOVE AND LOVE OF THE WORLD
Self-love is wishing well to oneself alone and not to others except on one’s own account, not even to the church, one’s country, any human community or fellow citizen. It also includes doing good to them solely for the sake of one’s own reputation, honours and glory. If such a person does not see these ends in the good he does for others, he says in his heart ‘What does it matter? Why am I doing this? What’s in it for me?’ and so he stops doing it. This shows plainly that a person in a state of self-love does not love the church, his country, his community or his fellow citizen, nor any good, but himself alone. [NJHD 65]
That ‘a mountain’ means self-love and love of the world becomes clear from the meaning of ‘a mountain’, dealt with immediately below. All evil and falsity arise from self-love and love of the world; they have no other origin. Indeed self-love and love of the world are the reverse of celestial and spiritual love. And being the reverse they are loves which endeavour all the time to destroy the celestial and spiritual things of God’s kingdom. From self-love and love of the world all kinds of hatred arise, and from hatred all kinds of revenge and cruelty, and from both the former and the latter all kinds of deception, in short, all the hells.
 That ‘mountains’ in the Word means self-love and love of the world becomes clear from the following places: In Isaiah,
The eyes of man’s (homo) loftiness will be humbled, and the height of men (homo) brought low; the day of Jehovah Zebaoth will be against everyone that is lofty and high, against all high mountains, and against all hills that are lifted up, and against every lofty tower. Isa. 2:11, 12, 14, 15.
‘High mountains’ plainly stands for self-love, and ‘hills that are lifted up’ for love of the world.
 In the same prophet,
Every valley will be lifted up, and every mountain and hill made low. Isa. 40:4.
This too plainly stands for self-love and love of the world. In the same prophet,
I will lay waste mountains and hills, and dry up every plant on them. Isa. 42:15.
Here similarly ‘mountains’ stands for self-love, and ‘hills’ for love of the world. In Ezekiel,
The mountains will be overturned, and the terraced ridges will fall, and every wall will fall to the ground. Ezek. 38:20.
 In Jeremiah,
Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain, destroying the whole earth, and I will stretch out My hand against you and roll you down from the rocks and make you into a mountain of burning. Jer. 51:25.
This refers to Babel and Chaldea, which, as shown already, mean self-love and love of the world. In the Song of Moses,
A fire has flared up in My anger, and will burn right down to the lowest hell, and will devour the land and its increase, and will set on fire the foundations of the mountains. Deut. 32:22.
‘The foundations of the mountains’ stands for the hells, as is explicitly stated. They are called ‘the foundations of the mountains’ because self-love and love of the world reign there and have their origin in them.
 In Jonah,
The waters surrounded me, even to my soul, the deep closed around me, seaweed was wrapped about my head. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the bars of the land were upon me for ever. Yet You brought up my life* from the pit, O Jehovah my God. Jonah 2:5, 6.
The Lord’s temptations against the hells are described in this prophetic manner by Jonah when in the stomach of the great fish, as also in other parts of the Word, especially in David. A person undergoing temptation is within the hells. Being in the hells is not at all a question of place but of state.
 Since ‘mountains’ and ‘towers’ mean self-love and love of the world, it may therefore become clear what is meant by the reference to the Lord being led by the devil on to a high mountain and on to the pinnacle of the temple, namely that He was led into conflicts that constitute temptations – the most extreme conflicts of all – against self-love and love of the world, that is, against the hells. Mountains are also used, as is usual, in the contrary sense; in that sense they mean celestial and spiritual love, as shown already in 795, 796. [AC 1691]
‘Who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin’ means one in whom self-love reigns. This is clear from what has been stated above about the meaning of ‘being circumcised’ and of ‘the foreskin’, 2039, 2049 (end), and also about the meaning of ‘the flesh’, 2041. Here ‘the flesh of the foreskin’ means self-love. Those inside the Church who are subject to falsity and at the same time to self-love are the main ones to profane holy things, more so than those in whom some other love reigns, for self-love is the filthiest of all since it is destructive of society and so of the human race, as shown above in 2045. That it is also diametrically opposed to mutual love which constitutes heaven, and so is destructive of heavenly order itself, becomes clear from evil spirits and genii in the next life, and also from the hells where nothing but self-love reigns. And because self-love reigns there, so do all types of hatred, revenge, and cruelty, since these are the product of self-love.
 Mutual love in heaven consists in those there loving their neighbour more than themselves, and as a result the whole of heaven represents so to speak one human being; for by means of mutual love from the Lord all are associated together in that way. Consequently every manifestation of happiness possessed by all is communicated to each individual, and that possessed by each individual to all. The heavenly form produced by this is such that everyone is so to speak a kind of centre point, thus the centre point of communications and therefore of manifestations of happiness from all. And this takes place in accordance with all the variant forms of that love, which are countless. And because those in whom that love reigns experience supreme happiness in being able to communicate to others that which flows into them, and to do so from the heart, the communication consequently becomes perpetual and eternal. And as the Lord’s kingdom increases from the communication so does the happiness of each individual. Because angels are distinguished into separate communities and habitations they give no thought to this matter; it is the Lord who so arranges in order every single thing. Such is the Lord’s kingdom in the heavens.
 Nothing else apart from self-love endeavours to destroy this form and this order. For this reason all in the next life in whom self-love reigns are more thoroughly hellish than others; for self-love does not communicate anything to others, but stifles and smothers all their delight and happiness. Whatever delight flows into them from others, they take to themselves, focus on themselves, and transform into some filthy thing of their own, and prevent it spreading any further. In so doing they destroy all unanimity and concord, and so bring about disunity and consequently destruction. And since each one of them wishes to be served, respected, and adored by others, and loves none but himself, division is the outcome which is directed towards and manifests itself in wretched states. As a result they never feel happier than when, out of hatred, revenge, and cruelty, they are tormenting others by shocking methods and delusions. When such as these come to any community where mutual love reigns, then because every inflowing delight is terminated in themselves, they fall to the ground of their own accord, like unclean and dead, weighty objects in clean and fresh air. And because they exude the foul idea of self, the delight they have is converted there into the stench of a corpse from which they scent the hell of selfishness, in addition to being seized with severe pain.
 This makes clear the nature of self-love – not only is it destructive of the human race, as shown above in 2045, but it is also destructive of heavenly order. It accordingly contains nothing but impurity, filth, profanity, and hell itself, though this does not appear so to those who are under its influence. Those in whom self-love reigns are such as despise others in comparison with themselves; they hate whoever shows them no favour, fails to serve them, and does not in a way worship them; and they take a cruel delight in revenge and in depriving others of position, reputation, wealth, and life. Being governed by self-love their delights are such; so let those whose delights are such recognize that they are governed by self-love. [AC 2057]
It could hence be evident of what quality is self-love for Charles XII was interiorly in self-love beyond all men, and had imbued it in life and doctrine; in that, namely, first, he not only wished to subjugate hell and become the greatest devil; but also, secondly, to subjugate heaven and place his throne above the Divine; thirdly, wholly to deny the Divine, and to believe it no other than that, in man, which thinks and wills, thus man; fourthly, in that [all such] thus root out God Himself from their hearts, and deny Him, so as to sentence, as it were, to death, those that deliberately affirm a God – which, also, he himself did in a dreadful manner, when he heard a certain one do so; and fifthly, in that he denies all things of good and truth, thus all things of faith and charity. Such are those, the life of whose internal man is self-love. [SE 4750]
That ‘Sodom’ is every evil that stems from self-love is clear from the meaning of ‘Sodom’ in the Word. Although in the next chapter it seems as if Sodom means the evil that consists in the worst form of adultery, nevertheless nothing else is meant by it in the internal sense than evil that stems from self-love. In the Word also the dreadful things that well up out of self-love are represented by various kinds of adultery. That ‘Sodom’ means in general every evil that stems from self-love, and ‘Gomorrah’ every falsity derived from this, has been shown in Volume One, in 1212, 1663, 1682, 1689, and may become clearer still from the following places in the Word: In Jeremiah,
A sword over the Chaldeans and over the inhabitants of Babel as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and its neighbours, said Jehovah. No man will live there, and no son of man will abide in it. Jer. 50:35, 40.
This refers to those meant by ‘the Chaldeans’ whose worship consists in profane falsity, as shown already in 1368, and also to those meant by ‘Babel’ whose worship consists in profane evil, 1182, 1326. Their condemnation is described by the overthrow of Sodom, that is, of evil in general, and by the overthrow of Gomorrah, that is, of falsity in general, since their worship too consists in evil that stems from self-love, and in falsity derived from this.
 In Amos,
I overthrew you, as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and you became as a brand plucked out of the burning. Amos 4:11.
This refers to Samaria, by which is meant the perverted spiritual Church, which as regards evils in general contrary to the goods of charity is called ‘Sodom’, as regards falsities in general contrary to truths of faith is called ‘Gomorrah’, and as regards both is described here, as in the previous quotation, as ‘the overthrowing of God’. In Zephaniah,
Moab will be like Sodom, and the children of Ammon like Gomorrah, a place abandoned to the nettle, and a saltpit, and a desolation even for ever. This will be theirs for their arrogance because they taunted and magnified themselves against the people of Jehovah Zebaoth. Zeph. 2:9, 10.
Here ‘Sodom’ stands for evil stemming from self-love, and ‘Gomorrah’ for falsity derived from this, both of which are referred to here as ‘a desolation’, as they were ‘an overthrowing’ in the two previous quotations. ‘Arrogance’ is self-love, ‘taunting the people of Jehovah Zebaoth’ is bringing evil against truths, and ‘magnifying themselves against the people’ is bringing falsity against them.
 In Ezekiel,
Your elder sister is Samaria, she and her daughters, dwelling on your left hand; and your younger sister, dwelling on your right hand, is Sodom and her daughters Your sister Sodom has not done, she and her daughters, as you have done, you and your daughters. Behold, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom; she and her daughters had pride, surfeit of bread, and prosperous ease, but she did not strengthen the hand of the wretched and needy. And they became haughty and did abominable things before Me. Ezek. 16:46, 48-50.
This refers to the abominations of Jerusalem, which are described as Samaria and Sodom ‘Samaria’, used instead of Gomorrah, describing the abominations involving falsities, and ‘Sodom’ those involving evils. What is meant specifically by ‘Sodom’ is also stated, for it is said, ‘this was the iniquity of Sodom’, namely that it was self-love, meant here by ‘pride’. Their rejection of the goods of charity is meant by ‘surfeit of bread’, and their satisfaction taken in those [falsities and evils] by ‘prosperous ease’. Their lack of compassion is described by the statement that they did not strengthen the hand of the poor and needy, and the impregnation with self-love of their desires resulting from this is described by the statement that the daughters became haughty – such desires being meant by ‘daughters’.
 From this it is quite clear what Sodom means – that its meaning is not the same as what occurs in the historical sense in the next chapter, and that by Sodom in the next chapter such things are meant in the internal sense as are described here in Ezekiel, namely things belonging to self-love. But the description of Sodom here is milder because reference is made to the abominations of Jerusalem having been greater than those of Sodom, as is evident also from the Lord’s words in Matthew,
Truly I say to you, It will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgement than for that city. Matt. 10:15; Mark 6:11; Luke 10:12.
Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt. Rev. 11:8.
Here it is clear that ‘Sodom’ is not used to mean Sodom nor ‘Egypt’ to mean Egypt, for it is said that ‘spiritually it is called Sodom and Egypt’. ‘Sodom’ stands for every evil stemming from self-love, and ‘Egypt’, used instead of Gomorrah, for every falsity derived from this. [AC 2220. ]
‘You shall burn with fire outside the camp’ means that those things must be banished to hell and be consumed by the evils of self-love. This is clear from the meaning of ‘burning with fire’ as consuming by means of the evils of self-love, for ‘burning’ means consuming or devouring and ‘fire’ the evil of self-love (for these meanings of ‘burning’ and ‘fire’, see 1297, 5071, 5215, 6314, 6832, 7324, 7575, 9141, 9434); and from the meaning of ‘the camp’ as heaven and the Church, and in the contrary sense the place where heaven and the Church do not exist, thus where hell exists, dealt with below. The reason why ‘being burned with fire’ means being consumed by the evils of self-love is that that love consumes every good or truth of faith. Scarcely anyone at the present day knows that self-love does this, nor consequently that this love constitutes hell with a person and that it is what should be understood by hell-fire.
 There are two fires of life that exist with a person; one is self-love, the other is love to God. Those in whom self-love predominates cannot be governed by love to God, for those loves are opposites. They are opposites because self-love gives rise to all evils, which are contempt for others in comparison with self, enmity towards those who do not treat oneself favourably, and in the end to hatred, vengeance, brutality, and cruelty; and these evils act in total opposition to Divine influx, consequently annihilate truths and forms of the good of faith and charity, these being the things that flow in from the Lord. Anybody who stops to reflect may know that everyone’s love is the fire of his life – for without love there is no life, and the character of the love determines that of the life – and therefore that self-love gives rise to evils of every kind, doing so in the measure that he has only himself in view, that is, self-love reigns in him. The worst kind of self-love is the love of dominion over others for selfish reasons, that is, the love of possessing dominion solely for the sake of position and gain. Those in whom that love predominates may, it is true, make profession of faith and charity, but they do so with their lips, not with their heart; indeed the worst among them look on the things that belong to faith and charity, thus the holy things of the Church, as means to their own ends. But self-love and all the different types of it, also the evils that gush out of it, and the condition of the selfish in the next life, must in the Lord’s Divine mercy be stated in detail somewhere else. They have been referred to here to enable people to know what ‘being burned with fire outside the camp’ means. [AC10038]
Self-love reigns with a person, that is, a person is immersed in self-love, when in what he thinks and does he has no regard for his neighbour, thus no regard for the public, let alone the Lord, only for himself and for kith and kin. Consequently that love reigns when everything is done for his and their sakes alone; or if he does act for the public and his neighbour’s sake it is merely in order that others may see him doing it. [AC 7367 ]
However, if self-love or the love of controlling others makes up the head, then the love of heaven passes through the body to the feet. The more self-love increases, the more the love of heaven sinks through the ankles to the soles of the feet; and if it goes on increasing, it passes through the shoes and is trampled underfoot. The love of controlling others is of two kinds, that resulting from love of the neighbour and that resulting from self-love. Those who are set on the love of controlling others as the result of love of the neighbour seek power in order to perform services to the public and to individuals; these therefore have power entrusted to them in the heavens.
 Emperors, kings and dukes, who were born and brought up to positions of power, if they humble themselves before God, are sometimes less set on the love of power than those of lowly origin, who from pride seek high rank more than others. But those who are set on the love of controlling others as the result of self-love treat the love of heaven like a foot-stool; for the sake of the common people they rest their feet upon it, but, when the common people are not to be seen, throw it into a corner or out of doors. The reason is that they love only themselves, and therefore plunge their wills and the thoughts of their minds in the self (proprium), which regarded in itself is hereditary evil; and this is diametrically opposed to the love of heaven.
 The evils which beset those who love to control others as the result of self-love are generally speaking the following: contempt for others, envy, unfriendliness directed against those who do not show them favour, hostility resulting from this, hatred, the taking of revenge, pitilessness, ferocity and cruelty. Where such evils exist, there too are found contempt for God and what is God’s, that is, the various kinds of truth and good which belong to the church. If they respect these, it is only with the lips, to prevent their reputations being attacked by the clergy and abused by everyone else.
 But there is a difference in this love between the clergy and laymen. In the case of the clergy, if this love is freed from restraint, it rises so high they want to become gods; but in the case of laymen, they want to become kings. That is the height to which the fantasising caused by that love carries away their minds.
 In the case of the perfect person, the love of heaven occupies the highest position and, so to speak, forms the head of all the loves that follow; the love of the world is below it and is, so to speak, the chest beneath the head; and self-love is below this in the position of the feet. This being so, if self-love made up the head, the person would be turned completely upside down. He would then appear to the angels as if lying with his head bowed down to the ground and with his back to the sky. While engaged in worship, he would seem as if dancing on his hands and feet, like a panther cub. Moreover such people might appear in the shape of various animals with two heads, one above with the face of a wild animal, the other below with a human face, constantly pushed down by the upper one and forced to kiss the ground. All these people are sensual men, and such as have been described above in 402. [TCR 405]
The reason ‘the serpent’ is used to mean all evil in general and self-love in particular is that all evil has originated in sensory evidence and also factual knowledge, which are what the serpent meant first. Consequently it now means evil itself, of every kind, and in particular self-love, or hatred of the neighbour and the Lord, which is the same as self-love. Because this evil or hatred is manifold, there being many genera of it and even more species, it is referred to in the Word by means of different kinds of serpents, such as snakes, adders, asps, haemorrhes, presters or fiery serpents, flying as well as creeping serpents, and vipers.
 These vary according to differences of poison, which is hatred, as in Isaiah,
Rejoice not, O Philistia, all of you, that the rod which smites you has been broken, for from the serpent’s root will come forth an adder, and its fruit will be a flying prester. Isa. 14:19.
‘Serpent’s root’ means sensory evidence and factual knowledge, ‘adder’ evil that is the outcome of falsity arising from these, ‘flying prester’ desire which is the product of self-love. Similar references appear in the following from the same Prophet,
They hatch adder’s eggs, and weave spider’s webs; he who eats their eggs dies, and when it is pressed out a viper is hatched. Isa. 59:5.
The serpent mentioned here in Genesis is in the Book of Revelation called ‘the great fiery-red dragon’, and ‘the serpent of old’, and also ‘the devil and satan who leads the whole world astray’, Rev. 12:3, 9; 20:2. Here and elsewhere devil is never used to mean some devil who is the prince of the rest but the entire crew of evil spirits, and evil itself. [AC 251]
‘With rigour’ means without showing any mercy. This becomes clear without explanation, for those spoken of immediately above in 6666 have no mercy because they have no love of the neighbour, only self-love. Love of the neighbour which seems to be present among them is nothing else than self-love. For as long as another is favourably disposed towards them, that is, is on their side, they love him; but as long as he is not favourably disposed towards them or not on their side they reject him, and if previously their friend they hate him. Attitudes such as this lie concealed in self-love, though they do not reveal themselves in the world, only in the next life, where they burst out into the open. The reason why they burst out there is that there outward appearances are taken away; and when they are taken away, one sees what a person has been like inwardly. [AC 6667]
‘He wiped out every being’ means the desires which belong to self-love. This is clear from what follows where they are described by means of representatives. ‘Substance’ has reference to things of the will, for it is from the will that all things with man originate, that is, come into being and remain in being. The will is man’s very being, or the person himself. The desires of the people before the Flood were those belonging to self-love. Actually there are two very general kinds of evil desires, the first kind being those of self-love, the second those of love of the world. The object of man’s desire being nothing other than what he loves, desires therefore belong to love. With the people before the Flood self-love reigned and consequently the desires belonging to it. In fact they so loved themselves that they imagined they were gods, and acknowledged no other god superior to themselves. And they persuaded themselves that this was so. [AC 808]
‘Alarm and dread fell on them’ means that they were without any hope of dominion. This is clear from the meaning of ‘alarm and dread’ – when the phrase applies to those ruled by self-love and therefore by falsities and evils, who are meant by ‘the chiefs of Edom’ and ‘the powerful ones of Moab’ – as being without any hope of dominion. Those ruled by the evil of self-love have a constant desire to dominate, but when terror caused by a triumphant enemy strikes them the hope of being able to dominate forsakes them.
 It should be recognized that evils arise from a dual origin – self-love and love of the world. People ruled by evils arising from self-love love only themselves and despise everyone else except those who make common cause with them. And if they love these they do not really love them, only themselves, because they see themselves in them. Evils arising from this origin are the worst of all; for those people not only despise all others in contrast to themselves but also heap insults on them, hate them for the slightest reason, and long for their destruction. Vengeance and cruelty accordingly become the delight of their life. People ruled by the evil of self-love are in hell at a great depth determined by the nature and amount of that love.
 As for those ruled by evil arising from love of the world, they too regard the neighbour as being worthless. They value him only for his wealth, and so value his wealth but not the person himself. They have the desire to own everything belonging to their neighbour; and when this desire rules them they are devoid of any charity or pity. Robbing their neighbour of his goods is the delight of their life, especially of those who are disgustingly avaricious, that is to say, of those who love gold and silver for their own sakes, not for the sake of any useful purpose served by them. Those with whom the evil of this love reigns are also in hells, but in ones not so deep as the hells which those ruled by the evil of self-love are in. In addition to these two origins of evil there is also a third, which consists in doing evil as a result of false religious principles. But this kind of evil is calculated as evil when it exists with those ruled by self-love and love of the world, but not when it exists with those governed by love towards the neighbour and to their God, since good is their end in view and the end determines the nature of all else, see 8311. [AC 8318]
THERE ARE THREE UNIVERSAL LOVES,
THE LOVE OF HEAVEN,
THE LOVE OF THE WORLD, AND THE LOVE OF SELF.
We begin with the consideration of these three kinds of love, because they are universal and fundamental to all, and because charity has something in common with each of them. For the love of heaven means love to the Lord and love towards the neighbor; and because each of these regards use as its end, the love of heaven may be called the love of uses. The love of the world is the love not only of riches and property but also of everything that the world affords for the delight of the bodily senses; as beauty that pleases the eye, harmony the ear, fragrance the sense of smell, delicacies the palate, and softness the sense of touch; also becoming dress, comfortable dwellings, and the pleasures of society; and thus all the delights that are derived from these and many other things. The love of self is the love not only of honor, glory, fame and distinction, but also of gaining and seeking office, and so of ruling over others. Charity has something in common with each of these three kinds of love, because, in itself, it is the love of uses; for charity wishes to do good to the neighbor, and good is the same thing as use. Now each of these loves regards uses as its ends; for the love of heaven regards spiritual uses; the love of the world regards natural uses, which may be called civil uses; and the love of self regards corporeal uses, which may be called domestic, performed for oneself and one’s own family. [TCR 394
Love of the world reigns with a person however, that is, a person is immersed in love of the world, when in what he thinks and does he looks for and is intent only on making gain, with no concern at all about whether it may do harm to the neighbour or to the public. [AC 7373]
The reason why the love of self and love of the world are infernal loves, and yet man has been able to come into them and thus subvert the will and understanding within him, is as follows: the love of self and the love of the world by creation are heavenly loves; for they are loves of the natural man serviceable to spiritual loves, as a foundation is to a house. For man, from the love of self and the world, seeks the welfare of his body, desires food, clothing, and habitation, is solicitous for the welfare of his family, and to secure employment for the sake of use, and even, in the interest of obedience, to be honored according to the dignity of the affairs which he administers, and to find delight and refreshment in worldly enjoyment; yet all this for the sake of the end, which must be use For through these things man is in a state to serve the Lord and to serve the neighbor. When, however, there is no love of serving the Lord and serving the neighbor, but only a love of serving himself by means of the world, then from being heavenly that love becomes hellish, for it causes a man to sink his mind and disposition in what is his own, and that in itself is wholly evil. [DLW 3960]