MAN IS NOT ADMITTED INWARDLY INTO TRUTHS OF FAITH AND GOODS OF CHARITY EXCEPT AS HE CAN BE KEPT IN THEM TO THE CLOSE OF LIFE
It is well known in Christendom that the Lord wills the salvation of all, and also is almighty. From this many conclude that He can save everyone and saves those who implore His mercy, especially those who implore it by the formula of the received faith that God the Father may be merciful for the sake of the Son, particularly if they pray at the same time that they may receive this faith. That it is quite otherwise, however, will be seen in the last chapter of this treatise where it will be explained that the Lord cannot act contrary to the laws of His divine providence because that would be acting against His divine love and wisdom, thus against Himself. There, too, it will be seen that such immediate mercy is impossible, for man’s salvation is effected by means, and he can be led in accordance with these means only by Him who wills the salvation of all and is at the same time almighty, thus by the Lord. These means are what are called laws of divine providence. Among them is this, that man is not admitted inwardly into truths of wisdom and goods of love except as he can be kept in them to the close of life. To make this plain to the reason, it is to be explained in this order:
i. Man may be admitted into wisdom about spiritual things and also into love of them and still not be reformed.
ii. If he recedes from them afterwards and turns to what is the contrary, he profanes holy things.
iii. There are many kinds of profanation, but this kind is the worst of all.
iv. The Lord therefore does not admit man interiorly into truths of wisdom and at the same time into goods of love except as man can be kept in them to the very close of life. [DP 221]
(i) Man may be admitted into wisdom about spiritual things and also into love of them and still not be reformed. This is because he possesses rationality and liberty; by rationality he can be raised into an almost angelic wisdom, and by liberty into love not unlike angelic love. But such as the love is, such is the wisdom; if the love is celestial and spiritual, the wisdom becomes so, but if the love is diabolical and infernal, the wisdom is likewise. Outwardly, and so to others, it may seem to be celestial and spiritual, but in inward form, namely in its essence, it is diabolical and infernal; not as manifested, but as it is within one. That it is of this nature men do not see, for they are natural, see and hear naturally, and the outward form is natural; but angels do see it, for they are spiritual, see and hear spiritually, and the inward form is spiritual.
 From this it is plain that man can be admitted into wisdom about spiritual things and also into love of them and still not be reformed; he is admitted only into a natural love of them, not into a spiritual. This is for the reason that man can admit himself into a natural love, but the Lord alone can admit him into a spiritual love, and those admitted into this are reformed, but those admitted only into the natural love are not. For the most part the latter are hypocrites, and many are of the Order of Jesuits who inwardly do not believe in the divine at all, but play outwardly with divine things like actors. [DP 222]
It has been granted me by much experience in the spiritual world to know that man possesses in himself the faculty of apprehending arcana of wisdom like the angels themselves. For I have seen fiery devils who not only understood arcana of wisdom when they heard them, but who spoke them, too, out of their rationality. But the moment they returned to their diabolical love they did not understand them, but in place of them the contrary, which was insanity, and this they called wisdom. In fact, I was allowed to hear them laugh at their insanity when they were in a state of wisdom, and at wisdom when they were in an insane state. One who has been of this character in the world, on becoming a spirit after death is usually brought into states of wisdom and insanity by turns, for him to distinguish the one from the other. But although such men see from the wisdom that they are insane, when the choice is given them, as it is to each, they betake themselves into the state of insanity, love it and feel hatred for the state of wisdom. The reason is that their inward nature has been diabolical and their outward seemingly divine. They are meant by devils who affect to be angels of light, and by the man in the house of the nuptials who was not dressed in a wedding garment and was cast into outer darkness (Mt 22:11-13). [DP 223]
Who cannot see that it is the internal from which the external exists and that consequently the external has its essence from the internal? And who does not know by experience that the external can appear out of accord with the essence it has from the internal? It does so obviously with hypocrites, flatterers and dissemblers. That a person can outwardly feign to be other than himself is manifest from actors and mimics. They know how to represent kings, emperors and even angels in tone of voice, speech, face and gesture as though they were really such, when they are nevertheless only actors. We allude to this because man can similarly act the deceiver in spiritual things as well as civil and moral, and that many do is well known.
 When the internal in its essence is infernal, and the external in its form appears to be spiritual and yet has its essence, as we said, from the internal, the question arises where in the external that essence is hidden. It does not show in gesture, voice, speech or face, yet is interiorly hidden in all four. That it is, is plain from the same in the spiritual world. For when man passes from the natural world to the spiritual, as he does at death, he leaves his externals behind along with his body and retains his internals, which he has stored up in his spirit. If his internal was infernal, he then appears as a devil, such as he was as to his spirit during life in the world. Who does not acknowledge that everyone leaves external things behind with the body and enters into internal things on becoming a spirit?
 To this I will add that in the spiritual world there is a communication of affections and of thoughts from them, which results in no one’s being able to speak except as he thinks; likewise, everyone changes facial expression and reflects his affection, and thus shows in his face what he is. Hypocrites are allowed sometimes to speak otherwise than they think, but the tone of the voice sounds utterly out of harmony with their interior thoughts, and they are recognized by the discord. It may be evident from this that the internal lies hidden in the tone of voice, the speech, the face and gesture of the external, and that it is not perceived by men in the world, but plainly by angels in the spiritual world. [DP 224]
It is plain from this that while he lives in the natural world man may be admitted into wisdom about spiritual things and into love of them also, and that this happens or can happen with the merely natural as well as with those who are spiritual, with this difference, however, that the latter are reformed by these means and the former are not. It may seem, also, that the former love wisdom, but they do so only as an adulterer loves a noble woman, that is, as mistress, speaking caressingly to her and giving her beautiful garments, but saying of her privately to himself, “She is only a vile harlot whom I will make believe that I love because she gratifies my lust; if she should not, I would cast her away.” The internal man of the unreformed lover of wisdom is this adulterer; his external man is the woman. [DP 225]
(ii) If man recedes from these later and turns to what is contrary, he profanes holy things. There are many kinds of profanation of what is holy, of which in the following section, but this is the gravest of all. Those who profane in this way become no longer human beings after death; they live indeed, but are continually in wild fantasies. They seem to themselves to soar aloft and while they remain there they sport with fantasies which they see as realities. No longer human, they are referred to not as “he” or “she” but “it.” In fact, when they come to view in heaven’s light they look like skeletons, some like skeletons of the color of bone, others like fiery skeletons, and still others like charred ones. The world does not know that profaners of this kind become like this after death, and the reason is that the cause is unknown. The real cause is that when man first acknowledges and believes divine things and then lapses and denies them, he mixes the holy with the profane. Once they are mixed, they cannot be separated without destroying the whole. That these things may be perceived more clearly, they are to be disclosed in due order as follows: 1. Whatever a man thinks, speaks and does from the will, whether good or evil, is appropriated to him and remains. 2. The Lord in His divine providence constantly foresees and disposes that evil shall be by itself and good by itself, and thus may be separated. 3. This cannot be done, however, if man first acknowledges and lives according to truths of faith and afterwards recedes and denies them. 4. Then he mixes good and evil to the point that they cannot be separated. 5. Since good and evil in anyone must be separated, and in such a person cannot be, he is destroyed in all that is truly human. [DP 226]
These are the causes that lead to such enormity, but as they are obscure as a result of ignorance of them, they are to be explained so that they will be plain to the understanding. 1. Whatever man thinks, speaks and does from the will, whether good or evil, is appropriated to him and remains. This was explained above (nn. 78-81); for man has an external or natural memory and an internal or spiritual memory. On the latter memory are written each and all things that he thought, spoke or did from his will in the world, so fully that nothing is lacking. This memory is his book of life, which is opened after death and according to which he is judged. Much more about this memory is reported from experience in the work Heaven and Hell (nn. 461-465).
 2. The Lord in His divine providence constantly foresees and disposes that evil shall be by itself and good by itself, and thus may be separated. Everyone is both in evil and in good, for he is in evil from himself and in good from the Lord; he cannot live without being in both. If he were in himself alone and thus in evil alone, he would not possess anything living; nor would he if he were in the Lord alone and thus in good alone. In the latter case he would be like one suffocated and gasping for breath or like one dying in agony; in the former case he would be devoid of life, for evil apart from good is dead. Therefore everyone is in both, with the difference that in the one instance he is inwardly in the Lord and outwardly as if in himself, and in the other inwardly in himself and outwardly as if in the Lord. The latter man is in evil, the former in good, and yet each is in good and evil both. The wicked man is in both because he is in the good of civil and moral life and outwardly, in some measure, in the good of spiritual life, too, besides being kept by the Lord in rationality and liberty, making it possible for him to be in good. This is the good by means of which everyone, even a wicked man, is led by the Lord. It may then be seen that the Lord keeps evil and good apart, so that one is interior and the other exterior, and thus provides against their being mingled.
 3. This cannot be done, however, if man first acknowledges and lives according to truths of faith and then later recedes and denies them. This is plain from what has just been said, that all which a man thinks, speaks and does from the will is appropriated to him and remains; and that the Lord in His divine providence constantly foresees and disposes that good shall be by itself and evil by itself, and so can be separated. They are also separated by the Lord after death. Those who are inwardly evil and outwardly good are deprived of the good and left to their evil. The reverse occurs with the inwardly good who outwardly like other men have acquired wealth, sought distinction, delighted in the mundane, and indulged some lusts. Good and evil have not been commingled by them, however, but are separate, like internal and external; they have resembled the evil in many ways outwardly but not inwardly. Evil is separate from good in the evil, too, who have appeared outwardly like the good for piety, worship, speech and deeds, although wicked inwardly. With those, however, who have first acknowledged and lived by truths of faith and then lived contrary to them and rejected them and particularly if they have denied them, good and evil are no longer separate, but mixed. Such a person has appropriated both good and evil to himself, and thus combined and mixed them.
 4. He then mixes good and evil to a point where they cannot be separated. This follows from what has just been said. And if evil cannot be separated from good and good from evil, a person can be neither in heaven nor in hell. Everyone must be in one or the other; he cannot be in both; for so he would be now in heaven and now in hell; and in heaven he would act in hell’s favor and in hell act in heaven’s favor. He would thus destroy the life of all around him, heavenly life among the angels and infernal life among the devils; as a result everyone’s life would perish. For everyone must live his own life; no one lives a life foreign to his own, still less one opposed to it. Hence, in every man after death, when he becomes a spirit or a spiritual being, the Lord separates good from evil and evil from good, good from evil in those who are inwardly in evil, and evil from good in those inwardly in good. This accords with His own words:
To every one who has, shall be given, that he may abound, and from him who has not, shall even what he has be taken away (Mt 13:12; 25:29; Mk 4:25; Lu 8:18; 19:26).
 Fifth: Since good and evil in anyone must be separated and in such a person cannot be, he is destroyed in all that is truly human. As was shown earlier, everyone has what is truly human from rationality, in that he can see and know what is true and good if he wishes, and from liberty, enabling him to will, think, speak and do it. But this liberty has been destroyed along with their rationality in those who have commingled good and evil in themselves, for they cannot from good see evil, nor from evil recognize good; the two make one in them. Hence they no longer possess rationality in any efficacy or power, nor any liberty. For this reason they are like the sheerest wild fantasies, as we said above, and no longer look like men but like bones covered with skin, and therefore when mentioned are referred to not as “he” or “she” but “it.” Such is the lot of those who have commingled sacred and profane in the manner we have described. There are several kinds of profanation which are not of this character, however; of them in a later section. [DP 227]
No one can profane holy things in the way described who is ignorant of them. For one who is ignorant of them cannot acknowledge them and then deny them. Those, therefore, who are outside Christendom and know nothing of the Lord or of redemption and salvation at His hands do not profane the holiness of this in not accepting it or even by speaking against it. The Jews do not profane its sanctity, for from infancy they have no desire to receive and acknowledge it. It would be otherwise if they received and acknowledged it and afterwards denied it. This seldom occurs, however; for many among them acknowledge it outwardly but deny it inwardly and are like hypocrites. But those who first accept and acknowledge and later lapse and deny, are the ones who profane holy things by mingling them with profane.
 It is beside the point here that holy things are accepted and acknowledged in infancy and childhood, as they are by every Christian. For what pertains to faith and charity is not accepted and acknowledged at that age from any rationality and liberty, that is, in the understanding from the will, but only by the memory and from confidence in the teacher; and if the life is in accord it is so by blind obedience. If, however, on coming into the exercise of his rationality and freedom, which one does gradually in growing up to youth and manhood, a man acknowledges truths and lives by them only later to deny them, he does mingle the holy with the profane and (as was said above) from being human becomes a monster. On the other hand, if a man is in evil after attaining rationality and freedom, that is, after becoming his own master, even in his early manhood, but later acknowledges truths of faith and lives by them and remains in them also to the close of life, he does not commingle the holy and the profane. The Lord then severs the evils of his earlier life from the good of his later life, as is done with all who repent. Of this more will be said in what follows. [DP 228]
(iii) There are many kinds of profanation of what is holy, but this kind is the worst of all. In the widest sense by profanation all impiety is meant, and by profaners, therefore, all the impious who at heart deny God, the holiness of the Word, and consequently the spiritual things of the church which are essentially holy, and who also speak of them impiously. We are not now treating of such profaners but of those who profess God, uphold the holiness of the Word, and acknowledge the spiritual things of the church (yet most persons do so with the lips only). These commit profanation for the reason that holiness from the Word is in them and with them, and this which is in them, part of their understanding and will, they profane. But in the impious who deny the Divine and divine things, there is nothing holy which they can profane; they are profaners, of course, but still not profane as the others are.
The profanation of what is holy is meant in the second precept of the Decalog, “You shall not profane the name of your God,” and that it ought not to be profaned is meant in the Lord’s Prayer by “Hallowed be Thy name.” Hardly anyone in Christendom understands what is meant by God’s name. The reason for this is that in the spiritual world names are not what they are in this world; everyone has a name in accord with the character of his love and wisdom. As soon as he enters a society or into fellowship with others he is named according to his character. This can be done in spiritual language, which is such that it can give a name to everything, for each letter in the alphabet signifies some one thing, and the several letters combined in a word, making a person’s name, involve the whole state of the subject. This is among the wonders in the spiritual world.
 From this it is plain that by “the name of God” in the Word, God with all the divine in Him and proceeding from Him is signified. And as the Word is the divine proceeding, it is God’s name, and as all the divine things which are called the spiritual things of the church are from the Word, they, too, are God’s name. It may be seen then what is meant in the second commandment of the Decalog by You shall not profane the name of God (Ex 20:7); and in the Lord’s Prayer by
Hallowed be Thy name (Mt 6:9).
The name of God and of the Lord has a like signification in many passages in the Word of either Testament, as in Mt 7:22; 10:22; 18:5, 20; 19:29;
21:9; 24:9, 10; Jn 1:12; 2:23; 3:17, 18; 12:13, 28; 14:14-16; 16:23, 24, 26, 27; 17:6; 20:31; besides other passages, and in very many in the Old Testament.
 One who knows this significance of “name” can know what is signified by these words of the Lord:
Whoever receives a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; whoever receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man will receive a righteous man’s reward . . . and whoever will give one of these little ones to drink a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple . . . shall not lose a reward (Mt 10:41, 42). [DP229]
One who understands by the name of a prophet, of a righteous man and of a disciple only a prophet, a righteous man and a disciple knows only the sense of the letter in that passage. Nor does he know what is signified by a prophet’s reward, a righteous man’s reward, or by the reward given a disciple for a cup of cold water, when yet by the name and reward of a prophet the state and happiness of those who are in divine truths is meant; by the name and reward of a righteous man is meant the state and happiness of those in divine goods; by a disciple is meant the state of those who are in a measure of the spiritual things of the church, and by a cup of cold water is meant a measure of truth.
 That the nature of a state of love and wisdom or of good and truth is meant by “name” is also made evident by these words of the Lord:
He who enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep; the porter opens to him, and the sheep hear his voice; he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out (Jn 10:2, 3).
To “call the sheep by name” is to teach and lead everyone who is in the good of charity according to the state of his love and wisdom; by the “door” the Lord is meant, as verse 9 makes plain:
I am the door; if a man enters by Me, he will be saved (Jn 10:9).
It is clear from this that for one to be saved the Lord Himself is to be approached; one who does so is a “shepherd of the sheep” and one who does not is a “thief”’ and a “robber” (so the first verse of the chapter). [DP 230]
Profanation of what is holy is predicated of those who know truths of faith and goods of charity from the Word and also acknowledge them in some measure, not of those who do not know them, nor of those who impiously reject them altogether. Therefore what now follows is said of the former, not of the latter; by the former many kinds of profanation, lighter and graver, are committed, but they may be summed up in the seven following.
A first kind of profanation on their part is making jokes from the Word or about the Word, or of and about the divine things of the church. Some do this from a bad habit, picking names or expressions from the Word and mingling them with unseemly and sometimes filthy speech. This cannot be done without some contempt being added for the Word. Yet the Word in each and all things is divine and holy; every expression in it stores in its bosom something divine and by means of it gives communication with heaven. This kind of profanation is lighter or more grave according to one’s acknowledgment of the sacredness of the Word and to the unseemliness of the comment into which it is brought by those who jest about it.
 A second kind of profanation by those under discussion is that while they understand and acknowledge divine truths, they live contrary to them. Those who only understand profane more lightly, and those who also acknowledge profane more seriously; for the understanding only teaches quite as a preacher does, but does not of itself unite with the will, but acknowledgment does, for one cannot acknowledge anything without the consent of the will. Still this union with the will varies and the profanation is according to the measure of it in living contrary to acknowledged truths. Thus if one acknowledges that revenge and hatred, adultery and fornication, fraud and deceit, blasphemy and lying are sins against God and yet commits them, he is therefore in the more grievous of this kind of profanation. For the Lord says:
The servant who knows his lord’s will and does not do it, shall be beaten with many strokes (Lu 12:47).
If you were blind, you would not have sin, but you say, We see; therefore your sin remains (In 9:41).
But it is one thing to acknowledge apparent truths and another to acknowledge genuine truths. Those who acknowledge genuine truths and yet do not live by them appear in the spiritual world to be without the light and warmth of life in voice and speech, as though they were so much inertness.
 A third kind of profanation is committed by those who apply the sense of the letter of the Word to confirm evil loves and false principles. This is because the confirmation of falsity is the denial of truth, and the confirmation of evil is a rejection of good. In its bosom the Word is nothing but divine truth and good. But this does not appear in the lowest sense or sense of the letter in genuine truths, except where the Lord and the very way of salvation are taught, but in clothed truths, called appearances of truth.
That sense can therefore be seized upon to confirm heresies of many kinds. But one who confirms evil loves does violence to divine goods, and one who confirms false principles does violence to divine truths. The latter violence is called falsification of truth and the former adulteration of good; both are meant by “bloods”* in the Word. For a spiritual holiness, which is also the spirit of truth proceeding from the Lord, is in every particular of the sense of the letter of the Word. This holiness is injured when the Word is falsified and adulterated. It is plain that this is profanation.
Plural in the Hebrew, especially of blood that has been shed. “Both” is emphatic here, and for the significance of the plural see Arcana Caelestia, n. 374e and Apocalypse Explained, n. 329(27).
 A fourth kind of profanation is committed by those who utter pious and holy things and also counterfeit affections of a love for them in tone and manner, and yet at heart do not believe and love them. Most of these are hypocrites and Pharisees who are deprived after death of all truth and good and thereupon are sent into outer darkness. Those who have confirmed themselves by this kind of profanation against the Divine and against the Word and thus against the spiritual things of the Word, sit in outer darkness dumb, unable to speak, wanting to babble pious and holy things as they did in the world, but unable to do so. For in the spiritual world everyone is compelled to speak as he thinks. A hypocrite, however, wants to speak otherwise than he thinks, but there is impediment in the tongue as a result of which he can only mumble. Hypocrisies are lighter or more grave in the measure of the confirmation against God and of the outward rationalizing in favor of God.
 A fifth kind of profanation is committed by those who ascribe to themselves what is divine. These are meant by Lucifer in Isaiah 14; and by Lucifer Babylon is meant, as is plain from verses 4 and 24 of that chapter, where the fate, too, of such profaners is described. The same profaners are also meant and described in the Apocalypse (chapter 17) under the harlot seated on the scarlet beast. Babylon and Chaldea are mentioned at many places in the Word; by Babylon profanation of good is meant and by Chaldea profanation of truth; the one and the other committed by those who ascribe to themselves what is divine.
 A sixth kind of profanation is committed by those who acknowledge the Word but deny the divine of the Lord. In the world they are called Socinians and some Arians. The lot of both is that they invoke the Father and not the Lord and keep praying the Father, some of them for the sake of the Son, that they may be admitted to heaven, but in vain, until they lose hope of salvation. They are then sent down to hell among deniers of God. They are meant by those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit and who will not be forgiven in this world or that to come (Mt 12:32). For God is one in person and essence, in Him is the Trinity, and this God is the Lord. Since the Lord is heaven also and thus those in heaven are in the Lord, those who deny the divine of the Lord cannot be admitted to heaven and be in the Lord. It was shown above that the Lord is heaven and that those in heaven are therefore in Him.
 The seventh kind of profanation is committed by those who first acknowledge and live by divine truths and then recede from them and deny them. This is the worst kind of profanation because holy things are mixed by them with profane to the point where they cannot be separated. Yet they must be separated for one to be either in heaven or in hell, and as this cannot be accomplished with them, all that is human, either of the understanding or of the will, is rooted out, and they become, as we said, no longer human beings. Almost the same occurs with those who acknowledge the divine things of the Word and of the church at heart but immerse them entirely in their proprium, which is a love of ruling over all things, of which much has been said before. After death, when they become spirits, they do not want to be led by the Lord but by themselves. When loose rein is given their love, they want to rule not only over heaven but over the Lord, too; and as they cannot do this, they deny the Lord and become devils. It should be known that the life’s love, which is one’s reigning love, remains with everyone after death and cannot be taken away.
 Profaners of this class are meant by the lukewarm, of whom it is written in the Apocalypse:
I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot; would that you were cold or hot; but because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue you out of my mouth (3:14, 15, 16).
This manner of profanation is also described by the Lord in Matthew:
When the unclean spirit goes out from a man, he walks through dry places, seeking rest but finds none. Then he says, I will return to the house whence I came out. When he returns and finds it empty, swept and garnished for him, he goes and gathers to him seven other spirits worse than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of the man is worse than the first (12:43-45).
The conversion of the man is described by the unclean spirit’s going out of him; his reverting to his former evils when things good and true have been cast out, is described by the return of the unclean spirit with seven worse than himself into the house garnished for him; and the profanation of the holy by what is profane is described by the last state of that man being worse than the first. The same is meant by this passage in John,
Jesus said to the man healed in the pool of Bethesda: Sin no more, lest something worse befall you (5:14).
 That the Lord provides that man shall not acknowledge truths inwardly and afterwards leave them and become profane, is meant by these words:
He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, that they should not see with their eyes and understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them (Jn 12:40).
“Lest they should be converted, and I should heal them” signifies lest they should acknowledge truths and then depart from them and thus become profane. For the same reason the Lord spoke in parables, as He Himself says (Mt 13:13). The Jews were forbidden to eat fat and blood (Lev 3:17, 7:13, 25 ); this signifies that they were not to profane holy things, for “fat” signifies divine good and “blood” divine truth. In Matthew the Lord teaches that once converted a man must continue in good and truth to the close of life:
Jesus said: Whosoever perseveres to the end, shall be saved (10:20; similarly Mk 13:13). 231.
(iv) The Lord therefore does not admit man interiorly into truths of wisdom and at the same time into goods of love except as man can be kept in them to the close of life. To demonstrate this we must proceed by steps for two reasons; one, because it concerns human salvation, and the other, because a knowledge of the laws of permission (to be considered in the next chapter) depends on a knowledge of this law. It concerns human salvation, because, as has just been said, one who first acknowledges what is divine in Word and church and subsequently departs from them profanes what is holy most grievously. In order, then, that this arcanum of divine providence may be revealed so that the rational man can see it in his own light, it is to be unfolded as follows:
- Evil and good cannot exist together in man’s interior being, consequently neither can the falsity of evil and the truth of good.
- Good and the truth of good can be introduced into man’s interior being only so far as evil and the falsity of evil there have been removed.
- If good with its truth were introduced there before or further than evil with its falsity is removed, man would depart from the good and go back to his evil.
- When man is in evil many truths may be introduced into his understanding and kept in memory, and yet not be profaned.
- But the Lord in His divine providence takes the greatest care that they are not received from the understanding by the will sooner or more largely than man as of himself removes evil in the external man.
- Should it welcome them sooner or in larger measure, the will would adulterate good and the understanding would falsify truth by mingling them with evils and falsities.
- The Lord therefore admits man inwardly into truths of wisdom and goods of love only so far as man can be kept in them to the close of life. [DP232] In order, then, that this arcanum of divine providence may be disclosed so that the rational man will see it in his light, the points made will be explained one by one. 1. Evil and good cannot exist together in man’s interior being, consequently neither can the falsity of evil and the truth of good. By man’s interiors the internal of his thought is meant. Of this he knows nothing until he comes into the spiritual world and its light, which happens on death. In the natural world it can be known only by the enjoyment of his love in the external of his thought, and from evils themselves as he examines them in himself. For the internal of thought in man is so closely connected with the external of thought that they cannot be separated (of this more may be seen above). We say “good and truth of good,” and “evil and falsity of evil” because good cannot exist apart from its truth nor evil apart from its falsity. They are bedfellows or partners, for the life of good is from its truth and the life of truth is from its good; the same is to be said of evil and its falsity.  The rational man can see without explanation that evil with its falsity and good with its truth cannot exist in man’s interiors at the same time. For evil is the opposite of good and good the opposite of evil; two opposites cannot coexist. Implanted in all evil, moreover, is a hatred for good, and implanted in all good the love of protecting itself against evil and removing it from itself. Consequently one cannot be where the other is. If they were together conflict and combat would start and destruction ensue, as the Lord teaches also in these words:
Every kingdom divided against itself is desolated, and every city or house divided against itself does not stand . . . Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me disperses (Mt 25:30);
and in another place,
No one can serve two masters at the same time: for either he will hate the one and love the other . . . (Mt 6:24).
Two opposites are impossible in one substance or form without its being torn apart and destroyed. If one should advance and approach the other, they would keep apart like two enemies, one retiring to his camp or fort, and the other posting himself outside. This happens with evil and good in a hypocrite; he harbors both, but the evil is inside and the good outside and so the two are separate and not mingled. It is plain then that evil with its falsity and good with its truth cannot coexist.
 2. Good and the truth of good can be introduced into man’s interiors only so far as evil and the falsity of evil there have been removed. This is a necessary consequence from what has preceded, for as evil and good cannot exist together, good cannot be introduced before evil has been removed. We say man’s “interiors” and mean by these the internal of thought; and in these, now being considered, either the Lord or the devil must be present. The Lord is there after reformation and the devil before reformation. So far as man suffers himself to be reformed, therefore, the devil is cast out, but so far as he does not suffer himself to be reformed the devil remains. Anyone can see that the Lord cannot enter as long as the devil is there, and he is there as long as man keeps the door closed where man acts together with the Lord. The Lord teaches in the Apocalypse that He enters when that door is opened by man’s mediation:
I stand at the door, and knock; if anyone hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with Me (3:20).
The door is opened by man’s removing evil, fleeing and turning away from it as infernal and diabolical. Whether one says “evil” or “the devil,” it is one and the same, in turn whether one says “good” or “the Lord,” for within all good is the Lord and within all evil is the devil. From these considerations the truth of this proposition is plain.
 3. If good with its truth were introduced before or further than evil with its falsity is removed, man would depart from the good and go back to his evil. This is because evil would be the stronger, and what is stronger conquers, eventually if not then. As long as evil is stronger, good cannot be introduced into the inner chambers but only into the entry hall; for evil and good, as we said, cannot exist together, and what is in the entry hall is removed by its enemy in the chamber. Thus good is receded from and evil is returned to, which is the worst kind of profanation.
 Furthermore, it is the enjoyment of man’s life to love himself and the world above all else. This enjoyment cannot be removed in a moment, but only gradually. In the measure in which it remains in man, evil is stronger in him and can be removed only as self-love becomes a love of uses, or as the love of ruling is not for its own sake but for the sake of uses. Uses then make the head, and self-love or the love of ruling is at first the body under the head and finally the feet, on which to walk. Who does not see that good should be the head, and that when it is, the Lord is there? Good and use are one. Who does not see that when evil is the head, the devil is there? As civil and moral good and, in its external form, spiritual good, too, are still to be received, who does not see that these then constitute the feet and the soles of the feet, and are trodden on?
 Inasmuch, then, as man’s state of life is to be inverted so that what is uppermost may be lowermost, and the inversion cannot be instantaneous, for the chief enjoyment of his life, coming of self-love and the love of ruling, can be diminished and turned into a love of uses only gradually, the Lord cannot introduce good sooner or further than this evil is removed; done earlier or further, man would recede from good and return to his evil.
 4. When man is in evil many truths may be introduced into his understanding and kept in memory, and still not be profaned. This is because the understanding does not flow into the will, but the will into the understanding. As the understanding does not flow into the will, many truths can be received by the understanding and held in memory and still not be mingled with the evil in the will, and the holy thus not profaned. Moreover, it is incumbent on everyone to learn truths from the Word or from preaching, to lay them up in the memory and to think about them. For by truths held in the memory and entering into the thought, the understanding is to teach the will, that is, the man, what he should do. This is therefore the chief means of reformation. Truths that are only in the understanding and thence in the memory are not in man but outside him.
 Man’s memory may be compared to the ruminatory stomach of certain animals in which they put their food; as long as it is there, it is not in but outside their body; as they draw it thence and consume it, it becomes part of their life, and their body is nourished. The food in man’s memory is not material but spiritual, namely truths, rightly knowledges; so far as he takes them thence by thinking, which is like ruminating, his spiritual mind is nourished. It is the will’s love that has the desire and the appetite, so to speak, and that causes them to be taken thence and to be nourishing. If that love is evil, it desires or has an appetite for what is unclean, but if good, for what is clean, and sets aside, rejects and casts out what is unsuitable; this is done in various ways.
 5. But the Lord in His divine providence takes the greatest care that truths are not received from the understanding by the will sooner or more largely than man as of himself removes evil in his external man. For what is from the will enters man, is appropriated to him, and becomes part of his life, and in that life, which is man’s from the will, evil and good cannot exist together, for so he would perish. The two may, however, be in the understanding, where they are called falsities of evil and truths of good, and without being mingled; else man could not behold evil from good or know good from evil; but there they are distinguishable and separated like the inner and outer sections of a house. When a wicked man thinks and speaks what is good, he is thinking and speaking externally to himself, but inwardly when he thinks and speaks what is evil; his speech, therefore, when he speaks what is good, comes off a wall, as it were. It can be likened to fruit fair outside but wormy and decayed inside, or to the shell, especially, of a serpent’s egg.
 6. Should the will welcome truths sooner or in larger measure, it would adulterate good and the understanding would falsify truth by mingling them with evils and falsities. When the will is in evil, it adulterates good in the understanding, and good adulterated in the understanding is evil in the will, for it confirms that evil is good and good is evil. So evil deals with all good, which is its opposite. Evil also falsifies truth, for truth of good is the opposite of the falsity of evil; this is done in the understanding by the will, and not by the understanding alone. Adulterations of good are depicted in the Word by adulteries and falsifications of truth by whoredoms. These adulterations and falsifications are effected by reasonings from the natural man which is in evil, and also by confirmations of appearances in the sense of the letter of the Word.
 The love of self, the head of all evils, surpasses other loves in the ability to adulterate goods and falsify truths, and it does this by misuse of the rationality which every man, wicked as well as good, enjoys from the Lord. By confirmations it can in fact make evil look exactly like good and falsity like truth. What can it not do when it can prove by a thousand arguments that nature created itself and then created human beings, animals and plants of every kind, and also prove that by influx from within itself nature causes men to live, to think analytically and to understand wisely? Self-love excels in ability to prove whatever it desires because a certain glamour of varicolored light overlays it. This glamour is the vainglory of that love in being wise and thus also of being eminent and dominant.
 And yet, when self-love has proved such things, it becomes so blind that it sees man only as a beast, and that man and beast both think, and if a beast could also speak, conceives it would be man in another form. If it were induced by some manner of persuasion to believe that something of the human being survives death, it then is so blind as to believe that the beast also survives; and that the something which lives after death is only a subtle exhalation of life, like a vapor, constantly falling back to its corpse, or is something vital without sight, hearing or speech, and so is blind, deaf and dumb, soaring about and cogitating. Self-love entertains many other insanities with which nature, in itself dead, inspires its fantasy. Such is the effect of self-love, which regarded in itself is love of the proprium. Man’s proprium, in respect of its affections which are all natural, is not unlike the life of a beast, and in respect of its perceptions, inasmuch as they spring from these affections, is not unlike a bird of night. One who constantly immerses his thoughts in his proprium, therefore, cannot be raised out of natural light into spiritual light and see anything of God, heaven or eternal life. Since the love of the proprium is of this nature and yet excels in the ability to confirm whatever it pleases, it has a similar ability to adulterate the goods of the Word and falsify its truths, even while it is constrained by some necessity to confess them.
 7. The Lord therefore does not admit man inwardly into truths of wisdom and goods of love except as man can be kept in them to the close of life. The Lord does this lest man fall into that most serious kind of profanation of which we have treated in this chapter. In view of that peril the Lord also tolerates evils of life and many heresies in worship, the tolerance of which will be the subject of the following chapter.[DP 233]
Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)