(DLW) - Angelic Wisdom about Divine Love and Wisdom

DLW 426

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426. (21) Spiritual and celestial love is love toward the neighbor and love to the Lord; and natural and sensual love is love of the world and love of self. By love toward the neighbor is meant the love of uses, and by love to the Lord is meant the love of doing uses (as has been shown before). These loves are spiritual and celestial, because loving uses and doing them from a love of them, is distinct from the love of what is man's own; for whoever loves uses spiritually looks not to self, but to others outside of self for whose good he is moved. Opposed to these loves are the loves of self and of the world, for these look to uses not for the sake of others but for the sake of self; and those who do this invert Divine order, and put self in the Lord's place, and the world in the place of heaven; as a consequence they look backward, away from the Lord and away from heaven, and looking backward away from these is looking to hell. (More about these loves may be seen above, n. 424.) Yet man does not feel and perceive the love of performing uses for the sake of uses as he feels and perceives the love of performing uses for the sake of self; consequently when he is performing uses he does not know whether he is doing them for the sake of uses or for the sake of self. But let him know that he is performing uses for the sake of uses in the measure in which he flees from evils; for so far as he flees from evils, he performs uses not for himself, but from the Lord. For evil and good are opposites; so far as one is not in evil he is in good. No one can be in evil and in good at the same time, because no one can serve two masters at the same time. All this has been said to show that although man does not sensibly perceive whether the uses which he performs are for the sake of use or for the sake of self, that is, whether the uses are spiritual or merely natural, still he can know it by this, whether or not he considers evils to be sins. If he regards them as sins, and for that reason abstains from doing them, the uses which he does are spiritual. And when one who does this flees from sins from a feeling of aversion, he then begins to have a sensible perception of the love of uses for the sake of uses, and this from spiritual enjoyment in them.


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