(AC) - A Disclosure of the Hidden Treasures of Heaven Contained in the Holy Scripture or Word of the Lord, Together with Amazing Things Seen in the World of Spirits and in the Heaven of Angels

AC 978

Remove Highlights | Highlight Search Terms


978. What the internal man is, and what the external, is at this day known to few, if any. It is generally supposed that they are one and the same, and this chiefly because men believe that they do good, and think truth from what is their own, for it is the nature of man's Own to believe this; whereas the internal man is as distinct from the external as heaven is from earth. Both the learned and the unlearned, when reflecting on the subject, have no other conception respecting the internal man than its being thought, because it is within; and of the external man that it is the body, with its life of sense and pleasure, because this is without. Thought, however, which is thus ascribed to the internal man, does not belong thereto; for in the internal man there are nothing but goods and truths which are the Lord's, and in the interior man conscience has been implanted by the Lord; and yet the evil, and even the worst of men, have thought, and so have those who are devoid of conscience, which shows that man's thought does not belong to the internal, but to the external man. That the body, with its life of sense and pleasure, is not the external man, is evident from the fact that spirits equally possess an external man, although they have no such body as they had during their life in this world. But what the internal man is, and what the external, no one can possibly know unless he knows that there is in every man a celestial and a spiritual that correspond to the angelic heaven, a rational that corresponds to the heaven of angelic spirits, and an interior sensuous that corresponds to the heaven of spirits. For there are three heavens, and as many in man, which are most perfectly distinct from each other; and hence it is that after death the man who has conscience is first in the heaven of spirits, afterwards is elevated by the Lord into the heaven of angelic spirits, and lastly into the angelic heaven, which could not possibly take place unless there were in him as many heavens, with which and with the state of which he has the capacity of corresponding. From this I have learned what constitutes the internal, and what the external man. The internal man is formed of what is celestial and spiritual; the interior or intermediate man, of what is rational; and the external man of what is sensuous, not belonging to the body, but derived from bodily things; and this is the case not only with man, but also with spirits. To speak in the language of the learned, these three, the internal, the interior, and the external man, are like end, cause, and effect; and it is well known that there can be no effect without a cause, and no cause without an end. Effect, cause, and end, are as distinct from each other as are what is exterior, what is interior, and what is inmost. Strictly speaking, the sensuous man-or he whose thought is grounded in sensuous things-is the external man, and the spiritual and celestial man is the internal man, and the rational man is intermediate between the two, being that by which the communication of the internal and the external man is effected. I am aware that few will apprehend these statements, because men live in external things, and think from them. Hence it is that some regard themselves as being like the brutes, and believe that on the death of the body they will die altogether, although they then first begin to live. After death, those who are good, at first live a sensuous life in the world or heaven of spirits, afterwards an interior sensuous life in the heaven of angelic spirits, and lastly an inmost sensuous life in the angelic heaven, this angelic life being the life of the internal man, and concerning which scarcely anything can be said that is comprehensible by man. The regenerate may know that there is such a life by reflecting on the nature of the good and the true, and of spiritual warfare, for it is the life of the Lord in man, since the Lord-through the internal man-works the good of charity and the truth of faith in his external man. What is thence perceived in his thought and affection is a certain general which contains innumerable things that come from the internal man, and which the man cannot possibly perceive until he enters the angelic heaven. (Concerning this general and its nature, see above, n. 545, from experience.) The things here said about the internal man, being above the apprehension of very many, are not necessary to salvation. It is sufficient to know that there is an internal and an external man, and to acknowledge and believe that all good and truth are from the Lord.


User-Contributed Related Pages

Be the First to Find a Related Page!

Add a Related Page

Translate This Page

Add Small Canon Search to Your Website

Add a Small Canon Search™ button to my Google Toolbar

Add Small Canon Search™ to my Firefox Search Bar!

Add to Google

Daily Bible Verse

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Green Hosting

5 FREE Domains with Select Hosting Plans. Get yours!