(DP) - Angelic Wisdom about Divine Providence

DP 145

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145. V. IT IS NOT CONTRARY TO RATIONALITY AND LIBERTY TO COMPEL ONESELF. It was shown in what has gone before that man has an internal and an external of thought; that these are distinct like what is prior and what is posterior or like what is higher and what is lower; and that, because they are so distinct, they can act separately and also conjointly. They act separately when from the external of his thought a man speaks and acts otherwise than as he thinks and wills interiorly; and they act conjointly when he speaks and acts as he interiorly thinks and wills. The latter is, generally the case with the sincere, but the former with the insincere. [2] Now since the internal and the external of the mind are in this way distinct, the internal can even fight with the external and by combat force it to compliance. Combat takes place when a man thinks that evils are sins and therefore resolves to desist from them; for when he desists a door is opened, and when it is opened the lusts of evil which occupied the internal of his thought are cast out by the Lord and affections of good are implanted in their place. This is done in the internal of thought. But as the delights of the lusts of evil which invest the external of thought cannot be cast out at the same time, a combat takes place between the internal and the external of thought. The internal wishes to cast out these delights because they are delights of evil and not in accord with the affections of good in which the internal now is; and instead of the delights of evil it wishes to introduce delights of good that are in accord. The delights of good are what are called goods of charity. From this opposition arises a combat, and if it increases in severity it is called temptation.
[3] Now since a man is a man by virtue of the internal of his thought, this being the spirit of man itself, it is evident that a man compels himself when he forces the external of his thought to compliance, that is, to receive the delights of his affections, which are the goods of charity. It is evident that this is not contrary to rationality and liberty but is in accordance with them; for rationality causes the combat and liberty carries it on. Liberty itself with rationality also has its seat in the internal man and from that in the external. [4] When, therefore, the internal conquers, as happens when the internal has reduced the external to obedient compliance, then liberty itself and rationality itself are given to man by the Lord; for man is then withdrawn by the Lord from infernal freedom, which in itself is slavery, and is brought into heavenly freedom, which in itself is freedom itself and he is granted association with angels. That those are slaves who are in sins, and that the Lord makes those free who receive truth from Him through the Word, He teaches in John viii. 31-36.


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