(DP) - Angelic Wisdom about Divine Providence

DP 199

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199. A man can reflect, indeed, upon the delight of his external affection while this delight is in harmony with the delight of some bodily sense; but yet he does not reflect upon the fact that this delight is from the delight of his affection in his thought. For example: when a fornicator sees a courtesan his eye glows with the fire of lasciviousness, and from that fire he feels delight in the body; but still he does not feel the delight of his affection or lust in his thought but only something of a strong desire associated with the body. It is the same with a robber in the forest when he sees travellers, a pirate on the sea when he sees vessels, and with others in like circumstances. It is clear that these delights govern a man's thoughts, and that thoughts without them do not exist; but he regards them only as thoughts, when nevertheless thoughts are nothing but affections composed into forms by his life's love to make themselves manifest in light; for all affection is in heat and thought in light.
[2] These are external affections of thought, and they manifest themselves indeed in bodily sensation, but rarely in the thought of the mind. But the internal affections of thought, from which the external affections exist, never make themselves manifest to man. Of these man knows no more than one sleeping in a carriage knows of the road or than one feels of the earth's rotation. Now, since man knows nothing of the things going on in the interiors of his mind, which are so many that they cannot be numbered, and yet those few external things which come within the view of his thought are produced from the interiors, and since the interiors are governed by the Lord alone, by means of His Divine Providence, and those few external things by the Lord in conjunction with man, how then can anyone say that his own prudence accomplishes all things? If you were to see but one single idea of thought opened up you would see wonderful things more in number than tongue can tell.
[3] That there are in the interiors of man's mind so many things that they cannot be numbered is clear from the infinitude of things in the body; and from these nothing comes to sight and sense but action alone in a very simplified form. Yet to this there contribute thousands of motor or muscular fibres, thousands of nerve fibres, thousands of blood-vessels, thousands of cells in the lungs which must co-operate in every action, thousands in the brains and in the spinal cord; and many more things still in the spiritual man, which is the human mind, in which all things are forms of affections and of their derived perceptions and thoughts. Does not the soul, which disposes the interiors, dispose also actions which spring from these? Man's soul is nothing else than the love of his will and the consequent love of his understanding; and the whole man is such as this love is, and he becomes such according to the manner in which he disposes his externals in which he and the Lord are together. Therefore, if he attributes all things to himself and to nature, the love of self becomes the soul; but if he attributes all things to the Lord, love to the Lord becomes the soul; and this love is heavenly, but the other is infernal.


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