(DP) - Angelic Wisdom about Divine Providence

DP 276

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276.* When, however, the love of the neighbour was turned into the love of self, and this love increased, then human love was turned into animal love; and man from being man became a beast, with this difference that what he perceived with the bodily senses he could make an object of thought, and could rationally distinguish one thing from another, and could be instructed, and could become a civil and a moral man, and finally a spiritual man. For as has been said, man has what is spiritual, and by this he is distinguished from a brute beast, because by this he is able to know what civil evil and civil good are, also what moral evil and moral good are, and also, if he will, what spiritual evil and spiritual good are.
When the love of the neighbour was turned into the love of self man could no longer be born into the light of knowledge and intelligence but only into the darkness of ignorance, because he was now born into the very ultimate plane of life which is called the corporeal sensual; and from this he could by means of instruction be introduced into the interiors of the natural mind, always accompanied by the spiritual. It will be seen in what follows why man is born into the ultimate plane of life, called the corporeal sensual, and consequently into the darkness of ignorance. [2] Anyone may see that the love of the neighbour and the love of self are opposite loves; for the love of the neighbour wishes well to everyone from itself, while the love of self wishes well to itself alone from everyone. The love of the neighbour desires to serve everyone, while the love of self desires everyone to serve it. The love of the neighbour regards everyone as its brother and friend, while the love of self regards everyone as its servant and, if he does not serve it, as its enemy: in a word, it considers itself alone, and others scarcely as men, whom in heart it values less than its horses and dogs. Moreover, as it regards them as of so little value, it thinks nothing of doing evil to them; and this is the source of hatred and revenge, adultery and whoredom, theft and fraud, lying and defamation, rage, cruelty and other evils of a like nature. Such are the evils in which man is by birth; and that they are permitted for the sake of the end, which is salvation, will be shown in the following order:
I. Every man is in evil, and must be led away from evil that he may be reformed.
II. Evils cannot be removed unless they appear.
III. So far as evils are removed they are remitted.
IV. Thus the permission of evil is for the sake of the end, namely, salvation.
* Original Edition has "176" for "276."


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