(DP) - Angelic Wisdom about Divine Providence

DP 32

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32. II. MAN BY CREATION IS SUCH THAT HE CAN BE MORE AND MORE NEARLY CONJOINED TO THE LORD. This may be evident from what has been set forth concerning Degrees in the treatise THE DIVINE LOVE AND WISDOM, especially from the following articles: There are three discrete degrees, or degrees of altitude, in man from creation (n. 230-235). These three degrees are in every man from birth; and as they are opened, the man is in the Lord and the Lord in him (n. 236-241). All perfections increase and ascend with the degrees, and according to them (n. 199-204). From this it is clear that man from creation is such that he can be more and more nearly conjoined to the Lord by these degrees.
[2] It is necessary, however, to know expressly what degrees are, and that they are of two kinds, namely, discrete degrees, or degrees of altitude, and continuous degrees, or degrees of latitude, and also how they differ. Further, it is necessary to know that every man from creation, and hence from birth, has three discrete degrees, or degrees of altitude; and that he comes into the first degree, called the natural, when he is born, and may increase this degree in himself by continuous progress until he becomes rational; that he comes into the second degree, called the spiritual, if he lives according to the spiritual laws of order, which are principles of Divine Truth;* and also that he can come into the third degree, called the celestial, if he lives according to the celestial laws of order, which are principles of Divine Good.
[3] These degrees are actually opened in man by the Lord according to his life in this world, but not perceptibly and manifestly till after he leaves this world; and as they are opened and afterwards perfected, man is more and more nearly conjoined to the Lord. This conjunction by continued approach may go on increasing to eternity; and with the angels it does so increase; yet no angel can reach or even come close to the highest degree of the Love and Wisdom of the Lord, because the Lord is Infinite and an angel is finite, and there is no ratio between the Infinite and the finite. As no one can understand the state of man, and the state of his elevation and approach to the Lord, unless he has a knowledge of these degrees, they have been treated of in detail in THE DIVINE LOVE AND WISDOM (n. 173-281), which may be consulted.
* Both Divinum Verum and Verum Divinum are used and the difference is indicated by translating Divinum Verum by Divine Truth, and Verum Divinum by Divine truth. Similarly Divinum Bonum and Bonum Divinum.


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