(DP) - Angelic Wisdom about Divine Providence

DP 74

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74. II. WHATEVER A MAN DOES FROM FREEDOM, WHETHER IT BE OF REASON OR NOT, PROVIDED IT BE ACCORDING TO HIS REASON, APPEARS TO HIM TO BE HIS OWN. What rationality is and what liberty is, faculties which are proper to man, cannot be known more clearly than by a comparison of men with beasts. For beasts have no rationality or faculty of understanding, and no liberty or faculty of willing freely. Consequently they have no understanding and no will; but instead of understanding they have knowledge, and instead of will they have affection, and both of these are natural. As beasts do not possess these two faculties, they have no thought; but instead of thought they have an internal sight which makes one with their external sight by correspondence.
[2] Every affection has its own companion, a married partner as it were. An affection of natural love has knowledge, an affection of spiritual love, understanding, and an affection of celestial love, wisdom. For an affection without its companion as a married partner has no reality; it is as being (esse) without existing (existere), and as substance without form, of which nothing can be predicated. Hence it is, that in every created thing there is something that is referable to the marriage of good and truth, as has been shown above in many places. In beasts there is a marriage of affection and knowledge, the affection in them pertaining to natural good and the knowledge to natural truth.
[3] Now since affection and knowledge in beasts act completely as one, and their affection cannot be raised above their knowledge, and their knowledge not above their affection, but when raised they are both elevated together; and since they have no spiritual mind into which, or into the light and heat of which, they can be raised, therefore they have not the faculty of understanding or rationality, nor the faculty of willing freely or liberty; they have merely natural affection with its knowledge. The natural affection which they have is that of supplying themselves with food and shelter, of propagating their kind, of fleeing from and avoiding injury, together with all the knowledge which this affection requires. Such being the state of their life they cannot think, "I wish this or I do not; I know this or I do not"; and still less, "I understand this, and I love this"; but from their affection by means of their knowledge they are borne along without rationality and without liberty. That they are so borne along is not from the natural but from the spiritual world; because it is not possible for anything to exist in the natural world out of connection with the spiritual world, for every cause that produces an effect is from the spiritual world. Something on this subject may also be seen below (n. 96).


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