(ML) - Wisdom's Delight in Marriage Love: Followed by Insanity’s Pleasure in Promiscuous Love

ML 269

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269. After this, we ascended from these lower regions into the south where we had been before. There the angels told us many things worthy of mention concerning the non-visionary or non-fantastical concupiscence, in which every man is from birth. "So long as men are in it, they are fools and yet seem to themselves to be supremely wise. From this foolishness they are restored by turns into the rational which with them is in their externals. In this state they see, acknowledge, and confess their insanity. Yet, from this rational state they long to return to their insane state. Moreover, they let themselves into it as though into something free and delightful from what is forced and undelightful. Thus it is concupiscence that inwardly delights them."
[2] "There are three universal loves, of which, from creation, every man is made up: Love of the neighbor which is also the love of performing uses, love of the world which is also the love of possessing wealth, and love of self which is also the love of ruling over others. Love of the neighbor or the love of performing uses is a spiritual love; love of the world or the love of possessing wealth is a material love; and love of self or the love of ruling over others is a corporeal love. [3] Man is a man when love of the neighbor or the love of performing uses makes the head, love of the world the body, and love of self the feet. But if love of the world makes the head, the man is not a man save as a humpback is a man; and when love of self makes the head, he is not a man standing on his feet but a man resting on his hands, with his head downwards and his buttocks upwards. When love of the neighbor makes the head, and the other two loves in their order make the body and the feet, then, from heaven, the man is seen to be of an angelic countenance, with a beautiful rainbow around his head; but if love of the world makes the head, he is seen from heaven to be of a pallid countenance, like that of a corpse, with a yellow circle around his head; while, if love of self makes the head, he is seen from heaven to be of a dusky countenance, with a white circle around his head."
At this I asked, "What do the circles around their heads represent?" They answered: "They represent intelligence. A white circle around a head with a dusky countenance represents that the man's intelligence is in his externals, that is, is around him, while in his internals, that is, within him, is insanity. Moreover, a man who is such is wise when in the body but insane when in the spirit. No man is wise in the spirit except from the Lord; and he becomes wise when he is generated by Him and created again or anew."
[4] After these words, the earth at the left opened and, rising up through the opening, I saw a devil with a bright white circle around his head. I asked him, "Who are you?" He said, "I am Lucifer, Son of the Dawn; and because I made myself like the Most High, I was cast down." Yet he was not that Lucifer, though he thought he was.
I then said, "Since you were cast down, how can you again rise up out of hell?" He replied: "There I am a devil but here I am an angel of light. Do you not see my head encircled with a sphere of light? and if you wish, you will also see that I am super-moral among the moral, super-rational among the rational, nay, and super-spiritual among the spiritual. Moreover, I can preach, and I have preached."
When I asked him, "What have you preached?" he said: "Against defrauders, against adulterers, and against all infernal loves. Yea, I, Lucifer, then called myself the devil and hurled curses against myself--him--and for this I was extolled to the sky with praises. It is because of this that I am called the Son of the Dawn. And, what I myself have wondered at, when I was in the pulpit I thought no other than that I was speaking uprightly and piously. But I have discovered to myself that the reason was because I was in externals, and these were then separated from my internals. Yet, despite this discovery, I could not change because, on account of my arrogance, I had not looked to God."
[5] I then asked him, "How can you speak so when you yourself are a defrauder, an adulterer, and a devil?" He replied: "I am one person when in externals or in the body and another when in internals or in the spirit. In the body I am an angel, but in the spirit a devil: for in the body I am in the understanding, but in the spirit I am in the will, and the understanding carries me upwards but the will carries me downwards. When I am in the understanding, a white band encircles my head, but when my understanding wholly surrenders itself to my will and becomes its understanding, which is our final lot, then the band grows black and disappears; and when this happens, we are no longer able to ascend into this light."
He then spoke of his twofold state, the external and the internal, more rationally than any one; but on seeing the angels with me, he was suddenly inflamed in face and voice and became black, even as to the band around his head. He then sank down into hell through the opening through which he had risen.
From what they had thus seen, the bystanders formed the following conclusion: A man is such as his love is, and not his understanding, because the love easily carries the understanding to its side and enslaves it.
[6] I then asked the angels, "Whence do devils have such rationality?" and they said, "It is from the vainglory of the love of self; for the love of self is girt about with vainglory, and the vainglory elevates the understanding into the light of heaven. The understanding can be elevated with every man according to his knowledge, but not the will except by a life according to the truths of the Church and of reason. Hence it is that men, even atheists, who are in the vainglory of reputation from the love of self and thence are in the pride of self- intelligence, enjoy a more sublime rationality than many others--but only when they are in the thought of their understanding, not when in the affection of their will. The affection of the will possesses man's internal, but the thought of the understanding, his external."
Furthermore, the angel told me the reason why man is made up of the three loves mentioned above--the love of use, the love of the world, and the love of self--namely, that he may think from God, though as if from himself. He said: "The supreme things in man are turned upwards to God, the intermediate outwards to the world, and the lowest downwards to self, and because these are turned downwards, man thinks as if from himself, when yet he thinks from God."


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