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

ML 6

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6. After this, the angel addressed those who had deluded themselves with the idea that the joys of heaven and eternal happiness consisted in feasting with Abram, Isaac, and Jacob, followed by sports and public shows and then by more feasting, and so on to eternity. To these he said: "Follow me and I will bring you into the felicities of your joys."
He then led them through a grove to a level place covered with boards, on which were set tables, fifteen on one side and fifteen on the other. And they asked, "Why so many tables?"
The angel answered: "The first table is Abram's, the second Isaac's, the third Jacob's, and next to these in order come the tables of the twelve Apostles. On the other side is the same number of tables for their wives, the first three being those of Sarah the wife of Abram, Rebekah the wife of Isaac, and Leah and Rachel the wives of Jacob; the twelve others are for the wives of the twelve Apostles."
[2] After some delay, all the tables were seen to be laden with dishes of food, the little spaces between them being embellished with small pyramids containing sweetmeats. The guests stood around the tables, awaiting their respective hosts. These were shortly seen to enter, in order of precedence from Abram to the last of the Apostles; and presently each approached his own table and reclined upon a couch at its head. They then said to those who stood around, "Recline ye also with us"' and they did so, the men with the patriarchs and the women with their wives; and they ate and drank in gladness and with veneration.
After the feast the patriarchs retired, and then began sports, dances of maidens and young men, and after these, public shows. When these were ended, they were again invited to the feast, but with the condition that they were to eat on the first day with Abram, on the second with Isaac, on the third with Jacob, on the fourth with Peter, on the fifth with James, on the sixth with John, on the seventh with Paul, and with the rest in order till the fifteenth day, when the festivities would be renewed in the same order, changing seats, and so on to eternity.
[3] After this, the angel, calling together the men of his company, said to them: "All those whom you saw at the tables had been in like imaginary thought with yourselves concerning the joys of heaven and eternal happiness therefrom; and such mock festivities have been provided and permitted by the Lord to the end that they may see the vanity of their ideas and be led out of them. Those men whom you saw at the heads of the tables were impersonated, being old men, many of them bearded men of the peasant class who, because of some wealth, were prouder than others, and on whom was induced the fantasy that they were the ancient patriarchs. But follow me into the ways leading out of this school of sports."
[4] Following him, they then saw some fifty here and fifty there who had filled their bellies with food even to nausea, and were longing to return to their home affairs, some to their offices, some to their shops, and some to their trades. But many were detained by the keepers of the grove, and were asked about their days of feasting and whether they had yet eaten at table with peter and with Paul, and whether they were going away before they had done so, which would be unbecoming and so would be to their shame. But most of them answered, "We are sated with our joys; food has become insipid to us, and its flavor dry. Our stomachs loathe it; we cannot bear to taste it. We have dragged out some days and nights in this luxury, and beg earnestly to be allowed to go." Then, being released, they fled to their homes with panting breath and rapid pace.
[5] The angel then called the men of his company together, and on the way gave them the following instruction concerning heaven: "In heaven, as in the world, there are foods and drinks; there are feasts and banquets; and with the leading men there are tables spread with sumptuous delicacies and choice and delicious foods wherewith the animus is exhilarated and recreated. There are also sports, public shows, and entertainments of music and song; and all these in the highest perfection. Such things are joys to them also, but they are not happiness. The latter must be within the joys, and then from the joys. Happiness within joys makes joys to be joys, enriching them and keeping them from becoming cheap and loathsome; and this happiness, every one has from the performance of use in his own function. [6] Within the affection of every angel's will is a latent vein which draws the mind on to the doing of something. By this, the mind renders itself tranquil and satisfied. This satisfaction and tranquillity induce a state of mind receptive of the love of use from the Lord; and from the reception of this, comes that heavenly happiness which is the life of the joys previously mentioned. In its essence, heavenly food is nothing else than love, wisdom, and use together, that is, use from love by means of wisdom. Therefore, in heaven, food for the body is given to every one according to the use which he performs, sumptuous to those who are in eminent use, moderate but of exquisite flavor to those in a use of medium degree, common to those in a common use, but none at all to the slothful."


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