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

ML 98

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98. IX. THAT WITH MAN, LOVE OF THE SEX IS NOT THE ORIGIN OF CONJUGIAL LOVE BUT IS THE FIRST THEREOF; THUS IS AS A NATURAL EXTERNAL WHEREIN IS IMPLANTED A SPIRITUAL INTERNAL. The subject here treated of is love truly conjugial, and not the common love which is also called conjugal* and which with some is no other than a limited love of the sex. But love truly conjugial is with those only who desire wisdom and more deeply enter into it. These the Lord foresees, and for them He provides conjugial love. With them, this love does indeed commence from love of the sex, or rather by means of that love, yet it does not arise from it; for it arises in proportion as wisdom with the man advances its step and comes into the light, wisdom and that love being inseparable companions. [2] That conjugial love has its commencement by means of love of the sex is 1. because, before a consort is found, the sex in general is loved, being regarded with a fond eye and treated with courteous morality; for an adolescent is in the period of choosing, and then, from an implanted inclination to marriage with one, which is latent in the shrine of his mind, his external grows pleasantly warm. And 2. because, for various reasons, determinations to marriage are delayed even to the middle of manhood, and meanwhile that love commences as lust, and with some this goes off into actual love of the sex, though with such men its bridle is loosed no further than is conducive to health. The above, however, is said of the male sex, because that sex, but not the female sex, has the allurement which inflames actually. From this it is evident that love of the sex is not the origin of love truly conjugial but is the first thereof in time, though not in end; for what is the first in end, being the primary thing, is the first in the mind and its intention. There is no approaching this first except gradually and by means. The means are not in themselves the first things; they are merely advances to that which is the first in itself.
* The word also suggests that this is a misprint for conjugial. The present passage and n. 203 and also one passage in THE WORD EXPLAINED (n.4486) are the only passages in the theological Writings where the word conjugal appears. The word does indeed appear in four passages in TRUE CHRISTIAN RELIGION, but these passages are reprinted from CONJUGIAL LOVE where the word is conjugial. Swedenborg also uses conjugial throughout his scientific works.


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