Divine Providence (Dick and Pulsford) n. 78

Previous Number Next Number See Latin 

78. III. WHATEVER A MAN DOES FROM FREEDOM ACCORDING TO HIS THOUGHT, IS APPROPRIATED TO HIM AS HIS OWN, AND REMAINS WITH HIM. The reason is that man's proprium and his freedom make one. Man's proprium is of his life; and what a man does from his life he does from freedom. Further, man's proprium is what is of his love, for love is the life of everyone, and what a man does from his life's love that also he does from freedom. Man acts from freedom according to thought, because whatever is of the life or love of anyone is also an object of thought and is confirmed by thought; and when it has been confirmed then he does it from freedom according to his thought. [2] For whatever a man does, he does from the will by means of the understanding; and freedom is of the will, and thought is of the understanding. Moreover, man can act from freedom contrary to reason, and he can also act according to reason and not from freedom; but such acts are not appropriated to the man, being only the acts of his lips and of his body, and not of his spirit or heart; but the acts of his spirit and heart, when they also become the acts of his lips and of his body, are appropriated to him. That this is so could be shown by many illustrations; but this is not the place for them. [3] By being appropriated to man is meant to enter his life and become part of it, consequently to become his own. However, it will be seen in what follows that there is nothing that is man's own: it merely seems as if it were. Here it needs only to be said that all the good which a man does from freedom according to reason is appropriated to him as his own, because in thinking, willing, speaking and doing it appears to him to be his own; and yet, the good is not man's but belongs to the Lord in him, as may be seen above (n. 76). But how evil is appropriated to man will be seen in the proper article.

This page is part of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg

© 2000-2001 The Academy of the New Church