Divine Wisdom (Whitehead) n. 1

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In the Lord there is love and there is wisdom. Love in Him is being (esse), and wisdom in Him is existence (existere); nevertheless, these are not two in Him but one; for wisdom is of love and love is of wisdom; and from this union, which is reciprocal, they become one, and that one is the Divine love, which appears in the heavens before the angels as a Sun. The reciprocal union of the Divine wisdom and the Divine love is meant by these words of the Lord:

Philip, Believest thou not that I am in the Father and the Father in Me? Believe Me, that I am in the Father and the Father in Me (John 14:10, 11);

and by these words:

I and the Father are one (John 10:30).

These two, which are one in the Lord, do, indeed, proceed from Him as a Sun as two distinct things, wisdom as light and love as heat; but they proceed as distinct in appearance, for in themselves they are not distinct, for the light is of the heat and the heat is of the light, and in every least point they are a one, as is true of our sun; for whatever proceeds from the sun is the sun in the least parts, and thus universally in all. It is said, every point and least part, but this does not mean a point or least part of space, for that does not pertain to the Divine, for the Divine is spiritual and not natural. [[2]] Since wisdom and love proceed from the Lord as a sun in appearance as two distinct things, wisdom under the form of light, and love under the perception of heat, therefore they are received by the angels as two distinct things, some receiving more of the heat which is love, and some more of the light which is wisdom, and in consequence the angels of all the heavens are distinguished into two kingdoms. Those that have received more of the heat which is love than of the light which is wisdom, make one kingdom, and are called celestial angels, and of such the highest heavens are formed. But those that have received more of the light which is wisdom than of the heat which is love make the other kingdom, and are called spiritual angels, and of such the lower heavens are formed. It is said that these have received more of the light which is wisdom than of the heat which is love, but this excess is an apparent excess, for they are wise only so far as the love with them makes one with the wisdom; and consequently spiritual angels are not called wise but intelligent. Thus much respecting light in the Lord and from the Lord and in the angels.

[[3]] The Divine wisdom that appears in the heavens as light is not light in its essence, but it clothes itself with light that it may appear before the sight of the angels. In its essence wisdom is the Divine truth, and the light is its appearance and correspondence. It is the same with the light of wisdom as with the heat of love, that has been spoken of above. As light corresponds to wisdom, and the Lord is the Divine wisdom, so in the Word, in many passages, the Lord is called "the light," as in the following:

He was the true light, that lighteth every man coming into the world (John 1:9);

Jesus said, I am the light of the world, he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life (John 8:12);

Jesus said, Yet a little while is the light with you; walk while ye have the light, lest the darkness seize you. While ye have the light believe on the light, that ye may be the sons of the light. I have come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on Me may not abide in darkness (John 12:35, 36, 46);

(And in many other passages.)

His Divine wisdom was also represented by His garments when He was transfigured, that:

They appeared as light, glistening and white as snow, so as no fuller on earth can whiten them (Mark 9:3; Matt. 17:2).

"Garments" signify in the Word the truths of wisdom; and in consequence all angels in the heavens appear clothed in accordance with the truths of their knowledge, intelligence and wisdom. [[4]] That light is an appearance of wisdom, and its correspondence, is evident in heaven but not in the world, for in heaven there is no other light than spiritual light, which is the light of wisdom, and which illuminates all things there that exist from the Divine love. With the angels wisdom enables them to understand these things in their essence, and light enables them to see these things in their form; therefore there is light in the heavens in an equal degree with the wisdom with the angels. In the highest heavens the light is like flame and glowing as if from the most highly burnished gold, because they are in wisdom. In the lower heavens the light is bright and shining as if from the most highly polished silver, because they are in intelligence. In the lowest heavens the light is like the noon-day light of the world, because they are in knowledge. The light of the higher heavens is bright, just like a star that glitters and shines brightly in itself in the night-time; and the light is continual because the sun there never sets. It is the same light as that which enlightens the understanding of those men in the world who love to become wise; but it does not appear to them, because they are natural and not spiritual. It can appear, for it has appeared to me, but before the eyes of my spirit. It has also been granted me to perceive that in the light of the highest heaven I was in wisdom, in the light of the second heaven in intelligence, and in the light of the lowest heaven in knowledge, while in merely natural light I was in ignorance of spiritual things.

[[5]] That I might know in what light the learned in the world are at the present day, two ways were seen by me; one was called the way of wisdom and the other the way of folly. At the end of the way of wisdom there was a palace in light, but at the end of the way of folly there was something like a palace, but in shade. About three hundred of the learned were there assembled, and they were permitted to choose which way they would take, and two hundred and sixty were seen to enter the way of folly, and only forty the way of wisdom. Those who took the way of wisdom entered the palace that was in light, where there were magnificent things, and garments of fine linen were given them, and they became angels; while those who went in the way of folly wished to enter that which appeared like a palace in the shade, and behold, it was a theatre of actors, and there they put on stage garments and masks and talked nonsense and became fools. I was afterwards told that such and so numerous at the present day are the learned fools who are in natural light as compared with the learned wise who are in spiritual light; and that those have spiritual light who love to understand whether that which another says is true; while those have natural light who merely love to confirm what has been said by another.

This page is part of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg

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