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WORDS TO LIVE BY

 

We are held responsible for the products of our thoughts. The following symbolic illustration of the importance of thought is taken from Swedenborg’s Heaven and Hell.

 Some think that their thoughts and affections do not actually extend themselves around them, but that they are within them, because they see the things, which they think inwardly in themselves, and not as distant. But they are much mistaken; for as the sight of the eye has extension to remote objects, and is affected according to the order of the things which it sees in that extension, so likewise the interior sight, which is that of the understanding, has extension into the spiritual world, although man is not sensible of it, . . . There was a certain spirit who likewise imagined that he thought from himself, thus without any extension out of himself, or any consequent communication with societies existing without himself. To convince him of his error, all communication with the neighboring societies was taken away, in consequence of which he was not only deprived of thought, but fell down as if dead, - yet he threw his arms about like a new-born infant.

 After a while the communication was restored, and according to the degree in which it was restored, he returned into the state of his own thought. Other spirits, who witnessed this, thereupon confessed that all thought and affection flows in according to communication, and – since all thought – therefore also the all of life; since all of man’s life consists in this, that he can think and be affected, or, what is the same, can understand and will.

Emanuel Swedenborg 1688-1772

 

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