Innocence and the willingness to follow the Lord
February 25, 2013 § Leave a comment
I heard a long time ago that innocence was the willingness to follow the Lord. This is no doubt true, but it does not appear to be actually said in the Writings.
Here is a definition of innocence:
“A proprium of innocence consists in knowing, acknowledging, and believing, not with the lips but with the heart, that nothing but evil originates in oneself, and everything good in the Lord, and therefore that such a proprium is altogether black, that is to say, both the will side of the proprium, which is evil, and the understanding side, which is falsity. When a person confesses and believes that in his heart, the Lord flows in with good and truth and instills a heavenly proprium into him which is bright and shining. Nobody can possibly be truly humble unless that acknowledgement and belief are present in his heart; and when they are present he is self-effacing, indeed self-loathing, and so is not preoccupied with himself, in which case he is in a fit state to receive the Lord’s Divine. These are the circumstances in which the Lord flows in with good into a humble and contrite heart.” (AC 3994)
Obviously, the more we acknowledge that we are evil, the more we will be willing to follow the Lord. And the less we acknowledge our evilness, the more willing we are to lead ourselves.
My guess is that someone wanted to define innocence in a more positive manner, and so came up with innocence is the willingness to follow the Lord. But the deeper, more fundamental definition of innocence has to be the acknowledgment that we are nothing but evil, for without this, we will not being willing to follow the Lord.
Good and truth, will and understanding, must cooperate
February 24, 2013 § Leave a comment
Unless doing good is conjoined with willing good, and teaching good with thinking good, there is no good in the man; for the evil can will evil and do good, and also think evil and teach good, as everybody can know. Hypocrites and profane persons are in this study and art more than others, so much so indeed that they can palm themselves off as angels of light, when yet they are devils within; from all which it is evident that good can be made fruitful with no one, unless doing good is conjoined with willing good, and teaching good with thinking good; that is, unless the external man is conjoined with the internal. (AC 3987)