Spiritual Abuse

October 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

AC 8480. And men made a residue of it until the morning. That this
signifies the abuse of good Divine, in that they desired to acquire it
from themselves, is evident from the signification of “making a
residue of it until the morning,” as being to be solicitous about the
acquisition of good of themselves (of which above, n. 8478), and
consequently the abuse of good Divine. It is termed “abuse,” when
there arises what is alike in ultimates, but from a contrary origin.
Good arises from a contrary origin, when it does so from man, and
not from the Lord; for the Lord is good itself, consequently He is
the source of all good. The good which is from Him has in it what
is Divine; thus it is good from its inmost and first being; whereas
the good which is from man is not good, because from himself man
is nothing but evil; consequently the good which is from him is in
its first essence evil, although in the outward form it may appear
like good. The case herein is like that of flowers painted upon a
tablet, as compared with the flowers that grow in a garden. These
flowers are beautiful from their inmosts, for the more interiorly
they are opened, the more beautiful they are; whereas the flowers
painted on a tablet are beautiful only in the outward form, and as
to the inward one are nothing but mud and a mixture of earthy
particles lying in confusion, as the Lord also teaches when He says
of the lilies of the field that “Solomon in all his glory was not
arrayed like one of these” (Matt. 6:29).
[2] Such is the case with the good that is from man in
comparison with the good that is from the Lord. A man cannot
know that these goods are so different from each other, because he
judges from outward things; but the angels well perceive whence
comes the good with a man, and consequently what is the nature of
it. The angels who are with a man are in good from the Lord, and
as it were dwell therein; but they cannot be in the good that is from
a man; they remove themselves from it as far as they can, because
inmostly it is evil. Good from the Lord has heaven in it, for this
good is the form of heaven in an image, and in its inmost it stores
up the Lord Himself, because in all the good that proceeds from
the Lord there is a semblance of Himself, and consequently a
semblance of heaven; whereas in the good that is from a man there
is a semblance of the man, and as from himself a man is nothing
but evil, there is a semblance of hell in it. So great is the difference
between good from the Lord, and good from man.
[3] Good from the Lord is with those who love the Lord above all
things and the neighbor as themselves; but good from man is with
those who love themselves above all things and despise the neighbor
in comparison with themselves. These are they who have care for
the morrow, because they trust in themselves; but the former are
they who have no care for the morrow, because they trust in the
Lord (see above, n. 8478). They who trust in the Lord continually
receive good from Him; for whatsoever happens to them, whether
it appears to be prosperous or not prosperous, is still good, because
it conduces as a means to their eternal happiness. But they who
trust in themselves are continually drawing evil upon themselves;
for whatever happens to them, even if it appears to be prosperous
and happy, is nevertheless evil, and consequently conduces as a
means to their eternal unhappiness. These are the things which are
signified by the command that they should make no residue of the
manna till the morning, and that what was left bred worms and
stank.

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