Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Emanuel Swedenborg, born Emanujel Swedberg

Swedish Scientist, Theologian, Philosopher and Christian Mystic

"In the spiritual world no one is permitted to think and will in one way and speak and act in another."

"He who is in evil, is also in the punishment of evil."

"Love in its essence is spiritual fire."

"The divine essence itself is love and wisdom."

"To will and not to do when there is opportunity, is in reality not to will; and to love what is good and not to do it, when it is possible, is in reality not to love it."

"The life of any one can by no means be changed after death; an evil life can in no wise be converted into a good life, or an infernal into an angelic life; because every spirit, from head to foot, is of the character of love, and, therefore, of his life; and to convert this life into its opposite would be to destroy the spirit utterly."

"The end is the source of everything that exists in the cause and the end of everything that exists in the effect... end, cause and effect, exist in the greatest and least things... To think from ends is the method of wisdom, from causes that of intelligence, and from effects that of knowledge. From this it may be seen that all perfection increases in and according to the ascent to higher degrees."

"We are not speaking of the perfection of life, forces, and forms as increasing or decreasing according to the degrees of extension or continuity, because these degrees are generally known; but as ascending or descending according to the degrees of ascent, or discrete (discontinuous) degrees, can be but little known from things visible in the natural world."

"Conscience is God’s presence in man."

"In the spiritual body moreover, man appears such as he is with respect to love and faith, for everyone in the spiritual world is the effigy of his own love, not only as to the face and the body, but also as to the speech and the actions. "

"That every man after the life in the world lives to eternity, is evident from this, that man is then spiritual, and no longer natural, and that the spiritual man, separated from the natural, remains such as he is to eternity, for man's state cannot be changed after death. "

"True charity is the desire to be useful to others with no thought of recompense."

"A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart. We know so many things, but we don't know ourselves! Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard as an ox's or bear's, cover the soul. Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there."

"A life of kindness is the primary meaning of divine worship."

"A man after death, is not a natural but a spiritual man; nevertheless he still appears in all respects like himself."

"A person who knows all that is good and all that is true — as much as can be known — but does not resist evils, knows nothing."

"All conjunction is effected by love, and love is not love without trust."

"All religion relates to life, and the life of religion is to do good."

"All in heaven take joy in sharing their delights and blessings with others."

"Angels from the Lord lead and protect us every moment and every moment of every moment."

"Angelic happiness is in service, from service, and according to service."

"And as the Divine that goes forth from the Lord is the good of love and the truth of faith, the angels are angels and are heaven in the measure in which they receive good and truth from the Lord."

"All union is effected by love, and love is not love without trust."

"Charity means love towards the neighbor and compassion, for anyone who loves his neighbor as himself also has as much compassion for him in his suffering as he does for himself in his own."

"Destruction was effected after visitation, for visitation always precedes."

"Even the smallest moment of our lives involves a series of consequences extending to eternity. Each moment is like a new beginning to those that follow, and so with each and every one of the moments of our lives."

"Every creature is a word of God."

"Every one may know that to will and not to do, when there is opportunity, is in reality not to will; and that to love what is good and not to do it, when it is possible, is in reality not to love it. Will, which stops short of action, and love, which does not do the good that is loved, is a mere thought separate from will and love, which vanishes and comes to nothing."

"First of all it must be known who the God of heaven is, since upon that all the other things depend."

"Angels from their wisdom go still further. They say that not only every thing good and true is from the Lord, but every thing of life as well."

"Charity alone, or love and compassion, is what joins the Lord and a person together."

"Angels never attack, as infernal spirits do. Angels only ward off and defend."

"Charity itself consists in acting justly and faithfully in whatever office, business and employment a person is engaged in."

"For in every particular of the Word there is an internal sense which treats of things spiritual and heavenly, not of things natural and worldly, such as are treated of in the sense of the letter."

"For the spiritual sense of the Word treats everywhere of the spiritual world, that is, of the state of the church in the heavens, as well as in the earth; hence the Word is spiritual and Divine."

"God expects but one thing of you, and that is that you should come out of yourself in so far as you are a created being and let God be God in you."

"God is at home; it is we who have gone for a walk."

"Goodness and love mould the form into their own image, and cause the joy and beauty of love to shine forth from every part of the face."

"He who would be serene and pure needs but one thing, detachment."

"I am well aware that many will say that no one can possibly speak with spirits and angels so long as he lives in the body; and many will say that it is all fancy, others that I relate such things in order to gain credence, and others will make other objections."

"If God gave the soul his whole creation she would not be filled thereby but only with himself."

"If you seek the kernel, then you must break the shell. And likewise, if you would know the reality of Nature, you must destroy the appearance, and the farther you go beyond the appearance, the nearer you will be to the essence."

"In heaven there are two distinct loves, love to the Lord and love towards the neighbor, in the inmost or third heaven love to the Lord, in the second or middle heaven love towards the neighbor."

"It is believed that angels were created at the beginning, and that heaven was formed of them; and that the Devil or Satan was an angel of light, who, becoming rebellions, was cast down with his crew, and that this was the origin of hell."

"It is no proof of a man's understanding to be able to confirm whatever he pleases; but to be able to discern that what is true is true, and that what is false is false, this is the mark and character of intelligence."

"Kindness is an inner desire that makes us want to do good things even if we do not get anything in return. It is the joy of our life to do them. When we do good things from this inner desire, there is kindness in everything we think, say, want and do."

"Love and thoughts are not in space and time."

"Love consists in desiring to give what is our own to another and feeling his delight as our own."

"Man is an organ of life, and God alone is life."

"Man is so created that as to his internal he cannot die; for he is capable of believing in God, and thus of being conjoined to God by faith and love, and to be conjoined to God is to live to eternity."