Swedenborg: Appearance and Reality


Appearance and Reality

Everything at all visible in the universe is representative of the Lord’s kingdom, so much so that nothing exists in the starry sky above, or on this planet, which is not in its own way representative. For every single thing within the natural order is an outermost image, in that the Divine issues forth into celestial things, which are expression of good; celestial things issue forth into spiritual things, which are expressions of truth; and celestial and spiritual things issue forth into natural things. This shows how stupid, indeed, how topsy-turvy, human intelligence is which separates or isolates natural forces from that which is prior to them and flows into them—that’s is, from their efficient cause—and then attributes everything to natural forces. And people who think and talk in this fashion seem to themselves to be wiser than anybody else, that is to say, by their attribution of everything to natural forces. Angelic intelligence however is quite the reverse—it attributes nothing to natural forces but every single thing to the Lord’s Divine, and so to life, not to anything devoid of life.

Emanuel Swedenborg
Arcana Caelestia (1749-1756)