CONJUGIAL LOVE >> Marriage of Good and Truth >> Loins >> Celestial Heaven
Few know from what origin comes forth conjugial love. They who think from the world believe that it comes forth from nature; but they who think from heaven believe that it comes forth from the Divine in heaven. [AC 10167]
Love truly conjugial is the union of two minds, which is a spiritual union; and all spiritual union descends from heaven. From this it is that love truly conjugial is from heaven, and that its first being is from the marriage of good and truth there. The marriage of good and truth in heaven is from the Lord; wherefore in the Word the Lord is called the "Bridegroom" and "Husband," while heaven and the church are called the "bride" and "wife;" and therefore heaven is compared to a marriage. [AC 10168]
From all this it is evident that love truly conjugial is the union of two persons in respect to their interiors which belong to the thought and the will, thus to truth and good; for truth belongs to the thought, and good to the will. For one who is in love truly conjugial loves what the other thinks and what the other wills; thus he also loves to think as the other does, and he loves to will as the other does; consequently to be united to the other, and to become as one man. This is what is meant by the Lord's words in Matthew:--
"And they twain shall be one flesh, therefore they are no more twain, but one flesh" (Matt 19:4-6; Gen. 2:24). [AC 10169]
The delight of love truly conjugial is an internal delight, because it belongs to the minds, and is also an external delight from this, which belongs to the bodies. But the delight of love not truly conjugial is only an external delight without an internal one, and such a delight belongs to the bodies and not to the minds. But this delight is earthly, being almost like that of animals, and therefore in time perishes; whereas the first-mentioned delight is heavenly, as that of men should be, and therefore is permanent. [AC 10170]
No one can know what love truly conjugial is, and what is the nature of its delight, except one who is in the good of love and in the truths of faith from the Lord; because, as has been said, love truly conjugial is from heaven, and is from the marriage of good and truth there. [AC 10171]
From the marriage of good and truth in heaven and in the church we can learn what must be the nature of marriages on earth, namely, that they must be between two, one husband and one wife, and that love truly conjugial is never possible if there are a number of wives to one husband. [AC 10172]
That which is done from love truly conjugial is done from freedom on both sides, because all freedom is from love, and both have freedom when one loves that which the other thinks and that which the other wills. From this it is that the wish to command in marriages destroys genuine love, for it takes away its freedom, thus also its delight. The delight of commanding, which follows in its place, brings forth disagreements, and sets the minds at enmity, and causes evils to take root according to the nature of the domination on the one side, and the nature of the servitude on the other. [AC 10173]
From all this it can be seen that marriages are holy, and that to injure them is to injure that which is holy; consequently that adulteries are profane; for as the delight of conjugial love descends from heaven, so the delight of adultery ascends from hell. [AC 10174]
Therefore those who take delight in adulteries can no longer receive any good and truth from heaven. From this it is that those who have taken delight in adulteries, afterward make light of and also at heart deny the things of the church and of heaven. The reason of this is that the love of adultery is from the marriage of evil and falsity, which is the infernal marriage. [AC 10175]
The second Memorable Relation:
While I was meditating on conjugial love, lo, afar off were seen two naked infants with baskets in their hands and turtle-doves flying around them. When they were nearer, they seemed like naked infants becomingly adorned with garlands of flowers, their heads adorned with chaplets of flowers, and their breasts with garlands of lilies and of roses of a hyacinthine color hanging obliquely from their shoulders to their loins. Around the two and uniting them, as it were, was a common bond, woven of little leaves with olives interspersed. When they came yet nearer, however, they appeared, not as infants, nor naked, but as two persons in the first flower of their age, clad in robes and tunics of shining silk on which were woven flowers of a most beautiful appearance; and when they were beside me, there breathed through them out of heaven a vernal warmth, with a sweet-smelling odor as of the earliest blossomings in gardens and fields. They were two married partners from heaven.
They then spoke to me, and because what I had just seen was in my thought, they asked me, "What have you seen?"
 When I told them that they had first appeared to me as naked infants, then as infants adorned with garlands, and at last as adults clothed in garments embroidered with flowers, and that then forthwith an odor of spring breathed upon me with all its delights, they smiled pleasantly and said, that on their way, they had not seemed to themselves as infants, nor naked, nor with garlands, but continually the same in appearance as now. What at a distance had been thus represented was their conjugial love--its state of innocence by their appearing as naked infants, its delights by garlands of flowers, and the same now by the flowers woven in their robes and tunics. "And because you said that as we approached, a vernal warmth breathed upon you with its pleasant odors as though from a garden, we will tell you the cause of this."
 They then said: "We have been partners now for ages, and continually in the flower of age in which you now see us. Our first state was like the state of a virgin and a young man when they first consociate in marriage; and we then believed that that state was the very blessedness of our life. But we heard from others in our heaven, and afterwards we ourselves perceived, that that state was a state of heat not tempered with light, and that it is tempered according as the husband is perfected in wisdom and the wife loves that wisdom in her husband; also that this is effected by and according to the uses which each of them with mutual aid performs in society; and that delights follow in accordance with the tempering of heat and light, that is, of wisdom and its love.
 A warmth as of spring breathed upon you as we approached because in our heaven conjugial love and vernal heat act as one; for with us, heat is love and the light with which heat is united is wisdom; and use is as the atmosphere which contains both of them in its bosom. What are heat and light without their containant? and so, what are love and wisdom without their use? There is no conjugial in them, for there is no subject wherein to contain them. In heaven, wherever the heat is vernal, there is love truly conjugial; and it is there because nothing vernal is possible save where heat is united with light in equal measure, that is, where there is as much of heat as of light, and the reverse. Moreover, we affirm that, as heat delights itself with light and light in turn with heat, so love delights itself with wisdom and wisdom in turn with love."
 He said further: "With us in heaven there is perpetual light and never any shade of evening, still less darkness; for our sun does not set and rise as does yours, but remains continually midway between the upper pole of the sky and the horizon, which, according to your manner of speech, is in the sky at an angle of forty-five degrees. Therefore, the heat and light proceeding from our sun make perpetual spring and cause something perpetually vernal to breathe upon those with whom love is united with wisdom in equal measure. By the eternal union of heat and light, our Lord breathes forth nothing but uses. From this, moreover, come the germinations on your earth in the spring-time, and the matings of your birds and animals; for the vernal heat opens their interiors even to the inmost things thereof which are called their souls. These it affects; and it imparts to them its own conjugial, causing what is prolific in them to come into its delights, and this from a continual striving to produce the fruits of use, the use being the propagation of their kind.
 But with men, the influx of vernal heat from the Lord is perpetual, and therefore they can enjoy delights in marriage at any time, even in midwinter; for men were created to receive from the Lord light, that is, wisdom, and women were created to receive from the Lord heat, that is, the love of the wisdom of the man. This then is the reason why, as we approached, a vernal warmth breathed on you, with a sweet-smelling odor as of the early blossomings in gardens and fields."
 Having thus spoken, the man gave me his right hand and led me to homes where were partners in the same flower of age as themselves. He then said: "In the world, these wives whom you now see as maidens were old women; and their husbands, now seen as young men, were infirm and old. They have all been restored by the Lord to this flower of age because they mutually loved each other and from religion shunned adulteries as enormous sins." He said further: "No one knows the blessed delights of conjugial love save he who rejects the horrid delights of adultery; and no one can reject these save he who is wise from the Lord; and no one is wise from the Lord unless he performs uses from the love of uses." Moreover, I then saw their household utensils. They were all in heavenly forms; and from the gold, they were glittering as though in flames from the rubies with which they were studded. [AC 137]
THAT WITH PARENTS, CONJUGIAL LOVE IS CONJOINED WITH THE LOVE OF INFANTS BY SPIRITUAL CAUSES,
AND BY NATURAL CAUSES THEREFROM.
The spiritual causes are: That the human race may be multiplied and the angelic heaven therefrom enlarged; thus, that those may be born who will become angels, serving the Lord in the performance of uses in heaven and, by consociation with men, also on earth; for angels are associated by the Lord with every man, and such is the conjunction with them that were they taken away the man would die in a moment. The natural causes of the conjunction of these two loves are: That those may be born who will perform uses in human societies, and will be incorporated therein as members. That the latter are the natural and the former the spiritual causes of the love of infants and of conjugial love, is also the thought of married partners themselves. Moreover, they sometimes declare it, saying that they have enriched heaven with as many angels as they have descendants, and have put their mark upon society with as many servants as they have children. [CL 404]
THAT THE LOVE OF INFANTS [AND CHILDREN] IS OF ONE KIND WITH SPIRITUAL MARRIED PARTNERS
AND OF ANOTHER WITH NATURAL.
With spiritual partners the love of infants is the same in appearance as the love of infants with natural partners; but it is more internal and hence more tender, inasmuch as it exists from the innocence with themselves, and from a closer reception and a more present perception thereof; for the spiritual are spiritual in the degree that they partake of innocence. But after they have tasted the sweetness of the innocence present with their infants, [spiritual] fathers and mothers love their children in a far different way than do natural fathers and mothers. The spiritual love their children for the spiritual intelligence and moral life of those children, thus for their fear of God and their actual piety or piety of life, and at the same time for their devotion and application to uses serviceable to society, thus for their virtues and their upright conduct. It is mainly from their love of these that they provide for their needs and supply them; and therefore, if they do not see such virtues in them, they alienate their mind from them, and what they do for them is done solely from duty.
 With natural fathers and mothers, the love of infants is indeed also from innocence, but, as received by them, this innocence is wrapped around their own love. Hence it is from the latter and at the same time from innocence that they love their infants, kissing and hugging them, carrying them about, pressing them to their bosoms, fondling them beyond measure, and regarding them as being one heart and soul with themselves. Then, after their state of infancy and up to adolescence and beyond, when innocence is no longer operative, they continue to love them, but not from the presence with them of any fear of God and actual piety or piety of life, or of any rational and moral intelligence. They pay little and indeed scarcely any attention to their internal affections and hence to their virtues and good conduct, seeing only the external things which they themselves favor. To these they adjoin, attach, and cement their affections; thus shutting their eyes to the faults of their children, excusing and favoring them. The reason is because with them, the love of their progeny is also the love of themselves, and this love clings to its object outwardly, but does not enter into that object, just as the object does not enter into it. [CL 405]
The nature of the love of infants and children with the spiritual, and its nature with the natural, is manifestly perceived from parents [in the spiritual world] after death. When they come there, most fathers call to mind their children who have passed away before them, and the children are presented to them and there is mutual recognition. Spiritual fathers merely look at them and ask as to their state, rejoicing if it is well with them and grieving if it is ill; and, after some conversation, instruction, and admonition respecting heavenly moral life, they separate from them. But before separation, they teach them that they are no longer to be remembered as fathers because the Lord is the one only Father to all in heaven, according to His words (Matt. 23:9); and that they themselves never remember them as their children. But natural fathers, as soon as they realize that they are living after death and recall to their memory the children who had passed away before them and who also are presented to them according to their desire, are at once conjoined with them, and they cling together like a bundle of sticks. The father is then in continual delight at the sight of them and from conversation with them. If it is told him that some of these children of his are satans and have brought injury upon the good, he nevertheless keeps them in a circle around him, or in a group in front of him. If he himself sees that they inflict injury and do evil deeds, he still pays no heed and does not dissociate any of them from himself. Therefore, lest so harmful a company continue, they are of necessity sent together into hell. There, in the presence of his children, the father is put under guard and his children are separated, each being sent away to the place proper to his life. [CL 406]
Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)