Purpose of Proverbs Translation

The writings of Swedenborg can be pithy and difficult to read in our age. They were originally written in Latin. What I have done here is reflect on sentences and attempt to boil their meaning down into easily understandable "proverbs".

Friday, February 4, 2011

7 Citations from Divine Providence book by Emanuel Swedenborg simplified into proverbs

What is inside resists compulsion from the outside so definitely that it turns the other way.  D.P. 136

Our inner nature wants to be in freedom and loves its freedom.  D.P. 136

When something free feels that it is being controlled, it withdraws into itself, so to speak, and turns in the opposite direction.  D.P. 136

If we think that we are not in control of ourselves, we think therefore we are not living our own life.  D.P. 136

We should act in freedom in accordance with reason.  D.P. 136

It is harmful to compel people to worship God by threats and punishments.  D.P. 136

The ones whose worship has no inner substance is all on the surface.  D.P. 136

Compulsory worship pens in our evils, so that they lie hidden like fire in bits of wood buried in ashes that keep smoldering and spreading until they break out in flame.  D.P. 136

Worship that is not compulsory but completely voluntary does not pen in our evils.  D.P. 136

What is inside is like a master and what is outside is like a servant.  D.P. 136

Everything that makes up our discernment and volition is first given form by things that come in through our physical senses, especially sight and hearing.  D.P. 136

Self-compulsion is not contrary to our freedom and rationality.  D.P. 136

Compulsory worship is physical, lifeless, dark, and depressing.  D.P. 137

Compulsory worship is physical because it engages the body but not the mind.  D.P. 137

Compulsory worship is lifeless because our life is not in it.  D.P. 137

Compulsory worship is dark because our discernment is not in it.  D.P. 137

Compulsory worship is depressing because the joy of heaven is not in it.  D.P. 137

When voluntary worship is sincere it is spiritual, living, bright, and joyful.  D.P. 137

Voluntary worship is spiritual because there is a spirit from the Lord in it.  D.P. 137

Voluntary worship is living because there is life from the Lord in it.  D.P. 137

Voluntary worship is bright because there is wisdom from the Lord in it.  D.P. 137

Voluntary worship is joyful because theree is heaven from the Lord in it.  D.P. 137

Nothing becomes part of us except what we do in freedom and in accord with reason.  D.P. 138

Whatever is done by our own volition by means of our own discernment becomes part of us.  D.P. 138

No one is reformed in states that lack freedom and rationality.  D.P. 138

The states that lack freedom and rationality include:  states of fear, emergency, mental illness, serious physical illness, ignorance, and intellectual blindness.  D.P. 138

Fear takes away our freedom and rationality, or our “freeness” and our “reasonableness.”  D.P. 139

Fear closes the inner reaches of the mind; but love opens it.  D.P. 139

When our inner mind is closed we do very little actual thinking.  D.P. 139 

Being fearful we only are conscious of what is impinging on our feelings or our senses.  D.P. 139

Fear can never occupy our inner thought processes.  D.P. 139

Often the fear that occupies our outer thought processes is primarily a fear of losing rank and losing wealth.  D.P. 139

Outward civil and ecclesiastical penalties regard the laws that prescribe penalties only for people who speak and act contrary to the civil principles of the state and the spiritual principles of the church.  D.P. 139

These penalties do not refer to thinking contrary to those principles.  D.P. 139

Inner thinking is closed when it is wholly identified with the outer thinking.  Then it is not functioning on its own, but is governed by the outer.  D.P. 139

People can be on fire for the salvation of souls even though the fire is a hellish one.  D.P. 139

People can create their own religion which confers their own sense of eminence and splendor, and being revered as demigods and as rulers.  D.P. 139

No one is reformed by thinking of God and pleading for help in a state of emergency.  D.P. 140 

“Fearing God” means fearing to offend him, and sinning is offending.  D.P. 140

Without fearing God our love is insipid, only skin deep.  It occupies our thoughts only, and not our intentions.  D.P. 140

“States of emergency” means states when hope is threatened by danger, as happens in battles, duels, shipwrecks, falls, and fires; the sudden, threatened loss of wealth or of employment and its prestige.  D.P. 140

The reason no one is reformed in a state of mental illness is that mental illness deprives us of rationality.  D.P. 141

A healthy mind is rational, a sick one is not.  D.P. 141

“Mental illness” refers to things like depression, imagined or illusory guilt, hallucinations, mental anguish, mental anxiety and pay brought on by physical disorders.  D.P. 141

When the mind focuses on these earthly issues, it goes mad.  D.P. 141

When we are seriously ill and thinking about death and the state of our souls after death, if we had been reformed before we fell sick it can strengthen us.  D.P. 142

When we are completely withdrawn from the world, we cannot be reformed.  This holds true for people who renounce the world and all its dealings and devaote themselves totally to thoughts of God and heaven and salvation.  D.P. 142

It is pointless to think that we can repent or accept any faith while we are seriously ill.  Our repentance then and our faith are all talk and no heart.  D.P. 142

The reason no one is reformed in a state of ignorance is that our reformation takes place by means of truths and by means of our living by them.  D.P. 143

If people do not know what is true, they cannot be reformed.  However, if they long for truths because they are drawn to them, then they are reformed in the spiritual world after death.  D.P. 143

When our discernment is blind, our volition is blocked.  D.P. 144

If religion teaches a blind faith, it blinds our discernment just the way ignorance does.  D.P. 144

When our discernment is blinded by compulsions to evil it justifies the evils.  D.P. 144

Don’t let your discernment become stupid because of its debauchery.  D.P. 144

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