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Appendix I. The Various Usages of The Term "Soul" in The Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg

In the De Infinito and the Psychologica, the "soul" is described as the immortal organization of the first and second finites of the Principia system. This entity, constructed of the finest things of nature, would thus correspond to what the Theological Writings call the "limbus" or "medium" (TCR 103, Wis. viii.4). In the Economy of the Animal Kingdom, this same entity, produced from the first aura of nature, is called a "spirituous fluid." This is often called the "soul" of the body, although it belongs to dead nature and cannot be said to live, feel, or perceive (2 Econ. 245, Fib. 254). The Soul itself is however distinguished from this fluid as the spirit which determines it from within (2 Econ. 271). In the work on The Fibre, the Soul is further distinguished from the spirituous fluid and said to be simple and spiritual, without parts, extension, figure, or motion (Fib. 289, 290, Action xxvii). In the Rational Psychology and the Animal Kingdom the Soul is distinguished from the purest animal essence and is called an immaterial essence, purely spiritual in form and substance, and devoid of extension or parts, yet having something analogous to both. The Soul, thus defined, is shown to mean the entire after death spirit, whether good or evil (R. Psych. 498, 501, 504, 486, 473 476). In the Worship and Love of God and later in the Word Explained (Adversaria), the Soul is distinguished from the Mens and the Animus, and called a supra celestial faculty, purely spiritual in essence (WE 643, 649, 919, 1147 f). The term "souls" is used to distinguish human spirits from "minds which rule human minds mediately," i.e., from spiritual forces in the abstract, which do not possess any "quasi-corporeal texture'' (or 'limbus') such as men have after death. (WE 1148 3. Compare Swedenborg's allegorization of the myth concerning angels created in the beginning, in WLG).

In the Theological Writings we note the following usages of the term "soul" and "souls"

  1. The entire spirit of man which survives after death (CL 315: l0 f).
  2. A novitiate spirit. Especially are those in the "lower earth" called souls, as distinguished from angels or devils (SD 2547).
  3. The organic spirit or the interior man which lives after death, as distinguished from the Divine influx into it, which is then called "the internal man" (AC 1594: 5).
  4. The first receptacle of life from the Lord : the inmost which lacks a name (SD 4627: 3) and is above even angelic consciousness. This is called the Soul and is called a "higher spiritual substance" while the Mind is called a "lower spiritual substance" (ISB 8, HH 39, L 25).
  5. Any degree of the human organic when regarded in respect to a lower degree into which it operates (SD 2756). Thus, relative to the solid body tissues, the blood is called "the corporeal soul" (AC l00le).

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