Chapter XIX. Growth During Infancy.IN this diagram B is the spiritual mind in three degrees answering to the angelic heavens the highest or celestial degree of which is a; C is the natural mind in three degrees answering to the world of spirits, the lowest degree of which is b. For the designation of each degree in the spiritual and natural minds see Diagram XIII. D is the spiritual body consisting of the spiritual-sensual and spiritual-corporeal, E the limbus in three degrees the lowest of which is c, F the gross body as distinct from the limbus. The limbus and gross body together constitute the entire natural or material body.
This diagram illustrates the commencement of two orders of discretely progressive development one from above down in the spiritual mind the other from below up in the natural mind, and shows the origin and nature of the principles by which this development is effected during infancy. In the Writings the periods from birth to manhood are called infancy, childhood and youth, each covering some years. During manhood with him who becomes fully regenerate there are also three periods.
During the period from conception to adult life man is not actually regenerated but is prepared for regeneration to he accomplished in after years. The nature of this preparation is the principal subject of this and the next two diagrams.
Order requires that man be first imbued with celestial principles, afterward with spiritual. The celestial are love of the LORD, charity, innocence and peace; the spiritual, wisdom, intelligence, knowledge and scientifics, or what is the same, truths of every degree. This order however does not exclude another which obtains during reformation preparatory to regeneration, that of being led by truth to good or by the spiritual to the celestial.
Concerning the states and changes during minority, we read-
(1.) The celestials of love and charity and the essential innocence that is in them "are insinuated into man primarily in infancy till childhood, and this without cognitions, for they inflow from the LORD and affect before man knows what love is and what affection is, as appears from the state of infants and afterwards from the state of early childhood; these in man are remains and are stored up for use in after life". -AC 1450.
(2.) "Celestials are insinuated into man as well without cognitions as with them; celestials without cognitions from infancy to childhood, but celestials with cognitions from childhood to adult age." -AC 1451.
(3.) " It is one thing to he in celestials, and another to he in the cognitions of celestials- Infants and children are in celestials more than adults because in love toward their parents and in mutual love and also in innocence [within these loves]; but adults are in the cognitions of celestials more than infants and children, and very many are not even in the celestials of love."-AC 1453.
(4.) "From first infancy to early childhood man is introduced by the LORD into heaven and indeed among the celestial angels by whom he is kept in a state of innocence, in which state, as is known, infants are till early childhood. When childhood commences he by degrees puts off the state of innocence, but still he is kept in a state of charity by the affection of mutual charity toward his like, which state with many continues even to youth, he is then among spiritual angels. At this time, [youth after childhood and after passing from under spiritual angels], inasmuch as he begins to think from himself and act accordingly, he cannot be kept in charity as before, for he then calls forth hereditary evils by which he suffers himself to be led. When in this state, the goods of charity and innocence which he had received, according to the degrees in which he thinks evils and confirms them by acts, are exterminated; still they are not exterminated but withdrawn by the LORD toward the interiors and there stored up. But as he has not yet known truths, the goods of innocence and charity received in the two former states have not been qualified, for truth gives quality to good and good gives essence to truth, therefore he is from that age by instructions and especially by his own thoughts and confirmations imbued with truths. So far as he is now in the affection of good, so far truths are conjoined to good in him by the LORD and stored up for use."-AC 5342.
(5.) "From infancy to childhood and sometimes to early youth, man imbibes goods and truths by instructions from parents and masters, for he eagerly seizes them and believes in simplicity, innocence helps them forward and fits them in the memory but places them in the first threshold, for infantile and childish innocence is not the internal innocence which affects the rational but is external innocence affecting only the exterior natural. But when man advances in age and begins to think not as before from parents and masters, but from himself, he then again takes up and as it were ruminates upon what he had learned and believed, and either confirms them, or doubts about them, or denies them."-AC 5135.
(6.) "Man's rational is begotten by celestial Divine good as a father.... but not conceived by spiritual truth as a mother [but by the affection of knowledges in the natural. (See AC 1895.)]
... Man is not born into any knowledge nor into any rational, but only into the faculty of receiving them. [He learns in an external way and as he learns he becomes rational.] There continually inflows something from the interior [into the natural], which receives the things that enter and are insinuated [or imbibed] [from without] and arranges them. That which inflows and receives and arranges is celestial Divine good from the LORD. Hence [the things which enter from without have "their life and their order."-AC 2557. (To see why "not spiritual truth," but an "affection of knowing, in the natural, is the mother in this case, consult the whole number; and also Nos. 1895, 1902, and 1910.)
(7.) "As soon as man is born he is introduced [by the LORD] into a state of innocence that it may be a plane of the remaining states, and the inmost in them;..... next he is introduced into a state of the affection of celestial good, that is of love toward his parents, which at this time, is instead of love to the LORD;.... afterwards he is introduced into a state of the affection of spiritual good, or of mutual love, that is, of charity toward his like; as he advances further in age, he is introduced into a state of the affection of truth."- AC 3183. At length other states follow till the last which is that of true wisdom signified by old men. In this state is the innocence of infancy ; and thus the first state and the last are united.
(8.) "Goods of three kinds are signified by remains, viz.: goods of infancy, goods of ignorance, and goods of intelligence. [Infancy, is from nativity to the age of instruction and knowledge; ignorance, when he begins to be instructed and to know; and intelligence when he reflects from himself on good and truth.]
(10.) "The external man cannot be brought to correspondence and concordance with the internal except by knowledges. The external man is corporeal and sensual, nor does it receive anything celestial and spiritual unless cognitions be implanted therein as in soil, in which cognitions celestials may have their recipient vessels."-AC 1461
(11.) States of innocence, charity and mercy which man receives from the LORD in infancy and childhood, and the knowledges and truths of faith, are what are called remains and are preserved with man when man (in adult age) is about to be regenerated "these states are the beginnings of regeneration and man is led into them, for the LORD operates by them. "-AC 1050. (See AC 10110.)
The development and preparation of the spiritual mind B progresses through its three discrete degrees successively from above down; the preparation and development of the natural mind C progresses through its three discrete degrees from below up. This diagram illustrates the accomplishment of the first step in these two directions. These processes meet midway between the natural and the spiritual mind at adult age. This diagram represents man at the close of infancy and at the beginning of childhood. Infancy and childhood, though distinct, measurably coexist-infancy subsiding and childhood commencing.
Comparing this with Diagram XVIII ("Man at Birth") we see a remarkable growth and change mostly in a b c and F, the other parts having attained a moderate advancement.
From this and the next two diagrams we see that the growth of the spiritual mind is from above down and of the natural from below up.
While the LORD by inscrutable influences directly from Himself and mediately through the highest angels deposits the initials of love and thence of wisdom in the plane a, He at the same time acts upon the ultimates through the intermediate degrees and also immediately, imbuing them with what is celestial in its external form. Hence arise external growth as well as external loves, innocence and peace with the infant and at the same time internal development and a storing of love, innocence and peace corresponding to them; but the internal are imperceptible.
While (a b D c F) are rapidly growing and their appropriate principles are being deposited, the other faculties also slightly increase. During the reign of innocence in the external of the infant, "the interiors are forming for use." (AC 10225.) Through the innocence in the infant in its perceptible and conscious operation is merely external (as is also the love to parents and others in which love that innocence inheres) yet it flows in "through the interiors," into the externals, where it produces the palpable and other effects mentioned in the Writings. (HH 277.) This innocence thus flowing in with the Divine life in it must cause some growth and deposit of its initial forms as remains in those internals which correspond to the externals now developing and receiving remains. This agrees with the law that the LORD works from Himself in first principles and by Himself in last principles to order and arrange intermediates, which law involves that He works at the same time by principles just below the first and just above the last. (DP 124, 125, 220.) So He comes down the steps through the spiritual mind at the same time that He goes up the steps of the natural mind, while preparing man for regeneration. The natural must be developed in its three degrees and stored before the first step in adult regeneration can be taken. This development must be from without in, first the sensual in infancy, second the scientific in childhood, and third the natural rational in youth or adolescence. These steps cannot be taken without corresponding ones in the spiritual mind. Regeneration requires the action of the spiritual mind to excite the reaction of the natural mind, but the spiritual cannot act without suitable development and supply of spiritual and celestial goods and truths from which to act and with which to flow into the natural mind.
The lowest degree of the natural mind b which is developed and imbued with celestial influences during the state of infancy, is the corporeal and sensual. Corporeal sensations and sensual affections and ideas are being formed and treasured as remains and as a base for future states to be developed and for processes to be effected by the higher faculties operating in the lower.
That these externals are formed, enlivened and gifted from appropriate and corresponding internals, is clear from Arcana Coelestia,-
We read, "The internal by degrees elevates the natural to itself" (AC 6239.) The work here diagramed is in part the work of the internal preparing the external for regeneration. Such preparation must of course be by degrees successively. Hence the limbus must be developed and prepared by degrees. The trinality of the limbus thus comports with the trinality of all else in man and with the trinality of everything in the universe.
That truth from the LORD flows immediately into the external man C D E F, as well as mediately through the higher degrees to develop and store the external appears from Arcana Coelestia-
The growth of each degree involves its formation and storage with two Divine principles- the Divine celestial which is love and all its attributes, and the Divine spiritual which is wisdom and all its attributes. The recipient of the celestial is the will, and that of the spiritual the understanding. The will and the understanding are in each of the three degrees of the natural mind and in each of the spiritual mind. Hence celestials which are of the will do not flow into the highest degree of the spiritual mind a without celestial spirituals which are of the understanding, for these must be with the celestials. And as both celestials and celestial spirituals flow into and develop the degree a during this period, so they both flow thence through the intermediates into the ultimates and develop them, namely, the sensual degree of the natural mind, b, the spiritual body D, the lowest degree of the limbus, c, and the body F; thus affecting even the body with love and wisdom from the highest degree of the spiritual mind.
The two important truths, first that the external mind is developed and stored in part by influx from the internal mind, and second that while the external is consciously growing and being stored the internal is being unconsciously developed and filled, are involved in the following teaching, -
This formation and storage during infancy, childhood and youth as well as the operations of Providence therein are imperceptible, as set forth in the following -
As regeneration and the preparation for it proceed by three great distinct degrees and as each degree of the spiritual mind and each of the natural is composed of less and yet lesser degrees, so each step is a progressive work. (Diagrams XIV and XVII.)
The work accomplished in infancy may be summarized under two heads, (1.) Organic growth, and (2.) Storing of the several degrees.
(2.) Storing the developed degree of the spiritual mind with the initial forms of celestial love and wisdom in which dwell innocence and peace, and gifting the lowest parts of the natural with the celestial ultimates of those higher faculties.
During this period and largely through childhood and youth hereditary evil is held quiescent. Potent among the forces effecting this are the states of celestial innocence and peace.