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< Chapter XXVII. The Degrees of the Human, and whence taken. ^ Discrete Degrees ^ Chapter XXIX. The Glorification; Its First Stage-Infancy. >

Chapter XXVIII. State of the Human at Birth.


THIS diagram represents:

  • The Essential Divine or Father (A);
  • The internal or spiritual mind B answering to the three heavens;
  • The external or natural mind C including the spiritual body, answering to the world of spirits; and
  • The natural body D consisting of the limbus and the gross body, and answering to the natural world.
The spiritual mind of the LORD at birth was assumed from the whole angelic heavens and was equivalent to the aggregate of the virtues and powers of those heavens which were composed of finite but genuine good and truth. During His life in the world He made this spiritual mind absolutely Divine from the Essential Divine (the Father) which was His Inmost.

That His spiritual mind at first was not absolutely Divine but from the Divine appears from many passages especially Arcana Coelestia 1700 to 1713 where this mind is called the interior, the middle, the rational.

Still in the very act of assumption the interiors of this highest degree of His Human were necessarily somewhat purified and strengthened and so rendered capable of more intimate and fuller reception of the Divine from within than the interiors of the angels. The Human by assumption was brought into closest proximity with the Essential Divine. Thus the first preparatory step for was taken by the Assumption itself, and from the radiance of this purified and invigorated degree good results were instantly felt in the heavens and through the heavens in the world of spirits. The angels were happier even now as the first ray of deliverance was already gleaming with blissful promise for the immediate future.

Inasmuch as His spiritual mind was at birth from the heavens, whatever of weakness inhered in it was of course from the created substances composing the organic forms of the heavens from which it was assumed and whatever of impurity adhered to it, was from the proprium of the angels.

His spiritual mind B was clothed with the natural C from the vast mass of spirits then in the world of spirits and not yet judged who were mainly evil and false within but apparently good and true without. Such was the state of His natural mind at assumption. But as with His spiritual mind so with His natural; it was measurably qualified in the act of assumption by influence from the Infinite and Eternal Divine or Father assuming it.

That His natural mind at birth was filled with evil and falsity clothed with apparent good and truth but which could be made genuine by the removal of the evil and falsity and filling them with influx from the spiritual mind, may be seen in Arcana Coelestia AC 1700 to 1713, especially in 1707 and 1711. In these numbers the natural mind is called the external or exterior man, and the spiritual mind is called the interior or middle man. Having assumed the spiritual mind from the heavens and a natural (including the spiritual body) from the world of spirits, He descended into the world of nature by clothing Himself with a material body from the virgin. This body in substance and quality was like hers except as qualified by His higher degrees (including the Essential Divine) during gestation. In this natural body (consisting with Him as with man of both limbus and gross body) inhered all the evil from the mother. (That the body assumed from the mother was qualified by His soul, may be seen from AC 6716, TCR 103.)

Inasmuch as the LORD was inmostly the Essential Divine or Father, He had in Himself at birth the whole Divine Human in potency, thus He had the first rudiments of all the degrees of the Divine Human. These rudiments were developed into fullness as the finite was put off from each degree to give place to the Infinite. These rudiments of the Divine or Paternal Human held in potency in the Essential Divine are here represented by the crimson points in the centre of each degree Had not these rudiments existed, the Divine Human could not have been developed from the Essential Divine or what is the same the Human assumed could not have been glorified


(I.) The LORD'S spiritual mind at birth was filled with all the finite but genuine good and truth constituent of the angelic heavens at that time and was to he glorified. (AC 4963.)
(II.) His natural or external mind was assumed from the world of spirits and was evil and false within but apparently good and true without.
(III.) His natural body consisting of the limbus and gross body was tainted with evil from the mother.
(IV.) All the degrees of the infirm human were qualified by the influence of the Essential Divine within in the very act of assumption, the higher degrees more the lower less.
(V.) The LORD had in Himself at birth the merest rudiments of all the degrees of the Divine Human.

The spiritual mind of the LORD at this time was composed of such superior spiritual substances as exist in heaven. Between A and B however there intervened a medium taken from the planes between the Essential Divine and the angelic heaven. (AC 7270.)

His natural mind C (including his spiritual body g) was composed of inferior spiritual substances taken from the world of spirits. His natural body D was formed of material substances from the virgin.

    These degrees were the Son of God by assumption, not by birth from the finite spiritual and natural mother; the substances from .her, by virtue of which He was at first her son, He put off during life in the world and assumed what was absolutely Divine from the Father within. Thus as to each and all the degrees of His Human He was reborn from the Father by the Divine Itself descending as to substance and form into them; then the whole Human made Divine was united to the Essential Divine within. "As the Father hath Life in Himself so hath He given to the Son to have Life in Himself" (John v, 26.) "All Thine are Mine, and all Mine are Thine." (John xvii, 10.) "I and the Father are one." (John x, 30.) Then He was as to His Human the Son of God by birth as well as conception (AC 2628, 2798, 3061), and was no longer the son of Mary; differing in this from all other men (T C. R. 827, 102, S.D. 5834). The maternal sonship was provisional, for the sake of rebirth from the Father and for the accomplishment of redemption. "That Holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." That which was born of Mary Was the Son of God as here said because it was begotten by God or the Father; but more deeply the Human, which considered abstractly was taken on from the virgin, was called the Son of God as to its future rebirth from the Divine. This begetting by the Father, carrying with it the whole Essential Divine as the Soul of the Son (TCR 110) involved the future re-birth from that Divine as is implied in Arcana Coelestia AC 1996, 1999, 3023, 6716, 2798
Concerning the natural mind C we add that although the evils of this degree were not inherited from the mother still as with man (see Chapters XV and XVIII) so with the LORD the natural mind during development after birth took on an external not from the body but by means of it, by means of the senses, states and memory filled with the knowledge and affection from the Word, which were characterized at their first reception by the maternal organism. This is the only reason why this external is called maternal as "maternal rational" and why the affection of that acquired external is called "maternal affection." (Read AC 1892 to 1965, concerning Ishmael. See also Chapter XVIII, p. 72.) Although we say the external of the higher faculties begotten by an influx from the Inmost A flowing through the spiritual mind B is born of knowledge collected in the limbus yet strictly it is born of the affection of knowledge, affection being the motherly principle without which knowledge could bring forth nothing. (AC 1895)



(1.) As with man so with the LORD there is a Supreme or Inmost degree above the highest plane of His Human, the Human with Him as with man commencing in the inmost of the celestial degree a. (A. C. 2106, 2194, where the "rational" is the spiritual mind.)

(2.) There were with the LORD all the degrees of the human that exist with man. (See Diagram XVII.)

(3.) The natural body of the LORD Was similar to that of other infants.

(4.) Every infant has merely the rudiments of its paternal human in the spiritual and natural minds B and C. (See Chapter XVIII.) So with the LORD. He had at birth, only the merest rudiments of the paternal or Divine Human.


(1.) IN the LORD the Supreme or inmost degree, the Soul, was LIFE ITSELF Infinite and Eternal, JEHOVAH GOD, THE INSCRUTABLE DIVINE ESSE, THE FATHER. In man the soul is a created form, thus not Life itself, only a recipient of life from the LORD; (AC 2004) The Essential Divine, being Life Itself, is always one and the same, permanent and indivisible. The human soul, being composed of created substances, is divisible and therefore man can propagate his kind by offshoots from his soul. (TCR 103, 110; AC 1999, 2194.)

This Supreme in the LORD consisting of the "Divine Itself, immediately encompassed by the highest order of Divine Truth" transcends finite comprehension. It is the Essential Divine immediately within its own Divine Human without which the Human, could not exist. The Human it should be noted consists of the spiritual mind (usually called the rational in the early volumes of the Arcana), the natural mind and the natural body. Above this Human in the LORD, all was JEHOVAH. (AC 2194.) Above the human in man, is the inmost or human internal. Although the Infinite Divine Esse is thus above the human still that Esse in the LORD is called His Internal Man because man in a primal sense, signifies that Esse from which man originates-that Esse from which what is human in man originates, especially that from which what is truly human in distinction from the bestial. (AC 1894.) Still this Esse above the human as here defined and thus above the highest heaven includes an existence of Divine Truth which is one with the Esse. (AC 8443.)

Thus in respect to the Inmost or Essential Divine A, the difference of the LORD from all others admits of no ratio between them. His Inmost being Life Itself, and theirs but a created form recipient of life from Him. This was the primal cause of all the other differences. (TCR 18 to 24, 81.)

(2.) In Chapter XVIII it was shown that infants at birth have merely the rudiments of the spiritual and the natural mind. These are from the Father. In this the LORD resembled other infants, having the merest paternal rudiments of these minds. Yet the rudiments themselves in Him were Divine but in them merely human and thus essentially different.

(3.) Inasmuch as the LORD took on the good and truth of the whole angelic heaven His spiritual mind B was at birth immensely developed and was thus entirely different from that of common infants. The amount and excellence of this good and truth though strictly finite and in relation to the Divine within, impure, still vastly transcend human conception. This was that "angelic human," the "human divine," the "former divine human," which the LORD had hitherto assumed when He flowed into and through the heavens and by which He had manifested Himself and operated upon men. This angelic human He actually took upon Himself at the Incarnation and clothed with a human like that of man in the world. When this vast complex, of angelic good and truth constituent of the heavens is called the former divine human and the divine human from eternity the term "divine" is used in a qualified sense and means the inflowing divine as appropriated by the angels. This, for distinction from the absolute Divine Human, such as the Human was when glorified is often called the human divine, and the truth therein is called "truth divine" to distinguish it from truth in the Divine Human, which latter truth conjoined with Divine Good in the Divine Human is called Divine Truth.  

    "Truth divine in the LORD's human divine, which underwent temptations, is not essential Divine Truth, for this is above all temptation; but it is truth rational such as the angels have, consisting in appearances of truth, and is what is called the Son of Man, but before glorification; whereas Divine Truth in the LORD's Divine Human glorified, is above appearances, nor can it in any wise come to any understanding, and still less to the apprehension of man, nor indeed of angels, thus not to anything of temptation; it appears in the heavens as the light which is from the LORD. Concerning this Divine Truth or the Son of Man glorified, it is thus written in John: 'JESUS said, now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in. Him; if God be glorified in Him, God shall also glorify Him in Himself, and shall straightway glorify Him.' (Ch. xii, 31 and 32.) That a distinct idea may be had of this most arcane matter, it is allowable to call truth with the LORD which could be tempted and undergo temptations truth divine in the human divine of the LORD, but [to call] Truth which could not be tempted or undergo temptation because glorified, Divine Truth in the Divine Human of the LORD. "-AC 2814.
This truth divine in the LORD's human divine in His spiritual mind, at birth, and afterward put on in His natural mind, as it progressed in preparation for glorification (to be illustrated in a future diagram), is called "Truth from the Divine" in the following, -  
    "The LORD first made Himself Truth from the Divine, afterward, Divine Truth, and at last Divine Good; these were the steps of His glorification [or of the glorification of His Human] described in the Word."-AC 7014.
In these passages only truth divine or what is the same truth from the Divine is mentioned as at first forming the human of the LORD, yet we have said that both good and truth formed that human; still the meaning is the same for when the Writings describe the heavens as formed of truth from the LORD they mean not truth alone but truth and good conjoined. (HH 13.) These two conjoined proceeding from the LORD, are related to good and truth united in the LORD, as truth to good; and good to truth in the LORD are to good and truth proceeding from Him as good to truth. (AC 1 705, 5331.)

(4.) In common infants the natural mind is in a merely rudimental state and tainted with hereditary evil from the father. But with the LORD there was no evil from the Father. (AC 4644.) Yet His natural mind C was tainted with evils derived from the great mass of spirits in the world of spirits at the time of His Incarnation. It was also stored with all the good and truth possessed by spirits there, which good and truth, from a taint of evil and falsity, were, in the main, not pure and genuine till cleansed and elevated.

(5.) While the lowest or ultimate natural of the LORD's human D directly from the mother was as from her like the body of another infant yet as to its Paternal bias and as to its state as affected by the contents of His spiritual and natural minds B and C it was quite different as appears from the laws of heredity and from the exceptional state of His spiritual and natural minds, having God for His Father.

THE LORD was born at Bethlehem. (Matt. ii and Luke ii.) This signifies that He was born a Spiritual Celestial Man. In Arcana Coelestia AC we read, -

    "All men whatsoever are born natural with the power to become celestial or spiritual, but the LORD alone was born spiritual celestial, and so was born in Bethlehem where is the boundary of the land of Benjamin, for by Bethlehem is signified the spiritual of the celestial, and by Benjamin is represented the spiritual of the celestial. The reason why He alone was born spiritual celestial was that the Divine was in Him."-AC 4592.

    "That Rachel brought forth Benjamin in Bethlehem, also that David was born in Bethlehem and was there anointed to be king, finally, that the LORD was born there, is an arcanum which has not heretofore been revealed, nor could be revealed to any one who did not know what was signified by Ephrata and by Bethlehem, and what was represented by Benjamin and also by David; especially who did not know what the spiritual of the celestial is, for this is signified by those places, and was represented by those persons. The reason why the LORD was born there, and not elsewhere, was, that He alone was born a spiritual celestial man, but all others natural [only] with the faculty or power that by regeneration from the LORD they can be made either celestial or spiritual. The reason why the LORD was born a spiritual celestial man was that He might make His Human Divine, and this according to order from the lowest degree to the highest, and might thereby arrange into order all things in the heavens and in the bells; for the spiritual celestial is intermediate between the natural or external man and the rational or internal (n. 4585 and 4592), thus below it is the natural or external, and above it is the rational or internal. He who cannot apprehend [cabere] these things cannot in any wise comprehend, by any revelation whatsoever, why the LORD was born in Bethlehem."- AC 4594.

The spiritual celestial in these passages is truth from good, for truth in general is spiritual, while good is celestial. But where in the series of degrees is located this truth from good or spiritual of the celestial represented by Benjamin, which was in the LORD at birth? In the external part of the spiritual mind. The internal of the spiritual mind coincides with the celestial kingdom, the external with the spiritual; and in each kingdom there is an internal and an external. In the internal of the spiritual kingdom are two principles, which in relation to each other are celestial and spiritual; the celestial is the good called charity to the neighbor, the spiritual is the truth from this good or faith from charity.

This celestial being of the spiritual kingdom is a spiritual celestial in distinction from the celestial of the celestial kingdom. This spiritual celestial or charity is Joseph, and the spiritual or faith of this celestial is Benjamin. The celestial represented by Joseph however is not the celestial or love to the LORD represented by Judah; that celestial is in the internal of the spiritual mind, that is, in the celestial kingdom. (Concerning the internal and external of the spiritual kingdom see Chapter X, p. 38.)

The LORD was also born a celestial man. (AC 1434 with 1460, 1461), which means that He possessed in His internal mind at birth the good and truth of the celestial kingdom of heaven.

Thus the LORD was horn an angelic celestial and spiritual man that He might by glorification become a Divine celestial and spiritual man.

Having in His spiritual mind at birth the celestial and spiritual kingdom as in heaven at the time, these were ready to commence at once their gradual descent into His natural mind C. (See the next diagram.)

THE third point of dissimilarity (p. 126) implies that some of the degrees of the LORD'S Human were as much developed at birth as are the same degrees in man at adult life, and that they were possessed of more and purer finite good and truth than ever appertained to a whole generation of the regenerate men of the Church even in its golden age, or indeed than appertained to all the angels of heaven at the time of Incarnation. This was because He took on the whole human of the heavens and because of the increased purity.and power resulting from the greater nearness of that human to the Essential Divine. For if what man takes on from his mother is qualified by his soul from the father, far more would the human which the LORD assumed from the great spiritual mother the heavens be vivified and potentialized by His soul the Infinite and Eternal Father within Him.

Not at birth nor yet before adult life is man prepared to undergo reformation and regeneration proper, but from the foregoing we, see that the LORD because born a spiritual-celestial man with states and developments which this involves, was prepared in earliest infancy, to begin the great work of Redemption and Glorification, to engage in temptation combats and to achieve victory. (AC 1690.)

We also see that the spiritual mind of the LORD at birth though not Divine was yet eminently from the Divine and highly receptive of the Divine, and that its higher degrees were more so than the lower. But His natural mind C was from the Divine and a receptacle of the Divine, only so far as accorded with the states of certain spirits then in the world of spirits. These spirits were not. the infernal spirits who were to be cast into hell after the judgment performed by the LORD while He was in the world but were those salvable angelic spirits who were in good and somewhat in truth, which good and truth were not strictly genuine because rendered impure by mild falsities, ignorance, and evils unconfirmed and comparatively harmless, which were to be cleansed away by the LORD after His resurrection. These spirits were thus to be elevated into heaven and enter into the spiritual kingdom then forming as a heaven separate from the celestial. Hence the LORD's natural mind from angelic spirits was far less receptive of the Divine than the spiritual mind.

But how could the Divine, which is like most pure and ardent fire (AC 6849), be received into the degrees of the infirm human, without destroying them? Only by a medium which was more divine within and less divine without. This medium could be the containant of the Divine Fire, in a manner adapted to reception.

The Inmost of the LORD being the Divine Itself, His internal mind being full of heavenly love and wisdom, His natural mind having no hereditary 'evil but evil loosely adhering and mixed with good and truth not yet genuine, and His body by reason of its formation under His unparalleled interiors having at birth an excellence peculiarly its own, we see why He accomplished the stages of infancy and childhood "more rapidly, more fully and more perfectly than others." (TCR 89; AC 1464, 1461, 1496.)

Appertaining alike to the LORD and to man in the world mark these four cardinal divisions: The inmost or "human internal," the internal or spiritual mind, the external or natural mind, and the very body. We present them in order:-  

    1. Inmost or Soul; Human Internal.

    2. Internal or Spiritual Mind.

    3. External or Natural Mind.

    4. Natural or Material Body

The same in Simultaneous Order:-

These four divisions are represented in Diagram XXVIII by A, B, C, D.

These are variously designated in the Writings:-

Only B C D appertain to the human either of man or of the LORD. (Chapter III.)

It is usual especially in the Arcana to omit the separate mention of the fourth degree-the body or corporeal, including it in the term "external" or "natural," though the natural body is frequently and sometimes expressly omitted in the term "natural" or "external man" as in The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 46; The True Christian Religion 401 (9) ; Arcana Coelestia AC 1718; where the natural body is called "outmost man," still perhaps only the gross body is here meant and not the limbus since only the gross body is rejected at death.

Previous: Chapter XXVII. The Degrees of the Human, and whence taken. Up: Discrete Degrees Next: Chapter XXIX. The Glorification; Its First Stage-Infancy.

Crown of Revelations
Rebirth, Reincarnation
The Holy Center
Salvation in the Gospels
Psychology of Marriage
Precious Stones
The Human Mind
The Moral Life
Saul, David & Solomon
Bible Lost & Found
The Human Soul
Genesis and Exodus
City of God
Swedenborg Cosmology
Ultimate Reality
The Pattern of Time
Means of Salvation
NC: Sex and Marriage
Book with Seven Seals
My Lord and My God
Philosopher, Metaphysician
Inspiration of Genesis
Words In Swedenborg
Book Expo
Missionary Talks
Tabernacle of Israel
A Brief View of the Heavenly Doctrines
Ancient Mythology
Odhner: Creation
Ten Commandments
Christ and The Trinity
Discrete Degrees
Body Correspondences
Language of Parable
The Ten Blessings
Creation in Genesis
The Third Source
Noble's "Appeal"
Life After Death


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XXVIII. State of the Human at Birth.

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