Divine Love and Wisdom/n. 47

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DIVINE LOVE AND DIVINE WISDOM MUST NECESSARILY HAVE BEING (esse) AND HAVE FORM (existere) IN OTHERS CREATED BY ITSELF.

47. It is the essential of love not to love self, but to love others, and to be conjoined with others by love. It is the essential of love, moreover, to be loved by others, for thus conjunction is effected. The essence of all love consists in conjunction; this, in fact, is its life, which is called enjoyment, pleasantness, delight, sweetness, bliss, happiness and felicity. Love consists in this, that its own should be another's; to feel the joy of another as joy in oneself, that is loving. But to feel one's own joy in another and not the other's joy in oneself is not loving; for this is loving self, while the former is loving the neighbor. These two kinds of love are diametrically opposed to each other. Either, it is true, conjoins; and to love one's own, that is, oneself, in another does not seem to divide but it does so effectually divide that so far as any one has loved another in this manner, so far he afterwards hates him. For such conjunction is by its own action gradually loosened and then, in like measure, love is turned to hate.

48. Who that is capable of discerning the essential character of love cannot see this? For what is it to love self alone, instead of loving some one outside of self by whom one may be loved in return? Is not this separation rather than conjunction? Conjunction of love is by reciprocation; and there can be no reciprocation in self alone. If there is thought to be, it is from an imagined reciprocation in others. From this it is clear that Divine Love must necessarily have being (esse) and have form (existere) in others whom it may love, and by whom it may be loved. For as there is such a need in all love, it must be to the fullest extent, that is, infinitely in Love Itself.

49. With respect to God; it is impossible for Him to love others and to be loved reciprocally by others in whom there is anything of infinity, that is, anything of the essence and life of love in itself, or anything of the Divine. For if there were beings having in them anything of infinity, that is, of the essence and life of love in itself, that is, of the Divine, it would not be God loved by others, but God loving Himself; since the Infinite, that is, the Divine, is one only, and if this were in others, Itself would be in them, and would be the love of self Itself; and of that love not the least trace can possibly be in God, since it is wholly opposed to the Divine Essence. Consequently, for this relation to be possible there must be others in whom there is nothing of the Divine in itself. That it is possible in beings created from the Divine will be seen below. But that it may be possible, there must be Infinite Wisdom making one with Infinite Love; that is, there must be the Divine Love of Divine Wisdom, and the Divine Wisdom of Divine Love (concerning which see above, n. 34-39).

50. Upon a perception and knowledge of this mystery depend a perception and knowledge of all things of existence, that is, creation; also of all things of continued existence, that is, preservation by God; in other words, of all the works of God in the created universe; of which the following pages treat.

51. But do not, I entreat you, confuse your ideas with time and with space, for so far as time and space enter into your ideas when you read what follows, you will not understand it; for the Divine is not in time and space. This will be seen clearly in the progress of this work, and in particular from what is said of eternity, infinity, and omnipresence.