Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/555

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459
MARRIAGE.

 

The Woman is actually formed into a Wife according to the Description in the Book of Genesis.

It is said in this book that the woman was created out of the rib of the man, and that when she was brought to him the man said, "This is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; and she shall be called woman (isha), because she was taken out of man" (ish) (ii. 2224). A rib of the breast in the Word, in the spiritual sense, signifies nothing else than natural truth. This is signified by the ribs which the bear carried between his teeth in Dan. vii. 5; for by bears they are signified who read the Word in the natural sense, and see the truths therein, without understanding. By the breast of a man that essential and peculiar thing is signified which is distinct from the breast of woman. This is wisdom; for truth sustains wisdom, as a rib sustains the breast. These things are signified because it is the breast in which all things of man are as in their centre. It is therefore evident that the woman was created out of the man by the transfer of his own wisdom,—that is, out of natural truth; and that the love of this was transferred from the man to the woman, that it might become conjugial love; and that this was done in order that there may not be the love of himself in the man, but the love of the wife,—who, from the nature innate in herself, cannot but convert the love of himself in the man into his love for her. And I have heard that this is done from the wife's love itself, neither the man nor the wife being conscious of it. Hence it is that no one can ever really conjugially love his consort who from the love of himself is in the pride of his own intelligence. When this mystery of the creation of the woman from the man is understood, it can be seen that the woman is likewise as it were created or formed from the man in marriage; and this is effected by the wife, or rather through the wife by,the Lord, who has infused into women inclinations for becoming so. For the wife receives in herself the image of the man, by the fact that she appropriates to herself his affections; and by the fact that she conjoins the internal will of the man with her own; and also by the fact that she takes to herself the offspring of his soul. From all this it is plain that, according to the description in the book of Creation, interiorly understood, the woman is formed into a wife by means of such things as she takes from her husband, even from his breast, and inscribes upon herself. (C. L. n. 193.)

I was once in the midst of angels, and heard their conversation. The conversation was upon intelligence and wisdom:—That a man does not perceive but that both are in himself; and thus that whatever he thinks from his understanding and intends