Swedenborg, Emanuel - The Infinite - Why are we here?
Type of Spiritual Experience
BackgroundWe are a means to an end
A description of the experience
Emmanuel Swedenborg – The Infinite and the final cause of creation
We shall now leave the middle terms and pass at once to the last natural end, through which the divine end must be obtained – which, as respects its first cause, is the Infinite; wherefore the final cause is Infinite, and therefore the same in the first cause and as in the last and so the first and the last cause are at one in this, that they both exist for the Infinite..................
If then all that there is in God be infinite, there must also be an infinite exertion of will for a cause, as well as an infinite intelligence in the will; and an infinite efficiency from the will; in short without a cause, no principle whatever is conceivable in the Infinite. As then the Infinite is in this will and cannot be otherwise, so it must also be in the cause for which as an end the creation was effected; which cause consequently cannot be other than infinite, or other than primary for the sake of the infinite; or what amounts to the same thing for the sake of itself.
In this way then the whole universe and the whole sphere of the finite was not created primarily for the finite, or for men and souls, but for itself, otherwise there would have been no infinite in the act of will which produced it; in which however the finite could not have been and the infinite must. The final cause therefore or the end; all the effects which are ends; all the means which in themselves are ends, although in relation to subsequent issues they are causes, and in relation to the two extremes they are means, all we say are for no other final cause but God alone.
The first cause cannot be anywhere but in the Infinite, for it has nothing natural in it, but the natural begins in the first entity produced by the cause, by which natural things become means to this natural end. Hence all things tend to enable natural means to conspire to that end and as man is a means to it, so he too enters into common with the same end, not however as being himself an end, unless in a secondary sense, but only as a means...............
If the end [man] does not answer to the cause, what becomes of the infinite in the cause? Besides which, we do not see that there is any divine end in the ultimate effect per se; and how is the difficulty surmounted?
The source of the experienceSwedenborg, Emanuel
Concepts, symbols and science items
Great Work, the
Objectives of the Great Work
Strategy of the Great Work
Why are we here