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Uses in General
And there shall be no night there, and they have no need of a lamp and the light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. —Revelation 22:5
With those who are in the delight of uses from genuine love towards the neighbor, their natural light is also rational light, within which there is spiritual light from the Lord. The glory with them is from the brightness of the inflowing light from heaven, where all things are splendid and harmonious, for all uses in heaven are resplendent. —Apocalypse Revealed 940e
To be useful, the first step is to not do evils.
Matthew 7:16-18. Men do not gather the grape from thorns or figs from thistles…. A corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit (as quoted in TCR 435:4).
TCR 746. Man as first created was imbued with wisdom and its love, not for his own sake, but that he might communicate it from himself to others. Therefore, it is written in the wisdom of the wise that no one is wise or lives for himself alone, but for others also. From this comes society, which otherwise could not exist. Living for others is being useful. Uses are the bonds of society; these bonds are as many as there are good uses, and in number uses are infinite. There are spiritual uses, which pertain to love of God and love to the neighbor; there are moral and civil uses, which pertain to love of the society and community in which a man lives, and of the companions and citizens with whom he lives. There are natural uses, which pertain to the love of the world and its necessities; and there are bodily uses, which pertain to the love of self-preservation for the sake of higher uses.
TCR 746:2. … Those who are in the first mentioned uses, which are spiritual, are also in those that follow, and such are wise. But those who are not in the first, but are in the second and from these in the subsequent ones, are not so wise, but only seem to be so because of their outward morality and right civil life. Those who are not in the first and second, but are in the third and fourth, are anything but wise, for they are satans, loving the world only, and loving themselves because of the world. Those who are only in the fourth class of uses are the least wise of all, for they are devils, since they live for themselves alone, or if for others, it is solely for the sake of themselves.
TCR 435. The first thing of charity is to put away evils; and the second is to do goods that are of use to the neighbor.
In the doctrine of charity this holds the first place, that the first thing of charity is not to do evil to the neighbor; and to do good to him holds the second place. This tenet is like a door to the doctrine of charity…. A man may see from reason itself, that so far as the evil resident in the will is not put away, the good that he does is impregnated with that evil; for evil is then inside the good, like a kernel in its shell or like marrow in a bone. Therefore, although the good that is done by such a man appears to be good, still intrinsically it is not good; for it is like a healthy-looking shell containing a worm-eaten kernel, or like a white almond rotten within, with streaks of rottenness extending even to the surface.
TCR 436. This may be further illustrated by the following comparisons: One cannot visit another who keeps a leopard and a panther shut up in his chamber (living safely with them himself because he feeds them), until these wild beasts have been removed. Who, when invited to the table of a king and queen, does not, before he goes, wash his hands and face? Who does not purify ores by fire and separate the dross before he obtains pure gold and silver? Who does not separate the tares from the wheat before putting the wheat into his granary?
Man himself ought to purify himself from evils. 1 Otherwise he would be like a servant, going to his master, with his face and clothes befouled with soot or dung, and saying, “Master, wash me.” Would not his master answer him, “You foolish servant, what are you saying? See, here are water, soap, and a towel; have you not hands of your own and the power to use them? Wash yourself.” And so the Lord God will say, “These means of purification are from Me, and your ability to will and do are also from Me. Therefore, use these gifts and endowments of Mine as your own, and you will be purified.”
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