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Uses in Heaven
Thus said Jehovah: My son, My firstborn, is Israel. And I say to thee, Send My son away, that he may serve Me. —Exodus 4:22-23
“That he may serve Me” signifies elevation into heaven in order to perform uses therefrom, is evident from the signification of “serving Jehovah,” or the Lord, as being to perform uses… because true worship consists in the performance of uses…. The very worship of the Lord consists in performing uses…. The angels in heaven have all happiness from uses, and according to uses, so that to them uses are heaven. —AC 7038
Uses are where conjugial3 love becomes real.
Genesis 24:60. And they blessed Rebekah, and said to her, Our sister, be thou for thousands of ten-thousands, And may thy seed possess the gate of those that hate thee.
CL 65. Conjugial love… is as the parent, and [all] other loves are as the offspring. Hence it is that from the marriages of the angels in the heavens spiritual offspring are generated, which are generations of love and wisdom, or of good and truth…
CL 115:5. “The wisdom that men (vir) have from the Lord knows no greater delight than to transmit its truths. And the love of wisdom that wives have in heaven knows no greater pleasure than to receive them as though in a womb, and thus to conceive them, carry them, and give them birth. That is what spiritual procreations are like among angels of heaven. And if you would believe it, natural procreations come also from the same origin.”
While Swedenborg was meditating on conjugial love, two married partners came to him and told him how being useful focuses, strengthens and kindles their love.
CL 137. They said, “We have been now for ages married partners and continually in the flower of age in which you see us now. Our first state was as the first state of a virgin and youth when they unite in marriage; and we then believed that state was the very blessedness of our life. But we heard from others in our heaven, and afterwards we ourselves perceived that that was a state of heat not tempered with light, and that it would successively be tempered, as the husband is perfected in wisdom and the wife loves that wisdom in the husband. And that this is accomplished by uses and according to them, the uses both of them, by mutual aid, perform in the society. And delights follow according as heat and light, or wisdom and its love are tempered.
“A warmth as of spring breathed upon you as we drew near, because conjugial love and springtime heat in our heaven act as one. For with us heat is love, and the light with which heat is united is wisdom; and use is as the atmosphere which contains both of them in its bosom. What are heat and light without a containant? So what are love and wisdom without their use? The conjugial is not in them, because the subject in which they might be does not exist. In heaven, where the heat is of springtime, there is love truly conjugial….
He further said, “With us in heaven there is perpetual light… Hence it is that the heat and light proceeding from our sun make perpetual spring… And our Lord, through the eternal union of heat and light, breathes forth nothing else than uses. Thence also are the germinations on your earth, and the mating of your birds and animals, in the springtime. For the springtime heat opens their interiors even to their very inmosts, which are called their souls, and affects them and imparts its conjugial, and causes their prolific inclination to come into its delights, by a continual endeavor to produce the fruits of use, and the use is the propagation of their kind.
“But with [people] there is perpetual influx of springtime heat from the Lord. Therefore they can at any time, even in mid-winter, enjoy the delights of marriage. For men (vir) were created receptions of light, that is, of wisdom, from the Lord, and women were created receptions of heat, that is, of the love of the wisdom of the man, from the Lord…”
And they added, “No one knows the blessed delights of conjugial love but he who rejects the horrid delights of adultery; and no one can reject them unless he is wise from the Lord; and no one has wisdom from the Lord unless he performs uses from the love of use.”
3In New Church doctrine, the word conjugial refers to marriage in general. However, since true married love is so rare (CL 58) and so precious (CL 457), we often reserve the term ‘conjugial’ for love truly conjugial.
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