The Minas, part two
And another came saying, “Lord, behold, thy mina, which I have held laid up in a kerchief. For I feared thee, for thou art an austere man; thou takest up what thou didst not put down, and reapest what thou didst not sow.”
And he says to him, “Out of thine own mouth I will judge thee, wicked servant. Thou didst know that I am an austere man, taking up what I did not put down, and reaping what I did not sow. Why then didst thou not give my silver to the bank8, so that at my coming I might have exacted it with interest?”
And he said to those who stood by, “Take from him the mina, and give it to him who has ten minas.” And they said to him, “Lord, he has ten minas.”
“For I say to you that to everyone who has shall be given; but from him who does not have, even that which he has shall be taken away from him. Nevertheless, those enemies of mine who were not willing that I should reign over them, bring them here and slay them in front of me.”
To everyone who has shall be given
AC 7984:3. Everyone, whether damned or saved, has a certain measure which is capable of being filled. The evil, or those who are damned, have a certain measure of evil and falsity; and the good, or those who are saved, have a certain measure of good and truth. In the other life this measure is filled with everyone; but some have a greater measure, some a less. This measure is acquired in the world by means of the affections which are of the love. The more anyone has loved evil and the derivative falsity, the greater is the measure he has gained for himself; and the more anyone has loved good and the derivative truth, the greater is his measure. The limits and degrees of the extensions of this measure are clearly seen in the other life, and cannot there be surmounted, but they can be filled, and also actually are filled, namely, with goods and truths in the case of those who have been in the affection of good and truth, and with evils and falsities in the case of those who have been in the affection of evil and falsity. Hence it is evident that this measure is the faculty gained in the world for receiving either evil and falsity, or good and truth....
AC 7984:4. That everyone’s measure is filled, the Lord also teaches in another place in Luke:
Give, and it shall be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, shall they give into your bosom (Luke 6:38).
AC 7770:2–3. The very memory-knowledges of truth and good which have been possessed by those of the church who have known the arcana of faith and yet have lived a life of evil, are transferred to those who are of the spiritual church.... The reason is that with the evil, the knowledges of good and truth are applied to evil uses, and with the good the knowledges of good and truth are applied to good uses. The knowledges are the same, but the application to uses effects their quality with each person. The case here is like that of worldly riches, which with one person are disposed for good uses, with another for evil uses. Consequently riches are such with each person as are the uses to which they are disposed. From this also it is evident that the same knowledges, like the same riches, which the evil had possessed, can be with the good and serve for good uses.
DP 17. It is with difficulty that a man in this world can enter into either the one or the other conjunction or union, namely, of good and truth, or of evil and falsity; for as long as he is living in the world he continues in a state of reformation or regeneration. After death, however, every man comes into one union or the other, because he can no longer be reformed and regenerated; he then remains such as his life, that is, such as his ruling love, has been in this world. If, therefore, his life has been a life of the love of evil, every truth that he acquired in the world from a teacher, from preaching, or from the Word itself is taken away from him; and when the truth has been taken away, he acquires, as a sponge takes up water, such falsity as agrees with his evil. On the other hand, if his life has been a life of the love of good, all the falsity which he gathered in the world from hearing and from reading, but which he did not confirm in himself, is removed; and in its place there is given him truth agreeing with his good.
8 Literally, “on the table,” as in AE 193:10
Questions and Comments
- What feeling or thought does it bring to mind that they protested to the nobleman, “Lord, he [already] has ten minas”?
- We each have a certain measure, and no two of us have the same measure. The Lord is eager to help us expand our measure while we live in the world, and then to fill it to overflowing in heaven. Remember the comparison with a king and a peasant, and that everyone in heaven receives as much happiness as he possibly can. And the opposite is true of those in hell. There the Lord limits their misery as much as He can.
- Can you think of an example of the same knowledges or facts being used to support opposite claims?
- Can you think of a time when you or someone else soaked up knowledge like a sponge? It’s easy to see that love, founded in how we actually live, is the essence of who we are.