Category — Merit
To understand this commandment, not to commit adultery, we must understand the origin of adultery, and in order to understand the origin of adultery we must understand the nature of the marriage between husband and wife.
We read: “There is the truth of good and good from truth from that or truth from good and good from truth; and that in those two there is inherent from creation an inclination to conjoin themselves into one. The truth of good or truth from good is masculine, or the good of truth or good from that truth is the feminine. But this can be more distinctly comprehended if for good we say love, and for truth wisdom. Wisdom cannot exist with men except by the love of growing wise. Wisdom from this love is meant by truth from good.” (C.L. 88).
“With the male the inmost is love and the clothing is wisdom, or he is love veiled over with wisdom, in the female the inmost is that wisdom of the male, and its clothing is love therefrom. But this is feminine love and is given to the wife through the wisdom of the husband. That the feminine is from the masculine, or the woman was taken from the man appears in Genesis. Jehovah took one of the ribs of the man.” etc. (C.L. 30). In diagram I we see the order of Conjugial Love. In diagram II the disorder leading to adultery.
When the man does not come into A – the love of growing wise, he still comes into a kind of understanding of the true, but an understanding, which not having in it substance and life turns into the conceit of his own intelligence. Such a man looks to truth or doctrine alone for his salvation, and he looks to his wife for the flattery of his understanding. But the wife perceiving that there is nothing substantial in his understanding does not flatter it, wherefore his love instead of going forth to his wife returns to himself and then he seeks love elsewhere, where he can find the flattery he seeks.
Observe that if the man skips over the love of growing wise for the sake of life, in the first state of marriage there is still apparent love, but it is a love of his wife for the sake of himself and for the sake of the flattery he receives in the first states of marriage.
In the woman her A is formed by the essence of her husband’s wisdom. If the husband is not in the love of growing wise his understanding lacks this essence of wisdom and the inmost of a woman cannot be formed from it. But whether the husband has such wisdom or not, the wife may still skip over her inmost which is wisdom, and seek conjugial love in B but in this case there is no internal in her love of her husband, she then seeks to bind her husband to the things of her love; she loves her husband for the sake of her self and the love and admiration which he shows towards her; and, because the husband feels the lack of the life of truth which is the soul of a woman in her love, he cannot give her the love and admiration which she demands, wherefore her love returns to herself, and then goes elsewhere, where she receives the love and admiration which she craves.
When this internal disjunction takes place, then the woman accuses the man of only caring for intellectual and doctrinal matters and of neglecting the things of life and of love, and of over looking the natural. While the husband accuses the wife of being in merely natural good, natural loves, and of not seeing the importance of the true, and both are often right.
“Thou Shalt Not Steal”
We read: “Amen, amen, I say unto you, he that entereth not by the door into sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before Me are thieves and robbers. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill and to destroy. I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10: 1, 7-10)
All goods and truths which a man has from the Word and the Church out of his own will and his own understanding are stolen things, in which the Lord is not present, and which therefore lack an internal. Wherefore we read: “If the rational is consulted the Doctrine becomes null and void.” Unless a man has given up the life of his proprial will and understanding he always consults his rational, and then ail things from the Word and from the Doctrine of the Church are with him stolen things, an external without an internal.
Do we not see with every man, that strong tendency to steal. In churches generally, we see an effort to increase the Church in numbers, power and prestige, by appealing to the proprial will and understanding of men and women. Appeals are made to the natural affections, and the intel-lect is flattered. Or where this is not done, threats and anathema, are used to inspire fear, fear of hell, and fear of losing the pleasures of heaven. Let us not think that we are free of such dangers.
We are told that the devils are not averse to worshipping God the Father, but they are averse to the Lord in His Divine Human. The Father is the Lord the Creator, the Divine Human is the Lord the Redeemer. Man is not averse to acknowledging God the Creator, but he is, by hereditary nature, averse to acknowledging the Lord the Redeemer, for he is averse to Redemption. He is not willing, from his proprium, to acknowledge that, “A total damnation stands before the door and threatens.” The door of both his will and understanding, for he trusts in the rationality he has from creation and in his instinctive good feelings, which he has from birth. To give up trust in these is to give up his life, and this he does not easily do.
There is an expression commonly used, “appealing to a man’s better instincts,” such an expression implies a climbing up some other way like a thief and a robber, and not entering through the door, that is the Lord Who is the door. The man of the Most Ancient Church did indeed have human instincts by creation, instincts of love into Good and towards his neighbor, for he was born into the order of his life. We are not born into the order of our life, and if we appeal to man’s better instincts, we climb up some other way, and come to apparent goods and truths, which are only externals without internals. Man’s internals are formed by innocence from the Lord, and a man cannot be in innocence from the Lord unless he believes, that it is solely by the Lord’s undergoing temptation in him, and by His overcoming and subjugating the hells which rule in him, that he can be saved. The moment a man loses this perception he is a thief and steals.
Every young man and woman is given gifts from the Lord: the young man particularly, a kind of youthful understanding of truth, an enthusiasm for it, and a youthful ideal of usefulness.
But the young man begins to steal the understanding of the truths he has been given and make them favor himself, and his own ends. He loses the innocence of youth, and thus the internal is stolen away. He must then look to the Lord for a new understanding in which there can be formed a new good of innocence, and must repent of his theft.