Lecture Notes by Hugo Lj. Odhner
Part 1, Chapter V
DEGREES: ELEMENTAL AND ORGANIC
1. It is in the nature of the rational mind to distinguish things and phenomena into differing groups, series, orders, degrees, genera, species, and categories.
Note the differences between: heavy - light; solids - liquids - gases; stone - plant - animal; cat - kitten; beast - man; sense - imagination - reason; cold - warm - hot; sound - light - gravity; notes of the musical scale; slow - fast.2. The doctrine of Discrete Degrees is peculiar to the philosophy of Emanuel Swedenborg.(132)
a) There is nothing, great or little, which is not composed of both discrete and continuous degrees - degrees of "height" and degrees of "breadth". This is the origin of all varieties, spiritual as well as natural. (133)3. Discrete degrees in finite things in both worlds are possible because there are three infinite and uncreate degrees in the Lord. These appear as Love Itself, Wisdom Itself, and Use Itself, or as the Divine Celestial, the Divine Spiritual, and the Divine Natural.(139)p. 49
4. There are three degrees in the spiritual world and within everything in it.(140) (See Chart of Degrees, A and B)
5. There are three degrees in the natural world and in every thing in it. (See Chart of Degrees, A and B.)
Note:6. The activities of spiritual substances are spiritual. (141)
Spiritual substances, which are immaterial, yet substantial, are forms of conatus, and have activities which are not measurable in terms of space and time (speed, motion), but in terms of degrees of quality or of state, such as good, truth, love, wisdom, etc.7. The activities of all natural substances are natural.
Natural substances, which are "material", originate with motion in space and time. Their activities are measured in terms of motion in space; whence come all natural attributes and properties, such as mass, size, speed, weight, shape, color, temperature, energy-constants, and other sensible effects.8. The activities of all substances may be distinguished into the same discrete and continuous degrees and the same series as the substances themselves.p. 50
9. Organic forms (produced by the creative influx of the Divine life) are composed out of the elemental substances of each world.
Spiritual forms (like man's soul and spiritual mind, and the lands, plants. and animals seen in the other life) are formed solely out of the substances of the spiritual world.(143)10. The Spiritual, in its every degree, exerts an organizing power in directing the formation of organic forms (i.e., forms receptive of and obedient to 1ife).(147)
This formation is effected through the successive entities of elemental creation.11. The clothing of forms goes on everywhere in the atmospheres, both spiritual and natural. (This is called "an arcanum".) (148)
In every case, the active spiritual which in every degree clothes itself with a body, is an affection.(149)12. Organic forms are formed to comply with the elemental degrees of creation, or to the degrees of the atmospheres of both worlds. (150)
The senses of man are formed in correspondence with the atmospheres,(151) and vice versa(151a)
[This block was only found in Weaber's version. ORO]
AC 4523,39, 2 Of AC 3628:2: SD 4063, 4066: LJ post. 312.
The Word as a Man SD 5131 H'....The Word, in its whole complex, is as one Man as to all and every one of its constituents, within and without; and ... that Man is like the Lord's Human was, in the world; wherefore the Lord is called the Word (John 1).
The Divine truth in its form is a Man. SD 4775, 5556 There is a conatus and striving towards the human form because God is Man. DLW 400:2.