Part Two, Chapter II
THE SOUL AS A FORMATIVE SUBSTANCE
The form of the body is from the soul;
and the soul produces or forms the body (161a).
A. THE SOUL AS A SPIRITUAL SUBSTANCE
1. The Soul as the "inmost" of the spirit,
or as the "human internal".
Man is man through possessing an Inmost
or a Human Internal which is above the angelic heavens and beyond the consciousness
of either men or angels.(163)
This is a superior spiritual substance receiving
influx directly from God.(164) It is a super-celestial
essence acted upon only by God. (165)
It receives the Divine Celestial and the Divine
Spiritual, without which there is nothing human in man. (166)
The soul is not life, but a receptacle of life from
the Lord. (167)
The souls of brute animals are also spiritual
but from the spiritual-natural degree. (See above.) They are spiritual-natural
(168) Being spiritual as to substance,
the souls of brutes have not spatial extension.
2. The Soul as the Spirit, Mind, or Immortal
Substance of Man.
The inmost of man is in its essence spiritual.(170)
The soul is the inmost man or the man himself. Its form is the human form,
fully and perfectly: essence is nothing without form. The material body
does not live or think, but the spiritual substance in that body; and this
is what is called 'the soul' and what is seen in the other life as a spirit
3. The Soul is present in the paternal seed from which the off-spring
The soul which is from the father includes his mind
or spirit. It is a spiritual substance.(172)
The human mind, being a spiritual substance lower
than that of the 'soul' (when this is considered as the inmost of the spirit),
receives influx from God mediately through the spiritual world.(173)
The spirit or soul is the interior man who lives
after death; and it is organic.(174) The
soul of the body is its spirit, for from this the body lives; but the soul
of the spirit is its still more interior life.(175)
Note: Spirits in the world of spirits or in the
" lower earth" are often called "souls". (176)
The soul (in this wider sense) is spiritual and
has nothing in common with space or the changes of nature, and has not
extension but impletion.
The form of the body is from the soul; and the soul produces or forms
the body.(179) "Therefore there can be no
other extension than into the human form" in the development of the embryo,
nor any extension except by radiating fibres.(180)
B. THE TERM "SOUL" IS ALSO APPLIED TO A PUREST NATURAL SUBSTANCE
WHICH SERVES THE SPIRITUAL SOUL: AS A FORMATIVE ESSENCE IN THE BODY
Note: In his physiological works, Swedenborg
sometimes applies the name "soul" to a certain purest bodily essence which
he shows to be the basis of the soul's activities in the body. By demonstrating
that this substance, which he variously refers to as "the spirituous fluid",
"the purest animal essence", or "the soul", could not destroyed by the
forces of lower nature, he proved the existence and immortality of the
spirit. He distinguished this highest natural substance of the body from
the spiritual substance "which is properly called the Soul and the Spiritual
Mind". - -
C. PROCREATION BY SEED IN THE NATURAL WORLD
The "spirituous fluid" is described in the Economy
of the Animal Kingdom as the inmost vital fluid, the only living constituent
within the blood. It is the agent of the soul in forming the bodily organs
and is therefore called "a formative essence"; and it is the life-bearing
substance within the paternal seed. It contains the soul within it. (181)
It is derived from the first element of nature, which is called "the first
aura" or " the celestial ether". (182)
For a fuller study of the "spirituous fluid", see
the whole of Part Four of these Notes.
In the Writings, the retained natural substance is called "the limbus"
or "medium". See Part Four, section C22, 23, and 32, 33 for full
1. All procreation of organic forms takes
place by seed.
Nothing in nature, whether vegetable or animal, comes forth
except from seed.(183) Nothing is possible
without a soul.(184)
2. The seed must contain something spiritual from
the Lord or from the spiritual world. (189)
In lower organic forms, like those of many protozoa,
reproduction appears to be asexual, accomplished by simple cell division.
In some plants, asexual spores serve as reproductive cells. There is also
reproduction by "budding" or separation. In every case, there is "seed"
in the sense of a substance receptive of the formative force.
In the vegetable kingdom, a likeness of sex is
represented in the pistil and stamen(185),
but also in the relation of the fruit (as a carrier of the male seed) and
the soil or 'mother earth' which provides the womb. From correspondence,
the plant kingdom is thus said to be male.(186)
On the virgin earth, the first conatus in the soil
was for the production of seeds.(187)
In the spiritual world, nothing is produced from seed sown, but
only from seed created, and the creation there occurs in a moment.(188)p.
The prolific in the seed is not from the
seed but from God.(190) Propagation is from
a Divine sphere which fills both worlds.(191)
3. For seeds to produce organic forms, they must
be received into a soil from which they receive nourishment.p.
Impregnation is from the soul in the seed
or from spiritual substances that are present in nature.(193)
The seed contains a propagative or plastic force.(194)
All fructification, propagation, and prolification
are originally from the influx of love, wisdom and use from the Lord; from
immediate influx from the Lord into the souls of man; from mediate
influx into the souls of animals; and from influx yet more mediate
into the inmosts of vegetables.
a) In nature, vegetable seeds are formed
by means of the purest sap of the plant, and by means of spheres, odors,
and impalpable dust which are given off by all minerals.(196)
4. In the procreation of permanent species, the
material substance is generally furnished through the mother, in an ovum
or egg-cell, and with higher species, by a matrix or womb. In plant life,
the soil serves as the matrix .(205)
In the vegetable kingdom, the pulp of the fruit
serves as the first soil.(197) (The fruit
of the plant is 'seed', not offspring.(198))
The earth serves as the matrix or common mother
for all vegetative growth.(199)
b) Immediate creation by a spiritual influx
is possible on earth without oviform matter.(200)
Such instantaneous creation occurred in the beginnings, (or the beginning
of each "species"?) but it was provided that organic forms should here
be perpetually renewed by generations of one from another(201);
which reflects an image of eternity.(202)
No propagative power is "implanted in nature."(203)
c) "In the spiritual world, the substantial
takes the place of the natural." (204)
5. There can be no procreation or multiplication
of human minds or human beings, except by way of birth on an earth in the
6. All procreation, in both worlds, is possible
only from a conjunction resembling a marriage, thus from a paternal element
and maternal element. Spiritual states are thus conceived and born from
a marriage of good and truth.
In the spiritual world there is not procreation
of plants and animals (nor of angels), i.e., nothing which relates to natural
birth.(207) Plants and animals are there
formed by direct creation (from seed created, not sown), and are therefore
not permanent as a species.(208)
7. The general law of natural procreation is
that the soul or the spiritual is from the father, and the body or the
material is from the mother. (See following section.) -
161a AC 6468e, 10125.
162 For a full treatment, see Part 4, section. V.
163 HH 39; LJ 25; AC 1999:3, cp 7270, 1940, 6115,
164 ISB 8.
165 WE 919, 649.
167 ISB 11.
168 AE 1201:2, 1207:2, 1224; Div. Love x:3, cf WE
169 CL 220; DLW 346.
170 CL 220.
171 See CL 315 :11 for a discussion. Cp DLW 257.
172 See TCR 103; CL 220.
173 See ISB 8. Its degrees TCR 34; DLW 67, 237; DP
174AC 1594 5, cf 4622 6; CL 315 11.
175 AC 2930e.
176 DLW 394; AC 3644, 1273; SD 2293, 2846, 4259
177 ISB 11; CL 220, 315 :8, 11; TCR 103.
178 TCR 103 :2, 92, 166; DLW 177: 3; CL 183: 4, 220
179 AC 6468e, 10125.
180 Div.Wis iii.4.
181 I Econ. 270, 271
182 Confer I Econ. 247 et seq., especially 253,
254, 270, 271. The prolific essence of animals is derived from the "second
aura" or the "magnetic ether," 2 Econ. 338, 344.
183 D.Wis. iii.2 viii .2(6); DLW 316, 314.
184 AE 1206 2.
185 AE 1203, 1208 :5.
186 See TCR 585.
187 DLW 312.
188 AE 1211; TCR 78.
189 AC 3648; TCR 470:3; HH 567:3.
190 DP 3.
191 CL 222,355:5.
192 DP 277a; TCR 92.
193 TCR 470.
194 CL 233:2, cf AE 1201:3.
195 CL 183:5.
196 SS 66. Docu. 302: 1, G. cf TCR 499:2, 585e, 785:2;
DLW 172; SD 1847.
197 AC 9258:2, 9666: 2, 10181 :3.
198 TCR 585.
199 TCR 585. As to analogies of sexes in plants, see
AE 1203, 1208: 5.
200 DLW 341-342, 347, 344
201 TCR 78; DLW 347.
202AE 1203 2; Can., God iii, 11.
203 DLW 340; TCR 470.
204 Div.Wis. ii. 3(4).
205 On the permanence of species, see CL 86, Coro.
206Div.Wis. viii. 3-6.
207 AC 4921.
208 AE 1211; Div.Wis.viii.3(7). As to the "spiritual
offspring" born to angelic pairs see CL 44: 9, 51f, 65, 355 :6; HH
382b; SD 611040, cf CL 121, 115 5, 211; LJ post. 316e; AC 9043.