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Human Organic
Lecture Notes by Hugo Lj. Odhner  

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Part Two, Chapter II


The form of the body is from the soul;
and the soul produces or forms the body (161a).


1.     The Soul as the "inmost" of the spirit, or as the "human internal". (162)

    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 affections. (168) Being spiritual as to substance, the souls of brutes have not spatial extension. (169)

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 or angel.(171)
    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. (177)
3. The Soul is present in the paternal seed from which the off-spring is conceived.(178)

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)
p. 57


    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". - -
    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 references.


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)

    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. 59

2.     The seed must contain something spiritual from the Lord or from the spiritual world. (189)
    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)
    Impregnation is from the soul in the seed (192), 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. (195)
3.     For seeds to produce organic forms, they must be received into a soil from which they receive nourishment.p. 60
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)
    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)
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)

5.     There can be no procreation or multiplication of human minds or human beings, except by way of birth on an earth in the natural world.(206)

    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)
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.

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.) -
p. 62

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  161a  AC 6468e, 10125.

162 For a full treatment, see Part 4, section. V. et seq.

163 HH 39; LJ 25; AC 1999:3, cp 7270, 1940, 6115, 1894, 8443

164 ISB 8.

165 WE 919, 649.

166AC 1894.

167 ISB 11.

168 AE 1201:2, 1207:2, 1224; Div. Love x:3, cf WE 914.

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 32.

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 :2

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. 35.

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.

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