Traduzidos para o inglês por A. J. Wensinck, publicada em 1923
IN HOW MANY DIFFERENT WAYS THE SIGHT OF INCORPOREAL BEINGS IS RECEIVED BY HUMAN NATURE
All simple and subtle kinds of rational bodies can be attained to by the apperception of human nature in three ways: by personal density ( which is a ) non-essential way; by personal subtlety ( which is a ) non-essential way; by true contemplation which is essential sight.
The first way is dominated by the senses; the other by simple psychic sight; the third by the natural force of the spirit . Further one is dominated by will and reason; one by will and psychic light and all that strengthens the latter.
Will is in the first place cause; and these are the children of freedom, even if at the time of use freedom and will are silent, so long as influence is active and potent. And one only is dominated by the demonstrating ( power ), even without the will of the recipients and essential knowledge, even as the senses are the recipients of all accidents without the will.
These three ways are ministered by holy forces which mingle themselves with us for the sake of our instruction and in order that we may find life. Those who are impure have power to minister two of them, which they may use when they come near unto us, for perdition, not for profit. To the third kind they do not approach with the purpose of using it, so as to acquire power over us to lead us astray.
For it is not possible for the children of darkness to approach light; the demons do not possess the power to set into motion the natural insights of the mind . The holy angels, however, possess this faculty of setting into motion and nf
illuminating. The demons, however, possess the false insights, the children of darkness, as their power and government. From the illuminated the recipient takes light, from the dark, darkness. And what is the reason that this was given to those, and not to these? The insight which every one of these teachers shows and teaches, is first seen by him in his own person, and learnt and tasted; then he is able to transmit to us the truth of things on account of their true knowledge concerning them, which they have found first by the swift attaining power of the light and pure mind. The demons also possess swiftness, but no illumination. Swiftness is different from illumination. The former without the latter leads its possessors to destruction and insipidity; the latter teaches truth, the former sham truth; for light shows the veracity of things entirely and it becomes greater or less in accordance with behaviour.
From their knowledge the holy angels pour out into us, through the emotions caused by things, that which they taste and acquire first and thus transmit to us. And these secondary teachers also set into motion in us, in correspondence with their knowledge, emotions caused by things. In the domain where they have no freedom, it is necessary ( for them ) to quicken in us right deliberations concerning these things. As I have said, therefore, this may be certain to thee, that even if we were able to receive it, they would not be able to teach us true contemplation, though they should be acquainted with it from of old. Every member of one party or the other ¦— holy angels or those of the opposite group — teaches and incites us, the disciples, to behave according to his own behaviour.
To me this is true: that the mind of itself, even without the mediation of the holy angels, tends towards the good, even without instruction, but that it is unable to receive the knowledge of evil things without the mediation of the demons or the senses, ( and is unable ) to tend towards them of its own accord. In our nature good is implanted, evil not. And all that is foreign and is taught from without, needs an intermediary. What is planted within, however, unfolds itself naturally, even without instruction, even if dimly. But even though our nature tends of its own towards the good, it is unable, without the tutorship of the holy angels, to increase this and to be illuminated by it. We have them as teachers, as they have each other, namely those who are lower ( have for their teachers ) those who are more instructed and enlightened than themselves. So they have each other ( for teachers ) up to the one who has as a teacher the holy Trinity. And even he ( does not receive instruction ) of his own, but he has as a teacher the mediator Jesus , through whom he receives ( instruction ) and transmits it to those who are on the same plan and lower.
I think also this. As we naturally do not at all possess the force to be moved by divine contemplation, and we share in this deficiency with all heavenly beings, it is only by grace, without exercise or computation ( on our part ), that we are moved by something which naturally is foreign to the human and angelic mind. For contemplation concerning the godhead is not to be compared with other kinds of contemplation; for we possess contemplation as to their natures through our participation in the twofold nature that is theirs, because of that which is in us and also in them; but we do not participate in the nature of the Essence, nor do we possess contemplation concerning Him. As the faculty of being set into motion by this contemplation does not naturally belong to any of the rational beings of the first and middle class, it must be a gift of grace in all heavenly and earthly minds.
It is not like other faculties caused by nature, however illuminated and purified. But I think — and this is true — that the mind of us, children of man, is to be conducted ( only ) by revelations and insights so far as to reach this essential contemplation which is the same as true revelation; without their )9 mediation, however, our mind could not be conducted. And our mind does not possess a strengh like that of those high and exalted beings who receive all revelations and contemplation from the Essence, without an intermediary. But even they ( receive these revelations ) through an image of the Essence, not from the Essence itself. So that our mind also is in the same degree as the other classes, not able to receive revelations and contemplation of their own, without an intermediary, but only from Jesus who sways the sceptre of the Kingdom. The other classes, viz. other primary classes receive ( revelations ) by handing them down one to the other, concerning all matters of government and the understanding thereof (not concerning the Essence), from the first to the second and so on till the mystery has gone through all the classes.
But many are the mysteries which remain in that one primary class without spreading through the other classes, because, apart from that one, they are not able to receive such a great mystery. There are other mysteries again which proceed from the primary class and are revealed only to the second, but are preserved there in silence; the other classes do not perceive them. Others again are revealed to the third and fourth classes. There are also ( differences of ) superiority and inferiority of revelation in the case of individual angels. Some of them are rich in revelations and mysteries of a high order are revealed unto them, and they receive plentiful light. Some are lower and their impulses are too weak for these mysteries. And thus among the spiritual classes there is excellency and deficiency, superiority and inferiority concerning the receiving of revelations. Apart from that upper class which is the primary of all classes, the remainder without exception receive contemplation and hints concerning the entire divine government from their fellows. And if this is the case with them, how much less are we able, without them and without an intermediary, to receive such mysteries. But as often as an apperception falls in the minds of the saints, this revelation of whatsoever mystery it be, comes from these ( heavenly beings ). When it is allowed by God , revelation is handed down by each higher class to that which is lower, unto the lowest; in the same way, when it is allowed by the godhead, the mystery is handed down by those who are worthy of it unto human beings.
By their intermediary, at any rate, the saints become receivers of the light of contemplation, by which they behold the praised Essence, which is a mystery which they do not learn from each other. Those ( higher beings ) are administering spirits, which are sent to those who are to inherit life through the apperception of such insights of the truths as are peculiar to them.
In the world to be, however, this kind of transmission will be annihilated. For then one will not receive the revelation ot God’s glory for the delight of his soul, from his comrade, but it will be given to every one himself in so far as is in accordance with the measure of his excellency, and as he is deemed worthy of by the Lord of the Universe; but he will not receive the gift through his comrade, as is the case in this world. For there are none who learn and none who teach and none who desire to receive from their comrades what fails themselves. For one giver reveals himself there without intermediary unto all receivers. And those who receive all spiritual delight receive from Him. So that they do not perceive Him by means of single insights but by ( direct ) revelation of Himself, without the outward intermediary of impulses. There is abrogated the degree of the learner and the teacher and every one’s swift love is fixed on one.
Also I say that even those who are scourged in Hell are tormented with the scourgings of love. Scourgings for love’s sake, namely of those who perceive that the>’ have sinned against love, are more hard and bitter than tortures through fear. The suffering which takes hold of the heart through the sinning against love is more acute than any other torture. It is evil for a man to think that the sinners in Hell are destitute of love for the Creator. For love is a child of true knowledge such as is professed to be given to all people. Love works with its force in a double way. It tortures those who have sinned, as happens also in the world between friends. And it gives delight to those who have kept its decrees. Thus it is also in Hell. I say that the hard tortures are grief for love. The inhabitants of heaven, however, make drunk their soul with the delight of love.
Some one was asked when one could believe that he had been deemed worthy of forgiveness of sins. He answered: when he perceives that he inwardly hates them with a complete hate, and that his mode of life is the contrary of what it previously was. He who is in such a state, will trust that his sins have been forgiven by God, on account of the witness borne by the conscience of his soul, according to the word of the Apostle. The heart which does not blame is a witness concerning itself.