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One day I was meditating upon the creation of the universe; and this being perceived by the angels above me on the right side, where were some who from time to time meditated and reasoned on this subject, one of them descended and invited me to join them; and coming into the spirit I went with him; and having joined them I was taken to the prince, in whose palace I saw some hundreds assembled, with the prince in the midst. Then one of them said, "We perceived here that you were meditating upon the creation of the universe; and we too have sometimes indulged in like meditation; but we have never been able to reach a conclusion, because there clung to our thoughts the idea of a chaos, as having been the great egg, as it were, out of which each thing and all things in the universe in their order were hatched; whereas we now perceive that so great a universe could not have been so brought forth. Then there also clung to our minds another idea, namely, that all things were created by God out of nothing; but we are now able to see that out of nothing nothing comes. From these two ideas we have never yet been able to extricate our minds, and to see with any degree of clearness how creation was accomplished. Therefore we have called you from the place where you were, that you might set forth your mediation on this subject."
Having heard this I replied, "I will do so." And I said, "I have meditated on this subject for a long time, but to no purpose. But since I have been introduced by the Lord into your world I have perceived how idle it would be to try to form a conclusion about the creation of the universe without first knowing that there are two worlds, one in which angels are, and the other in which men are; and that men through death pass from their world to the other. I then also saw that there are two suns, one from which all spiritual things flow, and the other from which all natural things flow; and that the sun from which all spiritual things flow is nothing but love from Jehovah God, who is in its midst, and that the sun from which all natural things flow is nothing but fire. Having learned these facts, at one time when in a state of enlightenment I was permitted to perceive that the universe was created by Jehovah God by means of the sun in the midst of which He is; and as there can be no love apart from wisdom, that the universe was created by Jehovah God from His love by means of His wisdom. The truth of this is evinced by all things and each thing I have seen in the world where you are, and in the world where I am in the body.
It would take too much space to explain how creation progressed from its primordial state; but when I have been in a state of enlightenment I have perceived that by means of the heat and light from the sun of your world, spiritual atmospheres, which are in themselves substantial, were created one from another. As there were three of these atmospheres, and consequently three degrees of them, three heavens were made; one for the angels who are in the highest degree of love and wisdom, a second for those who are in the second degree, and a third for those who are in the lowest degree. But as this spiritual universe cannot exist without a natural universe wherein it can work out its effects and uses, so at the same time a sun was created from which all natural things proceed, and through which in like manner, by means of heat and light, three atmospheres were created, encompassing the three former as a shell its kernel, or as bark its wood; and finally by means of these atmospheres the terraqueous globe was created where men, beasts, fishes, trees, shrubs, and herbs were formed of earthly substances, composed of soil, stones, and minerals.
This is a very general outline of creation and its progress. It would require many volumes to explain the particular and most particular things of it; yet all things point to the conclusion that God did not create the universe out of nothing, for as you have said, out of nothing nothing comes, but that He created it by means of the sun of the angelic heaven, which is from His very Esse, and is therefore nothing but love joined with wisdom. That the universe, by which is meant both the spiritual world and the natural world, was created from the Divine love by means of the Divine wisdom is attested and proved by each thing and all things in it; and this, if you will consider these things in their order and connection, you will be able to see clearly in the light that illuminates the perceptions of your understanding. But it must be kept in mind that the love and wisdom which make one in God are not love and wisdom in an abstract sense, but are in Him as substance; for God is the Very, the Only, and thus the primal Substance and Essence, which has Being and Subsistence in itself.
That it was from the Divine love and the Divine wisdom that each and all things were created is meant by these words in John: The Word was with God, and God was the Word. All things were made by Him, and the world was made by Him (John 1:1, 3, 10), `God' signifying here the Divine love, and the `Word' the truth or Divine wisdom; therefore in the same passage the Word is called `Light'; and in relation to God `Light' means the Divine wisdom."
When I had finished and was bidding them adieu, some rays of light from the sun there descended through the angelic heavens into their eyes, and through these into the abodes of their minds; and when thus enlightened they assented to what I had said, and afterwards followed me into the hall; and my former companion took me to the house where he had found me, and from there he reascended to his own society.
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