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  • Writer's pictureKelly Milne


Updated: Dec 26, 2022

Word Cloud for Conjugial Love Numbers 83-93:

Summary of the Numbers: Emanuel Swedenborg in Conjugial Love #83 - 93, discusses the marriage of good and truth. He states “in the members of the animal kingdom the truth of good, that is, truth coming from good, is male; and from this the good of truth, that is, the good coming from that truth, is female.” Also discussed is the role of the male and female. Swedenborg focuses on good and truth and how they are the “universal principles of creation.” Summary of Responses and Quotes:

There was one very long response to this section and the ideas drawn from Swedenborg give a sense of trying to relate his thinking of the day to how we can utilize his thoughts in our day. The following paragraph, in particular, was powerful in explaining how we move through our various energies:

"What I see as an implication for gender and conjugial love is that there is a fluid state of

goodness and truth in everyone. Both goodness and truth are present in everyone, and at any

given moment one or the other might be the dominant energy state the person might be

enjoying. To me this is the source of the concept of gender fluidity within people. We all have

female characteristics, associated with our love energy. We all have male characteristics,

associated with our wisdom energy. We can move between these energy states fluidly, maybe

even simultaneously. Swedenborg doesn’t address this possibility at all, since his concept of

gender was very binary, in keeping with the thinking of his time."

The writer brings up some thought provoking questions in this paragraph referring to #91:

"When looking at marriages, Swedenborg’s cultural view is that husbands are rational,

wise, independent, and whole in that they have their own volition and their own intellect. Wives are emotional, incapable of rationality and wisdom, dependent on their husbands, and

incomplete in the sense that their volition is connected to their husband’s intellect, not their own. But elsewhere, in the many other volumes that he wrote, Swedenborg shows no gender

differences when he writes about regeneration, salvation and the Divine purpose of union with

each and every one of us. He seems to be writing or reporting about the human spiritual path.

But since he does sometimes exclude women when he writes about homo, and he was always

writing for a male audience, it’s possible that he is describing the male path to blessedness in

heavenly states in those other volumes, and ignoring the female path to union and blessedness.

"How might a woman’s spiritual path be different from a man’s path? How might that work for a non-binary person? There is a lot here to explore. To my mind, there must be some differences in how people on different points of the gender scale respond to the Divine One, and enter into union with the Divine."

A response was shared talking about our usefulness and being able to use both male and

female roles:

"The influence of the marriage of good and truth coming from the Lord produces sexual

love and also conjugial love. - (CL 92) It seems to me that there is too much focus on gender when we consider the marriage of good and truth. We can be of use as both intellect and will depending on the situation. We, as people, are not black and white, living only in specific moral situations. If good and truth are not to be in isolation, I cannot imagine that God does not allow men and women to take over each others' roles when needed. If we are in God’s image, we should be able to be of many uses." Word Cloud of the Responses:

Please Comment! What are your thoughts on this section in Conjugial Love? It seems to me that the

differences between the time of the writings compared to today is a key theme. Life has

changed dramatically since Swedenborg began his spiritual journey. We are fortunate that we

have these writings to learn from and gain a deeper understanding of Swedenborg’s thoughts,

but we must remember that life has changed and so have the gender roles of today. Today's Blog By: Pastor Kelly Milne

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