Monday, January 28, 2008

Perspective on the "Two Foundations of Truth"

People often draw conclusions about the importance of scientific knowledge based on the “two foundations of truth” described in Spiritual Experiences 5709.
Afterwards, I spoke about the foundations of truth, that they are two, one from the Word, the other from nature or from the truths of nature; and that the foundation from the Word is for the universal heaven, thus for those who are in the light [lux] of heaven; but the foundation from nature, for those who are natural and in natural light [lumen], thus for those who have confirmed themselves from the letter of the Word in things not true, yea, in falsities, so as to be convinced of them. For these are no longer able to be convinced from the Word. But, still, [these two foundations of truth] agree the one with the other; which is proved by a contemplation of certain things in the Word. Since sciences have shut up the understanding, therefore, sciences may also open it; and it is opened so far as men are in good.
It is fascinating that the sciences may open the understanding if people are in good. However, it is useful to know that this passage comes under the heading, “Those Who Were Called Learned and Were Believed Because They Could Confirm Their Own Dogma Whatever It Might Be, In the Other Life” (Spiritual Experiences 5700) and that at the end of the section it says,
In brief, nothing can be founded upon scientifics except it be previously founded upon the Word. This must be first: the other is only a confirmation from man's scientifics. (Spiritual Experiences 5710)

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