The Doctrines inform us that the Lord was willing to be born as Man on this earth because of the Word, for here the Word exists by means of letters and writings, but elsewhere in the universe it exists by continuous revelations, such as were received by the most ancients of our earth (EU 113-122). Because the use of our earth in the Grand Man of Heaven is to confirm celestial and spiritual truths by natural truths (SD 1531), it would seem that the invention of the art of writing was destined to come. Our general objective here is to trace what the Doctrines say concerning this invention. In particular, it is to trace the various forms of writing connected with preserving the Word, down to the final formulation of the Ancient Word which is now lost. At the end, we will try to trace the presence of the Ancient Word among us today, wherever.
In view of the evolving new dictionary of Swedenborg’s terms, it seems necessary to clarify and to demonstrate the universal significance of one of the crucial concepts of his theological-psy-chological system, and to relate this to modern thought and terminology: the concept conveyed by the Latin term affectio— hitherto translated as “affection.” The similarity to the English term affection has obscured the fact that the meaning of the term in the English language has undergone substantial change with the result that the original significance has been clouded.Unfortunately, there is no English expression which fully fenders the original intention, as will be shown. Also, an older reference book on Swedenborg’s terms1 presents only one of the many aspects and shades of connotation, thus serving again to add to the present confusion, especially for newcomers.