Spiritual & Biblical Interpretations of Life

Understanding Conatus and its Operation In Man and the Universe: Conatus is the Core Process In the Implementation of God’s Providence


    Conatus is a very important function in the universe that profoundly informs both scientific and spiritual operation and their integration. It is a Word coined by Swedenborg. Conatus is essentially a spiritual sphere from the Lord that is in all living, and non-living, things. It is God’s means of manifesting his will in all things, and how he works through every minute particular toward that end.

   Conatus originates from spheres that come from the Lord in the spiritual sun. It has within it an intelligence from God that always tends toward the manifestation of the human form, or an image of the processes in the human form. In the realms that seem remote from the human, for instance in the processes of geology, or the structures of the universe it is hard to see this, but it nevertheless always corresponds to the processes of the human form just in a remote way to us. By remote I mean that animals, plants and even geology operates in their processes like, and for the human from; each of these three being progressively more removed from the perfect human form but nonetheless part of it. As I have said many times if one were able to see the shape of the whole universe we would see it is the human form.

Conatus works very intimately in all the elements and particular parts (no matter how small) of the material world to form the structures of nature and the universe. Conatus is the catalyst for the perpetual fertile striving for union that brings about life and use; it is latent in everything and comes into power by being put into action, the action of striving for union like the sperm and an egg, or like a seed warmed by the sun that puts out roots into the soil.

    The master key example that best informs how conatus works (and makes it most understandable) – is a human being. In a human conatus is essentially the inner will of a person, the ruling love of a persons life. The will comes into its power when in union with the light of the understanding which gives it direction and sharpens its strength. The will is of love and affection, and all thought is impelled by affection. The affections come from God and He leads us by the affections. Conatus is essentially spiritual, it just works very intimately with the material. 

    Conatus is an influx that works by correspondences. To understand this we need to see that for anything to exist it has to have a form, and anything that has form is made of parts in it.Everything has three ‘discreet degrees’ , and these are cause, effect and end purpose, and each of these degrees are called discreet because they correspond to each other and are part of the same purpose. Conatus is the cause in this trio. Think of it this way, Swedenborg and science have shown (respectively) that there is a sphere, or an aura around all things living and non-living. This is an effect of the conatus. The aura becomes stronger when there is activity, the more intense the stronger it is. It can be positive or negative, good or evil conatus.

      The way conatus works in a human being can be used as a template to understand how it works in everything. The divine is the ultimate cause for all, but conatus exists as the cause function in every particular entity there is, whether it be minute or large. In everything that exists there is the pattern of cause, effect, and end purpose. There is a cause for every micro entity, say like an atom. Nothing can exist unless it has a form, and a form is always in a dynamic equilibrium. By dynamic I mean things are always changing form but change into another equilibrium; for instance if we break a glass; its form changed but now pieces are a new form. This also applies to large entities say like the planet or an eco system. An eco system exists as a form because the parts (animals, water, landscape etc.) have settled into an equilibrium together, but if another species is introduced it is now in flux but gradually changes into another equilibrium. For anything to have form it must have within it cause, effect and end, the three levels of discreet degrees. In the human form the will is the conatus, the inner parts are the effect, and the end is the whole human and its use or motion. This correlates to the way the soul, or spiritual human form, is the first cause of all the many parts in the body and the uses they perform, and that then make the whole of the human. (Each individual organ in the body is also a form that has purpose and all the parts in the organ are also forms, and so on – they are all interrelated and serve each other.) These three parts in a form is the picture that defines the pattern for all things. There is a sphere around every human, and every other entity living or non living, because energy proceeds from the particular quality of the union of the three parts in action.
     It must be this way because everything that exists has to have a sovereignty or freedom  in order to have existence and have form. There are not two things that exist that are exactly the same, though they may be very very similar. Sovereignty is an expression of the innate drive in everything to seek union and thus be in equilibrium. Conatus is the perpetual drive inside these things from the source. It is very important to see that this expression of Sovereignty in all things comes from the divine human. It is ultimately a reflection of his Sovereignty and freedom and a gift from him. Remember, the human form is the universal template for all because we are made in HIS image. It is so good to see this because when we understand the big picture it informs the rest of the picture, and we can have confidence in our reasoning by correspondence and by receiving perception from God. 

    Now here is a most fascinating way to see conatus in the universe. Science describes dark matter is the cause, that they cannot see or define, but they have observed its effect the formation of galaxies and all the other structures in the universe. Science describes dark matter as a gravitational force that operates outside the influence of matter and energy; but it works in coordination with gravity; but it acts as an intelligent force constructing the universe. Spiritually, natural gravity in the universe corresponds to the attractive force of love, conatus is this ‘sphere of love’, that binds and constructs with intelligent purpose. Everything that exists no matter how small has a gravitational field because it has matter. The gravitational field is a physical expression or correspondent to the spiritual atmosphere or conatus within and around the object.

      Scientists show that dark matter does not interact with light, heat, or radiation, but it does interact with gravity. They say that dark matter is the creative force that causes the universe to construct; they see that it is the force that built the magnificent universe we see now. Dark matter has positive gravity and brings things together, and Dark energy has repulsive gravity and drives things apart and is destructive, and the two are in constant battle. Scientists describe dark matter as the influence or force that caused matter to first clump together or coalesce, which regular matter could not do on its own because the early universe was a blaze of incredible heat, radiation, and ultra fast particles – so normal gravity could not take hold. But they say dark matter cause the first clumping because it is independent of heat and radiation. Science describes dark matter as the ‘scaffolding that guides normal gravity’. Thus from the discovery of science we can only conclude that this force contains an inner intelligence that guides the formation of stars, galaxies, the structure of the cosmic web, and thus the whole of the universe. Scientist further describe Dark matter as an unseen gravitational force that moves into forms and regular matter follows. They say Dark matter orchestrates the movement of regular matter similar to the way dew adheres to a spider web. Dark matter is conatus.


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