(Note: This article is an edited and expanded version of part of an answer I wrote and posted on Christianity StackExchange. You can see the original question on StackExchange here, and the StackExchange version of my answer here.)
According to the theology of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), the universe and everything in it is quite literally created from and built around the interplay between what is colloquially known as “head and heart,” or between love and wisdom, in the more abstract language that Swedenborg commonly uses.
This is the subject of Swedenborg’s great philosophical and cosmological work Divine Love and Wisdom, originally published in Latin, Amsterdam, 1763.
In this book, Swedenborg traces the creation of the universe to a divine “marriage” of love and wisdom in God. In God, Swedenborg says, love and wisdom are perfectly balanced. And though they can be distinguished conceptually in our minds, they are in fact inseparable from one another, and always operate together as one.
From this “divine marriage” flows all the power, or action, of God—and of course, all the words, or teachings, of God, which are part of God’s power flowing out. This power and truth of God flowing out is known in the Bible as “the Holy Spirit.”
So according to Swedenborg, God consists of:
In Swedenborg’s theology, these three are the “Trinity” in the one Divine Person of God, when the Trinity is viewed in abstract terms.
So in their origin in God, “head” and “heart” are, in Swedenborg’s words, “distinguishably one” (see Divine Love and Wisdom #14, in which Swedenborg uses the name “the Divine-Human One” for God):
- Love is the reality, substance, and soul of God.
- Wisdom is the manifestation, form, and body of God.
So in God, there is no separation between head and heart. In fact, they can occur only together with one another, even if we are able to distinguish them conceptually in our minds. God’s head and heart always work together as one in perfect balance.
Because the entire created universe comes from God and is an expression of God, this “distinguishable oneness” of love and wisdom, or substance and form, exists throughout the created universe as well, including in human beings, where it is especially manifested in our will and understanding—once again colloquially known as “heart” and “head.”
However, in human beings, head and heart do not always work together. In fact, common experience tells us that our head and heart are often in conflict with one another.
For more on head and heart in Swedenborg’s theology, please click here to read on.