The law of intellect rules the property of discernment within all of the universes in the multiverse. It is what allows materiality to discriminate and differentiate; and this is the point upon which perception itself is predicated. Without intelligence, there can be no perception; and without perception there is no Being, because Being relies upon perception. What is not perceived cannot Be; what does not perceive can equally not Be. Hence we have a situation in which Being itself, which is demonstrably in existence and which we participate in, cannot exist without the law of intellect. One might arguably have matter alone which “somehow” existed in the absence of being, but once again, without an agent to perceive it, even the idea of existence is absent. So the law of intellect is essential to the existence of the universe and of the action of both Being— the material existence of what is — and agency – the action of wish and caring.
In discrimination, intelligence chooses. If we wish to draw an analogy to the collapse of the wave/particle function, which exists as a superimposed state (both wave and particle existing within the same energy state at the same time) at the quantum level, we would say that intellect is the discriminatory property which discerns between the action of particles and the action of waves as the energy packets we call quanta interact with one another. While this is a complex and difficult to understand piece of territory, when we discover the action of intellect on our own level, within human beings, it is much easier to understand, because it always represents discernment and choice — understanding the distinction between various options and having an intention towards one as opposed to another.
Swedenborg wrote Divine Love and Wisdom because he was trying to indicate the way in which emotion and intellect interact with one another as fundamentally lawful entities which supersede the selection of the material. If one reaches work, one begins to detect what one might call a subtle prejudice against the material, which is always regarded as inferior relative to God’s Presence and the existence of the Kingdom of Heaven. This is because the material alone, taken as a separate entity which exists often for itself, has no inherent or legitimate meaning. Only the action of love and intelligence can impart meaning at all; and because we live in a universe that is made of meanings from the bottom up, it becomes clear enough that love and intelligence, which are supremely divine forces, must be perpetually an action to support any existence at all.
Lee van Laer is a Senior Editor at Parabola Magazine.