275. CHAPTER IX
EVILS ARE PERMITTED FOR THE SAKE OF AN END, WHICH IS SALVATION
If man were born into the love into which he was created he would not be in any evil, nor indeed would he know what evil is; for one who has not been in evil, and consequently is not in evil, cannot know what evil is. If he were told that a particular thing is evil he would not believe it possible. This is the state of innocence in which were Adam and Eve his wife; and the nakedness of which they were not ashamed signified that state. A rational conception of evil after the Fall is meant by eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The love into which man was created is the love of the neighbour, so that he desires his neighbour's welfare as much as his own, even more than his own, and enjoys the delight which springs from that love while he acts kindly to him, much the same as a parent feels in acting kindly to his children. This love is truly human, for there is in it something spiritual that distinguishes it from the natural love which belongs to brute animals. If man were born into this love of the neighbour he would not be born into the darkness of ignorance, as every man now is, but into some faint light of knowledge and consequently of intelligence; and in these he would rapidly advance. He would indeed at first creep like a quadruped but with an inherent endeavour within him to raise himself up upon his feet; for, however much like a quadruped, still he would not turn his face downward to the earth, but forward towards heaven, and would stand upright so that he might also be able to look upwards.