10130. 'Everyone touching the altar will be sanctified' means whoever receives what is Divine and the Lord's. This is clear from the meaning of 'touching' as an imparting, conveying, and being received, dealt with below; from the meaning of 'the altar' as that which is representative of the Lord in respect of the good of love, at this point in heaven and in the Church, dealt with above in 10129; and from the meaning of 'being sanctified' as receiving what is Divine and the Lord's, also dealt with above, in 10128. The reason why 'touching' means an imparting, conveying, and being received is that a person's inner feelings are expressed by outward means, in particular by touch, and are thereby imparted and conveyed to another; and insofar as the will of the other is in tune and at one with his they are received. Whether you say the will or the love, it amounts to the same thing; for whatever a person loves he likewise wills. From this it also follows that the inner feelings a person has as a result of what he loves and therefore thinks are expressed through touch, and by means of it are imparted and conveyed to another. And insofar as the other loves the person expressing those feelings or loves the things which that person says and does, those feelings are received.
 This is especially apparent in the next life, for all people's actions there flow from the heart, that is, from their will or love. They are not allowed to act with gestures separate from their will or love, nor to speak with fraudulent lips, that is, separately from the thoughts of the heart. There it is evident how inner feelings are imparted and conveyed to another by touch, and how the other's reception of them is determined by his own love. Everyone's will or love constitutes the entire person there, and the sphere of life from it flows out from him like breath or an exhalation, envelops him, and constitutes an extension of himself, so to speak, around himself, in a way scarcely different from the emission around plants in the world, which is also detected at a distance through their odours, and also that around animals, which is actually detected by a dog with its keen sense of smell. There is a like emission from every human being, as also a wealth of experience makes known. But when a person lays aside the body and becomes a spirit or an angel that emission or exhalation is not material, as it was in the world; instead it is something spiritual flowing from his love. This love produces a sphere around him, which enables other spirits to detect at a distance what he is like. See what has been shown regarding this sphere in the places referred to in 9606.
 Since in their world this sphere is imparted and conveyed to another, and is received by him in accordance with his love, very many wonders occur there which are unknown to people in the world, such as,
1. People's presence with one another is always due to the likeness of their loves, and their absence from one another is always due to unlikeness.
2. All are brought into association with one another on the basis of their loves. Those governed by love to the Lord received from the Lord live in association with one another in the inmost heaven; those governed by love towards the neighbour received from the Lord live in association with one another in the middle heaven; and those governed by the obedience of faith, that is, those who do the truth for its own sake, live in association with one another in the lowest heaven. But those ruled by self-love and love of the world, that is, those who do what they do with selfish and worldly ends in view, live in association with one another in hell.
 3. All turn their eyes towards those they love. Those who love the Lord turn their eyes towards the Lord as the Sun; those who love the neighbour with love received from the Lord turn their eyes towards the Lord as the Moon; and those who do the truth for its own sake act in a similar way. (Regarding the Lord as the Sun and as the Moon, see what has been shown in 1521, 1529-1531, 3636, 3643, 4060, 4321 (end), 5097, 5377, 7078, 7083, 7171, 7173, 8644, 8812.) And what is astonishing, whichever way they face, that is, whichever of the four quarters they turn towards, they still behold the Lord in front of them. The opposite is so with those in hell; the more they are ruled there by self-love and by love of the world, the more they turn from the Lord and have Him behind their back. And again this is so whichever way they face or whichever quarter they turn towards.
 4. When an angel of heaven focuses his attention on others his inner feelings are imparted and conveyed to them, according to the amount and the essential nature of his love; and it is received by them according to the essential nature and the amount of their love. If therefore attention is focused by an angel of heaven on those who are good, it gives rise to gladness and joy; but if it is focused on the evil, it gives rise to pain and torment.
 But an imparting, conveying, and being received is also meant by touching with the hand because the whole body's capacity to act is concentrated in the arms and hands, and in the Word interior things are expressed by means of exterior ones. So it is that power is meant by 'the arms', by 'the hands', and especially by 'the right hand', see the places referred to in 10019, and what has been stated in 10023, 10076; and so it is that whatever resides with a person, thus the entire person in his capacity to act, is meant by 'the hands', see the places referred to in 10019. Furthermore all the outward senses of sight, hearing, taste, and smell are connected with touch, being varieties of touch, as is well known in the learned world.
 The meaning of 'touching' as an imparting, conveying, and being received is clear from a great number of places in the Word, of which let the following be brought to the fore: In Moses,
You shall anoint the tent of meeting, and the ark of the Testimony, and the table and all its vessels, and the lampstand and its vessels, and the altar of incense, and the altar of burnt offering and all its vessels, and the laver and its pedestal. Thus you shall sanctify them, that they may be the holy of holies. Everyone who touches them will be made holy. Exodus 30:26-29.
In the same author,
Everything that touches the remainder of the minchah and the remainder of the flesh from the sacrifices, which are for Aaron and his sons, will be made holy. Leviticus 6:18, 27.
The angel touched Daniel 1
and raised him onto his knees; and he touched his lips and opened his mouth; and again he touched him and strengthened him. Daniel 10:10, 16, 18.
One of the seraphim touched my mouth with the burning coal; he said, Behold, this has touched your lips, therefore your iniquity has departed and your sin is expiated. Isaiah 6:7.
Jehovah put out His hand and touched my mouth, and said, I am putting 2
My words into your mouth. Jeremiah 1:9.
Jesus, stretching out a hand to the leper, touched him, saying, I am willing; be clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. Matthew 8:3.
In the same gospel,
Jesus saw Peter's mother-in-law sick with a fever, and He touched her hand, and the fever left her. Matthew 8:14-15.
In the same gospel,
Jesus touched the eyes of the blind, and their eyes were opened. Matthew 9:29-30.
In the same gospel,
Jesus touched the eyes of the two blind men, and immediately they received sight. Matthew 20:34.
Jesus touched the servant's 3
ear and healed [him]. Luke 22:51.
They brought the sick to Jesus, that they might just touch the hem of His clothing; and as many as touched [Him] were made well. Mark 6:56; Matthew 14:36.
A woman suffering from a discharge of blood touched the hem of Jesus' garment; and immediately the flow of blood stopped. Jesus said, Who is it who touched Me? Someone touched Me; I perceived that power had gone out from Me. Luke 8:44-48.
They brought young children to Jesus, that He might touch them. And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them. Mark 10:13, 16.
 From these quotations it is evident that 'touching' means an imparting, conveying, and being received.
 This is similarly evident in places where uncleannesses are the subject, by which evils and falsities that come from the hells are meant in the internal sense, as in Moses,
Whoever touches the dead body of any person 4
will be unclean for seven days. Whoever touches a dead body, that of a person who has died 5
, and has not expiated himself, defiles Jehovah's dwelling-place; therefore this soul shall be cut off from Israel. Everyone who has touched on the surface of the field one slain with the sword, or one dead, or a human bone, or a sepulchre will be unclean for seven days. Whoever touches the water of separation will be unclean until the evening. Everything that the unclean person has touched will become unclean; and the soul who has touched it will be unclean until the evening. Numbers 19:11, 13, 16, 21-22.
In the same author,
He who touches unclean beasts, unclean creeping things, will be unclean until the evening. Everything onto which [any of them] falls will be unclean; whether it is a wooden vessel, a garment, water, an earthenware vessel, food, drink, an oven, a spring, a cistern, [or] a water-tank, it will be unclean. Leviticus 11:31-36.
The like occurs at Leviticus 5:2-3; 7:21.
In the same book,
[A person] who has a discharge is unclean. A man (vir) who touches that person's bed ..., if he sits on a vessel on which the person has sat ..., whoever touches that person's flesh [or] his garments ..., if someone suffering from a discharge spits on one who is clean ..., a seat 6
on which he rides ..., an earthenware vessel ..., a wooden vessel ..., he will be unclean. Leviticus 15:1-end.
So too one who touches a leper, Leviticus 22:4. In the same book,
If any of the carcass falls onto any sowing seed which is sown, it will be clean. But if water is put onto the seed, and the carcass falls onto it, it will be unclean. Leviticus 11:37-38.
 By these uncleannesses are meant various kinds of evils and consequent falsities coming from hell, which have been imparted, conveyed, and received. Each particular uncleanness means some specific evil; for evils are what render a person unclean, because they infect his soul. Also the evils in their hearts gush out of evil spirits and genii, and - depending on how convincing the false ideas accompanying evil are - they infect those who are present. This contagious influence is what is meant by touching uncleannesses.
 In Moses,
Of the fruit from the tree which is in the middle of the garden you shall not eat, nor shall you touch it, or else you will die. Genesis 3:3.
In the same book,
The angel who wrestled with Jacob, seeing that he did not prevail against him, touched the socket of his thigh, and the socket of the thigh was out of joint. Genesis 32:25.
In the same author,
Moses said that they should not touch anything that belonged to Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, lest they be consumed on account of all their sins. Numbers 16:26.
Depart, depart. Do not touch the unclean thing. Go out from the midst of her; be purified, bearers of Jehovah's vessels. Isaiah 52:11.
They went astray blind in the streets, they are defiled with blood. Things which have no power they touch with their garments. Depart; he is unclean. They cry out to them, Depart, do not touch [us]. Lamentations 4:14-15.
Behold, if a man carries 7
holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and his skirt touches bread, or wine, or oil, or any food whatever, still it will not be made holy. If one who is unclean from a dead body 8
touches any of them whatever still he will be unclean. Haggai 2:12-14.
Perjuring, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery; they commit robbery, and blood touches blood 9
. Therefore the land will mourn. Hosea 4:2-3.
1. Swedenborg adds five words here meaning literally and restored onto his station i.e. stood him on his feet again. They appear in Daniel 8:18 but are echoed in the angel's command to Daniel in Daniel 10:11 to stand up, which comes after the words and raised him onto his knees.
2. literally, I am giving
3. Reading servi (the servant's) for surdi (the deaf man's)
4. literally, the dead, as to every soul of man (homo)
5. literally, Whoever touches the dead, as to the soul of a man (homo) who dies
6. literally, chariot or carriage
7. literally, Behold, a man (vir) will carry
8. literally, from a soul
9. literally, bloods touch bloods i.e. bloodshed comes on top of bloodshed
Exodus 29:37; Leviticus 11:31-38; Luke 8:43-46)