Arcana Coelestia #10049

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10049. 'And wash the intestines' means purification of the lowest things. This is clear from the meaning of 'washing' as purifying, dealt with in 3147, 5954(end), 9088 (the purification that was represented by washing is a purification from evils and falsities, for these are what dirt is in the spiritual sense); and from the meaning of 'the intestines' as lowest things, dealt with above in 10030. The reason why it says that the intestines and legs had to be washed is that lowest things and natural things are meant by them, and lowest and natural things are sullied by evils and falsities, more so than interior ones. For they are based in the world, and the things of the senses - the lowest of all - stand exposed to the world and are therefore in direct receipt of influences from the world. Those influences enter them as the delights of self-love and love of the world, along with the delights of the senses and the illusions of the senses. But this is not so with interior things, for these are not based in the world but in heaven. Furthermore the things of the world cannot pass into those of heaven, for there is no such thing as physical influx; but the things of heaven can pass into those of the world present with a person. Therefore as soon as the external man wishes to enter the internal, which is done by means of reasonings that are products of self-love and love of the world, and products of the illusions of the senses, the internal man is closed; the Lord sees to this. Therefore when a person is being regenerated the purification of the internal man is effected in heaven by the Lord, with the consequence that while in the world the person does not see what is being accomplished in his internal man. These things are the ones that should be understood by the Lord's words in John,

The spirit breathes where it wishes, and you hear its voice; but you do not know where it comes from and where it goes away to. So is everyone who is born from the spirit. John 3:8.

'The spirit' is the life of charity through faith.

  
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Thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.