Arcana Coelestia #10124

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)

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10124. 'When you make propitiation on it' means the resulting ability to receive good from the Lord. This is clear from the meaning of 'making propitiation on the altar' as the implantation - after evils and consequently falsities have been removed - of good from the Lord, and the reception of it by a person belonging to the Church or by an angel belonging to heaven, dealt with in Arcana Coelestia 9506. For as shown immediately above in Arcana Coelestia 10123, 'the altar' means heaven and the Church as regards the reception of good from the Lord. Since 'the altar' means the heaven and Church where celestial good reigns, which is the good of love received from the Lord and offered back to the Lord, a brief description of the nature of the reception of good in the celestial kingdom must be given. As has often been stated before, heaven is divided into two kingdoms, one of which is called the celestial kingdom and the other the spiritual kingdom. In both kingdoms good is implanted by means of truth; but with those who are in the spiritual kingdom good is implanted by means of truth in the understanding part of the mind, whereas with those who are in the celestial kingdom good is implanted by means of truth in the will part. The way in which the implantation of good by means of truth takes place in the spiritual kingdom is different from the way in which it does with those in the celestial kingdom. With those in the spiritual kingdom truth is implanted in the external or natural man, where at first it becomes knowledge. To the extent that the person has an affection for it, and lives in accord with it, it is then summoned into the understanding, where it becomes faith and at the same time charity towards the neighbour. This charity constitutes his new will and the faith a new understanding; and both constitute conscience.

[2] But with those in the celestial kingdom truth becomes neither knowledge, nor faith, nor conscience. Instead it becomes a power to receive that is subject to the good of love; and to the extent that they live a life in accord with it, it becomes a power of perception which grows fuller and more perfect as their love does so. This goes on in them day by day without their awareness, almost as it does with young children. The reason why it goes on without their awareness is that truth does not become fixed as knowledge in the memory, nor does it linger as a concept within the power of thought; rather it passes without delay into the will and becomes part of their life. Consequently they do not see truth but perceive it; and the extent and manner of their perception is determined by how much and in what way the good of love received from and offered back to the Lord is present in them. These in the celestial kingdom therefore are very different from those in the spiritual kingdom. And since their perception of truth springs from good they never substantiate it by the use of reasons. Instead whenever truths are the subject they merely say either 'Yes, yes' or 'No, no'.

[3] These are the ones who are meant by the Lord in Matthew,

Let your words be Yes, yes; No, no; anything beyond this is from evil 1 . Matthew 5:37.

For reasoning about truths, about whether they are such or not, does not spring from good, because in that case truth is not seen with perception, only believed as a result of receiving it on authority and then corroborating it for oneself. What one believes on authority consists of other people's ideas within one's self and are not one's own; and anything believed on these grounds alone and then corroborated appears after such corroboration to be the truth, even when it is false. This becomes perfectly clear from the beliefs of any religion and from the variety of religions throughout the world.

From all this it is evident what the difference is between those who are in the Lord's celestial kingdom and those who are in His spiritual kingdom. The reason for their difference is that those in His celestial kingdom by the way they live convert the Church's truths immediately into forms of good, whereas those in the spiritual kingdom keep to truths, preferring faith to life. Those who by the way they live convert the Church's truths immediately into good, that is, those who belong to the celestial kingdom, are described by the Lord in Mark 4:26-29, and many times elsewhere. Regarding the difference between the celestial kingdom and the spiritual kingdom, see the places referred to in Arcana Coelestia 9277.

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Footnotes:

1. or from the evil one

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(References: Exodus 29:36)

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