Arcana Coelestia #1480

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)

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1480. 'That the Egyptians saw the woman, that she was very beautiful' means that the knowledge which is comprised of cognitions is to itself highly pleasing. This is clear from what has been stated above at verse 11, to the effect that in childhood knowledge is of such a nature. Within knowledge an inclination so to speak exists - for that inclination is innate in man - which disposes it first of all to take pleasure in knowing just for the sake of knowing, and with no other end in view. This is so with everyone: his spirit takes great delight in knowing, so that it scarcely desires anything better, knowledge being its food by which it is sustained and renewed, as the external man is by earthly food. And this which nourishes his spirit is communicated to the external man to the end that the external man may be adapted so as to serve the internal. These foods exist consecutively, in the following order: Celestial food consists in every good of love and charity received from the Lord, while spiritual food consists in every truth of faith; these are the kinds of food by which angels live. From these comes the food - also celestial and spiritual, but of a lower angelic degree - by which angelic spirits live. And from this again comes celestial and spiritual food of a still lower degree, which is that of reason and from this of knowledge, by which good spirits live. Last of all comes bodily food, which is proper to man while he lives in the body. All these foods correspond to one another in a remarkable manner. From this it is also evident why and how knowledge is to itself most pleasing, for that pleasure is as appetite and taste; therefore also eating with man corresponds in the world of spirits to facts, and appetite and taste themselves to the intense desire for facts, as is clear from experience which will in the Lord's Divine mercy be presented further on.

(References: Genesis 12:14)


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