Arcana Coelestia #4073

By Emanuel Swedenborg

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4073. 'Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field, to his flock' means a linking of the affections for truth to the good now meant by 'Jacob' - achieved by that good itself; also the use to which those affections were applied when that good departed. This is clear from the representation of 'Jacob' as the good of the natural, often dealt with already, and from the representation of 'Rachel and Leah' as affections for truth which were linked to that good - 'Rachel' the affection for interior truth, and 'Leah' the affection for external truth, dealt with in 3758, 3782, 3793, 3819. The fact that sending to them and calling them to the field, to his flock, means linking them to itself is self-evident. 'Field' means the things that constitute good, and the place where good exists, 2971, 3196, 3310, 3317, while 'flock' means the actual goods and truths which had now been acquired and to which the affections for truth meant by 'Rachel' and 'Leah' were to be applied when that good departed. 'Jacob' in this chapter represents the good of the Natural which was to become joined more closely to the Divine, 4069, since it was in a state of readiness to separate itself, and was actually doing so, from the good meant by 'Laban' - see what is said about Jacob in 3775. For representations are conditioned by the changes of state that happen to good and truth, and changes of state are conditioned by the changes which spirits and angels who are governed by such good and truth undergo, discussed above in 4067.

[2] With the departure of the communities of spirits and angels that are governed by intermediate good new communities draw nigh which are governed by a more perfect type of good. Man's state is altogether conditioned by the communities of spirits and angels in whose midst he has his being. These determine the state of his will and also that of his thought. But when he himself chooses those communities for himself, that is, when he links himself to them, the changes of state which he undergoes are entirely different from when those communities are linked to him by the Lord. When he links himself to them evil reigns in him, but when they are linked to him by the Lord good reigns in him. When good reigns in him the kind of good that flows in by way of those communities is such as contributes to the reformation of his life. The things that are stated here in the internal sense about the good represented by 'Jacob', about the affections for truth meant by 'Rachel' and 'Leah', and about the use to which these affections were applied when that good departed from the good meant by 'Laban', give an exact and vivid picture of the communities and the changes they undergo. From these communities angels perceive the states which exist with man, and so perceive the nature of his goods and truths. Consequently they perceive countless details which are seen by man as little more than a single whole. Angels therefore are aware of actual causes since they see and perceive those communities, whereas man is aware of effects and does not see those communities, but has merely a dim perception of them gained through some changes of state which originate in those communities. He sees and perceives nothing regarding what is happening to good and truth, unless he is enlightened by the Lord through angels.

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