Secrets of Heaven #1003

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1003. This now shows that not eating flesh in its soul, [not eating] blood means not mingling profane things with holy. Eating blood with flesh never mingles profane things with holy, as the Lord also taught explicitly in Matthew:

It is not what goes into the mouth that renders a person unclean but what comes out of the mouth; this renders a person unclean, since the things that come out of the mouth come out of the heart. (Matthew 15:11, 17-18, 19-20)

Still, it was forbidden in the Jewish religion because, again, eating blood with the flesh at that time presented heaven with an image of profanation. Everything that took place in that religion turned into a corresponding representation in heaven. Blood turned into something sacred and heavenly. Flesh (aside from sacrifices) turned into something profane, because it symbolized cravings, as shown [§999:1]. And the actual eating of both turned into a mixing together of holiness and profanation. That is why it was so strictly banned.

After the Lord's Coming, though, when outward rituals were abolished, so that representative forms died out, such practices no longer turned into corresponding representations in heaven. When people develop depth and learn about inner dimensions, superficial things lose all value for them. They realize what is truly holy, namely, charity and the faith growing out of it, which provide them with a perspective on their outer dimension, or the amount of charity and faith in the Lord they have outwardly. As a result, ever since the Lord's Coming, heaven views us not in terms of outer but inner attributes. If angels do look at any of us on the basis of external considerations, it is due to a simplicity in us, and to an innocence and kindness within the simplicity. These come from the Lord and reside within our outward traits, or our outward worship, although we are unaware of it.

(References: Genesis 9:4; Matthew 15:17-20, 15:18-20)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 3757, 4581, 4601, 4728, 7326, 8882

The White Horse 12

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 172, 261

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Many thanks to the Swedenborg Foundation and its New Century Edition team.