1146. And every vessel of ivory, and every vessel of precious wood, signifies rational truths and goods that have been profaned. This is evident from the signification of "vessel," as being the knowing faculty (of which presently); also from the signification of "ivory," as being rational truth (of which also presently); also from the signification of "precious wood," as being good of great excellence, thus rational good, for this is such good because it is the best good of the natural man. That "wood" signifies good may be seen above (n. 1145). A "vessel" means the knowing faculty, because all truth in the natural man is called knowledge; and this is signified by a "vessel" because the knowledge of the natural man is the containant of rational and spiritual truths, for when these are thought and perceived they are laid up in the memory and are called knowledges. This is why in the Word "vessels" signify cognitions [cognitiones] and so far as these belong to the natural man, and are laid up in the memory of that man, they are knowledges [scientifica].
 "Ivory" signifies rational truth, because the camel 1
signifies the natural in general; since, therefore, "ivory" is from his teeth and by it he has power, also since it is white and also has a power of resistance, it signifies rational truth, which is the most excellent truth of the natural man. This truth is signified by "ivory," as well as by "ebony." In Ezekiel:
Of the oaks of Bashan have they made thine oars; they have made thy benches of ivory. Many isles were the traffic of thine hand, they brought thee for a gift horns of ivory and ebony (Ezekiel 27:6, 15).
This is said of Tyre, which signifies the knowledges of truth, by which man has intelligence. These knowledges are here described by a ship, the oars of which were of oak and the bench of ivory, "oars" signifying the things of the understanding that are of use in speaking and that belong to the sensual man, and "bench" signifying that part of the understanding by which one is led, which is the rational. This is here signified also by the "ebony" which the isles bring, "isles" signifying those in the church who are natural and yet rational.
 In Amos:
That lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches (Daniel 6:4).
Reasonings from falsities are thus described, "beds of ivory" being doctrines seemingly from rational truths, and "to stretch themselves upon their couches" being to reason in favor of these from falsities. In the same:
I will smite the winter house with the summer house, that the houses of ivory may perish, and the great houses may have an end (Amos 3:15).
"Houses" signify the things of the human mind, here the things of the natural mind separate from the spiritual mind; "winter house and summer house" signify things of the natural man that are called sensual, and "house of ivory" and "great house" signify the things of the natural man that are called rational, "house of ivory" here meaning those that have relation to truth, and "great house" those that have relation to good. As "house" signifies man as to those things that are of his mind, they formerly built houses of ivory, as we read of Ahab (1 Kings 22:39), which signified man as to the rational. This makes clear what is signified by these words in David:
Out of the ivory palaces have they made thee glad (Psalms 45:8).
This is said of the Lord. "Ivory palaces" mean truths from the rational man, thus rational truths. But "vessel of ivory" and "vessel of precious wood" signify rational truths and goods profaned, because they were predicated of Babylon, which signifies profanation of all things of truth and good.
(Continuation respecting the Athanasian Faith)
(References: Amos 6:4)
 That man is merely a recipient of good and truth from the Lord and of evil and falsity from hell, must be illustrated by comparisons confirmed by the laws of order and influx, and finally established by experience. It is illustrated by the following comparisons. The sensories of the body are recipient and percipient only seemingly from themselves; the sensory of sight, which is the eye, sees objects out of itself as if it were close by them, when, in fact, the rays of light convey with wings of ether their forms and colors into the eye, and these forms when perceived in the eye are observed by an internal sight that is called the understanding, and are distinguished and recognized according to their quality. It is the same with the sensory of hearing. This perceives sounds, whether words or musical tones, from the place from which they come as if it were there; when in fact, the sounds flow in from without and are perceived by the understanding within the ear. It is the same with the sensory of smell; this, too, perceives from within what flows in from without, sometimes from a great distance. Also the sensory of taste is excited by the foods that come in contact with the tongue from without. The sensory of touch does not feel unless it is touched. These five bodily sensories by virtue of an influx from within are sensible of what flows in from without; the influx from within is from the spiritual world, and the influx from without is from the natural world.
 With all this the laws inscribed on the nature of all things are in harmony, which laws are: 1. That nothing exists or subsists from itself, or is acted upon or moved by itself, but only by something else. From this it follows that everything exists and subsists and is acted upon and moved by the First that is not from another, but is in itself the living force, which is life.
2. That nothing can be acted upon or moved unless it is intermediate between two forces, one of which acts and the other reacts, that is, unless one acts on the one side and the other on the other, and unless one acts from within and the other from without.
3. And since these two forces when at rest produce an equilibrium, it follows that nothing can be put in action or moved unless it is in equilibrium, and when put in action it is out of the equilibrium; also that everything put in action or moved seeks to return to an equilibrium.
4. That all activities are changes of state and variations of form, and that the latter are from the former. By state in man his love is meant, and by changes of state the affections of love; by form in man his intelligence is meant, and by variations of form his thoughts; and thoughts are from affections.
(References: Revelation 18:12)