109. To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life. That this signifies that he who receives in the heart shall be filled with the good of love, and hence with heavenly joy, is evident from the signification of overcoming, as being to receive in the heart, concerning which we shall treat in what follows; and from the signification of eating, as being to appropriate and to be conjoined (concerning which see Arcana Coelestia, n. 2187, 2343, 3168, 3813, 5643); and from the signification of the tree of life, as being the good of love, and thence heavenly joy, concerning which also we shall speak presently. The reason why to overcome denotes to receive in the heart is, that everyone who is about to receive spiritual life will fight against the evils and falsities of his natural life, and when he overcomes them, then goods and truths, which belong to the spiritual life, are received in the heart (to receive in the heart is to receive in the will and love, for the heart in the Word signifies the will and love, as may be seen, Arcana Coelestia, n. 2930, 3313, 7542, 8910, 9050, 9113, 10,336); wherefore to receive goods and truths in the heart, is to do them from the will or love; this is what is meant by overcoming.
Arcana Coelestia 2187, 2343, 2930, 3168, Arcana Coelestia 3313, 3813, Arcana Coelestia 5643, Arcana Coelestia 7542, 8910, 9050, 9113, Arcana Coelestia 10336; Revelation 2:7)
 The reason why the tree of life signifies the good of love, and thence heavenly joy is, that trees signify those things that are internally in man, which pertain to his interior mind (mens), or his external mind (animus), the boughs and leaves those things which pertain to the knowledges (cognitiones) of truth and good, and the fruits the goods of life themselves. This signification of trees originates in the spiritual world; for in that world trees of all kinds are seen; and these trees correspond to the interiors of the minds of angels and spirits; beautiful and fruitful trees to the interiors of those who are in the good of love, and thence in wisdom; trees less beautiful and fruitful to those who are in the good of faith; but trees bearing leaves only, and without fruit, to those who are only in the knowledges (cognitiones) of truth; and trees of a dismal hue, with malignant fruits, to those who are in knowledges (cognitiones) and in evil of life; but by those who are not in knowledges, and are in evil of life, trees are not seen, but instead stones and sand.
These appearances in the spiritual world, actually flow from correspondence; for the interiors of the mind of the inhabitants of that world are by such forms actually presented before their eyes. (These things may be seen better from two articles in the work, Heaven and Hell; in the first, where the correspondence of heaven with all things of the earth is treated of, n. 103-115; and in the other, where representatives and appearances in heaven are treated of, n. 170-176, and n. 177-190.)
Heaven and Hell 103-115, 170-176, 177-190)
 This then is why trees are so often mentioned in the Word, by which are signified those things which pertain to a man's mind; and why it is, that in the first chapters of Genesis, two trees are said to have been placed in the garden of Eden, one of which was called the tree of life, and the other the tree of knowledge (scientia). By the tree of life mentioned there is signified the good of love to the Lord, and thence heavenly joy, which those possessed who at that time formed the church, and who are meant by the man and his wife; and by the tree of knowledge is signified the delight of knowledges (cognitiones) without any other use than to be accounted learned, and to acquire renown for erudition, solely for the sake of honour or gain. The reason why the tree of life also signifies heavenly joy is, because the good of love to the Lord, which is specifically signified by that tree, has heavenly joy in it. (See the work, Heaven and Hell, n. 395-414, and The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, n. 230-239.)
Heaven and Hell 395-414; The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 230-239)
 That trees, so often mentioned in the Word, signify the interiors of man's internal and external minds, and the things produced by the trees, as the leaves and fruit, such things as are derived from them, is evident from the following passages:
"I will give in the desert the cedar, the schittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the wilderness the fir tree, the pine and the box" (Isa. xli. 19).
The establishment of the church is there treated of;
"The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary" (Isa. lx. 13).
"Let all the trees of the field know that I, Jehovah, humble the lofty tree, and exalt the humble tree, cause the green tree to become dry, and make the dry tree to bud" (Ezek. xvii. 24).
"Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall consume every green tree in thee, and every dry tree" (Ezek. xx. 47).
"The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, all the trees of the field are withered, because joy is withered away from the sons of men" (Joel i. 12).
"When the angel sounded, there followed hail and fire which fell upon the earth; and the third part of the trees was burnt up" (Apoc. viii. 7)
Nebuchadnezzar saw in a dream "a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great, the leaf thereof fair, and the flower thereof much, and in it was food for all" (Dan. iv. 10-12).
Because trees in general signify such things as pertain to man, and constitute the interiors of his mind, and thus the spiritual things pertaining to the church, and both the latter and the former are various, therefore so many species of trees are mentioned, and every species signifies something different. (What the various species signify is shown in Arcana Coelestia, as what is signified by the oil tree, n. 9277, 10,261 what by the cedar, n. 9472, 9486, 9528, 9715, 10,178 what by the vine, n. 1069, 5113, 6375, 6378, 9277; what by the fig, n. 217, 4231, 5113, and so forth.)
Arcana Coelestia 217, Arcana Coelestia 1069, Arcana Coelestia 4231, Arcana Coelestia 5113, Arcana Coelestia 6375, 6378, Arcana Coelestia 9277, Arcana Coelestia 9472, 9486, 9528, 9715, 10178, 10261; Daniel 4:10-12; Ezekiel 17:24, 20:47; Isaiah 41:19, 60:13; Joel 1:12; Revelation 8:7)
 Moreover, the things which are upon trees, as leaves and fruits, signify those things that pertain to man; leaves signify the truths pertaining to him, and fruits the goods, as in the following passages:
"He shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river; her leaf shall be green; neither shall it cease from yielding fruit" (Jer. xvii. 8).
By the river which went out from the house of God "upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, ascendeth the tree of food, whose leaf falleth not off, nor is its fruit consumed; it springeth again in its months, because its waters issue out of the sanctuary, whence its fruit is for food, and its leaf for medicine" (Ezek. xlvii. 12).
"In the midst of the street of it, and of the river (going out from the throne of God and the Lamb), on this side and on that side, was there the tree of life bearing twelve fruits, and yielding her fruit every month, and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations" (Apoc. xxii. 1, 2).
"Blessed is the man whose delight is in the law; he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season, his leaf also shall not wither" (Ps. i. 1-3).
"Be not afraid, for the tree shall bear her fruit, the fig tree and the vine shall yield their strength" (Joel ii. 22).
"The trees of Jehovah are full of sap, the cedars of Lebanon which he hath planted" (Ps. civ. 16).
"Praise Jehovah, ye fruitful trees, and all cedars" (Ps. cxlviii. 9).
Ezekiel 47:12; Jeremiah 17:8; Joel 2:22; Leviticus 19:23-25; Psalms 1:1-3, Psalms 1:3, 104:16, 148:7, 148:9; Revelation 22:1-2, Revelation 22:2)
 Because fruits signified the goods of life with man, therefore in the Israelitish church, which was a representative church, it was commanded that the fruit of trees, like the men themselves, should be circumcised, concerning which it is thus written: The fruit of a tree serving for food shall be uncircumcised in the land of Canaan;
"three years shall it be uncircumcised unto you; and in the fourth year all the fruit thereof shall be holy, the praises of Jehovah. And in the fifth year shall ye eat of the fruit thereof" (Lev. xix. 23, 24, 25).
Because the fruit of the tree signified goods of life, therefore also it was commanded, that
in the feast of tabernacles they should take the fruit of the tree of honour, and the boughs, and should rejoice before Jehovah, and thus they should keep the feast (Lev. xxiii. 40, 41);
for by tabernacles were signified the goods of celestial love, and thence holy worship (see Arcana Coelestia, n. 414, 1102, 2145, 2152, 3312, 4391, 10,545); and by the feast of tabernacles was signified the implantation of that good of love (n. 9296). Because fruit signified the goods of love, which are the goods of life, therefore it was among the blessings that the tree of the field should yield its fruit; and among the curses that it should not yield its fruit (Lev. xxvi. 4, 20). And therefore also they were forbidden, when any city was besieged, to lay the axe to any tree of good fruit (Deut. xx. 19, 20).
From these considerations it is now evident that by fruits are signified the goods of love, or, what is the same, goods of life, which are also called works, as also what is meant in these passages in the Evangelists:
"The axe lies at the root of the trees; every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit shall be hewn down and cast into the fire" (Matt. iii. 10; vii. 16-21).
Either make the tree good and the fruit good, or else make the tree corrupt and the fruit corrupt; for the tree is known by its fruit" (Matt. xii. 33; Luke vi. 43, 44).
"Every branch in me that beareth not fruit shall be taken away: but every branch that beareth fruit shall be purged, that it may bring forth more fruit" (John xv. 2-8).
"A certain man had a fig-tree planted in his vineyard he came seeking fruit thereon, and found none. Then saith he unto the vinedresser, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on the fig-tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?" (Luke xiii. 6-9).
"Jesus saw a fig-tree in the way; he came to it, and found nothing thereon but leaves only; he said, Let no fruit grow on thee for ever. And immediately the fig tree withered away" (Matt. xxi. 19; Mark xi. 1:13, 14, 20).
By the fig-tree is signified the natural man and his interiors, and by the fruit his goods (see Arcana Coelestia, n. 217, 4231, 5113); but leaves signify knowledges (cognitiones), (n. 885). Hence it is clear what is signified by the fig-tree withering away, because the Lord found on it leaves only, and no fruit. All these passages are quoted in order that it may be known that by the tree of life in the midst of the paradise of God, is signified the good of love proceeding from the Lord, and heavenly joy therefrom.
Arcana Coelestia 217, 414, 885, Arcana Coelestia 1102, 2145, 2152, Arcana Coelestia 3312, Arcana Coelestia 4231, Arcana Coelestia 4391, Arcana Coelestia 5113, Arcana Coelestia 9296, Arcana Coelestia 10545; Deuteronomy 20:19-20; John 15:2-8; Leviticus 19:23-25, 23:40-41, 25:4, 25:20, 26:4, 26:20; Luke 6:43-44, 13:6-9, 13:6-10; Mark 11:13-14, 11:20; Matthew 3:10, 7:16-20, 7:16-21, 12:33, 21:19; Psalms 1:1-3; Revelation 2:7, Revelation 22:2)