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Arcana Coelestia #1480

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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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Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 1973, 2165, 2187, 3114, 3570, 6078, 8408, 9052, 9412, 9527


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Arcana Coelestia #8408

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8408. 'When we sat by a pot of flesh' means a life according to their own pleasure, and such as they craved for. This is clear from the meaning of 'a pot' as a container of good, and in the contrary sense a container of evil, dealt with below; and from the meaning of 'flesh' as the heavenly proprium, thus good, and in the contrary sense as the proprium that is man's own, thus evil, also dealt with below. 1 And since 'flesh' means the proprium, 'sitting by a pot of flesh' means a life according to one's own pleasure, and such as one craves for; for that is the life of the proprium. The reason why 'a pot' means a container of good, and in the contrary sense a container of evil, is that 'the flesh' cooked in it means good and in the contrary sense evil. And having these meanings 'a pot' also means the bodily level or the natural level of the human mind, since these are containers of good or of evil. This being so, it is used in a general sense to mean a person, and in an even more general sense to mean a people or a city; and when 'a pot' is used to mean these, 'flesh' means the good or the evil that is in them, as in Ezekiel,

... the men who think iniquity and give wicked counsel in this city, saying, [The time] is not near; [the city] itself is the pot, we are the flesh. Therefore thus said the Lord Jehovih, Your slain whom you have placed in the midst of it, 2 they are the flesh, but it is the pot. Ezekiel 11:2-3, 7.

Here 'the pot' stands for the city or the people there, and 'the flesh' for evil, since 'the slain', who are called 'the flesh', are those among whom goodness and truth have been wiped out, 4503.

(References: Ezekiel 40:2-3, 40:7)


[2] In the same prophet,

Tell a parable against the house of rebellion, and say to them, Thus said the Lord Jehovih, Put on the pot, put it on, and also pour [water into it gather] the pieces into it - every good piece, the thigh and the shoulder. Fill it with the choice of the bones. The Lord Jehovih said, Woe to the city of blood, 3 to the pot whose scum is in it, and whose scum has not gone out of it! Ezekiel 24:3-6.

Here 'the pot' stands for the city or the people there, among whom there exists the evil that results when good is profaned. The good or flesh there is 'the thigh and the shoulder'; the evil is 'the scum' coming from it, and good when profaned is the scum remaining, which also accounts for the city's being called 'the city of blood'.

(References: Ezekiel 24:3-4, 24:6)


[3] In Jeremiah,

Jehovah said to Jeremiah, What do you see? I said, A puffed out pot do I see, its face towards the north. Then Jehovah said, From the north evil will be opened over all the inhabitants of the land. Jeremiah 1:11-14.

'A puffed-out pot' stands for a people whom falsities have taken possession of, and 'the north' for the sensory and bodily levels of the human mind, from which evil pours out. The subject here is the end of the Church, when what belongs to the external and therefore to sensory and bodily levels, together with falsity and evil, has dominion; for the Lord's Church moves in a series of stages from what is internal to what is external, at which point it breathes its last.

(References: Jeremiah 1:12-14)


[4] In Zechariah,

On that day there will be on the horses' bells, Holiness to Jehovah. And the pots in the house of Jehovah will be as the bowls before the altar. And every pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holiness to Jehovah Zebaoth; and all offering sacrifice will come, and take from them, and cook in them. Zechariah 14:20-21.

The subject here is the salvation of faithful believers, faithful believers being 'the pots', which they are called because they receive good from the Lord; and because they receive that good every 'pot' is said to be 'holiness to Jehovah'. 'The bells of the horses, with Holiness on them' are truths in agreement with good. Since 'pots' are recipients and containers of good, they like all the other vessels for the altar were made of bronze, Exodus 38:3; for 'bronze' means the good of the natural, 425, 1551.

[5] In addition to this 'the pot' may mean religious teachings because these hold the Church's good and truth within them. Such teachings are meant by 'the pot' in which at Elisha's command a soup was boiled for the sons of the prophets, described as follows in the second Book of Kings,

Elisha came again to Gilgal, when there was a famine in the land. When the sons of the prophets were sitting before him he said to his servant, Put on a great pot, and boil a soup for the sons of the prophets. One of them went out into the field to gather herbs and found a wild vine, and gathered from it wild gourds, and cut them up into the pot of soup. While they were eating of the soup they cried out, There is death in the pot, O man of God! But he said that they should bring flour, which he threw into the pot, and said, Pour out for the people and let them eat. Then there was not anything bad in the pot. 2 Kings 4:38-41.

It should be recognized that all Divine miracles have to do with things connected with the Lord's kingdom and the Church, 7337, 8364, and that 'Elisha' represents the Word of the Lord, 2762, and 'prophets' teachings derived from it, 2534, 7269. From this one may see what thing connected with the Church was represented by this miracle, which was that if the Church's good has been falsified it is made good again by means of truth from the Word. 'A famine' is a lack of cognitions or knowledge of truth and good; 'the pot' is religious teachings; 'soup' is the good of the Jewish Church's outward religious observances; 'gourds from a wild vine' is falsification; and 'flour' is truth from the Word, 2177, used to make good again that which has been falsified, meant by 'death in the pot'. The reason why 'pots' means containers of good is that they were included among the utensils in which food was prepared, and 'food', every kind of it, means such things as nourish the soul, that is, affections for good and truth, 681, 1480, 3114, 4792, 5147, 5293, 5340, 5342, 5576, 5410, 5915.

Footnotes:

1. The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary describes proprium as A distinctive characteristic; the essential nature, selfhood. It is a Latin word meaning 'one's own (thing)'. Swedenborg uses it in the specialized sense of 'what is of the self.'

2. i.e. the city

3. literally, bloods

(References: Exodus 16:3)

  
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Apocalypse Explained 374


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