From Swedenborg's Works

 

Arcana Coelestia #2516

Study this Passage

  
/ 10837  
  

2516. 'Behold, you will die because of the woman' means that the doctrine of faith would be ruined if the rational were consulted as regards the contents of that doctrine. This is clear from the meaning of Abimelech, to whom 'you' refers here, as the doctrine of faith; from the meaning of 'dying' as being brought to ruin; and from the meaning of 'a sister', called 'the woman' here, as the rational, dealt with in 2508. Consequently the statement that Abimelech would die because of the woman means that the doctrine of faith would be brought to ruin if the rational were consulted.

[2] The reason no doctrine of faith from the rational exists is that the rational is immersed in the appearances of good and truth, and such appearances are not truths in themselves, as shown already in 2053, 2196, 2203, 2209. What is more, the rational bases itself on illusions, which are the product of external sensory impressions confirmed by facts which introduce haziness into those appearances of truth. The rational for the most part is merely human, as also becomes clear from its birth. This then is why nothing of the doctrine of faith can even be started, let alone be built up from it. Such doctrine must stem from the Lord's Divine itself and His Divine Human. This is the origin of it, so much so indeed that the Lord is doctrine itself. It is for this reason also that in the Word He is called the Word, the truth, the light, the way, and the door. Furthermore - and this is an arcanum - all doctrine is derived from Divine Good and Divine Truth and possesses the heavenly marriage within it. Doctrine which does not possess this within it is not the genuine doctrine of faith. Consequently every detail of the Word, the source of doctrine, holds the image of a marriage within it, see 683, 793, 801.

[3] It does indeed seem in the literal or external sense of the Word as though the doctrine of faith possessed much from the rational and indeed from the natural. But the reason for this is that the Word exists for the sake of man, for whom it has been adapted in this way. Nevertheless in itself the Word is spiritual from a celestial origin, that is, it is derived from Divine Truth joined to Divine Good. The fact that doctrine would be brought to ruin if the rational were consulted as regards the contents of that doctrine will be illustrated by examples in what follows.

  
/ 10837  
  

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

From Swedenborg's Works

 

Arcana Coelestia #2209

Study this Passage

  
/ 10837  
  

2209. 'And I have grown old' means after it ceased to be such - that is, ceased to be [merely] human and not Divine - when that which was human was cast off. This is clear from the meaning of 'growing old' as casting off the human, dealt with above in 2198, 2203. As regards the rational in general, when it thinks about Divine things, especially from the truth it possesses, it cannot possibly believe that such things exist. It is unable to do so because for one thing it has no grasp of them, and for another appearances born from the illusions of the senses cling to it, by means of which and from which it thinks, as becomes clear from the examples which have been introduced above in 2196. To these, for the sake of illustration, let the following be added.

[2] Is the rational, if consulted, able to believe in the existence of the internal sense of the Word which, as has been shown, is so remote from the literal sense? And is it thus able to believe that the Word is that which joins heaven and earth together, that is, the Lord's kingdom in heaven to the Lord's kingdom on earth? Is the rational able to believe that souls after death converse with one another most distinctly, doing so not by means of speech consisting of spoken words, yet nevertheless so completely that they express more in a minute than man does in an hour by the use of his speech; or that the angels likewise converse with one another, but in a language which is more perfect still though imperceptible to spirits; and also that all souls on entering the next life know how to use this kind of speech even though they are never taught how to do so? Is the rational able to believe that present within one affection which a person has, indeed within a single sigh expressing his affection, there are things perceived by angels which are so countless that they cannot possibly be described; or that every affection which a person has, indeed every idea comprising his thought, is an image of him and is such that it includes within it in a wondrous fashion every detail of his life, besides thousands upon thousands of other such things?

[3] When the rational which derives its wisdom from the evidence of the senses, and is wrapped in the illusions of the senses, thinks about such things it does not believe that they can be so, for it is not able to form any idea for itself except from such things as it perceives by some sensory power whether external or internal. How must it be when it thinks about Divine celestial and Divine spiritual things which are higher still? For there must always exist, born from the evidence of the senses, some appearances for thought to rest upon, and when these appearances are withdrawn the idea ceases to exist. This has also become clear to me from spirits who are newcomers and who take very great delight in the appearances they have brought with them from the world. They have said that they did not know whether they would be able to think if those appearances were taken away from them. Such is the nature of the rational regarded in itself.

  
/ 10837  
  

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