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Arcana Coelestia #3796

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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3796. 'And so it was, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother's brother' means an acknowledgement of the affection for that truth as to its origin. This is clear from the meaning of 'seeing' here as acknowledging, as is evident from the train of thought, and from the representation of 'Rachel' as the affection for interior truth, dealt with above in 3793. The expression 'the daughter of Laban his mother's brother' embodies the origin of that affection; that is to say, it came from a parallel good which had been joined in a brotherly relationship to rational truth represented by 'Rebekah, Jacob's mother'.

[2] As regards affections for truth and good, genuine affections for truth and good which are perceived by a person all have a Divine origin since they come from the Lord. But as they come down they branch off into various and different streams where they form new origins for themselves. For as they flow into affections which are not genuine but spurious, and into affections for evil and falsity present with a person, so they become varied. Affections which often have a similar outward appearance to genuine ones present themselves, but these are nevertheless not genuine inwardly. The only way to establish their true identity is to discover the end they have in view. If that end is selfish or worldly those affections are not genuine. But if the end is the good of the neighbour, the good of the community, the good of the country, and more still if it is the good of the Church and the good of the Lord's kingdom, they are genuine, for in that case the Lord is their end, since the Lord is within those varieties of good.

[3] But it is the mark of someone wise to be aware of which ends are present in himself. Sometimes it does seem as though his ends are selfish when in fact they are not, for the human being is such that in everything he considers how it affects himself. This he does regularly and habitually. But if anyone wishes to know the ends he himself has in view he has merely to take note of his feeling of delight - whether it is on account of his receiving praise and glory, or whether it is on account of his performing some unselfish service. If it is the latter delight which he feels, genuine affection is present in him. He ought also to take note of the varying states he passes through, for those states cause his feelings to vary considerably. A person is able to find these things out in himself, but not in others, for the ends in view to anyone's affection are known to the Lord alone. This is why the Lord said,

Do not judge, lest you are judged; do not condemn, lest you are condemned. Luke 6:37.

For a thousand people may apparently share the same affection for truth and goodness, and yet the affection in each of them may have a different origin, that is, each may have a different end in view.

[4] The reason the end makes the affection what it is - that is to say, genuine, spurious, or false - is that the end is the person's actual life. Indeed a person has as his end in view that which constitutes his life, or what amounts to the same, his love. When the good of the neighbour, the common good, the good of the Church and of the Lord's kingdom is the end in view, a person's soul is in the Lord's kingdom and so abides with the Lord. For the Lord's kingdom is nothing else than a kingdom of ends and purposes directed towards the good of the human race, 3645. Angels themselves present with a person are nowhere else than within his ends in view. To the extent that someone's end in view is such as that which exists in the Lord's kingdom, angels take delight in him and join themselves to him as a brother. But to the extent a person's end is himself, angels depart and evil spirits from hell draw near, for in hell no other end in view reigns. From these considerations one may see how important it is to find out and to know where one's affections originate; these can be known from nothing else than one's end in view.

(References: Genesis 29:9-11)

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

Arcana Coelestia 3839, 4060, 7231, 8238, 10705

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 62, 121


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The Bible

 

Luke 6:37

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37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

   Study the Inner Meaning

Explanation of Luke 6      

By Rev. John Clowes M.A.

Verses 1-2. That when conjunction of good and of truth is effected, it is allowed man to appropriate every good, notwithstanding appearances to the contrary in the representative Church.

Verses 3-5. Since the Lord, by coming into the world, and uniting his Human principle to the Divine, abolished the Sabbath as to representative worship, and made Himself the True Sabbath.

Verses 6-11. And thus restores the truth of the Church to conjunction with its good, from which it had been separated, since this was the great end of his coming into the world, and making his Human principle Divine.

Verse 11. Nevertheless this doctrine excites abhorrence and hatred against Him in the representative Church.

Verse 12. Which abhorrence and hatred become instrumental in leading the Lord's Human principle to a more intimate union with the Divine.

Verse 13. So that by the light derived from this union he is enabled to discriminate all the goods and truths constituent of the Church, and to conjoin them to himself.

Verses 14-17. Which goods and truths are enumerated.

Verses 17-20. Therefore all, who are desirous of spiritual instruction, and to be delivered from false and evil principles, seek communication and conjunction of life with the Lord, and find it.

Verse 20. Being instructed, that all have such communication and conjunction, who from the heart acknowledge that no one knows, understands, and is wise of himself, but from the Lord, since in this acknowledgement there is internal truth and good.

Verse 21. And being further instructed, that, all are gifted with heavenly good, who in heart desire it, and that all are gifted with heavenly truth, who feel the want of it.

Verses 22-23. And that all goods and truths are more closely conjoined with the Lord, and more fully confirmed, in states of opposition from infernal men and infernal spirits, than at any other time, and that this has been the case from the beginning.

Verses 24-25. Yet that truth of itself, without good, separates itself from the Lord, as also does good without truth, and as likewise does the affection of truth, unless the affection of good be in it.

Verse 26. Since the affection of truth may be excited by worldly considerations of fame and glory, as was the case with teachers of old.

Verses 27-28. Whereas the affection of good is kind and well-disposed towards all, doing good to, instructing, and interceding for all.

Verses 27-29. Also being patient, and contented as far as possible, under the assault of evil, whether the assault be against good, or against truth.

Verses 30-31. And imparting both good and truth to all who are in the affection of those principles, content, for the sake of others, to be deprived of its own, and showing kindness to others in the same degree that it expects to receive, kindness from others.

Verses 32-34. Since true charity does not consist in natural affection, but in spiritual, and thence in natural.

Verses 35-36. Good therefore ought to be done without a view to recompense, because it brings along with it its own reward, by restoring in man the Divine image and likeness.

Verses 37-38. So that he will never think ill of what is good and true, but will live in the exercise of charity, from a conviction, that in proportion as he does good to others, he will receive a more abundant measure of the love of good from the Lord.

Verse 39. Neither will he attempt to instruct others, until he himself is instructed in the truth, lest he should lead both himself and others into what is false.

Verses 39-40. But will rather submit himself to the guidance of the Divine Truth.

Verses 41-42. Not looking at the intellectual errors of another, but at the evils which pervert his own understanding, since it is impossible to correct another's intellectual errors, until a man's own understanding be separated from evil, and therefore every one ought first to remove evil from his own love and life, that he may be in a state to remove error from the understanding of another;

Verses 43-44. For the good of love produces good of life, as evil love produces evil of life, therefore every one's quality may be known from his life, since no good, either external or internal, can be derived from falsities and evils.

Verse 45. The true character of every one is thus determined by his will, since if the will be principled in the love of truth, the good of life will be thence derived, whereas if the will be principled in the love of what is false, it will then give birth to evil of life.

Verse 46. That consequently external worship is of no avail, unless it proceed from obedience of life.

Verses 47-48. Which obedience consists in the acknowledgement of the Lord's divine Humanity, and in a right understanding and practice of His precepts, by virtue whereof the true believer acquires a knowledge of the Interior truths of the Word, and conjoins them with the divine truth, and thus is preserved in all states of spiritual temptation.

Verse 49. Whereas he, who is only in the intelligence of truth, and not in the good of love and charity, fails in temptation, and perishes by grievous falsities.

From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 1017, 2371, 3796, 9857

Divine Providence 334

Doctrine of the Sacred Scripture 51

True Christian Religion 226


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 629, 785

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