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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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Arcana Coelestia 3839, 4060, 7231, 8238, 10705

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 62, 121


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Arcana Coelestia #3793

Arcana Coelestia (Elliott translation)      

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3793. 'Rachel came with the flock' means the affection for interior truth belonging to the Church and to doctrine. This is clear from the representation of 'Rachel' as the affection for interior truth, and from the meaning of 'the flock' as the Church and also as doctrine, dealt with in 3767, 3768, 3783. To enable it to be known how 'Rachel' represents the affection for interior truth, and 'Leah' the affection for exterior truth, let a brief statement be made about the matter: The natural, which 'Jacob' represents, consists of good and of truth; and within the natural, as within every single part in the human being, and indeed within the whole natural order, there ought to be a marriage of good and truth. Without this marriage nothing is produced, for every act of bringing forth and every effect is from that marriage. When he is born there is no marriage of good and truth within a person's natural because the human being, unlike other creatures, is not born into a condition where Divine order is present. It is true that good which goes with innocence and charity is present, flowing from the Lord in earliest childhood; but no truth is present to which that good may be coupled. As he advances in life this good which has been instilled by the Lord into a person in early childhood is drawn in towards the interior parts and kept there by the Lord so that it may serve to modify the states of life which he experiences subsequently. As a consequence without the good belonging to his infancy and early childhood the human being would be worse and more vicious than any wild animal. When that good belonging to earliest childhood is drawn inwards, evil in that case takes its place and enters the person's natural. Falsity then couples itself to that evil, and a joining together and so to speak a marriage of evil and falsity takes place with him. If a person is to be saved therefore, he has to be regenerated. Evil has to be removed and good instilled by the Lord. And in the measure that he receives good truth is instilled into him so that a coupling, or so to speak marriage, of good and truth takes place.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 3767-3768)


[2] These are the matters represented by Jacob and his two wives, Rachel and Leah. 'Jacob' now takes on the representation of natural good therefore, and 'Rachel' that of truth. But since all joining of truth to good is effected through affection, it is the affection for truth coupled to good that 'Rachel' represents. Furthermore the natural, like the rational, has an interior and an exterior. 'Rachel' represents the affection for interior truth, and 'Leah' the affection for exterior truth. 'Laban', who is their father, represents a good that springs from a common stock, but is a parallel good, as has been stated. That good is the good which in the parallel line corresponds to the truth of the rational, which is 'Rebekah', 3012, 3013, 3077. Daughters descended from that good therefore represent affections existing within the natural, for these are like daughters fathered by that good. And because those affections are to be coupled to natural good they consequently represent affections for truth - the first representing the affection for interior truth, the second the affection for exterior truth.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 3012-3013)


[3] The regeneration of a person's natural is altogether like Jacob and Laban's two daughters, Rachel and Leah. Anyone therefore who can see and understand the internal sense of the Word sees this arcanum which has been disclosed to him, but no one else is able to see it except him in whom good and truth are present. No others, no matter how good a perception they may have of the things to do with personal life and life in society and may seem to be highly intelligent, are able to see and then to acknowledge anything at all of that arcanum. Indeed they do not know what good and truth are, for they imagine evil to be good, and falsity to be truth. For this reason the moment good is mentioned the idea of evil presents itself, and the moment truth is mentioned the idea of falsity does so. Consequently they perceive nothing of the things contained in the internal sense, but as soon as they hear anything of it darkness descends which extinguishes the light.

(References: Genesis 29:9-11)

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Arcana Coelestia 3795, 3796, 3798, 3800, 3803, 3818, 3819, 3820, 3823, 3834, 3838, 3840, 3843, 3860, 3905, 3906, 3907, 3913, 3927, 3930, 3943, 3944, 3969, 3971, 4060, 4073, 4096, 4134, 4151, 4177, 4185, 4200, 4215, 4270, 4342, 4343, 4357, 4361, ...

The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 48, 121


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 342


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