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Arcana Coelestia #9372

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)      

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9372. And He said unto Moses. That this signifies that which concerns the Word in general, is evident from the representation of Moses, as being the Word (of which below); and from the signification of “He said,” as involving those things which follow in this chapter, thus those which concern the Word (see n. 9370). (That Moses represents the Word, can be seen from what has been often shown before about Moses, as from the preface to Genesis 18; and n. 4859, 5922, 6723, 6752, 6771, 6827, 7010, 7014, 7089, 7382, 8601, 8760, 8787, 8805.) Here Moses represents the Word in general, because it is said of him in what follows, that he alone should come near unto Jehovah (verse 2); and also that, being called unto out of the midst of the cloud, he entered into it, and went up the mount (verses 16-18).

(References: Exodus 24:16, 24:18)


[2] In the Word there are many who represent the Lord in respect to truth Divine, or in respect to the Word; but chief among them are Moses, Elijah, Elisha, and John the Baptist. That Moses does so, can be seen in the explications just cited above; that so do Elijah and Elisha, can be seen in the preface to Genesis 18; and n. 2762, 5247; and that John the Baptist does so is evident from the fact that he was “Elias who was to come.” He who does not know that John the Baptist represented the Lord as to the Word, cannot know what all those things infold and signify which are said about him in the New Testament; and therefore in order that this secret may stand open, and that at the same time it may appear that Elias, and also Moses, who were seen when the Lord was transfigured, signified the Word, some things may here be quoted which are spoken about John the Baptist; as in Matthew:

After the messengers of John had departed, Jesus began to speak concerning John, saying, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? a reed shaken by the wind? But what went ye out to see? a man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they that wear soft things are in kings’ houses. But what went ye out to see? a prophet? Yea, I say unto you, even more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written, Behold I send Mine angel before Thy face, who shall prepare Thy way before Thee. Verily I say unto you, Among those who are born of women there hath not arisen a greater than John the Baptist; nevertheless he that is less in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he. All the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye are willing to believe, he is Elias who was to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear (Matthew 11:7-15; and also Luke 7:24-28).

No one can know how these things are to be understood, unless he knows that this John represented the Lord as to the Word, and unless he also knows from the internal sense what is signified by “the wilderness” in which he was, also what by “a reed shaken by the wind,” and likewise by “soft raiment in kings’ houses;” and further what is signified by his being “more than a prophet,” and by “none among those who are born of women being greater than he, and nevertheless he that is less in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he,” and lastly by his being “Elias.” For without a deeper sense, all these words are uttered merely from some comparison, and not from anything of weight.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2135)


[3] But it is very different when by John is understood the Lord as to the Word, or the Word representatively. Then by “the wilderness of Judea in which John was” is signified the state in which the Word was at the time when the Lord came into the world, namely, that it was “in the wilderness,” that is, it was in obscurity so great that the Lord was not at all acknowledged, neither was anything known about His heavenly kingdom; when yet all the prophets prophesied about Him, and about His kingdom, that it was to endure forever. (That “a wilderness” denotes such obscurity, see n. 2708, 4736, 7313.) For this reason the Word is compared to “a reed shaken by the wind” when it is explained at pleasure; for in the internal sense “a reed” denotes truth in the ultimate, such as is the Word in the letter.

[4] That the Word in the ultimate, or in the letter, is crude and obscure in the sight of men; but that in the internal sense it is soft and shining, is signified by their “not seeing a man clothed in soft raiment, for behold those who wear soft things are in kings’ houses.” That such things are signified by these words, is plain from the signification of “raiment,” or “garments,” as being truths (n. 2132, 2576, 4545, 4763, 5248, 6914, 6918, 9093); and for this reason the angels appear clothed in garments soft and shining according to the truths from good with them (n. 5248, 5319, 5954, 9212, 9216). The same is evident from the signification of “kings’ houses,” as being the abodes of the angels, and in the universal sense, the heavens; for “houses” are so called from good (n. 2233, 2234, 3128, 3652, 3720, 4622, 4982, 7836, 7891, 7996, 7997); and “kings,” from truth (n. 1672, 2015, 2069, 3009, 4575, 4581, 4966, 5044, 6148). Therefore by virtue of their reception of truth from the Lord, the angels are called “sons of the kingdom,” “sons of the king,” and also “kings.”

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2233-2234, 7996-7997)


[5] That the Word is more than any doctrine in the world, and more than any truth in the world, is signified by “what went ye out to see? a prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet;” and by, “there hath not arisen among those who are born of women a greater than John the Baptist;” for in the internal sense “a prophet” denotes doctrine (n. 2534, 7269); and “those who are born,” or are the sons, “of women” denote truths (n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623, 2803, 2813, 3704, 4257).

[6] That in the internal sense, or such as it is in heaven, the Word is in a degree above the Word in the external sense, or such as it is in the world, and such as John the Baptist taught, is signified by, “he that is less in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he;” for as perceived in heaven the Word is of wisdom so great that it transcends all human apprehension. That the prophecies about the Lord and His coming, and that the representatives of the Lord and of His kingdom, ceased when the Lord came into the world, is signified by, “all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.” That the Word was represented by John, as by Elijah, is signified by his being “Elias who is to come.”

[7] The same is signified by these words in Matthew:

The disciples asked Jesus, Why say the scribes that Elias must first come? He answered and said, Elias must needs first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, that Elias hath come already, and they knew him not, but did unto him whatsoever they wished. Even so shall the Son of man also suffer of them. And they understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist (Matthew 17:10-13).

That “Elias hath come, and they knew him not, but did unto him whatsoever they wished” signifies that the Word has indeed taught them that the Lord is to come, but that still they did not wish to comprehend, interpreting it in favor of the rule of self, and thus extinguishing what is Divine in it. That they would do the same with the truth Divine itself, is signified by “even so shall the Son of man also suffer of them.” (That “the Son of man” denotes the Lord as to truth Divine, see n. 2803, 2813, 3704)

[8] From all this it is now evident what is meant by the prophecy about John in Malachi:

Behold I send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of Jehovah cometh (Malachi 4:5).

Moreover, the Word in the ultimate, or such as it is in the external form in which it appears before man in the world, is described by the “clothing” and “food” of John the Baptist, in Matthew:

John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, had His clothing of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his food was locusts and wild honey (Matthew 3:1, 4).

In like manner it is described by Elijah in the second book of Kings:

He was a hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins (2 Kings 1:8).

By “clothing,” or a “garment,” when said of the Word, is signified truth Divine there in the ultimate form; by “camel’s hair” are signified memory-truths such as appear there before a man in the world; by the “leathern girdle” is signified the external bond connecting and keeping in order all the interior things; by “food” is signified spiritual nourishment from the knowledges of truth and of good out of the Word; by “locusts” are signified ultimate or most general truths; and by “wild honey” their pleasantness.

[9] That such things are signified by “clothing” and “food” has its origin in the representatives of the other life, where all appear clothed according to truths from good, and where food also is represented according to the desires of acquiring knowledge and growing wise. From this it is that “clothing,” or a “garment,” denotes truth (as may be seen from the citations above; and that “food” or “meat” denotes spiritual nourishment, n. 3114, 4459, 4792, 5147, 5293, 5340, 5342, 5576, 5579, 5915, 8562, 9003; that “a girdle” denotes a bond which gathers up and holds together interior things, n. 9341; that “leather” denotes what is external, n. 3540; and thus “a leathern girdle” denotes an external bond; that “hairs” denote ultimate or most general truths, n. 3301, 5569-5573; that “a camel” denotes memory-knowledge in general, n. 3048, 3071, 3143, 3145, 4156; that “a locust” denotes nourishing truth in the extremes, n. 7643; and that “honey” denotes the pleasantness thereof, n. 5620, 6857, 8056). It is called “wild honey,” or “honey of the field,” because by “a field” is signified the church (n. 2971, 3317, 3766, 7502, 7571, 9139, 9295). He who does not know that such things are signified, cannot possibly know why Elijah and John were so clothed. And yet that these things signified something peculiar to these prophets, can be thought by everyone who thinks well about the Word.

[10] Because John the Baptist represented the Lord as to the Word, therefore also when he spoke of the Lord, who was the Word itself, he said of himself that he was “not Elias, nor the prophet,” and that he was “not worthy to loose the latchet of the Lord’s shoe,” as in John:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory. The Jews from Jerusalem, priests and Levites, asked John who he was. And he confessed, and denied not, I am not the Christ. Therefore they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? But he said, I am not. Art thou the prophet? He answered, No. They said therefore unto him, Who art thou? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said Isaiah the prophet. They said therefore, Why then baptizest thou, if thou art not the Christ, nor Elias, nor the prophet? He answered, I baptize with water; in the midst of you standeth one whom ye know not; He it is who is to come after me, who was before me, the latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to unloose. When he saw Jesus, he said, Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, After me cometh a man who was before me; for he was before me (John 1:1, 14, 19-30).

From these words it is plain that when John spoke about the Lord Himself, who was Truth Divine itself, or the Word, he said that he himself was not anything, because the shadow disappears when the light itself appears, that is, the representative disappears when the original itself makes its appearance. (That the representatives had in view holy things, and the Lord Himself, and not at all the person that represented, see n. 665, 1097, 1361, 3147, 3881, 4208, 4281, 4288, 4292, 4307, 4444, 4500, 6304, 7048, 7439, 8588, 8788, 8806.) One who does not know that representatives vanish like shadows at the presence of light, cannot know why John denied that he was Elias and the prophet.

[11] From all this it can now be seen what is signified by Moses and Elias, who were seen in glory, and who spoke with the Lord when transfigured, of His departure which He should accomplish at Jerusalem (Luke 9:29-31); namely, that they signified the Word (“Moses” the historic Word, and “Elias” the prophetic Word), which in the internal sense throughout treats of the Lord, of His coming into the world, and of His departure out of the world; and therefore it is said that “Moses and Elias were seen in glory,” for “glory” denotes the internal sense of the Word, and the “cloud” its external sense (see the preface to Genesis 18, and n. 5922, 8427).

(References: Arcana Coelestia 2135; Exodus 24:1-2)

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Arcana Coelestia 9374, 9378, 9379, 9382, 9386, 9429, 9504, 9779, 9806, 9828, 9954, 10027, 10090, 10215, 10251, 10337, 10355, 10375, 10396, 10397, 10400, 10432, 10450, 10460, 10468, 10528, 10549, 10551, 10635, 10636, 10641, 10690


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Apocalypse Explained 19, 64, 66, 83, 130, 355, 375, 701, 710, 735, 746

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Arcana Coelestia #9093

Arcana Coelestia (Potts translation)      

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9093. And they shall divide the silver of it. That this signifies that the truth thereof shall be dissipated, is evident from the signification of “dividing,” as being to banish and dissipate (see n. 6360, 6361); and from the signification of “silver,” as being truth (n. 1551, 2048, 5658, 6112, 6914, 6917, 7999). That “to divide” denotes to dissipate, is because if those things which have been associated together are divided, they are also scattered, as he who divides his mind destroys it. For the mind of man is an association of two parts, one part being called the understanding, the other the will. He who divides these two parts scatters the things which belong to one part, for one part must live from the other; consequently the other also perishes. It is the same with him who divides truth from good, or what is the same, faith from charity. He who does this destroys both. In a word, all things which ought to be united in a one, if divided perish.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 6360-6361)


[2] This division is meant by the Lord’s words in Luke:

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will prefer the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (Luke 16:13).

That is, by faith serve the Lord, and by love the world; thus acknowledge truth, and do evil. He who does this has a divided mind, from which comes its destruction. From all this it is evident whence it is that “to divide” denotes to dissipate; as is also evident in Matthew:

The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he expecteth not, and in an hour when he knoweth not, and shall divide him, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites (Matthew 24:50-51); where “to divide” denotes to separate and remove from goods and truths (n. 4424), thus to dissipate.

(References: Luke 19:11-19, 22:24-27, 22:30)


[3] In Moses:

Cursed be their anger, for it was vehement; and their wrath, for it was hard. I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel (Genesis 49:7); where Israel speaks prophetically of Simeon and Levi. By Simeon and Leviticus are there represented those who are in faith separate from charity (n. 6352), by Jacob and Israel the church external and internal, and also the external and internal man (n. 4286, 4598, 5973, 6360, 6361). “To divide them in Jacob” denotes to expel them from the external church; and “to scatter them in Israel” denotes from the internal church; thus to dissipate the goods and the truths of the church appertaining to them.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 6360-6361)


[4] That “dividing” has this signification is also plain from the words written on the wall when Belshazzar king of Babel, together with his lords, his wives, and his concubines, drank wine from the vessels of gold and of silver which belonged to the temple that was at Jerusalem. The writing was:

Numbered, numbered, weighed, and divided (Daniel 5:2-4, 25-28); where “divided” means separated from the kingdom. In this passage it is plain how all things were at that time representative. In it is described the profanation of good and truth, which is signified by “Babel” (that Babel” denotes profanation, see n. 1182, 1283, 1295, 1304-1308, 1321, 1322, 1326); “vessels of gold and of silver” denote the goods of love and the truths of faith from the the Lord, (n. 1551, 1552, 5658, 6914, 6917). Profanation is signified by “drinking therefrom, and at the same time praising the gods of gold, of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone,” as we read in the fourth verse of the chapter, which denote evils and falsities in a series (n. 4402, 4544, 7873, 8941). By the “temple at Jerusalem” from which the vessels came, is signified in the supreme sense the Lord, in the representative sense His kingdom and church (n. 3720). The kingdom of Belshazzar being “divided” signified the dissipation of good and truth, and he himself being “slain that night” signified the loss of the life of truth and good, thus damnation; for “to be divided” denotes to be dissipated; “a King” denotes the truth of good (n. 1672, 2015, 2069, 3009, 3670, 4575, 4581, 4966, 5044, 5068, 6148); the like is signified by “kingdom” (n. 1672, 2547, 4691); “to be slain” denotes to be deprived of the life of truth and good (n. 3607, 6767, 8902); and the “night” in which he was slain denotes a state of evil and falsity (n. 2353, 7776, 7851, 7870, 7947). From this it is plain that all things there were representative.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 1321-1322, 1551-1552; Daniel 5:25, Daniel 5:28)


[5] We read in the following passages:

They divided My garments among them, and upon My vesture did they cast a lot (Psalms 22:18).

They divided His garments, casting a lot; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet (Matthew 27:35).

The soldiers took His garments, and made four parts; and the tunic, the tunic was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said therefore, Let us not divide it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be; that the Scripture might be fulfilled (John 19:23-24).

He who reads these words and knows nothing of the internal sense of the Word, is not aware that anything secret lies hidden in them, when yet in each word there is a Divine secret. The secret was that Divine truths had been dissipated by the Jews, for the Lord was the Divine truth; and hence He is called “the Word” (John 1). “The Word” denotes Divine truth; His garments represented truths in the external form; and His tunic, truths in the internal form; the division of the garments represented the dissipation of the truths of faith by the Jews. (That “garments” denote truths in the external form, see n. 2576, 5248, 5954, 6918; also that “a tunic” denotes truth in the internal form, n. 4677.) Truths in the external form are such as are those of the Word in the literal sense; but truths in the internal form are such as are those of the Word in the spiritual sense. The division of the garments into four parts signified total dissipation, in like manner as the division in Zechariah 14:4, and in other passages; likewise the division into two parts, as we read of the veil of the temple (Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38). The rending of the rocks also at that time (Matthew 27:51) represented the dissipation of all things of faith, for a “rock” denotes the Lord as to faith, consequently it denotes faith from the Lord.

(References: Daniel 5:25, Daniel 5:28; Exodus 21:35; John 1:1)

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Heaven and Hell #356

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356. It is different for people who have acquired intelligence and wisdom by means of their insights and information, people who have applied everything to the service of their lives and have at the same time acknowledged the Divine Being, loved the Word, and led a life both spiritual and moral (as described above in 319). For them, learning served as a means to being wise and for substantiating matters of faith. The deeper levels of their minds are perceived and even seen as transparent to the light, with a bright color, fiery or azure, like that of clear diamonds or rubies or sapphires, depending on the support they derived, from their learning, for the Divine and for divine truths. True intelligence and wisdom look like this when they are presented visually in the spiritual world. This comes from heaven's light, which is divine truth emanating from the Lord, the source of all intelligence and wisdom (see above, 126-133).

(References: Heaven and Hell 319)


[2] The focal planes of this light in which the shadings stand forth like colors are the deeper levels of the mind; and it is the validations of divine truths through what we find in nature - that is, by learning - that produce these shadings. 1 Actually, our inner mind probes the material in our natural memory and uses the fire of heavenly love to refine (so to speak) the things there that support it, to draw them off and purify them to the point that they become spiritual concepts. We are not aware that this is going on as long as we are in our physical bodies because in this state, though we are thinking both spiritually and naturally, we still do not notice what we are thinking spiritually but only what we are thinking naturally. However, once we have arrived in the spiritual world we are not aware of what we once thought naturally, in this world, only what we were thinking spiritually. This is how our state changes.

[3] We can see from this that we become spiritual by means of our insights and learning and that these are means of becoming wise only for people who acknowledge the Divine Being in both faith and life.

These people are received into heaven before others and live there with the ones who are in the center (43) because they are in more light than others. In heaven they are the intelligent and wise ones who shine like the radiance of the firmament and gleam like stars. The simple people there, though, are the ones who have acknowledged the Divine Being and have loved the Word and led a spiritual moral life, but who have not developed the deeper levels of their minds through insights and learning in the same way. The human mind is like soil whose quality depends on the way it is tilled.

(References: Arcana Coelestia 128-129, 130, 1900-1901, 1902, 1974, 9110; Heaven and Hell 43)


[4]References to Passages in Secrets of Heaven Concerning Different Types of Knowledge.

We should saturate ourselves with information and knowledge, because it is through them that we learn to think, then to sort out what is true and good, and ultimately to be wise: 129, 1450-1451, 1453, 1548, 1802. Factual information constitutes the elemental basis on which our civic and moral lives as well as our spiritual lives are built and grounded; and it is learned with a view to using it: 1489, 3310. Real knowledge opens a path to the inner person, and then unites that person with the outer in proportion to useful action: 1563, 1616. Our rational functioning is born through information and knowledge: 1895, 1900, 3086. This does not happen through knowledge itself, however, but through the affection of putting it to use: 1895.

[5] There are facts that are open to divine truths and facts that are not: 5213. Empty information should be destroyed: 1489, 1492, 1499, 1580 [1581?]. Information is "empty" if it aims at and strengthens love for ourselves and love for the world, and if it leads us away from love for God and our neighbor. This is because such influences close off the inner person, even to the point that we cannot accept anything from heaven: 1563, 1600. Facts may be a means to wisdom or a means to insanity. Through them the inner person is either opened or closed, and rational functioning either nurtured or destroyed: 4156, 8628, 9922.

[6] The inner person is opened and is progressively completed by means of information if we have constructive activity as our goal - especially activity that focuses on our eternal life: 3086. Then the heavenly and spiritual characteristics of our spiritual person reach out to the information that is in our natural person, and adopt whatever is suitable: 1495. Then the Lord draws out whatever is useful for heavenly life from the information in our natural person, by way of the inner person, and elaborates and exalts it: 1895-1896, 1900-1902, 5871, 5874, 5901. Facts that do not fit, or that oppose, are banished to the sides and eliminated: 5871, 5886, 5889.

[7] The sight of the inner person selects from the information of the outer person only those items that suit its love: 9394. In the view of the inner person, the items that suit its love are in full light, in the center, while those that do not suit are off to the sides, in the shadows: 6068, 6085 [6084?]. Suitable facts are grafted onto our loves step by step, and, so to speak, dwell in them: 6325. We would be born into discernment if we were born into love for our neighbor, but since we are born into love for ourselves and the world, we are born into complete ignorance: 6323, 6325. Information, discernment, and wisdom are children of love of God and our neighbor: 1226, 2049, 2116.

[8] It is one thing to be wise, another to be discerning, another to be well informed, and another to act; still, to the extent that we are alive spiritually, these follow in a sequence and are all together at once when we act, or in our deeds: 10331. Further, it is one thing to be well informed, another to acknowledge, and another to have faith: 896.

[9] The factual knowledge of the outer or natural person is in the world's light, while the truths that have become matters of faith and love, and have thus come to life, are in heaven's light: 5212. Truths that are suited to spiritual life are grasped through natural ideas: 5510. Spiritual inflow is from the inner or spiritual person into the information that is in the outer or natural person: 1940, 8005. Facts are receptacles and, so to speak, vessels of the good and the true elements of the inner person: 1469, 1496, 3068, 5489, 6004, 6023, 6052, 6071, 6077, 7770, 9922. They are like mirrors in which the good and true elements of the inner person appear as in an image: 5201. They are all there together in their most concrete form: 5373, 5874, 5886, 5901, 6004, 6023, 6052, 6071.

[10] Inflow is spiritual and not physical: that is, there is an inflow from the inner person into the outer and therefore into its information, but not from the outer into the inner and therefore not from information into the truths of faith: 3219, 5119, 5259, 5427-5428, 5478, 6322, 9110-9111 [9401?]. We are to start from the truths of the church's teaching, which are drawn from the Word, and this teaching should first be acknowledged: it is legitimate to consider facts on this basis: 6047. This means that for people who are affirmatively disposed toward the truths of faith, it is legitimate to use facts intellectually to confirm them, but not for people who are negatively disposed: 2568, 2588, 4760, 6047. People who will not believe divine truths unless they are convinced by the facts will never believe: 2094, 2832. To enter into the truths of faith from factual information is disorderly: 10236. People who do this become insane in matters that concern heaven and the church: 128-130. They fall into the distortions of evil: 232-233, 6047. In the other life, when they think about spiritual matters, they seem to become drunk: 1072. More on their nature: 196. Examples illustrating that spiritual matters cannot be grasped if they are entered from factual information: 233, 2094, 2196, 2203, 2209. Many of the learned are more insane in spiritual matters than simple people because they are negatively disposed, confirming [their opinions] by the information that is constantly and abundantly in their view: 4760, 8629.

[11] People who argue against the truths of faith on the basis of information argue keenly because they depend on sensory illusions, which captivate and convince because they are hard to dispel: 5700. What sensory illusions are and what they are like: 5084, 5094, 6400, 6948. People who understand nothing of the truth and who are also involved in evil can argue about what is true and good in matters of faith without understanding them: 4213 [4214?]. It is not a matter of intelligence simply to confirm a dogma, but to see whether it is true or not before one confirms it: 4741, 6047.

[12] After death, factual knowledge makes no difference-[what make a difference are] the things we have drawn out for understanding and life: 2480. Everything we have learned still endures after death; it merely becomes dormant: 2476-2479, 2481-2486.

[13] The same facts are false for evil people, because they are applied to evil ends, that are true for good people because they are applied to good ends: 6917. True information is not true for evil people, even though things seem true when they say them, because there is evil within them: 10331.

[14] An example of the kind of craving for knowledge spirits have: 1993 [1973?]. Angels have a tremendous desire to know and to be wise, because information, intelligence, and wisdom are spiritual food: 3114, 4459, 4792, 4976, 5147, 5293, 5340, 5342, 5410, 5426, 5576, 5582, 5588, 5656 [5655?], 6277, 8562, 9003. The knowledge of the ancients was a knowledge of symbols and images, through which they led themselves into a familiarity with spiritual matters; but at the present time this knowledge has been totally effaced: 4844, 4749, 4964-4965.

[15] Truths on a spiritual level cannot be grasped without a knowledge of the following universal principles:

1. Everything in the universe goes back to the good and the true and their union in order to be anything - that is, to love and faith and their union.

2. People have discernment and volition: discernment is the receptacle of what is true, and volition the receptacle of what is good. Everything in us goes back to these two and to their union just as everything [in the universe] goes back to the good and the true and their union.

3. There is an inner and an outer person, as distinct from each other as heaven and the world; yet they must become one if the person is to be truly human.

4. Heaven's light is the light the inner person is in, and the world's light is the light the outer person is in. Heaven's light is what is essentially divine and true, the source of all intelligence.

5. There is a responsiveness between the things in the inner person and those in the outer, so that things from either side appear in a different guise on the other side - so different that they cannot be identified without a knowledge of correspondences.

Without knowledge of these and many other matters, only incongruous concepts can be grasped and formed of truths on the spiritual and heavenly levels. This means that without these universal principles, the information and insights of the natural person can scarcely serve for the discernment and development of the rational person. This shows how necessary elementary information is.

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Footnotes:

1. The loveliest colors can be seen in heaven: 1053, 1624. The colors in heaven come from the light that is there, and are modifications or shadings of it: 1042-1043, 1053, 1624, 3993, 4530, 4922, 4742. They are appearances of truth from good, and refer to aspects of intelligence and wisdom: 4530, 4922, 4677, 9466.

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

The Last Judgment 22


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 96, 115, 118, 198, 280, 298

Other New Christian Commentary

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


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