(AC) - A Disclosure of the Hidden Treasures of Heaven Contained in the Holy Scripture or Word of the Lord, Together with Amazing Things Seen in the World of Spirits and in the Heaven of Angels

AC 10551

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10551. And it was that when Moses entered into the tent, the pillar of cloud descended, and stood at the door of the tent, and spoke with Moses. That this signifies that after the Word had vanished from their apprehension a dense obscurity took possession of them from without, and yet there was a clear perception from within, is evident from the signification of "when Moses entered into the tent," as being that after the Word had vanished from their apprehension (of which just above, n. 10550); from the signification of "the pillar of cloud," as being a dense obscurity relatively to that nation, for by a "cloud" is signified the external of the Word (see the preface to Genesis 18; and n. 4060, 4391, 5922, 6343, 6752, 8443, 8781); and also the obscurity of the Word with those who are not in enlightenment, and dense obscurity with those who are in the external of the Word separate from the internal (see n. 6832, 8106, 8814, 8819, 9430); from the signification of "standing at the door," as being to be outside (n. 10549); from the signification of "speaking with Moses," as being to perceive clearly from within (for by "Moses" is signified the Word as regarded in itself, n. 9372, and by "speaking" is signified to perceive, see the places cited in n. 10290). That it denotes from within is because Moses, with whom the pillar of cloud spoke, was within the tent.
[2] It must here be told what it is to see from without, and what to have perception from within. Those who when reading the Word are in enlightenment, see it from within, for their internal is open, and when the internal is open it is in the light of heaven. This light flows in and enlightens, although the man is unaware of it. The reason why he is unaware of it, is that this light flows into the knowledges that are in the man's memory, and these knowledges are in natural light. And as the man thinks from these knowledges as from himself, he cannot perceive the influx, nevertheless from various indications he is able to know that he has been in enlightenment. But yet everyone is deceived who believes himself to be in enlightenment, unless he loves to know truth for the sake of truth and for the sake of the good of life, thus unless he loves Divine truth for the sake of life, because to live according to Divine truths from the Word is to love the Lord, and all enlightenment comes from the Lord when He is loved.
[3] But those cannot possibly be in any enlightenment who have not as their end a life according to Divine truths from the Word; but who have as their end honor, gain, and reputation; and who thus regard the Divine truths of the Word as means; for this end is worldly and bodily, and not spiritual and heavenly; and it therefore closes the internal man, and when this is closed, no light can flow in from heaven and enlighten. If such persons, when reading the Word, believe that they are in enlightenment, they are quite mistaken; for they do not think from heaven, but from the world; thus not from the Lord, but from themselves; and insofar as they think from themselves and from the world, so far they think from natural light separate from heavenly light, and in spiritual things natural light separate from heavenly light is mere thick darkness. If these persons persuade themselves that they have seen something from enlightenment, it is a fallacy, for they perceive whether a thing is true solely from others by means of confirmations, which is to see truth from without and not from within, or to see it from persuasive faith, the nature of which may be seen in n. 9363-9369. Such persons are able to see falsity as truth, and truth as falsity; also evil as good, and good as evil.
[4] From all this it is evident what it is to see the Word from without; and also what it is to perceive it from within. To see it from without is signified by the people "standing at the door of the tent and looking after Moses;" also by their "seeing the pillar of cloud standing at the door of the tent;" and by their "bowing themselves at the door of their tents." But to perceive the Word from within is signified by "Moses entering into the tent;" and by "the pillar of cloud, which was at the door of the tent, speaking with Moses."
[5] It shall also be briefly stated how the influx from which comes enlightenment is effected. Equally with men, the angels also perceive the Word when it is read; but the angels perceive it spiritually, and men perceive it naturally. The man whose internal is open also perceives the Word spiritually; but while he lives in the world he is unaware of this, because his spiritual thought flows into the natural thought in the external man, and there presents itself to view. Nevertheless it is this interior thought which enlightens, and by means of which the influx from the Lord is effected. By looking into their thoughts, and by reflections thereon, some of the learned have noticed that there is in man an interior thought which does not appear, and therefore they have called the ideas of this thought immaterial and intellectual, and they have made a distinction between these ideas and those of the exterior thought which appear; and they have called these latter natural and material. But they have not known that the ideas of the interior thought are spiritual; and that when these flow down they are turned into natural ideas, and appear under a different shape, and under a different condition. From all this it can in some measure be seen how the influx through which comes enlightenment is effected.


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