(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 3603

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3603. That thou shalt break his yoke from upon thy neck. That this signifies that the conjunction would then be through good, and that truth would be of good, is evident from the signification of "breaking a yoke from upon the neck," as being liberation (that by the "neck" is signified influx and communication, and the consequent conjunction; and that by a "yoke upon the neck" is signified restraint and interception, see above, n. 3542); thus "breaking the yoke from upon the neck" denotes liberation from restraint, and interception; and therefore it denotes conjunction through good; and also that truth becomes of good; for where there is no longer any restraint and interception, good flows in and conjoins itself with truth.
[2] How the case herein is may be seen from what has been already said and shown; but few comprehend in what consists the apparent priority of truth and in the meanwhile the inferiority of good, and this principally because few reflect on such things, and do not even reflect upon good, in that it is distinct from truth. Moreover all those are ignorant of what good is who live a life of the love of self and of the world, for they do not believe that there can be any good except that which is from this source; and because they are ignorant of what good is, they are also ignorant of what truth is, for truth is of good. They do indeed know from revelation that it is good to love God and the neighbor, and that truth consists of doctrinal things derived from the Word, but inasmuch as they do not live according to these things, they have no perception of such good and truth, but merely have knowledges separated from these. Nay, even those who are being regenerated do not know what good is until they have been regenerated; for before this they supposed that truth was good, and that to do according to truth was good, when yet that which they then do is not good, but truth. When man is in this state, he is in the state which is described by "Jacob" and in the "blessing" given to him; but when he comes into a state of doing good from the affection of good-that is, when he is regenerate-he then comes into the state which is described in the blessing given to Esau.
[3] This may be illustrated by those things which appear with man in his first and second ages, and afterwards in his third and fourth. In his first age man knows only by memory the things contained in the Word, and in like manner what is in the doctrinal matters of faith; and he believes himself to be good when he is acquainted with many things therefrom, and can apply some of them, not to his own life, but to the life of others. In his second age, when he is more grown up, he is not content to know only by memory the things contained in the Word and in doctrine, but begins to reflect upon them from his own thought, and insofar as he adds thereto from his own thought, insofar he is pleased; and thereupon he is in the affection of truth from a kind of worldly love, which love is also the means of his learning many things that without it would be left unlearned. In his third age, if he is one of those who can be regenerated, he begins to think about use, and to reflect on what he reads in the Word and imbibes from doctrinal matters for the sake of use; and when he is in this state the order is inverted, so that truth is no longer so much put in the first place. But in his fourth age, when comes the age of his regeneration, because then the state is full (see n. 2636), he loves the Word and the doctrinal things that are from the Word-that is, truth-for the sake of the good of life, consequently from the good of life. Thus good comes to be in the prior place, which until this time was apparently in the posterior place.
[4] The reason why good was apparently in the posterior place, is that it lay inmostly concealed in all his affection; nor could it manifest itself, inasmuch as outside of it there were such things as it could not agree with, namely, vain and empty things such as are those of self-glory and the glory of the world; but after the man has been regenerated these things recede; and the good, which had lain inmostly concealed, comes forth as it were from its place of confinement, and flows into those things which are outside, and makes truths its own, that is, truths of good, and thus manifests itself.
[5] In the meantime, like that involuntary which is in his voluntary, the good in the man is in everything he thinks, and thence in everything he does. Man knows not that he has this involuntary, because he perceives nothing else in himself except that which is his own; that is, the voluntary. This involuntary is two-fold, the one being his heredity that he has from his father and mother, while the other flows in through heaven from the Lord. As a man grows up, if he is such as not to suffer himself to be regenerated, that which he has hereditarily from his parents manifests itself more and more; for he takes evils from it, and makes them his own, or proper to himself. But with those who are being regenerated the involuntary which is from the Lord through heaven manifests itself in adult age; and in the meantime it has disposed and governed each and all things of their thought and also of their will, although it has not been visible.


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