(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 3726

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3726. And set it up for a pillar. That this signifies a holy boundary, is evident from the signification of a "pillar," concerning which in what follows. How the case herein is may be seen from what goes before; namely, that the subject is the order by which the Lord made His natural Divine; and in the representative sense, how the Lord makes new or regenerates the natural of man. The nature of this order has already been frequently stated and shown; namely, that while man is being regenerated, and truth is regarded in the first place, it is inverse; and that it is restored when man has been regenerated, and good is set in the first place, and truth in the last (see n. 3325, 3330, 3332, 3336, 3539, 3548, 3556, 3563, 3570, 3576, 3603, 3688). This was represented by the ladder by which the angels ascended and descended, where it is first said that they ascended, and afterwards that they descended (n. 3701). The ascent is now treated of; namely, that it is from the ultimate of order (concerning which see above, n. 3720, 3721); in the present verse that it is truth which is the ultimate of order. It is this ultimate which is called a holy boundary, and is signified by the stone which Jacob took and set for a pillar. That truth is the ultimate of order, may be seen from the fact that good cannot terminate in good, but in truth, for truth is the recipient of good (n. 2261, 2434, 3049, 3068, 3180, 3318, 3387, 3470, 3570).
[2] Good in man without truth, that is, without conjunction with truth, is such good as there is in little children, who as yet have nothing of wisdom, because they have nothing of intelligence; but insofar as a child in his advancement to adult age receives truth from good, or insofar as truth in him is conjoined with good, so far he becomes a man. This shows that good is the first of order, and truth the last; and thus it follows that man ought to begin from memory-knowledges, which are the truths of the natural man, and afterwards from doctrinal things, which are the truths of the spiritual man in his natural, in order to be initiated into the intelligence of wisdom; that is, to enter into spiritual life, whereby man becomes man (n. 3504). For example, in order that man as a spiritual man may love his neighbor, he must first learn what spiritual love or charity is, and who is his neighbor. Before he knows this he may indeed love his neighbor, but as a natural, not as a spiritual man, that is, from natural good, not from spiritual good (n. 3470, 3471); whereas after he has attained this knowledge, then spiritual good from the Lord may be implanted therein; and this is the case with all the rest of what are called knowledges, or doctrinal things, or in general, truths.
[3] It is said that good from the Lord may be implanted in knowledges, also that truth is the recipient of good. They who have no other idea of knowledges, and also of truths, than that they are abstract things (such an idea as most people have also concerning thoughts), can in no wise apprehend what is meant by good being implanted in knowledges, and by truth being the recipient of good. But be it known that knowledges and truths are things no more abstracted from the purest substances of the interior man, that is, of the spirit, than sight is abstracted from its organ the eye, or than hearing is abstracted from its organ the ear. There are purer substances, and those real, from which knowledges and thoughts come forth into manifest being; and whose variations of form when animated and modified by the influx of life from the Lord, present them to view; while their agreements and harmonies, in succession or simultaneously, affect the mind, and constitute what is called beautiful, pleasant, and delightful. [4] Spirits themselves equally with men are forms, that is, consist of continuous forms, but of a purer nature, and not visible to the bodily sight. And because these forms or substances are not visible to the bodily eye, man at this day apprehends no otherwise than that knowledges and thoughts are abstract things; hence also comes the insanity of our age-that men do not believe that they have a spirit within them which is to live after the death of the body, when yet this spirit is a substance much more real than the material substance of its body; nay, if you will believe it, the spirit, after being freed from bodily things, is that very purified body which many say they are to have at the time of the Last Judgment, when they believe that they shall first rise again. That spirits, or what is the same, souls, have a body, see each other as in clear day, discourse together, hear each other, and enjoy much more exquisite sense than while they were in the body or in the world, may be seen very clearly from what has been so abundantly related above from experience.


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