(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 4156

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4156. And put them in the camel's straw. That this signifies in memory-knowledges, is evident from the signification of the "camel's straw," as being such knowledges (n. 3114). They are called "straw," both because this is the food of a camel, and because they are relatively gross and devoid of order. For this reason memory-knowledges are also signified by "thickets" of trees and of the forest (n. 2831). (That "camels" denote the general memory-knowledges which are of the natural man, may be seen above, n. 3048, 3071, 3143, 3145.)
[2] That memory-knowledges are relatively gross and devoid of order, and are therefore signified by "straw," and also by "thickets," is not apparent to those who are in mere memory-knowledges, and are on this account reputed learned. These believe that the more a man knows, or the more memory-knowledge he possesses, the wiser he is. But that the case is very different has been made evident to me from those in the other life who when they had lived in the world had been in mere memory-knowledges, and thereby had gained the name and reputation of being learned, for they are sometimes more stupid than those who have no such skill in memory- knowledges. The reason of this has also been disclosed, namely, that memory-knowledges are indeed a means of becoming wise, but are also a means of becoming insane. To those who are in the life of good, memory-knowledges are a means of becoming wise; but to those who are in a life of evil, they are a means of becoming insane; for by means of memory-knowledges these persons confirm not only their life of evil, but also principles of falsity, and this arrogantly and with persuasion, because they believe themselves to be wiser than others.
[3] From this it comes to pass that they destroy their rational; for it is not the man who can reason from memory-knowledges, even when he can apparently do so in a more lofty manner than others, who is in the enjoyment of the rational faculty; for this skill is the result of a mere fatuous light. But that man excels in the rational who is able clearly to see that good is good, and truth truth, consequently that evil is evil, and falsity falsity; whereas the man who regards good as evil and evil as good, and also the man who regards truth as falsity and falsity as truth, can by no means be said to be rational, but rather, irrational, however able he may be to reason. With him who clearly sees that good is good and that truth is truth, and on the other hand that evil is evil and falsity is falsity, light flows in from heaven, and enlightens his intellectual faculty, and causes the reasons which he sees in his understanding to be so many rays of that light. The same light also illuminates the memory-knowledges, so that they confirm the truth, and moreover disposes them into order and into heavenly form. But they who are against good and truth, as are all who are in the life of evil, do not admit that heavenly light, but are delighted solely with their own fatuous light, the nature of which is to see as one who in the dark beholds spots and streaks on a wall, and out of them fancifully makes all kinds of figures, which however are not really figures, for when the light of day is let in, it is seen that they are nothing but spots and streaks.
[4] From all this we can see that memory-knowledges are a means of becoming wise, and also a means of becoming insane; that is, that they are a means of perfecting the rational, and also a means of destroying the rational. In the other life therefore they who by means of such knowledges have destroyed their rational, are much more stupid than they who have not been versed in them. That these knowledges are relatively gross, is manifest from their belonging to the natural or external man; whereas the rational, which is cultivated by their means, belongs to the spiritual or internal man. How far these differ and are distant the one from the other in regard to purity, may be known from what has been said and shown concerning the two memories (n. 2469-2494).


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