(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 5008

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5008. And he left his garment in her hand. That this signifies that it took away this ultimate truth, is evident from the signification of "leaving in her hand," as being in her power, for "hand" is ability or power (n. 878, 3091, 3387, 3563, 4931-4937); and because she caught hold of his garment, it is here meant to take away; and from the signification of a "garment," as being ultimate truth (of which above, n. 5006). That truth natural not spiritual wished to conjoin itself with truth spiritual natural, and that this was averse to conjunction, and for this reason left ultimate truth, or suffered it to be taken away, cannot be comprehended by anyone unless it is made clear by examples. But first let it be seen what truth natural not spiritual is, and what truth spiritual natural (n. 4988, 4992), and that there is an affinity in their ultimates, yet not any conjunction.
[2] But as before said, let this be made clear by examples, and let this be the first. It is a truth natural not spiritual, within the church, that good ought to be done to the poor, to widows, and to the fatherless, and that to do good to them is the charity which is enjoined in the Word; but truth not spiritual-that is, they who are in truth not spiritual-understand by the poor, the widows, and the fatherless, only those who are so called; whereas truth spiritual natural-that is, they who are in this truth-do indeed confirm this, but put in the last place this meaning of the poor, the widows, and the fatherless; for they say in their hearts that not all are poor who call themselves poor, and that among the poor there are those who live most wickedly, and fear neither God nor men, and who would rush into every iniquity unless withheld by fear; and moreover that by the "poor" in the Word are meant those who are spiritually such, who know and confess at heart that they have nothing of truth and good from themselves, but that all things are bestowed on them by free gift.
The same is true of the "widows" and the "fatherless," with a difference in respect to state. From this example it is plain that to do good to the poor, to the widows, and to the fatherless, under these names, is an ultimate of truth to those who are in truth spiritual natural; and that this truth is like a garment, which clothes interior things. It is also plain that this ultimate of truth concurs with the truth possessed by those who are in truth natural not spiritual, but that still there is not conjunction but affinity.
[3] Let us take as an example that good ought to be done to the neighbor. They who are in truth spiritual natural regard everyone as the neighbor, but yet all in different respects and degrees; and they say at heart that those who are in good are in preference to others the neighbor to whom good is to be done; and that those who are in evil are also the neighbor, but that good is done to them when they are punished according to the laws, because by means of punishments they are amended; and in this way also care is taken lest evil be done to the good by them and by their example. Those within the church who are in truth natural not spiritual also say that everyone is the neighbor, but they do not admit of degrees and distinctions; and therefore if they are in natural good they do good without distinction to everyone who excites their pity, and oftener to the evil than to the good, because in their knavery the evil know how to excite pity. From this example also it is plain that they who are in truth natural not spiritual, and they who are in truth spiritual natural, are agreed in this ultimate truth; but that nevertheless there is not conjunction therein, but only affinity, because the one regards the neighbor and charity toward him with a different idea and in a different sense from that of the other.
[4] Let us take also this example. They who are in truth spiritual natural say, in general, that the poor and miserable shall inherit the heavenly kingdom. But this is to them an ultimate truth, for inwardly they hold that those are poor and miserable who are spiritually such, and that it is these who are meant in the Word as inheriting the kingdom of heaven. But those within the church who are in truth natural not spiritual say that none can inherit the heavenly kingdom except those who in the world have been reduced to poverty, who live in misery, and who are more afflicted than others; they also call riches, dignities, and worldly joys, so many distractions, or means of withdrawing man from heaven. From this example also it is plain what the ultimate truth is, and of what nature, in which they agree; yet that there is not conjunction, but affinity.
[5] Let us take also this example. They who are in truth spiritual natural regard it as an ultimate truth, that those things which are called holy in the Word, were holy, as the ark with the mercy-seat, the lampstand, the incense, bread, altar, and so on, and also as the temple, and the garments of Aaron, which are called holy garments, especially the ephod with the breastplate containing the Urim and Thummim. And yet in regard to this ultimate truth they have the idea that these things were not holy in themselves, nor was any holiness infused into them, but that they were holy representatively, that is, they represented spiritual and celestial things of the Lord's kingdom, and in the supreme sense the Lord Himself. But they who are in truth natural not spiritual in like manner call these things holy, but holy in themselves by infusion. From this it is plain that the two are agreed, but that they do not conjoin themselves; for this truth is of a different form-because of a different idea-with the spiritual man from what it is with the merely natural man.
[6] Let us take one other example. It is an ultimate truth to the spiritual man that all Divine truths can be confirmed from the literal sense of the Word, and also, with those who are enlightened, by rational or intellectual things. This ultimate and general truth is acknowledged by the natural man also; but he believes in simplicity that everything is true which can be confirmed from the Word, and especially that which he himself has confirmed from it. In this therefore they concur-that all Divine truth can he confirmed; but this general truth is viewed differently by the one from what it is by the other. The merely natural man believes to be Divine truth whatever he has confirmed in himself, or has heard confirmed by others, not knowing that falsity can be confirmed as well as truth, and that falsity when confirmed appears exactly like truth, and even more true than truth itself, because the fallacies of the senses chime in, and present it in the light of the world separate from the light of heaven.
[7] From this it is plain what is the quality of ultimate spiritual truth in the sight of the natural man-that it is like a garment; and when this garment is withdrawn, the natural and the spiritual man do not at all agree, and consequently the spiritual man has no longer anything by which to defend himself against the natural man. This is what is signified by Joseph's fleeing and getting out when he had left his garment. For the merely natural man does not acknowledge interior things; and therefore when exterior things are taken away or withdrawn, the two are at once dissociated. Furthermore, the natural man calls all things false by which the spiritual man confirms ultimate truth; for he cannot see whether that which he confirms is really so, it being impossible from natural light to see the things which are of spiritual light. This is contrary to order; but it is according to order that the things which are in natural light should be seen from spiritual light.


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