(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 6110

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6110. Because the famine was very grievous. That this signifies desolation, is evident from the signification of "famine," as being a lack of good and of knowledges (see n. 1460, 3364, 5277, 5279, 5281, 5300, 5579, 5893); thus a "very grievous famine" denotes desolation (n. 5360, 5376, 5415, 5576). With regard to desolation, be it known that truths and goods and the knowledges thereof make the spiritual life of those who are in heaven, for these are the celestial and spiritual foods with which they are nourished. These foods are given them daily by the Lord. When it is morning with them, goods are supplied; when it is noon, truths are supplied; but when it is evening, goods and truths are lacking, and this even unto twilight and the return of morning. The angels are then kept in a state of appetite, which is of such a nature that they long for these things more than those who are hungry on earth long for food. This state is signified by "famine," and it is a kind of desolation, but not such as exists with those who are in the lower earth (n. 698, 699, 1106-1113).
[2] Scarcely anyone in this world can believe that the angelic heaven has such an appetite for truths and goods and the knowledges of these; for they who are intent on nothing else than gain and glory and indulgence in pleasures, will wonder that such things are a matter of life to the angels, and will say, "What are knowledges of good and of truth to me? what have these to do with life? The things which give life and the delight of life are riches, honors, and pleasures." But be it known to them that the life which is from these things is the life of the body, and not the life of the soul, and that the former life perishes with the body, but the latter remains to eternity; and that they consult their own evil who during their abode in this world think nothing about the spiritual life.
[3] As further regards desolation, it is for the sake of inducing appetite, for goods and truths are received in accordance with this; and when the desires excited by appetite are obtained, they cause satisfaction and happiness. Wherefore in the other life they who are in desolation are soon afterward refreshed, and attain their desires. By means of such alternations are all made perfect. It is worthy of note that the alternations of the day in the natural world-morning, midday, evening, night, and again morning-perfectly represent the alternations in the spiritual world, with only this difference: that the alternations of the spiritual world flow into the understanding and the will, and sustain those things which are of the life; while the alternations in the natural world flow into those things which are of the body, and sustain them.
[4] What is still more worthy of note is that the shades of evening and the darkness of night do not come from the Lord, but from things that belong to angels, spirits, and men. For the Lord as a Sun is continually shining and flowing in, but evils and falsities from what is one's own, being in men, spirits, and angels, turn and convert them from the Lord, and thus lead them into the shades of evening, and those who are evil into the darkness of night; in like manner as the sun of our world is continually shining and inflowing, but the earth by its rotation turns itself away from it, and brings itself into shade and darkness.
[5] The reason why these alternations take place in the natural world is that the natural world comes forth from the spiritual world, and therefore also subsists from it; and hence it is that universal nature is a theater representative of the Lord's kingdom (see n. 3483, 4939). The reason why these alternations exist in the spiritual world is that all who are in heaven may be continually perfected. From this there are such alternations also in the natural world, for otherwise all things therein would perish with drought.
[6] Yet be it known that in heaven there is no night, but only evening, which is succeeded by the twilight that precedes the morning. But in hell there is night. There are alternations there also, but these are opposite to the alternations in heaven; for in hell morning is the heat of cupidities, noon is the itching of falsities, evening is anxiety, and night is torment. Yet through all these alternations the night dominates, and it is only the variations of shade and of the darkness of night that present these alternations.
[7] Be it further known that in the spiritual world the alternations with one person are not like those with another; and also that the alternations there are not distinguished into stated times, because it is the variations of state that present them to view; for in place of times in the natural world there are states in the spiritual world (n. 1274, 1382, 2625, 2788, 2837, 3254, 3356, 4814, 4882, 4901, 4916).


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