(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 803

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803. As to fowl, and as to beast, and as to wild animal, and as to every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. That these signify the persuasions of those in whom "fowl" signifies affections of what is false, "beast" cupidities, "wild animal" pleasures, and "creeping thing" things corporeal and earthly, is evident from what has been already shown respecting the signification of "fowls" and of "beasts" (concerning "fowls" in n. 40, and above at verses 14 and 15 of this chapter; concerning "beasts" also in the same place, and in n. 45, 46, 142, 143, and 246). As "fowls" signify things of understanding, of reason, and of memory-knowledge, they signify also the contraries of these, as what is of perverted reason, falsities, and affections of what is false. The persuasions of the antediluvians are here fully described, namely, that there were in them affections of what is false, cupidities, pleasures, things corporeal and earthly. That all these are within persuasions, man is not aware, believing a principle or a persuasion of what is false to be but a simple thing, or one general thing; but he is much mistaken, for the case is very different. Every single affection of a man derives its existence and nature from things of his understanding and at the same time from those of his will, so that the whole man, both as to all things of his understanding and all things of his will, is in his every affection, and even in the most individual or least things of his affection.
[2] This has been made evident to me by numerous experiences, as for example (to mention only one) that the quality of a spirit can be known in the other life from one single idea of his thought. Indeed angels have from the Lord the power of knowing at once, when they but look upon anyone, what his character is, nor is there any mistake. It is therefore evident that every single idea and every single affection of a man, even every least bit of his affection, is an image of him and a likeness of him, that is, there is present therein, nearly and remotely, something from all his understanding and from all his will. In this way then are described the direful persuasions of the antediluvians: that there were in them affections of what is false, and affections of what is evil, or cupidities, and also pleasures, and finally things corporeal and earthly. All these are within such persuasions; and not only in the persuasions in general, but also in the most individual or least things of the persuasions, in which things corporeal and earthly predominate. If man should know how much there is within one principle and one persuasion of what is false, he would shudder. It is a kind of image of hell. But if it be from innocence or from ignorance, the falsities therein are easily shaken off.


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