(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 9730

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9730. And thou shalt bestow it under the compass of the altar beneath. That hereby is signified this in ultimates, is evident from the signification of "the grating, a network" which was to be put under the compass of the altar, as being the sensuous (of which above, n. 9726); from the signification of "the compass," when said of the sensuous, as being the ultimate (that the external sensuous is the ultimate of life with man, see n. 9726); and from the signification of "beneath," as being outward, for by higher things are signified interior things, and by lower things are signified exterior ones (n. 6952, 6954, 7814-7821, 8604); consequently by "above" or "upward" is signified inward; and by "beneath" or "downward" is signified outward. By the external sensuous is not meant the sense of the body itself, as its sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch, but that which is most nearly from these; for he is called a sensuous man who thinks and desires according to these senses of the body and their appetites, and considers no further. He who considers further, and examines what the sensuous desires, and what he himself thinks from the sensuous, is said to be raised above the sensuous, or to be withdrawn from it, and to think interiorly. This is the case with those at the present day who are in the good of charity and of faith. When this is done, the sensuous is quiescent, and is deprived of its active life which it has from the world and its objects. There are with man two determinations of the things of the understanding and of the will; one determination is outward toward the world, and the other is inward toward heaven. With natural and sensuous men, the determination of the things of the understanding and of the will, thus of the thoughts and affections, is toward the world; but with spiritual and celestial men the determination of these things is toward heaven, and also alternately toward the world. The hinge of the determinations turns inward when the man is being regenerated, and so far as it can then be turned inward, so far the man can be raised by the Lord toward heaven to Himself, and consequently be in the same proportion imbued with wisdom, faith, and love. For the man then lives in the internal man, consequently in his spirit, and the external man is subordinate thereto. But if a man does not suffer himself to be regenerated, then all his interiors remain determined toward the world, and then his life is in the external man, and the internal man is subordinate thereto. This is the case when the external man supplies reasonings which favor evil lusts. These men are called natural, and they who abide in things most external are called sensuous; from which it can be seen what is meant by "the sensuous."


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