(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 996

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996. That the "esculent herb" signifies the vile things of delights is evident from what has been said. They are called the esculent herb because they are only worldly and corporeal, or external. For, as already said, the pleasures that are in the bodily or outermost things of man have their origin in delights that are successively more and more interior. The delights that are perceived in those outermost or bodily things are relatively vile, for it is the nature of all delight to become more vile in proportion as it progresses toward the externals, and more happy in proportion as it advances toward the internals. For this reason, as before said, in proportion as the externals are stripped off, or rolled away, the delights become more pleasant and happy, as may be evident enough from man's delight in pleasures being vile while he lives in the body, in comparison with his delight after the life of the body, when he comes into the world of spirits; so vile indeed that good spirits utterly spurn the delights of the body, nor would they return to them if all in the whole world should be given them.
[2] The delight of these spirits in like manner becomes vile when they are taken up by the Lord into the heaven of angelic spirits; for they then throw off these interior delights and enter into those that are still more interior. So again to angelic spirits the delight which they have had in their heaven becomes vile when they are taken up by the Lord into the angelic or third heaven, in which heaven, since internal things are there living, and there is nothing but mutual love, the happiness is unspeakable. (See what is said of interior delight or happiness above, n. 545.) From these things it is evident what is signified by "as the esculent herb have I given it all to you." Inasmuch as creeping things signify both pleasures of the body and pleasures of the senses, of which the esculent herb is predicated, the word in the original language is one which signifies both "esculent" and "green"-"esculent" in reference to pleasures of the will, or of celestial affections, and "green" in reference to pleasures of the understanding, or of spiritual affections.
[3] That the "esculent herb" and "green herb" signify what is vile, is evident in the Word, as in Isaiah:
The waters of Nimrim shall be desolate; for the grass is dried up, the herbage is consumed, there is no green thing (Isa. 15:6).
Their inhabitants were short of hand, they were dismayed, and put to shame; they became the herb of the field, and the green herbage, the grass on the house tops (Isa. 37:27),
the "green herbage" denoting what is most vile. In Moses:
The land whither thou goest in to possess it, is not as the land of Egypt, from whence ye came out, where thou sowedst thy seed, and wateredst it with thy foot, as a garden of herbs (Deut. 11:10),
where a "garden of herbs" denotes what is vile. In David:
The evil are as grass, suddenly are they cut down, and will be consumed as the green herbage (Ps. 37:2),
where "grass" and the "green herbage" denote what is most vile.


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