(HH) - Heaven and Its Wonders and Hell - From Things Heard and Seen

HH 365

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365. All this makes clear that the rich and the poor alike come into heaven, the one as easily as the other. The belief that the poor enter heaven easily and the rich with difficulty comes from not understanding the Word where the rich and the poor are mentioned. In the Word those that have an abundance of knowledges of good and truth, thus who are within the church where the Word is, are meant in the spiritual sense by the "rich;" while those who lack these knowledges, and yet desire them, thus who are outside of the church and where there is no Word, are meant by the "poor." [2] The rich man clothed in purple and fine linen, and cast into hell, means the Jewish nation, which is called rich because it had the Word and had an abundance of knowledges of good and truth therefrom, "garments of purple" signifying knowledges of good, and "garments of fine linen" knowledges of truth.# But the poor man who lay at the rich man's gate and longed to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table, and who was carried by angels into heaven, means the nations that have no knowledges of good and truth and yet desired them (Luke 16:19-31). Also the rich that were called to a great supper and excused themselves mean the Jewish nation, and the poor brought in in their place mean the nations outside of the church (Luke 14:16-24). [3] By the rich man of whom the Lord says:

It is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God (Matt. 19:24),

the rich in both the natural sense and the spiritual sense are meant. In the natural sense the rich are those that have an abundance of riches and set their heart upon them; but in the spiritual sense they are those that have an abundance of knowledges and learning, which are spiritual riches, and who desire by means of these to introduce themselves into the things of heaven and the church from their own intelligence. And because this is contrary to Divine order it is said to be "easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye," a "camel" signifying in general in the spiritual sense the knowing faculty and things known, and a "needle's eye" signifying spiritual truth.## That such is the meaning of a "camel" and a "needle's eye" is not at present known, because the knowledge that teaches what is signified in the spiritual sense by the things said in the literal sense of the Word has not up to this time been disclosed. In every particular of the Word there is a spiritual sense and also a natural sense; for the Word was made to consist wholly of correspondences between natural and spiritual things in order that conjunction of heaven with the world, or of angels with men might thereby be effected, direct conjunction having ceased. This makes clear who in particular are meant in the Word by the "rich man." [4] That the "rich" in the Word mean in the spiritual sense those who are in knowledges of truth and good, and "riches" the knowledges themselves, which are spiritual riches, can be seen from various passages (as in Isa. 10:12-14; 30:6, 7; 45:3; Jer. 17:3; 48:7; 50:36, 37; 51:13; Dan. 5:2-4; Ezek. 26:7, 12; 27:1 to the end; Zech. 9:3, 4; Psalm 45:12; Hosea 12:9; Apoc. 3:17, 18; Luke 14:33; and elsewhere). Also that the "poor" in the spiritual sense signify those who do not possess knowledges of good and of truth, and yet desire them (Matt. 11:5; Luke 6:20, 21; 14:21; Isa. 14:30; 29:19; 41:17, 18; Zeph. 3:12, 13). All these passages may be seen explained in accordance with the spiritual sense in the Arcana Coelestia (n. 10227).
# "Garments" signify truths, thus knowledges (n. 1073, 2576, 5319, 5954, 9212, 9216, 9952, 10536).
"Purple" signifies celestial good (n. 9467).
"Fine linen" signifies truth from a celestial origin (n. 5319, 9469, 9744).
## A "camel" signifies in the Word the knowing faculty and knowledge in general (n. 3048, 3071, 3143, 3145).
What is meant by "needlework, working with a needle," and therefore by a "needle" (n. 9688).
To enter from knowledge into the truths of faith is contrary to Divine order (n. 10236).
Those that do this become demented in respect to the thing of heaven and the church (n. 128-130, 232, 233, 6047).
And in the other life, when they think about spiritual things they become as it were drunken (n. 1072).
Further about such (n. 196).
Examples showing that when spiritual things are entered into through knowledges they cannot be comprehended (n. 233, 2094, 2196, 2203, 2209).
It is permissible to enter from spiritual truth into knowledges which pertain to the natural man, but not the reverse, because there can be spiritual influx into the natural, but not natural influx into the spiritual (n. 3219, 5119, 5259, 5427, 5428, 5478, 6322, 9110).
The truths of the word and of the church must first be acknowledged, after which it is permissible to consider knowledges, but not before (n. 6047).


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