(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 1043

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1043. That the "cloud" signifies the obscure light in which is the spiritual man as compared with the celestial man, is evident from what has just been said about the "bow;" for the bow, or the color of the bow, has no existence except in the cloud. As before said, it is the darkness of the cloud, through which the sun's rays shine, that is turned into colors; and thus the color is such as is the darkness which is touched by the brightness of the rays. The case is the same with the spiritual man. With him, the darkness which is here called a "cloud" is falsity, which is the same as the Own of his understanding. When innocence, charity, and mercy are insinuated into this Own by the Lord, then this cloud appears no longer as falsity, but as an appearance of truth, together with truth from the Lord. Hence there is the likeness of a colored bow. There is a certain spiritual modification which can by no means be described, and unless it be perceived by man by means of colors and their origin, I do not know how it can be set forth to his apprehension. [2] The nature of this "cloud" with the regenerate man may be seen from his state before regeneration. Man is regenerated through what he supposes to be truths of faith. Everyone supposes his own dogma to be true, and from this he acquires a conscience, for which reason after he has acquired a conscience, to act contrary to what has been impressed upon him as truths of faith, is to him contrary to conscience. Such is every regenerated man. For many are regenerated by the Lord in every dogma, and when they have been regenerated they do not receive any immediate revelation, but only what is insinuated into them through the Word and the preaching of the Word. But because they receive charity, the Lord works through charity upon their cloud, from which there springs light, as when the sun strikes a cloud, which then becomes more luminous and is variegated with colors. Thus also there arises in the cloud the likeness of a bow. The thinner the cloud, that is, the more numerous are the intermingled truths of faith of which it consists, the more beautiful is the bow. But the denser the cloud, that is, the fewer the truths of faith of which it consists, the less beautiful is the bow. Innocence adds much to its beauty, giving as it were a living brightness to the colors.
[3] All appearances of truth are clouds in which man is when he is in the sense of the letter of the Word, for the language of the Word is according to appearances. But when he believes the Word with simplicity, and has charity, even though he remains in appearances, this cloud is comparatively thin. It is in this cloud that conscience is formed by the Lord with a man who is within the church. All ignorances of truth are also clouds, in which man is when he does not know what the truth of faith is; in general, when he does not know what the Word is, and still more when he has not heard about the Lord. In this cloud conscience is formed by the Lord with a man who is outside the church; for in his very ignorance there may be innocence, and thus charity. All falsities also are clouds; but these clouds are darkness, and are either with those who have a false conscience-described elsewhere-or with those who have none. These are, in general, the qualities of clouds. As regards their mass, there are with man clouds so great and so dense that if he knew of them, he would wonder that rays of light could ever shine through from the Lord, and that man could be regenerated. He who supposes himself to have the least cloud, has sometimes a very great one; and he who believes that he has very much cloud, has less.
[4] There are such clouds with the spiritual man, but not so great with the celestial, because he has love to the Lord implanted in his will part, and therefore receives from the Lord, not conscience, as does the spiritual man, but perception of good and thence of truth. When man's will part is such that it can receive the rays of celestial flame, then his intellectual part is enlightened thereby, and from love he knows and perceives all things that are truths of faith. His will part is then like a little sun, from which rays shine into his intellectual part. Such was the man of the Most Ancient Church. But when man's will part is wholly corrupt and infernal, and therefore a new will, which is conscience, is formed in his intellectual part (as was the case with the man of the Ancient Church, and is so with every regenerated man of the spiritual church), then his cloud is dense, for he needs to learn what is good and true, and has no perception whether it is so. Then also falsity continually flows in (which is the darkness of cloud) from his black will part, that is, through it from hell. This is the reason why the intellectual part can never be enlightened in the spiritual man as it is in the celestial. Hence it is that the "cloud" here signifies the obscure light in which the spiritual man is in comparison with the celestial.


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