(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 1919

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1919. Abram said unto Sarai. That this signifies perception, is evident from what was said above (n. 1898). The Lord's perception was represented and is here signified by this which Abram said to Sarai; but His thought from the perception, by that which Sarai said to Abram. The thought was from the perception. They who are in perception think from nothing else; but still perception is one thing and thought another. To show that this is the case, take conscience as an illustration.
[2] Conscience is a kind of general dictate, and thus an obscure one, of the things that flow in through the heavens from the Lord. Those which flow in present themselves in the interior rational man and are there as in a cloud, which cloud is from appearances and fallacies concerning the truths and goods of faith. But thought is distinct from conscience, and yet it flows from conscience; for they who have conscience think and speak according to it, and the thought is little else than an unfolding of the things which are of conscience, and thereby the partition of them into ideas and then into words. Hence it is that they who have conscience are kept by the Lord in good thoughts respecting the neighbor, and are withheld from thinking evil; and therefore conscience can have no place except with those who love their neighbor as themselves, and think well concerning the truths of faith. From what has been advanced we may see what the difference is between conscience and thought; and from this we may know what the difference is between perception and thought.
[3] The Lord's perception was immediately from Jehovah, and thus from the Divine good; but His thought was from intellectual truth and the affection of it, as before said (n. 1904, 1914). The Lord's Divine perception cannot be apprehended by any idea, not even of angels, and therefore it cannot be described. The perception of the angels (spoken of n. 1354, etc., 1394, 1395) is scarcely anything in comparison with the perception which the Lord had. The Lord's perception, being Divine, was a perception of all things in the heavens, and therefore also of all things on earth, for such is the order, connection, and influx, that he who is in the perception of the former is also in the perception of the latter.
[4] But after the Lord's Human Essence had been united to His Divine Essence, and at the same time had become Jehovah, the Lord was then above that which is called perception, because He was above the order that is in the heavens and thence on the earth. It is Jehovah who is the source of order, and hence it may be said that Jehovah is Order itself, for He from Himself governs order; not as is supposed in the universal only, but also in the veriest singulars, for the universal comes from these. To speak of the universal, and to separate from it the singulars, would be nothing else than to speak of a whole in which there are no parts, and therefore to speak of a something in which there is nothing. So that to say that the Lord's Providence is universal, and is not a Providence of the veriest singulars, is to say what is utterly false, and is what is called an ens rationis [that is, a figment of the imagination]. For to provide and govern in the universal, and not in the veriest singulars, is to provide and govern absolutely nothing. This is true philosophically, and yet wonderful to say, philosophers themselves, even those who soar the highest, apprehend the matter differently, and think differently.


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