(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 2196

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2196. And it was behind him. That this signifies near the good in which the rational then was, and separated from it insofar as anything of the human was in it, is evident from the fact that it is said of the door where Sarah was that it was "behind him." To be "behind him" signifies not to be conjoined, but at his back. That which is separated from anyone is represented by a kind of rejection as it were to the back, as is evident from the representatives in the other life (concerning which from experience, n. 1393, 1875). This is here expressed by its being said that the door where Sarah was, was "behind him."
[2] As regards the merely human rational truth which was then with the Lord being separated from Him when He conjoined Himself with the Divine, the case is this. Human rational truth does not apprehend Divine things, because these are above the sphere of its understanding, for this truth communicates with the memory-knowledges which are in the natural man, and in so far as it looks from these at the things which are above itself, so far it does not acknowledge them. For this truth is in appearances, which it is not able to put off; and appearances are born from sensuous things, which induce a belief as if Divine things themselves also were of a like nature, when yet these are exempt from all appearances, and when they are stated, this rational truth cannot possibly believe them, because it cannot apprehend them.
[3] If for example it is stated that man has no life except what is from the Lord, the rational supposes from appearances that in that case man cannot live as of himself; whereas he for the first time truly lives when he perceives that he does so from the Lord.
[4] The rational supposes from appearances that the good which man does is from himself, and yet there is nothing of good from self, but all is from the Lord. [5] From appearances the rational supposes that man merits salvation when he does what is good; whereas of himself man can merit nothing, but all merit is the Lord's.
[6] From appearances man supposes that when he is withheld from evil and is kept in good by the Lord, there is nothing with him but what is good and just, nay, holy; whereas there is nothing in man but what is evil, unjust, and profane.
[7] From appearances man supposes that when he does what is good from charity, he does it from his will; whereas it is not from his will part, but from his intellectual part, in which charity has been implanted.
[8] From appearances man supposes that there can be no glory without the glory of the world; whereas in the glory of heaven there is not a particle of the world's glory.
[9] From appearances man supposes that no one can love his neighbor more than himself, but that all love begins from self; when yet in heavenly love there is nothing of the love of self.
[10] From appearances man supposes that there can be no light but that which is from the light of the world; whereas in the heavens there is not one whit of the light of the world, and yet the light is so great that it surpasses the world's noon day light a thousand times.
[11] From appearances man supposes that the Lord cannot shine before the universal heaven as a sun; when yet all the light of heaven is from Him.
[12] From appearances man cannot apprehend that in the other life there are motions forward; whereas those who are there appear to themselves to move forward just as do men on earth-in their dwellings, courts, and paradises; and still less can he apprehend if it is said that these movings forward are changes of state, which so appear.
[13] Nor can man from appearances apprehend that spirits and angels, who are invisible before our eyes, can be seen; nor that they can speak with man; when yet they appear to the internal sight, or that of the spirit, more manifestly than man does to man on earth; and their voices are heard as distinctly; besides thousands of thousands of such things, which man's rational, from its own light, born from things of sense, and thereby darkened, cannot possibly believe. Nay, the rational is blinded in natural things themselves, not being able to apprehend, for instance, how those who dwell on the opposite side of the globe can stand on their feet and walk; and it is the same with very many other things. How blind then must the rational not be in spiritual and heavenly things, which are far above natural things?
[14] As the human rational is of such a character, it is here said of it that it was separated when the Lord in Divine perception was united to the Divine, which is signified by the standing of Sarah (who is here such rational truth) at the door of the tent, and by this being behind him.


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