2327. He bowed himself with his face to the earth. That this signifies humiliation, may be seen without unfolding the meaning. The reason that in former times, especially in the representative churches, they bowed themselves so low that they let down the face to the earth, was because the face signified man's interiors (n. 358, 1999); and the reason they let it down to the earth was that the dust of the earth signified what is profane and condemned (n. 278); consequently they thus represented that of themselves they were profane and condemned. For the same reason they prostrated themselves, pressing the face to the earth, and even rolling themselves in dust and ashes, and also sprinkling dust and ashes upon their heads (as may be seen from Lam. 2:10; Ezek. 27:30; Micah 1:10; Josh. 7:6; Rev. 18:19; and elsewhere).
 By all this they represented the state of true humiliation, which is possible to none unless they acknowledge that of themselves they are profane and condemned, and thus that they cannot of themselves look to the Lord, where there is nothing but what is Divine and Holy; on which account, so far as a man is in self-acknowledgment, so far he can be in true humiliation, and in adoration when in worship. For in all worship there must be humiliation; and if this is separated therefrom, there is nothing of adoration, thus nothing of worship.
 That the state of humiliation is the essential state of worship itself, comes from the fact that so far as the heart is humbled, so far the love of self and all the evil therefrom ceases; and so far as this ceases, so far good and truth, that is, charity and faith, flow in from the Lord; for that which stands in the way of the reception of these is principally the love of self, in which there is contempt for others in comparison with one's self; hatred and revenge if self is not treated with honor; and also unmercifulness and cruelty; thus the worst evils of all; and into these good and truth can in no wise be introduced, for they are opposites.