(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 270

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270. That to "eat of the ground in great sorrow" signifies a miserable state of life, is evident from what precedes and follows, not to mention that to "eat" in the internal sense, is to live. The same is evident also from the fact that such a state of life ensues when evil spirits begin to fight, and the attendant angels to labor. This state of life becomes more miserable when evil spirits begin to obtain the dominion; for they then govern the external man, and the angels only the internal man, of which so little remains that they can scarcely take anything thence with which to defend the man; hence arise misery and anxiety. Dead men are seldom sensible of such misery and anxiety, because they are no longer men, although they think themselves more truly so than others; for they know no more than the brutes of what is spiritual and celestial, and what is eternal life, and like them they look downward to earthly things, or outward to worldly ones; they favor only their Own, and indulge their inclinations and senses with the entire concurrence of the rational. Being dead, they sustain no spiritual combat or temptation, and were they exposed to it their life would sink under its weight, and they could thereby curse themselves still more, and precipitate themselves still more deeply into infernal damnation: hence they are spared this until their entrance into the other life, where, being no longer in danger of dying in consequence of any temptation or misery, they endure most grievous sufferings, which likewise are here signified by the ground being cursed, and eating of it in great sorrow.


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