(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 2762

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2762. That a "horse" signifies the faculty of understanding is from no other source than the representatives in the other life. Often there, in the world of spirits, horses are seen, and this with great variety, and those also that sit on them; and whenever they are seen they signify the faculty of understanding. There are such representatives continually with spirits. It is from the representation of the horse, as being the understanding, that when horses are mentioned in the Word, the spirits and angels with man at once know that the understanding is what is treated of. It is also from this that when spirits from a certain distant world on being imbued with intelligence and wisdom are taken up from the world of spirits into heaven, there appear to them horses shining as with fire; which also I have seen when they were taken up.
[2] From this I could see what is signified by the chariot of fire and horses of fire seen by Elisha when Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven; as also what is signified by the exclamation of Elisha then: "My Father, my Father, the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof" (2 Kings 2:11, 12); and by Joash king of Israel saying the same to Elisha when he was dying: "My Father, my Father, the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof" (2 Kings 13:14). That by Elijah and Elisha was represented the Lord as to the Word, will of the Lord's Divine mercy be told elsewhere; the doctrine of love and charity from the Word being meant by the "chariot of fire," and the doctrine of faith therefrom by the "horses of fire." The doctrine of faith is the same as the understanding of the Word as to its interiors, or as to its internal sense.
[3] That chariots and horses are seen in the heavens with spirits and angels, is evident from the fact of their being seen by the prophets, as by Zechariah (chapter 1:8-10; 6:3-7), and by others, and also by Elisha's servant, as thus described in the book of Kings:
Jehovah opened the eyes of Elisha's boy, and he saw; and behold the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha (2 Kings 6:17).
Moreover, where the abode of the intelligent and wise is, in the world of spirits, chariots and horses appear continually; for the reason as said that by chariots and horses are represented the things of wisdom and of intelligence. Resuscitated persons after death, who are entering into the other life, see represented to them a young man sitting upon a horse, and then alighting from the horse; and by this is signified that they are to be instructed in the knowledge of good and truth before they can come into heaven (see volume 1, n. 187-188).
[4] That chariots and horses signified these things, was well known in the Ancient Church, as also is evident from the book of Job, which is a book of that Church, where are these words:
God hath made her to forget wisdom, and hath not imparted to her intelligence; what time she lifteth up herself on high she scorneth the horse and his rider (Job 39:17-19).
From the Ancient Church the signification of the horse, as being the faculty of understanding, was extended to the wise round about, even into Greece. From this it came to pass that when they described the sun (by which was signified love, n. 2441, 2495), they placed in it the god of their wisdom and intelligence, and gave him a chariot and four horses of fire; and that when they described the god of the sea, because by the sea were signified knowledges in general (n. 28, 2120), they gave horses also to him; and that when they described the rise of knowledges from the understanding, they represented a flying horse which with his hoof broke open a fountain, where dwelt the virgins that were the sciences; and by the Trojan horse nothing else was signified than a contrivance of their understanding for destroying city walls.
Even at this day the intellect is often described, according to the custom received from those ancient people, under the figure of a flying horse, or Pegasus; and learning is described as a fountain; but scarcely anyone knows that a horse, in the mystic sense, signifies the understanding, and a fountain truth; still less that these significatives were handed down to the Gentiles from the Ancient Church.


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