(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 3336

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3336. And Esau despised the birthright. That this signifies that in the meantime the good of life made no account of the priority, is evident from the signification of "despising," as being to make no account of; from the representation of Esau, as being the good of life (n. 3300, 3322); and from the signification of "birthright," as being priority (n. 3325). That it is in the meantime, or for a time, may be seen above (n. 3324, 3325, 3330). Hence it is manifest that by "Esau despising the birthright" is signified that in the meantime the good of life made no account of the priority. In order that what is related in this chapter concerning Esau and Jacob may be apprehended in regard to its signification in the internal sense, the thought must be removed entirely from the historicals, thus from the persons of Esau and Jacob; and instead of them must be substituted the things they represent, namely, the good of the natural and its truth; or what is the same, the spiritual man who is being regenerated by means of truth and good; for in the internal sense of the Word names signify nothing else than actual things. When the good of the natural and its truths are thought of instead of Esau and Jacob, it is then evident how the case is with man's regeneration by means of truth and good, namely, that in the beginning truth apparently has the priority with him, and also the superiority, although in itself good is prior and superior.
[2] In order that it may be still more clearly evident how the case is with this priority and superiority, something further shall be said. It is easy to see that nothing can possibly enter into man's memory and remain there, unless there is a certain affection or love which introduces it. If there is no affection, or what is the same, no love, there will be no observation. It is this affection, or love, with which the thing that enters connects itself, and being connected remains; as is evident from the fact that when a similar affection or love returns, the thing itself recurs, and is presented to view along with other things that had before entered by virtue of a similar affection or love; and this in a series. From this comes man's thought; and from this thought his speech. In like manner also when the thing itself returns, if this is effected by objects of the senses, or by objects of the thought, or by the discourse of another, the affection also with which the thing had entered is reproduced. This is the teaching of experience, and on reflection everyone may be confirmed in it.
[3] The doctrinal things of truth enter in like manner into the memory; and the things that at first introduce them are affections of various loves, as before said (n. 3330). Genuine affection, which is of the good of charity, is not then observed; but still it is present; and so far as it can be present, it is adjoined by the Lord to the doctrinal things of truth; and so far also they remain adjoined. When therefore the time comes that the man can be regenerated, the Lord inspires the affection of good, and through this excites the things which have been adjoined by Him to this affection, which things are called in the Word "remains;" and then by means of this affection (that is, of the affection of good), by successive steps the Lord removes the affections of other loves, consequently also the things that have been connected with them. And thus the affection of good, or what is the same, the good of life, begins to have the dominion. It indeed had the dominion before, but this could not appear to the man; for insofar as a man is in the love of self and of the world, the good which is of genuine love does not appear. From this it may now be seen what is signified in the internal sense by the things historically related concerning Esau and Jacob.


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