(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 3494

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3494. And he called Esau his elder son. That this signifies the affection of good of the natural, or the good of life, is evident from the representation of Esau, as being the Divine good of the natural (concerning which see n. 3300, 3302, 3322); and because the good of the natural is that which appears in the affection and life, therefore it is the affection of good of the natural, or the good of life, that is here represented by Esau. The affection of good in the natural, and the derivative good of life, is what is called the "elder son;" but the affection of truth, and the derivative doctrine of truth, is what is called the "younger son." That the affection of good, and the derivative good of life, is the "elder son," that is, the firstborn, is evident from the fact that infants are first of all in good, for they are in a state of innocence, and in a state of love toward their parents and nurse, and in a state of mutual charity toward their infant companions; so that good is the firstborn with every man. This good, into which man is thus initiated when an infant, remains; for whatever is imbibed from infancy enters into the life; and because it remains, it becomes the good of life; for if man should be without such good as that which he has derived from infancy, he would not be a man, but would be more of a wild beast than any in the forest. This good does not indeed appear to be present, because all that is imbibed in the infantile age does not appear otherwise than as something natural-as is sufficiently manifest from walking, and from the other motions of the body; from the manners and decorums of civil life; also from speech, and various other things. From this it may be seen that good is the "elder son," that is, the firstborn, and consequently that truth is the "younger son," or is born afterwards; for truth is not learned till the infant becomes a child, a youth, and an adult.
[2] Good as well as truth in the natural or external man is a "son," that is to say, a son of the rational or internal man; for whatever comes forth in the natural or external man flows in from the rational or internal man, and from this also comes forth and is born; that which does not come forth and is not born therefrom is not a living human thing; it would be as you might say something sensuous corporeal without a soul. From this it is that both good and truth are called "sons," and indeed sons of the rational. And yet it is not the rational which produces and brings forth the natural, but it is an influx through the rational into the natural, which influx is from the Lord. Therefore all infants who are born are His sons, and afterwards when they become wise, insofar as they are still infants, that is, in the innocence of infancy, in the love of infancy toward their parent, now the Lord, and in the mutual charity of infancy toward their infant companions, now their neighbor, so far they are adopted by the Lord as sons.


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