(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 3527

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3527. And I am a smooth man. That this signifies the quality of natural truth relatively, is evident from the representation of Jacob who is here speaking, as being the natural as to truth (see n. 3305); and from the signification of a "smooth man," as being its quality, concerning which something shall now be said. Before it can be known what these things signify, it must be known what is meant by "hairy," and what by "smooth." The interiors in man present themselves in a kind of image in his exteriors, especially in his face and its expression; at the present day his inmosts are not seen there, but his interiors are in some measure seen there, unless from infancy he has learned to dissemble, for in this case he assumes to himself as it were another lower mind, and consequently induces on himself another countenance; for it is the lower mind that appears in the face. More than others, hypocrites have acquired this from actual life, thus from habit; and this the more in proportion as they are deceitful. With those who are not hypocrites, rational good appears in the face from a certain fire of life; and rational truth from the light of this fire. Man knows these things from a certain connate knowledge, without study; for it is the life of his spirit as to good and as to truth which thus manifests itself; and because man is a spirit clothed with a body, he has such knowledge from the perception of his spirit, thus from himself; and this is the reason why a man is sometimes affected with the countenance of another; although this is not from the countenance, but from the mind which thus shines forth. But the natural appears in the face in a more obscure fire of life, and a more obscure light of life; and the corporeal hardly appears at all except in the warmth and fairness of the complexion, and in the change of their states according to the affections.
[2] Because the interiors thus manifest themselves in especial in the face, as in an image, the most ancient people who were celestial men and utterly ignorant of dissimulation, much more of hypocrisy and deceit, were able to see the minds of one another conspicuous in the face as in a form; and therefore by the "face" were signified the things of the will and of the understanding; that is, interior rational things as to good and truth (n. 358, 1999, 2434); and in fact interior things as to good by the blood and its redness; and interior things as to truths by the resultant form and its fairness; but interior natural things by the outgrowths thence, such as the hairs and the scales of the skin, namely, the things from the natural as to good by the hairs, and the things from the natural as to truth by the scales. Consequently they who were in natural good were called "hairy men," but they who were in natural truth, "smooth men." From these considerations it may be seen what is signified in the internal sense by the words, "Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man," namely, the quality relatively to one another of natural good and natural truth. From all this it is evident what Esau represents, namely, the good of the natural, for he was called "Esau" from being hairy (Gen. 25:25), and "Edom" from being ruddy (Gen. 25:30). Mount Seir, where he dwelt, has the same meaning, namely, what is hairy; and because it had this meaning there was a mountain by which they went up to Seir that was called the bare or smooth mountain (Josh. 11:17; 12:7); which was also representative of truth ascending to good.
[3] That "hairy" is predicated of good, and thence of truth, and also in the opposite sense of evil, and thence of falsity, was shown above (n. 3301); but that "smooth" is predicated of truth, and in the opposite sense of falsity, is evident also from the following passages in the Word. In Isaiah:
Ye that inflame yourselves with gods under every green tree; in the smooth things of the valley is thy portion (Isa. 57:5-6);
where "inflaming" is predicated of evil; and the "smooth things of the valley," of falsity. Again:
The workman strengthens the smelter, him that smoothes with the hammer along with the beating on the anvil,* saying to the joint, It is good (Isa. 41:7);
where the "workman strengthening the smelter" is predicated of evil; and "smoothing with the hammer," of falsity. In David:
They make thy mouth smooth as butter; when his heart approacheth his words are softer than oil (Ps. 55:21);
where a "smooth or flattering mouth" is predicated of falsity; and the "heart and its soft things," of evil. Again:
Their throat is an open sepulcher, they speak smooth things with their tongue (Ps. 5:9);
"the throat an open sepulcher" is predicated of evil; "the tongue speaking smooth things," of falsity. In Luke:
Every valley shall be filled up; and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places level ways (Luke 3:5);
where "valley" denotes what is lowly (n. 1723, 3417); "mountain and hill," what is lifted up (n. 1691); "the crooked become straight," the evil of ignorance turned into good, for "length" and what belongs thereto are predicated of good (n. 1613); the "rough places made level ways," the falsities of ignorance turned into truths. (That "way" is predicated of truth, see n. 627, 2333.)
* This translation of Isa. 41:7 is made on the basis of Swedenborg's translation in the Latin text, this being the only time he quotes the passage; but the verse is evidently susceptible of other renderings.


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