(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 3665

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3665. To the house of Bethuel, thy mother's father, and take thee from thence a woman of the daughters of Laban, thy mother's brother. That this signifies collateral external good, and the derivative truth that was to be conjoined, is evident from the representation of Bethuel, as being the good of the Gentiles of the first class (see n. 2865); from the representation of Laban, as being the affection of good in the natural man, that is the affection of external good, and properly the collateral good of a common stock (n. 3129, 3130, 3160, 3612); and from the signification of "taking a woman of his daughters," as being to be associated to or conjoined with the derivative affections of truth. That "taking a woman" denotes to be conjoined, is manifest, and that "daughters" are affections, may be seen above (n. 568, 2362, 3024). Hence it is evident what these words signify, namely, that the good of the natural, here represented by Jacob, was to be conjoined with the truths derived from collateral external good.
[2] The case herein is this: When man is being regenerated, he is at first led by the Lord as an infant, then as a child, afterwards as a youth, and at last as an adult. The truths he learns as an infant child are altogether external and corporeal, for as yet he is unable to apprehend interior truths. These truths are no other than knowledges of such things as contain, in their inmost, things Divine; for there are knowledges of things that do not contain anything Divine in their inmost; and there are knowledges that do contain it. The knowledges that do contain what is Divine are such that they can admit interior truths more and more, successively, and in order; whereas the knowledges which do not contain what is Divine are such that they do not admit, but reject these interior truths; for the knowledges of external and corporeal good and truth are like ground, which according to its quality admits seeds of one nature and not of another, bringing to maturity one kind of seeds, and suffocating another. Knowledges which contain in their inmost what is Divine, admit into them spiritual and celestial truth and good, possessing this capacity from the Divine which is within, and which disposes; but the knowledges which do not contain in them what is Divine, admit only what is false and evil, such being their nature. Those knowledges of external and corporeal truth which admit spiritual and celestial truth and good, are here signified by the "daughters of Laban of the house of Bethuel;" but those which do not thus admit them, are signified by the "daughters of Canaan."
[3] The knowledges which are learned from infancy to childhood are like most general vessels, which are to be filled with goods, and in proportion as they are filled the man is enlightened. If the vessels are such as to admit into them genuine goods, then the man is enlightened from the Divine that is within them, and this successively more and more; but if they are such that genuine goods cannot be in them, then the man is not enlightened. It does appear that he is enlightened, but this is from a fatuous light, which is that of falsity and evil, whereby he is more and more darkened in respect to good and truth.
[4] Such knowledges are manifold, and so manifold that their genera can scarcely be counted; still less can their species be discriminated; for they are derived in many ways from the Divine through the rational into the natural. For some flow in immediately through the good of the rational, and thence into the good of the natural; and also into the truth of this good, and thence further into the external or corporeal natural, where also they divide into various streams. And some flow in mediately through the truth of the rational into the truth of the natural, and also into the good of this truth, and thence further into the external or corporeal natural (see n. 3573, 3616). They are like nations, families, and houses, and like the blood-relationships and the connections therein, there being in them some which descend in a direct line from the first father, and some which descend in a line more and more indirect or collateral. In the heavens these things are most distinct, for all the societies therein, and thus the proximities, are distinguished according to the genera and species of good and truth (n. 685, 2508, 2524, 2556, 2739, 3612). These societies and proximities were represented by the most ancient people, who were celestial men, by their dwelling together classified in this manner into nations, families, and houses (n. 470, 471, 483, 1159, 1246); and for this reason it was enjoined that they who were of the representative church should contract marriages within the families of their own nation; for in this way they could represent heaven, and the conjunction of its societies as to good and truth-as was the case here with Jacob, in that he was to go to the house of Bethuel, his mother's father, and take him a woman of the daughters of Laban, his mother's brother.
[5] With regard to these very knowledges of external or corporeal truth which are from collateral good, and which as before said contain in them what is Divine, and thus are capable of admitting genuine goods-such as are the knowledges with young children who are afterwards regenerated-they are in general such as are contained in the historicals of the Word, such as what is said therein concerning paradise, concerning the first man in it, concerning the tree of life in its midst, and concerning the tree of knowledge, where was the serpent that practiced the deception. These are the knowledges that contain within them what is Divine, and admit into them spiritual and celestial goods and truths, because they represent and signify these goods and truths. Such knowledges also are all other things in the historicals of the Word, as what is said concerning the tabernacle and the temple and concerning the construction of these; in like manner what is said concerning the garments of Aaron and of his sons; also concerning the feasts of tabernacles, of the firstfruits of harvest, of unleavened bread, and concerning other like things. When such knowledges as these are known and thought of by a young child, the angels who are with him think of the Divine things which they represent and signify; and because the angels are affected therewith, their affection is communicated, and causes the delight and pleasure which the child experiences therein; and prepares his mind to receive genuine truths and goods. Such and very many others are the knowledges of external and corporeal truth that are derived from collateral good.


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