4136. Wherefore hast thou concealed thyself to flee? and hast stolen me? and hast not told me? That this signifies the state if the separation had been effected in freedom, is evident from the signification of "concealing thyself to flee," as being to separate itself from that which was unwilling (that "to flee" denotes to be separated, see n. 4113, 4114, 4120); from the signification of stealing me," as being to take away that which is dear and holy (n. 4112, 4133); and from the signification of "not telling me," as here denoting by separation (n. 4113); from all which it follows that by these words there is signified that the separation was made against its will, whereas it ought to have been done in freedom. This state of freedom is signified and described by the words which now follow, namely, "I would have sent thee away with gladness and with songs, with timbrel and with harp." But these are the words of Laban according to his belief at that time. How the case is with the separation of mediate good from genuine good with those who are being regenerated, namely, that it is done in freedom, may be seen above (n. 4110-4111).
 That this is really the case is not apparent to the man, for he does not know how goods are varied with him, still less how the state of every good is changed, nor even how the good of infancy is varied and changed into the good of childhood, and this into the succeeding good which is that of youth, and afterwards into the good of adult age, and at last into the good of old age. With those who are not being regenerated, it is not goods that are changed, but affections and their delights. But with those who are being regenerated there are changes of state of goods, and this from infancy even to the close of life. For the Lord foresees what kind of a life a man is going to lead, and how he is going to suffer himself to be led by the Lord; and because all things are foreseen both in general and in particular-nay, the veriest singulars-they are also provided. But the man knows nothing of how the case is then with the changes of state of the goods; and this chiefly because he has no knowledges on the subject, nor at this day does he desire to have any. And as the Lord does not inflow immediately with man and teach him, but as He inflows into his knowledges, thus mediately, the man cannot possibly be acquainted with the changes of state of these goods. And as man is in such a condition as to be without knowledges on this subject, and moreover as at the present day there are but few who suffer themselves to be regenerated, even if these things were more fully explained they would not be comprehended.
 That at the present day there are few who know anything of spiritual good, and also few who know anything of freedom, has been made known to me by experience from those who come into the other life from the Christian world. For the sake of illustration a single example may be given. There was a certain prelate who had believed himself to be more learned than others, and who during his life had been acknowledged to be so; but because he had led an evil life he was in such stupid ignorance concerning good and freedom, and concerning the consequent delight and bliss, that he was not aware of the least difference between infernal delight and freedom, and heavenly delight and freedom, and in fact he said that there was not any. Such being the ignorance even among those who are reputed to be more learned than others, it may be inferred into what shades, nay into what great and insane delusions would be turned what might here be said concerning good and freedom, which are the subjects here treated of in the internal sense. And yet the truth is that there is not so much as a single expression in the Word which does not involve a heavenly arcanum, although it may appear to man of no moment, and this because of the lack of knowledges or the ignorance in which at the present day man is, and is willing to be, in regard to heavenly things.