(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 4214

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4214. And in the morning Laban arose early. That this signifies the enlightenment of this good from the Lord's Divine natural, is evident from the signification of "rising early in the morning," as being enlightenment (see n. 3458, 3723); and from the representation of Laban, as being such good as is that of the Gentiles (n. 4189). That the enlightenment of this good here meant is from the Lord's Divine natural, is manifest from the series. As regards enlightenment, it is all from the Lord, and through the good that is in the man; and such as is the good, such is the enlightenment.
[2] Most people believe that those men are enlightened who are able to reason about good and truth and about evil and falsity; and that their enlightenment is the greater in proportion to the subtlety and acuteness with which they can speak about these things, and at the same time confirm them by many memory-knowledges, and likewise make what they say appear probable by comparisons, especially those drawn from things of sense, and by other modes of persuasion. And yet such men may be in no enlightenment, in spite of their power of imagination and perception. This power is of two kinds, one which comes from the light of heaven, and the other from a fatuous light; and in the outward form these two appear alike, although in the inward form they are quite different. That which is from the light of heaven is in good, that is, is with those who are in good, and who from good are able to see truth, and to know as in clear day whether a thing is so, or is not so. But that which is from fatuous light is in evil, that is, is with those who are in evil; and their being able to reason about such things comes from the fact that they possess some capacity of knowing them, but no affection of doing them; and that this is to be in no enlightenment everyone can comprehend.
[3] As regards fatuous light the case in the other life is this: They who have been in such light in this world are in the like in the other life, and there reason about good and truth and about evil and falsity, and this much more perfectly and excellently than when in the life of the body; for their thoughts are not there beclogged and impeded by the cares of the body and of the world, nor so terminated or bounded in them, as when they were in the body and the world. But still it at once appears (not to them, but to good spirits and angels) that their reasonings are those of fatuous light, and that the light of heaven that inflows with them is instantly turned into such a light; so that that which was the light of heaven with them is either suffocated, as when the light of the sun falls upon something opaque and becomes black; or is reflected, as with those who are in principles of falsity; or is perverted, as when the sun's light flows into ugly and unclean objects, and produces repulsive colors and offensive smells. Such is the case with those who are in fatuous light and believe themselves to be more enlightened than others simply because they are able to reason intelligently and wisely, while nevertheless living an evil life.
[4] Who these are, and what is their character, appears from everything they speak, provided they do not counterfeit what is good for the sake of deceiving. Among them are those who deny or despise the Lord, and within themselves ridicule those who confess Him. Among them are those who love adulteries, and who ridicule those who believe marriages to be holy, and by no means to be violated. Among them are those who believe the precepts and doctrinal things of the church to be for the sake of the common people, that they may thereby be kept in bonds, and who in themselves make them of no account. Among them in like manner are those who ascribe all things to nature, and believe those to be simple-minded and of feeble judgment who ascribe them to the Divine. Among them also are those who attribute everything to their own prudence, and who say, and have confirmed themselves in the opinion, that there is a Supreme Being that exercises some government in general or in the universal, but nothing in particular or individually. And so in other cases.
[5] Such persons are in fatuous light even in the other life, and among their like they also reason acutely; but when they approach any heavenly society, this light is extinguished and becomes darkness; and consequently their thought is obscured to such a degree that they cannot think at all; for they are then cramped and constricted by the light of heaven, which as before said is with them either suffocated, reflected, or perverted; and they therefore throw themselves down headlong, and cast themselves into hell, where such light prevails. From all this can be seen what true enlightenment is, namely, that it comes from the good which is from the Lord; and also what false enlightenment is, namely, that it comes from the evil which is from hell.


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