(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 4217

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4217. And Laban departed and returned to his place. That this signifies the end of the representation by Laban, is evident from the signification of "returning to his place," as being to return to the former state. (That "place" is state, see above, n. 2625, 2837, 3356, 3387, 3404.) Consequently by these words is signified the end of the representation by Laban. From all that has been shown it may be seen that all things in the Word both in general and particular contain interior things, and that the interior things are of such a nature as to be adapted to the perception of the angels who are with man. For example: when "bread" is mentioned in the Word, the angels become aware not of material but of spiritual bread; thus instead of bread they perceive the Lord, who is the Bread of life, as He Himself teaches in John 6:33, 35.
And because they perceive the Lord, they perceive what is from the Lord, thus His love toward the universal human race; and they then perceive at the same time man's reciprocal love to the Lord; for these two things cohere in one idea of thought and affection.
[2] Not unlike this are the thoughts of the man who is in a holy state when receiving the bread of the Holy Supper; for he then thinks not of bread, but of the Lord and His mercy, and of what is of love to Him and of charity toward the neighbor, because he thinks of repentance and amendment of life; but this with variety according to the holiness in which he is, not only as to his thought, but also as to his affection. From this it is manifest that "bread" as mentioned in the Word suggests to the angels no idea of bread, but the idea of love, together with innumerable things that are of love. It is the same with "wine," which when read of in the Word, and also when received in the Holy Supper, suggests to the angels no thought of wine, but of charity toward the neighbor. This being the case, and as in this way there is a connection of man with heaven, and through heaven with the Lord, the bread and wine have become symbols, and unite the man who is in holiness of life with heaven, and through heaven with the Lord.
[3] The same is the case with everything in the Word, and therefore the Word is a medium uniting man with the Lord; and unless there were such a uniting medium, heaven could not inflow with man; for without a medium there would be no unition, but heaven would remove itself away from man; and if this were removed, no one could any longer be led to good, not even to corporeal and worldly good; but all bonds whatever, even those which are external, would be broken. For the Lord rules the man who is in good by means of internal bonds, which are of conscience; but one who is in evil by external bonds alone; and if these should be broken, every such man would become insane; even as is the man who is without fear of the law, without fear for his life, and without fear of the loss of honor and gain, and thus of reputation-for these are the external bonds-and so the human race would perish. From all this it may be seen why the Word exists, and what the character of the Word is. (That the church of the Lord where the Word is, is like the heart and the lungs, and that the church of the Lord where the Word is not, is like the rest of the viscera which live from the heart and the lungs, may be seen above, n. 637, 931, 2054, 2853.)


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