4551. And the earrings which were in their ears. That this signifies things actual, is evident from the signification of "earrings," as being badges representative of obedience, for the reason that the "ears" signify obedience (n. 2542, 3869); and the things of obedience are things actual, for to obey involves doing in act. Things actual are here predicated of the falsities that were to be rejected. A few words shall be said regarding the rejection of falsities, even those which are actual, which is here treated of in the internal sense. Before a man by regeneration from the Lord comes to good, and does truth from good, he has very many falsities mixed with truths; for he is introduced by means of truths of faith respecting which in his first age he had no other ideas than those of infancy and childhood; which ideas, as they arise from the external things of the world and the sensuous things of the body, cannot but be classed among fallacies, and consequently among falsities. These also become actual, for what a man believes, he does. It is these falsities which are here meant. They remain with a man until he is regenerate, that is, until he acts from good, and then the good that is, the Lord through the good reduces into order the truths so far learned, and when this is done, falsities are separated from the truths and are removed.
 Of all this the man is quite ignorant, and yet there is such a removal and rejection of falsities from his earliest childhood even to his last age, and this with every man, but especially with him who is being regenerated. The like takes place even with a man who is not being regenerated, for when he becomes an adult, and his judgment has attained its maturity, he then regards the judgments of his childhood as vain and absurd, and thus as removed far away from him. But the difference between the regenerate man and the unregenerate is that the regenerate regards those things as removed from him which do not agree with the good of faith and charity, but the unregenerate those which do not agree with the delight of the love in which he is. The latter therefore for the most part regards truths as falsities and falsities as truths. As regards earrings, they were of two kinds, those which were fastened above the nose to the forehead, and those which were fastened to the ears. Those which were fastened above the nose to the forehead were badges representative of good, and are called "nose jewels" (see n. 3103); while those which were fastened to the ears were badges representative of obedience, and are "earrings." But in the original language both are expressed by the same word.