5149. And the bird did eat them out of the basket from upon my head. That this signifies that falsity from evil consumed it, is evident from the signification of "the birds" as being intellectual things, and also thoughts, consequently the things thence derived; namely, in the genuine sense truths of every kind, and in the opposite sense falsities (see n. 40, 745, 776, 778, 866, 988, 3219); and from the signification of "eating," as being to consume (in the original tongue also, the word "eat" means to consume); and from the signification of a "basket," as being the will part (n. 5144, 5146), here evil from the will part, because the basket had holes in it (n. 5145). From this it follows that by the "bird eating out of the basket from upon the head" is signified that falsity from evil consumed.
 There is falsity from two origins-falsity of doctrine, and falsity of evil. Falsity of doctrine does not consume goods, for a man may be in falsity of doctrine, and yet in good, and therefore men of every doctrine, even Gentiles, are saved; but the falsity of evil is that which consumes goods. Evil in itself is opposite to good, yet by itself it does not consume goods, but by means of falsity, for falsity attacks the truths which belong to good, because truths are as it were outworks that encompass good. These outworks are assaulted by means of falsity, and when these are assaulted good is given to destruction.  One who does not know that "birds" signify things of the intellect, cannot know otherwise than that where "birds" are mentioned in the Word, either birds are meant, or else they are used by way of comparison, as in common speech. Except from the internal sense no one can know that by "birds" are meant things of the understanding such as thoughts, ideas, reasonings, principles, consequently truths or falsities; as in Luke:
The kingdom of God is like unto a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew and became a great tree; so that the birds of the heaven dwelt in the branches of it (Luke 13:19);
the "birds of the heaven" here denotes truths.
 In Ezekiel:
It shall go forth into a magnificent cedar; and under it shall dwell every bird of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell (Ezek. 17:23);
"bird of every wing" denotes truths of every kind. And again:
Asshur was a cedar in Lebanon. All the birds of the heavens made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches all the beasts of the field brought forth, and in his shadow dwelt all great nations (Ezek. 31:3, 6);
"birds of the heavens" in like manner denote truths.
Upon his ruin all the birds of the heavens shall dwell, and all the wild animals of the field shall be upon his branches (Ezek. 31:13);
where "birds of the heavens" denote falsities. In Daniel:
Nebuchadnezzar saw in a dream; behold a tree in the midst of the earth; the beast of the field had shadow under it, and the bird of the heaven dwelt in the branches thereof (Dan. 4:10, 12, 18);
where again "birds of the heaven" denote falsities.
 In Jeremiah:
I beheld and lo there was no man, and all the birds of the heaven were fled (Jer. 4:25);
"no man" denotes no good (n. 4287); the "birds of the heaven that were fled" denotes that truths were dispersed. Again:
From the bird of the heavens, even to the beast, they are fled, they are gone (Jer. 9:10);
where the meaning is similar. And in Matthew:
The sower went forth to sow; and some seeds fell upon the hard way, and the birds came and devoured them (Matt. 13:3-4);
where "birds" denote reasonings, and also falsities. The meaning is similar in many other passages.