(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 5649

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5649. And they said, Over the word of the silver that was returned in our bags in the beginning are we brought. That this signifies that because truth in the exterior natural appears to be given gratuitously, they were therefore to be in subjection, is evident from the signification of the "silver being returned," as being truth bestowed gratuitously, (see n. 5530, 5624); from the signification of a "bag," as being the threshold of the exterior natural (n. 5497); and from the signification of "being brought," as being to be adjoined or subjected (as shown just above, n. 5648).
[2] The case herein is this. As it was perceived that the truths of memory-knowledge in the exterior natural were given gratuitously, and would therefore be enticed to conjoin themselves with the internal, and thereby be in subjection to it, they would as just said be deprived of their freedom, and thereby of all the delight of life. That this is the case, namely, that it is perceived that truths of memory-knowledge are bestowed gratuitously, and this in the natural mind whether exterior or interior, is quite unknown to man. The reason is that he is in no such perception; for he does not at all know what is bestowed on him gratuitously, still less what is stored up in the exterior natural, and what in the interior. The reason why he has not this perception is usually because worldly and earthly things are dear to him, and not celestial and spiritual things; and therefore he does not believe in any influx through heaven from the Lord, thus not at all that anything is given him; when yet all the truth that he rationally infers from memory-knowledges, and supposes to be of his own ability, is such as is given him. Still less can man perceive whether it is placed in the exterior natural or in the interior, because he is ignorant that the natural is twofold, namely the outer which draws near to the external senses, and the inner which draws back from them and turns to the rational.
[3] As man knows nothing about either the one or the other, he can therefore have no perception about such things; for the knowledge of a thing must come first in order that there may be a perception of it. Yet the angelic societies know and perceive these things well and clearly, not only what is bestowed on them gratuitously, but also where it is, as may be seen from the following experience. When any spirit who is in good, and hence in ability, comes into an angelic society, he comes at the same time into all the memory-knowledge and intelligence the society has, and in which he had not been before; and he then knows no otherwise than that he had known and understood it so before, and from himself. But when he reflects, he perceives that it is gratuitously bestowed on him through that angelic society by the Lord; and he also knows from the angelic society where it is, whether in the exterior or in the interior natural. For there are angelic societies that are in the exterior natural, and there are others that are in the interior natural. Yet the natural which belongs to them is not such a natural as man has; but it is a spiritual natural, which has become spiritual by having been conjoined and subjected to the spiritual.
[4] From all this it is evident that the things here related in the internal sense take place actually so in the other life, namely, that they perceive what is given them gratuitously, as well as where it is stored up, although man at this day knows nothing of such things. But in ancient times they who were of the church knew such things, being taught them by their memory-knowledges and by their doctrinals. They were interior men; but since those times men have become successively more external, insomuch that at this day they are in the body, thus in the outermost. A sign of this is that they do not even know what the spiritual and the internal are, nor believe in their existence. Nay, to such an outermost in the body have they gone away from interior things, that they do not even believe that there is a life after death, nor that there is a heaven or a hell. Nay, by receding from interior things they have gone to such an outermost, and have become so stupid in spiritual things, as to believe that man's life is like that of beasts, and therefore that man will die in like manner; and strange to say the learned believe so more than the simple, and anyone who believes differently is accounted by them a simpleton.


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