(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 5651

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5651. And take us for servants, and our asses. That this signifies until whatever is in both naturals be as nothing, is evident from the representation of Jacob's ten sons, who say this of themselves, as being truths in the natural (see n. 5403, 5419, 5427, 5458, 5512); and from the signification of "servants," as being things of slight importance (n. 2541), here of none at all (of which in what follows); and from the signification of "asses," as being things in the natural which are memory-knowledges (n. 5492), here in the exterior natural, because the truths signified by "Jacob's sons" are in the interior natural.
[2] In regard to whatever is in both naturals being as nothing the case is this. In order that a man may become spiritual, his natural must become as nothing, that is, be able to do nothing whatever of itself, because insofar as the natural is able of itself, so far the spiritual is not able; for the natural has imbibed from infancy nothing else than the things of the cupidities of self and of the world, thus those which are contrary to charity. These evils prevent the influx of good through the internal man from the Lord, for whatever flows in is turned in the natural into evil, the natural being the plane in which the influx terminates. And therefore unless the natural (that is, the evil and falsity which have formed it) becomes as nothing, good cannot possibly flow in through heaven from the Lord. It has no abiding place, but is dissipated; for it cannot stay in evil and falsity. It is for this reason that the internal is closed so long as the natural does not become as nothing. This also is known in the church from the doctrine that the old man must be put off in order that the new may be put on.
[3] Regeneration is nothing else than that the natural be subjugated, and the spiritual obtain the dominion; and the natural is subjugated when it is reduced to correspondence. When the natural has been reduced to correspondence, it does not react any more, but acts as it is commanded, and obeys the spiritual, almost as the acts of the body obey the behest of the will, and as the speech, together with the expression of the face, conforms to the influx of the thought. From this it is plain that for a man to become spiritual the natural must needs become as nothing whatever in respect to willing.
[4] But be it known that it is the old natural that must become as nothing, because this has been formed from evils and falsities; and when it has become as nothing the man is then gifted with a new natural, which is called the spiritual natural-spiritual from the fact that the spiritual is what acts through it, and manifests itself through it, as the cause through the effect. It is known that the cause is everything of the effect. Hence the new natural in its thinking, willing, and producing effect, is nothing else than the representative of the spiritual. When this comes to pass the man receives good from the Lord; and when he receives good he is gifted with truths; and when he is gifted with truths he is perfected in intelligence and wisdom; and when he is perfected in intelligence and wisdom he is blessed with happiness to eternity.


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