(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 5741

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5741. And the men were sent away, they and their asses. That this signifies that the external natural man was removed somewhat with its truths and memory-knowledges, is evident from the representation of Jacob's sons, who are here the "men," as being the truths of the church in the natural (see n. 5403, 5419, 5427, 5458, 5512), and therefore the external natural man (n. 5680); from the signification of "asses," as being memory-knowledges (n. 5492); and from the signification of "sent away, and not far off," as being that it-the external natural man-was removed somewhat. From this it is plain that by "the men were sent away, they and their asses, not far off," is signified the external natural man, removed somewhat with its truths and memory-knowledges, namely, from the internal celestial which is represented by Joseph.
[2] As regards the signification of "asses," be it known that they signified one thing when they were used for riding, and another when they served for carrying burdens; for judges, kings, and their sons rode upon he-asses, she-asses, and also upon mules, and these then signified rational, and also natural, truth and good (n. 2781); for which reason when the Lord as Judge and King entered Jerusalem, He rode upon an ass with a colt; for this was the mark of judgeship, and also of royalty. But when asses served for carrying burdens, as here, then they signified memory-knowledges. Nor is the case different with these knowledges. One who in thinking of man's interior things advances no further than to the knowledges that are of the memory, supposes that everything of man consists in these knowledges, not being aware that memory-knowledges are the lowest things in man, and such as for the most part are put away when the body dies (n. 2475-2480); but the things that are in them, namely truth and good together with their affections, remain; and also with the evil there remain falsity and evil together with their affections; memory-knowledges being as it were the body of these. So long as a man lives in the world, he has truth and good, or falsity and evil, in the memory-knowledges, for these are what contain them; and because memory-knowledges contain, and therefore as it were carry, interior things, they are signified by the asses which serve for carrying burdens.


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