(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 585

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585. That by the evil of man being multiplied in the earth is signified that there began to be no will of good, is evident from what was said above, namely, that there was no longer any will, but only cupidity; and from the signification of "man in the earth." In the literal sense the "earth" is where man is. In the internal sense it is where the love is, and as love is of the will, or of the cupidity, the earth is taken to mean the will itself of man. For man is man from willing, and not so much from knowing and understanding, because these flow out from his will; whatever does not flow out from his will he is willing neither to know nor understand; nay, even when he is speaking or doing something that he does not will, still there is something of the will remote from the speech or action that governs him. That the "land of Canaan" or the "holy land" denotes love, and consequently the will of the celestial man, might be confirmed by many passages from the Word; in like manner, that the lands of various nations denote their loves, which in general are the love of self and the love of the world; but as this subject so often recurs, it need not be dwelt upon here. Hence it appears that by "the evil of man on the earth" is signified his natural evil, which is of the will, and which is said to be "multiplied" because it was not so depraved in all but that they wished good for others, yet for the sake of themselves; but that the perversion became complete, is signified by the "imagination of the thoughts of the heart."


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