7298. And they cast every man his rod, and they became water-serpents. That this signifies power from order that they became dull in respect to the noticing of truth, is evident from the signification of "casting a rod," as being the exhibition of power (see n. 7292); and from the signification of "water-serpents," as being falsities from fallacies (see n. 7293), here dullness in respect to the noticing of truth, for in proportion as fallacies cause truths not to be noticed, so is dullness induced. Such dullness is also induced by magicians in the other life, and this by the abuse and perversion of order, for they know how to take away the influx of heaven, and when this is taken away there is dullness in the noticing of truth; and they also know how to induce fallacies, and to present them in a light like the light of truth, and at the same time to obscure the real truths; they likewise know how to inject what is persuasive, and thus to dull the noticing of truth; not to mention other methods. When there is dullness, falsities appear as truths, such falsities being signified by "sorceries" and "enchantments." From all this it is evident how magicians can present what is in appearance the same.
 Be it further known that it is according to the laws of order that no one ought to be persuaded about truth in a moment, that is to say, that truth should be so confirmed in a moment as to leave no doubt whatever about it; because the truth which is so impressed becomes persuasive truth, and is devoid of any extension, and also of any yielding quality. Such truth is represented in the other life as hard, and as such that it does not admit good into it so as to become applicable. Hence it is that as soon as in the other life any truth is presented before good spirits by a manifest experience, there is soon afterward presented something opposite which causes doubt. In this way it is given them to think about it, and to consider whether it be so, and to collect reasons, and thus to bring that truth into their minds rationally. By this there is effected an extension in the spiritual sight in respect to that truth, even to its opposites; and thence it sees and perceives in the understanding all the quality of the truth, and thence can admit influx from heaven according to the states of the objects, for truths receive various forms according to the circumstances. This is the reason why the magicians were allowed to do as Aaron did; for thereby doubt was excited among the sons of Israel about the miracle, whether it was Divine; and thus an opportunity was given them of thinking and considering whether it was Divine, and of finally confirming themselves that it was so.