(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 8990

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8990. And his master shall bore through his ear with his awl. That this signifies a representative of obedience, is evident from the signification of "the ear," as being obedience (see n. 2542, 3869, 4551, 4652-4660); and from the signification of "boring through with an awl," namely, to the door, or to the door-post, as being to affix; here, as obedience is treated of, as being to assign; and therefore it follows that "he shall serve him forever," that is, shall be obedient. From this it is plain that the boring through of the ear with an awl to the door or to the door-post by his master is representative of obedience.
[2] How the case herein is, can be seen from what precedes, namely, that they who are in truths alone, and not in the corresponding good, that is, who are in faith and not in charity, are not free, but are servants. For they who act from good, or charity, are free, because they act from themselves; for to act from good, or charity, is to act from the heart, that is, from the will, thus from what is one's own; for that which is of the will belongs to the man, and that which is done from the will is said to go forth from the heart. But they who are only in the truths of faith and not in the good of charity, are relatively servants, for they do not act from themselves, because they have no good in themselves from which to act; but it is outside of themselves, and they act from it as often as they remember it. They who are of this character even to the end of life, remain after death in this state; and they cannot be brought to a state so as to act from the affection of charity, thus from good, but only from obedience. In the Grand Man, which is heaven, these persons constitute those things which serve the interiors, such as the membranes and skins (n. 8977, 8980).
[3] From all this it can be seen how the case is with faith alone, thus with those who from doctrine set faith in the first place, and the good of charity in the second place, and even in the last place. They who actually, that is, in the life itself, so regard faith, are Hebrew servants in the representative sense. From all this it may also be concluded how the case is with those who make everything of salvation to consist in the truths of faith, and nothing in the good of charity; namely, that actually, or in the life itself, they cannot enter into heaven; for good reigns in heaven, and not truth without good; neither is truth truth, nor faith faith, except with those who are in good.
[4] That the boring through of the ear with an awl by his master is representative of obedience, is plain also from the fact that to affix the ear to the door is to cause attention to be given to those things which his master, who is in the room, commands; thus it is to hear continually, and consequently to obey; here in the spiritual sense the things which good wills and commands, for by the master of the servant is represented spiritual good (n. 8981, 8986). As "the ear" signifies the hearing which is of obedience, therefore by virtue of an origin coming from the spiritual world there has flowed into human speech the expression, "to pinch the ear," meaning to cause a person to be attentive, and to remember; in like manner the expressions "to hear," and "to hearken to," anyone, meaning to obey. For the interior sense of very many expressions has flowed from the spiritual world by virtue of correspondences; in like manner as when we speak of "spiritual light," and the consequent "sight," as denoting what is of faith; also of "spiritual fire," and the consequent "life," as denoting what is of love.
[5] The reason why the boring through of the ear was to be done with an awl, was because by an "awl" is signified the like as by a "peg," or a "nail," namely, an affixing or joining to, and in the spiritual sense an assignment to anything; but the awl was an instrument of service, and therefore serves to represent assignment to perpetual obedience on the part of the servant. That "pegs" or "nails" signify an affixing, or adjoining to, is evident from the passages where they are mentioned; as in Isa. 22:23; 33:20; 41:7; 54:2; Jer. 10:4; Exod. 27:19; 38:31; Num. 3:37; 4:32.


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