(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 994

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994. Every creeping thing that liveth. That this signifies all pleasures in which there is good which is living, is evident from the signification of a "creeping thing" as shown before. That creeping things here mean all clean beasts and birds, is evident to everyone, for it is said that they are given for food. Creeping things in their proper sense are such as are vilest of all (as named in Lev. 11:23, 29, 30), and were unclean. But in a broad sense, as here, animals are meant which are given for food; yet here they are called "creeping things" because they signify pleasures. Man's affections are signified in the Word by clean beasts, as already said; but since his affections are perceived only in his pleasures, so that he calls them pleasures, they are here called "creeping things."
[2] Pleasures are of two kinds, those of the will, and those of the understanding. In general there are the pleasures of possession of land and wealth, the pleasures of honor and office in the state, the pleasures of conjugial love and of love for infants and children, the pleasures of friendship and of converse with companions, the pleasures of reading, of writing, of knowing, of being wise; and many others. There are also the pleasures of the senses: as the pleasure of hearing, which is in general that from the sweetness of music and song; and that of seeing, which is in general that of various and manifold beauties; and of smelling, which is from the sweetness of odors; and of tasting, which is from the agreeableness and wholesomeness of foods and drinks; and of touch, from many pleasing sensations. These kinds of pleasures, being felt in the body, are called pleasures of the body. But no pleasure ever exists in the body unless it exists and subsists from an interior affection, and no interior affection exists except from one more interior, in which is the use and the end.
[3] These things which, in regular order, are interior, commencing from those which are inmost, are not perceived by man while he lives in the body, and most men hardly know that they exist, still less that they are the source of pleasures; when yet nothing can ever exist in externals except from things interior in order. Pleasures are only ultimate effects. The interior things do not lie open to view so long as men live in the body, except to those who reflect upon them. In the other life they for the first time come forth to view, and indeed in the order in which they are elevated by the Lord toward heaven. Interior affections with their delights manifest themselves in the world of spirits, the more interior with their delights in the heaven of angelic spirits, and the still more interior with their happiness in the heaven of angels; for there are three heavens, one more interior, more perfect, and more happy than another (see n. 459, 684). These interiors unfold and present themselves to perception in the other life; but so long as man lives in the body, since he is all the time in the idea and thought of corporeal things, these interior things are as it were asleep, being immersed in the corporeal things. But yet it may be evident to anyone who reflects, that all pleasures are such as are the affections that are more and more interior in order, and that they receive from these all their essence and quality.
[4] Since the affections that are more and more interior in order are felt in the extremes or outermost things, that is, in the body, as pleasures, they are called "creeping things" but they are only corporeal things affected by internal ones, as must be evident to everyone merely from sight and its pleasures. Except there be interior sight, no eye can ever see. The sight of the eye exists from interior sight, and for this reason after the death of the body man sees equally as well and even better than when he lived in the body-not indeed worldly and corporeal things, but those of the other life. Those who were blind in the life of the body, see in the other life as well as those who had keen vision. So too when man sleeps, he sees in his dreams as clearly as when awake. It has been given me to see by internal sight the things in the other life more clearly than I see the things in the world. From all this it is evident that external sight comes forth from interior sight, and this from sight still more interior, and so on. It is similar with every other sense and with every pleasure.
[5] Pleasures are likewise in other parts of the Word called "creeping things" with a distinction between the clean and the unclean, that is, between pleasures the delights of which are living, or heavenly, and pleasures the delights of which are dead or infernal. As in Hosea:
In that day will I make a covenant for them with the wild animal of the field, and with the fowl of the heavens, and with the creeping thing of the ground (Hos. 2:18).
That here the wild animal of the field, the fowl of the heavens, and the creeping thing, signify such things in man as have been said, is evident from the subject being a new church. In David:
Let the heavens and the earth praise Jehovah, the seas, and everything that creepeth therein (Ps. 69:34).
The seas and the things that creep therein cannot praise Jehovah, but the things in man that are signified by them and are living, thus from what is living within them. Again:
Praise Jehovah ye wild animal and every beast, creeping thing and winged fowl (Ps. 148:10),
with a similar meaning.
[6] That here by "creeping thing" nothing else is meant than good affections from which are pleasures, is evident also from creeping things being with this people unclean, as will be plain from what follows. Again:
O Jehovah the earth is full of Thy riches; this sea, great and wide, wherein are things creeping without number; these wait all upon Thee, that Thou mayest give them their food in due season; Thou givest them, they gather; Thou openest Thy hand, they are satiated with good (Ps. 104:24-28).
Here in the internal sense by "seas" are signified spiritual things, by "things creeping" all things that live therefrom; the enjoyment is signified by giving them food in due season, and by their being satiated with good. In Ezekiel:
And it shall come to pass that every living soul that creepeth, in every place whither the rivers come, shall live; and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters are come thither, and they shall be healed, and everything shall live whithersoever the river cometh (Ezek. 47:9).
Here are meant the waters of the New Jerusalem; these waters denote spiritual things from a celestial origin; "the living soul that creepeth" the affections of good, and the pleasures therefrom, both of the body and of the senses; that these live from the "waters" or from spiritual things from a celestial origin, is very evident.
[7] That filthy pleasures too, which have their origin in what is man's own, thus in the foul cupidities thereof, are also called "creeping things" is evident in Ezekiel:
So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping thing and of beast, the abomination, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round about (Ezek. 8:10).
Here the "form of creeping thing" signifies unclean pleasures whose interiors are cupidities, and the interiors of these, hatreds, revenges, cruelties, and adulteries; such are the "creeping things" or delights of pleasures from the love of self and of the world, or from man's Own, which are their "idols" because they regard them as delightful, love them, have them for gods, and thus adore them. In the representative church, these creeping things, because they had such a vile signification, were likewise so unclean that it was not permitted even to touch them; and he who but touched them was unclean (as may be seen in Lev. 5:2; 11:31-33; 22:5-6).


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