313. The character of those who are in their own prudence, and of those who are in prudence not their own and who are thus in the Divine Providence, is described in the Word by Adam and his wife Eve in the Garden of Eden, where there were two trees, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and by their eating of the latter tree. It may be seen above (n. 241), that by Adam and his wife Eve, in the internal or spiritual sense, is meant and described the Most Ancient Church of the Lord upon this earth, which was more noble and heavenly than the succeeding Churches.
 The signification of the other particulars in the narrative is as follows. By the Garden of Eden is signified the wisdom of the men of that Church; by the tree of life, the Lord as to the Divine Providence; and by the tree of knowledge, man as to his own prudence. By the serpent is signified the sensual of man and his proprium, which in itself is the love of self and the pride of his own intelligence, thus the devil and satan; and by eating of the tree of knowledge, the appropriation of good and truth, on the assumption that these do not originate from the Lord and consequently are the Lord's, but that they originate from man and consequently are man's. Moreover, since good and truth are the Divine things themselves with man, for by good is meant everything of love and by truth everything of wisdom, therefore if man claims these for himself as his own he cannot but believe that he is as God. Thus the serpent said,
In the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God (A.V. as gods), knowing good and evil. Gen. iii. 5.
So also do those in hell who are in the love of self and thence in the pride of their own intelligence.
 By the condemnation of the serpent is signified the condemnation of one's own love and one's own intelligence; by the condemnation of Eve is signified the condemnation of the voluntary proprium, and by Adam's condemnation that of the intellectual proprium; by the thorn and the thistle that the earth would bring forth to him are signified mere falsity and evil; by the expulsion from the Garden is signified the deprivation of wisdom; by the guarding of the way to the tree of life, the Lord's protecting care lest the holy things of the Word and of the Church should be violated; by the fig leaves with which they covered their nakedness are signified moral truths by which were veiled the things that pertained to their love and pride; and by the coats of skin by which they were afterwards clothed are signified the appearances of truth in which alone they were principled. This is the spiritual meaning of those things. He who wishes may remain in the sense of the Letter; only he should know that it is so understood in heaven.