135. They then took the paper and read the third subject of discussion, which was, WHAT IS SIGNIFIED BY THE TREE OF LIFE, WHAT BY THE TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL, AND WHAT BY THE EATING OF THEM? Because this was an arcanum requiring a more profound understanding, they all requested that those who were at the east would unfold it; for those who are at the east are in flamy light, that is, in the wisdom of love, which wisdom is meant by the garden in Eden wherein those two trees were placed. The men at the east then answered, "We will speak; but because man cannot acquire anything whatever from himself but receives all from the Lord, we will speak from Him, but still from ourselves as if of ourselves."
They then said: "A tree signifies man, and its fruit signifies the good of life. By the tree of life, therefore, is meant man living from God, or God living in man. And because love and wisdom, and charity and faith, or good and truth, make the life of God in man, it is these that are signified by the tree of life, and from them man has life eternal. The like is signified by the tree of life in the Apocalypse of which it will be granted man to eat (Rev. 2:7; 22:2, 14).  By the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is signified the man who believes that he lives from himself and not from God; thus that love and wisdom, charity and faith, or good and truth, are his own in man and not God's, believing this because he thinks and wills, and speaks and acts, in all likeness and appearance as if from himself. And because from this belief he persuades himself that God has implanted in him, that is, has infused into him, His own Divine, therefore the serpent said:
God doth know that in the day that ye eat of the fruit of that tree your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil. Gen. 3:5
 By eating of those trees is signified reception and appropriation--by eating of the tree of life, the reception of life eternal, and by eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the reception of damnation. Therefore both Adam and his wife were accursed together with the serpent. By the serpent is meant the devil, as to the love of self and the pride of self-intelligence. This love is the possessor of that tree; and men who are in pride from this love are such trees. They, therefore, are in enormous error who believe that Adam was wise and did good from himself, and that this was his state of integrity, when yet Adam was himself accursed on account of that very belief, this being what is signified by his eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Therefore, he then fell from the state of integrity in which he had been by virtue of believing that he was wise and did good from God and not at all from himself, this being meant by eating of the tree of life. The Lord alone, when He was in the world, was wise of Himself and did good from Himself, because the Divine itself was in Him and was His from birth. Therefore He became the Redeemer and Savior by His own power."
 From this and the preceding discussions, they then formed the following conclusion: "By the tree of life, and by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and by eating from them, is signified that for man life is God in him, and he then has heaven and eternal life; but that death for man is the persuasion and belief that life in man is not God but is himself; whence he has hell and eternal death, which is damnation!"