Spiritual background for GENESIS 29previous - next - text - Genesis - BM Home - Full Page
AC 3751. By way of preface to the preceding chapter an explication was given of what the Lord foretold in (Matthew 24:15-18) concerning the last time of the church. Following this order there are now to be unfolded--by way of preface to the present chapter--the contents of the succeeding verses:--
But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! and pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath; for then shall be great affliction, such as was not since the beginning of the world even until now, neither shall be. And except those days should be shortened there should no flesh be preserved; but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened (Matthew 24:19-22).
AC 3752. No one can possibly comprehend the signification of these words unless he is enlightened by the internal sense. That they are not said concerning the destruction of Jerusalem appears from many things in the chapter, as from this:--Except those days should be shortened there should no flesh be preserved; but for the elect‘s sake those days shall be shortened; and from the following:--After the affliction of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken; and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man; and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with Power and glory; and from other passages. That neither are the words now under consideration said concerning the destruction of the world, is also evident from many things contained in the same chapter; as from those which precede:--He that is on the housetop, let him not come down to take anything out of his house; and he who is in the field, let him not return back to take his garments; and also from these now brought under consideration:--Pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath; and from the following:--Then shall two be in the field the one shall be taken, and the other left; two women shall be grinding at the mill, the one shall be taken, and the other left. But it is evident that the words in question are said concerning the last time of the church, that is, concerning its vastation; for the church is said to be vastated when there is no longer any charity.
AC 3753. Everyone who thinks about the Lord with reverence and who believes that the Divine was in Him, and that He spoke from the Divine, is able to know and believe that the above words, like the rest the Lord taught and spoke, were not spoken of one nation only, but of the universal human race; and not of its worldly, but of its spiritual state; and also that the Lord’s words comprehended the things which are of His kingdom and of the church, for these are Divine and eternal. Whoever believes in this manner, concludes that these words: "Woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days," do not signify those who are with child and give suck; and that the words: "Pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath," do not signify any flight on account of worldly enemies and so in regard to the rest.
AC 3754. In the preceding verses there were treated of three states of the perversion of good and truth in the church; and in the present verses a fourth state is treated of, which is also the last. Concerning the first state it was shown that it was that men began no longer to know what was good and true, but disputed among themselves concerning good and truth, whence came falsities (n. 3354). Concerning the second state, that it I was that men began to despise good and truth, and also to hold them in aversion, and thus that faith in the Lord was about to expire, according to the degrees in which charity was about to cease (n. 3487, 3488). Concerning the third state, that it was a state of desolation of the church in respect to good and truth (n. 3651, 3652). Concerning the fourth state, we are now to show that it is that of the profanation of good and truth. That this state is here described, may be seen from all the particulars in the internal sense, which is as follows.
AC 3755. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days; signifies those who have been imbued with the good of love to the Lord and the good of innocence. "Woe" is a form of expression signifying the danger of eternal damnation; "to be with child" is to conceive the good of heavenly love; "to give suck" is also a state of innocence; "those days" denote the states in which the church then is.
 And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath; signifies removal from those things, that it be not done precipitately, in a state of too much cold or of too much heat. "Flight" is removal from a state of the good of love and of innocence, just now spoken of; "flight in the winter" is removal therefrom in a state of too much cold; cold" is when there is aversion to love and innocence, which is induced by the loves of self; "flight on the sabbath" is removal from them in a state of too much heat; "heat" is external sanctity, while within are the love of self and the love of the world.
 For then shall be great affliction, such as was not since the beginning of the world even until now, neither shall be; signifies the highest degree of the perversion and vastation of the church in respect to good and truth, which is profanation; for profanation of what is holy occasions death eternal and much more grievous than any other states of evil, and so much the more grievous in proportion as the goods and truths profaned are of a more interior kind; and inasmuch as such interior goods and truths are open and known in the Christian Church, and are profaned, it is said that "then shall be great affliction such as was not from the beginning of the world even until now, neither shall be."
 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be preserved; but for the elect‘s sake those days shall be shortened; signifies the removal of those who are of the church from interior goods and truths to exterior, so that those may still be saved who are in the life of good and truth; by the "days being shortened," is signified a state of removal; by "no flesh being preserved," is signified that otherwise none could be saved; by "the elect" are signified those who are in the life of good and truth.
AC 3756. That this is the internal sense of these words could be fully shown--as that by "those who are with child" are signified those who first become imbued with good; and that by "those who give suck" are signified those who become imbued with a state of innocence; that by "flight" is signified removal from good and innocence by "winter," aversion to such goods through the love of self taking possession of the interiors and by "flight on the sabbath," profanation, which takes place when there is holiness in externals, and the love of self and the world within. But as the same words and similar expressions occur throughout in what follows, of the Lord’s Divine mercy their signification shall then be shown to be such as is here stated.
AC 3757. But as regards the profanation of what is holy, few know what it is; yet this can be seen from what has been already stated and shown concerning it, namely, that those are able to profane holy things who know, acknowledge, and become imbued with good and truth; but not those who do not acknowledge, and still less those who do not know them (n. 593, 1008, 1010, 1059, 3398): Thus that they who are within the church can profane holy things, but not they who are without it (n. 2051): That they who are of the celestial church can profane holy goods, and that they who are of the spiritual church can profane holy truths (n. 3399): That therefore interior truths were not disclosed to the Jews, lest they should profane them (n. 3398): That the Gentiles can least of all profane (n. 2051): That profanation is a commingling and conjunction of good and evil, and also of truth and falsity (n. 1001, 1003, 2426): That this was signified by the eating of blood, which was so severely prohibited in the Jewish Church (n. 1003): That therefore in so far as possible men are withheld from the acknowledgment and faith of good and truth, unless they are able to remain therein (n. 3398, 3402); and that on this account they are kept in ignorance (n. 301-303); and that worship also becomes external (n. 1327, 1328): That internal truths are not revealed until the church has been vastated, because then good and truth can no longer be profaned (n. 3398, 3399): That this was the reason why the Lord then first came into the world (n. 3398): How great a danger there is from the profanation of what is holy and of the Word (n. 571, 582).
CONTINUATION CONCERNING THE GRAND MAN, AND CONCERNING CORRESPONDENCE; HERE, CONCERNING THE CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE HEART AND LUNGS
AC 3883. It has been already shown what the Grand Man is, and what is the correspondence therewith, namely, that the Grand Man is the universal heaven, which in general is a likeness and image of the Lord, and that the correspondence is that of the Lord‘s Divine with the celestial and spiritual things therein; and of the celestial and spiritual things therein with the natural things in the world; and chiefly with those in man. Thus there is a correspondence of the Lord’s Divine through heaven or the Grand Man with man, and with all the things in man, insomuch that man comes forth, that is, subsists, therefrom.
AC 3884. As in the world it is quite unknown that there is a correspondence of heaven or the Grand Man with all things of man, and that man comes forth and subsists therefrom, so that what is said on the subject may seem paradoxical and incredible, I may here relate the things that experience has enabled me to know with certainty. Once, when the interior heaven was opened to me, and I was conversing with the angels there, I was permitted to observe the following phenomena. Be it known that although I was in heaven, I was nevertheless not out of myself, but in the body, for heaven is within man, wherever he may be, so that when it pleases the Lord, a man may be in heaven and yet not be withdrawn from the body. In this way it was given me to perceive the general workings of heaven as plainly as an object is perceived by any of the senses. Four workings or operations were then perceived by me. The first was into the brain at the left temple, and was a general operation as regards the organs of reason; for the left side of the brain corresponds to rational or intellectual things, but the right to the affections or things of the will.
 The second general operation that I perceived was into the respiration of the lungs, and it led my respiration gently, but from within, so that I had no need to draw breath or respire by any exertion of my will. The very respiration of heaven was at the time plainly perceived by me. It is internal, and for this reason is imperceptible to man; but by a wonderful correspondence it inflows into man‘s respiration, which is external, or of the body; and if man were deprived of this influx, he would instantly fall down dead.
 The third operation that I perceived was into the systole and diastole of the heart, which had then more of softness with me than I had ever experienced at any other time. The intervals of the pulse were regular, being about three within each period of respiration; yet such as to terminate in and thus direct the things belonging to the lungs. How at the close of each respiration the alternations of the heart insinuated themselves into those of the lungs, I was in some measure enabled to observe. The alternations of the pulse were so observable that I was able to count them; they were distinct and soft.
 The fourth general operation was into the kidneys, which also it was given me to perceive, but obscurely. From these things it was made manifest that heaven or the Grand Man has cardiac pulses, and that it has respirations and that the cardiac pulses of heaven or the Grand Man have a correspondence with the heart and with its systolic and diastolic motions; and that the respirations of heaven or the Grand Man have a correspondence with the lungs and their respirations but that they are both unobservable to man, being imperceptible, because internal.
AC 3885. Once also when I was withdrawn from the ideas derived from the sensuous things of the body, a heavenly light appeared to me, and that light itself withdrew me farther from them, for in the light of heaven there is spiritual life (n. 1524, 2776, 3167, 3195, 3339, 3636, 3643). When I was in this light, corporeal and worldly things appeared as beneath me, and yet I still perceived them, but as more remote from me, and as not belonging to me. I then seemed to myself to be in heaven with my head, but not with my body. In this state it was likewise given me to observe the general respiration of heaven, and what was its nature; it was interior, easy, spontaneous, and corresponding to my respiration as three to one. It was also given me to observe the reciprocations of the pulsations of the heart; and I was then informed by angels that each and every creature on the earth has pulsations of the heart and the consequent respirations; and that the reason why they take place at dissimilar moments is that both the cardiac pulsation and the pulmonary respiration which are in the heavens pass off into something continuous, and thus into endeavor, which is of such a nature as to excite these motions variously in accordance with the state of every subject.
AC 3886. But be it known that the variations in the heavens in respect to pulsations and respirations are manifold, being as many as are the societies; for they are according to the states of thought and affection with the angels and these are according to their states of faith and love; but the general pulsation and respiration are as above described. Once also it was given me to observe the cardiac pulsation of those who were of the province of the hinder part of the head, and to note one by one the pulsations of the celestial and those of the spiritual in that province. The pulsations of the celestial were tacit and gentle; but those of the spiritual were strong and vibratory. The intervals of the pulsation of the spiritual were to those of the celestial as five to two; for the pulsation of the celestial inflows into that of the spiritual, and thus goes forth and passes into nature. And wonderful to say the speech of the celestial angels is not heard by the spiritual angels, but is perceived under the form of a pulsation of the heart; and this because the speech of the celestial angels is not intelligible to the spiritual angels, for it is produced by affections which are of love; whereas that of the spiritual is produced by intellectual ideas (n. 1647, 1759, 2157, 3343); and the former belong to the province of the heart, but the latter to the province of the lungs.
AC 3887. In heaven or the Grand Man there are two kingdoms, one of which is called Celestial, and the other Spiritual. The celestial kingdom consists of angels who are called celestial, and these are they who have been in love to the Lord, and thence in all wisdom; for they are in the Lord, and thereby they are pre-eminently in a state of peace and innocence. They appear to others like little children; for a state of peace and innocence presents this appearance. Everything there is as it were alive before them, for whatever comes immediately from the Lord is alive. Such is the Celestial Kingdom. The other kingdom is called Spiritual. It consists of angels who are called spiritual, and these are they who have been in the good of charity toward the neighbor. They make the delight of their life to consist in the fact that they can do good to others without recompense; to them it is sufficient recompense to be allowed to do good to others. The more they will and desire this, in so much the greater intelligence and happiness are they; for in the other life everyone is gifted with intelligence and happiness by the Lord, in accordance with the use he performs from the affection of the will. Such is the Spiritual Kingdom.
 They who are in the Lord’s celestial kingdom all belong to the province of the heart; and they who are in the spiritual kingdom all belong to the province of the lungs. The influx from the celestial kingdom into the spiritual kingdom is like that of the heart into the lungs as also is the influx of all things of the heart into those of the lungs; for by means of the blood-vessels the heart rules in the whole of the body and in all its parts and the lungs in all its parts by the respiration. Hence there is everywhere in the body as it were an influx of the heart into the lungs; but according to the forms there; and according to the states. From this arises all the sensation as well as all the action that is proper to the body, as may be seen from the case of foetuses and newborn infants, which cannot have any bodily sensation, nor any voluntary action, until their lungs have been opened, and thus an influx established of the one into the other. The case is similar in the spiritual world, but with the difference that there are not there bodily and natural things, but celestial and spiritual ones, which are the good of love and the truth of faith. Hence the cardiac motions with those in the spiritual world are according to the states of love, and the respiratory motions are according to the states of faith; the influx of the one into the other causes in them spiritual sensation and spiritual action. These things will necessarily appear to man as paradoxical, from his having no other idea of the good of love and the truth of faith than that they are certain abstract things without the power of effecting anything; when yet the contrary is true, namely, that all perception and sensation, and all energy and action, even in man on earth, are from the good of love and the truth of faith.
AC 3888. These two kingdoms are presented to view in man by means of the two kingdoms that are in him, namely, the kingdom of the will, and the kingdom of the understanding, which two kingdoms constitute the mind of man, nay, the man himself. The will is that to which corresponds the pulsation of the heart; and the understanding is that to which corresponds the respiration of the lungs. For this reason there are likewise in the body of man two kingdoms, namely, those of the heart and the lungs. He who knows this mystery may also know how the case is with the influx of the will into the understanding, and of the understanding into the will; consequently with the influx of the good of love into the truth of faith, and vice versa; thus how the case is with the regeneration of man. But they who are only in corporeal ideas, that is, who are in the will of what is evil and the understanding of what is false cannot apprehend these things; for they cannot think of spiritual and celestial things otherwise than sensuously and corporeally, consequently not otherwise than from darkness of the things of heavenly light (or of the truth of faith), and from cold of the things of heavenly flame (or of the good of love). This darkness and cold so extinguish celestial and spiritual things that these appear to such persons to have no existence.
AC 3889. In order that I might know not only that there is a correspondence of the celestial things which are of love with the motions of the heart, and of the spiritual things which are of faith from love with the motions of the lungs, but also how the case is with this correspondence, it was given me for a considerable space of time to be among the angels, who showed it me to the life. By a wonderful and indescribable flowing into gyres they formed a semblance of a heart and another semblance of lungs, together with all the interior and exterior contextures that are in them. They then followed the flow of heaven in a free way; for heaven is in the endeavor toward such a form, from the influx of love from the Lord. Thus they presented the several parts that are in the heart; and afterwards the union between the heart and the lungs, which they also represented by the marriage of good and truth. From this it was evident that the heart corresponds to the celestial which is of good, and the lungs to the spiritual which is of truth; and that the conjunction of these two in a material form is precisely as is that of the heart and the lungs. I was also told that the case is similar in the body throughout (that is, in its several members, organs, and viscera) in regard to the things therein which are of the heart, and those which are of the lungs; for where both do not act, and each distinctly take its turn, there cannot be any motion of life from any principle of the will, nor any feeling of life from any principle of the understanding.
AC 3890. It has been occasionally observed above that heaven or the Grand Man is distinguished into innumerable societies, and in general into as many as there are organs and viscera in the body; and that each particular society belongs to one of these organs and viscera (n. 3745). Also that the societies, although innumerable and various, nevertheless act as a one; just as all things in the body, although these are various, act as a one. The heavenly societies that belong to the province of the heart are the celestial societies, and are in the midst, or in the inmosts; but those which belong to the province of the lungs are the spiritual societies, and are round about, and are in the exteriors. The influx from the Lord is through the celestial societies into the spiritual ones, or through the middle into the circumferences, that is, through inmosts to exteriors. The reason of this is that the Lord inflows through love or mercy, whence comes all that is celestial in His kingdom; and through love or mercy He inflows into the good of faith, whence comes all that is spiritual in His kingdom; and this with unspeakable variety; but the variety does not arise from the influx, but from the reception.
AC 3891. That not only does the universal heaven respire as one man, but also each of the societies in company, nay all angels and spirits, has been testified to me by very many living experiences, so as to leave me in no doubt on the subject. spirits are surprised that anyone should have any doubt concerning the matter; but as there are few who have any other idea of angels and spirits than as of that which is immaterial, whence they would be mere thoughts, and thus scarcely substances, still less would as men enjoy the senses of seeing, hearing, and of touch, and still less would have respiration, and thus a life like man‘s (although of an interior kind, such as is the life of a spirit relatively to that of a man) therefore I may here adduce yet further experiences. Before falling asleep I was once told beforehand that there were some who were conspiring against me with the intent to kill me by suffocation; but I paid no attention to their threats, because I was protected by the Lord, and therefore I fell asleep without apprehension. But on awaking at midnight I was made very sensible that I did not respire from myself, but from heaven; for the respiration was not my own, and yet I respired. On many other occasions it has been given me to be sensible of the breathing or respiration of spirits, and also of angels, from the fact that they respired within me; and that my own respiration was nevertheless at the same time present, distinct from theirs. But no one can be sensible of this unless his interiors are opened, and he is thus brought into communication with heaven.
AC 3892. I have been informed by the most ancient people, who were celestial men, and above all other men were in love to the Lord, that they had not external respiration such as their posterity had, but internal; but that they respired with the angels, with whom they were in fellowship because they were in celestial love. I was further informed that their states of respiration were altogether according to their states of love and of the derivative faith (n. 608, 805, 1118-1120).
AC 3893. Angelic choirs were once celebrating the Lord together, and this from gladness of heart. Their celebration was sometimes heard as sweet singing for among themselves spirits and angels are possessed of a sonorous voice, and are heard by each other as well as a man is heard by a man; but human singing is not to be compared with that for a sweetness and harmony which are celestial. From the variety of the sound I perceived that there were many choirs. I was instructed by the angels with me that they belonged to the province of the lungs and to their functions; for it is theirs to sing because this is the office of the lungs. This also was given me to know by experience. They were permitted to direct my respiration, which they did so gently and sweetly, and also so interiorly, that I was scarcely sensible of any respiration of my own. I was further instructed that they who are appointed to the involuntary respiration are distinct from those who are appointed to the voluntary respiration; and I was told that they who are appointed to the involuntary respiration are present with man during sleep; for as soon as he sleeps, the voluntariness of his respiration ceases, and he receives involuntary respiration.
AC 3894. It was said above (n. 3892), that the respirations of angels and spirits are altogether according to their states of love and of the derivative faith. Hence one society does not respire in the same manner as another; and the evil, who are in the love of self and of the world, and thereby in what is false, cannot abide in company with the good; but when they come near them they seem to themselves unable to breathe, and as it were to be suffocated; in consequence whereof they fall down like persons half dead, or like stones, even into hell, where they again receive their respiration, which they have in common with those who are there. From this we can see that they who are in evil and falsity cannot be in the Grand Man, or in heaven; for when on their approaching it their respiration begins to cease, all their observation and thought also cease, and likewise all their endeavor to do what is evil and to persuade what is false; and together with the endeavor there perish all their action and vital motion, so that they can do no otherwise than cast themselves down headlong thence.
AC 3894a. Because this is so, and because the well-disposed on their entrance into the other life are first remitted into the life which they had in the world (n. 2119), thus also into the loves and pleasures of that life, therefore they cannot as yet, before they are prepared, be in fellowship with angels, even as to respiration. For this reason, when they are being prepared, they are first inaugurated into angelic life lay concordant respirations, and then they come at the same time into interior perceptions and into heavenly freedom. This is effected in a society of many, or in choirs, in which the one respires in the same way as the others and also perceives in the same way, and in the same way acts from freedom. How this is effected has also been shown me to the life.
AC 3895. The persuasion of what is evil and false, and also the persuasion of truth when man is in the life of evil, is of such a nature in the other life that it as it were suffocates others, even well-disposed spirits before they have been inaugurated into angelic respiration. They therefore who are in such a persuasion are removed by the Lord and are detained in hell, where one cannot hurt another; for there the persuasion of one is nearly like that of another, and hence their respirations accord. Some spirits who were in such a persuasion came to me with the intent to suffocate me, and even caused somewhat of suffocation, but I was delivered by the Lord. A little child was then sent by the Lord, at whose presence they were so tortured that they could scarcely breathe, in which state they were kept even until driven to supplications, and thus were thrust down into hell.
 The persuasion of truth when man is in the life of evil is of such a nature that he persuades himself that truth is truth, not for the sake of good as the end, but for the sake of evil as the end, namely, that he may thereby gain honors, reputation, and wealth. The very worst of all are able to be in such a persuasion, and also in apparent zeal, to such a degree as to condemn to hell all who are not in truth, however much these may be in good. Concerning this persuasion see (n. 2689, 3865). When such persons first come into the other life they believe themselves to be angels; but they cannot approach any angelic society; being as it were suffocated by their own persuasion as soon as they come near it. These are they of whom the Lord says in Matthew:--
Many shall say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out demons? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? But then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from Me ye that work iniquity (Matthew 7:22, 23).
AC 3896. The subject of the Grand Man, and of Correspondence, will be continued at the end of the following chapter. previous - next - text - Genesis - BM Home - Full Page