Spiritual background for GENESIS 32previous - next - text - Genesis - BM Home - Full Page
AC 4229. A commencement was made with the explication of the Lord‘s predictions in the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew concerning the Last Judgment, the explication being given in (n. 3353-3356, 3486-3489, 3650-3655, 3897-3901, 4056-4060). The internal sense in a summary of these predictions of the Lord plainly appears from the explications already given, namely, that prediction is there made concerning the successive vastation of the church, and the ultimate setting up of a New Church, in the following order:
1. That the members of the church would begin not to know what good and truth are, and would dispute about them.
2. That they would hold them in contempt.
3. That at heart they would not acknowledge them.
4. That they would profane them.
5. And because the truth of faith and the good of charity would still remain with some, who are called the "elect," a description is given of the state of the faith as it then existed.
6. Next of the state of the charity.
7. And finally the commencement of a New Church is treated of, which is meant by the words that were last explained:--
He shall send forth His angels with a trumpet and a great voice, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from the end of the heavens even to the end thereof (Matthew 24:31),
by which is meant the commencement of a New Church (n. 4060).
AC 4230. When the end of an old church and the beginning of a new church is at hand, then is the Last Judgment. This is the time that is meant in the Word by the "Last Judgement" (n. 2117-2133, 3353, 4057), and also by the "coming of the Son of man." It is this very Coming that is now the subject before us, as referred to in the question addressed to the Lord by the disciples:--
Tell us when shall these things he, especially what is the sign of Thy coming, and of the consummation of the age (Matt. 24:3)?
It remains therefore to unfold the things predicted by the Lord concerning this very time of His Coming and of the Consummation of the age which is the Last Judgment; but in the preface to this chapter only those contained in Matthew:--
Now learn a parable from the fig-tree. When her branch is now become tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that the summer is nigh. So also ye, when ye see all these things, know that it is nigh, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away till all these things be accomplished. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away (Matthew 24:32-35).
The internal sense of these words is as follows.
AC 4231. Now learn a parable from the fig-tree. When her branch is now become tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that the summer is nigh; signifies the first of a new church; the "fig-tree" is the good of the natural; her "branch" is the affection of this; and the "leaves" are truths. The "parable from which they should learn" is that these things are signified. He who is not acquainted with the internal sense of the Word, cannot possibly know what is involved in the comparison of the Lord’s coming to a fig-tree and its branch and leaves; but as all the comparisons in the Word are also significative (n. 3579), it may be known from this signification what is meant. A "fig-tree" wherever mentioned in the Word signifies in the internal sense the good of the natural (n. 217); that her "branch" is the affection of this, is because affection springs forth from good as a branch from its trunk; and that "leaves" are truths may be seen above (n. 885). From all this it is now evident what the parable involves, namely, that when a new church is being created by the Lord, there then appears first of all the good of the natural, that is, good in the external form together with its affection and truths. By the good of the natural is not meant the good into which man is born, or which he derives from his parents, but a good which is spiritual in respect to its origin. Into this no one is born, but is led into it by the Lord through the knowledges of good and truth. Therefore until a man is in this good (that is, in spiritual good), he is not a man of the church, however much from a good that is born with him he may appear to be so.
 So also ye, when ye see all these things, know that it is nigh, even at the doors signifies that when those things appear which are signified in the internal sense by the words spoken in (Matt. 24:29-31), and by these concerning the fig-tree, then it is the consummation of the church, that is, the Last Judgment, and the Coming of the Lord; consequently that the old church is then being rejected, and a new one is being set up. It is said, "at the doors," because the good of the natural and its truths are the first things which are insinuated into a man when he is being regenerated and is becoming the church. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all these things be accomplished; signifies that the Jewish nation shall not be extirpated like other nations, for the reason shown above (n. 3479).
 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away; signifies that the internals and the externals of the former church would perish, but that the Word of the Lord would abide. "Heaven" is the internal of the church, and "earth" its external, (n. 82, 1411, 1733, 1850, 2117, 2118, 3355). By the Lord‘s "words" are plainly meant not only these now spoken respecting His coming and the consummation of the age, but also all that are in the Word. These words were said immediately after what was said about the Jewish nation, because that nation was preserved for the sake of the Word, as may be seen from the number already cited (n. 3479). From all this it is now evident that the beginnings of a New Church are here foretold.
CONTINUATION CONCERNING THE GRAND MAN AND CONCERNING CORRESPONDENCE, HERE CONCERNING CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE SENSES IN GENERAL
AC 4318. It is the main point of intelligence with the angels to know and perceive that all life is from the Lord, and also that the universal heaven corresponds to His Divine Human; and consequently that all angels, spirits, and men correspond to heaven; and also to know and perceive the nature of this correspondence. These are the first principles of the intelligence in which angels are more than men; and from this they know and perceive innumerable things that are in the heavens and hence also those which are in the world; for the things which come forth in the world and its nature are causes and effects from the former as beginnings; for universal nature is a theater representative of the Lord‘s kingdom.
AC 4319. It has been shown by much experience that not only a man, but a spirit, and also an angel, thinks, speaks, and does nothing from himself, but from others; nor these others from themselves, but again from others, and so on; and thus all and each from the First of life, that is, from the Lord, however completely this may appear to be as from themselves. This has often been shown to spirits who in the life of the body had believed and had confirmed themselves in the belief, that all things were in themselves, or that they think, speak, and act from themselves and their soul, in which life appears implanted. It has also been shown by living experiences (such as exist in the other life but are impossible in the world), that the evil think, will, and act from hell, and the good from heaven (that is, through heaven from the Lord), and that nevertheless both evils and gods appear as from themselves. Christians know this from the doctrine which they draw from the Word that evils are from the devil, and goods from the Lord; but there are few who believe it. And because they do not believe it, they appropriate to themselves the evils which they think, will, and act; but the goods are not appropriated to them; for they who believe goods to be from themselves, claim and ascribe them to themselves, and thus place merit in them. They also know from the doctrine in the church, that no one can do anything good from himself, insomuch that whatever is from himself and his own is evil, however much it may appear as good; but this also few believe, although it is true.
 The evil who had confirmed themselves in this opinion that they live from themselves, and consequently that whatever they think, will, and act is from themselves when shown that the case is exactly in accordance with the doctrine, said that they now believed. But they were told that knowing is not believing, and that believing is Internal, and is impossible except in the affection of good and truth, consequently is possible to none but those who are in the good of charity toward the neighbor. Being evil, the same spirits Insisted that they now believed because they saw. But examination was made by an experience familiar in the other life, namely, by their being looked into by angels; and when they were looked into, the upper part of their head appeared to be withdrawn, and the brain to be rough, hairy, and dark, which showed what is the inward quality of those who have only a faith of memory knowledge, but not a true faith; and that to know is not to believe. For the head of those who know and believe appears as human, and the brain well ordered, snow-white, and lucid; for heavenly light is received by them. But with those who only know and suppose that they thereby believe, and yet do not believe, because they live in evil, heavenly light is not received, consequently neither are the Intelligence and wisdom which are in that light; and therefore when they draw near to angelic societies, that is, to heavenly light, this light is turned with them into darkness. This is the reason why their brain appeared dark.
AC 4320. That the life which is from the Lord alone appears with everyone as if it were in himself, is from the Lord’s love or mercy toward the universal human race, in that He wills to appropriate to each one what is His own, and to give to everyone eternal happiness. It is known that love appropriates to another what is its own; for it presents itself within the other, and makes itself present in him. How much more the Divine love! That the evil also receive the life which is from the Lord, is as with objects in the world, all of which receive light from the sun, and thereby colors, but according to their forms. Objects which suffocate and pervert the light appear of a black or foul color, but yet have their blackness and foulness from the sun‘s light. So is it with the light or life from the Lord with the evil; but this life is not life, but is (as it is called) spiritual death.
AC 4321. Although these things appear paradoxical and incredible to man, they nevertheless are not to be denied, because experience itself dictates them. If all things were denied the causes of which are not known, innumerable things that come forth in nature would be denied, the causes of which are known scarcely as to a ten-thousandth part; for the secret things therein are so many and so great that those which man knows are scarcely anything in comparison with those which he does not know. What then must be the secret things that come forth in the sphere which is above nature, that is, in the spiritual world! As for example these: That there is one only life, and all live from it, and everyone differently from another: that the evil also live from the same life, and likewise the hells, and that the inflowing life acts according to its reception: that heaven has been so ordered by the Lord as to bear relation to a man, whence it is called the Grand Man; and that in consequence all the things in man correspond thereto: that man without influx therefrom into everything in him, cannot subsist even for a moment: that all in the Grand Man keep in a constant situation according to the quality and the state of the truth and good in which they are that situation there is not situation, but state, and therefore those appear constantly at the left who are at the left, those at the right who are at the right, in front those who are in front, behind those who are behind, in the plane of the head, the breast, the back, the loins, and the feet, above the head and below the soles of the feet, directly and obliquely, and at a less or greater distance, those who are there, however and to whatever quarter the spirit may turn himself: that the Lord as a Sun appears constantly to the right, and there at a middle height, a little above the plane of the right eye; and that all things there have relation to the Lord as the Sun and center, and thus to their only One from which they come forth and subsist, and as all appear before the Lord constantly in their own situation, according to their states of good and truth, they therefore appear in the same way to everyone, for the reason that the Lord’s life, and consequently the Lord, is in all who are in heaven. Not to mention Innumerable other things.
AC 4322. Who at this day does not believe that man comes into existence naturally from the seed and the ovum? and that in the seed from the first creation there is the ability to bring itself forth into such forms, first within the ovum, next in the womb, and afterwards of itself; and that it is not the Divine which brings things forth any longer? The reason why this is so believed is that no one knows of there being any influx from heaven (that is, through heaven from the Lord); and this because they do not desire to know that there is any heaven. For in their private meetings the learned discuss openly among themselves whether there is a hell, and thus whether there is a heaven. And as they are in doubt about heaven, they cannot receive as any first principle that there is an influx through heaven from the Lord; which influx nevertheless brings forth all things that are in the three kingdoms of the earth (especially those in the animal kingdom, and in particular in man), and holds them together in form according to their uses. Hence neither can they know that there is any correspondence between heaven and man; and still less that this is of such a nature that every several thing within him, nay, the veriest singular ones, come forth from this source, and also subsist from it, for subsistence is a perpetual coming forth, and consequently preservation in connection and form is perpetual creation.
AC 4323. That there is a correspondence of every several thing in man with heaven, I have begun to show at the end of the preceding chapters, and this by living experience from the world of spirits and from heaven; to the end that man may know whence he comes into existence and whence he subsists, and that there is a continual influx into him therefrom. Later it will be shown in like manner from experience that man rejects this influx from heaven (that is, through heaven from the Lord), and accepts the influx from hell; but that nevertheless he is continually kept by the Lord in correspondence with heaven, in order that he may, if he chooses, be led from hell to heaven, and through heaven to the Lord.
AC 4324. The correspondence of the heart and lungs and also of the brain with the Grand Man, has already been treated of at the end of the chapters. Here, in accordance with our plan, the correspondence with man‘s external sensories is to be treaded of, namely, with the sensory of sight, or the eye; with the sensory of hearing, or the ear; with the sensories of smell, taste, and touch; but first concerning correspondence with sense in general.
AC 4325. Sense in general, or general sense, is distinguished into voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary sense is proper to the cerebrum, but involuntary sense is proper to the cerebellum. In men these two kinds of general sense are conjoined, but yet are distinct. The fibers which flow forth from the cerebrum present the voluntary sense in general, and the fibers which flow from the cerebellum present the involuntary sense in general. The fibers of this double origin conjoin themselves together in the two appendices which are called the medulla oblongata and the medulla spinalis, and through these pass into the body, and shape its members, viscera, and organs. The parts which encompass the body, as the muscles and skin, and also the organs of the senses, for the most part receive fibers from the cerebrum; and hence man has sense and motion in accordance with his will. But the parts within this compass or enclosure, which are called the viscera of the body, receive fibers from the cerebellum; and consequently man has no sense of these parts, nor are they under the control of his will. From this it may in some measure appear what sense is in general, or the general voluntary sense, and the general involuntary sense. Be it known further that there must be a general in order that there may be any particular, and that the particular can in no wise come into existence and subsist without the general, and in fact that it subsists in the general; and that every particular is circumstanced according to the quality and according to the state of the general; and this is the case with sense in man, and also with motion.
AC 4326. There was heard a sound as of muttered thunder that flowed down from on high above the occiput, and continued around the whole of that region. I wondered who they were, and was told that they were those who relate to the general involuntary sense, and was told further that they could well perceive a man’s thoughts, but are not willing to expose and utter them like the cerebellum, which perceives all that the cerebrum does, but does not publish it. When their manifest operation into all the province of the occiput had ceased, it was shown how far their operation extended. It was first determined into the whole face, then withdrew itself toward the left side of the face, and at last toward the ear on that side; by which was signified what was the nature of the operation of the general involuntary sense from the earliest times with men on this earth, and how it advanced.
 Influx from the cerebellum insinuates itself especially into the face, as is evident from the fact that the animus has been inscribed on the face, and the affections appear in the face, and this for the most part without the man‘s will such as fear, reverence, shame, various kind of gladness, and also of sadness, besides many other things, which are thereby made known to another in such manner that it is known from the face what affections are in the man, and what changes of animus and of mind. These things come from the cerebellum through its fibers, when there is no simulation within. It was thus shown that in the earliest times, or with the most ancient people, the general sense had possession of the whole face, and successively after those times only of the left side of it, and at last in still later times it emptied itself away from the face, so that at this day there is scarcely any general involuntary sense left in the face. The right side of the face together with the right eye corresponds to the affection of good, and the left to the affection of truth, the region where the ear is corresponding to obedience alone without affection.
 For with the most ancient people, whose age was called the Golden Age, because they were in a certain state of perfection or wholeness, and lived in love to the Lord and in mutual love as angels live, all the involuntary of the cerebellum was manifest in the face, and they did not at all know how to present anything in the countenance other than exactly as heaven flowed into their involuntary conatus or endeavors and thence into the will. But with the ancients, whose age was called the Silver Age, because they were in a state of truth, and thence in charity toward the neighbor, the involuntary of the cerebellum was not manifest in the right side of the face, but only in the left. But with their posterity, whose time was called the Iron Age, because they lived not in the affection of truth, but in obedience to truth, the involuntary was no longer manifest in the face, but betook itself to the region around the left ear. I have been instructed that the fibers of the cerebellum have thus changed their efflux into the face, and that instead of them fibers from the cerebrum have been transferred thither, which now control those which are from the cerebellum, and this from an endeavor to form the expressions of the face according to the behests of man’s own will, all of which is from the cerebrum. It does not appear to man that these things are so, but they are plainly manifest to the angels from the influx of heaven and from correspondence.
AC 4327. Such is the general involuntary sense at this day with those who are in the good and truth of faith. But with those who are in evil and thence in falsity, there is no longer any general involuntary sense which manifests itself, neither in face, speech, nor gesture; but there is a voluntary which counterfeits what is involuntary (or natural as it is called), which they have made such by frequent use or habit from infancy. The nature of this sense with such persons has been shown by an influx which was tacit and cold into the whole face, both into the right side of it and into the left, and determining itself therefrom toward the eyes, and extending itself from the left eye into the face; by which was signified that the fibers of the cerebrum have intruded themselves and control the fibers of the cerebellum, the result being that what is fictitious, pretended, counterfeit, and deceitful reigns within, while outwardly there appears what is sincere and good. Its being determined toward the left eye, and from there also into the face, signified that they have evil as their end, and use the intellectual part to obtain their end; for the left eye signifies the intellectual.
 These are they who at this day constitute for the most part the general involuntary sense. In ancient times it was these who were the most celestial of all; but at this day it is these who are the most wicked of all, and this especially from the Christian world. They are very numerous, and appear beneath the occiput and at the back, where I have often seen and perceived them. For those who at this day relate to this sense are they who think deceitfully and devise evils against the neighbor, and put on a friendly countenance, nay, most friendly, with gestures of like import, and speak kindly as if endued with charity above others, and yet are the bitterest enemies, not only of him with whom they have intercourse, but also of the human race. Their thoughts have been communicated to me, and they were wicked and abominable, full of cruelties and butcheries.
AC 4328. I have also been shown how the case is in general with the voluntary (or will part) and with the intellectual. The most ancients, who constituted the Lord‘s celestial church (n. 1114-1123), had a voluntary in which was good, and an intellectual in which was the derivative truth, which two with them made a one. But the ancients, who formed the Lord’s spiritual church, had the voluntary altogether destroyed, but the intellectual entire, in which the Lord by regeneration formed a new voluntary, and through this also a new intellectual (n. 863, 875, 895, 927, 928, 1023, 1043, 1044, 1555, 2256).
 How the case had been with the good of the celestial church was shown by a column descending from heaven, of an azure color, at the left side of which there was a lucidity like the flaming glow of the sun. By this was represented their first state; by the azure color their good voluntary; and by the flaming glow their intellectual. And afterwards the azure of the column passed into a dim flaminess by which was represented their second state, and that their two lives the will and the understanding still acted as a one, but more dimly as to good from the will; for what is azure signifies good, and a flaming glow truth from good.
 Presently the column became quite black; and around the column there was a lucidity which was variegated by something of shining white, presenting colors; by which was signified the state of the spiritual church. The black column signified the voluntary as being altogether destroyed, and as being nothing but evil; the lucidity variegated by something of shining white signified the intellectual in which was a new voluntary from the Lord; for the intellectual is represented in heaven by what is lucid.
AC 4329. There came spirits at some height who from the sound heard appeared to be many, and it was discovered from the ideas of their thought and speech as conducted to me, that they seemed to be in no distinct idea, but in a general idea of many things. From this I supposed that nothing distinct could be perceived by them, but only something general and indistinct, and thus obscure; for I was of the opinion that what is general cannot be otherwise. That their thought was general or in common (that is, that of many together), I was able to plainly observe from the things which flowed in from them into my thought.
 But there was given them an intermediate spirit, through whom they spoke with me; for such a general thing could not fall into speech except through others. When I spoke with them through the intermediate, I said (as was my opinion), that generals cannot present a distinct idea of anything, but only one so obscure that it is as it were no idea. But after a quarter of an hour they showed that they had a distinct idea of generals, and of many things in the generals; and especially by this, that they accurately and distinctly observed all the variations and changes of my thoughts and affections, together with the singulars of them, so that no other spirits could do it better. From this I was able to conclude that it is one thing to be in a general idea which is obscure, as are those who have but little knowledge, and are thus in obscurity in regard to all things; and that it is another thing to be in a general idea which is clear, as are those who have been instructed in the truths and goods which are insinuated into the general in their order and series, and are so well-ordered as to be distinctly seen from the general.
 These are they who in the other life constitute the general voluntary sense, and are those who by knowledges of good and truth have acquired the faculty of looking at things from the general, and thence contemplating things broadly together, and distinguishing instantly whether a thing is so. They do indeed see the things as it were in obscurity, because they see from the general the things that are therein, but as these are well ordered in the general, they are for this reason nevertheless in clearness to them. This general voluntary sense falls to none but the wise. That these spirits were of this character was also proved, for they viewed in me all things both in general and particular from which inference could be drawn, and from these they drew inferences so skilfully in regard to the interiors of my thoughts and affections that I began to be afraid to think any more; for they disclosed things which I did not know to be in me, and yet from the inferences made by them I could not but acknowledge them. Hence I perceived in myself a torpor in speaking with them, and when I took note of this torpor it appeared as if it were a hairy thing, with something in it speaking mutely; and it was said that by this was signified the general sensitive corporeal that corresponds to these spirits. On the following day I again spoke with them, and once more found that they had a general perception not obscure, but clear; and that as the generals and the states of the generals were varied, so were the particulars and their states varied, because the latter relate in order and series to the former.
 It was said that general voluntary senses still more perfect exist in the interior sphere of heaven; and that when the angels are in a general or universal idea, they are at the same time in the singulars, which are set in distinct order by the Lord in the universal; also that the general and universal are not anything unless there are particulars and singulars in them from which they exist and are so called, and that they exist just in so far as these are in them; and that from this it is evident that a universal providence of the Lord, without the veriest singulars being in it, and from which it exists, is nothing at all; and that it is stupid to maintain that there exists with the Divine a universal, and then to take away the singulars from it.
AC 4330. As the three heavens together constitute the Grand Man, and all the members, viscera, and organs of the body correspond to this man according to their functions and uses, there correspond to it not only those which are external and are apparent to the sight, but also those which are internal and not apparent to the sight; consequently those which are of the external man, and those which are of the internal man. The societies of spirits and angels to which the things of the external man correspond, are for the most part from this earth; but those to which the things of the internal man correspond are for the most part from elsewhere. These societies act as a one in the heavens just as with the regenerate man do the external and the internal man. And yet at the present day few from this earth come into the other life in whom the external man acts a one with the internal; for most are sensuous, insomuch that there are few who believe otherwise than that man‘s external is all there is of him; and that when this passes away (as when he dies) there is scarcely anything left that lives; much less do they believe that there is an internal which lives in the external, and that when the external passes away, the internal eminently lives.
 It has been shown by living experience how these are opposed to the internal man. There were present very many spirits from this earth, who when they had lived in the world had been of this character, and there came into their sight spirits who relate to the internal sensuous man, and they at once began to infest them, almost as irrational persons infest those who are rational, by constantly speaking and reasoning from the fallacies of the senses, and from the illusions thence arising, and from mere hypotheses, believing nothing but what could be confirmed by external sensuous things, and moreover treating the internal man with contumely.
 But those who had relation to the internal sensuous man cared nothing for such things, and wondered not only at the insanity of the former spirits, but also at their stupidity; and wonderful to say, when the external sensuous spirits drew near the internal sensuous ones, and came almost into the sphere of their thoughts, the external sensuous began to breathe with difficulty (for spirits and angels breathe equally as do men, but their breathing is relatively internal, n. 3884-3895), and thus to be almost suffocated, so that they withdrew. And the further away they retired from the internal sensuous spirits, because they breathed more easily, the more tranquil and quiet it became with them; and again the nearer they approached, the more intranquil and unquiet.
 The cause was that when the external sensuous are in their fallacies, phantasies, and hypotheses, and thence in falsities, they have tranquillity; but when on the contrary such things are taken away from them, which comes to pass when the internal man flows in with the light of truth, they then have intranquillity. For in the other life there exist spheres of the thoughts and affections, and these are mutually communicated according to presence and approach (n. 1048, 1053, 1316, 1504-1512, 1695, 2401, 2489). This conflict lasted for several hours; and it was thus shown how the men of this earth are at the present day opposed to the internal man, and that the external sensuous makes almost all with them.
AC 4331. Continuation concerning the Grand Man and concerning Correspondence at the end of the following chapter; and there concerning correspondence with the senses specifically. previous - next - text - Genesis - BM Home - Full Page