Spiritual Meaning of
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The signification of basins, is the things of the memory. The reason why basins denote the things of the memory, is that vessels in general signify memory-knowledges (AC 1469, 1496, 3068, 3079); and these are nothing else than things of the memory. Therefore basins here denote such things of the memory as contain the truths Divine which in general are signified by blood. What memory-knowledges are relatively to the truths and goods of life with man, shall be briefly told. All things learned and stored up in the memory, and that can be called forth from it to the intellectual sight, are called memory-knowledges, and in themselves are the things that constitute the understanding of the natural or external man. Being knowledges, these memory-knowledges are of service to the sight of the internal or rational man as a kind of mirror in which to see such things as are of service to itself. For these fall under the view of the internal man just as fields full of grass, flowers, various kinds of crops, and of trees; or as gardens adorned with various useful and delightful objects, fall under the view of the external man in the material world. Yet the internal sight, which is the understanding, sees nothing else in the fields or gardens of the things of its memory than such as agree with the loves in which the man is, and also favor the principles he loves.
 Wherefore they who are in the loves of self and of the world see only such things as favor these loves, and they call them truths, and by means of fallacies and appearances they also make them appear like truths; and afterward they see such things as agree with the principles they have adopted, which they love because they are from themselves. From this it is plain that the knowledges which are things of memory, are of service to those who are in the aforesaid loves as means of confirming falsities against truths, and evils against goods, and thus of destroying the truths and goods of the church. Hence it is that the learned who are of this character are more insane than the simple, and when by themselves deny the Divine, Providence, heaven, hell, the life after death, and the truths of faith. This is well seen from the learned of the European world at this day in the other life, where a vast number of them are atheists at heart; for in the other life hearts speak, and not lips. From all this it is now evident of what use knowledges are to those who think from the delights of the loves of self and of the world.
 But it is very different with those who think from the delights of heavenly loves, which are love to the Lord and love toward the neighbor. As the thought of these persons is led by the Lord through heaven, they see and choose nothing else in the fields and gardens of the things of their memory than those which agree with the delights of their loves and with the doctrinal things of their church, and which they love. To them the things of the memory are like heavenly paradises, and in the Word they are also represented and signified by paradises (AC 3220).
 Be it known further that when memory-knowledges--that is, the things of the memory--become of the man's life, they vanish from the exterior memory, just as the gestures, actions, speech, reflections, intentions, and in general the thoughts and affections of man are wont to do, when by continual use or habit they become as it were spontaneous and natural; but no other things become of man's life than those which enter into the delights of his loves and form them; thus those which enter into his will. On this subject see what has been said and shown above, (AC 8853-8858); and also concerning the exterior memory which is of man's body, and the interior memory which is of his spirit, (AC 2469-2494).
 That memory-knowledges are vessels, and in the Word are signified by vessels of every kind, as by basins, cups, waterpots, and the like, is because every memory-knowledge is a general thing that contains in it particular and singular things that agree with the general; and such generals are disposed into series, and as it were into bundles; and these bundles and series are in turn so arranged in order as to bear relation to the heavenly form; and thus everything is set in order from things the most singular to those the most general. An idea of such series can be formed from the series and bundles of muscular fibers in the human body, every bundle therein consisting of many motor fibers, and every motor fiber of blood-vessels and sinewy fibers; every muscular bundle also, which in a general term is called a muscle, is encompassed by its coat or sheath, whereby it is kept distinct from other muscles; and the same is the case with the interior little bundles or fascicles which are called motor fibers. Nevertheless all the muscles, and the motor fibers contained in them, in the whole body, have been so set in order as to concur in every action according to the pleasure of the will, and this in a manner incomprehensible. So it is with the knowledges of the memory, which also are in like manner excited by the delight of the man's love, which is of his will, yet by means of his intellectual part. That which has been made of the man's life--which is that which has been made of his will or love--excites them; for the interior man has them constantly in view, and is delighted with them in so far as they agree with his loves; and those things which enter fully into the loves, and become spontaneous, and as it were natural, vanish out of the external memory; but remain inscribed on the internal memory, from which they are never erased. In this manner memory-knowledges become of the life.
 From this it is also evident that memory-knowledges are as it were the vessels of the interior life of man, and that this is the reason why memory-knowledges are signified by vessels of various kinds, and here by basins. Similar things are signified by vessels and basins in Isaiah:--
I will fasten him as a nail in a trusty place, that he may be for a throne of glory to the house of his father, upon whom they may hang all the glory of his father's house, of sons and grandsons, every vessel of small capacity, from the vessels of basins even to all the vessels of psalteries (Isa. 22:23, 24);
the subject here treated of in the internal and representative sense is the Divine Human of the Lord, and that through Him and from Him are all truths and goods from first to last; memory-truths from a celestial stock are meant by vessels of basins, and memory-truths from a spiritual stock by vessels of psalteries. And in Zechariah:--
In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, Holiness to Jehovah; and the pots in the house of Jehovah shall be like the basins before the altar (Zech. 14:20);
the bells of the horses denote memory-truths from an enlightened understanding (AC 2761, 2762, 5321); and the basin before the altar denote memory-goods. Similar things are signified by the basins of the altar" in (Exodus 27:3; 38:3).
from AC 9394
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|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|