Spiritual Meaning of
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The signification of flowers, is the memory-knowledges of truth. Flowers have this signification, because flowers are growths which precede, and in their manner produce, the fruits and seeds; for, as is known, trees and plants blossom before they bear fruit. The case is the same with man in respect to intelligence and wisdom. The memory-knowledges of truth precede, and in their manner produce with man, the things of wisdom; for they serve as objects to his rational, and thus as means for growing wise. It is for this reason that the memory-knowledges of truth are as flowers; and the good of life, which is the good of wisdom, is as fruit. As all things in the spiritual world bear relation to such things as are in man, for the reason that heaven bears relation to a man, and corresponds to each and all things with man, therefore also all things in the natural world have a correspondence, a representation, and a signification in accordance with their agreement with such things as are in man (AC 9496). From this it can now be seen why flowers signify the memory-knowledges of truth, and in general truths; and why fruits, and likewise seeds, signify goods.
 That flowers denote the memory-knowledges of truth, and in general truths, is evident from the following passages:--
Their root shall be as rottenness, and their flower as dust; because they have rejected the law of Jehovah Zebaoth, and despised the discourse of the Holy One of Israel (Isa. 5:24).
Jacob shall cause those to come to take root; Israel shall blossom and flower; so that the faces of the world shall be filled with produce (Isa. 27:6).
Woe to the drunkards of Ephraim, and to the fading flower of his glory and comeliness (Isa. 28:1);
drunkards denote those who reason from falsities (AC 1072); Ephraim denotes the intellectual of the church, here perverted (AC 5354, 6222, 6234, 6238, 6267); glory, truth Divine (AC 4809, 5922, 8267, 8427, 9429); from which it is plain that a flower denotes the memory-knowledge through which is truth. Again:--
The grass is withered, the flower faded, the people is grass; but the word of our God abideth forever (Isa. 40:7, 8).
The flower of Lebanon languisheth (Nahum 1:4);
where also the flower denotes memory-knowledges as means for growing wise.
 In Daniel:--
Nebuchadnezzar saw in a dream, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, the height thereof great, the leaf thereof beautiful, and the flower thereof much; the beast of the field had shade under it, and the birds of heaven dwelt in the branches thereof, and all flesh was fed. But the Holy One from heaven, crying aloud, said, Hew down the tree, cut off his branches, shake off his leaf, scatter his flower; let the beast of the field flee from under it, and the birds from its branches (Daniel 4:10, 12-14);
by the tree and the height thereof is signified the increase of the religiosity signified by Babel, which is holy in externals, but profane in internals (AC 1182, 1283, 1295, 1304-1308, 1321, 1322, 1326); the leaf denotes memory-truth in general (AC 885); the flower, the memory-knowledge of truth in so far as it serves as a means for growing wise, but here in so far as it serves as a means for growing insane, because it is said that the flower shall be scattered; the beast of the field denotes those who are in affections of good; and in the opposite sense, those who are in affections of evil (AC 45, 46, 142, 143, 246, 714, 715, 719, 776, 1823, 2179, 2180, 3218, 3519, 5198, 7523, 9090, 9280); but the birds of heaven denote those who are in affections of truth, and in the opposite sense those who are in affections of falsity (AC 3219, 5149, 7441); therefore it is said that under the shade of that tree dwelt the beast of the field, and that in its branches dwelt the birds of heaven, and that all flesh was fed; and afterward that the beast of the field should flee from under it, and the birds from its branches.
from AC 9553
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|Author: E. Swedenborg (1688-1772).||Design: I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002.||www.BibleMeanings.info|