Spiritual Meaning of

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The signification of chaff or straw, is truths of memory-knowledge (AC 3114), and indeed memory-knowledges the lowest and most general of all, for the lowest food in a spiritual sense is straw or chaff, because it is the food of beasts. Those knowledges are called lowest which are full of fallacies of the senses, which the evil abuse to pervert goods and truths, and thus to defend evils and falsities; for on account of fallacies these knowledges can be turned in favor of principles of falsity and of cupidities of evil. Moreover such knowledges are the most general of all, and unless they are filled with truths less general and more particular, they may be of service to falsities and evils, but in proportion as they are filled with truths, they are of less service to them. Such are the knowledges whereby they who in the world have professed faith alone, and yet have lived a life of evil, infest the upright n the other life; but as these knowledges are dispelled by the angels, it is now said that they should not give straw to make brick, that is, that they did not add these to the fictitious and false things that would be injected. Such is the internal sense of these words, which indeed appears remote from the sense of the letter; but be it known that there is nothing in the natural world which does not correspond to something in the spiritual world; and the angels with a man understand all things spiritually which the man understands naturally; they do not know what straw is, nor bricks; such things were known to them when they were in the world, but were forgotten when they came into heaven, because there they put on spiritual things. Hence it is that when the angels perceive the ideas of such things with a man, they turn them into corresponding spiritual things. That straw or grass denotes the lowest memory-knowledge, and that bricks denote things fictitious and false, can be seen from many considerations; for all herbage and straw have no other signification; but seeds, barley, wheat, and the like denote interior truths and goods; and stones not artificial denote truths.

from AC 7112

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Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). Design:  I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002. www.BibleMeanings.info