February 27, 2015

There is a Correspondence of Actual Things, and thence of Ideas, Natural and Spiritual

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban: and Laban ran out of the doors unto the man, unto the fountain.  Gen 24:29

That this signifies its desire, that is, the desire of the affection of good, toward the truth which was to be initiated into truth Divine, is evident from the signification of running," as manifesting the inclination or desire; from the representation of Laban, as being the affection of good; from the signification of "the man," as being truth; and from the signification of a "fountain," as also being truth, here truth Divine.

From these and from the other things here treated of, we can see what is the quality of the internal sense, and what arcana there are in it. Who could know, except from an interior searching of the Word, and at the same time from revelation, that these words, "Laban ran out of doors unto the man, unto the fountain," signify the desire of the affection of good toward the truth that was to be initiated into truth Divine? And yet this is what the angels perceive when these words are read by man; for such are the correspondences between a man's ideas and an angel's that while the man takes these words according to the sense of the letter, and has the idea of Laban as running out of doors to the man unto the fountain, the angel perceives the desire of the affection of good toward the truth which was to be initiated into truth Divine. For the angels have no idea of Laban, nor of running, nor of a fountain, but they have spiritual ideas corresponding to these. ...

As regards the actual thing itself, namely, that truth was to be initiated into truth Divine, the case is this: The first truth in the natural man was not truth Divine, but was truth that appeared as if Divine; for in its first infancy no truth is truth, but is apparent truth; but in process of time it puts off the appearance, and puts on the essence of truth. In order that this may be comprehended, it may be illustrated by examples, but for the present merely by the following:
     It is a truth Divine that the Lord is never angry, never punishes anyone, still less does evil to anyone, and that from the Lord there never comes anything but good; nevertheless in its first infancy this truth takes the form that the Lord is angry when anyone sins, and that therefore the Lord punishes; nay, with some that evil is from the Lord; but as a man advances from childhood, and grows up and matures in judgment, he puts off that which was as truth to him from its appearing to be so, and gradually puts on the real truth, namely that the Lord is never angry, that He does not punish, that still less does He do what is evil; and thus by the former truth he is initiated into this. For that which first enters is the general truth, which in itself is obscure, and in which scarcely anything appears until it has been enlightened by particulars, and these by singulars; and when it has been enlightened the interior things are clear. Thus fallacies and appearances, which in time of ignorance are truths, are dissipated and shaken off.
(Arcana Coelestia 3131)