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There is a Spiritual Meaning in the Word, Which Has Been Unknown until Now (Continued)

(2). There is a spiritual meaning throughout the Word and in all its details (Continued)

In the twenty-first chapter of Revelation we find the following description of the holy Jerusalem:

Its light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. It had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and on the gates were twelve angels and the names written of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. Its wall measured one hundred and forty-four cubits, which is the measure of a human being, that is, of an angel. The construction of its wall was of jasper, and its foundations were made of precious stones of every kind— jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, onyx, sardius, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprase, jacinth, and amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls. The city was pure gold, like clear glass, and was square— its length, breadth, and height were equal at twelve thousand stadia each. [Revelation 21: 11– 12, 16– 21]

And so on.

We can tell that all these features are to be understood spiritually from the fact that the holy Jerusalem means a new church that the Lord is going to establish, as explained in § § 62– 65 of Teachings on the Lord. Further, since Jerusalem here means the church, it follows that everything said about it— about the city, its gates, its wall, the foundations of the wall, and its dimensions— has spiritual meaning in it, since what goes to make up the church is spiritual.

As for the meaning of the details, though, these have been explained in Section 1 of The New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Teachings (published in London in 1758), so I forego further explanation.

Suffice it to say that we know from these examples that there is spiritual meaning in the details of the description of the city, like a soul within a body, and that if it were not for this meaning we would find nothing relevant to the church in what is written there— the city being of pure gold, the gates of pearls, the wall of jasper, the foundations of the wall of precious stones; the wall measuring a hundred and forty-four cubits by the measure of a human being, that is, of an angel; the city itself being twelve thousand stadia in length, breadth, and height; and so on.

Yet people who are familiar with the spiritual meaning because of their knowledge of correspondences understand that the wall and its foundations mean a body of teaching drawn from the literal meaning of the Word, and that the numbers twelve, a hundred and forty-four, and twelve thousand all mean much the same, namely, all the good and true features of the church viewed in one combined form.

from Sacred Scripture–White Horse, Section 10

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There Is a Correspondence of Everything in Heaven with Everything in the Human Being (Continued)

Since a human being is a heaven and a world in least form in the image of the greatest (see Section 57), there is a spiritual world and a natural world within each of us. The deeper elements, which belong to our minds and relate to our intelligence and volition, constitute our spiritual world, while the outer elements, which belong to our bodies and relate to our senses and actions, constitute our natural world. Anything that occurs in our natural world (that is, in our bodies and their senses and actions) because of our spiritual world (that is, because of our minds and their intelligence and volition) is called something that corresponds.

We can see in the human face what correspondence is like. In a face that has not been taught to dissimulate, all the affections of the mind manifest themselves visibly in a natural form, as though in their very imprint, which is why we refer to the face as “the index of the mind.” This is our spiritual world within our natural world. Similarly, elements of our understanding are manifest in our speech, and matters of our volition in our physical behavior. So things that occur in the body, whether in our faces or in our speech or in our behavior, are called correspondences.

We can also see from this what the inner person is and what the outer person is, namely, that the inner is the one that is called the spiritual person, and the outer the natural person. We can also see that they are as distinct from each other as heaven and earth, and that everything that happens and comes forth in the outer or natural person does so from the inner or spiritual one.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 90-92

Notes:

Previously cited: 6/6/2017

Section 57: Published 2/15/2018

There Is a Correspondence of Everything in Heaven with Everything in the Human Being

People today do not know what “correspondence” is. There are many reasons for this ignorance, the primary one being that we have moved away from heaven because of our love for ourselves and for the world. You see, people who love themselves and the world above all focus on nothing but earthly matters because these provide gratification to their more outward senses and pleasure to their moods.

They do not attend to spiritual matters because these offer gratification to their deeper senses and pleasure to their minds. So they set such matters aside, saying that they are too lofty to think about.

The early people behaved differently. For them, knowledge about correspondences was the pearl of all knowledge. By means of it, they gained intelligence and wisdom, and by means of it those who were of the church had a communication with heaven. Knowledge about correspondences is in fact angelic knowledge.

The earliest ones, who were heavenly people, did their thinking from correspondence like angels, so they could even talk with angels. Further, the Lord was quire often visible to them, and taught them. Nowadays, though, this knowledge has been so completely lost that people do not know what correspondence is.

So whatever arises in the natural world out of the spiritual one is called “something that corresponds.” It needs to be realized that the natural world arises from and is sustained in being by the spiritual world, exactly the way an effect relates to its efficient cause.

from Heaven and Hell, Sections 87-89

Notes:

Previously cited 6/4/2017-6/5/2017

Spiritual Heat and Light

There are two things in the natural world which make the life there, namely, heat and light; and there are two things in the spiritual world which make the life there, namely, love and faith. Heat in the natural world corresponds to love in the spiritual world, and light in the natural world corresponds to faith in the spiritual world. Hence it is that when spiritual heat or fire is mentioned, love is meant; and when spiritual light is mentioned, faith is meant. Moreover, love is actually the vital heat of man, for it is known that man grows warm from love; and faith is actually the light of man, for it can be known that man is illumined from faith.

The heat and light in the natural world arise from the sun of the world; but spiritual heat and light, or love and faith, arise from the sun of heaven. The sun of heaven is the Lord; the heat which comes from Him as a sun is love, and the light which comes from Him as a sun is faith. That the Lord is light is evident from these words in John:

Jesus said, I am the light of the world, he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life (John 8:12)

and that the Lord is a sun is evident in Matthew:

When Jesus was transfigured, His face shone as the sun, and His garments became white as the light (Matt. 17:2).

From this correspondence it can also be known how the case is with faith and with love. Faith without love is like light without heat, as is the light of winter; and faith with love is like light with heat, as is the light of spring. That in the light of spring each and all things grow and flower, is known; and also that in the light of winter all things become torpid and die. It is similar with faith and love.

from Arcana Coelestia, Sections 7082-7084

There Is a Spiritual Meaning in the Word Which Has Been Unknown until Now (Continued)

(2). There is a spiritual meaning throughout the Word and in all it details (Continued)

When the Lord speaks to his disciples about the close of the age, which is the last time of the church, at the end of his predictions about the sequence of changes of state he says,

Immediately after the affliction of those days the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Humanity will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will wail; and they will see the Son of Humanity coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a trumpet and a loud voice, and they will gather his chosen people from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. (Matthew 24: 29, 30, 31)

Spiritually understood, this does not mean that the sun and moon will be darkened, that the stars will fall from heaven, and that a sign of the Lord will appear in heaven and he will be seen in the clouds accompanied by angels with trumpets. Rather, the particular words are here used to mean spiritual events that have to do with the church, spiritual events about its state at its end. The underlying reason is that in the spiritual meaning the sun that will be darkened is the Lord as an object of love; the moon that will not give its light is the Lord as an object of faith; the stars that will fall from heaven are the knowledge of what is good and what is true that will come to an end; the sign of the Son of Humanity in heaven is the manifestation of divine truth; the tribes of the earth that will wail are a complete lack of true belief and of good actions that come from love; the coming of the Son of Humanity in the clouds of heaven with power and glory is the Lord’s presence in the Word, and a revelation— the clouds being the literal meaning of the Word and the glory being the spiritual meaning of the Word. The angels with a trumpet and a loud voice mean heaven as our source of divine truth; and the gathering of the chosen people from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other, means a new kind of church, specifically its love and faith.

It is obvious from the prophets that this does not mean the darkening of the sun and the moon and the falling of the stars to earth, because things like this are said there about the state of the church when the Lord will come into the world. It says in Isaiah, for example:

Behold, the fierce day of Jehovah is coming, a day of blazing wrath. The stars of the heavens and their constellations will not shine their light. The sun will be darkened in its rising, and the moon will not make its light shine. I will execute judgment upon the world for its malice. (Isaiah 13: 9– 11; 24: 23)

In Joel,

The day of Jehovah is coming, a day of darkness and gloom; the sun and the moon will be darkened and the stars will withhold their light. (Joel 2: 1, 2, 10; 3: 15)

In Ezekiel,

I will cover the heavens and darken the stars. I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon will not give its light. I will darken all the bright lights and bring darkness upon the land. (Ezekiel 32: 7, 8)

The day of Jehovah means the Coming of the Lord, which happened when there was no longer anything good or true left in the church, and there was no knowledge of the Lord.

from Sacred Scripture–White Horse, Section 14

There Is a Spiritual Meaning in the Word, Which Has Been Unknown until Now (Continued)

(2). There is a Spiritual Meaning Throughout the Word and in all its details (Continued)

In chapter 9 of Revelation we read,

The fifth angel sounded. And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit. And out of the smoke locusts came onto the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. The shapes of the locusts were like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were what seemed to be golden crowns, and their faces were like human faces. They had hair like women’s hair, and their teeth were like those of lions. They had breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle. And they had tails like scorpions, and there were stingers in their tails. Their power was to hurt people for five months. And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon. [Revelation 9: 1– 3, 7– 11]

Readers will not understand this either unless the spiritual meaning has been unveiled to them, because nothing in it is an empty statement. Everything, every detail, has meaning. It is about the state of the church when all the truth it has recognized in the Word lies in ruins, and when those who have become limited to their physical senses therefore convince themselves that falsities are truths.

The star fallen from heaven means the ruined state of the truth that was once recognized.

The darkened sun and air mean the light of truth turned into darkness.

The locusts that came out of the smoke of the pit mean false beliefs built on the outward kind of thinking characteristic of people who have become limited to their physical senses and see and evaluate everything on the basis of deceptive appearances.

Scorpions mean the force of their rhetoric.

The locusts looking like horses prepared for battle means their rationalizing as though they understood what was true.

The locusts having what seemed to be golden crowns on their heads and having faces that looked human means that it seemed to them that they were triumphant and wise.

Their having hair like women’s hair means that it seemed to them that they were genuinely devoted to truth.

Their having teeth like those of lions means that their sensory impressions (which are the most superficial aspects of the earthly self) seemed to them to have power over everything.

Their having breastplates like breastplates of iron means the arguments from deceptive appearances that they use in order to fight and prevail.

The sound of their wings being like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle means their rationalizations, based on supposedly true teachings from the Word, for which they feel compelled to fight.

Their having tails like scorpions means their persuasive ability.

Their having stingers in their tails means their skills in using this ability to deceive.

Their having power to hurt people for five months means that they induce a kind of stupor in people who are devoted to understanding what is true and perceiving what is good.

Their having as king over them the angel of the abyss whose name is Abaddon and Apollyon means that their false principles come from hell, where all the people are totally materialistic and in love with their own intelligence.

This is the spiritual meaning of these words, none of which is obvious in the literal meaning. It is the same throughout the Book of Revelation.

Bear in mind that, when spiritually understood, everything is bound together in an ongoing connection, and every single word in the literal or earthly meaning contributes to its elegant construction. So if one little word were taken away, a connection would be broken and a link would be lost. To prevent this from happening, the command not to take away a word is appended to the end of this prophetic book (Revelation 22: 19).

It is the same with the prophetic books of the Old Testament: so that nothing would be lost, the Lord’s divine providence arranged that their details were counted right down to the letters, which was done by the Masoretes.

from Sacred Scripture–White Horse, Section 13

There Is a Spiritual Meaning in the Word, Which Has Been Unknown until Now (Continued)

(2). There is a Spiritual Meaning throughout the Word and in all its details (Continued)

It says in Revelation 7:[ 4– 8] that one hundred and forty-four thousand were sealed, twelve thousand from each tribe of Israel: Judah, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin. The spiritual meaning of this is that everyone is saved who has accepted the church from the Lord. Being marked or sealed on the forehead, spiritually understood, means being recognized by the Lord and saved. The twelve tribes of Israel mean everyone from that church: twelve, twelve thousand, and one hundred and forty-four thousand mean all; Israel means the church; and each tribe means some particular aspect of the church. Anyone who does not know the spiritual content of these words may think that only that many people are going to be saved and that these will come only from the Israelite and Jewish people.

It says in chapter 6 of Revelation:

When the Lamb opened the first seal of the scroll a white horse came forth, and the one who sat on it had a bow and was given a crown. When he opened the second seal a red horse came forth, and the one who sat on it was given a great sword. When he opened the third seal a black horse came forth, and the one who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. When he opened the fourth seal a pale horse came forth, and the name of the one who sat on it was Death. [Revelation 6: 1– 8]

The only way to decipher this is by means of its spiritual meaning, and it is fully deciphered when we know the meaning of the opening of seals, a horse, and so on. These serve to describe successive states of the church from beginning to end with reference to its understanding of the Word.

The opening of the seals of the book by the Lamb means the Lord’s bringing those states of the church out into the open.

The white horse means an understanding of the truth of the Word during the first state of the church.

A horse means the understanding of the Word.

The bow of the one who sat on the horse means the teachings about caring and faith that fight against false beliefs.

The crown means eternal life as the reward of victory.

The red horse means the understanding of the Word during the second state of the church: in ruins with respect to what is good.

The great sword means false principles fighting against what is true.

The black horse means the understanding of the Word during the third state of the church: in ruins with respect to what is true.

The pair of scales means thinking truth has so little value that it is virtually worthless.

The pale horse means the absence of any understanding of the Word in the fourth or final state of the church, because of evil lives and consequent false beliefs.

Death means eternal damnation.

It is not obvious in the literal or earthly meaning that this is what is intended in the spiritual meaning; so unless that spiritual meaning is opened at last, the Word will remain closed in regard to this passage and the rest of the Book of Revelation— so tightly closed that no one will know where in that book anything holy or divine is hidden.

This is equally true of the meaning of the four horses and the four chariots coming out from between the two mountains of bronze in Zechariah 6: 1– 8.

from Sacred Scripture–White Horse, Sections 11-12

There Is a Spiritual Meaning in the Word, Which Has Been Unknown until Now (Continued)

(2). There is a spiritual meaning throughout the Word and in all in details.

There is no better way to make this clear than by using examples, such as the following. In the Book of Revelation, John says,

I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And the one who sat on it was called faithful and true, and with justice he judges and makes war. His eyes were a flame of fire, and on his head were many gems. He had a name written that no one knew except him. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and his name is called the Word of God. His armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed him on white horses. He has on his robe and on his thigh a name written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, “Come and gather together for the great supper, so that you may eat the flesh of monarchs and the flesh of commanders, the flesh of the mighty, the flesh of horses and of those who ride on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slaves, both small and great.” (Revelation 19: 11– 18)

No one can tell what this means except on the basis of the spiritual meaning of the Word; and no one can see the spiritual meaning except on the basis of a knowledge of correspondences, because all the expressions are correspondential, and there is not a word there that does not matter.

A knowledge of correspondences tells us the meaning of the white horse and of the one who sat on it, of the eyes that were like a flame of fire, of the gems that were on his head, of the robe dipped in blood, of the white linen worn by the people of his army in heaven, of the angel standing in the sun, of the great supper to which they were coming and gathering, also of the flesh of monarchs and commanders and the many others that they were to eat.

You may find what these particular expressions mean when spiritually understood in the booklet White Horse, where these expressions are interpreted, so there is no need to give further interpretation here. That booklet shows that this is a description of the Lord as the Word, that his eyes like a flame of fire, the gems on his head, and the name written that no one knew except him mean the spiritual meaning of the Word and that no one knows it except him and those to whom he wills to reveal it [Matthew 11: 27]; and the robe dipped in blood means the earthly meaning of the Word, its literal meaning, which has suffered violence. It is obvious that the Word is what is being described because it says “His name is called the Word of God”; and it is equally obvious that it means the Lord because it says that the name of the one who sat on the horse was written, “King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”

The message that the spiritual meaning of the Word was to be opened at the close of the church is conveyed not only by what I have just said about the white horse and the one who sat on it but also by the great supper to which all were invited by the angel standing in the sun, so that they might come and eat the flesh of monarchs and commanders, of the mighty, of horses, of those who ride on them, and of all people, both free and slaves. All these expressions would be meaningless words, with neither life nor spirit, if there were nothing spiritual within them like a soul within a body.

from Sacred Scripture–White Horse, Section 9

There Is a Spiritual Meaning in the Word, Which Has Been Unknown until Now

 1. What the Spiritual Meaning Is (Continued):

Then too, we cannot know what the difference between these qualities is unless we know about correspondence, since these three qualities are absolutely distinguishable from each other, like a goal, the means to it, and its result; or like the first, the intermediate, and the last. However, they coalesce by means of their correspondence, since what is earthly corresponds to what is spiritual and also to what is heavenly.

You may see what correspondence is, though, in Heaven and Hell, under the headings “The Correspondence of Everything in Heaven with Everything in the Human Being” (Sections 87– 102) and “The Correspondence of Heaven with Everything Earthly” (Sections 103– 115). There will be more to see in the examples from the Word cited below [Sections 9– 17, 29, 35, 40: 2– 49, 79].

Since the Word is inwardly spiritual and heavenly, it was composed using nothing but correspondences; and when something is written by means of nothing but correspondences, its outermost written sense takes on the kind of style we find in the prophets and in the Gospels, a style that has divine wisdom and everything angelic hidden within it even though it seems to be commonplace.

from Sacred-Scripture–White Horse, Sections 7-8

Notes:

Section 87-102 from Heaven and Hell: Published 6/4/2017-6/12/2017

Sections 103-115 from Heaven and Hell: Published 6/17/2017-6/26/2017

There Is a Spiritual Meaning in the Word, Which Has Been Unknown until Now (Continued)

There emanate from the Lord what is heavenly, what is spiritual, and what is earthly, in that order. What emanates from his divine love is called heavenly and is divine goodness. What emanates from his divine wisdom is called spiritual, and is divine truth. What is earthly is a product of the two; it is a combining of them on the outermost level.

Angels of the Lord’s heavenly kingdom, the ones who make up the third or highest heaven, are focused on the divine quality emanating from the Lord that is called heavenly, since they are focused on good desires that come from love, which they receive from the Lord. Angels of the Lord’s spiritual kingdom, the ones who make up the second or middle heaven, are focused on the divine quality emanating from the Lord that is called spiritual, since they are focused on the truths that lead to wisdom, which they receive from the Lord. We of the church in the world, though, are focused on a divine-earthly quality, which also emanates from the Lord.

It follows from all this that as what is divine emanates from the Lord to its outermost limits, it comes down through three levels, and that they are called heavenly, spiritual, and earthly. The divine emanation that comes down to us from the Lord comes down through these three levels, and when it has come down it has these three levels within itself. Everything divine is like this, so when it is on its outermost level, it is full [of the inner levels].

That is what the Word is like.

In its outermost meaning it is earthly, in its inner meaning it is spiritual, and in its inmost meaning it is heavenly; and on every level of meaning it is divine.

It is not obvious from the literal meaning (which is earthly) that the Word is like this, because we here on earth have not known anything about the heavens before. This means that we have not known that spiritual quality or that heavenly quality; so we have not known the difference between them and what is earthly.

from Sacred Scripture–White Horse, Section 6