Because these two states follow the divine design, and the divine design fills everything large and small down to the least detail in the universe, therefore there are a number of different things in the universe that represent these two states.
The first state is represented by the stages we all go through from infancy to childhood and into our teenage years, our twenties, and our thirties. These stages entail our being deferential and obedient to our parents, and learning from teachers and ministers.
The second state, however, is represented by our stages later on when we are responsible for ourselves and our own choices, when we have our own will and our own understanding, and have authority in our own home.
The first state, then, is represented by the situation of a prince, the son of a king, or else a son of a duke, before he becomes the king or the duke himself; or by the situation of any citizens before they become civic leaders; or of any royal subjects before they take government positions; or of any students studying for the ministry before they become priests. The same applies to the situation of those priests before they become rectors, and of those rectors before they become deans. The same also applies to the situation of any young women before they marry; or to the situation of any female servants before they become heads of households. This is generally the situation of apprentices before they go into business for themselves, of soldiers before they become ranking officers, and of male servants before they become heads of households. The first state in every case is a kind of slavery while the second state belongs to our own will and intellect.
These two states are also represented by various things in the animal kingdom. The first state is represented by animals and birds as long as they are still with their mothers and fathers, when they follow them around constantly and are fed and raised by them. The second state is represented when they leave their parents and take care of themselves.
Caterpillars are another example. They represent the first state when they inch along and eat leaves; the second, when they shed their old form and become butterflies.
These two states are also represented by members of the plant kingdom. The first state is represented when a plant grows from a seed and is decked out with branches, boughs, and leaves; the second is represented when the plant produces fruit and generates new seeds. This sequence is equivalent to the way truth and goodness join together, in that all parts of a tree correspond to kinds of truth, and pieces of fruit correspond to good things [that result].
If we stay in the first state and do not go on to the second we are like a tree that produces only leaves but no fruit. It says in the Word that this type of tree has to be uprooted and thrown into the fire (Matthew [7:19]; 21:19; Luke 3:9; 13:6–9; John 15:5, 6). This is also like a slave who does not want to be free. There used to be a law that slaves like this had to be taken to a door or a post and have their ears pierced with an awl (Exodus 21:6). “Slaves” are people who have no partnership with the Lord. “The free” are people who have such a partnership; for the Lord says, “If the Son makes you free, you are truly free” (John 8:36).
from True Christianity, Section 106