Apocalypse Explained (Tansley) n. 1144

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1144. And silk and scarlet.- That these signify truths and goods from a spiritual origin, profaned, is evident from the signification of silk, which denotes truth from a spiritual origin, of which we shall speak presently; and from the signification of scarlet, which denotes good from a spiritual origin (concerning which see above, n. 1142) - this good coincides with truth from a celestial origin, and therefore this is also signified in the Word by scarlet. But silk and scarlet here signify those truths and goods profaned by Babylon; and they are profaned in this way, that they have perverted spiritual love, which is love towards the neighbour. For those who are in the love of self, such as the Babylonians, cannot have any love for their neighbour; if they do love him it is for the sake of themselves, so that the end is still the man himself and the love of the neighbour the means; and the end loves the means so far as they are subservient to itself, and if they are not subservient it rejects them; this is also evident from every one of their works. The love of the neighbour, in the spiritual sense, is the love of uses; and when uses are for the sake of self, then it is not a love of uses, but a love of self. That silk signifies truth from a spiritual origin, is evident from the passage in Ezekiel (xvi. 10, 13), explained just above (n. 1143). It derives this signification from its shining quality; for silk shines with light, and light signifies Divine Truth, which is also called the spiritual Divine.

[2] Continuation concerning the Athanasian Creed.- We have said that the love of self and the love of the world constitute hell; the origin of those loves shall now be shown. Man was created to love himself and the world, lug neighbour and heaven, and also the Lord. For this reason, when he is born, he first loves himself and the world, then as he grows wise, he loves his neighbour and heaven, and as he grows still wiser, he loves the Lord. When this is the case, he is then in Divine Order, and is led by the Lord actually, and by himself apparently. So far, however, as he is not wise, so far does he stop short in the first degree, which is that of loving himself and the world; and if he loves his neighbour, heaven, and the Lord, it is for the sake of himself in the eyes of the world. But if he is altogether without wisdom, he then loves himself alone, and the world and his neighbour for the sake of himself; and with respect to heaven and the Lord, he either makes light of them, denies them, or even hates them, if not in words, still in heart. These are the sources of the love of self and of the love of the world, and because these loves are hell, the origin of hell is evident.

[3] When a man has become a hell, he is then like a tree cut down, or like a tree whose fruits are hurtful; he is also like sandy soil, in which no seed will strike its root, or like soil out of which springs nothing but the prickly thorn and the stinging nettle. When a man has become a hell, then the interior or higher things of his mind are closed, and the exterior and lower opened; and because the love of self directs everything of thought and will to itself, and immerses them in the body, if therefore inverts and twists back the exteriors of the mind, which, as was observed, are open; for this reason they incline, tend, and are borne downwards, that is, to hell.

[4] But because a man has still the faculty of thinking, willing, speaking, and acting - a faculty which is in no case taken from him, since he is born a man - and is at the same time in this inverted state, receiving no longer any good or truth from heaven, but only evil and falsity from hell, he therefore procures for himself a kind of light (lumen) by confirmations of evil from falsity, and of falsity from evil, in order that he may be pre-eminent above others. He imagines that this is rational light (lumen), although it is nevertheless infernal light, in itself full of foolish delusions, producing a vision like that of a dream in the night, or a craziness of imagination, by reason of which, things which are appear as if they were not, and things which are not, as if they were. But these things will be more clearly seen from a comparison between a man-angel and a man-devil.

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