Apocalypse Explained (Tansley) n. 575

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575. And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them.- That this signifies falsifications of the Word by reasonings from fallacies, is evident from the signification of horses, as denoting the understanding of the Word (see above, n. 355, 364, 372, 373, 381, 382); here the falsifications of it, because it is said, that he saw the horses in the vision, of which in what follows; and from the signification of them that sat on them, as denoting those who are intelligent in the Word, concerning which signification see also the passages above cited, but in this case, reasonings from fallacies concerning the meaning (sensus) of the Word, since the sensual man, and his reasoning from fallacies are here treated of (see above, n. 569); and because it was said that he saw them in the vision, and not, as before, in the spirit.

[2] To see in a vision here signifies from fallacies. For visions, which, and from which, man, or the spirit of man, sees, are of a two-fold kind. There are real visions, and visions that are not real. Real visions are of such things as really appear in the spiritual world, perfectly corresponding to the thoughts and affections of the angels, therefore they are real correspondences. Such were the visions which appeared to the prophets who prophesied truths, and such also were the visions which appeared to John, and which are described throughout the Apocalypse. But visions that are not real are such as appear in the external form like those that are real, but not in the internal, being produced by spirits by means of phantasies. Such were the visions which appeared to the prophets who prophesied vain things or lies. All these visions because unreal were fallacies, and therefore they signify fallacies. And since the horses and them that sat on them were seen by John in such a vision (tali visione), therefore reasonings from fallacies, and thence falsifications of the Word are signified by them.

[3] Because real visions appeared to the prophets, by whom the Word was written, and unreal visions to others who are also called prophets, and since the visions of the latter were vain, are also called lies, it is important to know the nature of visions. All things that really appear in the spiritual world, are correspondences, for they correspond to the interiors of the angels, which pertain to their minds, or to their affection and the thought thence, therefore they also signify such things. For the Spiritual which pertains to the affection, and thence to the thought of the angels, clothes itself with forms like those seen in the three kingdoms of the natural world, the animal, the vegetable, and the mineral, and all these forms are correspondences, such as were seen by the prophets, and which signified the things to which they corresponded.

But in the spiritual world there are also appearances that are not correspondences, which are produced by spirits, especially evil spirits, by means of phantasies, for by means of these such spirits can cause palaces, and houses full of decorations, as well as ornamented garments to appear, and they can also assume beautiful faces, with other things of a similar nature; but as soon as the phantasy ceases, everything that it has produced vanishes, because they are externals in which there is nothing internal. As such visions exist from phantasies, they signify fallacies, because they deceive the senses, and deceptively cause things to appear which resemble those that are real, since these are what are here signified, it is therefore said, "I saw the horses in the vision." As the subject here is reasonings from fallacies, the nature of fallacies shall be here explained.

[4] There are numerous fallacies in natural, civil, moral, and spiritual things; but as fallacies in spiritual things are here meant, therefore the nature and quality of these shall be illustrated by some examples. The sensual man is in fallacies, because all the ideas of his thought are from the world and enter by means of his bodily senses, therefore he also thinks and forms conclusions from them concerning spiritual things. He does not know what the Spiritual is, and believes that there is nothing above nature, and that, if there is anything, it is natural and material. He cannot apprehend at all, that objects like those in the natural world exist in the spiritual world, for example that paradises, shrubberies, beds of flowers, grass- plots, palaces, and houses can appear there. He calls these things phantasies, although he knows that similar things were seen by the prophets when they were in the spirit. [Sensual men] do not believe that such things exist in the spiritual world, because they believe that whatever they do not see with their eyes, or perceive by some bodily sense, has no existence.

[5] Those who judge from fallacies cannot at all apprehend that man is in a perfect human form after death, nor that the angels are in that form; therefore they deny that men after death have the human form, saying that they are phantoms, without eyes, ears, or mouths, consequently without sight, hearing, or speech, flying about in the air, and waiting for the resurrection of the body, in order to be able to see, hear, and speak. They speak and believe in this way, because from the fallacies of the bodily senses. Those who reason and form conclusions from the fallacies of the senses, ascribe all things to nature, and scarcely anything to the Divine [Being]; and if they do ascribe creation to the Divine [Being], they still suppose that all things have been transferred to nature, and that from it alone all effects proceed, and nothing from the spiritual world. As when they see the wonderful things connected with silk-worms, butterflies, and bees, and the wonderful phenomena seen in the generation of all animals from eggs (omnium animalium ex ovis), and other similar things without number, they regard them as the works of nature only, nor are they able to think anything about the spiritual world and its influx into the natural, and the existence and subsistence of such wonderful things therefrom. When yet the fact is, that the Divine flows in continually through the spiritual world into the natural, and produces such things, and that nature was created to be serviceable for clothing those things which flow in and proceed from the spiritual world. But it would take us to a great length to enumerate all the fallacies in spiritual things, which the sensual man of the church believes. Some of them are stated also in the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem (n. 53).

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