Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 3539

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3539. 'And put them on Jacob her younger son' means the affection for truth, that is, the life of good originating in truth. This is clear from the representation of 'Rebekah' as the Divine Truth of the Divine Rational, from the representation of 'Jacob' as the Divine Truth of the Divine Natural, and from the meaning here of 'putting on' as the communication, also the learning, of something, namely truths that clothe good, meant by 'Esau's clothes', 3537, accordingly the affection for natural truth, which affection is at this point the same as the life of good originating in truth. How these matters are to be understood may be known from what has been stated above in 3518. Yet because they are such as are completely unknown at the present day, let some explanation enabling them to be grasped be given. The subject in this chapter [in the highest sense] is the Lord and how He made His Natural Divine, and in the representative sense man's regeneration as regards his natural, see 3490.

[2] In the case of man the situation is as follows: The end in view of regeneration is that a person may be made new as regards his internal man, and so as regards the soul or spirit. But he is unable to be made new or be regenerated as regards that internal man without also being made new as regards the external man. For although a person becomes a spirit after death he nevertheless takes with him into the next life those things that belong to his external man, namely natural affections, also matters of doctrine, as well as factual knowledge; in short he takes with him everything belonging to the exterior or natural memory, see 2475-2483. Indeed these things form the groundwork on which his interiors ultimately rest. The disposition of those exterior things therefore determines what the interior become when these latter enter into the former, for within those exterior things they undergo modification. From this it is evident that a person has to be regenerated or made new not only as regards the internal or rational man but also as regards the external or natural man. Except for this there would not be any correspondence. Regarding the correspondence that exists between the internal man and the spiritual things belonging to the internal man with the external man and the natural things belonging to the external man, see 2987, 2989-2991, 3002, 3493.

[3] The state of man's regeneration is described in the representative sense in this chapter as Esau and Jacob. At this point the nature of the first stage of that state is described, that is to say, when a person is being regenerated or before he has become regenerated. In fact this state is the complete reverse of the state in which a person has become regenerate. Indeed in the former state, that is to say, when a person is being regenerated or before he has become regenerated, things of the understanding, which are those of truth, seemingly take the lead; but once he has become regenerate those of the will, which are those of good, do so. The fact that things of the understanding or of truth seemingly take the lead in the first state was represented by Jacob claiming for himself Esau's birthright - see 3325, 3336 - and then claiming his blessing, the subject under discussion here. And the fact that the state is the complete reverse of the regenerate state is represented by Jacob's impersonating Esau, that is to say, being dressed in Esau's clothes and with the skins of the kids of the she-goats. Indeed in this state rational truth has not yet been so joined to rational good, or what amounts to the same, the understanding has not been so joined to the will, as to flow and act into the natural and set in order the things that are so reversed there.

[4] This also becomes clear from much experience, in particular from this. A person is able to discern in his understanding, and from this the natural is able to know many things that are good and true, but the will is unable as yet to act in accordance with those things. Take for example the truth that love and charity are the essential thing with a human being. He is able to see and confirm this in his understanding, but until he has been regenerated he is unable to acknowledge it in his will. There are also people totally lacking in love to the Lord and in charity towards the neighbour who can well grasp this truth. The same applies to the truth that love is the very life of man, and that the nature of his life is determined by that of his love; also the truth that all delight and all pleasantness stem from love, as do all gladness and all happiness, where again the nature of the love determines that of the gladness and the happiness. A person is also able to grasp in his understanding, even though the will disagrees with it or even opposes it, the truth that the happiest life originates in love to the Lord and love towards the neighbour because the Divine itself is flowing into that life, and conversely that the unhappiest life originates in self-love and love of the world because hell is flowing into that life.

[5] Consequently the understanding, but not the will, is able to perceive the truth that love to the Lord is the life of heaven, and that mutual love is the soul from that life. In the measure therefore that a person does not think from the life of his [unregenerate] will, and does not reflect on his own life from there, he perceives that truth in his understanding; but in the measure that he does think from the life of his [unregenerate] will he does not perceive it, indeed he refuses to believe it. It may also be perfectly clear to a person in his understanding that it is into humility, if it exists in him, that the Divine is able to enter, because in that state of humility self-love and love of the world, and therefore hellish things which stand in the way, are removed. But as long as his will is not a new will, and his understanding is not united to this, no humility of heart can exist in a person. Indeed, in the measure that a person leads an evil life, that is, in the measure that his will is bent on evil, such humility cannot be there in him, and also the truth spoken of above is unclear to him and he refuses to believe it. Therefore a person may also be able to perceive in his understanding that when humility is present in someone it is not there for the sake of a love of glory in the Lord but for the sake of Divine Love, in which case the Lord is able to enter in with goodness and truth and bring blessing and happiness to that person. But to the extent that the will is consulted, this truth is obscured. And the same is so with very many other circumstances.

[6] This ability of being able to understand what good and truth is even though he does not will it has been conferred on man to enable him to be reformed and regenerated. For this reason this ability exists with evil and good alike; indeed the ability is sometimes keener with the evil. But there is this difference - with the evil no affection for truth exists for the sake of life, that is, for the sake of the good of life which originates in truth, and so they are not capable of being reformed. But with the good there does exist the affection for truth for the sake of life, that is, for the sake of the good of life, and so they are capable of being reformed. The first state in the reformation of the latter however is a state in which truth taught by doctrine seems to them to be primary, and the good of life secondary, since truth is the source of their good actions. But their second state is a state in which the good of life is primary and truth taught by doctrine secondary, since good, that is, the will for good, is the source of their good actions. And when this is the case, because the will is joined to the understanding as in a marriage, the person is regenerate. These two states are the subject in the internal sense in these incidents involving Esau and Jacob.

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