Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 3573

Previous Number Next Number Next Translation See Latin 

3573. 'And kiss me, my son' means as to whether union is possible. This is clear from the meaning of 'kissing' as a uniting and joining together resulting from affection. Kissing, which is an external activity, is nothing else than the desire to become joined together, which is an internal activity; the two activities also correspond. The subject here, as is evident from what has been stated above, in the highest sense is the glorification of the Natural within the Lord, that is, how the Lord made the Natural within Him Divine. But in the representative sense the subject is the regeneration of the natural present in man and so the joining together of the natural and the rational; for the natural is not regenerate until it has been joined to the rational. This joining together is effected by means of both direct and indirect influx of the rational into the good and the truth of the natural; that is to say, by means of influx from the good of the rational directly into the good of the natural, and through the good of the natural into the truth of the natural, and by means of influx indirectly through the truth of the rational into the truth of the natural and from there into the good of the natural.

[2] These instances of a joining together are the subject here. They cannot possibly be achieved except through the means provided by the Divine. Indeed they are effected by means such as are quite unknown to man and of which he can gain scarcely any idea through the things which belong to the light of the world, that is, which belong to the natural light with him, but rather through the things belonging to the light of heaven, that is, to rational light. Nevertheless all those means have been disclosed in the internal sense of the Word, and are evident to those who know the internal sense, and so to angels who see and perceive countless details relating to this subject, of which scarcely one can be drawn out and explained adequately for man to grasp it.

[3] Yet from effects and the signs of those effects this joining of the rational to the natural is to some extent evident to man, for the rational mind, that is, the inward areas of will and understanding with a person ought to present themselves in his natural mind. Just as the natural mind presents itself in the face and facial expressions, so much so that the face is the outward expression of the natural mind, so ought the natural mind to be the outward expression of the rational mind. When rational and natural are joined together, as they are with those who are regenerate, whatever a person wills and thinks inwardly within his rational makes itself evident in his natural; and this in turn makes itself evident in the face. This is what the face is to angels and what it was to the most ancient people who were celestial. Indeed they were never afraid that others might know their ends and intentions, for they willed nothing but good. For anyone who allows himself to be led by the Lord never intends or thinks anything else. Where a state such as this exists the rational as regards good joins itself to the good of the natural directly, and through the good of the natural to the truths of the natural. It also joins itself indirectly through the truth there in the rational to the truth in the natural, and through this to the good there. All this effects an indissoluble joining together.

[4] But how far mankind is removed at the present day from this state, and so from the heavenly state, may be seen from the belief that practical wisdom requires one, in the world, to use words, also to perform acts, as well as to adopt facial expressions which are other than what one in fact thinks and intends. Indeed it is believed that one should so control the natural mind itself that in unison with its face it acts in quite an opposite way from inward thoughts and desires that flow from an evil end in view. To the most ancient people this was utterly abominable, and people who behaved in that way were expelled as devils from their community. From these considerations, as from effects and the signs of those effects, one may see what the joining together of the rational or internal man as regards good and truth with his natural or external man implies. One may thus also see what one who is an angel is like and what one who is a devil is like.

This page is part of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg

© 2000-2001 The Academy of the New Church