Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 4574

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4574. 'A nation and a company of nations will be from you' means good and Divine forms of good. This is clear from the meaning of 'a ration' as the good of the Church, dealt with in 1259, 1260, 1362, 1416, 1849, and from the meaning of 'a company of nations' as truths which spring from good, or what amounts to the same, which are forms of good, and as - in the highest sense in which the Lord is the subject - Divine Truths which spring from Divine Good, which are Divine forms of Good.

[2] What forms of good are must be stated first, and after this the fact that 'a company of rations' means such forms. Truths which spring from good are called forms of good because they are nothing else than goods that have been given outward form. Anyone who conceives of truths in any other way, more so anyone who separates them from good, does not know what truths are. Truths do indeed seem to be separate from good and so seem to be forms that exist unconnected to anything else. Yet they seem to be so only to those who have no affection for what is good, that is, people whose thought and speech are at variance with what they will and therefore do. For the human being has been so created that his understanding and will may constitute a united mind; and they do constitute a united mind when the understanding acts in unison with the will, that is, when his thought and speech are in keeping with what he wills and therefore does, in which case also the thoughts in his understanding are the forms which give expression to his will. Thoughts present in the understanding are called truths, for truths belong properly to the understanding, whereas desires present in the will are called goods, for goods belong properly to the will. Consequently, regarded in itself that which exists in the understanding is nothing else than the form taken by that which exists in the will.

[3] But since the expression 'forms' smacks of human philosophy, let an example serve to show that truths are the forms taken by good: Two virtues of everyday life, public or private, are integrity and propriety. Integrity consists in the heartfelt desire for another person's good within everyday life, whereas propriety consists in the demonstration of that integrity in speech and gestures, so that regarded in itself propriety is nothing other than the form which integrity takes, for this is what gives rise to propriety. This being so, when integrity displays itself through propriety, that is, through proper and appropriate speech and gestures, integrity is seen in every aspect of proper behaviour. This is so much the case that everything uttered through speech or expressed through gestures is seen as integrity, for everything is a form or image by means of which integrity shines forth. Integrity and propriety accordingly go together like essence and its form, or what is essential and what is formal. But if anyone severs integrity from propriety - that is, if he bears ill- will towards his fellow man, yet speaks well of him and behaves well towards him - there is no longer any integrity at all in his words or actions, no matter how much he tries to present through propriety an outward form that looks like integrity. It is absence of integrity, and one who is clear-sighted calls it this, because it is either pretentious, fraudulent, or deceitful.

[4] From all this one may see what the situation is with truths and goods. Truths in spiritual life may be likened to propriety in everyday life, and good in spiritual life to integrity in everyday life. This comparison shows what truths are like when they are the forms assumed by good, and what they are like when severed from good. When they are not extensions from good, they are extensions from something bad and are forms assumed by this, no matter how much they may be spoken of as forms assumed by good. As regards 'a company of nations' meaning forms of good, this becomes clear from the meaning of 'nations' as goods, dealt with immediately above. Hence a company or assembly of them is a gathering together of them, which is nothing other than the form they receive; and this, as has been shown, is truth. Since truths are meant, yet 'a ration' means good, not only 'a nation'- it is said - will descend from him but also 'a company of nations'. Otherwise one of the expressions would be sufficient. Furthermore 'company', 'assembly', and 'multitude', when used in the Word, have reference to truths. For 'multitude' or 'being multiplied', see 43, 55, 913, 983, 2846, 2847.

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