Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 483

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483. The names which follow - Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, and Noah - mean just so many Churches, the first and chief one of which was called Man. The chief characteristic of these Churches was perception, and therefore the differences between the Churches of that period were primarily differences in perception. On the subject of perception, let it be mentioned here that nothing else reigns in the whole of heaven but the perception of good and truth. Its nature defies description, and includes differences so countless that no one community's perception is exactly like that found in another. Perceptions there fall into genera and species. Those genera are countless, and so too are the species within every genus. These in the Lord's Divine mercy will be dealt with later on. Since there are countless genera, and countless species within every genus, and even more countless sub-species to each species, it becomes clear how very little indeed the world of today knows about celestial and spiritual matters. It does not even know what perception is, and if told, it does not believe that it even exists. The same applies to other matters too.

[2] The Most Ancient Church represented the Lord's celestial kingdom, even as to each variation of perception in its genus and species. But because nobody nowadays knows what perception is, not even the most general aspect of it, facts of a wholly strange and meaningless nature would therefore be imparted if the genera and species of the perceptions of those Churches were stated. They were divided into houses, families, and nations, and used to contract marriages within their own houses and families, in order that genera and species of perception might be established and be derived from parents altogether as reproductions of innate dispositions. This also is why members of the Most Ancient Church dwell together in heaven.

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