Arcana Coelestia (Potts) n. 4063

4063. And he heard the words of Laban's sons, saying. That this signifies the truths of the good signified by "Laban," of what quality they were relatively to the good acquired thereby by the Lord in the natural, is evident from the signification of "sons," as being truths (see n. 489, 491, 533, 1147, 2623, 3373); and from the representation of Laban, as being collateral good of a common stock (n. 3612, 3665, 3778), and thus such goods as may serve for the introducing of genuine goods and truths (n. 3974, 3982, 3986e); here, the good that had so served, for its separation is treated of. Jacob's "hearing the words" involves in the internal sense what their quality was relatively to the good acquired by the Lord in the natural, as may be seen from what now follows; for they were words of indignation, and declared that Jacob had taken all that was their father's, and Jacob saw the faces of Laban, that he was not as yesterday and the day before. (That Jacob represents the Lord's natural, and in the foregoing chapter the good of truth therein, may be seen above, n. 3659, 3669, 3677, 3775, 3829, 4009.) [2] How the case is with the good signified by "Laban" relatively to the good of truth represented by Jacob, may be seen from what has been stated and shown in the foregoing chapter. This may be further illustrated by the states of man's regeneration, which in the representative sense is also here treated of. When a man is being regenerated, he is kept by the Lord in a kind of mediate good. This good serves for introducing genuine goods and truths; but after these have been introduced, it is separated from them. Everyone who has learned anything about regeneration and about the new man, can understand that the new man is altogether different from the old; for the new man is in the affection of spiritual and heavenly things, and these produce its delights and pleasantnesses; whereas the old man is in the affections of worldly and earthly things, and these produce its delights and pleasantnesses; consequently the new man has regard to ends in heaven, but the old man to ends in the world. From this it is manifest that the new man is altogether different and diverse from the old. [3] In order that a man may be brought from the state of the old man into that of the new, the concupiscences of the world must be put off, and the affections of heaven must be put on. This is effected by innumerable means, which are known to the Lord alone, and many of which have also been made known by the Lord to angels; but few if any to man. Nevertheless all of them both in general and particular have been made manifest in the internal sense of the Word. When therefore a man, from being the old man is made a new one (that is, when he is being regenerated), it is not done in a moment, as some believe, but through a course of years; nay, during the man's whole life, even to its end; for his concupiscences have to be extirpated, and heavenly affections have to be insinuated; and the man has to be gifted with a life which he had not before, and of which indeed he knew scarcely anything. Seeing therefore that the man's states of life have to be so greatly changed, it must needs be that he is long kept in a kind of mediate good, that is, in a good which partakes both of the affections of the world, and of the affections of heaven; and unless he is kept in this mediate good, he in no wise admits heavenly goods and truths. [4] This mediate or middle good is what is signified by "Laban and his flock." But man is kept in this middle good no longer than until it has served this use; but this having been served, it is separated. This separation is treated of in this chapter. That there is an intermediate good, and that it is separated after it has subserved its use, may be illustrated by the changes of state which every man undergoes from infancy even to old age. It is known that a man's state is of one kind in infancy, of another in childhood, another in youth, another in adult age, and another in old age. It is also known that a man puts off his state of infancy with its toys when he passes into the state of youth; that he puts off his state of youth when he passes into the state of young manhood; and this again when he passes into the state of mature age; and at last this state when he passes into that of old age. And if one will consider he may also know that every age has its delights, and that by these he is introduced by successive steps into those of the age next following; and that these delights had served the purpose of bringing him thereto; and finally to the delight of intelligence and wisdom in old age. [5] From all this it is manifest that former things are always left behind when a new state of life is put on. But this comparison can serve only to show that delights are means, and that these are left behind when the man enters into the state next following; whereas during man's regeneration his state becomes altogether different from his former one; and he is led to it, not in any natural manner, but by the Lord in a supernatural manner; nor does anyone arrive at this state except by the means or media of regeneration, which are provided by the Lord alone, and thus by the mediate good of which we have been speaking. And when the man has been brought to that state in which he has no longer worldly, earthly, and corporeal things as his end, but those which are of heaven, then this mediate good is separated. To have anything as the end is to love it more than anything else.

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