353. To this I will append two narrative accounts. Here is the first:
I was once in the midst of angels and overheard their conversation. They were talking about intelligence and wisdom, saying that a person has no other perception than that these are both in him, consequently that whatever he thinks with his intellect and intends from his will is from him - even though not a bit of it is from the person, beyond a capacity to receive those things having to do with the intellect and will from God. Moreover, because every person is inclined from birth to love himself, they said, to keep a person from perishing from love of self and a conceit in his own intelligence, it has been provided from creation that that love in a man be transferred to his wife, and that it be implanted in her from birth to love the intelligence and wisdom of her husband and thus the man. That is why a wife continually draws her husband's conceit in his own intelligence to herself, extinguishing it in him and causing it to live in her, thus turning it into conjugial love and filling it with gratifications beyond measure. This has been provided by the Lord, they said, to keep a man from becoming so infatuated with his own intelligence that he believes himself to be intelligent and wise from himself rather than from the Lord, thus wishing to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and suppose himself on that account to be like God, and also God Himself, as said and urged by the serpent, which symbolized the love of one's own intelligence. After eating of the tree, man was therefore expelled from Paradise, and a cherub guarded the way to the tree of life.* (Paradise, in its spiritual meaning, is intelligence. To eat of the tree of life is, spiritually, to be intelligent and wise from the Lord. And to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is, spiritually, to be intelligent and wise from self.) * See Genesis 2:16,17, 3:1-24.