Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 200

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200. The reason the tree of knowledge is now said to be in the middle of the garden, whereas previously in 2:9 the tree of lifea is said to be in the middle of the garden, and not the tree of knowledge, is that 'the middle of the garden' means that which is inmost. And the inmost of the celestial man, or Most Ancient Church, was the tree of life,a which was love and faith deriving from it. But the middle of the garden, or that which was the inmost of this next generation, that is, of the man who may be called celestial-spiritual, was faith. No further description is possible, for the character of the people who lived in those most ancient times is totally unknown at the present day. Their disposition was entirely different from that which is at all possible with anyone today. To convey some intelligible idea of that disposition, let the point be considered that it was from good that they came to know truth, that is, from love they came to know anything of faith. But when that generation died out another took its place whose disposition was entirely different. That is to say, the new generation did not from good come to know truth, or from love come to know the things of faith, but instead had from truth a knowledge of good, that is, had from the things constituting the cognitions of faith a knowledge of those of love; and with the majority it was scarcely anything more than knowledge. Such was the change which took place after the Flood to prevent the destruction of the world.


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