Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 301

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301. As regards the second arcanum, if they had been instructed in mysteries of faith they would have perished for ever, meant by the words 'Now by chance he will put out his hand and also take from the tree of lifea and eat, and live forever', the position is this: Once people have become reversed orders of life and are unwilling to rely on anything but self and the proprium as the source of their life and wisdom, they are given to reasoning as to whether any matter of faith which they hear about is so or not so. And because self, sensory evidence, and facts are the basis of their reasoning, they inevitably adopt a negative attitude. And when their attitude is negative they also speak blasphemy and practise profanation, and at length do not care whether or not they mingle together unholy things with holy. When man becomes such he stands so condemned in the next life that there is no hope of salvation for him, for the things that have been mingled through acts of profanation remain that way permanently. The moment some idea of what is holy enters in, so does the idea joined to it of what is unholy, and this makes it impossible for that person to live in any but a community of people who are condemned. Anything at all that has been joined to, and is present as, an idea within a person's thought is in the next life perceived very precisely even by spirits in the world of spirits, but more so by angelic spirits. It is perceived so precisely that from merely one idea they know his whole character. Getting rid of unholy things such as are joined on to those that are holy is not possible without hellish torment, which is so intense that if man knew about it he would beware of profanation as of hell itself.


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