Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 6408

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6408. 'From Asher' means the blessedness that the affections possess, that is to say, heavenly affections, which are those of love to the Lord and charity towards the neighbour. This is clear from the representation of 'Asher' as the happiness of eternal life and the blessedness that the affections possess, dealt with in 3938, 3939, in addition to which he was called Asher from a word meaning blessedness. As regards that blessedness, it is not easy to describe it, for the reason that it is an inner blessedness, which rarely reveals itself physically in a person and so is rarely perceptible. For while a person lives in the body he is distinctly aware of what presents itself in his body, but he is only very dimly aware of what presents itself in his spirit; for while a person is living in his body worldly concerns impede his awareness of it. The blessedness that the affections possess cannot flow into his perception in the body where those concerns are centred unless what exists on the natural and sensory levels has been brought into agreement with what exists on interior levels; and even then it is only a dim awareness, no more than a calm feeling brought about by his contented state of mind. But after he has died that blessedness makes itself plain and is felt to be blessing and happiness, which affect him both interiorly and exteriorly. In short the blessedness that heavenly affections possess is that which his soul or spirit possesses, flowing in by an interior route and reaching through to the body, where it is received to the extent that the delights springing from the loves that belong to the natural and the senses do not stand in the way.

[2] This blessedness does not exist in any way at all with those whose delight is that of self-love and love of the world; for these loves are quite the opposite of it. People ruled by these loves therefore are not at all able to understand how any blessedness can exist apart from that of being promoted to important positions, being venerated as if they were gods, having an abundance of riches, and possessing more wealth than others. And if these people are told that the delight that springs from those loves is external and perishes along with the body, and that what remains of it in the mind is turned after death into a miserable and hideous delight, such as exists with those in hell, but that an internal kind of delight exists, and that this is a blissful and happy one such as exists with those in heaven, they do not comprehend these things at all, for the reason that with them the external holds sway and the internal is closed. From all this one may see how to understand 'the blessedness that the affections possess', a blessedness meant by 'Asher'.

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