Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 995

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995. 'Will be food for you' means the accompanying delight which people were to enjoy. This becomes clear from the fact that any pleasure not only stirs a person's emotion but also sustains him, like food. Pleasure without delight is not pleasure but something lifeless. It is from the delight that a pleasure has its being and gets its name. The nature of the delight however determines that of the pleasure. In themselves things of the body and of the senses are wholly material, lifeless and dead; but from the delights that spring from interior things ranged in order they receive life. From this it is clear that the nature of the life of interior things determines the nature of the delight inherent in pleasures, for delight has life within it. No other kind of delight has life except that which contains good from the Lord, for in that case it does so from the life of good itself. Hence the wording here - 'every creeping thing that is living will be food for you', that is, will be an enjoyment. Some people are of the opinion that anyone who wishes to be happy in the next life ought never to indulge in bodily and sensory pleasures, but ought to renounce all such things. They say that such bodily and worldly pursuits are what deter and withhold men from spiritual and heavenly life. But people who think in this way and who willingly reduce themselves during their lifetime to a miserable standard of living are ill-informed of the truth of the matter.

[2] Nobody is in any way forbidden to enjoy bodily and sensory pleasures, namely the pleasures of possessing land and wealth; the pleasures of positions of honour and of service to the state; the pleasures of conjugial love, and of love of infants and children; the pleasures of friendship and of social intercourse; the pleasures of the ear - the sweet sounds of music and song; the pleasures of seeing - things of beauty, which are manifold, such as nice clothes, attractive homes together with their furniture, beautiful gardens, and things of a like nature which as they blend together give delight; pleasures of smell - the pleasant odours; pleasures of taste - all the delicious and nourishing qualities of food and drink; and the pleasures of touch. Indeed, as stated, all of these are most external or bodily affections having their origin in interior affections.

[3] Interior affections, which are living, all derive their delight from good and truth, while good and truth derive theirs from charity and faith, and these in turn do so from the Lord, and so from Life itself. This is why affections and pleasures from this source are living. And because that is where genuine pleasures have their origins they are in no way denied to anybody. Indeed when this is their source, the delight that accompanies them is immeasurably greater than delight that is not from that source. The latter delight in comparison is filthy. Take for example the pleasure that goes with conjugial love; when its origins lie in truly conjugial love it is immeasurably greater than the pleasure that is not from that source - indeed, so much greater that people who dwell in truly conjugial love dwell in delight and happiness such as is heavenly, since it comes down from heaven. People also who belonged to the Most Ancient Church declared the same. The delight which adulterers gain from acts of adultery was to those people so detestable that even the thought of it filled them with horror. This makes clear the nature of any delight that does not come down from the true fount of life, which is the Lord.

[4] That the pleasures mentioned above are in no way denied anyone - indeed, far from being denied they are for the first time pleasures when they flow from their true origin - is also made clear by the fact that very many people who during their lifetime had power, position, and wealth, and enjoyed in abundance all pleasures of the body and the senses, are now in heaven among the blessed and happy. And with them now interior delights and happiness are living because they have had their origin in goods that stem from charity and in truths of faith in the Lord. And since these have originated in charity and faith in the Lord, they have looked upon all their pleasures from the point of view of use, which has been their end in view. To them the use itself has been exceedingly delightful, and from this has come the delight inherent in their pleasures. See what has been stated from experience in 945.

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