4. The Text Is The Field In Which We Might First Practise Reading Correspondences

Arcana Coelestia (Potts) 5711​… for whatever in universal nature has not correspondence with the spiritual world cannot exist, having no cause from which to exist, consequently from which to subsist. The things that are in nature are nothing but effects; their causes are in the spiritual world, and the causes of these causes, which are ends, are in the interior heaven. Nor can the effect subsist unless the cause is constantly in it, because the effect ceases when the cause ceases. Regarded in itself the effect is nothing else than the cause, but so clothed outwardly as to enable the cause to act as a cause in a lower sphere. Similar to the relation of the effect to the cause is that between the cause and the end; unless a cause also exists from its cause, which is an end, it is not a cause; for a cause without an end is a cause in no order, and where there is no order nothing is effected. From this it is now plain that regarded in itself an effect is a cause, and that regarded in itself a cause is an end, and that an end of good is in heaven and proceeds from the Lord; consequently that an effect is not an effect unless a cause is in it, and constantly in it; and that a cause is not a cause unless an end is in it, and constantly in it; and that an end is not an end of good unless the Divine which proceeds from the Lord is in it. Hence it is also plain that as each and all things in the world have come forth from the Divine, they continue to come forth from the Divine.​

Arcana Coelestia (Potts) 6325​. It is known in the learned world that the principal cause and the instrumental cause act together as a one: man, being a form recipient of the Lord’s life, is an instrumental cause, and the life from the Lord is the principal cause. This life is felt in the instrumental cause as of it, when yet it is not of it.​

Arcana Coelestia (Potts) 5377​. Without correspondence therewith (that is, with heaven, or what is the same, with the spiritual world) nothing would ever come into existence and subsist, for the reason that it would have no connection with what is prior to itself, nor consequently with the First, that is, with the Lord. What is unconnected, and thus independent, cannot subsist for a single moment; for its subsistence is from its connection with that from which is all existence, and its dependence upon it, because subsistence is a perpetual coming into existence.​ [2] Hence it is that not only all things in general and particular in man correspond, but also all and each in the universe. ​

Arcana Coelestia (Potts) 4053​. Hitherto no one has known that there are such correspondences, and I am well aware that men will marvel when they hear of them; and this because they do not know what the internal man is, and what the external, and that the internal man is in the spiritual world, and the external in the natural; and that it is the internal man that lives within the external, and that flows into it and directs it. And yet from this fact, as well as from what has been adduced above in n. 4044, it is possible to know that there is an influx, and that there is a correspondence. That such is the case is most fully known in the other life, and also that what is natural is nothing else than a representation of the spiritual things from which it comes forth and subsists; and that the representation by the natural is precisely in accordance with its correspondence.​

​Arcana Coelestia (Potts) 4814(2)​. That by “time” is signified state, and hence by its “coming to pass in this time,” the state of the things that follow, cannot but appear strange; for the reason that it cannot be comprehended how the notion of time can be changed into the notion of state, or that when “time” occurs in the Word, something relating to state is to be understood. But be it known that the thoughts of angels do not derive anything from time or from space, because they are in heaven; for when they left the world, they left also the notion of time and space, and put on notions of state, that is, of the state of good and truth. Wherefore when man reads the Word and then thinks of time and of the things belonging to time, the angels with him do not perceive anything of time, but perceive instead the things that are of state, which also correspond thereto. Neither does man in his interior thought perceive time, but only in his exterior, as may appear from the state of man when his exterior thought is lulled to rest, that is, when he is sleeping; and also from various other experiences.​

​​Arcana Coelestia (Potts) 3857​(2) … interior truths are such as to transcend man’s faith, for they do not fall into his ideas, neither are they according to external appearances, that is, the fallacies of the senses, by which every man suffers himself to be led, and does not believe that which does not in some measure coincide with them.​
​(2).For example: it is an interior truth that there are no times and spaces in the other life, but instead of these, states. Whereas during his life on earth, man-who is in time and space-has all his ideas from them, insomuch that without time and space he cannot think at all (see n. 3404); and therefore unless the states that are in the other life were described to man by means of times and spaces, or by means of such objects as derive therefrom their forms, he would perceive nothing, thus would believe nothing, and consequently would not receive the instruction; so that the doctrine would be barren and there would be no church from it​

​​Arcana Coelestia (Potts) 4043​. The reason why the still more interior forms, which are also more universal, are as before said not comprehensible, is that when forms are mentioned, they carry with them the idea of space and also of time; and yet in the interiors, where heaven is, nothing is perceived by spaces and times, because these belong to nature, but by states and their variations and changes. But as the variations and changes cannot as before said be conceived by man without the aid of such things as are of form, and without such things as are of space and time, when yet these do not exist in the heavens, it may be seen how incomprehensible these things are, and also how unutterable. And as all human words, by means of which these things must be uttered and comprehended, involve natural things, they are inadequate to express them. In the heavens such things are presented to view by means of variations of heavenly light and heavenly flame, which are from the Lord; and this in such and so great a fullness, that thousands and thousands of perceptions could scarcely fall into anything that is perceptible by man. And yet the things that are taking place in the heavens are represented in the world of spirits by means of forms to which the forms seen in the world bear some resemblance.​


  1. Simon Mervyn-Jones

    Thank you for putting this together.
    Quite liberating!

    • Sarah Walker

      :-). I read a lovely number on liberation yesterday…

      AC 905. Go forth from the ark. That this signifies freedom, is evident from what has been said before, and from the connection itself of the context. So long as Noah was in the ark and surrounded with the waters of the flood, the signification was that he was in captivity, that is, he was tossed about by evils and falsities, or what is the same thing, by evil spirits, from whom is the combat of temptation. Hence it follows that to “go forth from the ark” signifies freedom. The presence of the Lord involves freedom, the one following the other. The more present the Lord, the more free the man; that is, the more a man is in the love of good and truth, the more freely he acts. Such is the influx of the Lord through the angels. But on the other hand, the influx of hell through evil spirits is forcible, and impetuous, striving to dominate; for such spirits breathe nothing but the utter subjugation of the man, so that he may be nothing, and that they may be everything; and when they are everything the man is one of them, and scarcely even that, for in their eyes he is a mere nobody. Therefore when the Lord is liberating the man from their dominion and from their yoke there arises a combat; but when the man has been liberated, that is, regenerated, he, through the ministry of angels, is led by the Lord so gently that there is nothing whatever of yoke or of dominion, for he is led by means of his delights and his happinesses, and is loved and esteemed. This is what the Lord teaches in Matthew:

      My yoke is easy, and My burden is light (Matthew 11:30),

      and is the reverse of a man’s state when under the yoke of evil spirits, who, as just said, account the man as nothing, and, if they were able, would torment him every moment. This it has been given me to know by much experience, concerning which, of the Lord’s Divine mercy hereafter.

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