The Third Round: The Meaning we Receive from the Word is in Accordance with the State of Our Mind

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From the work, Divine Love and Wisdom 322

322. That the universe of that world represents man in an image can be clearly seen from this, that all things just mentioned (n. 321) appear to the life, and take form about the angel, and about the angelic societies, as if they were produced or created by them; they are about them permanently, and do not pass away. That they are as if they were produced or created by them is seen by their no longer appearing when the angel goes away, or when the society passes to another place; also when other angels come in place of these the appearance of all things about them is changed – in the paradises the trees and fruits are changed, in the flower gardens the flowers and seeds, in the fields the herbs and grasses, also the kinds of animals and birds are changed. Such things take form and are changed in this manner, because all these things take form according to the affections and consequent thoughts of the angels, for they are correspondences. And because things that correspond make one with that to which they correspond they are an image representative of it. The image itself is not seen when these things are viewed in their forms, it is seen only when they are viewed in respect to uses. It has been granted me to perceive that angels, when their eyes were opened by the Lord, and they saw these things from the correspondence of uses, recognized and saw themselves therein.

From the work, Arcana Coelestia 4279.2

[2] From this one may see the nature of the Word and what happens to it when a person reads it with a holy mind, that is, one in whom good and truth are present. For when he reads it, it is seen by him as something existing in this world or as a historical document, but which nevertheless is inwardly holy. But in the first heaven it is seen as something celestial-natural and spiritual-natural, which however is inwardly Divine. In the second heaven it is spiritual, and in the third celestial; and in the Lord it is Divine. The sense in the Word varies according to whatever heaven it may be. The highest sense of the Word, whose subject is the Lord, exists for the inmost or third heaven; the internal sense, whose subject is the Lord’s kingdom, exists for the middle or second heaven; the lower sense, in which the internal sense is narrowed down to the nation referred to there, exists for the lower or first heaven. But the lowest or literal sense exists for man while he is still living in the world. Yet man’s nature is such that the more interior sense, and also the internal and highest sense, can be communicated to him. For man has communication with the three heavens; indeed he is created on the pattern of the three heavens, so much so that when love to the Lord and charity towards the neighbour constitute his life he is heaven in miniature. Consequently such a person has the Lord’s kingdom within him, as the Lord Himself teaches in Luke,

Behold, the kingdom of God is within you. Luke 17:21.

From the work, Arcana Coelestia 6620

…every item in the Word also holds infinite details within it, for the Word has come down from the Lord by way of heaven. Yet to those whose ideas are closed it seems to be utterly simple, without complexity. I once talked about this matter to spirits who refused to accept that anything lies concealed inwardly in the Word. I said that things infinite and indescribable were present within it that are indiscernible by those who possess ideas that are closed. As a consequence, I said, such people accept nothing else than the literal sense, which they interpret to suit their own pre-conceived ideas and own desires, and in so doing they block off access to what lies concealed within the Word; and as for any ideas they do have, they either rid themselves of them or lock them away. What an idea looks like when it is closed, and what it looks like when open, was also demonstrated at this time; for this is easy to demonstrate in the light of heaven. A closed idea appeared looking like a black spot in which nothing else could be seen; but an open idea looked like an area of light in which there was so to speak a fiery glow towards which every particular thing there was directed. The fiery glow represented the Lord, and the things looking towards it represented heaven. It was said that every idea received from the Lord contains an image of the entire heaven, because it comes from Him who is heaven.

From the work, Apocalypse 373.2

The Word in itself is Divine truth, but the understanding of it is according to the state of the man who reads it. A man who is not in good perceives nothing of the good in it, and a man who is not in truths sees nothing of the truth in it; the cause of this, therefore, is not in the Word, but in him who reads it.

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