If the Word Did Not Exist, No One Would Know about God, Heaven, Hell, or Life after Death, Still Less about the Lord: The First Memorable Occurrence

One day in the spirit I was touring various sites in the spiritual world for the purpose of observing the symbolic depictions of heavenly things that are on display in many locations there. In one home where there were angels I saw two large purses in which was concealed a significant quantity of silver. Because these money bags had been opened I was aware that anyone could take out the silver that had been deposited in them and even make off with it: however, there were two young men sitting next to the money bags as guards. The place where the bags had been deposited looked like a manager in a stable. In the next room, I noticed some modest young women and a faithful wife. Two little children were standing just outside that room. I was told not to play in a childish way with them but to treat them wisely. Afterward a whore appeared, and a horse that was lying dead.

After I had seen these displays, I was told that what I had seen represented the Word’s earthly meaning with its spiritual meaning inside it. The large purses full of silver meant true concepts tremendous quantities. The fact that the bags had been opened but were guarded by young men meant that any of us can get true concepts from the Word, but we have to be careful to avoid violating the spiritual meaning, which contains truths and nothing else. The manager in a kind of stable meant spiritual nourishment for the intellect. Managers have this meaning because the horses that eat from them mean the intellect. The modest young women seen in the next room meant different kinds of love for the truth, and the faithful wife meant the union of goodness and truth. The little children meant a wise kind of innocence–the angels of the highest heaven, who are the wisest angels, look like little children from a distance because of their innocence. The whore and the dead horse meant that many people are falsifying the truth nowadays, causing the loss of all understanding of truth. A whore means falsification, and a dead horse means no understanding of the truth.

from True Christianity, Section 277

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