GARDENS >> Intelligence

gardens3p_500_332 To show what the things are that appear to the angels in accordance with correspondences, I will here mention one only for the sake of illustration. By those who are  intelligent, gardens and parks full of trees and flowers of every kind are seen. The trees are planted in a most beautiful order, combined to form arbors with arched approaches and encircling walks, all more beautiful than words can describe. There the intelligent walk, and gather flowers and weave garlands with which they adorn little children. Moreover, there are kinds of trees and flowers there that are never seen and cannot exist on earth. The trees bear fruit that are in accordance with the good of love, in which the intelligent are. These things are seen by them because a garden or park and fruit trees and flowers correspond to intelligence and wisdom.{1} That there are such things in heaven is known also on the earth, but only to those who are in good, and who have not extinguished in themselves the light of heaven by means of natural light and its fallacies; for when such think about heaven they think and say that there are such things there as ear hath not heard and eye hath not seen. [HH176]

Life, or the order of life, with the spiritual man, is such that although the Lord flows in, through faith, into the things of his understanding, reason, and memory [in ejus intellectualia, rationalia, et scientifica], yet as his external man fights against his internal man, it appears as if intelligence did not flow in from the Lord, but from the man himself, through the things of memory and reason [per scientifica et rationalia]. But the life, or order of life, of the celestial man, is such that the Lord flows in through love and the faith of love into the things of his understanding, reason, and memory [in ejus intellectualia, rationalia, et scientifica], and as there is no combat between the internal and the external man, he perceives that this is really so. Thus the order which up to this point had been inverted with the spiritual man, is now described as restored with the celestial man, and this order, or man, is called a "garden in Eden in the east." In the supreme sense, the "garden planted by Jehovah God in Eden in the east" is the Lord Himself. In the inmost sense, which is also the universal sense, it is the Lord's kingdom, and the heaven in which man is placed when he has become celestial. His state then is such that he is with the angels in heaven, and is as it were one among them; for man has been so created that while living in this world he may at the same time be in heaven. In this state all his thoughts and ideas of thoughts, and even his words and actions, are open, even from the Lord, and contain within them what is celestial and spiritual; for there is in every man the life of the Lord, which causes him to have perception. [AC99]

 That a "garden" signifies intelligence, and "Eden" love, appears also from Isaiah:

Jehovah will comfort Zion, He will comfort all her waste places, and He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of Jehovah; joy and gladness shall be found therein, confession and the voice of singing (Isa. 51:3).

In this passage, "wilderness" "joy" and "confession" are terms expressive of the celestial things of faith, or such as relate to love; but "desert" "gladness" and "the voice of singing" of the spiritual things of faith, or such as belong to the understanding. The former have relation to "Eden" the latter to "garden;" for with this prophet two expressions constantly occur concerning the same thing, one of which signifies celestial, and the other spiritual things. What is further signified by the "garden in Eden" may be seen in what follows at verse 10. [AC100]

The eye, or rather its sight, corresponds especially to those societies in the other life which are in the paradisal regions, which appear above in front a little to the right, where gardens are vividly presented to view, with trees and flowers of so many genera and species that those on the whole earth are comparatively few; and within every object there is something of intelligence and wisdom that shines forth from it, so that you may say that the people in the gardens are at the same time in paradises of intelligence and wisdom, and it is these which inwardly affect them, and thus gladden not only their sight, but also at the same time their understanding.

[2] These paradisal regions are in the first heaven, in the very threshold to the interiors of that heaven, and are representatives which come down from a higher heaven,  when the angels of that heaven are conversing with one another intellectually about the truths of faith; and this speech of the angels there is effected by means of spiritual and celestial ideas, which with them are verbal forms, and by a continuous series of representations of inexpressible beauty and pleasantness; and it is these beauties and pleasantnesses of their discourse which are represented as paradisal scenes in the lower heaven.

[3] This heaven is distinguished into many heavens, to which correspond the various things in the chambers of the eye. There is the heaven of paradisal gardens just described. There is a heaven where there are atmospheres of various colors, and where the whole air flashes as it were with gold, silver, pearls, precious stones, flowers in least forms, and innumerable other things. There is a rainbow heaven, where are the most beautiful rainbows, great and small, variegated with the most splendid colors. All these come forth by means of the light which is from the Lord, and which contains within it intelligence and wisdom, so that in every object there is something of the intelligence of truth and of the wisdom of good, which is thus shown representatively.

[4] They who have had no idea of heaven, nor of the light there, can with difficulty be brought to believe that such things are there, and therefore those who take this incredulity with them into the other life, and who have been in the truth and good of faith, are conveyed by the angels into these scenes, and when they see them they are astounded. (As regards the paradisal and rainbow scenes, and the atmospheres, see what has been already said from experience, n. 1619-1626, 2296, 3220; and that there are continual representations in the heavens, n. 1807, 1808, 1971, 1980 ,1981, 2299, 2763, 3213, 3216-3218, 3222, 3350, 3475, 3485.) [AC4528]

A certain person who had been much talked of and celebrated in the learned world for his skill in the science of botany, after death heard in the other life, to his great surprise, that there also flowers and trees are presented to view; and as botany had been the delight of his life he was fired with a desire to see whether such was the case, and was therefore carried up into the paradisal regions, where he saw most beautiful plantations of trees and most charming flower gardens of immense extent. And as he then came into the ardor of his delight from affection, he was allowed to wander over the field, and not only to see the plants in detail, but also to gather them and bring them close to his eye, and to examine whether the case was really so.

   [2] Speaking with me from thence he said that he could never have believed it, and that if such things had been heard of In the world, they would have be en regarded as  marvels. He said further that he saw an immense abundance of flowers there which are never seen in the world, and of which it would be almost impossible there to form any idea; and that they all glow with an inconceivable brightness, because they are from the light of heaven. That the glow was from a spiritual origin, he was not yet able to perceive, that is, that they glowed because there was in each one of them something of the intelligence and wisdom which are of truth and good. He went on to say that men on earth would never believe this, because few believe there is any heaven and hell, and they who believe only know that in heaven there is joy, and few among them believe that there are such things as eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and the mind has never conceived; and this although they know from the Word that amazing things were seen by the prophets, such as many things seen by John, as recorded in the Revelation, and yet these were nothing else than the representatives which are continually coming forth in heaven, and which appeared to John when his internal sight was opened.

[3] But these things are comparatively of little moment. They who are in the very intelligence and wisdom which are the source of these things, are in such a state of happiness that the things which have been related are to them of slight importance. Some spirits also who when in the paradisal regions said that these surpass every degree of happiness, were therefore carried up into a heaven more to the right, which sparkled with a still greater resplendence, and finally they were carried up into the heaven where there is also a perception of the blessedness of the intelligence and wisdom that exist in such things. And when they were there, they told me that what they had seen before was comparatively worthless. At last they were carried up into a heaven where on account of the bliss of interior affection, they could scarcely subsist, for the bliss penetrated to the very marrows, and these being as it were dissolved away with bliss, they began to fall into a holy swoon.[AC4529]

Colors also are seen in the other life which in splendor and refulgence surpass the luster of the colors of this world to such a degree that scarcely any comparison is possible. These colors are produced by the variegation of the light and shade there; and as it is the intelligence and wisdom that come from the Lord which there appear as light before the eyes of angels and spirits, and at the same time inwardly illumine their understandings, in their essence these colors are variations or so to speak modifications of intelligence and wisdom. The colors there--not only those with which the flowers are adorned, the atmospheres made brilliant, and the rainbows varied, but also those which are distinctly presented in other forms-have been seen by me an almost countless number of times. They have their brightness from the truth which is of intelligence, and their effulgence from the good which is of wisdom, and the colors themselves are produced from the whiteness and the darkness thereof, thus from light and shade, like the tints of color in this world. It is for this reason that the colors mentioned in the Word, such as those of the precious stones in Aaron's breast plate and upon his garments of holiness, and those of the curtains of the tent where the ark was, and those of the stones of the foundation of the New Jerusalem, described by John in Revelation, besides others mentioned elsewhere, represented such things as are of intelligence and wisdom. But what each of these colors represents shall of the Lord's Divine mercy be told in the explications. In general the colors seen in the other life have splendor and whiteness insofar as they come from the truth of intelligence; and they have refulgence and crimson insofar as they come from the good of wisdom. Those colors which derive their origin from these sources also belong to the provinces of the eyes.[AC4530]

Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)

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