Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/252

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in the face; but in the Word interior things are expressed and signified by exterior; as all interior affections of mind and soul by the face, interior hearing and obedience by the ear, internal sight or understanding by the eye, power and strength by the hand and arm. And so an affection of truth is expressed and signified by laughter. In the rational part of man is truth, which is the chief thing, and within this is the affection of good; but this is within the very affection of truth as its soul. The affection of good which is in the rational does not express itself by laughter, but by a kind of joy, and an agreeable [sensation] of pleasure therefrom which does not laugh; for in laughter there is commonly something also which is not so good. . . . That laughter here signifies an affection of truth is evident from the fact that it is here mentioned that Abraham laughed, and likewise Sarah, both before Isaac was born and after he was born; and also from the fact that Isaac was named from laughter, for the word Isaac signifies laughter. If such things were not involved in laughing, and in the name of Isaac which signifies laughter, these circumstances would never have been mentioned in the Word.

Laughter is an affection of the rational mind, and in truth an affection either of the true or the false in the rational; all laughter comes from this. So long as such an affection is in the rational as expresses itself by laughter, so long there is something corporeal or worldly, thus merely human. Celestial and spiritual good does not laugh, but expresses its delight and cheerfulness in another way; in the countenance, in the speech, and in the gestures. For there are very many things in laughter; for the most part something of contempt, which although it does not appear yet underlies it, and is easily distinguished from cheerfulness of mind which also produces something like laughter. (A. C. n. 2071, 2072, 2216.)

Borrowing from and Spoiling the Egyptians.

As these two verses (Exod. iii. 21, 22) relate to the spoiling of the Egyptians, by the women of Israel borrowing from the Egyptian women silver, gold, and raiment; and as no one can know how the matter is to be understood except by a revelation concerning things which are done in the other life,—for the internal sense involves such things as are done among angels and spirits,—therefore something is to be told on the subject. Before the Lord's coming the lower part of heaven was occupied by evil genii and spirits; and after that they were expelled from thence, and that region was given to those who are of the spiritual