FLIES >> Annoying Thoughts of Self-indulgence and Evil

fl1y Flies buzz about for honey, sugar, sweet things generally, and any kind of filth. They also breed in manure, which represents the filthy things rejected from spiritual life. In  the grub state they love to learn such things; in the winged, to think them. They are the annoying thoughts of self-indulgence and evil, which come unbidden, and even though hated. Swedenborg says:

The “fly in the extremity of the rivers of Egypt” (Isaiah 7:18, 19) is the falsities in the extremes of the natural mind, thus which are in the sensual nearest the body. These are compared to such an insect, because the things there are no other than as insects flying in the air, and obscuring interior things, and also doing them harm. For, as to the greater part, the things there are imaginations and fallacies. (Arcana Coelestia #7441)

Similar false suggestions from evil loves are represented by the flies which were one of the plagues of Egypt.


Behold I send against thee, and against thy servants, and against thy people, and into thy houses, the noisome fly. That this signifies that they would have the falsity of malevolence in all things and in each, is evident from the signification of "Pharaoh, his servants, and his people," as being all things and each that belong to the natural mind (see n. 7396), and as "into thy houses" is added, there is also signified into the interiors of this mind (as above, n. 7407); and from the signification of "the noisome fly," as being the falsities of that evil which was signified by the portent which precedes, thus the falsities of malevolence. What falsities, therefore, and of what kind, are here signified by "the noisome fly," is clear from the evils from which these falsities come. That these evils were the evils that are in the outermost parts of the natural mind, thus that are in the sensuous, see above, n. 7419; and the falsities that are from these evils are of the same kind, and are the falsities which are signified also by the "flies of Egypt" in Isaiah: It shall come to pass in that day, that Jehovah shall hiss for the fly that is in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Asshur; and they shall come, and shall rest all of them in the rivers of desolations and in the clefts of the rocks (Isa. 7:18-19); here "the fly in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt" denotes the falsities that are in the outermost parts of the natural mind, thus that are in the sensuous nearest the body. These falsities are compared to such an insect, because the things in this part of the mind are like insects flying in the air, obscuring interior things and also inflicting injury on them; for they are mostly imaginary, and are fallacies, the reasonings from which are like castles in the air. The "noisome fly" of this kind is mentioned only in David (Ps. 78:45, and 105:31), where Egypt is also spoken of. Be it known that all the flying things mentioned in the Word signify things of the intellect, and consequently truths, and in the opposite sense falsities (n. 40, 745, 776, 778, 866, 988, 3219, 5149); but flying things of the lowest sort, which are insects, signify truths, and in the opposite sense falsities, which are more ignoble and obscure in proportion as they belong to the sensuous, for unless these things are enlightened by things more interior they are in total obscurity and darkness, being next the body, and consequently near to earthly things, where heavenly things terminate, and are immersed in thick darkness. [AC 7441]

Author: Emanuel Swedenborg

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