Spiritual Diary, by Emanuel Swedenborg, , tr. by Bush, Smithson and Buss [1883-9] at sacred-texts.com
I said to them when they would fain have induced their genius [upon me], that it was sufficient to know what the Lord taught, to wit, that He was One; that he who sees the Son sees the Father; that the Son alone is the door; that He is the way; that He is the mediation or Mediator; that He alone is the intercession or intercessor between the human race and the Father Himself; and again, that He is our Father, and that no other is to be thought of than He, because He alone is the Mediation; that these things are sufficient, and that it is useless to go deeper into mysteries. - 1748 March 21.1602.
CONCERNING PHILOSOPHY BOTH AS USEFUL AND AS USELESS Certain spirits supposed that everything which bears the name of philosophy was to be utterly rejected, perhaps for the reason that as philosophy or human wisdom is condemned [in general], so the terms also which savor of philosophy; and in order that they might make me know how much they abominated philosophy, they represented a wild boar [:will swin: 1602-1] sprinkled with blood on his back, and would have it that I was such, because I had interspersed philosophical terms [in my writings], or had formed ideas after a philosophical fashion.1603.
But they were instructed that my philosophical works were nothing else than certain ideas pronounced in simpler terms, as when I speak of subject and object, and what each signifies; as, for instance, that the predicates or the things which are predicated ought to be applied to that which is signified by the subject; as when something in the prophets is treated of it can be applied to a certain article of faith, to faith, to the more interior mind of man, to interior things in general, to the Church, to Heaven; thus whatever is there assumed, or understood, is called subject, and the other things that are said and are applicable are called predicates, so that the predicates are to be applied to the subject. The same thing might be otherwise expressed without the use of such words; in like manner be understood, and afterwards enounced; wherefore they are only true ideas, which are comprehended under formulas and terms of this nature. It is in fact a certain kind of philosophical speech, but more exquisite than any other, inasmuch as otherwise the same thing would have to be expressed in a circuitous manner, as is customary with those who are unacquainted with those terms. Indeed the philosophical style is the most perspicuous, except when it flows directly from the subject-matter itself. Thus too in other things, as, for instance, in respect to what form is, what quality is, and the like, which are merely ideas of truths subserving the purposes of those who would express prior and intimate things in a brief manner.1604.
But an abuse arises from the fact that philosophers abide in terms, and dispute concerning them without coming to an agreement, from which all idea of the thing itself perishes, and the comprehension of the man is rendered so limited that he at length ceases to know anything but terms. Accordingly when such persons would master a subject by their terms they do nothing but heap them up, obscuring the whole matter, so that they can understand absolutely nothing of it, and even their natural lumen is extinguished. Thus an unlearned man has much more extensive ideas and sees truth better than the philosopher; for such an one sticks in the mire like a swine, on which account he was represented to make the figure of an animal of that kind, of the wild species, for he becomes a wild boar in the woods, ranging about like such a beast, in truths which he mutilates and slays.1605.
When a man, therefore, dwells solely in terms, and ratiocinates from them, heaping up senses, so that nothing remains but scholastic terms conglutinated together, an ignorance is induced of everything supposed to be evolved [in the subject of inquiry], and it becomes more hidden to them than to others who have known nothing of any such formulas, and thus doubt arises concerning everything.1606.
Moreover philosophical things which thus darken men's minds are such forms of ratiocinations as are reduced to artificial rules, although truths are in themselves so perspicuous that anyone without such helps can perceive them. These philosophers, therefore, so narrow and obscure intellectual things, that even truths clearly perceived are continually called in question.1607.
By philosophy or human intelligence are understood also fables and silly stories, especially such as have formerly and do still distinguish the Rabbinical writers, which are innumerable; and the same is to be said of the magical matters of the Egyptians.-1748, March 20.1608.
BECAUSE FAITH WILL BE [ERIT] ACTUALLY OR VIRTUALLY THE ONLY PRINCIPLE IN ALL THINGS [PERTAINING TO SPIRITUAL LIFE], IT FOLLOWS THAT THE LORD ONLY WILL BE IN ALL AND SINGULAR THE THINGS OF MAN. It has been previously shown how the celestials perceive in idea the works of charity, charity itself, and faith in the understanding namely, that there is nothing else [in them] than faith, other qualities not appearing; it hence follows that the Lord alone is in all and singular things, because faith [is to be directed] to Him, faith is from Him, and therefore the Lord is faith itself; hence follow the various things of faith, which few perceive. - 1748, March 20. It is at the same time hence also that the Lord alone lives, and heaven, the world, and the earth are [in themselves] dead, deriving life solely from Him.1609.
CONCERNING THE INTERIOR HEAVEN. I was in the interior heaven, and certain spirits were at the same time with me in their own world; and although being in heaven, yet I was not in any peculiar ecstatic idea, but in the body, for the kingdom of the Lord is in man, and everywhere, or in every place, so that at the Lord's good pleasure a man may be conducted into heaven, and yet not be in an ecstatic idea I was then just as I am at this present writing, but my interior man was [developed] in the exterior, which was the reason of my being associated with spirits in their world, for our ratiocination and our cupidities are in the world of spirits; sensual things in the body correspond to them.1610.
The interior heaven is therefore in degree within the world of spirits, for the world of spirits is separated from heaven, because the world of spirits derive what pertains to them from corporeal things, consequently they are conjoined with things corporeal and worldly, or rather [I may say] the world of spirits stands related to corporeal things as does the crasser atmospheric world to the terraqueous; wherefore the world of spirits occupies the interiors of corporeal things.1611.
The interior heaven, however, is, in relation to the world of spirits, in an interior degree, for what spirits did in particular, that I could feel, and could hear, and thus distinctly perceive, but not what occurred in heaven, except so far as they operate in common.1612.
They then spoke with me through spirits, who could not do otherwise than speak, although they reflected upon the fact that they were led by those who were in the interior heaven, perceived the compulsion, and desired to be separated from them. On other occasions reflection is dormant, and while thus impelled they suppose themselves to be under their own control, on which subject I also spoke with them.1613.
I perceived the operation of the interior heaven as manifestly as anything is perceived by the sense of touch, and that too for a considerable length of time. The operation was fourfold, first in the cerebrum in the region of the left temple, which is their common operation in respect to the organs of the reason.1614.
Another common operation or action of theirs was into the respiration of the lungs, to the left, which was such that if described it could scarcely be perceived, for there was a gentle leading of my respiration from the interior, so that I had no need of anything like voluntary effort in inhaling or expelling my breath; this was governed by heaven from the interior, so that not so much the substances as the animations of the lungs, from which arises their motion, [were controlled by it.] Thus the influence was in the interior [pulmonary] fibers that are not visible to the eye, for the animation was perceived to be ruled by heaven, without voluntary action on my part, so that I had no need to draw my breath or spirit, but it was drawn by heaven. The forces employed in this animation, as evinced by the intervals [between the pulsations], were such as seemed habitual to me.1615.
The third common action of heaven was in the systole and diastole of the heart, which was manifestly perceived, but was gentler or softer than at other times. Its pulsations were like the animations [of the lungs] in softness, and within them, but the times regular like those of the heart, being about one- third, yet such that they terminated in the pulmonic movements, and thus in a certain manner governed them. The times of the pulmonic respiration were common to them and to the heart, as composed of those of the heart; the terminations of the heart's times closed in the pulmonic beats, and were related to each other somewhat like the motions of the angelic gyres, concerning which elsewhere. But how it is precisely that the pulmonic motions commenced I could not perceive; but how [the influx] insinuated itself into the lungs at the end of every animation, I could in a measure observe. The heart, therefore, represents the celestial, the lungs the spiritual; the analogy lies in the manner in which the celestial inflows into the spiritual. The pulsations of the heart, which were soft and regular, were so observable that I could count them one by one.1616.
The fourth action was about the loins, which I was also able to perceive, though but obscurely. I can, therefore, say nothing on that head, except that they acted upon the loins.1617.
From these facts it is now given me to conclude that the interior heaven constitutes the interior man, and rules all the organic things of the body, from the principles in the brain to their entire extension, which extension is the body; it rules, I say, from the interior, so that the interior heaven constitutes man [commencing] from his interiors, or from [the region of] causes, and the rational things of heaven flow in into organic things, as rational things are wont to flow into interior organisms, or interior organic substances.1618.
A similar principle holds likewise in regard to the world of spirits, but [in a reverse order, or] from the inferior or exterior; which world being such as to have disjoined itself from the interior heaven, its operations accordingly are into the organic things of the body, but into those that are exterior; whence the exterior man is of such a quality that it cannot be conjoined with the interior otherwise than as heaven and the world of spirits [are conjoined] by such spirits as may be derived from the interior heaven.1619.
In a word, the world of spirits, as well as the interior, or the more interior, and the inmost heaven, each by itself, constitutes man with his members and organs, but each one distinctly, namely, the world of spirits from the exterior, the interior heaven from the interior, the more interior heaven from the more interior, and the inmost heaven from the inmost. - 1748, March 20.1620.
The spirits who were acted upon, as mentioned above, were indignant [at being thus made use of]. It was, moreover, an object of special aspiration with them to be in heaven, but when conveyed thither they said that they knew nothing, for they were in a general idea, and thus speech is uttered through them, but as it were apart from them, in like manner as it was previously with me, when I was in a general idea, and there was a speech within that idea which I perceived as emanating from others, and not from myself. Thus also the spirits round about, when admitted into heaven, say that the fact is, and even now affirm it.1621.
When heaven speaks through spirits, the flow of their discourse is gentle, and yet from the gentleness of the flow I could not conclude respecting the quality of the spirits; the cause I do not as yet know. - 1748, March 21.1622.
THAT SPIRITS RELATE THINGS EXCEEDINGLY FICTITIOUS, AND LIE. When spirits begin to speak with man, he must beware lest he believe them in anything; for they say almost anything; things are fabricated by them, and they lie; for if they were permitted to relate what heaven is, and how things are in the heavens, they would tell so many lies, and indeed with solemn affirmation, that man would be astonished; wherefore, when spirits were speaking, I was not permitted to have faith in the things which they related. - 1748, March 20. For they are extremely fond of fabricating: and whenever any subject of discourse is proposed, they think that they know it, and give their opinions one after another, one in one way, and another in another, altogether as if they knew; and if man then listens and believes, they press on, and deceive, and seduce in divers ways: for example, if they were permitted to tell about things to come, about things unknown in the universal heaven, about all things whatsoever that man desires, yet [they would tell] all the things falsely from themselves; wherefore let men beware lest they believe them. On this account the state of speaking with spirits on this earth is most perilous, unless one is in true faith. They induce so strong a persuasion that it is the Lord Himself who speaks and who commands, that man cannot but believe and obey.1623.
HOW INDURATION APPEARS. We read in a great many places that the heart is hardened; this hardening is also manifestly apparent, yea, it is felt, not indeed in the [literal] heart, for the heart signifies what pertains to the affections. It takes place, therefore, where first principles exist, to wit, in the brain. When the souls of the recently deceased appear after death in the world of spirits, the brains of some of them seem to be hardened, like things that you see elsewhere, so that the exterior or crustal portion is, as it were, hard and conglutinated. This is seen by a spiritual idea, and thus plainly exhibited, as also its softening. Thus it is without faith. Something similar it was given me to experience, namely, a hardness in the left region of the cerebrum, as if occasioned by somewhat large and hard lumps which were the seat of an obscure dull pain, and I was informed that it was thence perceived, namely, from these hardenings, that there yet remained something not belonging to true faith. It appears hence that an actual hardness does exist in the organicals [of the body] when faith is wanting, and that the greater the obduration, the less the conscience, so that those who have no conscience, manifesting itself in anxieties, seem to have their brain, after death, externally hardened, which was formerly soft, and this is attended with pains and torture. - 1748, March 21.1624.
Moreover, when I apprehended only the literal sense of the Word, there was a closing up, as it were, of the way to the understanding of interior things. Accordingly those who inhere only in the literal sense of the Word have the brain hardened and [its functions] so clogged that the way is not opened to an interior [interiori], much less to a more interior [intimiori] sense, and in this way a kind of crust or shell is induced, which is conglutinated from the corporeal or sensual things of the external man. The case is otherwise when a way is opened to the sense of interiors, or to the spirit, which way is opened by the Lord alone. While the mind dwells in the literal sense without penetrating beyond, then if it attempt to open a way from itself to interiors, continual scandals are present, which I am able to confirm from abundant experience. But such a man does not perceive what is implied in his opening a way to interiors, for he supposes that this is the only way in which it can be done; and accordingly he who is not led by the Lord can by no means perceive this and similar things, and therefore cannot believe it; which may appear from the case of spirits who lack that kind of perception. - 1748, March 21. Some of them know, but yet are unwilling to know, those, namely, to whom it was given by a lively experience to know the fact mentioned, and who were afterwards remitted [into another state]; when in this state of remission they have a kind of knowledge how the fact is, but they do not perceive it.1625.
CONCERNING THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE ANGELS. In regard to the knowledge of the angels of the interior heaven, a single example may suffice, taken from their knowledge of the structures and forms of the [human] body; for while any one, no matter what, of the viscera of the body is under consideration, they are enabled to know not only its whole structure and operation, but also all the experience which anatomy is able to detect in the smallest particulars, as whether it be true or genuine. Not only so, but they know in an instant whether what is stated respecting each of the viscera be correct, besides many interior things which no one of the human race can know, as I have sometimes found by experience. They are acquainted, too, with the correspondence which these things bear to things spiritual. Indeed, their knowledge is such that if men were aware of it they would be astounded, although matters of this kind had never been their study in the life of the body. It flows, as it were, spontaneously from the fact that by reason of an intelligence bestowed by the Lord, they know how everything is with the Grand Man in general and in particular, and the knowledge seems to be innate in them. But such knowledge they could never possess were it not that the whole heaven represents the whole man, with all his several parts, and unless the Lord were the life of that man, and thus life itself and unless also the universal heaven were organic. - 1748, March 22. They are thus in first principles, and from first principles, or things interior, and more interior, could comprehend the things which are without or below.1627.
THAT A TRUE FAITH CAN NEVER BE GIVEN [OR EXIST] IN ANY MAN OR SPIRIT FROM KNOWLEDGE ALONE, OR FROM THE APPLICATION OF ONE'S OWN POWERS, IN THE ATTEMPT TO MAKE IT HIS OWN. The things that follow, although extremely difficult to be understood, and such as cannot be believed either by man or spirit who is not yet in true faith, yet that they are true I have been instructed from lively experience.1628.
Certain spirits, from inbred curiosity, were desirous of knowing still more in respect to things revealed to me, and they knew if they were very solicitous on this head the knowledge would not be granted them; wherefore, in order that they might know, they attempted to think that they did not wish to know, which attempt was immediately perceived, and it was said to them that in this way they could not attain their object, as they had made use of stratagem in pretending that they did not wish to know. The spirits affirmed [the fact], saying that they made the attempt that they might gain the knowledge; wherefore, it was said to them that they should not act in this manner, but should be without desire, and thus leave the matter to the Lord to grant what they wished, as it should seem good to Him. This they then essayed to do, but they made the attempt from themselves; and inasmuch as the effort to leave the matter to the Lord was of themselves from themselves, and thus the will and the endeavor was a something artificial, which they affirmed, as it was manifestly perceived by a spiritual idea, they therefore inquired how they should act. It was replied that they should not do anything from themselves, thus should act without reflection upon themselves; and as they could not do this, they were disposed to renounce all effort, resigning themselves without any will at all, thus sinking into a state of passive expectation. But when they would fain do this, it was said again that even this was not a genuine act, thus to resign themselves up without any effort. But they replied that in this way they could never know how they ought to act, for whatever they did, still, according to what was enjoined, there was no genuine [obedience]. But the reason is, that they are not led by the Lord, but wish to lead themselves, and to endeavor, or to will, or to act from themselves; wherefore they ought to know that their every endeavor should be of the Lord, and nothing of themselves. Accordingly, whenever they made attempts from themselves, it was nothing but sin, which the Lord did not favor. To be actuated, therefore, and to live from the Lord, is something which neither man nor spirit [duly] perceives, and for this reason he is prone to imagine that such a life is no life at all, whereas it is the veriest life itself, although one ought neither to make efforts from himself, nor yet relapse into apathy without attempting anything. These things are of a more interior nature, and therefore difficult of belief, because they are neither understood nor perceived.1629.
I was afterwards shown the mode in which they operate who would believe from themselves, and become angels, as also what is the quality of their faith and endeavor, as it appears to a spiritual idea. There was a certain choir which in its own gyral movements simulated [angelic] gyres, and celebrated in gyres the praises of the Lord, as if they were angels. [The nature of these gyres] was not understood by me, but it was by others, who said that the whole was simulated, and was not angelic, because those concerned in it were not in true faith. In idea, it appeared to me like something composed of close threads, or like a kind of net of which the thread-work was so closed up that there was no opening any farther than to the mere simple ideas of the words, within which there was nothing [substantial], so that the ideas did not go beyond the words, and consequently, not beyond the representations or celebrations which the bare words expressed. So entire was the closure as to interiors and intimates, because they led themselves, and from themselves would fain celebrate the Lord. This net appeared as if white, inasmuch as there were truths involved, but they still implied self-justification.1630.
Afterwards certain intelligent spirits - intelligent, however, from natural sciences and philosophical principles - spoke with me from the summit or zenith-point of heaven, who were of such a quality that they would fain persuade themselves concerning the truths of faith from philosophical principles, and confirming sciences, though still from their own intelligence. The appearance in this case was somewhat similar, namely, that their ideas were closed, and proceeded not beyond [the outward terms], for the Lord alone ought to operate [instead of their leading themselves].1631.
It was shown me by lively experience how their operations were effected, to wit, not by gyres, like the celestials, but by a kind of flowing, or river-like reciprocations hither and thither, by which were represented the common operations of their ideas; these, in order that they might be genuine, ought to be circumflected, and forms thus presented by means of gyres. By a lively experience it was signified to me also how the result was effected, namely, by an insinuation of such things into the lips, and thus into the mouth, and into the interiors of the head, by which was signified that such things flowed into their ideas by a way from externals, and not by a way from internals. Communication by the lips denotes ideas apprehended by a sensual way, but that which is genuine is as from the Lord, and thus [received] through an internal way.1632.
The innocence of such as study to be wise from externals was represented by an infant made of wood; for they suppose, or feign to themselves an innocence like that of infants who know nothing, and of a kind of wooden quality, whereas genuine innocence, such as is that of the inmost heaven is conjoined with the highest wisdom and intelligence, which is represented by a naked body, and thus by something living.1633.
From these things the difference will scarcely fail to be apparent between true and imaginary wisdom, or between that wisdom which is the Lord's gift, and that which is procured by man's own endeavor: as also that the one is insinuated through the former way, and is thus full, or fully formed; while the other [is received] through the latter way, and is, consequently, constrained, closed, unformed; in a word, [the difference may be perceived] between the faith appropriate to either kind of wisdom, and that one who is not in saving faith can by no means, even with all the force of his intellect, perceive how the case is with saving faith in these and the like things, consequently, what the quality of heaven is, when yet these things in heaven are so known, manifest, and clear, that they [who dwell there] now say that they not a little wonder how the human race should be so insensate as to be unable to understand the true state of the fact, when it is as now described. Such is faith in the heavens, such the doctrine of faith, such the doctrine of those who are in faith.1634.
Nay, those who are of a quality to seek to be wise from external things, and thus to know truths, whether from the Word of the Lord, or from sciences, by which they would fain enter into the knowledges of spiritual and celestial things, these can so imitate what is genuine, that one who is not in saving faith is liable to be altogether deceived, for to one who is in such a faith the Lord reveals by spiritual ideas, but in an ineffable manner, how the real fact is.1635.
Those who are not in saving faith can by no means know, or consequently believe, how revelations are made, and how man can, in his spirit, act in like manner with spirits, by means of ideas and representations; nor how the life of spirits flows into their life; nor how spirits should suppose themselves to be the men [with whom they are]; nor how there should be such a revelation as is at this day taking place. - 1748, March 22.1636.
THAT PERSONS SIGNIFYING THINGS ARE ASSUMED. While visions and representations are taking place in the world of spirits nothing is more common than for persons signifying things to be assumed, as was the case with many whom I knew as to their quality [while living on earth]. The persons of these were assumed while certain things were to be signified, in order that I might know what they were; and, indeed, these persons were so inwrought into the representations, that I at first supposed they were actually present. In this manner such persons are assumed as were known to the man [to whom they appear]. The same thing is also of very frequent occurrence with the prophets, as in the case of Elias and Moses appearing to the three disciples [at the Transfiguration]; and so in other instances as to places. As the things [to be signified] are various, so are the persons also various. - 1748, March 22.1637.
THAT A SPIRIT CAN DO NOTHING GOOD OF HIMSELF. I heard spirits saying among themselves that they would be made good. They said that they would pray to the Lord that they might become good, but this they were unable to do, because [attempting it] from themselves, and not knowing what they asked for. They then said they would think continually concerning the Lord, but this again would be unavailing, because from themselves. Then they said they would remain quiescent, and wait for deliverance [from their evils]; but this again was impracticable for the same reason. Therefore, being astounded and confused, they knew nothing as to what they should do, remarking, moreover, that what they sought was granted to men, but not to spirits, who were in another state. From this it may appear that nothing of good pertains to what is from themselves, and moreover, that they can obtain nothing from that source, but from the Lord alone. - 1748, March 22.1638.
THAT IN ONE APPARENTLY SIMPLE IDEA MORE THINGS ARE PRESENT THAN CAN BE UTTERED. This was shown to me to the life (from the circumstance that I had merely one idea of a [particular] thing, and in which I barely supposed there was something remarkable, though of the how, or the how much, I was ignorant. An angel that was with me saw what was within the idea, and [perceived] that the contents were so abundant, to wit, of striking representations, that he was greatly surprised. These, however. I could not see: it was only given me to think, by a kind of simple idea, that there was something else included).1639.
The same was the case when I uttered the Lord's Prayer. Hence it may appear what is the quality of ideas that are not closed, but are such as flow in from the Lord through an internal way, viz. that they are exceedingly copious. But as to the quality of closed ideas, I am not yet certain whether they have anything thus within. It may be that the closure takes place in order that further penetration may be prevented, inasmuch as self-merit inheres in persons of this description, and when they would proceed further, their evil is to be turned into good, which is of the Lord alone.1640.
From this we may infer how little man knows of spiritual and celestial things, as also in regard to the joys and felicities of the angels, who have a fuller perception of these things.1641.
That the case cannot be otherwise, everyone may be convinced from [his consciousness in regard to] all things presented to his external sight, which sight, however acute it may appear to us, is yet dull and obscure to the greatest degree, as is too manifest to admit of doubt from the experience of that sense in relation to external objects. Our interior sight, which we think so subtle, is yet so gross, that, as I have often said to spirits, who imagined themselves capable of thinking so acutely as to baffle all attempts to apprehend their thoughts, if they should see what was comprised in a single idea - if its interior could be fully laid open - they would perceive whole cohorts of elephants, and armies, and regiments of serpents, representatively exhibited. This, however, the spirits cannot believe, as they, like many persons on the earth, regard their most acute perceptions as having relation to the most minute things [instead of objects so large]. - 1748, March 23.1642.
THAT TO ONE WHO IS OF SUCH A QUALITY THAT HE ATTRIBUTES NO MERIT TO HIMSELF, ALL THINGS ARE GRANTED; BUT THAT TO THOSE WHO ARROGATE [MERIT] TO THEMSELVES, NOTHING IS GIVEN. I spoke with spirits to the effect that nothing whatever, even of the most trifling nature, ought to be abstracted or stolen from another, and that thus the faithful, by reason of their fidelity, are made the recipients of many favors. Similar is the case with spirits; if anyone ascribes merit to himself, and in that way would fain lay claim to those thin which are of the Lord only, to him nothing is granted for this very reason; neither to him who abstains from pilfering from others or attributing merit to himself, with a view to obtaining much or all, as this savors of cunning. But those who are in faith, or the faithful, cannot take away from others or arrogate to themselves, because they are led by the Lord, and thus are incapable of such conduct. Consequently they are the ones who obtain much, and in fact all that they can ever desire. - 1748, March 22.1643.
THAT NO ONE TAKES AUGHT OF CREDIT TO HIMSELF IN HEAVEN BECAUSE HE HAS TAUGHT MANY THINGS. The spirits of two individuals known to me in their lifetime, and who had been distinguished as teachers, and had labored with exemplary diligence in preaching, began to say that they were now also prompted by a [similar] desire of teaching. I perceived that the desire by which they were influenced in their lifetime has thus, as it were, revived, but the motive by which it was prompted was concealed from me. But when certain others, who were high above me, and who, as I presume, were teachers while in the world, on which count they were now exceedingly high in heaven, entered into conversation with me respecting a certain one who when living on earth had been actuated by an intense love of teaching, so that it seemed to constitute his very life, I thence took occasion for further converse, and remarked that I knew not whence their ardent desire of teaching arose, though I knew that they had been of such a quality In the life of the body. But there are some who are prompted to that pursuit from a desire of being accounted wise in the estimation of the world, this being in fact their grand incentive; wherefore from such a pursuit or labor they can expect no reward in heaven, inasmuch as their motive is selfish, to wit, to acquire the reputation of wisdom. Others [engage in it] with a view to becoming great and being promoted to honors; others for the sake of gain; others forcedly, having an eye to the compensation, though their delights are rather in other and worldly things; others again from a natural inbred love for the employment, so that they could reasonably expect nothing [by way of remuneration] therefrom. Indeed as to what concerns this zeal in teaching it is not their own, but the Lord's, as they themselves confess in their preachings. Wherefore if anyone places merit in such an occupation, he obtains nothing in heaven.1644.
Those who spoke with me from this exceeding high elevation, sought with avidity whatever of evil they could find against others, when yet, as I perceived, they themselves had been addicted to lasciviousness; wherefore I inquired of them why they were so intent upon discovering things of this kind and they did not seek to find out the good things [of others], and thus excuse their evils, as is the way of the Lord Himself. To this they assented. Whence the discourse fell upon those who seek out evils only, and nothing of good, that thus they may appear to be of superior worth to others. On this head also they acknowledged the truth to be as it was, and yet they could not act otherwise [as was evident], for they continued in the same conduct. - 1748, March 22.1645.
THAT THE CELESTIALS LOVE WORDS AND LETTERS THAT ARE SOFT, THAT THEY PREFER VOWELS, AND SOFTEN CERTAIN CONSONANTS. Whenever I discoursed with celestial spirits, I could scarcely find words that were agreeable to them. They were disposed to reject all such as had anything harsh or grating in the sound, consequently such as contained certain consonants that were harder than they loved to hear. They have a fondness for sounds that flow like a stream, and for this reason they affect the vowels, which are thus flowing; but if consonants are employed, they soften them, so that their harshness may not be perceived.1646.
The suggestion thence occurred, whether there were not something similar in the Psalms and the Prophets, and whether it might not be inferred from the words and the speech, as well as also from the gyres and the terminations, what classes of spirits spoke through them. - 1748, March 22.1647.
THAT THE THINGS WHICH I LEARNED FROM REPRESENTATIONS, VISIONS, AND DISCOURSES WITH SPIRITS AND ANGELS WERE FROM THE LORD ALONE. Whenever there was any representation, vision, and discourse, I was kept interiorly and intimately in reflection upon it, as to what thence was useful and good, thus what I might learn therefrom; which reflection was not thus attended to by those who presented the representations and visions, and who spoke; yea, sometimes they were indignant when they perceived that I was reflecting. Thus have I been instructed; consequently by no spirit, nor by any angel, but by the Lord alone, from whom is all truth and good; yea, when they wished to instruct me concerning various things, there was scarcely anything but what was false: wherefore I was prohibited from believing anything that they spoke; nor was I permitted to infer any such thing as was proper to them [or akin to their proprium]. Besides, when they wished to persuade me, I perceived an interior or intimate persuasion that the thing was so and so, and not as they wished; which also they wondered at; the perception was manifest, but cannot be easily described to the apprehension of men. - 1748, March 22.1648.
CONCERNING THE PREPARATION OF THE WAY, BEFORE THE ADVENT, OF ANGELS TO MEN ON THE EARTH JUPITER, AND CONCERNING JOHN THE BAPTIST. A certain one of the spirits of Jupiter who strike fear and terror into man by their approach, applied himself to my left side under the elbows, and then spoke in his peculiar way, at first with a somewhat harsh, grating sound, as of the teeth, and afterward as of the lips, as he also said, so that the sound of his utterance was heard like that of one who sonorously compresses his lips. The words were not continuous, but very discrete, and accordingly the ideas or words of the discourse were not closely connected, [but so separated that] it was necessary to wait for a considerable time in order to know what was said. He inspired also a degree of terror in connection with what he uttered, saying to me among other things that it was customary in the earth prior to the approach of angels to have one sent before as a herald, to prepare a man for their coming, to talk with him concerning them, and to admonish him to entertain them courteously, and to do them no harm; to whom I replied that this did not depend upon me, but upon the spirits of the earth where I am, whom, if they are present, I cannot control; but if they [the spirits of Jupiter] were able to do it, very well.1649.
Angels of that earth, namely, Jupiter, afterwards came, and I was enabled to perceive that they were of another genius, thus of another earth [from ours] from their speech; for their speech was such that they spoke not by words, but by ideas, which diffused themselves over the whole face, so that the face concurred, as it were, and at first, in such a manner that the origin of this expression in the speaking face was from the lips, thence extending itself to the surrounding parts, whereof I had a perception, although obscure. It was afterwards shown me that the ideas were, as it were, continuous, yet discreted into words, but the words were not so heard. They remarked that they spoke thus with each other on their earth, inasmuch as their speech is of the face commencing from the lips, concerning which see above.1650.
They afterwards spoke still more continuously, so that the words were scarcely perceived, but there was, as it were, a continuous idea; and although words were thence formed by me, yet so that they were scarcely to be found, as in the case of a man who, without reflection upon the words, attends solely to the sense, when the words appear as if they were not. In the present instance, though the case was similar, yet there was this difference, that I could perceive the words disappear, as it were, and the discourse was thus continued by means of ideas alone, and yet more intelligibly than if the words had been heard. This kind of speech, consisting of ideas still more continuous, or, as it were, of one single continuous idea, moved also the whole face, but commenced from the eyes and thence extended round about; but it was a speech interior to the former. They spoke also concerning such a speech as being in use with the men of their earth, especially with the better portion of them.
1602-1 Swedish words, signifying a wild boar.