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Spiritual Diary, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1758], tr. by Bush, Smithson and Buss [1883-9] at

Spiritual Diary


But it should be closely understood what is meant by entering into spirituals through natural philosophy, to wit, that it is never forbidden to confirm the truths of faith and spirituals by the things that are in nature, because a correspondence of all is given; for then the truth has command, and natural truths serve to confirm it. Human minds are so constituted that they thus may better acknowledge spirituals, for no one can have any idea of purely spiritual things save by the things in the world; even [in regard to] words by which senses are expressed, the ideas thereof are material; for then the Lord leads and inflows, who is Truth itself and thus the Lord illuminates the mind by confirmations. But to believe nothing, or to acknowledge no spiritual truth, as not even to [admit] a heaven, angels, spirits, the life after death, and many [other] things, unless they are seen and perceived by natural philosophy, or as they say, unless they are demonstrated to their senses, this is wholly forbidden; then do they become of such sort who began thus to examine. - 1748, June 11. Wherefore they wish to see spirituals and celestials from naturals, which is impossible. How can that which is compound, as I may say, enter and penetrate those things that are components; this is against all possibility; wherefore if it attempts, would either be burst asunder, and so perish, or be struck blind so as to see nothing at all. But from spirituals, as from components, the compounds may be seen and wholly discerned. - 1748, June 11.


THAT THERE IS NO NEED OF REVERING ANY SPIRIT. It was said by spirits, because perceived by a spiritual idea, that they should never be revered, for they continually desire and insist upon it that they may be feared, and others and men revere them, for it is their greatest desire [studiumn]; but inasmuch as their state is continually changed, they cannot think nor speak of themselves, nor remember anything of themselves, nor punish, nor reward; therefore they should not be revered. The Lord alone is to be revered, who knows each and all things, and rules the universal heaven and earth, [and] rewards and makes good. Angels likewise are not to be worshipped, still less adored, for the good they do is not theirs, but the Lord's, which all the angels confess; otherwise they are not angels: yet honor is done them so far as they are the Lord's. - 1748, June 12.


(THAT IDEAS, WHEN SEPARATED, ARE ASSOCIATED BY THE LORD WITH MANY OTHER IDEAS WHICH SERVE TO MAN'S [ejus] FELICITY.) See what was previously said, [namely] that ideas are of a multiple nature [manifold], and that there are so many things in a single idea as to exceed the faith and apprehension of man: from so many multiplied and multiple things grows up a single idea, which sometimes is so hideous [deformis] that were it presented to the eye, with such things as are annexed thereto [alligata], or a form like it appear, men and spirits would abhor themselves, so that the devil cannot be more hideously depicted. Yet men and spirits love such their ideas, and think them to be more beautiful than everything in the universe. Wherefore in the other life such things are separated by the Lord, so as not to cohere, and [ideas] may not be so hideous for since man is man because he thinks, and thought is a series of ideas, man [himself presents] such [an appearance] in order that he may not so appear [ne sit talis].


Such ideas are separated, and, indeed, in such a manner that to those things which are in a single idea other things may be adjoined; so that when that idea comes forth, then those things which are associated therewith may at the same time come forth, or such things as are also adjoined [adjuta]. Hence as soon as his idea comes forth, the Lord inserts those things which He has associated or added [thereto]; thereby the idea is turned into a beautiful one, according to the good pleasure of the Lord; this is the good of the subject. In the other life ideas [themselves] cannot be disfigured, because such is the state of spirits that they are not allowed to act from license or their own free will [proprio arbitrio]. Concerning the state of spirits, see elsewhere. - 1748, June 12.  2304-1


When any soul or any spirit comes amongst others, there are forthwith many who are carried away by a desire of examining [him] and of knowing what his quality is, therefore they examine him in various manners; then, also, there are many who scarcely think of anything else than to find something of evil, to rush out, chastise, and punish; such is the ardor by which many are carried away, so that they are, as it were, torturers, although in the life of the body no such thing is heard of by them. Then when they examine, the Lord permits only that which [is made up] of their ideas, and in their ideas, to come forth that pleases Him for if all the evil and filthy things which belong to ideas, and are in ideas, should come forth, they could never subsist, but would be, as it were, mangled by swift dogs. Thus the Lord, of these things that are made up of ideas, and are in ideas, permits only those to come forth which are to be reformed, and which are not reformable without the punishment of vastation. Wherefore all permissions, punishments, and species of vastation are for the sake of good. - 1748, June 12.


I sometimes wondered, and spirits also, that such ideas as are mere phantasies, and the phantasies among them have the same effect which the senses have in the body, to wit, that they not only seem to themselves to suffer pains and very many things, but that they perceive them in reality, so that their phantasies have an effect, as it were, real or sensitive. Wherefore they could not know why these could be called phantasies, since they are perceived by the senses in reality. But it is the fact that their phantasies have so real an effect, inasmuch as they are of such a character as to believe it. But when they receive faith from the Lord, then they at the same time receive the gift or the faculty to be capable of being withdrawn [therefrom], and to be led to believe that these are phantasies; wherefore they are then removed (raised up) by the Lord. It is not so before, except in a certain miraculous manner. - 1748, June 12. ((((((THAT MEN AND SPIRITS MAY BE LED TO GOOD BY THE LORD, SO FAR AS THEY RECEIVE FROM THE LORD.)))))) (((((((((Many spirits complain that they are of such a character and cannot be different; wherefore they undergo vastations, and much besides [plura alia], in order that they may be such (as the Lord wills), and when the Lord has increased and added the things that are of true faith (they are such as He desires).)))))))))


THOSE WHO HAVE HABITUATED THEMSELVES TO SPEAK OBSCENE AND FILTHY THINGS IN THE LIFE OF THE BODY, RETAIN THE LIKE IN THE OTHER LIFE. I have heard of certain spirits, who, when anything obscene, yea, filthy, was excited, could not have abstained therefrom, but babble the like so that it offended the ears of other spirits, some of whom on that account withdrew. A certain one said that he had become accustomed to such things in the life of the body, and yet he was such as could know what was true as well as other spirits; wherefore such a habit should be guarded against, because it remains, and (the offender) is ejected from society. - 1748, June 12.


CONCERNING THE SPEECH OF SPIRITS WITH EACH OTHER. That spirits speak together is true, but how their speech is carried on [fit], whether by a species of vocal articulation, like man's speech; concerning this I spoke with spirits. They supposed that they also spoke articulately, and, as it were, by words of sound; but when it was more considered I was instructed that [it is] not by words [and] the articulations of words, still less by sound, but by ideas similar to the ideas which are formed through words. For it is known that man when he hears [anyone] speaking, attends only to the sense of the words, therefore not to the words, as anyone may know from his own experience; therefore (that he attends) immediately to the sense of the words, that is, to the ideas formed through articulated words. Spirits when they speak together through such ideas do not reflect on the words and articulations of words and sound, any more than man whenever [he speaks], since they attend closely to the sense of the words. Wherefore spirits, because they do not reflect thereupon, cannot suppose otherwise than that they speak just like men.


But because [they spoke] with me in a sonorous manner, and with articulate words, thence they also supposed that their speech with each other was similar; but this is not so, because their ideas fall with me into words, and thus they suppose that the words, as also the tones of the voice, are from them. That the matter stands thus may be sufficiently evident from this single [fact], that they speak to me in my vernacular as well as though born therein, although they were born thousands of years previously, or in quite another region; yea, are even infants who have never arrived at such an age as to be yet able to speak. - 1748, June 12.


CONCERNING INDIGNATION AND ANGER. The world of spirits is of such a character that when any relaxation is granted them, then are they immediately filled with indignation and anger; and it was granted me to perceive how in the world of spirits reigns indignation and anger, that [it prevails] in the minutest things of the senses and the perception, so that not so much as the least thing can be given but is occupied by the common indignation and anger, or the common sphere, and turned [vertitur] into evil. The reason is, that when hatred reigns, there also reign such a common sphere of indignation and anger against all that is true and good; I speak from living experience. Wherefore, unless such spheres of turning, or turnings [into evil] as I may call them, were restrained by the Lord, man could not help destroying forthwith all that was still true and good [in him], yea, even his pleasurable principle, for indignation is anger as soon as any happy or pleasurable principle is there; for it is envy, because [proceeding] from hatred. - 1748, June 12.


Hence it might plainly appear that in the whole world of spirits reigns hatred against the True and the Good, therefore against the Lord; for not the least perceptible [sensible] thing could be given me wherein it did not reign [which] it did [not] wonderfully bend and pervert; and this is in the common system of that world, that it would inflow into all, and entirely avert them from all that is true and good, and wholly pervert the true and the good, did not the Lord rule the universe. [This] experience occurred quite plainly to me, in presence of the angels and [such] as did not wish before to believe, that the Lord rules the universe. - 1748, June 12.


Then was it given to perceive that hatred of the true and the good, consequently that anger [proceeds] from the interior of spirits, consequently of men, thus is inrooted; for it was so subtle, perceptive [perceptiva] and common at the same time, that it could not have been distinguished whence [it came], therefore because [it proceeded] from the conatus of all. In order that I might be [gifted] with subtle perception, it happened as soon as I awoke from sleep, at which time there was a subtle perception of those things which [are] in the world of spirits; it is otherwise when I [have been] long awake, for when first awake, then all things are perceived in repose of what quality they are; but [this is not the case] during a disturbance [turba]. The thoughts of spirits are also excited and disturbed by the confusion [turba] of wakefulness, wherefore perception is not so subtle at that time as at the first waking.


CONCERNING THE PHILOSOPHY OF MAN, HOW IT BLINDS THE MIND. It was given to explain in presence of spirits how the philosophy of man blinds the mind, so that at last the truth is shaded and hidden so that it cannot at all appear; and it [was shown] by continued representative spiritual ideas, to wit, how the light for perceiving truths is given man by the Lord and how such things as constitute the faculties of perception pass into artificial modes of reasoning, and at last into mere terms and controversies about terms, and how controversies of controversies arise, so that at last all reasoning is, as it were, covered over by such things, so that not the least light can shine through; therefore that some confessed that they see not the least.


Since such things were exhibited by representative spiritual ideas, and yet the light can appear when these things are removed, therefore that it is impossible for any truth to be seen by him who is immersed in such things, when yet the light can appear to boys, women, and the untaught who give heed; this was so demonstrated by spiritual representative ideas, and therefore [shown] me in clear light that such was the case, that it can never be denied. But how spiritual truths are not only obscured so as to be, as it were, none, but are also perverted, [I shall treat] elsewhere, if the Lord think worthy. - 1748, June 12.


THAT SOCIETIES ARE CONTINUED, AS IT WERE, IN A CONCATENATED SERIES. Since, therefore, heaven resembles the body of man, and its parts [societies] are also associated in a certain continual series. In order that I might know it by living experience, it was given me to say not far from me that he should not only reflect about me, but also about those who are around him for without reflection can nothing be known that is at the side or round about; and when the power of reflection was given him, he said that he observes so many things that he cannot declare them and they said that he should not reflect about them, because they are ignorant why these things [hic for hoec, I think] occur.


Hence it must be evident that the societies of spirits form a concatenated series, so that one is related [is referred] to another in a series arranged in a most orderly manner, and that he who spoke to me was a sort of subject looking hitherward, to which very many others are referred [related] who scarcely knew anything about me. Therefore the order of things, the series of order [and], of co-ordination, and the subordinations of the societies in the world of spirits and in the heavens are incomprehensible. There are in the heavens, as it were, perpetual centers, and a mutual relation [respectus] of all, not comparable to the relation of circumferences to centers, but, as it were, of continual centers amongst each other, from whose co-ordination each and all things are coordinated. - 1748, June 12.


There were others to whom it was also given to see the multitude of spirits who were overwhelmed with amazement; at length, returning to themselves, they acknowledged that they are nothing, since the kingdom of the Lord is of such extent and vastness.


When I suffered my ideas to expatiate, they were conducted around through a spiral from left to right, and arranged themselves in reference to a center [et se concentrabant]. Hence it may be concluded that such is the flux of endeavors [conatus] and forces, everywhere to their centers, namely, through spirals from left to right, to centers. It is so therefore in every part [ubivis] [even], in the least point. - 1748, June 13.


THAT A MULTITUDE OF MEN WHO CAN BE TOGETHER IN THE EARTH, OR BE IN THE SAME PLACE, CAN YET BE SO SEPARATED IN THE WORLD OF SPIRITS AS TO BE QUITE FAR APART. ((((The being in one place in the world, or after the life of the body, does not cause the being together in the other life. One may be in the east, another in the west, and be ruled by spirits; one by spirits who are towards [verses] one quarter [plaga], and the other by those who are in another quarter; for the quality of man causes him to be here or there [ita vel ibi], as may be sufficiently concluded from the places of spirits in the Grand Man [magno corpore], and from distance in the other life, which is not otherwise constituted than according to the quality of the man; wherefore an infant can lie in its mother's bosom: the infant may be in heaven whilst the mother may be in hell, and so forth. - 1748, June 13.))))


THAT OFFENCES COULD NOT BUT COME. I have now perceived by a spiritual idea that offences could not but come, since man is in a very general idea of truths; for instance, take that most general idea, that the Lord rules all things; inasmuch, then, as there are innumerable things which conflict [repugnant], causing man to doubt, as how thus can all evils exist, and very many other things; there cannot but be something to rise in the mind and destroy that truth, because he understands nothing except from sensuals and corporeals, and supposes himself able from these [ipsi for ipsis, I think] to acquire to himself faith, which the Lord alone bestows; therefore he cannot have faith. I saw in spiritual idea that there must be such as make for themselves continual conflicts [of mind], and so destroy the truths of faith. - 1748, June 13. Unless ignorance excused, it could be all over with man.


THAT THE LORD RULES THE UNIVERSE. Since there are so many myriads of spirits in the world of spirits, and everyone of them of a different nature and disposition, just like men, it may seem wonderful how all these can be reduced to a one, or be ruled, when there are continual societies; and moreover, a single person, or the society of a single one, perceives plainly enough the activities of the remaining societies, and many of them are such that they breathe nothing else than killing one another, and destroying whatever is styled [audit] society, social principle [sociale], and bonds [restraints] [vinculum] for they are moved by self-love, and thus by hatred against every other body, especially against all that belongs to faith, consequently that belongs to true love, therefore against the Lord. In so universal and singular a discord, still all and each are so ruled by the Lord, that not even one can hiss [hiscere] against another; hence it must also be evident of what quality is order and what the subordination; and moreover, it does not appear to them that there are [any] bonds, but as if they were free; every spirit supposes that he can act according to his own phantasy.


That this might be known by living experience, and to the perception, such a state was induced by the Lord, as that there might be a certain perception, as it were, of innumerable [persons] who endeavored and acted. This lasted over an hour, if not for two hours; and meanwhile it was plainly perceived how the minutest things proceeded in their order, so that among so many who were, as it were, perceived by me to be innumerable, not even one could have hissed, or do the least thing, save in that series and that order which suited the Lord's good pleasure, all things were so distinct, and proceeded distinctly; a most manifest proof that the Lord rules the universe, than which I have not yet perceived a more manifest one. Likewise, also, certain spirits who are around me confess it, and yet such is the state of the spiritual world, that if a single spirit thinks otherwise than in his order, straightway his neighbors, and so forth, are thereby disturbed for so many are the objects of their thoughts, and so many the causes of excitement [excitamenta] of their endeavors [conatuum], and forces, and cupidities, which nevertheless were now held, as it were, suspended and restrained so that nothing could be excited by one that could disturb the series of thoughts of any [other] one. - 1748, June 13.


In the world of spirits, especially [the region] of souls, sometimes license is granted them, and the bonds, as it were, are loosened, so that the rein is relaxed upon their cupidities, but rarely on their falsities. Then they suppose that [their sphere] [ea] extended afar, and indeed throughout the universal heaven, and disturbed not only the whole world of spirits, but also the heavens. But it is a fallacy of sense; the sphere of their activity does not extend to a distance; it immediately ceases it a narrow circumference, as it were, for such is the equilibrium, as I may style it, that it is established immediately should there appear even a very great disturbance. This must be plain enough from the human race, that the greatest disturbance amongst any does not extend widely, and yet all are ruled through the world of spirits. - 1748, June 13.


THAT EVERY SOCIETY IS A MAN. (Like as the greatest society, in relation to the presence of the Lord Himself, is a man, and so constitutes the body of the Lord, for the Lord is its life; so also are all the societies likewise men and bodies. That a society is a man, or composite person, was shown me today; for man does not rule himself, but [is ruled] through spirits by the Lord. The spirits who constitute the society are similarly circumstanced. As it is with the Grand Man, so is it with the lesser and least divisions, consequently so it is with the societies) according to all variety. - 1748, June 14.


THAT NEITHER MAN, SPIRITS, NOR ANGELS THINK, WILL, OR ACT FROM THEMSELVES, AND THEIR THINKING SO IS A FALLACY OF SENSE, AND A PHANTASY; AND YET, THAT THE LORD IS NOT THE CAUSE OF EVIL. This proposition was laid before spirits who suppose that they think, will, and do everything from themselves, and they supposed that this was absurd, because they seem to themselves to perceive that they think, will, and act from themselves; but yet it is the truth, and the consequence thereof is, that they are mere organic substances, and the Lord alone is life.


That yet the Lord is nowise not in the least the cause of evil, follows from this, that when the life of the Lord flows into the heavens and the world of spirits, then the organic forms or substances receive life, each one according to its form, some in this way, some in that, thus with indefinite variety. The life which inflows is supposed by them to be their own, hence [arise] perversities. - 1748, June 15.


When this proposition was confirmed by the angels, they at last began to believe it, then acknowledging [confessing] that they are nothing; and then it was said to them that such a confession with intellectual faith is the beginning of humiliation. - 1748, June 15.


When they remembered that they had been instructed during life, to wit, that the Lord gives power, the Lord gives life and strength, then they affirmed that it is true, and a true doctrine; adding that it is so with faith, that they know and yet do not believe. - 1748, June 15.


FROM WHENCE [ARISE] ALL THE OBJECTS OF THOUGHT AND HENCE THAT [THEY PROCEED] FROM THE AFFECTIONS OF ANGELS, SPIRITS, AND MEN, WHEN [YET] THEY ARE ONLY ORGANIC SUBSTANCES. Since there is no life given but one, to wit, that of the Lord, and all who are in the heavens and in the world are only forms and substances formed to receive life, the doubt may arise whence [spring] the objects of thoughts, for it is known that no thought can exist except an object be given according to the rule that the objects must move the sense; wherefore it is replied, that [it is] the Lord who loves to preserve each and all who are in the heavens and the world, and pities them, hence every object is Divine and most holy from its origin; but when he glides into forms or formed substances, which are perverse, then thoughts exist according to the form and disposition of each; and because the Lord continually pities them, and intends and consults for their safety, it cannot be but that each and all things, being from a most holy origin, are kept in order, beyond which no one can fall [delahi] unless it be purposed for his good. - 1748, June 15.


CONCERNING A DISCOURSE WITH SPIRITS ABOUT HEAVEN. Those who come into the other life at first suppose that they are surely still in the body, and wonder much when they are told that they are not in the body, nor clothed with a body, but that they are spirits, and in the other life, whereupon when they reflect, they [then] know, as also from other things, that they are spirits and they wonder in what manner they can live after death. They are then told that it is not the body which lives, but the spirit in the body, and that the body is only to serve the spirit, as may be known to anyone if he will attend; but they who live only for the body suppose all things are for the sake of the body therefore they live the life of brute animals, whose thoughts extend no farther. Such was my speech with a spirit today, who was ignorant that he was in the other life, and that there was another life.


Then my discourse was, that he has now come into a kingdom that should endure to eternity, and ought to know what are the laws of the kingdom, so as to be able to live happy to eternity. Without a knowledge of the laws no one can enter into this eternal kingdom; its laws are the laws of faith, consequently truths, for which they have no care during the life of the body, when yet these are the things which are eternal and necessary for him in a kingdom that was to endure to eternity, wherefore man should attend to these things, but not to such as are in the world save only to serve the body, for the sake of his soul, and [to serve] general society for the sake of their souls. This should be his aim, for this is [the] eternal; but not the corporeal and mundane, which are separate from those things that belong to the eternal kingdom. [These withdraw] and lead to hell. Such was nearly my discourse with spirits; and they wonder that they can have so little, if any, care for those things that belong to souls, when yet it is on their account that they are in the world, and these live to eternity. - 1748, June 16.


THE WONDERFUL THINGS THAT EXIST IN THE OTHER LIFE. ((Beside innumerable wonderful things that exist in the other life, in the world of spirits and in the heavens, it is granted to relate these, that spirits, when the Lord allows, are immediately present, even if they were at a distance thence of one thousand or ten thousand miles, or if they had been in India, and been buried there, still they are present in a moment, and, indeed, sometimes so near that they appear next to the ear to the head, and even within the body; yea, the same happens if they are in the most distant planet. Spirits wonder thereat and suppose for certain that they are certainly thus near,


for they touch the part of the body evident to sense, act therein, speak in the ear, so that they never suppose other than that they are there, when yet, as has been said, they are absent thence several thousands of miles, for they must be in some place; it was said to them, that it is a fallacy of sense that they suppose themselves to be so near at hand, but this they cannot be induced to believe, because they trust to their senses; it was also said to them that distances are not given in the spiritual world, still less in the heavens. In like manner there are no distances to our sight, not even between us and the sun, but we estimate distances from [by] intermediates, as well as previous knowledge, which is not the case in the spiritual world.))


((((The other fact is, that spirits, according to their quality, appear in a certain region, either directly above the head, to the front, rear, side, or in a horizontal line with the face, or in every region of any organ thereof, or below about the neck, breast, stomach, side, loins, feet, or beneath, and indeed very deep, and this never fails. Thus they appear near, or slightly removed)))) (((high or low, just as was previously said concerning the lake Gehenna, that it continually appears in the same quarter; and this, wherever man turns himself; still are they there fixed so long as they are of such a sort. These things are circumstanced according to their quality, hence according to their situation in the Grand Man, according to the ordination of the Lord. This was demonstrated to me by experience, to wit, that wherever I could have turned myself they still appeared thus situated with respect to the body.)))


These are wonderful things, scarce capable of being believed, but yet are true. - 1748, June 16.


((((Still they do not always present themselves according to situation in the Grand Man, for evil spirits who are inflated with self-love are very often on high above the head in front, because their mind [animus] carries them thither. But I do not yet know the reason of this difference. At the back, very much of the time, are such as wish to command, for it was told me that such adhere as it were to the back of man. Then also they change localities, so that those who have been long beneath are raised up above, but such at length are brought back to another place appointed for them. They are like the foul and turgid exhalations in our body that also flow [enatant] from the stomach and other parts of the body to the provinces of the head, and infest them, but yet are hence cast out, and are not thence debarred, from such a cause as may be known, by an idea of representation, from similar things in the human body, especially in the body when affected with any disease, that, when it returns to health, an equilibrium of everything occurs.))))


((((That altitude and distance are appearances and fallacies is demonstrated sometimes, to wit, that those who are beneath the feet are immediately raised up on high, yea, the very highest, and forthwith near to the head, so that spirits wondered how it was done, and they were then told that such changes of place are fallacies arising from phantasies. - 1748, June 16.))))


Sometimes so many appear in one space, yea, in the same space, that if they were all there, one would necessarily be within another, and thus entirely in one place. This was also observed, and at first I wondered how such a thing could exist; I thought at first that one was, as it were, within another, or passed through another, besides other things.


CONCERNING THE LAST JUDGMENT. A common opinion prevails that souls will not be raised up from their sepulchres till the Last Judgment when heaven and earth will perish, and that then first all souls should be placed in presence of judgment, and be judged according to the letter in the Word of the Lord. This opinion has this effect, that scarcely anyone believes the resurrection, especially when he also believes that heaven and earth will not perish, as well as that there is still a long while to the last day. In a word, such an opinion has sunk many men in lethargy.


But still the interior sense of the Lord's Word is different, to wit, that everyone has his judgment when he dies, for immediately then is the soul or spirit separated from the body, and comes into another life, and suffers judgment according the judgment to faith and works. It is everywhere treated concerning where it speaks of hell and of heaven. - 1748, June 17.


CONCERNING SPEECH ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS WITHOUT [extra] THE SOCIETY. When I spoke, and others spoke, by perceiving nothing that they said, they did not happen to know that it is a sign they do not then speak in society, but with another society of spirits, for he who is in society perceives what is said, and speaks so as not then to attend to what is said; he speaks with those who are more remote from the society. Wherefore from the perception of speech it may also be decided whether he is within or without the society, or in an intermediate station, near, or remote. - 1748, June 17.


CONCERNING A STATE OF QUIET AND ANGER [excandescentioe] OF EVIL SPIRITS. I was reduced to a state of quiet after a deep sleep in the afternoon; when I awoke, I perceived, as it were, an undulating principle about the feet, which endeavored to rise, but could not, doubtless because I was thus reduced to a state of quiet, i.e. was among those who are in a quiet state, and perceive under themselves a crowd [confusion] of spirits like a troublous sea - I was kept in that state nearly an entire hour, and am still kept therein - and I then perceived spirits around me as it were in tumultuous anger, endeavoring to throw me [deturbare] out of that state, and attempting it with every endeavor [conatus] which also they said, thus that they attempted with various endeavors to discompose me, and enter into my will and excite thoughts which disturb quiet. Sometimes it was allowed then from the slightest cause of no moment, they wished and endeavored to excite the greatest confusion [turba]. This also, was granted me to recognize [observe].


I then heard spirits speaking [saying] that [because] they were very restless and indeed particularly on account of not being able to reduce me to their own most restless state; hence they were angry [succensentes] and as soon as was granted them any power of disturbing me slightly, they said their anger and troubled state was lessened.


Hence it may also be manifest that there are those who are in a quiet state, that is, whom the Lord keeps and preserves in a quiet state, and that evil spirits can effect nothing with all their endeavors, and that they must needs fly thence precipitately [prorsus], for they perceive the restless crowd, like a troublous and tumultuous sea, which they flee.


But the state of quiet is not a state of cupidities - the state of cupidities, wherein man delights, is a state of quiet of evil spirits, and is changed in the other life into a turbulent state, or like that of an awful sea.


CONCERNING THE SIGNIFICATION OF THE RAINBOW AFTER THE FLOOD. I spoke with angels concerning the state of certain surging-ones after death, who are of such a character as to be incapable of admitting anything good; but as soon as anything, even the least of their [good principle], is present, it is forthwith carried away into evil. Such are those who are the worst sort, who wholly desecrate sacred things, and are nothing but hatreds and cunning [treachery]. In the other life these cannot be reformed, nor their natural disposition bent to good, but are wholly vastated, till nothing of them remains, so that they no longer possess their life, but become different [others], although what is theirs remains, but this is not allowed to appear; for as soon as it appears, and they thus recognize what is theirs so that they can be the least particle possessed of their own life, they cannot be in the society of the celestials, wherefore they are such as are wholly vastated, as I have heard of the antediluvians.


But after the flood things are different. A man after death loses nothing of his own life, but it is so tempered, and what there is of it bent to what is pleasant and good, that all thereof appears his but as bent to good, but it is the Lord's. Such are they who have not profaned sacred things, and who are not hatreds and treachery. Such is the state of the post-diluvians, who are therefore compared to the rainbow, in whose colors black belongs to man, but the light with the white is the Lord's; and without light and white there is no color, nor does color exist without black, for it is a mixture and tempering of these effected by light.


Hence it must be evident that the postdiluvian man is such that he is able to retain all his life and perceive it as his own, although it is not his life and perception, but appears as his, otherwise than was the case with them who lived before the flood. Wherefore the rainbow was for a sign, and it is added that winter, summer, and spring shall never fail; these are, changes representing similar things in the interior sense. - 1748, June 17.


The third point of comparison, as we may call it, with the rainbow flows hence, that the more interior things of man must be so related to his interiors, or his celestials and spirituals so related to his naturals, that the naturals shall be wholly obedient to his spirituals and celestials; then when the natural is thus obedient, it is compared to something pellucid, for then the obedient natural is, as it were, pellucid, transmitting all spiritual life; but when the naturals of man are such as to be nothing but filthy and evil, then this pellucid principle is moderated [weakened], as when the light passes through the pellucid principle and is turned into colors, which are beautiful, and beautifully arranged by the Lord.


Wherefore what is man's thus remains so that he thinks it his own, and the life which he possessed in the body remains, but is more beautiful, pleasant, and happy, which may still be evident from this, that their phantasies are turned into delightful kinds of representations, which are imaginative, which also remain with angels. They are most beautiful and pleasant representations, and felicity is inwardly therein, so that it arises therefrom. These representations are such phantasies as are changed into beautiful imaginative ideas therefore such as are delightful, and because felicity is in them, it arises from them, besides other things that are indefinite. - 1748, June 17.



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