Sacred Texts  Swedenborg  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

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

Spiritual Diary


THAT THE SPIRITS WITH A MAN KNOW EVERYTHING THAT BELONGS TO THE MAN, AND POSSESS THEM AS THEIR OWN. This is evident from innumerable things, but spirits are ignorant of this: they think these things to be their own, and derived from their own memory; such is the fallacy of sense. In order that I might know it still better, I read the Hebrew tongue before such as never have understood the least word [verbulum] of that tongue, as I also had previously done before infants. They knew the language as well as I; what I have learned they are aware of as if they had known it. When reflection was granted them touching this, they acknowledged that the matter stands so. - 1748, June 24.


CONCERNING STATES AND VARIATIONS OF STATES. I spoke with angels concerning states and variations of states, and it was said that states as to genus are innumerable, and, indeed, are of such a character, that the same states do not occur again to eternity, so as to be wholly like the former, but the variety is incredible, and that which occurs in the genus does not in the species and the particular. Hence the quality of the felicity of angels may be inferred.


As also that souls and spirits in certain states may be present in the society of the celestials, as has been said of evil spirits, lulled to sleep by singing. But in order that those who are angels may be present in all, as regards the smallest part, it is necessary that they be removed, otherwise [they are] in states, wherein they cannot be. These things are better perceived by a spiritual idea. - 1748, June 25.


Hence it also follows, that an angel can never be perfected to eternity, but that he can hardly be perfected as to mere general things [communiora].


Then was there also discourse concerning union, as that never a single thing can be given of which any faculty and quality may be predicated, unless there are many, or a society of many - yea, societies of societies of many, and still greater numbers [superiores], that inflow as well as that union is never capable of being given [dabilis], hence felicity [derived] thence, unless everyone loves his neighbor more than himself and esteems himself as nothing in respect to his neighbor; and that such love is never capable of being given, except from the love of the Lord, who alone is love. - 1748, June 25.


THE CONDITION OF MEN IN THE LIFE OF THE BODY IS DIFFERENT FROM THAT OF SOULS AFTER DEATH. Besides many things of which, the Lord thinking worthy, [I shall treat] elsewhere, there are also these things: they have means of health [media salutis], have edifices where they are instructed, books out of which they are instructed, [and] the Word of the Lord, and many other things. Besides which, their condition is different in reference to societies which they select, and are able to choose, as also that the senses represent many objects to them, and thus by other means is their will and intellect ruled. For in the life of the body they are much more left to themselves than after the life of the body, thus [during life] are in a more spacious field of liberty, through which they are led around. - 1748, June 25.


THAT THE APPLICATION OF THE INTERIOR AND MORE INTERIOR THINGS OF THE LORD'S WORD IS UNIVERSAL, AND IN ALL TIMES AND PLACES. I spoke with angels concerning those things that are in the Lord's Word, that they apply also to the churches of our time, as well as to the Most Ancient and Ancient, therefore to the churches of all times, but with a variety according to the changes that arise and because the varieties are so many, they are circumstanced like families, in which there is always some characteristic prevailing in its common principle, that distinguishes one from another, as well as that the church is, as it were a man whose head is the Lord, like as every society is called a composite person. - 1748, June 25.


THAT THERE ARE CERTAIN ONES IN THE OTHER LIFE, OF SUCH A CHARACTER THAT THEY ACT IN THE PERSONS OF OTHERS, [AND] NOT IN THEIR OWN. There was a certain one with me, who did not think and speak, save under the persons of others [sub aliis], to wit, he continually represented others whom he had happened to know; consequently concealed his own person. Such persons are easily discerned, and are troublesome, and derive it from the life of the body, that they always prefer others that feel and speak thus, in order that they may persuade. Then also some [do so] in order that they may thus the better contrive treachery.


THAT THE FOUL [foeda] THINGS OF A MAN ARE ONLY HIDDEN SO AS NOT TO APPEAR. From very many things, it may be manifest that in man is nothing but what is filth and foul, in the most singular things as well as in the most general; and that those filthy and foul things are hidden, consequently, by the Lord, in order that they may appear as good spirits and angels. This I was permitted to become acquainted with just now, from what befell me in externals, to wit, noisome tastes [gustus tetri] were taken away from me, when yet therein was an evil taste, as I knew; yea, a good taste [sapor] introduced; as also from these things, that pleasant odours are introduced [inducantur] and the like, which are shown in externals only, as tokens of proof. - 1748, June 26.


THE PREROGATIVE OR FACULTY OF THE ANGELS IS MORE PERFECT THAN THAT OF SPIRITS [proe spiritu], THEREFORE IS IN A SUPERIOR DEGREE TO THAT OF MAN [proe homine]. It may be seen above, concerning certain more eminent faculties [of angels]. (This) may also be evident from this: that when I read the Hebrew tongue, I recollected words that I had read with more or less attention [magis minusque], and still recollected them in some degree, [though] at times very slightly. When it pleases the Lord, then can the angels know how many times those words were read by me, what was then in my mind what was more deeply or lightly impressed on the memory, and many things which were then in my ideas, along with the word. That such [a word was] in my memory, besides many things which I do not know. - 1748, June 27.


A CERTAIN REMARKABLE THING ABOUT ONE WHO ADORED A GRAVEN IMAGE DURING THE LIFE OF THE BODY. When I read Judges 17 and 18, there was a certain spirit from India of those who adored graven images in their lifetime; and inasmuch as spirits are such that they can be induced to believe that they are (such and such), he supposed therefore that he was Micah, from whom the sons of Dan took away his graven image, and teraphim and Levite, in all the series [described in] chap. 18. When I was reading, I perceived that a certain one supposed himself to be Micah, and that he grieved with a certain innocent grief so that he scarce knew any longer what he was, when he lost the graven image and teraphim. I perceived innocence in each thing; how he longed to possess it from those who carried it away, and that these acted illy against him. In a word, [this] was ignorance of the true God, since there was innocence in each thing. There were also many Christians [who] observed it, and wondered at it, inasmuch as he was a worshipper of graven images. It was afterwards discovered that he was from India, and in his lifetime worshipped a certain graven image in ignorance, in his innocence, which innocence considerably affected some. Afterwards they spoke with him, saying that he could not worship merely a graven image, but still because he was a man (his ignorance was allowed).


Should have thought about a God outside of the graven image, who was the creator of heaven and earth, and that it was the Lord who ruled the universal heaven and earth. Then I perceived the interior effect of his adoration [to be] much more holy than ever [occurs] with any Christian, and, indeed, [to be] interior. From this example it may be evident that the Gentiles come much more easily into heaven than Christians, and that a like thing happen as formerly with the Jews, from whom faith proceeded to the Gentiles [gentes]. - 1748, June 27. Nor did he need to be instructed like others concerning the doctrinals of faith, but because he receives faith more easily than others, he can learn all things from the Lord, and, indeed, [in such a degree] [ita] that he can instruct the best informed Christians in the doctrine of faith, like an angel, as was also insinuated in my mind by the angels. - 1748, June 27.


There was pity in him [apud eum], which was observed when I read those things that were done by the sons of Dan, in Laish, so that pity could have been given him in all and singular things, and thus he could be amidst the angels. Therefore, when the graven image was absent from his memory, that he could thus worship the true Lord, differently from very many Christians.


CONCERNING THE HEBREW LANGUAGE. I have learned from angels that the Hebrew language is of such a character that only the sense of the letter should be attended to, and not the letter; this is confirmed by many things; wherefore, it was also written in the beginning without points. When it is thus read without points, then only the sense is attended to, and hence vowel sounds were formed, as also everyone who is skilled in that language can know. If anyone reads it in the Word, without points, he can never know, unless he follows the sense, what sense is therein, especially in the prophets; the vowels and like adjuncts thrust the sense upon the letter. Further, if they should read many of the same prophetic books without points, they would hence form many [different] senses; and had they attached the vowels, each person according to his own sense, then the letters would have been different by marked by every one, and when the vowels could not have been so marked according to the sense, they would have searched for anomalies in the words, so that still they would have formed the word to suit) their sense; for such is the language that there are many anomalies. Wherefore, it seems to be allowed, lest readers should torture the sense, that each [form the sense] according to his fancy, in that state of human mind which prevails while they are in the body; so that they should pervert the sense variously, everyone according to his genius. Wherefore, it was granted that points might afterwards be attached, which whether they are divinely inspired, may be known to some extent from the prophetic writings, where the sense is understood by no one save the Lord, and those to whom it pleases the Lord to reveal it. - 1748, June 27.


THE PERCEPTION OF SPIRITS AND ANGELS, [DERIVED] FROM THE GENERAL [communi] STATE. There was a general [communis] state of pleasantness which was given in the general sphere [in commune], and so reached spirits and angels. The general state of pleasantness affected each of those who were there, everyone according to his state and disposition, and also affected their ideas, even to the perception of the pleasantness; which [perception] therefore, they acknowledged to come. Hence [there was] discourse concerning the influx of the good and true, and of their general states into the single things of man; that a like thing is noticed in human society, as that if friendship, love of wife, love of children, prevails generally [communiter] in any society, then the single things which they think, speak, and do, are pleasant. But amongst men such is the case, without the manifest or sensible perception thereof, which occurs with spirits and angels, amongst whom there is perception and living affection, and, indeed, accompanied with reflection, or the knowledge whence [it comes]. Hence they know also that every good and affection of the true, with their indefinite varieties, come only from the Lord. - 1748, June 27.


THAT MERCY AND INNOCENCE AFFECT ALL THE GOOD WHO ARE IN A SOCIETY. It was granted me to know, from a spiritual perception, that those who are merciful and innocent incite all the good who are in society to love them, and affect them so that they wish better to them than themselves, consequently forget self, and love them with the whole heart and the whole mind [animo]; for innocence and mercy is the Lord, and the Lord inspires with Himself all the good, consequently good spirits and angels, from Himself, with indefinite variety. Hence their mutual love [and] hence [their] felicity with indefinite varieties. - 1748, June 27.


Evil spirits who were present said, when I had perceived and was writing these things, that they were ignorant what mercy and innocence are; they wondered that they are granted; yea, to such a pitch that by means of their representations they scattered them under my feet; thus despised them. - 1748, June 27. From their operation on me and spirits who were present, it was given to know of what quality the society would be, if such should be therein. Then there was felt, as it were, a painful injurious principle [quoddam dolorificum laedens], which happens with variety according to the nature of those who are merciless, and those who are merciful; wherefore, they cannot be together; which was [still] further represented to me by this, that from a state of mercy they were incited to cruelty, so that mercy is turned into the contrary, with spirits of such a nature.


CONCERNING THE UNDERSTANDING [intellectu] AND PERCEPTION OF EVIL SPIRITS, AND THOSE OF THE GROSSER SORT, TOUCHING THE FACT THAT THEY ARE NOTHING. It has been said several times to spirits that they are nothing, and that the Lord is all in all; yea, it was also said and shown them what is meant by their being nothing; but still some do not wish to understand it, others do not understand it because their ideas are of too gross a character to apprehend it. Therefore they babbled [dictabant] many times that the doctrine of faith is absurd, because it was said that they are nothing; and yet they suppose they are everything, as also that they possess all their life and power as their own, and in themselves. Wherefore, being indignant, they retorted that the doctrine was an absurdity, but is said as to their being nothing, they tolerate less than other things of the doctrine of faith, and, Indeed, out of self-love; others [do so] partly from ignorance. - 1748, June 27.


CONCERNING THE SPEECH OF SPIRITS. I long wondered how it happened that now this, now that spirit spoke, at various distances. One took it up where another ended, and sometimes in the midst of the discourse, and so, variously. The reason was given me to know: those spoke who were most affected during the discourse by the ideas which belonged to the discourse; consequently it passed to those who were more affected than others, for when anyone's affection is excited, then he is excited. Besides which, they are also excited to speak in another manner, to wit, by spirits who excited them from ideas determined upon them, so that they should speak either with them, or instead of them, or for the sake of fraud, so as to contrive another person to substitute. - 1748, June 27.


THOSE WHO HAVE MERCY DURING THE LIFE OF THE BODY, AND WHO ARE INNOCENT, RECEIVE MUCH IN THE OTHER LIFE. Amongst all those things that it was given me to learn from experience and life with spirits and angels, there is [this]: that those who are merciful during the life of the body, and, indeed, who bestow but a little mercy from the heart, in the other life receive indefinite things, therefore an unspeakable reward, to wit, felicity; for through mercy, because [proceeding] from mercy, arises all felicity; and they receive so much mercy in each and all things, together with felicity, that it is ineffable, [and attended] with the greatest perception. It is similar with those who are innocent. No comparison is granted, for each and all things are exalted in the other life, where the body does not rage, and the sensuals of the body do not command, but they are left to interior and more interior perception. But to describe these things to man's apprehension is impossible, because the understanding indeed of the unknown is customary to be given, but not the perception [thereof]: wherefore there is no understanding from perception, therefore so long as they are corporeal, no faith [is given them]. - 1748, June 27.


A CERTAIN MEMORABLE [RELATION] CONCERNING INSANITY. It had happened to me several times, when spirits were permitted to act according to their insanities, which was permitted so that they might act through me, that it was they as it were who acted, and they did not know otherwise. This [occurred] frequently; but it was granted me as often to know that it proceeded from spirits, and not from me, which they acknowledged to be wholly so. Hence this memorable fact was told me, that a man who is in faith may sometimes appear to men not like another, or, as they said. But that men who are corporeal are insane in mind or thought, that he can be insane in the body, but not in mind or thought, or internally, but externally or in the body can appear like angels, modest and wise, so that there is an inversion, because order is inverted. - 1748, June 27.


CONCERNING DRUNKENNESS. I spoke with spirits concerning drunkenness, and it was confirmed by them that it is an enormous sin, as well as that man becomes a brute, [and] no longer a man; because that man is a man lies in his intellectual faculty, thus he becomes a brute, besides which he brings damage on his body, and so hastens his death, besides wasting in extravagance what might be of use to many. - 1748, June 27. And it appeared to them so filthy that they abhorred such a life, which mortals nevertheless have introduced amongst themselves as a civil life.


THAT THE LORD RULES THE UNIVERSE FROM INTERIORS BY ORDER. By a spiritual idea manifest to me, it was shown that the Lord rules all, consequently the universe, from interiors, by order. When I was in this idea, they all appeared as most rude vessels, wherein there was no life at all, hence no power [virium], but that all things are disposed inwardly by the Lord. When I was in a given representation of this idea, there were also spirits around me in a similar [idea]; they then confessed that they are wholly nothing, dead of themselves, and [their] life only from the Lord, and that they are carried [ferantur] wheresoever it pleases the Lord: for they then plainly saw themselves [to be] such, when yet they suppose [it is permitted they are so gross] in their external state, that they can [do] all things. - 1748, June 28.


CONCERNING HEREDITARY EVIL I perceived plainly by a spiritual idea, [as did] also at the same time the souls and spirits present, that hereditary evil is increased from the first man through all succeeding fathers and mothers in order, and indeed through everyone in successive series, by proper [propria] acquired evils, derived into children, and at length also acquired by themselves. Therefore was it also manifested that in man there is nothing but evil thus multiplied [proceeding] from hereditary evil.


Further that there is an inclination in every man to every genus and species of evil, because there is such a multiplication; wherefore, when man grows up, then by his actuality are excited those genera or those species of evil, that happen according to his societies, actions, thoughts. Wherefore, man by nature inclines to every genus and species of evil, and from the determination of actuality is borne into this or that, and so multiplies [his] genus and species, according to generations and families.


Still they are more prone and ready for one genus or one species of evil, because it has prevailed in parents. This may be sufficiently known to every one, but still [a man] can be bent to a genus or species of another evil.


These things are much more obvious by means of spiritual ideas than could ever be seen by man without such an idea. Spirits apprehend these things much better than men because their ideas are of such a nature, and they, indeed, capable of perceiving by spiritual ideas. - 1748, June 28.


THAT MEN AND SPIRITS UNDERSTAND NOTHING [THAT IS] IN INTERIORS, FROM THEMSELVES. [It was given to see] from a represented spiritual idea, as before, that they were as the rudest vessels, wherein the Lord infused spirituals and celestials; it was given me and spirits to see from the same idea that men and spirits from these exteriors, such vessels can never know anything, still less penetrate what is within, therefore [know] what and of what quality are their interiors, for vessels cannot know it from vessels; but when spirituals and celestials are insinuated by the Lord, and these external recipient vessels are fitted to receive, [they then can know] that they are, as it were, nothing, only [vessels] fitted [to receive], thus, as it were, pellucid vessels) (according to the spiritual idea). Then it is given to know and perceive in some manner what and of what quality is that which is insinuated. - 1748, June 28.


CONCERNING THOSE WHO TRUST TO SELF-DERIVED [propriae] PRUDENCE. I spoke with souls who I knew had during their life held this to be a stable truth, that each and all things depend on and flow from their prudence, as is the custom with the greatest part of mankind; to whom [cui for quibus I think] it was granted to say that from very many if not several hundred experiences, recurring almost daily, I know for certain that those who trust in themselves and their own prudence it is permitted to spirits to lead, to persuade, to induce cupidity, so that [the man] may very much desire [the thing] [it]: they add confirmations, so that the man is persuaded that nothing is more true than that which he thinks, then also they either do not see, or reject or refute entirely those things which contradict.


That there is such an operation of spirits in men who trust to themselves and their own prudence, it was given me to know from innumerable experiences, so that it is a truth, in which faith should be reposed, when yet it is nothing but a permission of evil spirits to persuade men thus, and when man is such, that all his counsels are so firmly believed in, they tend to his own ruin and that of the community [communis rei], for those things which [originating] from evil spirits [proceed] as from himself, tend to his ruin.


It is different with those who have faith in the Lord, and believe that the Lord rules the universe, and that nothing good and salutary to themselves and the community can come but from the Lord; these are ruled differently. In their thought and will is insinuated the persuasion to act in such or such a manner, and all things then [make] for [their] good.


This was also made known to me by innumerable experiences, that the persuasions of spirits with cupidity, which I supposed to be salutary and the best, were changed, after some moments, hours [or] days into contrary persuasions; so that hence I knew for certain, that the Lord alone rules the thoughts of man, his prudence and counsels, and that faith should be placed in him, but not in self, and as this is the truth, no doubt should be entertained; just as when ocular truth is given, although we do not know causes, yet we believe, and though explorers do not discover the causes, still we believe, because they see. Now I have seen, heard, felt, [and] known this to be an indubitable truth - wherefore it should not be argued about, as is usual, because I do not know, whether it is a spirit, whether it be so [and so] because I do not understand; but because the thing is so in truth we should believe it sooner than sensuals because the Lord also has said it. - 1748, June 28.


CONCERNING THE MIRACLES OF THIS AGE [temporis]. In ancient times, or those prior to the advent of the Lord into the world, when worship was external, or the representative church of the Lord was [formed] from externals, then there were manifest miracles, and almost continually occurring in the land of Canaan, like as in the wilderness [deserto] the Manna rained down; also that there were rains, in their times, and harvests were blessed, like as also in the time of Elias, and [is manifest] from this that in the seventh year, and the year of jubilee, the land was blessed, so that the harvest sufficed for some years, besides many other things, which were almost continually occurring, and manifest, by reason that then they worshipped only externals, so that they might be introduced thereby into internals. Therefore the miracles were manifest.


But at this day it is not so; manifest miracles have ceased, and miracles have succeeded which are unknown to man, and do not appear but to those to whom the Lord reveals them, for all contingencies, which are all in all, in the most general [communissimo], in the general, in singulars, [and] in most singular things, are miracles, but are invisible and continual, which inasmuch as manifest miracles should cease, are not patent, because no faith [is based] on miracles. Thus man, who is of such a nature, that whatever he manifestly sees, still perverts, and bends to natural causes, thus to evil, for which reason [miracles] are not patent, as well as that man is kept in ignorance, because to pervert those things which are manifest and visible is to profane [them], thus man would undergo danger, [if indeed] he could ever be saved. Especially [is there danger] to the man who knows the interiors of faith. - 1748, June 28.


CONCERNING THE PRAYERS OF INFANTS. It is given me to learn from experience that the prayers of infants have a much fuller hearing in heaven than the prayers of adults, and still fuller than [the prayers] of those who have closed the way towards interiors, by thoughts of natural things, and the things of memory, and still fuller than [the prayers] of those who are blinded and so have no faith; for with them, the way towards heaven is closed. [My] experience from which it was given to learn, that is [this] that when sometimes I attended less to what is in the Lord's prayer, then the angels, as was told me, perceived it more fully, as was also the case when I read in the Word of the Lord, because the way was open. This seemed wonderful to me, yet from experience it was granted to learn that it is true. In like manner from this, that those spirits who are, far away from me, hear and perceive better when I thought tacitly: for my thought, which was replete with different ideas, hinders the matter from being so well conveyed. - 1748, June 28.


THAT SPIRITS ALSO SLEEP. This night there were many spirits around me; in the morning I spoke concerning some one, or several of them, and I have heard that they were asleep, and indeed [in] a sweet [sleep]. This I also perceived, so that the state of spirits is also a sleep like man's. About the time concerning [circa vigiliam] before I awoke, there appeared to me various lights: a white one with glittering bosses [bullis], a certain obscure [one], then a colored one. I was told that there are such lights in their sleep, according to variety, and I also perceived that they also had dreams, and indeed pleasant [ones], and these without my having dreams at the same time; for it is known, that when man is in their society, he then has dreams together with them, of which [I have treated] several times; but now they had dreams, but not I. - 1748, June 30.


Then also, although they were around me, some have slept soundly, and others not so: wherefore they can be in one place, and have different states of sleep and visions of dreams.


THAT EVIL PUNISHES ITSELF. This was often said to spirits, that it is they who bring evil upon themselves, when they are punished and harshly treated by other spirits, and that evil has punishment in or with itself; and because the evil of punishment as punishment came from others, [and] not from themselves, they therefore wondered how the matter stood. I now perceive in some degree from a spiritual idea that evil diffuses itself through many who are around, thus into the whole heaven of the wicked, who are then excited to inflict punishment; for their greatest cupidity and greatest delight is to punish: wherefore then flows from the general [communi] assemblage of the wicked such delight from cupidity into a fewer [number] and thus into those who maltreat him in whom is evil: thus evil returns to him by a wonderful circuit of flux of determination: to him because he possesses the evil, and it is turned into the evil of punishment. Because this cannot be apparent, unless the Lord reveals [it], and therefore [must be apparent] through spiritual ideas, therefore it cannot easily be apparent to man how the matter stands.


This may also be inferred from the [fact] that everyone draws diseases upon himself from the evil of life [from a badly spent life]: hence diseases and death, with which the case is similar, for every one's body represents in lesser effigy the greatest body [Grand Man], which is the world of spirits. - 1748, June 29.


THAT MY REPRESENTATIONS WERE SEEN BY SPIRITS AS IT WERE ALIVE. Several times it was granted, when I spoke with spirits, and indeed at the same time through representations, as happens usually with ease in the world of spirits, think that they speak through representations, that they then have said to me that these [representations] appeared before them as alive, and were [so] so that when peoples, camps, and the like were displayed representatively, they appeared before spirits just as if they saw them; but [they did not appear] to me.


In like manner representations of spirits very frequently have appeared to me, when my eyes were closed, entirely as alive, as if in the highest light, concerning which [I have treated] here and there. - 1748, June 29.


But they appeared only to those to whom the Lord grants to see these things; and not to all.


CONCERNING THE EQUILIBRIUM OF EACH AND ALL THINGS IN THE HEAVENS. (((((((It was granted me to see by a spiritual idea that there is such an equilibrium of each and all things as regards celestials, spirituals, and naturals, in the heavens, that no one can think, feel, [or] act, save from many, and each person [singuli] from many if many, and so forth, and that there is never anything to which there does not answer something from its opposite, and [that there are] opposites to the intermediates in like manner from many and many, so that no one can think, will, feel, [or] act, save in equilibrium. Therefore when I was in that idea, spirits said, that for this reason they are also nothing; wherefore no evil can happen to anyone, unless it is immediately balanced [equilibrium] by the Lord, thus by the good, and when there is a preponderance of evil, then the evil is punished, but never save for a good end.)))))))


((((((Since there is such an equilibrium, or such a disposal according to order, it is in such disposure to equilibrium in general and particular, or in universal and the most singular things that order consists, which is formed by the Lord and preserved to eternity: wherefore each and all things are then ruled by the Lord as if to prevent any resistance, as to make a comparison, [occurs] in catenaries [catenis] and the like, which are disposed according to all powers and laws. - 1748, June 29.))))))


A VISION CONCERNING THE INTERIORS OF THE WORD. It was granted to speak concerning the interiors of the Lord's Word in [apud] the prophets, and then at the same time to show by representation that the words there are nothing, but the sense is interior, and begins to be alive when it is granted to represent, that the words are to be thrown away as nothing, as is usual in discourse, wherein no attention is paid to the words but only to the sense; [it is] so in the Lord's Word, as to the letter; and when by means of that representation the words or letters were thrown away, and thus as it were divested, then appeared to me in vision, a naked man, who was elevated upwards above the head to the crown thereof, whom spirits, seeing, wondered at, [and] said that it is a miracle because they saw the man better than [they did] me in living form: whereby the interior sense was signified, for the naked man is the interior sense, his garments are only the words or letter; thus it was confirmed that there is an interior sense which begins to be life, or man, in the Word of the Lord. - 1748, June 29.


The naked man signifies the regenerated man, or the regenerated man is represented by the naked man, like as Adam and his wife [represented the same]. - 1748, June 29.


CONCERNING THE LIFE OF CERTAIN SPIRITS AS REGARDS HABITATIONS AND THE LIFE. Spirits seem to themselves to dwell in houses [domos], [and] bed-chambers, and these indeed well furnished [ornatissima] with utensils of every kind, and also [with] indefinite variety according to each one's inclinations; thus because initiated into the like, during the life of the body they also retain after life, and desire similar things: thus the like are granted them with indefinite variety according to each one's genius, and thus they are bent to good, for they arrange those things according to use which the Lord disposes, and at the same time the use introduces quiet and innocence in [their] minds [animis]. Thus also peace and innocence are insinuated.


Certain souls that have come from life spoke with me concerning these things, [to the effect] that they are phantasies: thus they did not desire such things, but rather money, or silver and gold, like as in the world, because this [is something] real. Thereby they can acquire something for themselves, but nothing from such things [as have been described].


But it was given me to tell them, that this is nothing in the other life, for they have no need of garments to buy them, nor of meats to buy them or collect them, nor of food. They do not stand in want of all these things in the other life: wherefore such a cupidity is false; but to receive such things as have been mentioned, from the Lord, and to arrange these according to use in tranquillity and innocence, this is the chiefest reality [reale maximum], because it conduces to their felicity. Such imaginations so called are real, because they have real things in themselves. Wherefore it was then given to say, and it was given me to say still as true, that I am willing with my whole heart and soul to bestow on others whatever I possess in the world, if I am allowed to possess such imaginary wealth, only retaining [habens] in life for the body and uses in the body, without any of the gold and silver of the world, a dwelling [domicilium], victuals, garments, and whatever else is useful in the life of the body. - 1748, June 30.


CONCERNING AVARICE. I spoke with spirits concerning the possession of money without use. Certain spirits are of such a character [derived] from the life of the body, that they wish to possess money, for money's sake, not for any other use, than to be delighted with monies. When I have inquired, on account of what use, whether on account of garments, houses, or food, they have said, that [they have desired it] on account of delight at the sight of monies, silver and gold, therefore on account of no use from these. Such a cupidity is called avarice, and is most base, because most gross; for money is for the sake of use, like as whatever is possessed in the life of the body should be for the sake of use. When the use perishes it is wholly dead, and a carcass. Thus it is from the end that each and all things are judged; the end is what forms the disposition; it is the end according to which they are judged in the other life; the end is the all in all of the disposition; the end of all ends should be the Lord. - 1748, June 30,

Next: 2451-2500