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

Spiritual Diary


CONCERNING THE MEMORY OF SPIRITS. If spirits enjoyed corporeal memory, no spirit could be with man, consequently he would die; for there cannot be two memories acting simultaneously; as in that case the memory of the spirit would take away that of the man, and the spirit would think from his own memory; and if the man then spoke it would be a kind of speaking together, as in the case of obsession. Besides, it is not allowed to any spirit to teach man, nor consequently to lead him, except from cupidity; but the Lord alone wills to teach man and lead him, which could never be done if ought of corporeal memory pertained to a spirit. - 1748, November 19.


CONCERNING PROVIDENCE AND INFLUX. I have been infested by [the suggestions of] spirits as to the question, how an influx of the Lord's life into all and singular the things of man can be given, especially when one considers the variety of things which must occupy his thoughts, as, for instance, that he must reflect as to the diversified objects which he sees; as to the conversations of numbers on a multitude of topics, now on this, and now on that, and now on a hundred others; how such and such persons can come together and not others; then, how such particular discourses should arise among them and not others; then, as to the consequences of one determination of a man, from which flow others in successive series; besides a multitude of other things that concern the influx and providence of the Lord - in all which I was held by spirits to a point of utter weariness, and yet from which I could not free myself. It was shown me by representation of what quality, or nature, such things are, viz., by a chamber of a grayish [or dusky] color, not swept out, where earthen vessels and other furniture were in disorder.


But it is enough to know that the Lord's life flows into the heavenly societies, which are innumerable with all variety, according to the varieties of love; that is, it is received variously by all. In the interior world of spirits, also, it is variously received from heaven, according to societies. So also in the lower world [of spirits], where ideas are still variously received, according to the state of the recipients; with men it is received still more variously, according to their corporeal memories; so that these influxes can never be understood as they are in their origin, which appears from this, that they may be turned into contraries, or other obliquities, according to a man's persuasions, or the state of his memory at the time, and then according to the vessels which apply themselves in that state, as also according to cupidities and their states; for there are states of persuasions and states of cupidities.


That all this is so appears likewise from the fact, that it can never be known in ultimates how things are in interiors, much less in intimates, causing angelic ideas to be represented by animals and such like things, in the world of spirits; the ideas of evil spirits by circumflections of the body, and other things of the sort which there appear.


Especially is this evinced by the circumstance, that angelic ideas can fall into innumerable diverse ideas, both in the lower [spiritual] world and with man, as for instance that the representatives of good alone with the angels can fall into all the innumerable forms of man's good, whether into his worship, into sweet things, into fat things, thus into countless particulars, according to his states, yea, into things contrary and intermediate. Wherefore it can never be known from the objects of the external memory and from the objects of sight, what is the nature of things in the more intimate, much less in the most intimate [principles].


Moreover, angelic ideas are not only representatives which are thus indefinitely varied as they emanate, but they even become parables which with man are capable of being varied in innumerable modes; for from one parabolic idea there shall follow innumerable things that are analogous and applicable to it,


as originating from one principle: just as so many various things are afterwards produced from a [single] seed, which were never [except potentially] in the seed; and so on.


It moreover appears that the providence of the Lord is in all the most singular or particular things. This may be evinced solely from what are deemed matters of fortune, as in games, and such things as appear altogether fortuitous; as, for instance, in a lottery, and other things that may be noticed; such contingencies pertaining to the lowest department of nature can never be explained as to their source; and if this holds in this kind, what shall be said of all and singular other things, which entirely baffle research as being the contingencies of Providence?


Since then these things of the lowest nature cannot be explored, how can those which are of interior nature, from which the former proceed, and how those of a still more interior character, and how, above all, those of the most intimate nature, where the process is not so inconstant, but uniform? for the most indefinitely variable results exist in degrees in the lowest things which yet flow from the most unvarying constancy in the intimate principles; besides many other things.


From what has been said we are at liberty to conclude, that it is better to be ignorant of all these matters, and simply to believe that the life of the Lord flows into all and singular things, and that His providence governs all and singular things, than to suffer one's self to be absorbed in such speculations. It is better, I say, to be ignorant; for if men covet this kind of knowledge, they must necessarily launch out into a boundless field; just as in my own case, when I wished to know in what manner the actions of the muscles were ordered in their representative relation to the ideas of the thoughts, and how the endeavors and forces of the will conspired to the effect, I spent many laborious years in investigating the appliances of the lungs in each of their functions, then those of the muscles, of the motive fibers, of the nervous fibers, together with the connection and disposition of all the parts, how actions resulted from the fluction of the brains, as in the case of the tendinous fibers drawing backwards, obliquely or into a gyre, and so on, when yet, after all, the action was dependent on other laws, all which thoroughly to explore were the labor of many years, and still scarcely even the most general things could be known. Wherefore it is better simply to know that the will flows in [and actuates the body]; far more is this expedient in those things to which pertain the influx of the Lord's life, and of his providence. - 1748, November 20. These things were thought with spirits, through spirits, from the angels.


CONCERNING MEMORY. A certain one was represented, who, during his life, had cultivated the memory only, and had placed in the memory all intelligence and wisdom, supposing that a man was wise according to the treasures laid up in his memory, when yet the contrary rather is true, viz. that a man is less wise in proportion to what he retains in the corporeal memory. The quality of his life also was represented by an animal of a yellow hue seen in an obscure light, as a horse, as a heifer, as a bullock, as a dog. It was mainly the representation of a horse, but the representation of the others successively followed, though still in the same subject, so that it was an animal, as it were, in which were all the rest, or an animal composed of them. It was said that it was not a horse, and yet it was a horse, not a heifer, and yet a heifer, not a bullock, and yet a bullock, and not a dog, and yet a dog; thus an animal was from time to time represented in which, as in a compound, the others were included.


He showed me how he had been punished by the wrenching process, as to which, from being asleep, I was ignorant of his having undergone it. He exhibited a snow-white brain similar in its hue to that of an animal when cooked, in which there was a little blood, afterwards more, and presently more yet, so that at last there was scarcely anything else visible but blood. From this I perceived that he had been painfully tortured in the way just mentioned, especially as a hardened callosity was manifest about him. When I spoke with him he complained that he had lost everything he had possessed; but in saying this he had become, as it were, a babbling infant, not knowing what he said. He was also represented by a bird in which was obscurely seen a lamb. - 1748, November 20.


FARTHER CONCERNING INFLUX. Actions do not flow into ideas, consequently not into the will and the thought, but thought and will flow into actions; in like manner also angelic ideas flow through the ideas of spirits into the thoughts of man. But to know how this influx takes place is to desire to know how the fibers exist in their first principles, then how they act in the brain, where they are like a jelly, and then lastly to trace the operation through their inextricable fluctions into the muscles, to say nothing of the various and countless motions which precede any single action. Every idea is in like manner a certain general something which may be compared to an action.


But how the gestures of one may flow in through the eyes of others, from which they judge of a man's character; how the countenance of another makes him known; and especially how the speech of one flows into the ideas of another, -all this, it is clear, is affected by the removals or abstractions of lower things, or by their extinction, so that they may become nothing, as otherwise the perception does not take place. The sounds or material accompaniments whence flow the proximate ideas, are forthwith rejected or removed, then these ideas are rejected, whence arise the interior ideas respecting a man's end, and in many other things which thus flow from the speech of another. Without these removals, nothing of the kind can be perceived; but let them be made, and then the interior idea of another is communicated, and is set forth nakedly manifest and separate from all extraneous appendages. - 1748. November 20.


Inasmuch as there may be such removals of lower things, it hence appears how the case is with man; there must be a death of corporeal things even of the corporeal memory, that the spirit may be developed. The ideas also which are appropriate to lower spirits must undergo a kind of death, in order that one may be in interior ideas, or the ideas of angelic spirits. It hence appears, too, how these ideas must be removed in order to one's becoming an angel, when communication is immediate; and finally, how lower ideas are nevertheless represented; besides other things. -All this is said in the presence of spirits who have pondered upon the subject. - 1748, November 20.


CONCERNING THE OMNIPRESENCE OF THE LORD. Those who think in ultimates, and from ultimates, cannot comprehend how the Lord can be omnipresent. But in order to this being made in some degree intelligible, it is to be known that in the other life there is neither space nor time, thus all are as present to each other as if in the nearest proximity, even though they should really be in the extremity of the universe. It may also somewhat appear from this, that the soul of man, or his intimate [most interior] principle, may possess a kind of omnipresence by being everywhere throughout the contracted limits of his body: and so govern all the internal organs, and all the thoughts, and whatever belongs to the man, how manifold soever they may be, that everything shall fitly cohere, and also by its omnipresence provide for all and singular its parts, without which kind of providence the whole would be dissolved and dissipated in a moment. This principle [the soul] acts from an end, and because it is the intimate of man, the Lord alone provides by means of it. - 1748, November 20.


That distances are phantasies, and that they are ideas, was evinced in a great variety of ways; for when I saw or perceived anyone depart, or to be at a distance, or when I represented him to myself as in some other place, or when I spoke with certain spirits that were elsewhere, myself knowing the place, or when a certain one was separated from me to the bounds of the universe, then the distance was perceived according to an idea formed from sight or from thought, and thus apprehended by him or by me; for they are present in a moment. Place, therefore, is none at all; where the idea is, there the spirit is, for the spirit is not separated from the idea; without the idea the spirit would not be, as it is his life; therefore where the life is, there is the spirit. Distance in purer things amounts to nothing; still less is it anything in more intimate, and least of all in the most intimate, thus absolutely nothing with the Lord; wherefore He is omnipresent, and sees and orders each single thing. - 1748, November 20.


CONCERNING THE REPRESENTATION OF ANGELIC SPEECH BY MEANS OF CLOUDS. In the world of lower spirits angelic ideas and discourses are wont to be represented by various forms of clouds, and with them perceptions; for when such things are exhibited as exist among the angels, in order that they may come to the knowledge of lower spirits, a certain perception accompanies them, indicating what they signify. An oblong vessel was represented in which there was an appearance of milk; this was turned into a white cloud of similar form, which concentrated itself toward the middle point, having on the front part something obscure, which signified that the angels were coming together, though there was yet some degree of obscurity. There was then represented a cloud almost white, which passed into a form similar to the human, being also nearly of the same color, with a perception of the Lord; but a black cloud coming before took away the sight of it, which signified that they spoke of things pertaining to faith in the Lord, and that in the world of spirits this was turned into evil; thus into a black cloud. Then there were represented two horses' heads turned towards me, with their faces prominent, but a part of the face became broader and began to appear otherwise than the face of a horse, and thus vanished. These signified intellectuals and scientifics. - 1748, November 20.


CONCERNING THE SIRENS. It was shown how the sirens hold those bound whom they endeavor to obsess, viz. that [they pervert] all the influx from the angels, which is continual whenever evil spirits induce evil; the angels then avert it, and react against it. But whenever permission is granted to sirens, they would enter into the interior of thoughts, and by perverting turn away everything which flowed from heaven. Thus whithersoever my own thought was directed, still it was turned to evil, and that to such a degree that I was at length so wearied by it as to be induced to desist from writing, for it was then especially that they flowed in, and as, was also perceived, into interior things with which it had not then been given me to become so well acquainted. They have the eyes, as it were, of serpents, which seem to possess sight or ideas on every side, giving them a kind of ubiquity of presence.


It was perceived and heard that both the deceitful and most deceitful above the head adjoined themselves to them, and flowed through them, whom I also heard, and learned their machinations; and when it was said to them that they should desist, or they would be reduced to a miserable state if they persevered, they said they could not by any possibility desist. - 1748, November 20.


CONCERNING FAITH AND GOOD WORKS. Among those who contend that faith without good works is saving, I spoke with one, asking him if it was not true that a saving faith cannot be given without love, which he affirmed; afterwards I inquired whether love could be given without good works, on which he hesitated, because he thought of works separate from love, and because he knew that if he should have given all his goods to the poor, and yet had not love, it would amount to nothing; this he comprehended, and thence the inference, that a saving faith is of love, and that love without good works cannot exist, -as also, that faith without good works is no faith at all, as being a mere speculative [intuitiva] faith, for to suppose a faith without good works is to suppose it without love. He seemed willing to admit that love was of faith, but not that faith was of love. - 1748, November 20.


It was said to him that heaven consists of love, and that it thence derives from the Lord all the knowledges of faith that are necessary to it, and in which knowledges the celestials are. On the other hand, they who are only in faith without love, and thus without good works, are in no knowledge at all; they do not even know that there is an internal man, as I perceived in regard to this spirit that he was ignorant of it. The same remark may be confirmed from one who is in false and spurious love, that he is thereby persuaded and thus confirmed in many falses which flow from this spurious love or cupidity. It was further said to him that they are much better who do good works from a conscience received from this - that the Lord has commanded that we give to the poor and do good; for those who act from a conscience thus formed, do not place merit in their works, and thus such are admitted to heaven, while those who confirm themselves in the belief that faith without good works is saving, they cannot be admitted into heaven, for they know not what love is, which is yet the all in all of faith. - 1748, November 20.


I discoursed still further with him, as he said that if the matter were rightly explained it would be found that he held the truth. I replied that it was indeed true that it was faith that saved, but that as the quality of the faith was, so was the salvation; if the faith was false and spurious, it could not save, but only the faith which is true, which carries with it the knowledges of faith, and consequently love. - 1748, November 20. It was moreover said that the pontificals affirm that faith saves, but what kind of a faith? to wit, that men should believe everything that the Pope has uttered and ordained as being of the true church, as also that they should believe everything which their priests teach them, upon whom they depend for their faith.


CONCERNING A BATH. There appeared a bath with a long bench, or Lafwe, 4024-1 such as is common with us. When the bath appeared, a sensation of great heat pervaded me just as in the case of a real bath. I then beheld, on one side, a woman, who presently vanished into a cloud, which becoming black sunk out of sight. Upon the bench there was an appearance of three infants, but they were not clearly seen, though they presently spoke and said they did not wish to be there. What these things signified was a matter of various conjecture with the attendant spirits, but I do not yet know.


There then appeared a long lake, like a long bath, where was a woman washing an infant between her hands, but what this signified I am equally ignorant.


During the whole night I was occupied in dreaming of various objects of a material and corporeal kind, as walkings, dangers, and the like, in a confused and rambling way, and upon awaking from time to time, I heard choirs of angels descending one after another, and which I heard more clearly than on various other occasions. I perceived that there were certain evil spirits who infested me, and that the angelic choirs were sent by the Lord, for the purpose of warding off the assaults of such spirits. But what they said I could not understand, nor did I perceive anything but the sound peculiar to such choirs.


There was then opened above the forehead a certain lucid something, of a beautiful yellow hue, through certain intervening apertures of larger and smaller size, within which were certain spirits who seemed small from their great height, while in the very bright yellowish light were those who appeared of a snowy whiteness. There were afterwards seen opening [foramina] but differently disposed, being arranged regularly like the cells of bees, through which the inmates would look towards me, and through which also there shone a perceptible yellowish light. Afterwards there appeared larger openings of similar arrangement, through which the light did not thus clearly penetrate; these openings appeared more and more obscure, till finally there was seen a certain snowy light, but still obscure.


I was informed that these were the dwelling-places of those who constitute the internal nostrils, or the tunic of the internal nostrils, which are distinguished by such orifices. I spoke with them and they said that through these openings made by them they could see in any direction below, and therefore could look towards me, and by means of them could see my ideas and those also which I had in my sleep, and generally whatever there was around me. This I found it difficult to believe, but they said it was so; that they saw ideas represented before them, as for instance, ideas of love by flames suited to the nature of that principle; intellectuals by lights suited to them, and so on. Indeed they said that through these openings they could see whatever they saw fit by phantasy to array before themselves.


It was observed that whenever the angelic choirs approached, which happened from time to time, so often those who were there were driven away, and that too towards me and towards a lower quarter, for the spirits who had framed such openings for themselves wished to know what kind of angelic societies were with me while I was asleep, which they said they could see, as also whence they were; as there would then appear a most beautiful variegated something, like elegantly wrought carpets of broad dimensions, and adorned with purple and similar colors, but in a somewhat obscure plane, thus a broad rainbow-colored form in an obscure ground; from this they said they could know that angels were present from the province of the eye, but whether of the iris or the retina, I do not know. But inasmuch as these were such as insinuated themselves among those who constituted the cavity of the internal nostrils, with the design of plotting against me while asleep, they were cast down; and this I observed occurred as often as the angelic choirs drew nigh, which was rather frequently, so that their numbers must have been large. I afterwards spoke with them, and they are now with me, some towards the interior of the palate, some towards the ventricle, and some towards the nates.


I perceived that their quality was that of those who represent the mucus of the nostrils, and that they insinuate themselves thither for the purpose of insidiously lying in wait. They are adulteressess and void of conscience. That they are such, and that they are wholly destitute of conscience, was shown me by living experience, for it was given me to perceive that there is [usually] something which holds the conscience under restraint, but with them there was nothing of the kind; they wondered that there should be anyone possessed of conscience. They are therefore the mucus of the nostrils, which also it was given to say to them and that they were therefore vile and rejectable.


A lucidity was shown me in which those live who constitute the internals of the nostrils. It was a light beautifully varied with streaks of golden flame, representing the things of affection; and varied also by streaks of silver light to denote the spiritual things there. It was shown also that they had open holes [foramina], but not above or below, but on the side, through which, as was shown me, they see an azure heaven studded with beautiful little stars. It was perceived also that there is with them a copious light, a golden flaming light for celestial things, and a silver shining light for spiritual things. It was said too that the light was sometimes very splendid, not, however, that which entered through the holes, but that which was within their chambers.


On two occasions also the heat of a bath, as great as if I actually had been immersed in one, pervaded the upper region of my forehead towards the origins of the nose, and thus over the whole forehead and the higher part of the nose, which heat I perceived so distinctly as to wonder at it. It was said to me that such is the heat of those who reside there, and that there are infants also among them, but infants of some years. It was perceived that the woman seen in the bath, who disappeared in the form of a cloud, of whom I spoke above, signified those who covertly insinuate themselves, and who are the mucus of the nostrils before mentioned, and who were therefore driven away.


It was worthy of note, that when I related to those who were above in the cavities of the nostrils, what I had seen in a dream and in a long series, and twice in succession - how I had walked; with what person; how they were clothed; and that I had played ball (:boll:), throwing it against a wall and catching it, beside a multitude of other things - they said that all this coincided exactly, and was the same with what they were speaking of among themselves, so that there was not the slightest difference. They said, however, that the representative which I had seen in my dream, was not the reality with them, but that their ideas were utterances [loquelae], which could be thus presented, so that all and singular the things they had spoken, among themselves, were thus representatively shadowed out to me in the dream. What was further said by them was also perceived, to wit, that these same discourses of theirs could also be molded into and exhibited in indefinite other representations than such as were witnessed, according to the states of spirits around me, and thence according to my own state, so that infinitely various dreams might occur from the same discourse, or from the same ideas of speech, for the memories of men are recipient vessels, into which flow ideas according to the variations of form and according to states. 4033-1


It was now observed, as previously remarked above, that evil spirits were constrained to utter the things that were to be noted [and recorded] by me, although ignorant of the reason of the constraint; on which account even those mucus-spirits became indignant that they should speak thus, not knowing that it was for such a purpose or that they spoke what I was to note down as coming from them. There was then given also a perception of what was to be observed, and yet evil spirits, as they have now said, know not whence it came, and are disposed to abstain from uttering certain things for the reason that they dislike that anything should be divulged concerning them, from all which it appeared, that even those things which I have learned by means of evil spirits, I have learned from the Lord alone, though the spirits spoke. It was otherwise when good spirits spoke; they declared openly how the truth was. - 1748, November 22.


When those mucus-spirits flowed in, it was perceived that they moved my tongue towards a decayed tooth; there was then also on the back of the neck a sense of biting as of lice; then an itching in the nates; all which was from them.


1-2. They farther spoke with me also as if in the throat or trachea, yet without sound, and solely by a certain self-vibrating wind, saying that such was their inward speech with man.


As they were ignorant of what conscience is, they asked of me respecting its nature. It was given to reply, that it was all that internal sensation which is experienced when a man acts contrary to goodness and truth. When anything of this nature is done, man is conscious of the contrariety, so that it operates as a certain kind of sensible check, as with me; moreover, that it is a perception given by the Lord, by virtue of which one is affected with pain that he has done aught that is contrary to goodness and truth, and with a self-sorrow, so that he, as it were, sheds tears, as the principle is one of the most interior nature; for weeping ensues when anything is done contrary to good. - 1748, November 22.


CONCERNING AMENDMENT IN THE OTHER LIFE. While man is in the life of the body he can be reformed, for he is then in the enjoyment of a corporeal memory, in the vessels or ideas of which interior ideas are based, so that a plane of ideas is prepared in which order is terminated. These ideas or vessels are prepared by the Lord in various ways, especially by the connection of such things as agree with other ideas of the corporeal memory, so that when one is excited another next to it and akin to it may be produced, and thus be bent to good; then also by the disposition 4037-1 of many ideas, that there may be more; for certain general ideas are first introduced and then particular ideas, and afterwards particulars of particulars, which are connected together by the disposition or arrangement of the Lord, for there are connections [of ideas] as of consanguinities and affinities in every simple idea, and more so in every compound idea. It is the same with those things that pertain to the knowledges of faith, to which knowledges they have respect; ideas are in this manner bent or inclined by the Lord; confirmations are then added, which are all in the corporeal memory; where are also the knowledges of faith thus everything is disposed in a connected chain by the Lord; concerning which much more might be said.


But in the other life this implanting or inrooting in the corporeal memory does not take place, for in that life it is not permitted to use the corporeal memory, therefore spirits are not then reformed, but remain in the state in which they were [in the world]; only the defilements and the falsities of the corporeal memory, and of interior ideas are subdued by vastations and punishments, so that they become as dead and are made obsequious, concerning which I have spoken before; and this is what is meant when it is said, that man remains after death such as he had formed himself in the life of the body; wherefore in that life they are not reformed, but vastated, that they may subserve some kind of uses, which also appears sufficiently clear from the case of those who in the life of the body were devoid of conscience, as adulterers and the cruel. These become excrements, and sit like dead stocks, and afterwards serve as a class of subjects that have scarcely anything of life. Conscience is not subsequently given to them, but those things are taken away by vastations which hinder their being adapted to uses.


On the other hand, those who have acquired a conscience in the life of the body, that is, those who have received goodness and truth, these in the other life receive far more, yea, infinitely more, for all their faculties are immensely augmented. In like manner the evil qualities of the wicked are there so much increased, that those who, in the life of the body, were but little deceitful, are very deceitful in the other life, so as there to become magicians. Hence they rush into hell, and into punishments and vastations. - 1748, November 22. There are also scientifics which they acquire to themselves there, and the faculty of their life in regard to acquiring and exercising them is there greater, but still it does not go beyond the actuality acquired [in the life of the body].


CONCERNING FORM. Speaking with spirits it was said, that the honestum signifies all the moral virtues, and that the decorum was on account of the honestum, thus from it; wherefore it is a form of the honestum, and not the reverse, the two being related, in fact, just as are the essential and the formal; the same thing holds in regard to the good and the true, or the celestial and spiritual; so also with the real and the non-real. - 1748, November 22.


THAT NOTHING IS FROM ITSELF. The deceitful spirits over the head, by means solely of their roundabout leading of thought, prompted the spirits that were above me to speak, which they supposed to be wholly from themselves, although it was not congenial to their nature, yet they supposed it to be from themselves; as, for instance, that I should not do so and so, because it did not succeed, and that I should ascribe it to insanity. This they said as from themselves, so that they knew not the contrary till afterwards. Cupidity and persuasion appeared, but this was perhaps breathed in, as it usually is. It was thought alone [that operated], and this is merely a directing of the vessels of the memory, which caused the speaking to be as if from themselves. It thus appeared how it is that they move subjects to speak, viz., by means of thought alone, which the subject follows and utters. This was shown from others who led the deceitful also to speak; one thus prompted said that he simply thought, and as he thought he spoke, but whence came his thought he said he did not know.


That this was merely a directing of the vessels of the memory plainly appeared, as while the vessels of the memory are directed the spirit who speaks cannot speak otherwise. It was proved also by experience in the case of spirits, that they would imperceptibly and quickly dispose the vessels of the memory, when the spirits [acted upon] could not speak otherwise, than according [to the influence]; when they attempted it others would act upon them, and there was then perceived something unpleasant and untoward [or abortive] which cannot be described. Hence it is evident, that there is a constant disposition of the vessels of man's corporeal memory, for as the vessels are disposed, so spirits speak, and so it is also that those who are in proximity cannot think otherwise, for the vessels of the memory are planes into which ideas are determined, which vessels, if they are not fitted, cannot receive, and as they are fitted, so they receive. The ideas of the proximate spirits are, as it were, bound to these.


The vessels of the memory, with those that are in faith, are disposed by the Lord; with all by the Lord through angels, in a general way [in communi], with a variation of generals, as otherwise angels could not be present. The particulars of generals belong to men or spirits; thus no other particulars can coincide than such as pertain to generals, as otherwise nothing particular could exist in universal nature. Every general has indefinite particulars, though some are discordant and opposite, as in musical instruments; thus arises a general sphere, which exists more or less extended. These generals are not only changed by the Lord, but there are also indefinite consociations of generals, so that the generals of many things constitute one general, as there are also mixtures of cupidities and indefinite consociations of affections.


Then there are also generals which are not so consociated as to make a one, which are simultaneously present, as when a man is thinking and yet notes the objects that occur in his path, and the like. These generals proceed from what is interior; things interior appear in the corporeal memory as generals; angels cannot otherwise flow in, for they dispose the corporeal memory in a general way as to the variations of its general [ideas]. But evil spirits are, as it were, in a chain of connection with the particulars of the memory of those who think evil, so that not only are the nearest spirits in such a chain, but also more remote evil spirits. It is truly a chain, for with those who are not in true faith, the particulars are produced by evil spirits; but with those who are in true faith, the Lord disposes, through the interiors and through heaven and the angels, each distinct particular. - 1748, November 23.


There appeared a large mass of silver which was conveyed into the pocket of my garment. There was moreover a large quantity of silver coins which were turned into a thickened plate of silver that filled the pocket of the garment; signing perhaps the [spiritual] things or truths that are now given me. - 1748, November 23.


CONCERNING LOVE. That love is the fundamental principle from which and by which heaven exists and subsists, is evident from the circumstance, that there must be such harmony and unanimity, and hence so universal a consociation, that the whole heaven, the whole world of spirits, that is, the whole human race from its first creation, should form a ONE, as all and every particular in man, in whom there are indefinite things, forms one body, and thus constitutes one man; in which body if anything were to prefer itself to any other thing, and not to love another thing better than itself [it could not subsist]. He who is in genuine love has an idea of the common good and of the universal human race, in respect to which every individual man should be as nothing, as is known; wherefore unless a man regards himself as associated with his fellow, and esteems himself as nothing in respect to the common good, and love his neighbor better than himself, he can by no means be in the unanimous body [heaven], but he necessarily expels himself from it, so much as he removes himself from that love. - 1748, November 23.


CONCERNING CANDLES AND LIGHTS. Candles were often seen by me, and a light issuing from them round about as from candles [in this world]; indeed so often that I cannot recount the times. I have seen also flames of various size and color. Yesterday I beheld the dry light of a coal fire, as I have also done at other times. Occasionally the light or fire was more or less dry, but when the most so, it approached to a coal-heat, so that there was scarcely anything visible but a black coal, which also was frequently seen. Yesterday I saw the fire of a hearth kindled with wood, and the light thence; then also two candles, whereof the flame was white, and thence there shone such a light. - 1748, November 23.


CONCERNING THE HOLY SPIRIT. It was perceived that men could clearly enough comprehend that there is no Holy Spirit [as a third Person in the Trinity], especially from this, that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Lord, by which is signified that the Holy of the Spirit is [the Holy] of the Lord, and this is implied in its proceeding; for what else proceeds from anyone than what is of him [or his essence]; besides that the Lord openly declared this and demonstrated it by breathing [upon the disciples and saying to them] that they should receive the Holy Ghost, and that it was from Him. - 1748, November 23. From the Lord proceed the truths and the knowledges of faith, which are of Him and to him, because from Him. The knowledges of faith, goodnesses and truths are holy things, nor do they pertain to anyone but the Lord, for the Lord is faith and the all of all faith; these are the things which proceed from the Lord, and when this proceeding is through angels and spirits, they know not that they speak, and then they may be called the Holy Spirit, because it is the Lord Who proceeds through them as organs and mediums. - 1748, November 23.


CONCERNING THE CRUEL UNDER THE NATES. There are lakes or a direful hell of the cruel under the nates, where they attempt to strike each other with knives, aiming the knives at the breasts like furies, everyone thus striving to murder every other one that is there; but the knives, at the very instant of giving the stroke, are continually taken away from them. These are such as [in the world] bore so violent a hatred against their fellows, that they desired utterly to destroy them. Thus in the other life this becomes their hell. - 1748, November 24. On account of their manifold cruelty, it was said that this hell should not be opened, except in a slight degree, to the end that I might see the nature of such mortal hatreds.


CONCERNING PERSUASIONS. There are two lives, viz. the life of persuasions and the life of cupidities, which are at the present day distinct with the human race, who suppose, that man may be saved by faith alone, and who thus separate the life by which they are to be saved from the life of the body, as they separate thought from will, which is a species of simulation, as if one could think in one way, and be saved by the life of thought, while he lives in another, thus being, by the life of thought, in heaven, and by the life of the will in the world, when yet these lives are not to be separated.


4024-1 A Swedish word, signifying couch.

4033-1 Compare AC 1980, 1981.

4037-1 The word in the original is "dissipationem," but the context seems plainly to indicate that it should be "dispositionem".

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