Spiritual Diary, by Emanuel Swedenborg, , tr. by Bush, Smithson and Buss [1883-9] at sacred-texts.com
CONCERNING THE PROVIDENCE OF THE LORD. I have heard and perceived spirits conversing together respecting the Lord's Providence in the minutest particulars, but what they said cannot be described, for their speech is at the same time representative, involving things wholly indescribable. There are in one idea more things, combined with representations than could be set forth in many pages, and many which could not be described at all. It was then perceived that the Lord's Providence extends to the most minute particulars, but not in such a series as man adopts and proposes to follow, for the reason, that all and singular things are disposed in their own order, and future events are previded and provided, which [at the same time] do not happen as man supposes. - 1749, April 6.4202.
CONCERNING SPHERES. The quality of the spheres of spirits as arising from dissent, from consent, and from opposite persuasions, is clearly to be perceived. There flows in a general dissenting, consenting, or persuading principle, and all particulars then present themselves as confirmations, so that it cannot be known but that the truth is what it appears to be. The stronger such a dissenting sphere is, the stronger is the persuasion, so that oftimes I could not otherwise perceive than that the false was the true, and the evil the good. Such a power of persuading is a common or general sphere, and it is such in all the particulars which thus become confirmatory, for the general is in the singulars, or in other words, the singulars derive their nature from the general, with which it is identical. When such spheres were shown me by colors, they appeared gross as if confasciated or interwoven together like the rafters in a roof. In point of color, they were for the most part of dim asure, afterwards verging to yellowish, - from which it appears how great is the density of such a sphere, that has first to be dissipated - and round about something luminously yellow, signifying the sphere of goodness and truth, which, however, is not able to penetrate the sphere of persuasions. From such swathings or roofings the quantity so to speak, of the sphere may be noted, and how accordingly falsity is diminished in proportion as they are diminished and vanish away. - 1749, April 9.4203.
It appears from this how deeply and how easily a man may be confirmed in evils and falsities, unless he cordially believes truth from the Lord, and that there are around everyone who is in falsity and evil such dense spheres, which cannot be broken through unless that by a long process falses and evils are previously dissipated. Those spheres appear as in clear day to good spirits and angels, whose spheres can by no means accord with them, as the mutual repugnance prevents their uniting; if they do come together, then those who are encompassed by a sphere of falsity and evil suffer extreme torture; and if by permission the spheres of the false and evil prevail, the good come into temptation and thence into anxieties and anguish; the respiration also is taken away, as one cannot live in the sphere of the other unless by a miraculous tempering of each. There is a spiritual sphere surrounding everyone, as well as a natural and a corporeal one, which latter, pertaining to every man, is composed of an effluvium breathed forth from around him, and which is so abundant as to form a kind of sea round about him, as in fact the learned have established by many experimental proofs. - 1749, April 9.4204.
CONCERNING THOSE WHO THINK THAT ALL THINGS HAD AN ORIGIN AND THUS GOD IS NOT ETERNAL. Concerning those who entertain this opinion I have already remarked that they are in the extreme limits of the universe, and it was observed that whenever this idea recurs evil spirits pant in breathing and good spirits who are in the idea of time are distressed; those who are in the idea of time cannot think otherwise than by time [per tempus], viz., that eternity itself is nothing different from time, when yet with the Lord all and single things are eternal, and the idea of time cannot accord with the idea of eternity. Those spirits therefore were rendered anxious and oppressed by that idea, pondering as they did upon the origin of the Lord because in the idea of time. As soon, however, as they are elevated above the idea of time all such anxious cogitation vanishes; from which it appears how much of time inheres in the ideas. It was then said and insinuated into their ideas that they should think whence was the origin of all things, or whence was the origin of nature - whether nature was before the world was created, and thus whether nature was eternal - whether God was eternal or whether nature was - if nature, whence His origin, since the lower cannot be the origin of the superior, but on the contrary exists and subsists from the interior or superior, as otherwise the lower world would not be at all. There must be a cause of all things, a cause prior to the thing caused; of every cause there must be an end, the end must be prior to the cause, and thus everything must be from Him who is End itself, the first and the last, thus eternal; that is to say, everything must be from God or the Lord. By this idea the impression was conveyed that whether nature was eternal, that is, without origin, or whether the Lord was, anxiety ought at any rate to be put to rest. - 1749, April 9.4205.
CONCERNING THE HATRED OF THE EVIL TOWARDS THE LORD. Those who in the world had not been conscious of hatred towards the Lord, but were still in the love of self and of the world, that is, had lived in hatred towards the neighbor and been utterly regardless of the Lord, these in the other life entertain a most deadly hatred towards the Lord. One cause of this hatred is that they then observe that heaven is the Lord's and the Kingdom is the Lord's; and inasmuch as such as they are cannot be admitted into heaven, but precipitate themselves into punishments and torments, they attribute this to the Lord, for they suppose that all of whatever quality, even such as themselves, might be admitted into heaven; whereas if they could come thither they would destroy all society and all order, and aim to subjugate all things to themselves. Because therefore, they cannot be admitted into heaven, and because they incur to themselves such pains and penalties in the attempt, they conceive such a hatred towards the Lord. - 1749, April 10.4206.
THAT EVIL PUNISHES ITSELF; AND CONCERNING PERMISSION. It appears from the order in which all things are in heaven and in hell, of which I have spoken elsewhere, that it is ordained that all evil shall punish itself and thus that evil itself shall tend to abolish itself. Such is order, and this is called permission, which nevertheless is a universal law; as also that mutual love shall reward itself and that it shall fare with everyone according to what he wills to another. - 1749, April 13.4207.
CONCERNING THOSE WHO DESIRE TO RETURN INTO THE BODY AND INTO THE WORLD. There are spirits who desire to return into the body and thus again into the world, and in this manner to obsess men. Such are retained in their own hell, that they may not come near to man. Adulterers and sirens are pre-eminently of this class, as also others. They are sometimes punished with great severity that they may have a horror of that cupidity. The phantasy of a body is induced upon them by the punishing spirits, so that they know no otherwise than that they are actually in a body, so entirely similar is the sensation; nay, such spirits can, as it were, harden the body, and so put them in torture by mangling all their limbs, and breaking them in different ways, accompanied with immense anguish, and this often till they are inspired with a honor [of such a desire], for horrors, terrors, and shames are external bonds which are imposed through punishments upon such souls or evil spirits after death. - 1749, April 13.4208.
CONCERNING THE SPEECH OF ANGELIC SPIRITS. The speech of angelic spirits was perceived, but not heard or understood; it was only perceived by the sense of sight under the form of a shining vibration. They spoke for some time among themselves, and it was said to me that this was the speech of angelic spirits. This shining vibration that appears before the internal sense of sight is varied according to their state; their state was at this time a joyful one, which was in this manner made known; the splendor itself was, as it were, the splendor of their joy. Meantime I conversed respecting this speech with spirits.4209.
With evil spirits of an interior sphere the case is not the same; there is no splendor, but only a something obscure, for all their states, as is all their speech, are closed, consequently there is nothing living in their speech; it is a speech as of closed ideas, from which their quality is barely to be inferred; there is among them from this source a general something which is obscure, sad, and revolting. Concerning this kind of speech I spoke meantime with spirits.4210.
It was granted me to speak with angelic spirits, but through intermediates, when barely a few general ideas, instead of many particulars, reached me. It was given me to speak with them through these general ideas or impressions which in my mind from being thus general were extremely obscure, but to the perception of angelic spirits everything stood forth distinguished into its most minute and singular items, as it was also then given. - 1749, April 14.4211.
As to what relates to the speech of spirits in the world of spirits, they have their ideas founded on material and corporeal things, and whatever ideas are not material [in the outset] they still make so by terminating them in material things and taking thence the vehicles of their thought.4212.
Interior spirits do not thus make their ideas material, but they make the subjects or things themselves material and to these things thus constituted they adjoin ideas, forming a speech of ideas so wonderful as scarcely to be capable of description. - 1749, April 14.4213.
CONCERNING THE INFLUX OF THE LIFE OF THE EVIL AND OF THE GOOD. When evil spirits flow in with their ideas, whether speaking or not speaking, they make the matters of communication to be, as it were, alive, but they are not alive but dead; they only appear so; they are as something lurid which is at the same time lifeless. This apparently living, or this lurid thing, is in itself dead and dark: such also is their life considered in its principles; it appears as light, but it is the light of winter; it is otherwise with the light of the good. - 1749, April 14.4214.
REPRESENTATION WITH SPIRITS; AND CONCERNING THE BROAD AND NARROW WAY. Everything may be represented before the eyes of spirits, not merely like things pictured, but precisely as they appear when seen by the natural eye in the world, as gardens, groves, palaces, and the like, all which appear just as they would [in this life], but they are still representations, or things apparent, and not real. There is nothing but that can be thus represented, as the forms of men and multitudes of other things; but they are fictitious representatives like certain optical illusions.4215.
Representatives not fictitious, but yet consisting of mere appearances, are such things as are presented to the view of angels in a light originating in the order of the things from which such representations flow. These representations are, as it were, the originals or prototypes of those things that are in the world, such as paradises, etc. etc. By means of these external representations both evil and good spirits are inspected or explored by the angels, and a perception at the same time had of their quality.4216.
There was represented a broad way leading to hell and a narrow way leading to heaven; the broad way appeared as if planted on either side with beautiful trees, but having serpents creeping here and there over it. The narrow way on the other hand, was cheerless and obscure, but around it were angel-infants beautifully adorned, which, however, were not visible. When the question was proposed to some which way they would take, they answered, while not seeing the serpents or the infants, that they would take the broad way, but as soon as these objects were clearly presented to their vision, the serpents in the broad way and the infants in the narrow, they then demurred as to their former choice and said they would take the narrow way. - 1749, April 14.4217.
CONCERNING THE ANTEDILUVIANS. I have occasionally perceived, from hearing, how these spirits tumultuate under the cloudy or misty rock, and not only have I heard it, but I have actually felt it under the heel of the left foot. It is a kind of effort to elevate themselves, but it does not go beyond a mere attempt. They are thus continually striving to emerge into the world of spirits, and to suffocate it with their persuasions, but they are withheld, and can effect nothing beyond an abortive attempt. Those who obstinately persist in this are sorely punished by their associates, especially by the sensation of deadly bitings, in order that they may be inspired with dread, as also that they may be let still farther down where the mistiness of the rock is still more dense. They rove about like wild beasts in the woods, and sometimes cruelly torment themselves. - 1749, April 14.4218.
CONCERNING THOSE WHO SAY THAT FAITH ALONE SAVES WITHOUT GOOD WORKS. I perceived occasionally during the lapse of one or two days a sphere of scortation, which was diffused around, but which more especially descended from the region beneath the nates. As the sphere was an infesting one, I wondered from whence it came, and it was said that it proceeded from those who were in the persuasion that faith alone was saving, and that good works had no effect but to damn, and were therefore abominable. Those of this class are under the nates, dwelling in mutual railings and feuds, farther than which I did not perceive. From thence descends a sphere within the body, to the left, and from their attempt to be saved above others there is a perpetual struggle upwards, and in the direction, as was said, of the left part of the body and onwards towards the heart and the head. In speaking with those of this principle, it was given to ask them what they really believed in saying that faith alone saved. This, however, they did not know, for they do not know what faith is, except that it is something which saves. Upon reflection they said that if they should believe that God the Father created them, that Jesus saved them, and the Holy Spirit purified them, then salvation would follow of course, even though in the very hour of death, and though they had lived an evil life all their days. Those who were still lower down said that they knew nothing as to what faith was; that the sum of their knowledge was simply - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and if there was anything more in faith they were ignorant of it; for as men are prone to reduce what they have learned into one formula, this was theirs, to wit, that they barely knew - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and that to know this would save them. - 1749, April 15.4219.
CONCERNING THE MOON IN HEAVEN. There was shown me a Moon shining, surrounded by a great number of little moons similarly shining. The light was almost solar, and quite lifelike. Upon making inquiry in regard to this [I found that] the spirits supposed that they were the Moon encompassed with such lunettes [lunulae], but that they were not visible on our earth. I was informed, however, that the Lord appears in this manner to the spiritual angels, but to the celestial angels as a sun, and that from this source is the light of the celestials in heaven, while the light of the spirituals is from the Lord appearing as a moon; and although he does not really appear as a Moon, yet their light is similar to that of the Moon vividly shining, while the light of the celestials is like that of the sun. - 1749, April 14. This Moon did not appear on the right where the Lord is, but above in front.4220.
CONCERNING SPHERES. On seeing a certain person clothed in garments decorated with gold, I conceived that from the pride of his apparel he was continually thinking of himself, of his own honor and repute, even while other things were on his mind, and that too from his thoughts being attracted in that direction. Whoever yields to that attraction induces by degrees a habit, and such a train of thought rules with him as often as he is thus showily dressed, or sees other people, and from hence is acquired a sphere of self-honor or self-love. The case is the same in regard to everything by which a man allows himself to be attracted, which are more numerous than can be recited; so that even while he exercises his thoughts respecting the things of faith, that leading idea still remains with him, and becomes so familiar that as often as anything occurs respecting faith, the man is still in the same general idea or sphere. Such spheres are among those which are most manifestly perceived in the other life, even upon one's first entrance thither, for they excite with others, as they did with me, whatever is accordant with them, thus disclosing at the same time whatever is discordant. Spheres of this kind are wont also to be turned into spheres of odors, which from their quality are fetid and disgusting, to the last degree. They are also sometimes converted into visible spheres, when they appear of spherical form, and from their essential properties are horribly revolting, as is the case even with [the sphere of] civilities.4221.
How it is that from habit or actuality such a result is produced appears from a variety of similar things in regard to which a man is not aware that they are contracted by habit, as for instance his speaking, his eating or chewing, his walking, all which a man learns, and without learning could not do them. So it is also in respect to the avoidance of objects in one's way, the perception of the quality of others from their speech and face, and the motion of the arms; in fact, the case is the same in relation to all the senses, that certain results are contracted by habit which, from their being so familiar, one is not aware that they pertain to him. - 1749, April 15.4222.
CONCERNING CONSCIENCE AND CONCERNING THE ANGELS. It was given me to perceive how conscience is formed. A man learns that this or that is true and good, and when he thinks of this and it occurs to him that it is true and good - usually in the first instance from some particular end, as either of self, or the world, or eternal life - and the thing becomes very familiar by recurrence, he at length ceases to be aware that he actually and of truth acquired the perception. Then the ends of self and the world are gradually removed by the Lord, and so far as they are removed, so far charity succeeds, till finally there is no selfish end remaining. - 1749, April 15.4223.
It was perceived that the angels care for nothing else with man than his ends; if his end is self and the world, they then oppose it, and remove it, as far as can be done, and turn it into an end of good, in which case they are greatly delighted. So far as an end of good prevails, so far they are present, and so far as an end of evil prevails, so far are they absent or remote. Still they are prompted by the Lord to withhold man from precipitating himself into the greatest evils, which they do by means of external bonds that excite and influence him, and which at length become familiar with him. - 1749, April 15.4224.
CONCERNING STATES. A spirit runs through all possible states, and when he comes into a state familiar to him, he then comes into his life, and it was perceived that at the first accession of that state, the spirit desires to plunge himself [as it were] into the state of his life, and inasmuch as a spirit passes through all possible states, therefore when he comes into contrary states, he is immediately pained or mulcted, and when he rushes into evil beyond the measure of actuality he has acquired, he then punishes himself or runs against punishment. - 1749, April 15.4225.
CONCERNING THOSE WHO WISH TO POSSESS MAN. For some two or three days I have been among those who desire to possess men, and who are of such a quality that they think of nothing else than of returning into the world, inasmuch as their thoughts are [dominantly] worldly and corporeal. They are absolutely ignorant of what spiritual life is, and their sphere is a sphere of continual adulteries. Their position is high above at the back; there are among them not only exterior, but interior spirits, and that too quite numerous, who are of this quality. Their sphere is turned into a kind of intestinal sphere; their ideas were represented to them by long-drawn intestines, at the sight of which they sadly lamented. Some of them, who seemed to be like spirits flying hither and thither, were desirous of possessing me as it were by main force, but I was preserved by the Lord. They are such as in the life of the body loved worldly and corporeal things, and feared death out of regard to their life in the world and in the body, which they held most dear; the greater part of those of this character having been middle aged or aged persons; those who died in boyhood or girlhood are not of such a quality, because not yet ensnared by the love of self and of the world. These when they come into the other life seem to themselves merely to hold on in their begun existence, and are therefore unassailed by such a love. The above mentioned class of spirits are withheld from man, nor is it permitted them even to approach him. - 1749, April 16.4226.
CONCERNING CONTINUAL REFLECTION, AND THE CONTINUAL PRESENCE OF THE LORD WITH THE ANGELS. CONCERNING SPHERES. It was first perceived how the case is with continual reflection, that it is not innate with man, but that it is imbued by habit from infancy, so that at length it becomes as if natural. Thus is it, for instance, as I have before remarked, with reflection upon the things that one meets with in walking, upon the motions of his body and limbs, upon his gait, into all which he is led by habit; for unless he had previously learned it, he would not even know how to walk upon his feet, and of such things there are a great many with man that are at once acquired and yet naturalized. So also is it with his speech whether vernacular or foreign; the sense falls into words, while the man does not think of it, from custom, although it is the result of previous training; so also it is with those who practice upon musical instruments. All things of the external body are thus imbued, the muscles being wonderfully taught, and also the sight and hearing. When one speaks then the sight is present, as also the hearing in various manner; especially when one speaks with a person of dignified rank, there is a sentiment of respect in every single item of his behavior which is in like manner acquired. The same thing holds likewise with the man who is regenerated, as was perceived; thus in regard to matters of conscience, conscientiousness is present in every particular of the man's thought and action, though he is not aware of it; with the pious man, piety is in everything; with the obedient, obedience; with the charitable, charity; with the conjugial, conjugial love. In all these cases the ruling principle is perpetually present [in the minutest particulars], though the man is not conscious of it. In like manner is the presence of the Lord with the celestial angels; they do not know it, still it is the Lord's presence. Consequently when it is said that the Lord is continually to be thought of, this that I have now described is what is meant by it; not that man is to hold his thoughts perpetually and sensibly on that one theme, which may, however, be done in the outset [and be persisted in] until such a habit of unconscious continuity is acquired. - 1749, April 17. Hence, I now perceive, are the spheres of faith.4227.
A DISCOURSE WITH THOSE WHO BELIEVED THAT FAITH ALONE WITHOUT WORKS WERE SAVING. It was shown me how numerous they are who entertain this belief. They are above and round about the left region of the brain at a very considerable height. Their aspect in front was first shown me, and from these I was led almost round [to the opposite side], and then spoke with them; they were such as believed in salvation by faith alone without good works. From my saying that charity was what saved, and from dwelling at some length upon charity, they infested me during the whole night, for they are strongly vindictive, as is the case with priests who are in that faith, as was said to them, nor do they fail, if one does aught in opposition to them, to inflict punishment upon them. That they are thus unforgiving was clearly evinced to me from the fact, that they persisted so tenaciously in infesting me during the whole night, and that in the morning they were just as intent upon it as before.4228.
When I spoke with them at an early hour they said that I was nothing, because I was impelled to thinking, to speaking, to everything, and therefore that I was nothing of myself, which indeed many spirits evidently perceived, for I have been now for four years in such a state that I have neither thought nor spoken anything from myself; but I still see that when I seem to be, as it were, myself, in thinking or speaking, yet upon inquiry there are others immediately found who have prompted it. When I spoke with them, therefore, in the morning, after they had wondered awhile, it was given to say that this was well, inasmuch as if there is anything evil thought or spoken, it is not mine, but proceeds from evil spirits, wherefore it is not appropriated by me. If I should believe that it was from myself, the evil would be properly appropriated to me, and thus I should add actual evil to actual evil. On the contrary, whatever is good is from the Lord; so that as I do not attribute merit to myself from thinking, speaking, or doing good, so neither do I commit sin therein. He, therefore, who is of such a character as to believe that the fact is as it is, that is, who is in true faith, or in the truth of faith, he is guiltless of then committing sin, and whatever evil he seems to himself to do, believing still the truth of the case to be what it is, that there are evil spirits who have been present and persuaded him to it, the evil is not then appropriated to him. As many of those with whom I conversed were preachers, they said that this was well, wishing the case to be their own in order that they might be free from [the guilt of] sin. But it was given to say to them that they could never be such unless they were in the faith of charity; that it was not sufficient merely to know the truth, but it must be acknowledged and believed; and if they acknowledged it in this life they would receive the ability to acknowledge it still more in the other life, and then they would be bound also to acknowledge that no one can possibly have faith except from the Lord, and also [sincerely] to believe this, and thus that it has no existence except from the Lord, which also they said; for they had preached that faith was from the Lord alone, but still they had not truly acknowledged it. It was farther said that they had so preached as to declare that when anyone did evil he suffered himself to be led by the devil; and as to themselves when they preached well, they said that they were led by the Holy Spirit, and they prayed that the Holy Spirit would guide their thoughts and words. But still although they had said this, they had not believed it; and this they acknowledged, for when they were remitted into the state of their speech, or into the self-love from which they had thus said, they confessed that the fact was so. - 1749, April 21.4229.
CONCERNING CONJUGIAL LOVE. Conjugial love is the fundamental of all mutual love. Mutual love is to wish better for another than for one's self; but the tie of conjugial love is still closer. One in that relation not only experiences the highest felicity in giving himself up to his conjugial partner, that their minds may be united as one but this love is the love of the conservation of the whole human race; it is the Lord's mercy towards the universal human race which inflows into conjugial love, and from thence into the conjugial love of married partners flows the love of procreating offspring, and the love of offspring itself; and they are moreover so created that their minds [mentes] and minds [animi] may be more and more closely united. - 1749, April 21.4230.
CONCERNING FAITH ALONE AND ADULTERIES THENCE. Whatever things exist in the spiritual world are turned into representatives, according to their qualities, in the natural world of spirits. There were some, concerning whom I have spoken before, who believed salvation to be by faith alone, however men may have lived, whether in adulteries, or in hatreds, or in luxuries, and when these spoke with each other concerning faith alone, or faith separate from charity, there existed thence in the world of spirits, the most obscene representations of adulteries at which I shuddered. From this it appears what kind of a spiritual principle pertains to this doctrine, and that its sphere flows into the sphere of the foulest adultery, with which it agrees.4231.
The case is otherwise with those who have believed in salvation by faith alone, and yet have lived good lives; they are not at all such. - 1749, April 23.4232.
CONCERNING CHANGE AS TO SOCIETIES. It was observed that a spirit, and still more an angel, changes his society according to the changes of his state, which takes place continually; but they are transferred by the Lord from one society to another, according to his good pleasure. Whenever I have clearly observed that I was translated into other societies and thus removed from those with which I previously was, the accession to such others seemed like a kind of transmigration, or a removal upwards, downwards, to the right or to the left. I then spoke with the spirits whom I had left as having now become remote, at which they complained, and then with those to which I approached, and so on through different societies in order till I reached that to which it was the Lord's good pleasure [to conduct me]. This has happened to me very often, and is a kind of journeying. Today I came to a certain civil society. - 1749, April 23.4233.
CONCERNING A CIVIL SOCIETY IN THE OTHER LIFE. There are many societies which are properly to be called civil, inasmuch as they perform civil offices to everyone, not perhaps so truly from the heart as from the mouth, though still not bearing anything [positively] evil or false in their hearts; as when they say to a guest that his coming is grateful and acceptable, and so when they wish his departure, that they have business in hand, and the like; yet in all this they do not falsify from a purpose to deceive or to do evil, but they are accustomed thus to speak, from their life in the body, in order to obtain their object. They are a good kind of spirits, and I spoke with them on this very point, when it was given to say that it mattered not if they spoke in this style, as nothing of evil was couched under it, nor do the angels perceive anything else than the intention, end, or will; they know not the words employed; wherefore when the intention, end, or will, in which is the life [of conduct], is good, then the words may fall as they shall chance, only that due regard is to be had for those who conscientiously believe that nothing should be said contrary to what one thinks.4234.
I have been with these spirits during this night, and was among them in my sleep, and after awaking conversed with them there, and I perceived that such societies were numerous. As I was taking my leave of them, they represented, for my sake, an aura composed of chariots and horses, which were thus seen, apparently small and in great numbers, just as if there was actually such an aura composed of beautiful horses and chariots, together with something of the cerulean hue [of the sky]. They said they were accustomed to treat their departing guests in this manner. - 1749, April 23.4235.
CONCERNING FAITH ALONE. Those who have confirmed themselves in the principle that faith alone is saving, and have made faith to be mere thought, or something they know not what, when they see of what quality they are in the other life, what their [real] life is, and that of those who have held the same belief are ashamed. Those who say they are saved by faith alone, and who have not lived in charity, are those who constitute the more general sense [communiorem sensum] of spirits; their sphere is an abominable sphere of adulteries. They act upon the back part of the neck or upon the occiput; they are pre-eminently among the most filthy, which was shown to me for the space of several days, during which nothing appeared but the foulness of adultery. This also was shown to those who had confirmed themselves in this belief and had taught it [to others], and they were ashamed. It was shown moreover, that these are they that act painfully upon the left knee. - 1749, April 23.4236.
CONCERNING THE PUNISHMENT OF THOSE WHO TROUBLE MAN IN HIS SLEEP. Upon awaking I heard the spirits who were awake above me, and who wished to be present with me in my sleep; but sinking shortly afterwards into slumber, I had a disagreeable dream, and upon awaking it was said that it was those spirits who introduced the dream. Punishers were then, to my astonishment, immediately present, who afflicted them most miserably, by mentally inducing upon them a body and bodily senses, and by a continual rolling backwards and forwards, attended with resisting struggles, so that they were torn or wrenched, as it were, by piecemeal; their purpose [animus] would have carried the punishers to the point of slaughtering [their victims]; the sufferers were for the most part sirens.4237.
I wondered that the punishers were so suddenly present, but it was perceived that it arose from the necessity of man's sleeping in security, as otherwise the human race would perish; such a punishment, therefore, follows from necessity, and that the punishers were so immediately present with a knowledge of their being authorized to act in this manner, was from the atrocity of the malice viewed in relation to this necessity.4238.
I wondered also that they were so many and that all the offenders were discovered, one company after another. The punishment went on around me, and extended to others who were in concert, and all the guilty were found, notwithstanding they attempted to hide themselves; that they should be thus discovered, wherever they were, provoked their complaints.4239.
The sirens endeavored by various arts to elude the punishers. Their arts were, that they attempted suddenly to withdraw themselves - that others were at hand, who strove to worry the punishers and to inflict the penalty upon them - that some would try to steal away the culprits, pretending that they were not guilty - that some would say that they were the ones that were punished - that some would induce upon the punishers the belief that they were punishing infants - some, angels - some, other good spirits - yea, some, the Lord himself, in order thus to steal them away, for which purpose they would enter into a more subtle sphere, hoping to allure good spirits to their aid - and in various other base ways. Still they were unable by all their arts to screen the guilty; they were most grievously punished.4240.
It was perceived that all this takes place in regard to men whom it is attempted to annoy in their sleep, although man himself knows nothing of it; for he that does not converse with spirits and who is not, in his internal sense, with them, must be wholly ignorant of these things, nor can he hear, much less see, what takes place in the other life. - 1749, April 26.4241.
THAT FROM THE LORD ALONE IS EVERYTHING GOOD, CONSEQUENTLY [EVERYTHING] TRUE. It was clearly perceived that from the Lord Alone is every good; nothing but instinct governs spirits, or [in other words] there is nothing but an instinct of evil from spirit and angel [viewed in themselves]; what is good is solely from the Lord, so that whatever good the angels may do, this is solely from the Lord. - 1749, April 29.4242.
CONCERNING ANGELIC SPIRITS; CONCERNING THE WORD, AND SOCIETIES. Angelic spirits are of various genius. They are most distinctly arranged in societies; they are in a middle distance between angels and good spirits; the angels flow into them, and they flow into good spirits. While in their own societies or among themselves, they know nothing of man; still they inflow in divers modes into man, but altogether according to the essence of his mutual love. I have spoken with them on this subject, and they said that they knew nothing of man, but I replied that I distinctly perceived their influx.4243.
There are societies that live amicably among themselves, so that they may be called societies of friendship. They do not love other angelic spirits in like manner, wherefore there is not among them a love towards others greater than that which they bear to their companions. When these came above me, as soon as I began to read something of what is contained in the book of Genesis, all delight and the life thence was taken from me, and what was left had scarce any vitality, but was, as it were, a mere cheerless inanimate something, from which I inferred that the spirits were not good, and that having found an occasion of evil they had, as it were, deformed a multitude of things that occurred in my reading, and left them not only void of delight, but sadly marred, so that it displeased me as something of no moment and of no coherency, causing me almost to conceive disgust towards it. When I perceived and felt sensibly that all delight was stolen from what I was reading, it was given to speak with those angelic spirits, and I related to them the circumstance, and how the matter stood, and they replied that it was no pleasure to them that I was thus affected, that they did not know me in the matter, nor what transpires with man, but as soon as they perceive anything delightful they seize upon it and rejoice among themselves. Being good spirits, I admitted their excuse, but I was informed that they were societies of friendship acting with due sincerity towards each other, but that they did not, like the angels, love others above themselves.4244.
I thence learned that they are above man and know nothing of what exists with him, but that by reason of a friendship of this kind they pilfer his delights, and thus induce the contrary, as has been already said, for the delights with man which are innocent are the ultimates in which the delights of the angels terminate, wherefore when angelic spirits regard and favor themselves above others, they draw away from man his delights and turn them to themselves; I spoke with them on this head, and they acknowledged the fact.4245.
It was given to compare them with a cloud which intervenes between the sun and the eye of man; the cloud takes away at once the delight of vision, and such as the cloud is, such is the privation of the sun's light. Those who are such as to prefer themselves to others, are clouds considerably obscure and dense; those who have less of this feeling are clouds less obscure; but those who do not prefer themselves at all are transparent clouds. On these points I spoke with them for a long time, and also by representations. Yea, when such clouds intervene they can take away light from the eyes, for when the life of light is obscured, the light itself is also; which was observed. - 1749, April 30.4246.
Conversing with them still farther, [I observed] that they perceived the sense of what I read, when I perceived almost nothing of it, so that their perception of the interior sense of what was written increased in proportion as mine decreased - a fact at which one may well wonder. The case is similar with children when they read the Word, as also with other pious people when they read. The things are few which man perceives, but they are many which are perceived by the angels, and they are all and singular in the interior and more interior sense; thus they perceive things which have never come into the idea of man, since man is in the literal sense, which is comparatively obscure, and scarcely any sense at all;4247.
but it was given to say to them that it would be better if man also were in light; thus they would be one, and the order would be complete.4248.
It was also occasionally observed that when angelic spirits desired to pray from me, and to know what it was that I was reading, they would surreptitiously take away my thought, and direct my attention to surrounding objects, so that my ideas would be obscured, but they were thence in light; indeed they were in a greater light of intelligence in proportion as I was in a less, and as it were in obscurity.4249.
But the case is otherwise with the angelic spirits who love the neighbor better than themselves, for it is only the love of self, of the existence of which in themselves they are ignorant, that produces and manifests the effects above described. - 1749, April 30.4250.
CONCERNING THE LIFE OF SPIRITS. CONCERNING INTERIOR WAKEFULNESS. CONCERNING SPIRITS SEEN OF OLD, AS BY ABRAHAM. In a dream by night when there was nothing at all visible, I was led into a state of interior wakefulness of such a nature that I knew absolutely nothing else than that I was fully awake. I thought as if awake, I saw as if awake, I was in a wakeful persuasion of being awake, and had not the least contrary impression. But there was within me an interior wakefulness or that of the spirit, not of the body, as I then enjoyed the full use of all the senses, and was possessed of ordinary acumen and perspicacity. I seemed to myself to be in a bed in company with a small boy, and there was seen a certain person sitting near me, who appeared in all respects as a man - in his dress, his countenance, and his speech; he even mentioned his name, and it was given to say to him that although he thus appeared, yet he was a spirit, and this it was given to evince by the fact that when he would touch me with his hand and arms, he actually passed through my body, though subsequently the experiment was made with a different result, as he did not pass through, and the sensation of touch was felt just as in the waking state. There afterwards came to me another man, having a larger face, with whom I spoke; he seemed entirely like a man, and clothed. Then there came others, and also several women, who appeared to me as in clear day, and with whom also I conversed. The bed mentioned, whereupon lay also the boy, appeared to be most beautifully spread with white counterpanes. A man was also seen shut up in a certain inner chamber, and I called another person to look at this inmate of the chamber and to say whether it could be supposed that he was a spirit, seeing he looked to the life like a man on the earth. At length I came out of this wakefulness of the spirit into bodily wakefulness, and gave way to wonder at what I had seen, as the night was entirely dark. I then spoke with those with whom I had been in that interior wakefulness, and heard them speak in return. They said that it was easy for man to be reduced into such a state, but that at this day it is not permitted; as also that Abraham was brought into this state when he saw the angels, as likewise were Lot and Gideon when angels appeared to them. They then observed that spirits may live in such a kind of wakefulness, nor know otherwise than that they are themselves the men in whom they are, and that they may do this not only while the man is asleep, but also when fully awake, and even while walking, as has two or three times happened to me. It was hence given me to know how the case was in regard to the angels seen in the Jewish Church. When I have been awakened in a manner different from usual, I have also very often seen spirits. - 1749, nothing else between May 1 and 2.