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

Spiritual Diary


There are Gentiles who had heard, in the life of the body, concerning Christians, that they led a very evil life, in adulteries, quarrels, hatreds, and drunkenness, and who then had a horror of them, because such things were against their laws and manners and their religious principle. Such, in the other life, are more timid than others about receiving the truths of faith, because they retain that fear, and a certain species of horror against Christians so called. Wherefore they are instructed by the angels, that there are very many such, and they are moreover instructed by experience, that there are others, though few, who are not such, and that the Christian doctrine dictates quite the contrary [life]. They then receive the truths of faith.


CONCERNING THE ANTHONY WHOM THEY MAKE A SAINT. It was perceived that Anthony of Padua was present in front, somewhat below or parallel with the lower part of the foot. He appears in an obscure dress and severe [in look]. I spoke with him and asked him whether he thought himself to be holy; he answered at first that he thought himself anything rather than holy; but it was perceived that he still retained the proud desire of being a saint; for which reason I spoke sharply with him. It was perceived also that he did not much acknowledge the Lord, and I told him that he should have worshipped the Lord in life, and have referred all things to Him, and that all holiness is thence. Many things passed between us which I do not remember. When anyone comes to him, he is led to say, that he cannot introduce anyone into heaven, nay, that he does not know where heaven is. I perceive that he does not know what heaven is. Spirits mock him, and he wishes to retreat from them but cannot.


THAT ALL PLACE IN THE OTHER LIFE IS CHANGE OF STATE. On my first awaking at an early hour in the morning I perceived more deeply than at other times, that progressions from place to place are nothing but mutations of state, notwithstanding it appears to those in the other life as real a locomotion as when one passes from place to place on the earth. It was then perceived that no one can ever move a step unless all and singular things are disposed by the Lord into such an order, that to each least idea and affection societies may correspond, so that there cannot be anything so exceeding small but that [a society] corresponds to it, as also that it is of the Lord that they can thus correspond, from whose efflux, or divine sphere all those things and societies also are disposed into order. Wherefore progression from place to place is from society to society, and because these societies have a constant situation, according to all the differences [of thought and affection], mutations of state appear as progressions; which was so clearly perceived that there was no doubt left of it. Thus each state has its own situation in the Grand Man, as also without it.


CONCERNING DREAMS AND INFLUX. I again dreamed a dream, but an ordinary one like those of other persons. A certain one spoke with me, and upon awaking I related the whole matter from beginning to end. The angels said that it coincided entirely with those things which they had spoken among themselves; not that the things seen in the dream were really the same, being in fact altogether different, but yet they were such that the thoughts of their speech were capable of being turned into them, so that they were representatives and correspondences; nay, this so extended to single things, that there was nothing which did not coincide. I spoke with them concerning influx, and the manner in which such things were turned into things quite different and not recognizable as coming from such an origin, and indeed flowing into ideas variously conceived, and how each particular with them excited something agreeing with it in the idea; as, for example, the person seen in the dream was one of whom I had the idea that he was in natural truth, and this only from the actions and speeches of his life; while with the angels, in the meantime, there was a discourse concerning natural truth, wherefore that person was represented, together with what he had spoken and done, all which followed in order. Hence it may in some measure be manifest of what nature influx is, and that what thus first falls in the way is held as a subject, and that the other things follow in like manner, thus from the subject whence it is, that a something historical is represented.


CONCERNING MARRIAGES AND ADULTERIES. There were certain spirits who infested me with a peculiar cunning by a very gentle, and, as it were, waving influx, and quickly averted all my thoughts. Their influx was peculiar, and such as I had not previously experienced. After many such wiles and machinations, and after representations had been presented to them, that they might be led to desist from such things, but in vain, I at length spoke with one of them, perceiving that when he lived in the world he had been the leader of a certain army. I spoke with him concerning marriage and adulteries, observing that he had accounted adulteries as nothing in the life of his body. I spoke with him in the language of spirits, illustrated by representative ideas; for the language of spirits is such that, in expressing anything, they also present it, as it were visible, but in modes which cannot be described. Affections, cupidities, and similar things are presented to the life by variations of light, and these too modified with an almost endless variety. This speech is perceived very rapidly, so that more can be expressed [by it] in a moment, than by human speech in hours. The discourse was concerning adulteries, that they are abominable, although they appear before those who are such in the light of their life, as pleasant; but that they are abominable was shown by this, that marriages are the seminaries of the human race, and thence of the heavenly kingdom, thus of all the men in the earth, and of souls, of spirits, and of angels in the heavens, and [that] therefore they were to be held sacred, and never to be violated; that thence also in the Word, and among the precepts of the Decalogue, adulteries were so severely prohibited; that civil laws also throughout the world utterly prohibit them as things to be abhorred; that all such when they only approach to the heavenly societies perceive an insufferable stench from themselves, and are precipitated as if into hell, because [adulteries] are contrary to heavenly things, and because heaven and mutual love which makes heaven, are founded in conjugial love, and the kingdom itself of the Lord is a marriage, and all conjugial love descends from it, because from the Lord, and intimately conjoins minds, penetrates and affects them; as also, that the light of his life, which was adulterous and appeared to him so delightful, if it only approached heaven, would be turned into dire and infernal darkness, so that he would then think his life, from which he would perceive such a light with horror, to be altogether infernal. It was given me to say these things to him; whereupon he answered, that he never felt anything of this kind in the world. He would have objected ratiocinations, but it was said to him, that he could object a thousand ratiocinations favoring the delight of his life, until he became so entirely blinded as to believe [adulteries] lawful, for which reason it was not even permitted him to act by ratiocinations, because this [sanctity of marriage] is most true, and the [things asserted] are heavenly and eternal verities, thoroughly attested from experience as was said to him. It was at length shown that adulteries destroy conjugial love, which is the fundamental of all the loves of man. Being thus convicted he was indignant, nor was he able to say anything, but that he had never heard and thought thus in the life of the body. Pr: Eugenius. It was said moreover, because he wished to act by ratiocinations, that the truths which had been spoken to him should first be refuted [by him] and shown not to be truths, and that he ought not to speak from the delight of his life, and that afterwards, when he was convinced that adulteries are vile and that he was in another life, he then might look to ratiocinations and from his state judge of their true quality.


It is also wonderful that it should not be known to anyone as yet, that mutual love and the faith of heaven, or angelic ideas concerning mutual love and faith, when they flow down into the world of spirits, where there are evil spirits, are turned into a foul adulterous sphere; hence it is that in the Word, un-beliefs are called adulteries and whoredoms, and this very often; the reason is, as was said, because the mutual love of heaven is founded on conjugial love, that is, is derived thence, and that thus adulterous spheres, as contrary to them, exist.


He was led yet farther to think that adulteries are vile, which he and everyone would apperceive, if he would recognize the precepts of the decalogue for truth, and the other divine commands together with civil laws, and should afterwards think thence; that he would then find many things confirmed; or if he [would think] from injuries offered [to himself] by others, that for example if his own wife should thus be injured by another, he would avenge it even to death, and if in that state he should feel that it was a horrible thing for another to do the like, and should confirm himself in this belief, that then he would have been able at length to abhor adulteries.


CONCERNING CONJUGIAL LOVE. I also spoke with the angels concerning conjugial love, or that which exists between two conjugial partners who love one another, that it is the inmost of all loves, and such that partner sees partner in mind [animus] and mind [mens], so that each partner has the other in himself or herself, that is, that the image, nay, the likeness of the husband is in the mind of the wife and the image and likeness of the wife is in the mind of the husband, so that one sees the other in himself, and they thus cohabit in their inmosts. This was represented by angelic ideas which cannot be expressed by angelic ideas which cannot be expressed by words.


The love of lasciviousness was also represented as external, and not entering the mind [mens] but remaining in externals, and it was insinuated, that such love is for the most part confounded with conjugial love, when yet, it is the love of lasciviousness. Of this kind also is the love between a husband and several wives, in a marriage of which kind there never can be conjugial love, as also neither with those who love others extraconjugially; for conjugial love is such, that the husband does not admit even a thought concerning any other woman, nay, abhors it, since in love truly conjugial, the inmost is a principle of conscience.


CONCERNING MEMORY. A certain spirit was indignant that he did not remember those things which he knew in the life of the body, that so he might be able to speak from the memory of the body; but it was replied to him, that it was enough that he could think much more and much better than in the life of the body, and better understand all and singular the things which present themselves in the other life; for that those things which are in the world had been left behind by him, and that now he was in another life, where he had everything requisite for its use; for that man is such, that he has and receives all things necessary to live and enjoy the life in which he actually is, and so also in these things.


CONCERNING THE SPEECH OF ANGELS. The speech of angels is most expressive and most significant, and is carried on also by wonderful variations of light, whereby they present their ideas variegated by light. The light itself, which is in their ideas, and which attends them, expresses all the differences of affections, and this so accurately, that the nature of the affection is immediately manifest. I have also spoken with them several times by this kind of speech.


CONCERNING PAUL. Paul is among the worst of the apostles, which has been made known to me by ample experience. The love of self, whereby he was ensnared before he preached the gospel, remained with him also afterwards, and because he was then, for the most part, in a like state, he was prompted by that love and by his nature to wish to be in scenes of tumult. He did all things from the end of being greatest in heaven, and of judging the tribes of Israel. That he remained such afterwards appears from very much experience, for I spoke with him more than with others; nay, he is such, that the rest of the apostles in the other life rejected him from their company, and no longer recognize him for one of themselves. [I know it] also from the fact that he associated himself to one of the worst devils, who would fain rule all things, and pledged himself to this spirit to obtain for him his end; besides many other things, which it would be too tedious to relate. If all the things which I know concerning Paul should be related, they would be enough to fill sheets. That he wrote epistles does not prove that he was such [as that would seem to imply], for even the impious can preach well and write epistles; it is one thing to be, and another to speak and to write, as was also said to him. Moreover he has not mentioned, in his epistles, the least word of what the Lord taught, nor cited one of his parables, so that he received nothing from the life and discourse of the Lord, as was also said to him, when yet in the Evangelists is the very Gospel itself.


CONCERNING THE LITERAL SENSE OF THE WORD AND HYPOCRITES. PAUL. There was a certain one who was insensible to the internal sense of the Word, because he wished to place merit in his actions (:Paul:). He was for a long time at a distance from me, and also among the worst class of spirits. He now associated himself with the worst devils, and now wished to form a heaven to himself [of spirits] to whom he might give joys from himself, but the joys of cupidities and pleasures; this also he attempted, but he became worse in consequence of it, and was cast down. I then spoke to him that this was not heaven but hell; and it was actually turned into a black hell. He wished especially to have hypocrites [about him] concerning whom I spoke with him; there were hypocrites with me for several days, which I was able to know by the pain in my teeth: they tacitly pressed upon me without intermission; and it was perceived and said that this was from Paul, who hates the internal sense, and that the anger of that hatred has the effect of drawing hypocrites [about him], and that such is the connection of things, for hypocrites believe nothing, but still esteem the literal sense of the Word, because they can thence take many things and apply them in persuading the vulgar, and thus contrive to appear pious.


THAT IT IS MAGICAL TO WILL TO MAKE ONE'S SELF GOOD FROM AN EVIL END. To will to become good, nay, to make one's self good, when good is intended, this is good, though it is not known that it is from the Lord; for thus there is received a celestial proprium. But those who wish to make themselves good for an evil end, as of ruling others, of destroying others, and so forth, to these it is magical; the former is from heaven, the latter from hell. A certain one given to magic willed to become good from himself (:Alderheim:); he hit upon the plan of drawing to himself certain good spirits, and of having them about himself, that they might make him good; but this was turned into hell to him, for his end was to do evil by that means, thus to do what was yet more magical. He was then depressed yet lower, [to a place] whence he could not elevate himself. Hence it is manifest that such a thing is magical; I spoke concerning it that such is its character.


CONCERNING THE GENTILES [AND] CICERO. There was one with me, who, as I think, was Cicero, for about a day, and I spoke with him of various things. He wondered at the printing types of our age. We then spoke concerning various things, and also concerning wisdom, on which our conversation turned. He said that wisdom was of life, and could not be predicated of anything else. We also spoke of intelligence, that it was from thence, which was also confirmed; then also of order, that there is order in all and singular things, and that order is from the supreme God, and thus that to live in that order according to the divine order was to be wise. He knew, besides, many things also concerning the Lord, and when I remarked in the conversation, that He was born a man, but was conceived by God, and that he put off the human and put on the divine; this he understood well, and acknowledged that it could not be otherwise. Meantime certain evil disposed Christians, who were round about us, infused various scandals, but he paid no attention to them, saying that it could not be otherwise, and that too with inward confirmation. These Christians then present wondered, but he said to them aloud that this was not strange, because they had imbued principles in the life of their body on these subjects, such as were not becoming, and that therefore, before those principles were dispersed, they could not admit confirmations, as could those who were in ignorance, which is the case with those who have known nothing concerning the Lord.


I perceived his delight when I read the prophetic Word arising from the fact, that every name, and every word, signified interior things; and he greatly wondered that the learned, at the present day, were not delighted with such a study which they would find delightful and useful before any other.


I perceived manifestly that his interiors were opened, while with many of the Christians who were present they were shut, as was also said to them, for there reigned [with them] a cupidity of envy against him, and there were contests of unbelief with him. When he perceived, upon my reading in the Word, that its expressions involved such sacred things, he said that he could not be present, because he perceived a holy principle in which he could not be. Thus, though a gentile, he was affected more interiorly, while the Christians said aloud that they could be present; but this was because they were not all affected.


CONCERNING AUGUSTUS. I spoke with Augustus; he was an upright man, but he had a peculiar sphere of authority which made him unwilling that anyone should speak to him. He so restrained me by this sphere of authority that I did not dare to address him; perhaps because he thought this would savor of undue boldness towards him. He showed me a round or oval window which he had in his palace, saying that through it he looked at those who were without, and explored their quality without their being aware of it, and that when he found anyone who pleased him, he gave him functions and honors, when as yet the man knew and expected nothing. He was with me several hours.


CONCERNING HYPOCRITES WHO HURT THE GUMS OF THE TEETH, AND THEIR PUNISHMENTS. There were hypocrites with me for several days who caused a pain in the teeth, but not so violent as before; it became at length a kind of dull and almost insensible pain, but the gum was in such a state, that the teeth were not firm in it, and when I touched the teeth upon the right side and the gums, they were painful; this lasted for several days. At length on waking, I heard that very many were undergoing punishments one after another, and that the punishments passed to a distance and upwards to many; the punishment was a peculiar kind of laceration; it was perceived that they were hypocrites who had been vastated, and had very little life remaining. That they were collected about me and made to themselves a sphere as of a society, and thus a habitation according to the form of a kind of society, extending a long distance, was because there were hypocrites about me, who, as it were, attracted them within their sphere; for where there are evils, there are the genii and spirits of that evil. After they were punished that pain of the gums was still perceived. Hence it may be manifest of what quality hypocrites become when they are vastated, namely, that they have little of life. Except that pain I felt nothing from them.


CONCERNING THE SIRENS WHEN THEY LAY SNARES BY NIGHT AND SEEK TO OBSESS MAN; AND CONCERNING THEIR PUNISHMENTS. There were [male] sirens about me for several weeks, to the left above; and sometimes entirely above the head, but for the most part to the left above; these harassed me by their magic arts and profane adulteries, and at length went so far as to speak just as if in the body. I perceived from their speech that they thought themselves to be altogether in the world, which they also said [they were]; this I heard and mentioned to others. This is an inclination that they wish actually to return into the world, thus wholly to obsess man, which they also attempted with me by night while I was asleep. They labored by various arts to enter into me, and thus to obsess me and, as was said, to cast out my spirit and to substitute their own. The fact of their having this desire was perfectly evident; they, as it were, cast themselves into me, from their station above the head in front. I touched their hands in that state, besides other things which might be mentioned. But they were punished very severely, by a peculiar punishment of laceration as to the head and bones, which were in fact completely broken, with excessive pain - a punishment continued for a long time, even for hours. They wished to escape by arts like those which they practiced in the world, by lying and urging various pretexts; but it was told them that this was in vain in the other life, for that all thoughts and actions were known there.


CONCERNING PUNISHMENTS, THAT THEY ARE OF MERCY. I spoke with spirits who thought that to be punished was against mercy; but it was said to them that it was of mercy, and of unmercifulness not to be punished; and they were convinced [of their mistake] by an example; to wit, that if a father does not chastise a son or a daughter who is wayward and does evil, but indulges him, he is then unmerciful, for that he then encourages his son to all those evils, and is thus against his children and unmerciful toward others. The same considerations prove that it is not against love. The principle may be illustrated also by the case of a king who pardons the wicked and does not punish; he is guilty of more unmercifulness, for he thus tolerates the wicked in his kingdom, and increases their number. Such is the case with punishments in the other life; if the evil should not be punished, even to emendation, as is always done, they would not only remain wicked, but would injure the good, which is against mercy.


IN WHAT MANNER THAT WILL BE RECEIVED BY MANY WHICH IS WRITTEN THROUGH ME. I received letters [informing me] that not more than four copies had been sold in two months, and this was made known to the angels: they wondered indeed, but said that it should be left to the Providence of the Lord, which was such as to compel no one, though it might be done, but that it was not fitting that [any others] should read [my work] first but those who were in faith; and that this might be known from [what happened at] the coming of the Lord into the world, who was able to compel men to receive His words and Himself, but [yet] compelled no one, as was also the case afterwards in regard to the apostles; but still there were found those who would receive, to wit, those who were in faith, to whom also the apostles were sent. It was thus shown, moreover, how the case is with others in the Christian world, by the circumstance that [some spirits] were remitted into the state in which they were in the life of the body, it being then given them to think concerning those things which were written about the other life, and in explication of the internal sense, and they were then as if they would vomit; thus rejecting all those things, which they also said [they did], and thus confessed the truth.


CONCERNING PROVIDENCE. I spoke with spirits as to how the case is with the life of man in the world and in the other life, and it was shown by a representation to this effect, that minds are borne, according to changes of state, upward and downward, and that still there is continually a kind of common attraction of that whole general sphere [to which it belongs] an attraction of the impious downward to hell, and of the pious upwards to heaven, of which they are not aware. For while [the former] are on high, they despise all things, and when they are below, they are either in humiliation or contempt of themselves, or in fear, and recognize [their state], and thus their minds are constantly borne about, although there is still a reigning something in the midst of the sphere, to which it returns. Such is the case with states of life in the world [arising] from various fortunes successful or adverse, and such also it is in the other world for some time, while there is still a kind of general attraction either upward or downward. Thus it is with the [Divine] Providence, which acts gently, and which always draws upwards, while man forces himself downward; so that his power preponderates, whence [he tends] to hell. It is otherwise with those who have lived in charity, as their tendency is then upwards to heaven. These things were thus representatively set forth before spirits, who were then in a similar idea, and were wonderfully affected, recognizing that the truth was as above stated.


CONCERNING A CERTAIN ONE, WHO THOUGHT HERSELF TO BE LIVING ALTOGETHER IN THE BODY. There was a certain one who appeared to me while I was in a kind of middle state between sleeping and waking, but nearer to sleeping. When I awoke I spoke with the [female] spirits who were above me, who said that they thought it to be a woman who could speak with spirits in like manner [with myself]. It was shown to me by living experience how they spoke with her, to wit, by an influx somewhat obscure, but still apperceptible to me; for I was put into that state. But they were instructed, that it was a woman spirit who did thus, and that she then perchance thought herself to be altogether in the body, and thus suffered that they should speak with her, and be thence persuaded [that she was in the body]. The woman was guarded that no one should do her harm; she threw herself forth in spiral projections, by which is signified something deceitful; but whether it was something deceitful for the end of ruling, or on account of the kind of delight that she apperceived, was not given me so well to know. Hence it may appear that there are spirits with whom other spirits can speak almost as with a man. There are also female spirits who enter almost into the corporeal nature, and these speak altogether as in the life of the body; they think themselves also to be in the body, they so transfer internal things to external, or are of the crew of the sirens. But in this case, as I conjecture, their last state is at hand, for they thus go towards exterior things and interior ones are drawn back.


HOW IT IS TO BE UNDERSTOOD THAT WE MUST NOT JUDGE CONCERNING OTHERS; SOCIETY; THE INTERIORS. I have spoken frequently with spirits as to what is meant by the precept that we are not to judge concerning others, and it was agreed that everyone may judge concerning another as to what regards his civil life, and also his moral [life] so far as it concerns the civil. It is proper for one to know what connections may be safely entered into, and how much trust is to be reposed in another; what is suitable to be done, and what not; for there are pretenders, deceivers, hypocrites, adulterers, and evil men of all kinds; there are wise men, and fools, and those who value nothing of the public [good], but prefer themselves, and all varieties of character; consequently, without reflection, thought, and thus judgment with one's self, no one would ever be able to live in civil life. It is especially [necessary to judge] whether this or that man is useful for discharging public offices, and so forth; in which it is not possible to distinguish without judgment with one's self concerning another.


But as to what concerns the interiors, as to the life of faith, and such things, concerning these we must not judge; [because] the Lord alone knows them. A thousand persons may appear alike in externals, nay, speak alike, and yet be altogether different as to those things, and the ends of each one as to them can never be known; to judge from actions concerning them is to be deceived; besides, many more things which might be adduced. I spoke with spirits, that it is altogether another kingdom in the other life: another form of government, another [principle of] government, other laws, nay, other wars, to wit, against evils, and infernal [spirits], and other consociations which are according to the interior ends of the life; these never appear before others in the life of the body, wherefore we are not to judge concerning them. From much experience it is known to me, that [many of] those concerning whom the world has judged evil, as to their interiors, are among the blessed, and on the other hand, that [many of] those of whom men have judged well, are among the unhappy.


CONCERNING WEALTH, POWER, AND MAGNIFICENCE IN THE OTHER LIFE; ALSO CONCERNING PLUTO AND THE INFERNALS. I spoke with a certain one who was in front somewhat below, whom I supposed to have been great and opulent in the life of the body (a Czar), saying that such spirits as they had nothing in the other life, no garments, no gold and silver, and none to serve them; but that they were exceedingly poor, otherwise than in the life of the body; that they hereby brought with them the phantasy of still thinking themselves to be such as they were, when yet they were not. It was then given me to say, that the angels are most magnificently endowed, that they dwell in palaces so wonderful, that as to architecture and the wonders thereof, all the palaces of the world could not even be compared with them, and this with variety forever; thus that the angels are most magnificent, but still penetrated with the most profound humility; that they are most opulent and dwell in atmospheres, as far as can be seen, of gold, of diamonds, of rubies, and of pearls, and yet the they are such as to desire from the heart to give all these things and yet more to others, nay, to be willing even to be deprived of them, provided others might rejoice in them; that they are most powerful, because thousands, nay, myriads, confer their power upon them, so that they are able to subdue hell, and that yet, notwithstanding, they are such that they desire to rule over no one. Those who were around wondered greatly that it was so, when yet it is really the case; but those who wish and desire to be rich and powerful have nothing whatever.


There then came a certain spirit who said that he was Pluto. He was one of those called Plutonists who have the phantasy of seeing immense treasures of gold, and riches, with which they are delighted, from the phantasy which they have contracted for themselves from the body, because they were such as to place all their delight in those things apart from the use they are capable of yielding. It was given to say to him that these things are worthless, like the mud of the earth, so the if he had one chamber full of such golden treasures, and another full of clay and mud, the one would be worth no more than the other. The reason why they possess gold in the earth, is because they regard opulence in their gold; they think that they possess all things, while in fact they possess nothing except this phantasy; these are the Plutonists. This one said that his state was such, so that while intent upon these things, they were turned at times into mud, and that, when he wished to give some of this [wealth] to another, it was changed with him likewise into mud, so as to be most absolutely nothing, and that he had no use from it, except such a filthy one as is called phantastic.


I spoke of the riches of the world that they are worthless, and that it is use [only] which makes them to be anything, and that such as the use is, such is the something that they are, so that when the uses are very great they are something considerable, but that, abstracted from use, they are nothing more than the dust of the earth, from which whatever is taken is rejected as of no account.


CONCERNING THE MEMORY OF PARTICULARS. I heard a certain spirit rehearsing to another, who was a siren, the enormities he had committed in the life of the body, and this as to [every] word which had fallen from him. This was done rapidly in order, without hesitation, by exciting ideas to the life together with the circumstances, in the way that spirits speak, which is rapidly. It was attended with interior acknowledgment on the part of him to whom he spoke; this took place several times. It was thence shown that [spirits] have with themselves all the particulars of the memory, and lose not the minutest thing, except bones and flesh, which are common [to men] with brute animals, and that thus they have no reason to grieve for the death of the body, inasmuch as they are still living. To such souls as loved the corporeal memory and grieved at the loss of it, it was shown, that they had all and singular the things of it with themselves; notwithstanding [this love] they are not willing that their evils should be called out thence, and thus be made manifest; for all their actions, thoughts, and ends would thus be manifest before others. On hearing these things they are not willing that they should be made manifest, by the laying open of that memory.


There are some spirits such that they can call forth those things; they belong to [the planet] Mercury, and have reference to the interior of the inferior memory, and its sense. It was told me that they are possessed of this power towards each other, and that they are able, when it is permitted them, thus to behold the particulars of the memory of spirits. Hence it may be manifest, that the evil man atones for all his thoughts and actions in the other life, and that if he thinks he has not done evil, they are then called forth in order with acknowledgment on his part, [because represented] with all the circumstances.


CONCERNING ORDER, AND THAT ON ACCOUNT OF ORDER THEY THROW THE BLAME OF EVILS UPON THE LORD. Nothing is more common with spirits than to think that all blame, nay, punishment, thus evil, is of the Lord, because he permits; but I spoke with them on the subject, saying that so indeed it appears, but that in reality from the Lord is order itself, that evil punishes itself, thus that evil and the false return to the perpetrators in innumerable ways; that this is of order and the laws of order, and that because they act against order and think against order, and consequently esteem it just to love themselves and their own, they thus throw the blame of evil upon the Lord, when yet they themselves are in fault. That it so appears to them is a fallacy; for everyone wishes to have order observed, according to the order in which he himself is; whereas the order from the Lord is, that it may be well with all; it is like the case of one who acts against just laws, who, as he wills against them, is indignant and angry at them, and throws the blame upon the legislator because he has so made the laws, consequently one otherwise than another; when yet with the legislator, there was no other end than the common good, wherefore he who sins against the laws is the one in fault; he cannot look beyond himself [or know] how much of the common good there is in his conduct, but only how much particular good agreeable to himself.


CONCERNING THE COMMON GOOD. I spoke with the angels cogitatively concerning the common good, to the effect that he who, in the life of the body, is for the common good, is also for the common good in the other life; the common good in the other life is the kingdom of the Lord; and he is thus for the kingdom of the Lord, consequently for the Lord himself, who is the all in all things of his kingdom. Hence, how much zeal anyone has in the world for the common good, so much he has for the kingdom of the Lord.


THAT SPIRITS CAN DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, AND THUS THAT THEY ARE NOTHING. I spoke with spirits concerning the circumstance that they think themselves able to do anything from themselves, for they are generally boastful, and because it is permitted them to act according to their phantasies and cupidities, they think they can do much. But it was given to reply to them, that they know that everything they think flows in, thus that they cannot think from themselves as from themselves, and because they cannot think from themselves as from themselves, that consequently they could not [so] act, because everything that is acted comes from thought, inasmuch as nothing could be acted by them without their [first] thinking and thus willing it, because they could not deny that everything they thought flowed in, neither could they deny that they were unable to do anything from themselves, unless they willed it like something inanimate, or brutish, which continually acts from a certain cupidity or affection.


CONCERNING MUTUAL LOVE, THAT ALL HAPPINESS IS THENCE, [AND] THAT MUTUAL LOVE IS FROM CONJUGIAL LOVE. There were [some] spirits who doubted that all happiness was from mutual love; they desired to know whether it was so. They were [therefore] sent into a certain state of mutual love [to a place] in front at a distance, [and] in a middle altitude, and spoke with me thence. They said that they perceived a happiness, which they could never have believed [possible], and proclaimed thence how great it was, being unwilling to return thence into their former state. There were there other spirits who could not be reduced to that state, who were sent thither near them, [and who] said that they felt nothing; this was done that the quality of the one and of the other might be known.


I was instructed that in mutual love there is a certain derivative species of conjugial love, [such] that one wills to be the other's, and thus reciprocally; this is [the nature] of conjugial love; but that of mutual love is, that one wills to give all that is his to the other, except his own life, which [last] is what conjugial love wills [to give]. Hence it may be manifest that mutual love is derived from conjugial love.


CONCERNING THE STATE OF SOULS AFTER DEATH, FROM A DREAM What is the state of souls after death, how they see, feel, and enjoy the other senses together with the affections, was shown to me by a dream into which I was sent; for in dreams corporeal things are laid asleep, and are, as it were, dead, [and] this holds more remarkably with me than with others, because in my case the spirit act more separately from the body than with others. In that state I saw a city with buildings, and a fair where there were utensils of every kind for infant children, all which I observed for a long time, wandering hither and thither in the city in the midst of a large crowd, as the place abounded with people. All these things I saw so evidently, that they could not possibly have been seen more manifest to the eyes of the body. I supposed myself to be altogether awake, and thought how I came into the city, whether by a miracle or not; all the while [it was in my mind] that these things were presented to me to be seen by the sight of the spirit, not of the body, but that still they were such that there was no possibility of denying them to be real - so much to the life did all things appear. I continued for an hour beholding these things [at least]. When I awoke, I wondered that it was a dream, and could have wished, if other reasons had not drawn me away, to remain in that state [permanently]. I afterwards spoke with the spirits who introduced the dream.


CONCERNING THE INFLUX OF THE LORD INTO THE CHURCH, [HOW] IT IS FROM ALL, [AND] THAT IT IS LIKE A HEART. It was said that the church of the Lord is like the heart and lungs, and that thence there is an influx into others [who are not of the church]. It was perceived how the case is, namely, that it is as in man; that as the other viscera, which are of inferior use, are from the heart and lungs, so is it with the kingdom of the Lord in any particular earth. That there is an influx from many, [nay] from innumerable multitudes into everyone, is manifest from experience in my own case, nay, that there is an influx into every idea from many [even] from the universal heaven according to affinities, as in the human body; or, as by means of many muscles disconnected with each other and by means of still more motive fibers, one action results, The same might be manifest from experience, in that one beautiful [appearance] may arise from many lascivious women together. In this manner the Lord forms a one out of innumerable [particulars], according to His good pleasure. This is the case also with the church of the Lord in the earths; angels dwell with those who are in love to the Lord and in love to the neighbor; these are, as it were, the heart and lungs; and the case is similar with man on the earth; where there is no church, the angels are removed, so that an influx through very many societies of angels is no longer possible, and from them into those situated remotely from them; for there is no proximate conjunction from which there may be a derivation to others, and so on.


CONCERNING SOCIETIES OF FRIENDSHIP. High above the head are societies which are to be called societies of friendship. They live in a friendly manner among themselves, thus in the delight of friendship, but not in the delight and blessedness of mutual love. They have with them a light almost flaming, with very many pleasant and delightful things which they greatly enjoy. They were with me or above me twice or thrice, and it was then given me to apperceive whence was their delight. Wherever they come they derive the delights of others to themselves, and those whom they deprive of them are then in an obscure and unhappy state. They said that they were not aware that they did this; but it was shown to them that it was so. They took away from me in like manner my delight, and I was then in obscurity and sadness, which was increased in the degree of their delight. I spoke with them, and it was given me to upbraid them. I was in formed that such is the nature of the delight of friendship when it is not the delight of mutual love. Hence it may be manifest how the case is in the other life with those who love their associates above all others, or for the sake of delight, and still more of what quality those are who are in the love of self, [namely that they are such] as to deprive all others of their delight, and derive it into themselves. For this reason they are separated, and when they come to an angelic society, fall down like a heavy weight.


CONCERNING INFERNAL AND HEAVENLY DELIGHT. A certain doctor of much dignity, who thought himself learned beyond others, could not in the least understand, in the other life, what infernal delight was, and what heavenly delight, although he was instructed and the difference was shown to him by living experience. He made infernal delight and heavenly delight entirely as one in his idea. He was an interior hypocrite, and perhaps had profaned holy things; he was, at the same time, contumacious in laying snares, and cunning in devising deceits, like a serpent all venomous within; wherefore he was sent into infernal torments.


CONCERNING THE SIMPLE IDEA OF THE LORD, AND THAT HE RULES ALL THINGS. There were those who were in the simple idea concerning the Lord, that he rules all and singular things. The simplicity of this idea cannot be described; though it could be presented perfectly with these spirits, because they know from experience how much thoughts operate, and that magical spirits operate by the influx of thoughts and affections, and because the influx is such, such spirits desire to rule; whereas unless one ruled supreme, all things would perish, and such a state of confusion would arise that nothing would subsist. Hence was their simple idea concerning the Lord, that he rules all things. Its simplicity consisted also in this, that the Lord was a Lord to them, without any thought of the Divine, the Human, and the Holy [Proceeding], but only concerning Him as one. From this idea also flowed [the persuasion] that he rules the thoughts as to all and singular, and even the minutest things; and that they were in blessedness when they were ruled by him and thus in safety. Those of this class were many in number, and at the same time certain companies of spirits approached them who entered into their idea and perceived in it their blessedness; the reason was, that they had formerly heard so many disputes and ratiocinations concerning various things pertaining to the Lord and concerning faith in him, wherefore this was to them as a sweet rest. I was also remitted into the same idea and perceived blessedness in that simplicity, and at the same time that there was innocence in it.


CONCERNING A SUBLIME IDEA OF THE LORD. There were at the right side, high above the head, certain angelic spirits who were in a sublime idea because they thought, apperceived, and heard so many things concerning the Divine, the Human, and the Holy of the Lord. Wherefore I was remitted into a sublime idea that those three were one, which idea cannot be described because it is possible only in the other life, and words will not express it. The Divine was for the celestial, the Human for the rest who were beneath - though the Divine was also applicable to the latter - while the Holy [of the Lord] was all the sphere thence proceeding, because there is nothing in the Lord but the Divine Holy. These things were represented by an angelic idea, and this as a One adapted to the whole heaven, in which idea they had their blessedness.


From the prior idea and from this it was perceived how blessed a thing it is to have a faith of the heart that the Lord rules the universe; and that this is the principal thing of faith.


CONCERNING FAITH; CONCERNING IDEAS. All things which are of the memory and thence of the thought are ideas so that the things of memory are nothing but ideas, whence thought, howsoever obscure it appears, is distinguished into ideas. This may be concluded from speech [arising] from thought, inasmuch as ideas fall into words.


Moreover, I was informed how the case is with ideas, namely, that those ideas remain with a man and persuade him, which are from himself, not so those which are from others. Although there may be an authority which [in some degree] impresses the ideas of others, still, before the man has formed ideas for himself from himself, they do not actually inhere nor persuade. After this there comes the love of self and selfish ends, and thus ideas from others are implanted. So much as anyone has from himself, so much remains with him and persuades, but not so much as is from others.


Aristotle formed his philosophical system in the natural order, that is to say, from the analysis of his own thought and the like in himself, which he so described. Thus he had first an idea of his own thought, and thence formed a philosophical system in his own manner, that he might describe, and, as it were, paint it to others; but his followers proceed in inverse order, viz., from such scholastical things as they call logic, and metaphysics, and philosophy in general, onward to the acquisition of ideas concerning thought. But inasmuch as this is inverted order, they are always casting themselves into stupidity or darkness concerning interior things, while Aristotle himself advanced into light. To seek for ideas concerning the interiors of the mind from terms and such things is to plunge into utter darkness. Hence it is that most men believe nothing concerning internal things, and the learned less than the unlearned.


The case in this is as it is in very many other things, as, for example, in speaking from thought, or speaking from words, and, in those things which are of faith, believing from the affection of good, or believing from the doctrine of faith. The former is genuine, but the latter inverted order.


CONCERNING THE HELL OF THE NEPHILIM OF THIS TIME, PROPERLY OF THE SIRENS. Certain sirens were with me for a whole year, who had at their command a most filthy and profane subject. They who have been such in this life as to become sirens hereafter, are every where spoken of or described in the world as most estimable, as to all kinds of external decorum, and [polished] manners, and what are termed intellectual endowments. Preeminent in this class are the sirens who properly rank among the Nephilim [giants], having most filthy interiors, being given to magic and adulteries beyond all others. They esteem as nothing the most impious and abominable adulteries, laboring continually to destroy not only the conscience, but the body also, and even burning to bring down the soul to the lowest hell. In a word their profane hell itself was concentrated in their subject; so also in others of this kind.


These [female] Nephilim or sirens showed frequently that they pervert the sphere itself of the world of spirits, in that they imbue holy goods and holy truths, nay, the Lord Himself in their thought and persuasion, and wherever they are borne about they carry with them the persuasion that the Lord is there, and so pervert the sphere, equally with the antediluvians.


It would be tedious to relate how they mix holy with profane things, for it was given me to apperceive such things for a whole year. They never care whether things be holy or profane, provided they can only use them as means to allure sincere souls and spirits for the sake of destroying them. They lay hold of all kinds of things in their minds, and then inhere in them with persuasive thought thence derived; and this with a wonderful discrimination according to the geniuses of those whom they allure, which they then perceive, and thus win them over to themselves and this with the utmost diversity of method. They thus pervert not only the grosser spirits, but also the more subtle, to such an extent, that they would be able, as was shown, to mislead infants; it was only shown me, however, that they knew how to do this.

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