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

Spiritual Diary


Those who are in the life of such a persuasion, are vastated otherwise than those who are in the life of the will or of cupidities. The life of persuasion is so vastated that the subject of it may be reduced to complete ignorance, so that he shall know nothing; then that he shall be brought into such a state of [mental] confusion that while he thinks upon these matters he shall be so confounded that it shall almost amount to torture, as there are various kinds of internal anguish that torment one while he is returning into the life of his persuasion, which tortures are diversified according to the faith in which he had persuaded himself, or which he had confirmed. It was shown also to what degree they become confused, viz. that they know not what they say; thus they are enabled at length to return into the life of true faith; so differently vastated are they who are in the life of the persuasion of faith from those who are in the life of cupidities.


But those who are in the life of persuasion or confirmation that faith [alone] is saving, and yet live mercifully from conscience, because the Lord has so commanded and place no merit in it, but ascribe all to the Lord who has thus commanded and spoken, -they are saved in the other life. Their palace where they dwell was seen by me, or rather a certain appearance of a splendid city, with magnificent buildings, and on the side one palace with an entrance of columns of variegated brown color. It was very beautiful, having the columns placed circularly. All the buildings seen there, as the palace, the forum, which appeared large, and also the streets, were exceedingly white, so as to appear like the whiteness of snow, which signifies the life of faith.


Spirits afterwards spoke with me through mere representations, such as denoted those who are in the life of the persuasion that faith without works is saving, and of what quality they are. The representatives of spirits, which were then their speech, were many, as, for instance, of coals in a furnace, with a smothered flame emitting a little light; then an empty flask of a brown color, hardly visible, placed over the furnace; whitish stones of a somewhat bright hue; then a man with white locks awakened from a sleep, and two empty tuns. Afterwards wine cellars were seen where certain persons appeared such as are seen where the tun and the light were, and who there acted confusedly, as if from the effects of wine; then divers other things, as various little rooms with pulpits or desks differently fashioned; then black clouds which would fain arise by ladders to heaven, like devils; and finally, persons carrying a basket containing chips of wood, with a certain luminous something above, which basket they lifted upwards; besides various other things, which were the representations made by spirits, and thus a kind of speech effected through mere representations.


It was allowed to evil spirits also to speak in like manner by representations, but theirs were silly and of no import.


HOW PUNISHMENTS ARE INCURRED. It was perceived that whenever a spirit rushes or attempts to rush beyond those things which he has acquired to himself by actuality in his life-time, namely, into greater evils, that he then immediately incurs punishment, lest by actuality he should acquire still more evil in the other life. This was also observed in regard to the dragon, that punishment immediately ensues when he tends to advance beyond the due limits, - 1748, November 23.


CONCERNING A CERTAIN PERSON WHO HAD CONTRACTED A HABIT OF NAMING THE DEVIL. There was a certain spirit well disposed, but who, when he saw anything disagreeable or shameful [turpe,] was excited by other spirits, and said, that what he saw was more ugly and abominable than the Devil. Thus this form of speech, which consisted in naming the Devil, had become familiar to him. The spirits [with whom he was associated] were indignant that he should so frequently use this mode of expression, when he indeed restrained himself for a time, but still he continued to speak in this manner, wherefore he was let into the veil [a mode of punishment], as into a sack, where he suffered anxiety. When he was delivered, he came to me and I perceived the anxiety and terror which he had suffered; he told me that when he was in the veil, he despaired of ever being delivered. - 1748, November 23.


CONCERNING CUPIDITIES. I wondered that the deceitful, sirens, adulterers, and the wicked, were possessed of such knowledge and skill in infusing and doing evil. I could not but marvel both at the nature and degree of their adroitness in this respect, when I was yet aware that in the life of the body they knew nothing of the kind; as, for instance, that the deceitful should flow in with the utmost subtlety into all things of thought and affection, and pervert them, which is done by sirens and adulterers. They are acquainted with such magical arts as are never known in the world; and yet when they come into the other life they are in them, just as if in the life of the body they had practiced such arts and deceits. But it was perceived that he who is in any cupidity whatever, and in its delight, and consequently in its insane love, no matter what the accompaniments are which pertain to such an insane love, he knows them all. All evil spirits of this class, besides many others, conspire and inbreathe their evils, and when such is the quality of anyone, he knows no otherwise than that he is fully versed in them; the life of cupidity involves this in it, for whoever is in cupidity or insane love, he is in the knowledge of all such arts, even while the prompting is from others. Wherefore, as much as one is in the life of cupidities, so much is he in the science of those things which belong to cupidities, and thence in the other life are such deceits and such malignities.


The same thing appears clearly also from the love of goodness and truth. As much as anyone is in love from the Lord, so much is he in knowledges, which knowledges come from the Lord alone, as well immediately as through heaven.


That affections have with them all [appropriate] science, may abundantly appear from animals - as much those that are evil cupidities, as those which are [good] affections, and especially from birds, which know all and singular the things pertaining to their affections, of which much might be said; as, for instance, that they know how to bring forth and nourish their young, how to obtain food for themselves, how to foresee and provide for themselves against a coming winter, how to construct their nests, how to live with their mates, and what forms of government to adopt, -all which they know better than man with all his sciences. Man would have no need to establish such artificial systems of science, and to learn them, nor to write so many books respecting the training of infants and children, if he had been in the love of true faith. But since he is only in cupidities, and has merely persuaded himself of certain things of faith separate from love, he therefore knows nothing except through sciences orally taught or delivered through the medium of books, because such things as follow love are [now] to be learned.


There were certain spirits to whom it was permitted to pass from me to a certain man, and thence to speak with me. When one of them came thither and would fain perform carefully what he intended, he was unable, for he could neither perceive nor understand what he wanted. Hence he said - which was also perceived - that there was to him as it were a certain black inanimate something as a black heap, void of life. Of such a quality do men appear as seen by spirits, for such is comparatively the corporeal life, because it is corporeal. This it was given also to know from a homicide, while he lay as a black mass, as he was then in the life of the body, and he then said that he lived better thus than in any other way, and yet he appeared as a black inanimate mass. I was instructed that in regard to men who are in faith alone, that they in like manner appear comparatively inanimate, but as made of wood in the human likeness, and almost of the color of wood. - 1748, November 23.


CONCERNING ANGELS. I was instructed that the angels are not, as would appear, consociated in their places, but that most of them are devoted to their functions and uses, and that wherever they are, they yet appear thus consociated. So long as they are in uses, they are likewise in society.


Wherever they may be when thus employed, it is all the same; yet when their powers are determined to co-operation with their fellows, no such idea is to be formed as that of societies acting locally together, and thence governing inferior spirits and men; but wherever they are, while they are in uses, they are [virtually] in societies, although in the performance of some uses they may be [not only virtually, but actually] associated with others. - 1748, November 23.


CONCERNING THE INFLUX OF THE GRAND MAN. It was perceived that anyone may understand that the whole man is held in form by atmospheres, the air and the ether, and that its [pressure from] above may be observed from the fact that the ether gravitates upon all the minutest parts of the body towards the center. Man therefore cannot exist without the pressure of atmospheres, thus cannot be retained in his form. It appears also that the eye is formed altogether in reference to the various modifications of the ether, and the ear in reference to those of the air, and that the eye and the ear have thus a nexus and correspondence with the ether and the air, as otherwise neither could be what it is. Thus each exists and subsists according to those elements, and by them is moved and modified. The eyes and the ears, therefore, are passive and recipient powers and the ether and the air active or acting power. In this manner then those atmospheres can flow in and operate, and thus can those organs subsist; but by no means otherwise.


In like manner, the whole man, with his two brains and the viscera of the body, or the whole animated machine, unless it were formed in relation to the influx of the Lord, hence of the God Man; in a word, unless all and singular the exterior and interior things of the body corresponded to some such Grand Man, the body could by no means exist and subsist, and live such as it is. In order to this, it is necessary that there should be the most exact correspondence of all and singulars, with which if they are not in connection the whole would be dissolved. - 1748, November 25.


The Lord alone flows in and operates all Good and Truth; and because the human race is such that its tendency [conatus] is only evil, and is to be bent or inclined by cupidities and through cupidities to the good, and by the persuasions of the false to the true, therefore the Lord acts mediately through heaven and the world of spirits, yet diversely according to the nature or genius of every man. Therefore it is said that he acts mediately through the Grand Man; for if the Lord should flow in immediately apart from the Grand Man, man could by no means live for a single moment of time; but yet all Good and Truth is of the Lord, which is thus tempered through the influx of angels and spirits. - 1748, November 25.


It was insinuated, that if the eye and the ear were formed to the modifications of atmospheres, it would then not be according to the influx of the Grand Man; but it was perceived that nothing natural can by any means exist without something spiritual or from its own peculiar principle, thus neither can it subsist; wherefore since the spiritual is the principle and origin of the natural, the natural cannot possibly exist, so neither subsist, without the influx of the spiritual; neither can anything exist or subsist unless from those things which are extraneous to man. Spiritual things therefore are necessary with which natural things may correspond. Thus the atmospheres must be such as they are in order that the organs may be such as they are. - 1748, November 25.


WHAT IT IS TO BE NOTHING. It was perceived that when the most deceitful spirits above the head spoke among themselves, wishing even to destroy me, they said they could not do it, because there was nothing of me to be found, but if there had been anything, they could have done it. It was then perceived, and so represented, that for one to be anything, so as to have a proprium, was to present something which they could assault and destroy, as the most deceitful would then have it in their power. But when it was represented that I was, as it were, nothing, then they seemed to themselves, to have no power over that which thus appeared as nothing, for they would then have nothing to assault. Thus he is safe who in true faith believes himself to be nothing. - 1748, November 25.


CONCERNING THE MOST ANCIENT CHURCH. There spoke with me those who were the noble offspring of the Most Ancient Church, who were high above the head and of whom mention has been made before. When they spoke with me, then the most deceitful, who were at a great height above, glided down to a station over my head, and gravitated upon the head so heavily that I perceived that there was a weight insomuch that if they had not been directly over my head, I should have sunk into the depth below, for they gravitated strongly downwards; but as my head was [in a perpendicular line] opposite to them they could not effect any such depression.


Those of the noble offspring of the Most Ancient Church spoke with me saying that it was given them to rule the most deceitful, and whenever they took away from them their elation and haughtiness of mind, which fully possessed them in their greatest elevation, they then sank downwards, which was the cause of their pressing with such a weight upon my head. These most deceitful, therefore, could not boast of having accomplished their ends. As to themselves, they said they also were in an elevated position, not because they were lofty minded, but because the Lord had there assigned them a place.


Afterwards there were seen descendants of the noble offspring of the Most Ancient Church, who appeared as if separated from the former, their parent, that was first seen by me, and they seemed as something altogether inane, though still as spirits. When spirits cherish the idea that they are a kind of general, atmospheric something, wandering, about in the universe, they then appear as a general inane something; in this instance most exceedingly so, with scarcely any preception of spirit; for the reason, that when the Church declined, they then believed that their spirits or life after death would be such.


Being soon afterwards separated from their parents, they were not content to remain where they were, but wished to recede still further; the reason was that they had previously become so separated, whence it may be concluded that they were of lofty mind. It was afterwards shown of what quality was the still later progeny, and how the Church was perverted; viz. by an influx into the right side of the face, which was concentrated about the right eye, where the affections are seated, and was then cedeflected to the right and left, for the life of their affections was turned into the life of cupidities. The Ancient Church preserved its axis, who was Noah, but the rest were thus represented, and were borne away into various cupidities. They were not collected into kingdoms, but into families and nations, which families and nations in this manner receded from good and consequently from truth.


Afterwards a door was opened leading to a narrow confined apartment, and there came into view a tall man, clothed in a very white garment, like the mass robes in our churches. The whiteness was intense, and the spirits wondered who he was.


Then a certain one was seen appearing like a cloud, and around his face were many wandering stars, which signify falsities.


It was then insinuated, that the man clothed in the snow-white robe signified those who are represented by Noah, and that by Noah was signified the Church which was continued in the posterity of the Most Ancient Church as a nucleus or axis, and that by Noah was signified those remains; as also that they were few from living in a very narrow apartment.


He who appeared as a cloud with the many stars, signified the posterity of the Ancient Church, which when it was destroyed became such from being in innumerable falsities, and from their worship, which was mainly conducted by sacrifices and images, in regard to which they had originated a multitude of falsities. This was in the time of Abraham. - 1748, November 26.


CONCERNING MARRIAGE. It was perceived that he who does not live in the love of faith cannot live in the true love of marriage, and although he may seem to himself to live in the love of marriage, yet it is nothing else than a certain species of adultery or lewdness. He loves his wife solely for the sake of cohabitation and the delight of an earthly life, and his children for worldly ends, and so on; whereas celestial things, the celestial things of faith, ought to flow into conjugial love. This was confirmed from the antediluvians, who, because they lived in families could cohabit in abundant delight with a wife, but still they are of such [a celestial genius]. Nevertheless there is the delight of marriage and also cohabitation in the other life, so that there may be initiation into upright societies, which without that [love] cannot take place. - 1748 November 26. It hence also follows, that as the quality of the faith is, such is the quality of the love of marriage.


CONCERNING THE LOVE OF FAITH. When thinking of faith, it was manifestly perceived, that faith alone cannot save, since faith is of thought. What [I would ask] is faith? No one denies that those things are of faith which are in the articles of faith, in the doctrine of faith, since abstractedly from doctrine there is no faith. The doctrine of faith plainly declares that the love of the neighbor is the principal law; and since this is the principal law, it is the principal point in the doctrine of faith; wherefore unless one loves his neighbor, he is destitute of faith. Thus they cannot but rave who would separate faith from the life of love and good works, and say that faith alone is saving apart from loving our neighbor as himself and thus apart from the life of love.


Faith is life, and to live according to the principles of faith is not [merely] to think; for the tree is known by its fruit.


CONCERNING INFLUX. It was very frequently observed, whatever was infused by evil spirits, it was of their proprium, for they flow in from the proprium, and a proprial idea is always in it, for they wish to rule man and not to suffer him to be anything. But whatever is from heaven, this was seen and perceived to be almost as if it were my own, because they wish that there should be such a communication with man that he can scarcely know otherwise the it is his; so free is he in this case, while in the other he is the slave of [evil] spirits. Heaven has this from the Lord, that what is His should be appropriated to man; only a perception is insinuated that it is the Lord, but so slight as to be scarcely observable. - 1748, November 26.


CONCERNING ACTUALITY. It was perceived, that before any evil becomes actual with man, he should be on his guard against doing it; for as soon as it becomes actual it becomes customary and habitual, and at length natural; and is thus transmitted to the offspring and to posterity. - 1748, November 26.


CONCERNING AURAS. I was in variegated auras of the most soft and gentle kind, such as cannot be described. It was perceived that of these there are indefinite varieties. There appeared also a golden aura of a variety not distinctly perceptible by me.


CONCERNING ADULTERERS. There are adulterers who act insidiously by means of conjugial love and a love towards infants. One of this character was with me, who wished to be concealed, dreading lest any others should be present. Those of this stamp arose from the ground in front about Gehenna, like a certain something aerial and inconspicuous. The one alluded to seemed to himself to remove continually certain bandages or scarves which were cast upon him, by which was signified that he studied to remove the obstacles which prevented his entrance into such houses as contained beautiful wives. He afterwards issued out of his body, having a snowy aspect, being small in stature, as if it had been his interior self, and then came to me. By this was signified that he would put on the appearance of innocence, so that no one would suspect anything of evil concerning him. Coming to me he stooped downwards towards the loins and then wound himself around the loins on both sides, and indeed about the interior parts which signify a chaste conjugial love, and then through the foot, bending himself into a kind of spiral flexure, by which was signified that he would insinuate himself by means of such things as are agreeable. As he proceeded he became in the process still more invisible, so that he could scarcely be perceived, by which was signified the character of his phantasy, that he wished his quality to be entirely undiscovered by the husband.


But being ejected thence his snowy whiteness became black, at which I wondered. He was then indignant, as he was loath thus to appear, because aware of his looking deformed before the eyes of spectators. He spoke with me and expressed his wonder that there could be anyone so scrupulous as to make conscience of lying with another man's wife. Thus such persons are without conscience, and can wonder that conscience should withhold any from adulteries. Such is the Christian world at this day; they ridicule in their head and despise the conscientious; they think them to be nothing, and no part of society, but that everyone who is not of their character has [voluntarily] withdrawn himself from the common society of men.


From the things seen, and from what was consequently perceived, it appeared that those of this character assumed the air of innocence in the company of the husband and also with the wife, in order to be admitted to their intimacy, and moreover were apparently so chaste, that they seemed to think of nothing less than of such wickedness. In this way they hope to succeed in retaining the confidence of the husband, while he suspects nothing out of the way; and so also the wife demeans herself in the presence of her husband. [The traitor] is praised by the husband and praised by the wife. The adulterous wife praises him to the ears of her husband, calls him chaste and friendly, and this often continues for several years. He in company praises them, and speaks highly of their conjugial love, concerning which he utters sound sentiments, and speaks kindly of the children, and the like. His discourse is thus that of a guileless soul, when yet he is destitute of conscience and is nothing but a masked adulterer. Such a kind of life is extremely common.


Those of this character are in hell under the nates, in the vilest excrements, and are wasted to the bones, as being most deceitful, yet so that their externals appear innocent, while their internals are most foul. They thus abstract the internal man, which is most vile, from the external, so that nothing [offensive] appears in externals. They come to be at length among the robbers, who at this day represent the common sense of the involuntaries; concerning which I have spoken before.


THAT SPIRITS MAY APPEAR IN OTHER PLACES. Certain evil and deceitful spirits who are in hell yet appear in the world of spirits as the most deceitful above the head. They are in hell under the nates, which those who occupied this position confessed notwithstanding that they were apparently among the most deceitful above the head. But this appearance of great elevation is merely a phantasy of their loftiness, which phantasy being taken away they are forthwith in their hell, as appeared also from their sinking down and pressing heavily on my head. Thus also others who are in hell, in the abode of demons, when the phantasy of magic and deceit comes upon them, seem then to be elsewhere as long as the phantasy continues, but yet they are in hell, for the other place is a mere phantasy. - 1748, November 27. So likewise with many others.


CONCERNING THE CHANGE OF PLACES. It was perceived that unless societies are in divine order and so constituted as to correspond to every variety of idea as well as of phantasy, spirits could by no means remove themselves from place to place, which fact was represented by a certain immovable and inanimate something. It was perceived also that the divine ordination of societies is the cause that a man is able to have ideas, hence to think and to speak, and consequently to appear to be removed from place to place, which translation and progress is an appearance and a fallacy, but it is governed by the variation of idea or phantasy, and thence of corresponding societies, which flow in, and from which they who are in the idea or phantasy receive such [influences]. Hence are apparent mutations of place and other things, such as bodily progressions, circumrotations, foldings, lacerations, and the like. - 1748, November 27.


After the above was written I perceived that the societies around me reasoned concerning it. Their reasoning flowed in in a most general way, so that nothing was perceived but a certain obscure confused something which affected the brain with a kind of dull disagreeable sensation of pain. Wherefore if all the reasonings of spirits should flow in, man would be brought into just such an obscure general state, attended with a similar dull feeling of pain, and would perceive nothing distinctly; so that the fact of man's having any distinct idea is owing to the Lord's precaution lest any such confused impressions should enter the mind. The quality of their reasoning was also previously evinced by a white cloud in the azure vault, which raised, depressed, and bent itself about, and which was nothing else than the reasoning of a number of societies. I had also observed many years before that when I was in an obscure idea, just such a dull heavy pain affected the head. - 1748, November 27. But when I was freed [from the obscurity] the pain was dissipated, like the light shining forth from a previously clouded sky.


It hence appears what is the quality of one who is not in the life of love, that he cannot be in the Grand Man, consequently not in heaven. If there, he cannot move himself; he becomes as one dead, for there is nothing to correspond with his phantasies. But in proportion as one is more fully in the life of love, or in the love of faith, so much better is his lot; his life, is, as it were, more moveable, for everything pertaining to celestial societies corresponds. It moreover appears from this that one who is in the persuasion of the false and in the life of cupidities cannot but cast himself out of heaven. Life itself was also represented by mobility. - 1748, November 27.


It was hence manifestly apparent that spirits, and still more angels, continually discourse among themselves, and are as truly in life as men reasoning, speaking, and reflecting on manifold topics, according to influxes, knowing no other than that it is from themselves, while yet receiving influx from every side; for everyone is, as it were, a center according to a stupendous form originating from the Lord, which however no one can ever understand; that is, that there is such a form that everyone is a center. - 1748, November 27.


CONCERNING BONDS. It was said by the adulterer before spoken of, that he could not possibly be in the sphere of spirits who were in conjugial love, because he was thereby pained and, as it were, constricted. He said also that he could by no means desist [from his adulterous actings]: whence I perceived that those who become such as he was or otherwise evil, by once giving way to actual evil, as thieves for instance, cannot afterwards desist, as there is henceforward a certain continual actuality in thought, by which he is excited to the commission, and as often as the act recurs, something is added [to the power of the propensity] till at last it becomes a nature, and then no external bond is scarcely at all regarded. This is the effect of the frequent repetition of the act of evil, that afterwards no external restraining bond is of any avail. It was perceived that such consequences are never removed except through the bond of conscience, and thus by a thorough repentance in order to the receiving of faith from the Lord. - 1748, November 27.


A PONTIFF. A certain pontiff confessed that in his youth, and subsequently, he had been so addicted to lewdness, that he afterwards came to nauseate everything of the female sex to such a degree as to be scarcely able to bear the sight of them.


CONCERNING A CERTAIN ONE WHO TOUCHED MY HAND. On shaking hands with a certain person I had a perception as if it were not myself but some other one who grasped [the proffered hand]. A certain spirit said that he distinctly felt that it was he who grasped the hand instead of myself; so that it seems that my touch was really communicated to another, and he then had possession of my hand with its sense of touch. - 1748, November 27.


CONCERNING THE SYBIL. A certain celebrated Roman, on being told that it was predicted concerning the Lord that he should come into the world to save the human race, respectfully gave heed. Shortly after he began to be affected by a certain sacred and religious trembling, which was perceived to extend from the head to the breast, and he remarked that he also knew from the Sybilline books, as he called them, that some [great personage] was to come [on earth]; but he supposed that the one who should come would reign over the whole world. It was insinuated to him that he was to reign over the universe of beings. - 1748, November 28.


CONCERNING THE INFLUX OF LIFE FROM THE LORD, AND HIS PROVIDENCE IN THE MINUTEST PARTICULARS. While writing concerning the influx of the Lord's life and of His Providence into the most particular things, it was perceived more clearly than on any former occasion, and confirmed in various ways, that the fact is so, and that it cannot possibly be otherwise, notwithstanding that thousands of fallacious arguments should affirm the contrary. But it would be too much to attempt to explain the whole subject; wherefore it is better simply to believe. - 1748, November 28. The generals [communia] of an angelic idea contain such innumerable co-existing particulars, that they appear only as one general something; and these ideas may be representative and parabolic, from which are innumerable results. These ideas are then received according to the recipient's state of persuasion and cupidities, thence also their contraries according as the states of the recipient may be; then likewise the intermediates; thus nearly everything may be presented from an angelic idea, which contains things thus innumerable. What then shall be said of the life of the Lord, in which is the Infinite, so that nothing can ever be wanting in anyone to prevent his thence receiving ideas? What especially shall be said of His mercy, which extends itself to all things of love and all things of faith? By the perverse they are also received in a contrary manner with indefinite diversity. 4095. 1-2. Since the ideas of one man speaking, while a thousand hear, are diversely received, though still in the same degree, how much more does this hold of interior ideas, which, in comparison with exterior, contain indefinite particulars? And as interior ideas exist from more interior, which in respect to the former contain still more indefinite things, and as these are from inmost ideas, all which are yet finite, what shall be said of the Lord who is Infinite, and in respect to whom every indefinite inmost is as nothing and so on? - 1748, November 28. Just consider the Divine, to whom all the most singular things are present from eternity, and see whether anything can be conceived which may not be made to be present to anyone.


CONCERNING LIFE. [It may be observed] that there ought to be to man and spirit one life, which is true life, to wit, that of love, and thence of the knowledges of faith, and thus of things confirming. Such a life is truly angelic, and such was at first the life of the Most Ancient Church; but when [their pure] lives were successively turned into cupidities, and thence into falsities, there arose the direful persuasions of the Antediluvians; thus the life of persuasions. After the flood the life was severed, and there became two lives, namely, one of cupidities, which remained, being hereditarily transmitted with increase, while [the other], the life of faith, was made a life by itself and separate; for there may be given a life of faith, yea, of the knowledge of faith, which was the life of the Church after the flood; and at length, as they were ignorant of external rites, they were inaugurated into that life and then into the precepts of the law, which they had not previously known. Wherefore there is also given at this day a life of faith without love, which, however, cannot enter heaven, unless the Lord shall previously have conjoined it with the life of love. - 1748, November 28.


CONCERNING SUBJECTS. The deceitful above the head know how to assume to themselves [female] subjects from among those who are also above the head, but whom others had not observed as being [present], and who believed themselves to be secretly concealed there, concerning which I spoke with them. But before these become subjects, the spirits mentioned do not know whether they can be made available to their purposes or not. Today they assumed a couple, and one of them, as soon as they began to act upon her, immediately retorted, and, as it were, closed herself in, so as to indicate a total refusal. Afterwards she enwrapped herself in a certain kind of swathing, in order to avoid serving them.


There was another who secretly or stealthily held herself above the head, and indeed within the transverse suture at the left side of the head. The deceitful above the head observed her and took her for a subject, but she remained dumb, so that they could neither move her nor speak through her. She then sunk somewhat downwards. When inspected she proved to be a subject more deceitful than her principals, as she perverted the [recipient] vessels. She did not exhibit herself where she really was, but elsewhere, to the left in front, and that too in the form of a long spiral coil; but being detected in this, she appeared in her own place, as a similar coil, but apparently solid; by which she was manifested as being among the more deceitful. Upon examination she was discovered to have been of the character of those who are averse to dwelling solely with their husbands, but under various pretexts were addicted to gadding abroad, and having adulterous intercourse with other men. In this career they are at first under some degree of restraint from the bonds of modesty, and therefore frame pretexts for their conduct, but when at length unmasked to their husbands they rush openly into stews; hence they acquire their deceit. Such dwell in the sutures [of the cranium] and would fain enter into the brain through that way. They are a species of sirens. - 1748, November 29. While the deceitful remain above the head, such a one as I have described is able to change them into monsters, as monkeys, and the like, of which they complained; wherefore it was not allowed them to have such a one for a subject.


THAT THERE IS NO EXTERNAL WORSHIP EXCEPT FROM INTERNAL PRINCIPLES. I spoke with spirits saying that affections have with them gestures or external signs which serve them [the affections] as a kind of bodies; as, for instance, humility of heart prompts kneels and other acts, and deep pity tears. Thus interior emotions have in them an exterior [language of] worship, prompting to the frequenting of churches and so forth. Wherefore one who places worship in externals only is a hypocrite, feigning gestures and reverential acts similar to those that flow from internals. Even preachers may by habit acquire such devout airs, and be able to move the feelings of others, when yet it is all mere outside show. Thus the worship in externals is of no account except as flowing from internal promptings. - 1748, November 29.


CONCERNING [THE BEING] NOTHING. Spirits are especially unable to bear the expression that they are nothing. But it was said to them that they are indeed always something, but that something, whatever it be, is from the Lord, so far as it has in it anything of the good and true; so also that they should be able to understand the good and the true, to reflect, and to know, this is of the Lord; but that as to themselves they are nothing. - 1748, November 29. It was then said that they were so much the more something in proportion as they could understand the good and the true, and still more, the more they were themselves good and true, because so much more from the Lord.

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