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The Spiritual diary of Emanuel Swedenborg is a work containing the private account of Emanuel Swedenborg’s spiritual experiences in heaven and hell, which he experienced in full waking visions over a 27 year period. The Diary contains a chronological account of what he saw and experienced, his dialogue with angelic beings, and discussions concerning the theology of true Christianity.
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First digital edition 2017 by Gianluca Ruffini
CONCERNING THEINHABITANTS OF THE EARTH MARSSpirits appeared in front to the left, who were said to be from the earth Mars, and who declared themselves to be holy; not that they were holy [in themselves], but the Lord, who is the Only Good, is their holiness.
As tothe life of the inhabitants of that earth, I heard that they live in societies, but not under governments, the societies being such that they perceive immediately from the face, eyes, and speech, thus externally, whether they are among true associates, whom they thus recognize, and to whom they adjoin themselves, so as out of many to make one. In this manner, they know how to choose such companions for themselves as are congenial in temper and thought, in which they are very rarely deceived; they become friends forthwith; yet they feel no aversion to others, as no such feeling as aversion or hatred exists among them, but conjunction according to states of mind, and by means of external things.
So far as external mediums are concerned, knowledge [of each other] is acquired from the face, especially the province about the eyes; and also from their speech, which is distinguished from that of others by not being sonorous like the speech of the inhabitants of our earth, but by being a kind of tacit speech, formed by means of a subtler atmosphere, which is directed towards the mouth, and enters there, and thus [passes] through the Eustachian tube. This tube, it appears, is their organ of hearing. One of them spoke with me in this kind of speech, that I might know something of its nature. It entered through the lips, the fibers of which are disposed to a diverse receptivity, and thus penetrated through the Fallopian tube, and thus upwards. It was perspicuously perceived, and is much fuller and more perfect thana language addressed to the ear, inasmuch as it conveys at once a greater variety of ideas.
(Their consociations [or social gatherings] are delightful, from the interest taken in the things transpiring in their societies and those also which occur inheaven. They moreover worship our Lord alone, because He is the Very Good).
(They are also in an angelic or exceedingly great body, constituting [or representing] that which is called thought; and they bear an exceedingly strong resemblance to theMost Ancient Church, which is described under the person of Adam, while abiding in its state of beatitude).
Their societies are various, which is evident from the fact that every member can be associated with his like, and thus through that earth is constituted, as it were, a common angelic society of heavenlyinteriors, with variety, and yet with discrimination, as they perceive the interiors of their associates by means of their exteriors; consequently not in the mode common to spirits and angels, towit, through a sphere of ideas, for as they form a judgment according to their perception, so do souls and spirits from externals.
(Their faces were seen by me, though they were themselves unwilling to show them, but eventually the manifestation wasmade. The face, below the nose, is black, not bearded, and yet black; the upper part is yellowish, not unlike the hue of the men of our earth who are not wholly white. This blackness, which extends towards the region of the ears, is in the place of a beard, thus from a similar cause in nature, and of equivalent representative import, as far as that part is concerned).
(They subsist upon different kinds of pulse, as also upon a certain round fruit which springs up immediately from the ground, not to mention the fruits of trees).
(They wear clothing also, but from what material they form their garments, whether from wool, or from cotton, or from leaves, or from the fibers of bark agglutinated by a certain species of gum, which they affirm, they do not care to be explicit, saying it is a matter of no consequence).
(Those among them who begin to cherish sinister thought thereby dissociate themselves from the rest, who are unable to remain in their society; consequently, they are left to abide alonein rocky caverns, uncared for by their former companions. There are, however, certain societies which endeavor by various persuasives to work upon such persons and compel them [to return to a better state of mind], but still it is a species of dissociation; and so long as they do not become satisfied as to their conversion, or whether having once lapsed they will so remain, they do not openly speak of their condition. The sole reason of this is because they have not a confirmed hope of their repentance, ofwhich they have no assurance from their actual conduct).
One of the inhabitants was represented to me as if with his face in heaven, and his body on the earth. They constitute or represent, therefore, that in man which is called thought.
(They spoke of fires, saying that they know how to make fluid fires. -1749, March 19).
(One of the spirits of Mars who was with me, and who was a subject of others, drew back the superior frontal part of my head towards the back part, signifying thus thecharacter of their thought, that it was not so much of the cerebrum as of the [cerebellum or] will, implying, however, that they act notfrom their own will, but from the fear of the Lord. Accordingly, this drawing back of the head, and indeed of the whole body, took place. - 1748, September 25).
CONCERNING THE SIGNIFICATION OF A PIT, AND OF THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE SPIRITUAL AND THE CELESTIAL MODE OF FELLOWSHIP. In order that I might know the signification of Joseph’s being cast into a pit [puteus] [examine to see whether the reading be fovea:], and thence drawn out by the Israelites, and how it happened that none of them except Reuben knew where he was [I was instructed as follows]. Examine how far these things agree.
Being in vision I spoke with spirits, of whom some said they wished to have me in their company. Accordingly, after some little delay I was in consort with genii or celestial spirits, and I then disappeared from the spiritual with whom I had previously been. These, not knowing whither I had withdrawn, sought me, saying that they knew not where I was. I was in fact in company with the genii, and while in that state they [the spiritual] seemed to disappear, although I was near by, and heard them speaking, and seeking me.
When I thus disappeared from sight, they supposed [as is usual with them] that I had fallen into a pit, and when they sought me there they let down a pole suspended crosswise from a rope, supposing that when they withdrew it the person who was to be drawn up would be found sitting upon the pole; but as there was no one seen in this case sitting in that position, they said that he was not there, seeking solicitously in the meantime to find where I was. They were then in their representatives, which were like dreams, because not in the life of fellowship with me.
From the pit, there issued, as it were, black spirits, and the pit was filled with water to its mouth, it being to appearance like any other pit on the earth.
It hence appears that when anyone comes from the company of spirits to that of genii, he seems to the spirits to have escaped: such is the difference. I wished to say to them that I was near, but they could not hear.
The mode of acting of the genii when in company with others is soft, gentle, and tacit, like the pulsations of the heart.
Hence it may be inferred what was represented by Joseph’s being let down into the pit and drawn up again; for the things related in the Word correspond to similar things which occur in heaven. - 1748, March 19.
CONCERNING THE INFIDELITY OF CHRISTIANS. In the presence of many spirits, and, as I think, of Mahomed also, I was thinking with myself, that is, was tacitly saying to myself (for my thought is a kind of speech), how wonderful it is that in the other life so few of those who were called Christians inquire for the Lord, while others who were the votaries and worshippers of men, nay, of devils, seek out the objects of their earthly idolatry, and pay their homage even there; which is evident from the case of those who inquire for Mahomed, for Abraham, for Jacob, for Moses, or whoever else were the idols acknowledged. But I was informed in reply that evil spirits and devils have a perception and sensation of whatever is divine, regarding it with aversion and hatred, and consequently striving against it both in the life of the body, and after leaving the body, while in regard to what agrees with their dominant state or is diabolical, the case is quite the reverse, which, by the way, affords abundant evidence that the Lord is God and ruler of the universe. - 1748, March 19. HOW IT IS THAT THE MINDS OF THE INHABITANTS OF THIS WORLD ARE IN COMMUNION. “This being in communion results from what has been revealed respecting the inhabitants of the earths of this system, namely, that those of the planet Venus and of our earth are such as constitute or represent corporeal things and the appetencies connected with them, thus also terrestrial and lower worldly things; consequently, they are those who rule the external senses. In like manner, the spirits of the earth Jupiter represent rational ideas, for they live free from care, as it concerned those things that pertain to the bodily senses. They are, so to speak, a sort of ground in which things interior and inmost are sown, for without an interior rational idea those things which are still more interior and intimate are not inseminated. It is also a characteristic of ideas originating in the outward senses, that they prompt to vocal utterance”. The spirits of the earth Saturn correspond to interior sense, or reason; The spirits of the earth Mercury to knowledges; The spirits of the earth Mars to thought.
THAT MORE THINGS MAY BE COMPREHENDED IN A SPIRITUAL IDEA THAN IT IS POSSIBLE TO BELIEVE. A spiritual idea is that by which a man, while he lives as a spirit, and thus separated, as it were, from the body, acts and thinks. That ideas of this kind are, as was said before, more full and more perceptive of things, is evident from the fact, that by means of a spiritual idea it can be known and perceived to the life how the case is in regard to man’s non-ability to think, much more to act of himself anything that should not be sin, even while he intends good, as, for instance, his own conversion and self-moved repentance, - how all this may be done, and yet there may be sin, not only in the general act, but in the minutest particulars, - all this, I say, may be set forth and shown most vividly to a spiritual idea. This has been shown to me at different times when I have supposed that I thought in this way and not in that, because the one way was lawful, right, and best, and the other not. Thus, I supposed, but still I perceived that it was sin, because it was from myself. Thus, for instance, when I would convert myself to the Lord, and thus apply to myself any species of good, as the good of faith, the good of obedience, the good of what is commended in the Word, yet I still perceived that there was sin in the singular and most singular items of the act, so that [it was clear that] there is nothing in man but what is vile and polluted. Being inwardly moved, even to a degree of indignation, at not being able to do anything of good, the spirits also were in like manner indignantly affected, saying that thus they did not know what good they could do, however much it might be commanded.
From this the conclusion evidently follows that there is nothing good in man, but all good is of the Lord, and that man cannot arrogate to himself aught of good, still less of faith; and yet that this itself is a point of faith, and when recognized as such the ability is in some measure granted; for when I thought from myself also that this was the Lord’s gift, and that I was to leave it to Him to work good within me, [I saw] that this also was sin, because from myself. Wherefore whichever way man turns himself from [or of] himself there is sin; consequently, all good is of the Lord. But inasmuch as this fact cannot be perceived except by a spiritual idea separated from the body, I can easily perceive how incredible it should appear to men. But that such is actually the case I can affirm in the strongest manner. - 1748, March 20.
As often, therefore, as man reflects within himself that he thinks good, or does good, it comes from his proprium, thus from a certain self-love, cupidity, and appetite. What he thus attributes to himself under these promptings, there is sin in every particular of it. The good, therefore, which is imparted by the Lord is wrought within him while he does not reflect from himself upon it; that is, while man remains ignorant of it, according to the Lord’s Word, that man is regenerated, he himself being unaware [of the process].
CONCERNING A COMMON [OR GENERAL] IDEA INTO WHICH FLOWED THE DISTINCT IDEAS OF OTHERS. Being in a common [or general] idea, which was, as it were, the idea of all, without determination to anything definite, there appeared to me [an idea] which I am unable to describe, inasmuch as it is only in the spiritual world that such an idea can be perceived. It may exist, indeed, with some men [in this world], but it is not perceived. Into this idea there flowed the particular or singular ideas of spirits, which I understood with considerable distinctness in general, remaining myself meanwhile in a general idea. In this way, singular ideas from others would flow in, and I could understand them. It was said to me that such is the idea of certain spirits. - 1748, March 20. “Hence it may appear that general ideas are in themselves distinct from singular ones, and yet the singular exist in the general, though singulars do not know that they are in the general. This general idea was not sufficiently determinate for singular things to apply themselves to it”.
CONCERNING BODILY APPETITE. There are spirits who constitute what is called appetite, even that of the body. These appetites are various, as of eating, drinking, etc., since it is well known that man is prompted by a certain craving to enjoy the luxury of baths, of fine clothing, and the like.
A certain spirit was so goaded by a longing for a linen under-garment, that he said he could scarcely live if I did not put one upon him; and when invested with it he had such a delight as nothing could surpass, and prayed that he might be left to enjoy his pleasure undisturbed.
As to sense, however, as of touch, he said he did not possess it, so that while appetite pertains to spirits, sense or sensation belongs to man. I asked him whether he had a sensation together with mine when I touched the linen for which he so much longed. He said that he had no sensation himself, but he perceived that I had.
There are spirits, therefore, who are called appetites, with which some are so inflamed that they can scarcely restrain themselves. Such spirits are of manifold genus and species, for the objects of appetite are innumerable, some of which are corporeal, or pertaining to the body, while cupidities are of the mind. Such spirits are called appetites, because they make man to crave, or excite his appetites, whence they have their delights; but sensation is proper to the man only.
Such spirits have derived that peculiarity from their life in the body, inasmuch as they have cherished a craving desire for certain bodily things.
For the sake of distinction [in the use of terms], appetite, or to crave, is predicated of the body; cupidity, or to covet, of the mind; while earnest desire, or to desiderate, pertains to the interior or rational mind. To be willing is of the still more interior mind; while to be effected, though the term is often employed in other connections, is properly to be understood only of the inmost. - 1748, March 20.
[OF THE] SPIRITS WHICH CONSTITUTE THE PROVINCE OF THE SMALL CUTANEOUS GLANDS. There are spirits who, while they wish to know anything, say some that it is thus, others that it is thus, and so one after another, and while they are speaking they observe whether what they say flows freely, without any check or spiritual resistance, in which case they take it for granted that their views are correct. This is a common occurrence with certain classes of spirits, to wit, speaking as if they knew, when yet the fact is not so, nor do they know how it is. Others, again, do not take such positive ground, but observe, as was said, whether there is any spiritual repugnance, and thus an obstruction in the flow, from which they conjecture, and say that it is not so; for while it flows freely they suppose that it is of course from heaven or the Lord, inasmuch as there is nothing there which is contrarious, but all is accordant.
These are they who constitute the small cutaneous glands, of which there is a twofold kind, one with sensation, another without. Those with sensation are such as explore, from their own utterance and diction, whether the thing is so, just as the little glands examine whether the substances that come in contact with them are such as they may admit. The others who are without sensation are such as deal in affirmation, and supposing the case to be thus, and so do not scruple to assent with a kind of audacity.
There are such in the life of the body, persons who desire to know everything, whether it concern them or not, as, for instance, what is going on elsewhere, in societies, or among particular acquaintances, which they are prompted to relate to others. They are thus [a kind of gossiping] informers, of whom some doubtingly, others confidently, throw out and scatter their reports. There are vast numbers, whole cohorts, of such characters.
Such is the nature of those who preside over the province and function of the glands; and such is also the correspondence of their interiors and exteriors with these organs.
CONCERNING THOSE WHO ARE INORDINATELY DEVOTED TO DOMESTIC CARES. I saw a kind of small habitation considerably low down under the left foot a little in front, in which was a large chamber furnished with utensils, which, however, I did not see. The chamber led into a long hall, according to a common construction and through the hall there went a woman of small stature and deformed person.
Upon my inquiring the meaning of these things it was replied that such as were excessively devoted to domestic cares in the life of the body occupied this kind of habitations, and that they still remain engrossed by their (wonted) cares. It was also said that they are, for the most part, from the inferior classes of the people, consisting often of old women, who, although these cares do not pertain to them, yet still assume them, neglecting, like Martha, the better things, such as pertain to faith.
They appear small from being in a low place, and deformed because such [is the effect of] the cares.
HOW REPRESENTATIONS DESCEND FROM THE HEAVENS. I saw a certain garden of large extent and embellished with shaded walks, in which the trees, as I was informed, were adorned with leaves, but without fruits. I inquired how the spirits could produce these and similar representations which are so frequent among them.
I perceived that the angels of the interior heaven, while they are in their ideas, and, as it were, in parables, have inserted into these ideas corresponding objects or scenery, by which their ideas are aided. These things, when they are conveyed down among spirits, are immediately formed by them, according to their fantasies, into new representations on a larger scale, retaining, however, the idea of the angelic society, though modified by their own. Thus the [original] idea grows into a representation.
A similar process of growth or expansion takes place when an idea passes from a more interior [intimiori] to a more exterior [interius] heaven, although unconsciously to the recipients, for in the exterior [interiori] heaven are certain natural elements, to which their ideas adhere, and which govern their form. In the heaven of spirits, or the spiritual world, the same things become material, thus growing, as it were, from a soul into bodies; and these bodies enlarge themselves according to the forms, qualities, and states of the societies concerned.
The same thing holds good of other representations also, as those, for instance, which are of the animal kingdom, and those, too, which pertain to terrestrial objects, as woods, fields, rivers, mountains, - of all which the souls [so to speak] are to be sought in the interior, intimate, and in most sense. For from the celestial, which is the soul, is formed the spiritual, from the spiritual the natural, from the natural the material, of the threefold kingdom [the mineral, vegetable, and animal].
CONCERNING THOSE WHO FORECAST THE FUTURE, AND ARE SOLICITOUS RESPECTING IT. While asleep there was presented to my view a wooden house with a roof but without windows, in the third story of which were certain persons who, when I would fain come to them bypassing over a bridge, refused to admit me. Whereupon, being cast down, I attempted to climb up, not by ropes, but by twisted threads, along certain small interstices in the wall, which I used for the purpose of lifting myself up that I might succeed in a second attempt to reach the third story, though the attempt was attended with danger of falling. I still was not able to ascend whither I wished. On awaking I heard that another also was desirous of mounting to the same loft, concerning whom it was repeatedly said, “Now he enters,” to wit, by an entrance under the roof. Those who dwelt there were unwilling to admit any one, and they were moreover said to dwell upon the roofs.
Upon my inquiring who these were [or whom they represented], it was said that they were those who in their life-time were prone to vaticinate concerning things to come, and again that those who are anxious for the morrow, and do not trust to the Lord’s providence, seem to themselves to inhabit such houses, and indeed to dwell upon the roofs, and also in a dark story under the roofs, while the house appears to be constructed of wood, and without windows. In the place of windows there are unclosed apertures, and those who would fain resemble the inmates scale the walls in the manner described, viz. by means of twisted threads or fascicles of such threads, and at the same time with much peril.
THAT FALSITIES HYPOTHETICALLY ASSUMED ARE SOMETIMES CONFIRMED TO SUCH A DEGREE THAT THOSE WHO DO IT DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE TRUTH IS, AND THUS ARE UNWILLING TO KNOW. Let one fact be taken for an example. Spirits partly erring and partly malignant assumed a hypothetical position, viz. the falsity that a spirit could enter into the body of a man, and thus live corporeally. This they were prompted to affirm solely from the fact that a spirit with man thinks that he is the man. But when I asserted that such was not the case they were unwilling to pay any attention to the reasons [which I adduced], for having once assumed in theory the falsity, they were intent upon confirming it; when the fact is, that as the spirit then thinks, apprehends, and wills in like manner with the man, and the appropriate acts follow, the spirit therefore supposes that he is the man. But this does not last long; it only holds in those states [of the parties] which are analogous.
Moreover, that a spirit should be able to pass into the body of another, and live in that body, is at once absurd and impossible, for the consequence would be that the form of one would be changed into that of another, the interior substances of the man would be entirely emptied out, and the substances of another applied, in their stead, to the fibers and vessels, while at the same time all that which had contracted a nature in the [life of] the body and been wrought into obedience to its proper form, would be assumed.
THAT THE QUALITIES OF SPIRITS CAN BE KNOWN AT ONCE BY THOSE WHO ARE INTERIOR, OR WHO CONSTITUTE AN INTERNAL SENSE. A certain spirit, who would fain arrogate merit to himself from his acts and his doctrine in the world, proceeding to a great distance in front, came to those who constitute the internal sense or to the spirits of the earth Saturn, and said that he was nothing, and that he was desirous of serving them. But at his very first approach, they replied that [they saw that] he wished to be great, and that they being small could not be with the great, thus intimating how much he arrogated to himself.
From this it is obvious that the quality of a spirit may at once disclose itself to the [above-mentioned] internal sense. There is a sphere, as it were, of spiritual effluvia which exhale, and produce a perception of the life of one’s mind. This sphere I recollect myself to have perceived, and it has rarely, if ever, deceived me.
Nor need this appear wonderful when a shrewd and, intelligent man is aware from the face, speech, and actions of another of what quality he is, whether stimulated or sincere, and many other things, which are manifest to a man’s internal sense. How much more perfect then must this power be with spirits, whose faculty of perceiving things of this kind so far transcends that of men, and with whom the quality of another spirit is at once revealed even from his mute presence alone, and much more from his speech. The manifestation which is from presence only I have often perceived.
The spirit was made to pass into another state, in which he could reflect upon his life, and see himself as it were, in a glass, and he then confessed that he beheld himself deformed, defiled, overflowing with vilenesses, even to the point of utter self-loathing. In this manner spirits, can be carried, as it were, out of themselves, or into themselves, and thus made to know themselves. - 1748, March 20.
THAT THE PRIVILEGE OF CONVERSING WITH SPIRITS AND ANGELS MIGHT BE COMMON AND APPROPRIATE TO MAN. Man was so created that he might hold interaction with spirits and angels, and thus heaven and earth be conjoined. Such was the case in the Most Ancient Church, such in the Ancient, and in the Primitive also there was a perception of the Holy Spirit. Such was the case with the inhabitants of other earths, concerning which I have spoken before; for man is man because he is a spirit, with this only difference, that the spirit of man on the earth is encompassed with a body on account of its functions in the world. That heaven and earth are now separated, as respects our planet, arises from the fact that the human race has here, in the process of time, passed from internals to externals. - 1748, March 20.
THAT CERTAIN ONES IN HEAVEN CALL THIS EARTH A PUTRID WELL. When discoursing concerning a plurality of worlds, and [suggesting] that the inhabitants of this earth were too few to constitute the universal kingdom of the Lord, I perceived that this earth was called a well of stagnant water. -1748, March 20.
HE THAT IS LED BY THE LORD IS BLAMELESS. (A man although foul and polluted with defilements, yet while led by the Lord is exempt from blame; for whatever of truth and good he thinks, speaks, and acts is of the Lord, and whatever of false and evil of the devil, for man then knows that he does nothing of himself. - 1745, March 20.
It may be inferred that while one is impelled by evil spirits to thinking or doing evil, he then consents or is in concert with them, but the Lord takes care to prevent his being associated with them in perpetrating or thinking evils.
He who is not led by the Lord not only acts in concert with evil spirits, but he also excites evil spirits to act in that manner, because he believes his cupidities and cogitations to be his own; but whoever is led by the Lord, he is excited by evil spirits, and yet the Lord so acts that he shall not consent. Such also is the faith of those who are led by the Lord
Evil spirits make no account whatever of such a man, and so speak of him, nor do they know otherwise; they hold him as a kind of dead instrument [for effecting their purposes], which they deduce from the fact that they suppose themselves to be the man; on other related points they are ignorant because they are not in true faith, for they believe no otherwise than that life is the special prerogative [proprium] of a spirit; and when this is affirmed, they suppose that the Lord is the cause of evil, when yet this comes from their form, which is properly theirs; but the form is merely organic, being in itself destitute of all life, and merely fashioned that life might actuate it, - and because forms are such, they cannot, although they would, think otherwise, for faith is the gift of the Lord alone, consequently the perception which is of faith.)
THAT A SPIRIT WHEN TAKEN UP INTO HEAVEN IS TAKEN AWAY, AS IT WERE, FROM [OTHER] SPIRITS. Distance, in the spiritual world, exists according to interior states, as the more interior spirits are [in comparison with others] the more distant they are; apparent distance is another thing. When spirits are taken up into heaven they seemingly disappear altogether from [other] spirits, although they are in fact present to them, and lead them. I was, in my interiors, in some small degree in heaven, which I perceived from the angelic choirs. And though I did not understand these [choral exercises], yet I perceived that my interiors were in heaven. I then heard spirits inquiring for me, and saying, “He is not here,” - being ignorant where I was. During this time, they spoke from material ideas, such as belong to the memory of material things [particularium] thus vocally; and thus [it was shown] that I might be intimately present, even in their speech, and yet they not know it.
CONCERNING AN EXECRABLE RABBLE ROVING THROUGH HEAVEN. There is a throne of spirits wandering through heaven, who know not whence they are, though they say they are from the stars or the starry worlds. They come flocking in troops and seek to seduce spirits, with some of whom they succeed.
They are not content with the things which they comprehend, or which are adapted to their comprehension, but they are fain to penetrate the deepest arcana, like some on the earths who are never satisfied to know what faith, charity, and the fruits of faith are, and how men ought to live; but they burn to penetrate divine mysteries, not the inmost, but the supreme, namely, the nature of the union of the Son and His Father.
This crowd is detestable, for they insinuate into the minds [of spirits] such things as it is not allowable to write, lest offence should thereby he ministered to the inconsiderate multitude, but they are such as relate to the union between the Son and His Father, which they make visible by impious representations, thus seeking to compass divine things by a material sense.
But being of such a quality, their motive in doing this is, that when they have succeeded in seducing the man or spirit, they may be able to say that he belongs to them; for while they are perverting his faith, they know that they are alienating the man from the Lord; wherefore with some, after having overcome them by persuasions, they assert a right to them, and make themselves their lords.
The mode of representation which they employ in effecting this seduction is various; as, for instance, that they make their subjects pass under their feet, from the back to the front part of the body, then taking hold of them, turning them round, throwing them down upon their backs, like captives to be stripped and spoiled, and then going away. Others, however, adopt other modes.
By means of representations addressed to the external senses, they show how the Son and the Father conversed together in the manner of men, and the like, which are abominable.
They are accordingly such as endeavor to comprehend inmost and supreme mysteries by their mere external power of apprehension.
I said to them when they would fain have induced their genius [upon me], that it was sufficient to know what the Lord taught, to wit, that He was One; that he who sees the Son sees the Father; that the Son alone is the door; that He is the way; that He is the mediation or Mediator; that He alone is the intercession or intercessor between the human race and the Father Himself; and again, that He is our Father, and that no other is to be thought of than He, because He aloneis the Mediation; that these things are sufficient, and that it is useless to go deeper into mysteries. - 1748 March 21.
CONCERNING PHILOSOPHY BOTH AS USEFUL AND AS USELESS.Certain spirits supposed that everything which bears the name of philosophywas to be utterly rejected, perhaps for the reason that as philosophy or human wisdom is condemned [in general], so the terms also which savor of philosophy; and in order that they might make me know how much they abominated philosophy, they represented awild boar sprinkled with blood on his back, and would have it that I was such, because I had interspersed philosophical terms [in my writings], or had formed ideas after a philosophical fashion.
But they were instructed that my philosophical works were nothing else than certain ideas pronounced in simpler terms, as when I speak of subject and object, and what each signifies; as, for instance, that the predicates or the things which are predicated ought to be applied to that which is signified by the subject; as when something in the prophets is treated of it can be applied to a certain article of faith, to faith, to the more interior mind of man, to interior things in general, to the Church, to Heaven; thus whatever is there assumed, or understood, is called subject, and the other things that are said and are applicable are called predicates, so that the predicates are to be applied to the subject. The same thing might be otherwise expressed without the use of such words; in like manner, be understood, and afterwards enounced; wherefore they are only true ideas, which are comprehended under formulas and terms of this nature. It is in fact a certain kind of philosophical speech, but more exquisite than any other, inasmuch as otherwise the same thing wouldhave to be expressed in a circuitous manner, as is customary with those who are unacquainted with those terms. Indeed, the philosophical style is the most perspicuous, except when it flows directly from the subject-matter itself. Thus, too in other things,as, for instance, in respect to what form is, what quality is, and the like, which are merely ideas of truths subserving the purposes of those who would express prior and intimate things in a brief manner.
But an abuse arises from the fact that philosophers abide in terms, and dispute concerning them without coming to an agreement, from which all idea of the thing itself perishes, and the comprehension of the man is rendered so limited that he at length ceases to know anything but terms. Accordingly,when such persons would master a subject by their terms they do nothing but heap them up, obscuring the whole matter, so that they can understand absolutely nothing of it, and even theirnatural lumen is extinguished. Thus, an unlearned man has much more extensive ideas and sees truth better than the philosopher; for such a one sticks in the mire like a swine, on which account he was represented to make the figure of an animal of that kind, of the wild species, for he becomes a wild boar in the woods, ranging about like such a beast, in truths which he mutilates and slays.
When a man, therefore, dwells solely in terms, and ratiocinates from them, heaping up senses, so that nothing remains but scholastic terms conglutinated together, an ignorance isinduced of everything supposed to be evolved [in the subject of inquiry], and it becomes more hidden to them than to others who have known nothing of any such formulas, and thus doubt arises concerning everything.
Moreover, philosophical things whichthus darken men’s minds are such forms of ratiocinations as are reduced to artificial rules, although truths are in themselves so perspicuous that anyone without such helps can perceive them. These philosophers, therefore, so narrow and obscure intellectual things, that even truths clearly perceived are continually called in question.
By philosophy or human intelligence are understood also fables and silly stories, especially such as have formerly and do still distinguish the Rabbinical writers, whichare innumerable; and the same is to be said of the magical matters of the Egyptians. -1748, March 20.
BECAUSE FAITH WILL BE [ERIT] ACTUALLY OR VIRTUALLY THE ONLY PRINCIPLE IN ALL THINGS [PERTAINING TO SPIRITUAL LIFE], IT FOLLOWS THAT THE LORD ONLYWILL BE IN ALL AND SINGULAR THE THINGS OF MAN. It has been previously shown how the celestials perceive in idea the works of charity, charity itself, and faith in the understanding namely, that there is nothing else [in them] than faith, other qualities not appearing; it hence follows that the Lord alone is in all and singular things, because faith [is to be directed] to Him, faith is from Him, and therefore the Lord is faith itself; hence follow the various things of faith, which few perceive. - 1748, March 20. It is at the same time hence also that the Lord alone lives, and heaven, the world, and the earth are [in themselves] dead, deriving life solely from Him.
CONCERNING THE INTERIOR HEAVEN. I was in the interior heaven, and certain spirits were atthe same time with me in their own world; and although being in heaven, yet I was not in any peculiar ecstatic idea, but in the body, for the kingdom of the Lord is in man, and everywhere, or in every place, so that at the Lord’s good pleasure a man may beconducted into heaven, and yet not be in an ecstatic idea I was then just as I am at this present writing, but my interior man was [developed] in the exterior, which was the reason of my being associated with spirits in their world, for our ratiocinationand our cupidities are in the world of spirits; sensual things in the body correspond to them.
The interior heaven is therefore in degree within the world of spirits, for the world of spirits is separated from heaven, because the world of spirits derives what pertains to them from corporeal things, consequently they are conjoined with things corporeal and worldly, or rather [I may say] the world of spirits stands related to corporeal things as does the crasser atmospheric world to the terraqueous; wherefore the world of spirits occupies the interiors of corporeal things.
The interior heaven, however, is, in relation to the world of spirits, in an interior degree, for what spirits did in particular, that I could feel, and could hear, and thus distinctly perceive, but not what occurred in heaven, except so far as they operate in common.
They then spoke with me through spirits, who could not do otherwise than speak, although they reflected upon the fact that they were led by those who were in theinterior heaven, perceived the compulsion, and desired to be separated from them. On other occasions reflection is dormant, and while thus impelled they suppose themselves to be under their own control, on which subject I also spoke with them.
I perceived the operation of the interior heaven as manifestly as anything is perceived by the sense of touch, and that too for a considerable length of time. The operation was fourfold, first in the cerebrum in the region of the left temple, which is their common operation in respect to the organs of the reason.
Another common operation or action of theirs was into the respiration of the lungs, to the left, which was such that if described it could scarcely be perceived, for there was a gentle leading of myrespiration from the interior, so that I had no need of anything like voluntary effort in inhaling or expelling my breath; this was governed by heaven from the interior, so that not so much the substances as the animations of the lungs, from which arises their motion, [were controlled by it.] Thus, the influence was in the interior [pulmonary] fibers that are not visible to the eye, for the animation was perceived to be ruled by heaven, without voluntary action on my part, so that I had no need to draw my breath or spirit, but it was drawn by heaven. The forces employed in this animation, as evinced by the intervals [between the pulsations], were such as seemed habitual to me.
The third common action of heaven was in the systole and diastole of the heart, which was manifestly perceived, but was gentler or softer than at other times. Its pulsations were like the animations [of the lungs] in softness, and within them, but the times regular like those of the heart, being about one- third, yet such that theyterminated in the pulmonic movements, and thus in a certain manner governed them. The times of the pulmonic respiration were common to them and to the heart, as composed of those of the heart; the terminations of the heart’s times closed in the pulmonic beats, and were related to each other somewhat like the motions of the angelic gyres, concerning which elsewhere. But how it is precisely that the pulmonic motions commenced I could not perceive; buthow [the influx] insinuated itself into the lungs at theend of every animation, I could in a measure observe. The heart, therefore, represents the celestial, the lungs the spiritual; the analogy lies in the manner in which the celestial inflows into the spiritual. The pulsations of the heart, which were soft and regular, were so observable that I could count them one by one.
The fourth action was about the loins, which I was also able to perceive, though but obscurely. I can, therefore, say nothing on that head, except that they acted upon the loins.
From these facts it is now given me to conclude that the interior heaven constitutes the interior man, and rules all the organic things of the body, from the principles in the brain to their entire extension, which extension is the body; it rules, I say, from the interior, so that the interior heaven constitutes man [commencing] from his interiors, or from [the region of] causes, and the rational things of heaven flow in into organic things, as rational things are wont to flow into interior organisms, or interior organic substances.
A similar principle holds likewise in regard to the world of spirits, but [in a reverse order, or] from the inferior or exterior; which world being such as to have disjoined itself from the interior heaven, its operations accordingly are into the organic things of the body, but into those that are exterior; whence the exterior man is of such a quality that it cannot be conjoined with the interior otherwise than as heaven and the world of spirits [are conjoined] by such spiritsas may be derived from the interior heaven.
In a word, the world of spirits, as well as the interior, or the more interior, and the inmost heaven, each by itself, constitutes man with his members and organs, but each one distinctly, namely, the worldof spirits from the exterior, the interior heaven from the interior, the more interior heaven from the more interior, and the inmost heaven from the inmost. - 1748, March 20.
The spirits who were acted upon, as mentioned above, were indignant [at being thus made use of]. It was, moreover, an object of special aspiration with them to be in heaven, but when conveyed thither they said that they knew nothing, for they were in a general idea, and thus speech is uttered through them, but as it were apart from them, in like manner as it was previously with me, when I was in a general idea, and there was a speech within that idea which I perceived as emanating from others, and not from myself. Thus, also the spirits round about, when admitted into heaven, saythat the fact is, and even now affirm it.
When heaven speaks through spirits, the flow of their discourse is gentle, and yet from the gentleness of the flow I could not conclude respecting the quality of the spirits; the cause I do not as yet know. -1748, March 21.
THAT SPIRITS RELATE THINGS EXCEEDINGLY FICTITIOUS, AND LIE. When spirits begin to speak with man, he must beware lest he believe them in anything; for they say almost anything; things are fabricated by them, and they lie; for if they were permitted to relate what heaven is, and how things are in the heavens, they would tell so many lies, and indeed with solemn affirmation, that man would be astonished; wherefore, when spirits were speaking, I was not permitted to have faith in the things which they related. - 1748, March 20. For they are extremely fond of fabricating: and whenever any subject of discourse is proposed, they think that they know it, and give their opinions one after another, one in one way, and another in another, altogether as if they knew; and if man then listens and believes, they press on, and deceive, and seduce in divers ways: for example, if they were permitted to tell about things to come, about things unknown in the universal heaven, about all things whatsoever that man desires, yet [they would tell] all the things falsely from themselves; wherefore let men beware lest they believe them. On this account the state of speaking with spirits on this earth is most perilous, unless one is in true faith. They induce so strong a persuasion that it is the Lord Himself who speaks and who commands, that man cannot but believe and obey.
HOW INDURATION APPEARS. We read in a great many places that the heart is hardened; this hardening is also manifestly apparent, yea, it is felt, not indeed in the [literal] heart, for the heart signifies what pertains to the affections. It takes place, therefore, where first principles exist, to wit, in the brain. When the souls of the recently deceased appear after death in the world of spirits, the brains of some of them seem to be hardened, like things that you see elsewhere, so that the exterior or crustal portion is, as it were, hard and conglutinated. This is seen by a spiritual idea, and thus plainly exhibited, as also its softening. Thus, it is without faith. Something similar it was given me to experience, namely, a hardness in the left region of the cerebrum, as if occasioned by somewhat large and hard lumps which were the seat of an obscure dull pain, and I was informed that it was thence perceived, namely, from these hardenings, that there yet remained something not belonging to true faith. It appears hence that an actual hardness does exist in the organicals [of the body] when faith is wanting, and that the greater the obduration, the less the conscience, so that those who have no conscience, manifesting itself in anxieties, seem to have their brain, after death, externally hardened, which was formerly soft, and this is attended with pains and torture. - 1748, March 21.
Moreover,when I apprehended only the literal sense of the Word, there was a closing up, as it were, of the way to the understanding of interior things. Accordingly, those who inhere only in the literal sense of the Word have the brain hardened and [its functions]so clogged that the way is not opened to an interior [interiori], much less to a more interior [intimiori] sense, and in this way a kind of crust or shell is induced, which is conglutinated from the corporeal or sensual things of the external man. The caseis otherwise when a way is opened to the sense of interiors, or to the spirit, which way is opened by the Lord alone. While the mind dwells in the literal sense without penetrating beyond, then if it attempts to open a way from itself to interiors, continual scandals are present, which I am able to confirm from abundant experience. But such a man does not perceive what is implied in his opening a way to interiors, for he supposes that this is the only way in which it can be done; and accordingly, he who isnot led by the Lord can by no means perceive this and similar things, and therefore cannot believe it; which may appear from the case of spirits who lack that kind of perception. - 1748, March21. Some of them know, but yet are unwilling to know, those, namely, to whom it was given by a lively experience to know the fact mentioned, and who were afterwards remitted [into another state]; when in this state of remission, they have a kind of knowledge how the fact is, but they do not perceive it.
CONCERNING THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE ANGELS. In regard to the knowledge of the angels of the interior heaven, a single example may suffice, taken from their knowledge of the structures and forms of the [human] body; for while any one, no matter what, of the viscera ofthe body is under consideration, they are enabled to know not only its whole structure and operation, but also all the experience which anatomy is able to detect in the smallest particulars, as whether it be true or genuine. Not only so, but they know in an instant whether what is stated respecting each of the viscera be correct, besides many interior things which no one of the human race can know, as I have sometimes found by experience. They are acquainted, too, with the correspondence which these thingsbear to things spiritual. Indeed, their knowledge is such that if men were aware of it they would be astounded, although matters of this kind had never been their study in the life of the body. It flows, as it were, spontaneously from the fact that by reason of an intelligence bestowed by the Lord, they know how everything is with the Grand Man in general and in particular, and the knowledge seems to be innate in them. But such knowledge they could never possess were it not that the whole heaven representsthe whole man, with all his several parts, and unless the Lord were the life of that man, and thus life itself and unless also the universal heaven were organic. - 1748, March 22. They are thus in first principles, and from first principles, or things interior, and more interior, could comprehend the things which are without or below.
THAT A TRUE FAITH CAN NEVER BE GIVEN [OR EXIST] IN ANY MAN OR SPIRIT FROM KNOWLEDGE ALONE, OR FROM THE APPLICATION OF ONE’S OWN POWERS, IN THE ATTEMPT TO MAKE IT HIS OWN.The things that follow, although extremely difficult to be understood, and such as cannot be believed either by man or spirit who is not yet in true faith, yet that they are true I have been instructed from lively experience.
Certain spirits, from inbred curiosity, were desirous of knowing still more in respect to things revealed to me, and they knew if they were very solicitous on this head the knowledge would not be granted them; wherefore, in order that they might know, they attempted to think thatthey did not wish to know, which attempt was immediately perceived, and it was said to them that in this way they could not attain their object, as they had made use of stratagem in pretending that they did not wish to know. The spirits affirmed [the fact], saying that they made the attempt that they might gain the knowledge; wherefore, it was said to them that they should not act in this manner, but should be without desire, and thus leave the matter to the Lord to grant what they wished, as it should seem good to Him. This they then essayed to do, but they made the attempt from themselves; and inasmuch as the effort to leave the matter to the Lord was of themselves from themselves, and thus the will and the endeavor was a something artificial, which theyaffirmed, as it was manifestly perceived by a spiritual idea, they therefore inquired how they should act. It was replied that they should not do anything from themselves, thus should act without reflection upon themselves; and as they could not do this, they were disposed to renounce all effort, resigning themselves without any will at all, thus sinking into a state of passive expectation. But when they would fain do this, it was said again that even this was nota genuine act, thus to resign themselves upwithout any effort. But they replied that in this way they could never know how they ought to act, for whatever they did, still, according to what was enjoined, there was no genuine [obedience]. But the reason is, that they are not led by the Lord, but wish to lead themselves, and to endeavor, or to will, or to act from themselves; wherefore they ought to know that their every endeavor should be of the Lord, and nothing of themselves. Accordingly, whenever they made attempts from themselves, it was nothingbut sin, which the Lord did not favor. To be actuated, therefore, and to live from the Lord, is something which neither man nor spirit [duly] perceives, and for this reason he is prone to imagine that such a life is no life at all, whereas it is the veriest life itself, although one ought neither to make efforts from himself, nor yet relapse into apathy without attempting anything. These things are of a more interior nature, and therefore difficult of belief, because they are neither understood nor perceived.
I was afterwards shown the mode in which they operate who would believe from themselves, and become angels, as also what is the quality of their faith and endeavor, as it appears to a spiritual idea. There was a certain choir which in its owngyral movements simulated [angelic] gyres, and celebrated in gyres the praises of the Lord, as if they were angels. [The nature of these gyres] was not understood by me, but it was by others, who said that the whole was simulated, and was not angelic, because those concerned in it were not in true faith. In idea, it appeared to me like something composed of close threads, or like a kind of net of which the thread-work was so closed up that there was no opening any farther than to the mere simple ideas of the words, within which there was nothing [substantial], so that the ideas did not go beyond the words, and consequently, not beyond the representations or celebrations which the bare words expressed. So, entire was the closure as to interiors and intimates,because they led themselves, and from themselves would fain celebrate the Lord. This net appeared as if white, inasmuch as there were truths involved, but they still implied self-justification.
Afterwards certain intelligent spirits - intelligent, however, from natural sciences and philosophical principles - spoke with me from the summit or zenith-point of heaven, who were of such a quality that they would fain persuade themselves concerning the truths of faith from philosophical principles, and confirming sciences, though still from their own intelligence. The appearance in this case was somewhat similar, namely, that their ideas were closed, and proceeded not beyond [the outward terms], for the Lord alone ought to operate [instead of their leading themselves].
It was shown me by lively experience how their operations were effected, to wit, not by gyres, like the celestials, but by a kind of flowing, or river-like reciprocations hither and thither, by which were represented the common operations of their ideas; these, in order that they might be genuine, ought to be circumflected, and forms thus presented by means of gyres. By a lively experience, it was signified to me also how the result was effected, namely, by an insinuation of such things intothe lips, and thus into the mouth, and into the interiors of the head, by which was signified that such things flowed into their ideas by a way from externals, and not by a way from internals. Communication by the lips denotes ideas apprehended by a sensual way, but that which is genuine is as from the Lord, and thus [received] through an internal way.
The innocence of such as study to be wise from externals was represented by an infant made of wood; for they suppose, or feign to themselves an innocence like that of infants who know nothing, and of a kind of wooden quality, whereas genuine innocence, such as is that of the inmost heaven is conjoined with the highest wisdom and intelligence, which is represented by a naked body, and thus by something living.
From these things the difference will scarcely fail to be apparent between true and imaginary wisdom, or between that wisdom which is the Lord’s gift, and that which is procured by man’s own endeavor: as also that the one is insinuated through the former way, and is thus full, or fully formed; while the other [is received] through the latter way, and is, consequently, constrained, closed, unformed; in a word, [the difference may be perceived] between the faith appropriate to either kind of wisdom, and that one who is not in saving faith can by no means, even with all the force of his intellect, perceive how the case is with saving faith in these and the like things, consequently, what the quality of heaven is, when yet these things in heaven are so known, manifest, and clear, that they [who dwell there] now say that they not a little wonder how the human race should be so insensate as to be unable to understand the true state of the fact, when it is as now described. Such is faith in the heavens, such the doctrine of faith, such the doctrine of those who are in faith.
Nay, those who are of a quality to seek to be wise from external things, and thus to know truths, whether from the Word of the Lord, or from sciences, by which they would fainenter into the knowledges of spiritual and celestial things, these can so imitate what is genuine, that one who is not in saving faith is liable to be altogether deceived, for to one who is in such a faith the Lord reveals by spiritual ideas, but in an ineffable manner, how the real fact is.
Those who are not in saving faith can by no means know, or consequently believe, how revelations are made, and how man can, in his spirit, act in like manner with spirits, by means of ideas and representations; norhow the life of spirits flows into their life; nor how spirits should suppose themselves to be the men [with whom they are]; nor how there should be such a revelation as is at this day taking place. - 1748, March 22.
THAT PERSONS SIGNIFYING THINGS ARE ASSUMED. While visions and representations are taking place in the world of spirits nothing is more common than for persons signifying things to be assumed, as was the case with many whom I knew as to their quality [while living on earth]. The persons ofthese were assumed while certain things were to be signified, in order that I might know what they were; and, indeed, these persons were so inwrought into the representations, that I at first supposed they were actually present. In this manner, such persons are assumed as were known to the man [to whom they appear]. The same thing is also of very frequent occurrence with the prophets, as in the case of Elias and Moses appearing to the three disciples [at the Transfiguration]; and so, in other instances asto places. As the things [to be signified] are various, so are the persons also various. - 1748, March 22.
THAT A SPIRIT CAN DO NOTHING GOOD OF HIMSELF. I heard spirits saying among themselves that they would be made good. They said that they would pray to the Lord that they might become good, but this they were unable to do, because [attempting it] from themselves, and not knowing what they asked for. They then said they would think continually concerning the Lord, but this again would be unavailing,because from themselves. Then they said they would remain quiescent, and wait for deliverance [from their evils]; but this again was impracticable for the same reason. Therefore, being astounded and confused, they knew nothing as to what they should do, remarking, moreover, that what they sought was granted to men, but not to spirits, who were in another state. From this it may appear that nothing of good pertains to what is from themselves, and moreover, that they can obtain nothing from that source, but from the Lord alone. - 1748, March 22.
THAT IN ONE APPARENTLY SIMPLE IDEA MORE THINGS ARE PRESENT THAN CAN BE UTTERED. This was shown to me to the life (from the circumstance that I had merely one idea of a [particular] thing, and in which I barely supposed there was something remarkable, though of the how, or the how much, I was ignorant. An angel that was with me saw what was within the idea, and [perceived] that the contents were so abundant, to wit, of striking representations, that he was greatly surprised. These, however. I could not see: it was only given me to think, by a kind of simple idea, that there was something else included).
The same was the case when I uttered the Lord’s Prayer. Hence it may appear what is the quality of ideas thatare not closed, but are such as flow in from the Lord through an internal way, viz. that they are exceedingly copious. But as to the quality of closed ideas, I am not yet certain whether they have anything thus within. It may be that the closure takes place in order that further penetration may be prevented, inasmuch as self-merit inheres in persons of this description, and when they would proceed further, their evil is to be turned into good, which is of the Lord alone.
From this we may infer how little man knows of spiritual and celestial things, as also in regard to the joys and felicities of the angels, who have a fuller perception of these things.
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