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Vertical Community

See also:  Spiritual || Spiritual Psychology

 

True Christian Religion

TCR 475. IV. SO LONG AS MAN LIVES IN THE WORLD, HE IS KEPT MIDWAY BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL, AND IS THERE IN SPIRITUAL EQUILIBRIUM, WHICH IS FREEDOM OF CHOICE.

In order to know what freedom of choice is and the nature of it, it is necessary to know its origin. Especially from a recognition of its origin it can be known, not only that there is such a thing as freedom of choice, but also what it is. Its origin is in the spiritual world, where man's mind is kept by the Lord. Man's mind is his spirit, which lives after death; and his spirit is constantly in company with its like in the spiritual world, and at the same time by means of the material body with which it is enveloped, it is with men in the natural world. Man does not know that in respect to his mind he is in the midst of spirits, for the reason that the spirits with whom he is in company in the spiritual world, think and speak spiritually, while his own spirit thinks and speaks naturally so long as he is in the material body; and the natural man cannot understand or perceive spiritual thought and speech, nor the reverse.

This is why spirits cannot be seen. But when the spirit of man is in company with spirits in their world, he is also in spiritual thought and speech with them, because his mind is interiorly spiritual but exteriorly natural; therefore by means of his interiors he communicates with spirits, while by means of his exteriors he communicates with men. By such communication man has a perception of things, and thinks about them analytically. If it were not for such communication, man would have no more thought or other thought than a beast, and if all connection with spirits were taken away from him, he would instantly die.

[2] But to make it comprehensible how man can be kept midway between heaven and hell and thereby in spiritual equilibrium from which he has freedom of choice, it shall be briefly explained. The spiritual world consists of heaven and hell; heaven then is overhead, and hell is beneath the feet, not, however, in the center of the globe inhabited by men, but below the lands of the spiritual world, which are also of spiritual origin, and therefore not extended [spatially], but with an appearance of extension.

[3] Between heaven and hell there is a great interspace, which to those who are there appears like a complete orb. Into this interspace, evil exhales from hell in all abundance; while from heaven, on the other hand, good flows into it, also in all abundance. It was of this interspace that Abraham said to the rich man in hell:

Between us and you there is a great gulf fixed; so that they who would pass from hence to you cannot, neither can they who are there cross over to us (Luke 16:26).

Every man, as to his spirit, is in the midst of this interspace, solely for this reason, that he may be in freedom of choice.

[4] Because this interspace is so large and because it appears to those who are there like a vast orb, it is called the World of Spirits. Moreover, it is full of spirits, because every man after death first goes there, and is there prepared either for heaven or for hell. There he is among spirits, in company with them, as formerly he was among men in the world. There is no purgatory there; that is a fiction invented by the Roman Catholics. But that world has been treated of particularly in the work on Heaven and Hell (London, 1758, n. 421-535).

TCR 476. Every man from infancy even to old age is changing his locality or situation in that world. When an infant he is kept in the eastern quarter towards the northern part; when a child, as he learns the first lessons of religion, he moves gradually from the north towards the south; when a youth, as he begins to exercise his own thoughts, he is borne southward; and afterwards when he judges for himself and becomes his own master, he is borne into the southern quarter towards the east, according to his growth in such things as have regard interiorly to God and love to the neighbor. But if he inclines to evil and imbibes it, he advances towards the west.

For all in the spiritual world have their abodes according to the quarters; in the east are those who are in good from the Lord, because the sun, in the midst of which is the Lord, is in that quarter; in the north are those who are in ignorance; in the south, those who are in intelligence; and in the west, those who are in evil. Man himself is not kept as to his body in that interspace or middle region, but only as to his spirit; and as his spirit changes its state by advancing towards good or towards evil, so is it transferred to localities or situations in this quarter or in that, and comes into association with those who dwell there.

But it must be understood that the Lord does not transfer man to this or that place, but man transfers himself in different ways. If he chooses good, he together with the Lord, or rather the Lord together with him, transfers his spirit towards the east. But if man chooses evil, he together with the devil, or rather the devil together with him, transfers his spirit towards the west. It must be noticed that where the term heaven is here used, the Lord also is meant, because the Lord is the all in all things of heaven; and where the term devil is used, hell also is meant, because all who are there are devils.

TCR 477. Man is kept in this great interspace, and midway therein continually, for the sole purpose that he may have freedom of choice in spiritual things, for this is a spiritual equilibrium, because it is an equilibrium between heaven and hell, thus between good and evil. All who are in that great interspace are, as to their interiors, conjoined either with the angels of heaven or with the devils of hell; or at the present day either with the angels of Michael or with the angels of the dragon. After death every man betakes himself to his own in that interspace and associates himself with those who are in a love similar to his own, for love conjoins everyone there with his like, and causes him to breathe out his soul freely, and to continue in his previous state of life. But the externals that do not make one with his internals are then gradually put off, and when this has been done the good man is raised up to heaven, and the evil man betakes himself to hell, each to such as he is at one with as to his ruling love.

TCR 478. This spiritual equilibrium, which is freedom of choice, may be illustrated by various forms of natural equilibrium. It is like the equilibrium of a man bound about his body or at his arms between two men of equal strength, one of whom draws the man between them to the right, and the other to the left, so that the man in the middle can freely turn this way or that as if unrestrained by any force; and if he turns toward the right he draws the man on his left forcibly toward him, even bringing him to the ground. It would be the same with any unresisting person, even if bound between three men on his right, and the same number on his left, of equal power; also if bound between camels or horses.

[2] Spiritual equilibrium, which is freedom of choice, may be compared to a balance, in each scale of which equal weights are placed; but if a slight weight is then added to either scale, the tongue of the scale begins to vibrate. It is similar with a pole or large beam balanced on its support. Each and all things within man, as the heart, the lungs, the stomach, the liver, the pancreas, the spleen, the intestines, and the rest, are in such a state of equilibrium; and for this reason each is able to discharge its functions in perfect quiet. It is the same with all the muscles; if they were without such equilibrium all action and reaction would cease, and man would no longer act as a man. Since, then, all things of the body are in such equilibrium, so are all things of the brain, and consequently all things of the mind therein, which relate to the will and understanding.

[3] There is a freedom also belonging to beasts, birds, fishes and insects; but these are impelled by their bodily senses, prompted by appetite and pleasure. Man would not be unlike these if his freedom to do were equal to his freedom to think. He, too, would then be impelled by his bodily senses, prompted by lust and pleasure. It is otherwise with one who heartily accepts the spiritual things of the church, and by means of them restrains his freedom of choice. Such a man is led by the Lord away from lusts and evil pleasures and his connate avidity for them, and acquires an affection for what is good, and turns away from evil. He is then transferred by the Lord nearer to the east, and at the same time to the south of the spiritual world, and is introduced into heavenly freedom, which is freedom indeed.

The Writings of Swedenborg are full of extraordinary and amazing facts about the mind and the spiritual world.  Truly, this man was the first dualist scientist because his scientific explanations assumed that God intervened in all phenomena for discoverable reasons and by discoverable methods which he called the Laws of Divine Providence.   To me, and no doubt to many who are to come to Swedenborg's Writings, the most amazing explanation of them all, the one that blows my mind every time I think about it--and it has been almost two decades of daily study--is the existence of the vertical community.   I invented this term to allow me to talk about our spiritual associations as described and observed by Swedenborg in his 27 years of dual existence:  that is, being still in the physical body, yet being able to consciously "be in the spirit" and thus be able to experience or witness the spiritual world.  You will read details of it as he himself describes it in the extensive quotes I present when you scroll further.  For now, let me just state that I consider Swedenborg's Writings scientific works, the first in modern history where a scientist operates within dualism.  And just to mention, in case you do not know, Emanuel Swedenborg (1668-1771) was a famous 17th century Swedish engineer who worked as a government Mining Assessor and was a member of the legislative assembly.

He published extensively, traveled widely, and invented new techniques and theories in metallurgy, near-anatomy, finance, astronomy, and psychology.  At age 57 he suddenly found himself with a new psychic ability, namely the ability to be conscious in his body and in his spirit.  Outwardly, his body would appear to be asleep, but mentally he would be consciously visiting what he called the Spiritual World.  Just a few weeks into these trance-like experiences, he became able to be conscious in both worlds simultaneously.

This meant that he was no longer in a trance, but had full dual consciousness.  He was thus able to record his observations and he kept abundant notes on a daily basis which he then used to write and publish his books, of which there are today 27 volumes in English translation of his Neo-Latin.  Swedenborg proves by his actual empirical observations that there is a spiritual world where all those who departed at death now live and thrive.  He provides detailed descriptions of his conversations with historical figures  he knew from the literature:  Aristotle, King David, the Virgin Mary, Luther, Leibniz, Newton, and so on.  He also gives the laws of the spiritual world that he can observe:  how people locomote there, how they occupy their day, how they live, what their character is, their knowledge and beliefs, and above all, how their fate and character and lifestyle is a permanent outcome of their living choices while in the body.   This is extremely valuable knowledge because it provides us with the objective and scientific information we need to prepare for our eternal life in the spiritual world.

All human beings are born dual:  the body in the natural world; the mind in the spiritual world.  Our conscious self and awareness resides in the natural mind--that part of our mind that contains sensory input from our daily experiences and imaginations.  This is the lower part of our mind.  The middle part which is rational is above the natural.  When our conscious awareness or self is raised into the middle or rational level, we can look down and see our mental life at the natural level.  This developing rational comes from our mental efforts in getting educated, thinking logically, and above all, thinking morally.  When this rational level of our mind is well developed through acquiring a moral character, we are ready for the big jump.   This is the opening or birth of our third level and its development.  This third level is created purely and entirely from the spiritual experiences in our daily life of striving to be moral and good in accordance with our own understanding of what is good.

An essential component of the birth and development of the third and purely spiritual level of the mind is the understanding with our rational level that the effort and striving we put forth in being good and moral have absolutely no power or effectiveness.   Rather, the power of our development and our effortful strivings is entirely powered by the Laws of Divine Providence.  Unless we recognize this, and further, unless we actually understand it fully, and can explain it fully as proof of our understanding, none of our efforts will prevail, and we shall remain natural, and our rational will fall back into the natural level.  Our entire existence on earth will be spent without developing our spiritual level.  Those who pass on without having suffered themselves to do the things required to open their spiritual level, cannot acquire a character or mental disposition capable of enjoying, and therefore living, in Heaven.  Heaven is the immortal, eternal state of joy and creativity with your conjugial partner in company with a celestial society suitable to your personality.   Swedenborg describes many Heavenly societies he had the good fortune of visiting during his 27years of dual existence.  All who were there appeared youthful and beautiful, wise and good, creative and happy, active in many ways described in Swedenborg's book called Heaven and Hell.

Now here is the big bombshell:  the spiritual world and the mind are the same, though we don't have direct perception of it until we shed the physical body and wake up in the spiritual world (a process that takes about 36 hours).  When the physical body falls off, or no longer responds biologically, the awakening or resuscitation occurs according to its complex steps whereby the mind is extracted from its locked in position and is now free, in its own spiritual covering or body.  What's wonderful to hear is that this spiritual body looks so much like the physical body that many people who awaken in the spiritual world refuse to believe they are there, but illogically claim they've been abducted to some island, etc.  Swedenborg talked to them on thousands of occasions.  He called them "new arrivals."  And there always is a reception party in the sense that you have to be helped by others in this extraction process, just like doctors and nurses had to help you being born into a physical body.

But of course the laws of the environment are totally different in the spiritual world.   For instance, to get to somewhere, you only have to think about it and desire it, and you're there!  Similarly, if you think about someone you know (who has also passed into the spiritual world) and you desire to see the person, you are immediately in that person's presence and can talk, and hug, and kiss, and eat, and run around, and stay together.  But as soon as one has the desire to leave, they're instantly gone.

Now here comes another bomb shell--even bigger than the first:  All the people in the spiritual world are networked together into a definite order that Swedenborg described in great detail.  No individual can be independent:  no one can think a single thought except it came from someone else, and no one can have a single emotion or feeling or motive, except it came from someone else.  Get this?  We are all interconnected like one giant human.  In fact, Swedenborg called it the Grand Man or the Greatest Human.  The Laws of Divine Providence impose this order and connectivity.

And so, meanwhile back on earth, what does all this mean?  It means the vertical community!!  We are members of a horizontal community (as in "I'm an American in the year 2000") and simultaneously, we are members of a vertical community.  Our language and style and behavior pattern are influences from the horizontal community; our thoughts and feelings are influences from the vertical community.  What a mind blower:  I'm not alone in my thoughts and feelings!  Swedenborg called it spiritual influx.  All my thoughts and feelings stream into my mind from all those other minds in the spiritual world who have been there and are there.  Each one of us joins them when we pass on, and the stream or network of thoughts and feelings continues to reverberate and circulate and take new patterns endlessly, forever.  This process is managed by the Laws of Divine Providence.

And yet to myself, as to each of us, it seems that I'm thinking and feeling from myself, and should I become directly aware that my thoughts stream in from others, I would feel like a computer or robot instead of a free human being.  So by the Laws of Divine Providence we are not allowed to be directly aware of spiritual influx.   This was not the case in prior generations, a long time ago, as Swedenborg had the occasion to find out in the spiritual world by meeting those Ancient Peoples still living in tents rather than houses, in contrast to the other people in the spiritual cities, some of whom live in magnificent palaces and estates, as witnessed many times by Swedenborg).

So now you might like to read how Swedenborg describes his discovery and proof.   These are but a very few number of the many passages that exist on this topic throughout Swedenborg's 27 books known as "the Writings."


Arcana Coelestia

AC 8728. And they shall judge the people in every time. That this signifies their consequent perpetual dependence, is evident from the signification of "judging," as being the disposing of truths (see n. 8685), here the subordinate disposing, which is dependence; for the princes who were to judge the people were in the place of Moses in small matters; in the internal sense that truths in successive order from interior to exterior are subordinate to the truth immediately from the Divine, through which truths the Lord thus acts mediately; but in the sense determined to persons it means the angels and angelic societies in such subordination and dependence, for through them the Lord acts mediately and directs men; nevertheless, it is not the angels who direct, but the Lord through them (n. 8718, 8719).

As further concerning this subject, be it known that some things also come from the angels themselves who are with man; but all the good and truth which become of faith and charity, that is, of the new life with man, come from the Lord alone, and also through the angels from Him; in like manner all disposing, which is continual, is for this use. The things which come from the angels themselves are such as accommodate themselves to the affection of the man, and in themselves are not goods, but still serve for introducing the goods and truths which are from the Lord. That "in every time" denotes perpetually, is evident without explication.

AC 5119. And I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup. That this signifies reciprocal influx into the goods from a spiritual origin there, is evident from the signification of "grapes," as being the goods of charity (of which just above, n. 5117), thus goods from a spiritual origin, for all the goods of genuine charity are from this source; and from the signification of "pressing into Pharaoh's cup," as being reciprocal influx.

By reciprocal influx it is not meant that the exterior natural flows into the interior, because this is impossible; for exterior things cannot possibly flow into interior things; or what is the same thing, lower or posterior things into higher and prior ones; but the rational calls forth the things which are in the interior natural, and by means of this the things which are in the exterior; not that the things themselves which are therein are called forth, but that which has been concluded or as it were extracted from them. Such is the nature of reciprocal influx. It appears as if the things which are in the world flow in through the senses toward the interiors, but this is a fallacy of sense; the influx is of interiors into exteriors, and by means of this influx, perception. On these subjects I have at times conversed with spirits; and it was shown by living experience that the interior man sees and perceives in the exterior what is done outside of this, and that the sensuous has life from no other source, or that from no other source is the faculty of sense, or sensation. But this fallacy is of such a nature, and so great, that it can by no means be dispelled by the natural man, and not even by the rational unless this is able to think abstractedly from what is sensuous. These things are said in order that it may be known what reciprocal influx is.

AC 4329. There came spirits at some height who from the sound heard appeared to be many, and it was discovered from the ideas of their thought and speech as conducted to me, that they seemed to be in no distinct idea, but in a general idea of many things. From this I supposed that nothing distinct could be perceived by them, but only something general and indistinct, and thus obscure; for I was of the opinion that what is general cannot be otherwise. That their thought was general or in common (that is, that of many together), I was able to plainly observe from the things which flowed in from them into my thought.

[2] But there was given them an intermediate spirit, through whom they spoke with me; for such a general thing could not fall into speech except through others. When I spoke with them through the intermediate, I said (as was my opinion), that generals cannot present a distinct idea of anything, but only one so obscure that it is as it were no idea. But after a quarter of an hour they showed that they had a distinct idea of generals, and of many things in the generals; and especially by this, that they accurately and distinctly observed all the variations and changes of my thoughts and affections, together with the singulars of them, so that no other spirits could do it better. From this I was able to conclude that it is one thing to be in a general idea which is obscure, as are those who have but little knowledge, and are thus in obscurity in regard to all things; and that it is another thing to be in a general idea which is clear, as are those who have been instructed in the truths and goods which are insinuated into the general in their order and series, and are so well-ordered as to be distinctly seen from the general.

[3] These are they who in the other life constitute the general voluntary sense, and are those who by knowledges of good and truth have acquired the faculty of looking at things from the general, and thence contemplating things broadly together, and distinguishing instantly whether a thing is so. They do indeed see the things as it were in obscurity, because they see from the general the things that are therein, but as these are well ordered in the general, they are for this reason nevertheless in clearness to them. This general voluntary sense falls to none but the wise. That these spirits were of this character was also proved, for they viewed in me all things both in general and particular from which inference could be drawn, and from these they drew inferences so skillfully in regard to the interiors of my thoughts and affections that I began to be afraid to think any more; for they disclosed things which I did not know to be in me, and yet from the inferences made by them I could not but acknowledge them. Hence I perceived in myself a torpor in speaking with them, and when I took note of this torpor it appeared as if it were a hairy thing, with something in it speaking mutely; and it was said that by this was signified the general sensitive corporeal that corresponds to these spirits. On the following day I again spoke with them, and once more found that they had a general perception not obscure, but clear; and that as the generals and the states of the generals were varied, so were the particulars and their states varied, because the latter relate in order and series to the former.

[4] It was said that general voluntary senses still more perfect exist in the interior sphere of heaven; and that when the angels are in a general or universal idea, they are at the same time in the singulars, which are set in distinct order by the Lord in the universal; also that the general and universal are not anything unless there are particulars and singulars in them from which they exist and are so called, and that they exist just insofar as these are in them; and that from this it is evident that a universal providence of the Lord, without the veriest singulars being in it, and from which it exists, is nothing at all; and that it is stupid to maintain that there exists with the Divine a universal, and then to take away the singulars from it.

Divine Providence

288. All the angels of heaven confess that no one can think from himself but only from the Lord; while all the spirits of hell assert that no one can think from any other than himself. Yet it has sometimes been shown to these spirits that not one of them thinks or can think from himself, but that thought flows in. In vain, however, was this shown, for they would not accept it. Now experience will teach first, that all thought and affection, even with the spirits of hell, flow in from heaven; but that the good which flows in is, in hell, turned into evil and the truth into falsity, thus everything into its opposite. This was shown in the following manner. A certain truth from the Word was sent down from heaven, and was received by those who were in the upper region of hell, and by these was sent down to the lower hells, and so on to the lowest.

On the successive stages of its way the truth was turned into falsity and finally into that falsity which was its direct opposite. Those with whom this change was made thought that the falsity was from themselves, nor did they know otherwise, although it was truth flowing down from heaven on its way to the lowest hell, which had become thus falsified and perverted. I have heard several times that this happened. The same thing takes place with good, which as it flows down from heaven is changed in its progress into the evil opposite to it. Hence it was evident that truth and good proceeding from the Lord as they are received by those who are in falsity and by those who are in evil are completely changed and pass into another form so different that the first form is not apparent. Thus it is with every wicked man, for such a one as to his spirit is in hell.

DP 289.  It has frequently been made manifest to me that in hell no one thinks from himself but he thinks from others around him, nor do these think from themselves, but they also think from others; and thoughts and affections pass in order from one society to another and no one is aware that they do not originate from himself. Some who believed that they thought and willed from themselves were sent into a society and there detained, and communication with the neighboring societies to which their thoughts were usually extended was cut off. They were then told to think differently from the spirits of this society, and to compel themselves to think contrary to it; but they confessed that they found this impossible.

[2] This was done with many, including Leibniz, who was also convinced that no one thinks from himself but from others; nor do these from themselves think, but that all think from influx out of heaven and heaven from influx originating from the Lord. When some had given careful consideration to this, they declared it to be amazing, saying that scarcely anyone could be induced to believe it, because it is quite contrary to appearance; but still that they could not deny it because it was fully proved. Nevertheless, while they were astonished they declared,

1. That in this case they are not in fault for thinking evil;

2. also that it thus seems as if evil were from the Lord;

3. and also that they do not understand how the Lord can cause all to think so differently.

But these three points must be explained in what follows.

DP 290. To the experience already set forth this also is to be added: When it was granted me by the Lord to speak with spirits and angels this interior truth (arcanum) was immediately disclosed to me. For I was told from heaven that, like others, I believed that I thought and willed from myself when in fact there was nothing from myself but if there was good it originated from the Lord, and if evil it originated from hell. That this was so was demonstrated to me in a realistic manner by various thoughts and affections induced upon me, and I was enabled gradually to perceive it and to feel it. Therefore, as soon as any evil afterwards entered into my will or any falsity into my thought, I inquired into its source. This was disclosed to me, and I was also permitted to speak with those from whom it came, to refute them, and to compel them to withdraw and thus to retract their evil and their falsity and to keep them to themselves, and no longer to infuse any such thing into my thought. This has happened a thousand times; and in this state I have remained now for many years, and I continue in it still; and yet I seem to myself to think and to will from myself like others, with no difference, for it is Of the Lord's Providence that it should so appear to everyone, as was shown above in its own place.

Spirits who have newly arrived wonder at this state of mine, only seeing that I do not think and will anything from myself, and therefore that I am like some inane creature. But I revealed the truth to them; adding that I also think even more interiorly and perceive whether what flows into my exterior thought is from heaven or from hell; and that I reject what is from hell and accept what is from heaven; assuring them that still I seem to myself, just as they do, to think and to will from myself.

DP 292. Everything that a man thinks and wills, and consequently speaks and does, flows in from one sole Fountain of life, and yet that one Fountain of life, which is the Lord, is not the cause of a man's thinking what is evil and false. This can be illustrated by the following circumstances in the natural world. From the sun of this world proceed heat and light; and these two flow into all subjects and objects that appear before the eyes, not only into subjects that are good and objects that are beautiful, but also into subjects that are evil and objects that are ugly, producing in them various effects. For they flow not only into trees that bear good fruit but also into trees that bear bad fruit, and even into the fruits themselves, imparting to them quickening power. They likewise flow into good seed and also into tares; also into shrubs that have a good use or are wholesome, and also into shrubs that have an evil use or are poisonous. Yet it is the same heat and the same light, and in these there is no cause of evil; but the cause is in the recipient subjects and objects.

[2] The heat which hatches eggs in which lie the bird of night, the screech-owl and the viper acts in the same way as when it hatches eggs in which lie the dove, the bird of paradise and the swan. Set eggs of both kinds under a hen and they will be hatched by her heat, which in itself is free from harm. What then has the heat in common with those evil and noxious things? The heat that flows into the marsh and the dung-hill, and into dead and putrefying matter acts in the same way as when it flows into the vine sapling and the fragrant herb, and into luxuriant vegetation and bodies pulsing with life. Who does not see that the cause is not in the heat but in the recipient subject? On the other hand, the same light brings out in one object colors that are pleasing, and in another colors that are not pleasing; it even brightens itself up and sends out brilliant rays in white objects, but in objects that verge towards black it dims and darkens itself.

[3] It is the same in the spiritual world; for there also are heat and light from its Sun, which is the Lord, and these flow from that Sun into their subjects and objects. The subjects and objects there are angels and spirits, in particular, what pertains to their will and understanding, the heat there being the Divine Love going forth, and the light there the Divine Wisdom going forth. These are not the cause of their being received differently by one and by another; for the Lord says,

He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. Matt. v. 45.

By the Sun in the highest spiritual sense is meant the Divine Love, and by the rain the Divine Wisdom.

DP 293. To this I will add the opinion of angels regarding will and intelligence in man. It is this: There cannot be in any man a grain of will and prudence that is his own. They say that if there were such a grain in any man neither heaven nor hell would continue to exist, and the whole human race would perish. The reason, they say, is that myriads of myriads of men, as many as have been born since the creation of the world, constitute heaven and hell, which are arranged in such an order, the one under the other, that on either side they make a one, heaven forming one beautiful man, and hell one monstrous man. If any individual had a grain of will and intelligence of his own that "one" could not possibly exist, but would be rent asunder; and with it would perish that Divine Form which can only manifest itself and continue in being when the Lord is the All in all men and they are absolutely nothing. Another reason, they say, is that to think and to will from self is the essential Divine principle, while to think and to will from God is the essential human principle; and what is essentially Divine cannot be appropriated to any man, for in that case man would be God.

Keep this in mind; and if you wish, you will have it confirmed by angels when after death you enter into the spiritual world.

DP 294. It was stated above (n. 289) that when some were convinced that no one thinks from himself but only from others, and that all those others think not from themselves but from influx through heaven from the Lord, they said in their astonishment that in this case they are not in fault for doing evil; also that it thus seems that evil originates from the Lord; and also that they do not understand that the Lord alone can cause all to think so differently. Now since these three ideas cannot but flow into the thoughts of those who think only of effects from effects, and not of effects from causes, it is necessary that they be taken up and explained from causes.

[2] First: In this case they are not in fault for doing evil. For if every thing that a man thinks flows into him from others the fault seems to rest with those from whom it comes. Nevertheless, the fault is in him who receives, because he receives it as his own; and he neither knows nor desires to know otherwise. For everyone desires to be his own, and to be led by himself, and especially to think and to will from himself; this is freedom itself and it appears as his proprium in which every man is. Therefore, if he knew that what he thinks and wills flows in from another he would seem to himself to be bound and captive and no longer master of himself; and thus all the delight of his life, and at length his human itself, would perish.

[3] That this is so I have often seen proved. It was granted to some spirits to perceive and to feel that they were being led by others. Thereupon they were so enraged that they became as it were demented; and they said they would rather be kept bound in hell than not be allowed to think in accordance with their will and to will in accordance with their thought. Not to be allowed to do so they called being bound as to life itself, which was harder and more intolerable than being bound as to their body. Not to be allowed to speak and act in accordance with their thought and will they did not call being bound; because the delight of civil and moral life, which consists in speaking and doing, acts as the restraining influence and, at the same time, mitigates the restraint.

[4] Now since man is not willing to know that he is led to think by others, but desires to think from himself and also believes that he does so, it follows that he himself is at fault, nor can he free himself of blame so long as he loves to think what he is thinking; But if he does not love it he breaks his connection with those from whom his thought flows. This happens when he knows that it is evil, and therefore desires to shun it and to desist from it. Then also he is taken away by the Lord from the society which is in that evil and is transferred to a society where it does not exist. If, however, he knows the evil and does not shun it the fault is imputed to him, and he becomes answerable for that evil. Therefore, whatever a man believes that he does from himself is said to be done from the man and not from the Lord.

[5] Second: It thus seems that evil originates from the Lord. This may be thought to be the conclusion from what was shown above (n. 288), namely, that good flowing in from the Lord is turned in hell into evil and truth into falsity. Anyone can see that evil and falsity do not originate from good and truth, and consequently not from the Lord, but from the recipient subject and object which is in evil and falsity and which perverts and inverts that which flows in, as was fully shown above (n. 292). However, the source of evil and falsity in man has been frequently shown in the preceding pages. Moreover, an experiment was made in the spiritual world with those who believed that the Lord could remove evils in the wicked and introduce good in their place, and in this way could transfer all hell into heaven and save all. But that this is impossible will be seen towards the end of this treatise, where instantaneous salvation and immediate mercy are to be considered.

[6] Third: They do not understand that the Lord alone can cause all to think so differently. The Lord's Divine Love is infinite and infinite also is His Divine Wisdom; and infinite things of love and wisdom proceed from the Lord, and these flow into all in heaven, and thence into all in hell, and from both of these into all in the world; therefore, thinking and willing cannot fail in anyone, for infinite things are all things without limit. Those infinite things which proceed from the Lord flow in not only universally but also most individually; for the Divine is universal from the most individual things, and these Divine individual things constitute what is called the Universal, as was shown above; and the most individual Divine thing is also infinite. Hence it may be evident that the Lord alone causes everyone to think and to will in accordance with his own peculiar quality and in accordance with the laws of His Providence. That all things which are in the Lord and which proceed from Him are infinite has been shown above (n. 46-69); and also in the treatise THE DIVINE LOVE AND WISDOM (n. 17-22).

DP 307. We return now to the subject set forth, namely, that the Lord governs hell by means of opposites; and the wicked, while still in the world, He governs in hell as to their interiors but not as to their exteriors. As regards the First part, The Lord governs hell by means of opposites, it was shown above (n. 288, 289) that the angels of heaven are not in love and wisdom, or in the affection of good and in the thought of truth thence derived, from themselves but from the Lord; also that good and truth flow out of heaven into hell, where good is turned into evil, and truth into falsity, because the interiors of the minds of those in heaven and in hell are turned in opposite directions. Since then all things in hell are opposite to all things in heaven, it follows that the Lord governs hell by means of opposites.

[2] Second: The wicked, while still in the world, the Lord governs in hell. This is because man as to his spirit is in the spiritual world and in some society there, in an infernal society if he is wicked, and in a heavenly society if he is good; for man's mind, which in itself is spiritual, cannot be anywhere but among the spiritual, into whose company he also comes after death. That this is so has also been said and shown above. But a man is not there in the same way as a spirit who has been assigned to the society, for man is continually in a state of being reformed; and therefore according to his life and its changes he is transferred by the Lord from one society in hell to another, if he is wicked. But if he suffers himself to undergo reformation he is led out of hell and raised up into heaven; and there also he is transferred from one society to another. This is continued till his death, after which he is no longer transferred from society to society there, because he is then no longer in a state of being reformed, but he remains in that state in which he is in accordance with his life. Therefore, when a man dies he is assigned to his own place.

[3] Third: In this way the Lord governs the wicked, while still in the world, as to their interiors but by other means as to their exteriors. The Lord governs the interiors of man's mind in the manner just stated; but the exteriors He governs in the world of spirits, which is intermediate between heaven and hell. The reason is that man is for the most part different in externals from what he is in internals; for in externals he can feign to be an angel of light and yet in internals he may be a spirit of darkness. Therefore, his external is governed in one way and his internal in another; for so long as he is in the world his external is governed in the world of spirits but his internal either in heaven or in hell. Therefore also when he dies he first enters the world of spirits, where he comes into his external, and this is there put off; and when he is freed from this he is conducted to his own place to which he has been assigned. What the world of spirits is and its nature may be seen in the work HEAVEN AND HELL, published in London in the year 1758 (n. 421-535).

DP 308. CHAPTER XI  THE DIVINE PROVIDENCE APPROPRIATES NEITHER EVIL NOR GOOD TO ANYONE; BUT ONE'S OWN PRUDENCE APPROPRIATES BOTH

NEARLY everyone believes that man thinks and wills from himself and consequently speaks and acts from himself. Who from himself can suppose otherwise, since the appearance of it is so strong that it does not differ at all from actually thinking, willing, speaking and acting from himself? And yet this is not possible. In ANGELIC WISDOM CONCERNING THE DIVINE LOVE AND WISDOM, it was shown that there is only one life, and that men are recipients of life; also that man's will is the receptacle of love, and his understanding the receptacle of wisdom, and that these two constitute this sole life. It was also shown that it is ordained from creation, and therefore unceasingly from the Divine Providence, that this life should appear in man exactly as if it belonged to him, and consequently as if it were his own, the purpose of this appearance being that man may serve as a receptacle for it. It was also shown above (n. 288-294) that no man thinks from himself but from others, and that these others do not think from themselves but all from the Lord, the wicked as well as the good. It was shown further that this is well known in the Christian world, especially among those who not only say but also believe that all good and truth originate from the Lord, also all wisdom and thus all faith and charity; and, moreover, that all evil and falsity originate from the devil, that is, from hell.

[2] From all this no other conclusion can follow than that everything a man thinks and wills flows into him; and since all speech flows from thought, as an effect from its cause, and since all action flows in like manner from the will, it follows that everything a man says and does also flows in, although derivatively, that is, mediately. It cannot be denied that everything a man sees, hears, smells, tastes and feels flows in; why not then what he thinks and wills? Can there be any other difference than that such things as are in the natural world flow into the organs of the external senses or those of the body, while such things as are in the spiritual world flow into the organic substances of the internal senses or those of the mind? Therefore, as the organs of the external senses or those of the body are receptacles of natural objects so the organic substances of the internal senses or those of the mind are receptacles of spiritual objects. Since this is the state of man, what then is his proprium? His proprium does not consist in being a receptacle of this or that kind, because such a proprium is merely what he is with regard to reception and is not a living proprium; for by proprium no one understands anything else than that he lives from himself, and consequently thinks and wills from himself; but that such a proprium does not exist in man, indeed cannot exist in anyone, follows from what has been said above.

DP 309. I will here relate what I heard from some in the spiritual world. They were among those who believe their own prudence to be everything and the Divine Providence nothing. I said that man has not any proprium of his own, unless you choose to call that his proprium which consists in being this or that kind of subject, or this or that kind of organ, or this or that kind of form. This, however, is not the proprium that is meant, but is merely a description of its quality. No man in fact has any proprium in the sense in which this is commonly understood. Those who ascribed all things to their own prudence, and who may be called examples of self-ownership (proprietarii in imagine sua), so flared up at this that flames appeared to issue from their nostrils as they declared, "You are uttering absurd and insane words. Would not a man in such a case be an empty nonentity? Would he not be a mere phantasmal figment of the mind, or a graven image or a statue?"

[2] To this I could only answer that it is absurd and insane to believe that man is life from himself, and that wisdom and prudence do not flow in from God but are in man, consequently also the good that belongs to charity and the truth that belongs to faith. To attribute these to oneself is called insanity by every wise man, and thus it is absurd. Moreover, persons doing so are like those who occupy the house and property of another, and being in possession persuade themselves that these are their own; or they are like stewards and estate managers who believe all their master's property to be their own; or like serving men to whom their master gave large and small sums to trade with, but who rendered no account of them and kept them as their own, and so acted as thieves.

[3] Of such it may be said that they are spiritually insane, indeed that they are empty nonentities and also idealists, since they have not in themselves from the Lord any good which is the being (esse) itself of life, nor consequently any truth. Therefore, such are even called dead, and also nothing and vanity (Isaiah XL. 17-23); and elsewhere, image-makers, graven images and statues. However, more will be said concerning these in what follows, and will be considered in this order:

I. What one's own prudence is, and what prudence not one's own is.

II. Man from his own prudence persuades himself and confirms in himself that all good and truth originate from himself and are in himself; and in like manner all evil and falsity.

III. Everything of which man has persuaded himself and which he has confirmed in himself remains with him as his own.

IV. If man believed, as is the truth, that all good and truth originate from the Lord, and all evil and falsity from hell, he would not appropriate good to himself and account it meritorious, nor would he appropriate evil to himself and account himself responsible for it.

DP 310. I. WHAT ONE'S OWN PRUDENCE IS, AND WHAT PRUDENCE NOT ONE'S OWN IS. They are in their own prudence who confirm appearances in themselves and make them truths, especially the appearance that one's own prudence is everything and the Divine Providence nothing, unless it is something universal; and yet this is impossible without the individual things of which it must consist, as was shown above. They are, moreover, in fallacies, for every appearance confirmed as a truth becomes a fallacy; and so far as they confirm themselves by fallacies they become materialists; and to that extent they believe nothing but what they can at the same time perceive by one of the bodily senses, principally by the sense of sight, for this especially acts as one with thought. Such persons finally become sensual; and if they confirm themselves in favor of nature against God, they close the interiors of their mind and interpose as it were a veil, and make the object of their thought what is under the veil but not what is above it. The ancients called such men serpents of the tree of knowledge; and of them in the spiritual world it is said that as they confirm themselves they close the interiors of their minds, at length even to the nose; for the nose signifies perception of truth, and this means that they have no such perception.

[2] What their character is will now be described. They are more cunning and crafty than others, and are more ingenious reasoners; and cunning and craftiness they call intelligence and wisdom, nor do they know otherwise. Those who are not of this nature they regard as simple and stupid, especially those who worship God and acknowledge the Divine Providence. With respect to the interior principles of their minds, of which they themselves know very little, they resemble those called Machiavellians, who regard murder, adultery, theft and false witness, viewed in themselves, as of no account; and if they reason against these, it is only from prudence that they may not appear to be of this nature.

[3] Concerning man's life in this world they think it is like the life of a beast; and concerning his life after death, that it is like a vital vapor which, rising from the body or from the grave, sinks back again and so dies. From this arises the foolish idea that spirits and angels are formed of air, and in the case of those who have been enjoined to believe in life everlasting, that the souls of men are the same, and therefore that they do not see, hear or speak, and thus are blind, deaf and dumb, and that they merely think in their own small portion of air. They say, How can the soul be anything else? Did not the external senses die together with the body? These cannot be resumed until the soul is reunited with the body; and because they could have only a sensual and not a spiritual idea of the state of the soul after death they confirmed this state; otherwise belief in eternal life would have perished. Especially do they confirm themselves in the love of self, calling it the fire of life and the incentive to various uses in the state. As this is their nature they are the idols of themselves, and since their thoughts are fallacies formed from fallacies, these are images of falsity. Moreover, as they indulge the delights of lusts they are satans and devils, those being called satans who confirm in themselves the lusts of evil, and those devils who live according to them.

[4] It has also been granted me to know the nature of the most crafty sensual men. Their hell is deep down, and behind, and they do not desire to be conspicuous. Therefore, they appear hovering about there like specters, which are their fantasies; and they are called genii. Some of them were once sent out from that hell that I might know their character. They at once directed their influence to my neck beneath the occiput and from there they entered my affections, not wishing to enter my thoughts, which they dexterously avoided. They then kept changing my affections one after another with the design of bending them imperceptibly into their opposites, which are lusts of evil; and as they did not in the least touch my thoughts they would have bent and inverted my affections without my knowledge had not the Lord prevented this.

[5] Such do those become who in the world do not believe there is a Divine Providence, and who search out in others nothing but their cupidities and desires, and so lead them on till they acquire an ascendency over them. As they do this so secretly and craftily that others do not know it, and as these after death become like themselves, therefore immediately after their arrival in the spiritual world they are sent down into that hell. When seen in the light of heaven they appear without any nose; and what is wonderful, although they are so crafty yet they are more sensual than the rest.

[6] As the ancients called a sensual man a serpent, and as such a man is more cunning and crafty and is a more ingenious reasoner than others, therefore it is said,

The serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field. Gen. iii. 1;

and the Lord says:

Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Matt. x. 16;

and also the dragon, which is likewise called the old serpent, the devil and satan, is described as

Having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. Rev. xii. 3, 9.

By the seven heads is signified craftiness, by the ten horns the power of persuading by means of fallacies, and by the seven crowns the holy things of the Word and of the Church when these are profaned.

DP 312. II. MAN FROM HIS OWN PRUDENCE PERSUADES HIMSELF AND CONFIRMS THAT ALL GOOD AND TRUTH ORIGINATE FROM HIMSELF AND ARE IN HIMSELF AND IN LIKE MANNER ALL EVIL AND FALSITY. Suppose an argument instituted from the analogy between natural good and truth and spiritual good and truth. The question is asked: What are truth and good in the sight of the eye? Is not the truth there what is called beautiful and the good there what is called delightful? - for delight is felt in seeing beautiful things. Again, what are truth and good in the sense of hearing? Is not the truth there what is called harmonious, and the good there what is called pleasing? - for pleasure is felt in hearing harmonious sounds. It is the same with the other senses. Hence it is evident what natural truth and good are. Consider now what spiritual truth and good are. Is spiritual truth anything but the beauty and harmony of spiritual things and objects? Is spiritual good anything but the delight and pleasure derived from the perception of their beauty or their harmony?

[2] See now whether anything can be said of the one different from what may be said of the other, that is, of the spiritual different from what may be said of the natural. Of the natural it is said that the beauty and delight in the eye flow in from objects and that harmony and pleasure in the ear flow in from musical instruments. What is there different in the organic substances of the mind? It is said of the organic substances of the mind that beauty and delight are in them, but of the organs of the body that they flow into them; and if it is asked why it is said that they flow in, no other answer can be given than that there appears to be a distance between them, i.e., between the organs and what flows in. In the other case, if it is asked why it is said that they are in them, no other answer can be given than that there does not appear to be any distance between them. Consequently it is the appearance of distance that causes one kind of belief about what man thinks and perceives and another about what he sees and hears. This falls to the ground, however, when it is known that distance does not exist in the spiritual as it does in the natural. Think of the sun and moon, or of Rome and Constantinople: are they not in thought without distance between them, provided the thought is not united with experience acquired by sight or by hearing? Why then do you persuade yourself because distance does not appear in thought that good and truth, likewise evil and falsity, are there and do not flow in?

[3] To this I will add an experience common in the spiritual world. One spirit can infuse his thoughts and affections into another who is not aware that this is not an activity of his own thought and affection. This is called in that world thinking from and in another. I have seen it a thousand times and have also practiced it a hundred times myself, and yet there was an appearance of considerable distance. As soon, however, as they learned that it was another who introduced those thoughts and affections they were angry and turned themselves away, thus confirming nevertheless that there is no appearance of distance in the internal thought or sight unless it is made manifest as it is to the external sight or the eye; and consequently it is believed that there is influx.

[4] To this I will add my own daily experience. Evil spirits have often introduced into my thoughts evils and falsities which seemed to me as if they were in myself and originating from myself, or as if I myself thought them. But knowing them to be evils and falsities I endeavoured to find out who had introduced them, and when these spirits were detected they were driven away; and they were at a considerable distance from me. Hence it may be evident that all evil with its falsity flows in from hell and that all good with its truth flows in from the Lord, and that they both appear as if they were in man.

DP 307. We return now to the subject set forth, namely, that the Lord governs hell by means of opposites; and the wicked, while still in the world, He governs in hell as to their interiors but not as to their exteriors. As regards the First part, The Lord governs hell by means of opposites, it was shown above (n. 288, 289) that the angels of heaven are not in love and wisdom, or in the affection of good and in the thought of truth thence derived, from themselves but from the Lord; also that good and truth flow out of heaven into hell, where good is turned into evil, and truth into falsity, because the interiors of the minds of those in heaven and in hell are turned in opposite directions. Since then all things in hell are opposite to all things in heaven, it follows that the Lord governs hell by means of opposites.

[2] Second: The wicked, while still in the world, the Lord governs in hell. This is because man as to his spirit is in the spiritual world and in some society there, in an infernal society if he is wicked, and in a heavenly society if he is good; for man's mind, which in itself is spiritual, cannot be anywhere but among the spiritual, into whose company he also comes after death. That this is so has also been said and shown above. But a man is not there in the same way as a spirit who has been assigned to the society, for man is continually in a state of being reformed; and therefore according to his life and its changes he is transferred by the Lord from one society in hell to another, if he is wicked. But if he suffers himself to undergo reformation he is led out of hell and raised up into heaven; and there also he is transferred from one society to another. This is continued till his death, after which he is no longer transferred from society to society there, because he is then no longer in a state of being reformed, but he remains in that state in which he is in accordance with his life. Therefore, when a man dies he is assigned to his own place.

[3] Third: In this way the Lord governs the wicked, while still in the world, as to their interiors but by other means as to their exteriors. The Lord governs the interiors of man's mind in the manner just stated; but the exteriors He governs in the world of spirits, which is intermediate between heaven and hell. The reason is that man is for the most part different in externals from what he is in internals; for in externals he can feign to be an angel of light and yet in internals he may be a spirit of darkness. Therefore, his external is governed in one way and his internal in another; for so long as he is in the world his external is governed in the world of spirits but his internal either in heaven or in hell. Therefore also when he dies he first enters the world of spirits, where he comes into his external, and this is there put off; and when he is freed from this he is conducted to his own place to which he has been assigned. What the world of spirits is and its nature may be seen in the work HEAVEN AND HELL, published in London in the year 1758 (n. 421-535).

DP 308. CHAPTER XI  THE DIVINE PROVIDENCE APPROPRIATES NEITHER EVIL NOR GOOD TO ANYONE; BUT ONE'S OWN PRUDENCE APPROPRIATES BOTH

Nearly everyone believes that man thinks and wills from himself and consequently speaks and acts from himself. Who from himself can suppose otherwise, since the appearance of it is so strong that it does not differ at all from actually thinking, willing, speaking and acting from himself? And yet this is not possible. In ANGELIC WISDOM CONCERNING THE DIVINE LOVE AND WISDOM, it was shown that there is only one life, and that men are recipients of life; also that man's will is the receptacle of love, and his understanding the receptacle of wisdom, and that these two constitute this sole life. It was also shown that it is ordained from creation, and therefore unceasingly from the Divine Providence, that this life should appear in man exactly as if it belonged to him, and consequently as if it were his own, the purpose of this appearance being that man may serve as a receptacle for it. It was also shown above (n. 288-294) that no man thinks from himself but from others, and that these others do not think from themselves but all from the Lord, the wicked as well as the good. It was shown further that this is well known in the Christian world, especially among those who not only say but also believe that all good and truth originate from the Lord, also all wisdom and thus all faith and charity; and, moreover, that all evil and falsity originate from the devil, that is, from hell.

[2] From all this no other conclusion can follow than that everything a man thinks and wills flows into him; and since all speech flows from thought, as an effect from its cause, and since all action flows in like manner from the will, it follows that everything a man says and does also flows in, although derivatively, that is, mediately. It cannot be denied that everything a man sees, hears, smells, tastes and feels flows in; why not then what he thinks and wills? Can there be any other difference than that such things as are in the natural world flow into the organs of the external senses or those of the body, while such things as are in the spiritual world flow into the organic substances of the internal senses or those of the mind? Therefore, as the organs of the external senses or those of the body are receptacles of natural objects so the organic substances of the internal senses or those of the mind are receptacles of spiritual objects. Since this is the state of man, what then is his proprium? His proprium does not consist in being a receptacle of this or that kind, because such a proprium is merely what he is with regard to reception and is not a living proprium; for by proprium no one understands anything else than that he lives from himself, and consequently thinks and wills from himself; but that such a proprium does not exist in man, indeed cannot exist in anyone, follows from what has been said above.

DP 309. I will here relate what I heard from some in the spiritual world. They were among those who believe their own prudence to be everything and the Divine Providence nothing. I said that man has not any proprium of his own, unless you choose to call that his proprium which consists in being this or that kind of subject, or this or that kind of organ, or this or that kind of form. This, however, is not the proprium that is meant, but is merely a description of its quality. No man in fact has any proprium in the sense in which this is commonly understood. Those who ascribed all things to their own prudence, and who may be called examples of self-ownership (proprietarii in imagine sua), so flared up at this that flames appeared to issue from their nostrils as they declared, "You are uttering absurd and insane words. Would not a man in such a case be an empty nonentity? Would he not be a mere phantasmal figment of the mind, or a graven image or a statue?"

[2] To this I could only answer that it is absurd and insane to believe that man is life from himself, and that wisdom and prudence do not flow in from God but are in man, consequently also the good that belongs to charity and the truth that belongs to faith. To attribute these to oneself is called insanity by every wise man, and thus it is absurd. Moreover, persons doing so are like those who occupy the house and property of another, and being in possession persuade themselves that these are their own; or they are like stewards and estate managers who believe all their master's property to be their own; or like serving men to whom their master gave large and small sums to trade with, but who rendered no account of them and kept them as their own, and so acted as thieves.

[3] Of such it may be said that they are spiritually insane, indeed that they are empty nonentities and also idealists, since they have not in themselves from the Lord any good which is the being (esse) itself of life, nor consequently any truth. Therefore, such are even called dead, and also nothing and vanity (Isaiah XL. 17-23); and elsewhere, image-makers, graven images and statues. However, more will be said concerning these in what follows, and will be considered in this order:

I. What one's own prudence is, and what prudence not one's own is.

II. Man from his own prudence persuades himself and confirms in himself that all good and truth originate from himself and are in himself; and in like manner all evil and falsity.

III. Everything of which man has persuaded himself and which he has confirmed in himself remains with him as his own.

IV. If man believed, as is the truth, that all good and truth originate from the Lord, and all evil and falsity from hell, he would not appropriate good to himself and account it meritorious, nor would he appropriate evil to himself and account himself responsible for it.

Clearly this word is not used in its modern sense, but describes those who trust only their own ideas.

DP 310. I. WHAT ONE'S OWN PRUDENCE IS, AND WHAT PRUDENCE NOT ONE'S OWN IS. They are in their own prudence who confirm appearances in themselves and make them truths, especially the appearance that one's own prudence is everything and the Divine Providence nothing, unless it is something universal; and yet this is impossible without the individual things of which it must consist, as was shown above. They are, moreover, in fallacies, for every appearance confirmed as a truth becomes a fallacy; and so far as they confirm themselves by fallacies they become materialists; and to that extent they believe nothing but what they can at the same time perceive by one of the bodily senses, principally by the sense of sight, for this especially acts as one with thought. Such persons finally become sensual; and if they confirm themselves in favor of nature against God, they close the interiors of their mind and interpose as it were a veil, and make the object of their thought what is under the veil but not what is above it. The ancients called such men serpents of the tree of knowledge; and of them in the spiritual world it is said that as they confirm themselves they close the interiors of their minds, at length even to the nose; for the nose signifies perception of truth, and this means that they have no such perception.

[2] What their character is will now be described. They are more cunning and crafty than others, and are more ingenious reasoners; and cunning and craftiness they call intelligence and wisdom, nor do they know otherwise. Those who are not of this nature they regard as simple and stupid, especially those who worship God and acknowledge the Divine Providence. With respect to the interior principles of their minds, of which they themselves know very little, they resemble those called Machiavellians, who regard murder, adultery, theft and false witness, viewed in themselves, as of no account; and if they reason against these, it is only from prudence that they may not appear to be of this nature.

[3] Concerning man's life in this world they think it is like the life of a beast; and concerning his life after death, that it is like a vital vapor which, rising from the body or from the grave, sinks back again and so dies. From this arises the foolish idea that spirits and angels are formed of air, and in the case of those who have been enjoined to believe in life everlasting, that the souls of men are the same, and therefore that they do not see, hear or speak, and thus are blind, deaf and dumb, and that they merely think in their own small portion of air. They say, How can the soul be anything else? Did not the external senses die together with the body? These cannot be resumed until the soul is reunited with the body; and because they could have only a sensual and not a spiritual idea of the state of the soul after death they confirmed this state; otherwise belief in eternal life would have perished. Especially do they confirm themselves in the love of self, calling it the fire of life and the incentive to various uses in the state. As this is their nature they are the idols of themselves, and since their thoughts are fallacies formed from fallacies, these are images of falsity. Moreover, as they indulge the delights of lusts they are satans and devils, those being called satans who confirm in themselves the lusts of evil, and those devils who live according to them.

[4] It has also been granted me to know the nature of the most crafty sensual men. Their hell is deep down, and behind, and they do not desire to be conspicuous. Therefore, they appear hovering about there like specters, which are their fantasies; and they are called genii. Some of them were once sent out from that hell that I might know their character. They at once directed their influence to my neck beneath the occiput and from there they entered my affections, not wishing to enter my thoughts, which they dexterously avoided. They then kept changing my affections one after another with the design of bending them imperceptibly into their opposites, which are lusts of evil; and as they did not in the least touch my thoughts they would have bent and inverted my affections without my knowledge had not the Lord prevented this.

[5] Such do those become who in the world do not believe there is a Divine Providence, and who search out in others nothing but their cupidities and desires, and so lead them on till they acquire an ascendency over them. As they do this so secretly and craftily that others do not know it, and as these after death become like themselves, therefore immediately after their arrival in the spiritual world they are sent down into that hell. When seen in the light of heaven they appear without any nose; and what is wonderful, although they are so crafty yet they are more sensual than the rest.

[6] As the ancients called a sensual man a serpent, and as such a man is more cunning and crafty and is a more ingenious reasoner than others, therefore it is said,

The serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field. Gen. iii. 1;

and the Lord says:

Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Matt. x. 16;

and also the dragon, which is likewise called the old serpent, the devil and satan, is described as

Having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. Rev. xii. 3, 9.

By the seven heads is signified craftiness, by the ten horns the power of persuading by means of fallacies, and by the seven crowns the holy things of the Word and of the Church when these are profaned.

DP 312. II. MAN FROM HIS OWN PRUDENCE PERSUADES HIMSELF AND CONFIRMS THAT ALL GOOD AND TRUTH ORIGINATE FROM HIMSELF AND ARE IN HIMSELF AND IN LIKE MANNER ALL EVIL AND FALSITY. Suppose an argument instituted from the analogy between natural good and truth and spiritual good and truth. The question is asked: What are truth and good in the sight of the eye? Is not the truth there what is called beautiful and the good there what is called delightful? - for delight is felt in seeing beautiful things. Again, what are truth and good in the sense of hearing? Is not the truth there what is called harmonious, and the good there what is called pleasing? - for pleasure is felt in hearing harmonious sounds. It is the same with the other senses. Hence it is evident what natural truth and good are. Consider now what spiritual truth and good are. Is spiritual truth anything but the beauty and harmony of spiritual things and objects? Is spiritual good anything but the delight and pleasure derived from the perception of their beauty or their harmony?

[2] See now whether anything can be said of the one different from what may be said of the other, that is, of the spiritual different from what may be said of the natural. Of the natural it is said that the beauty and delight in the eye flow in from objects and that harmony and pleasure in the ear flow in from musical instruments. What is there different in the organic substances of the mind? It is said of the organic substances of the mind that beauty and delight are in them, but of the organs of the body that they flow into them; and if it is asked why it is said that they flow in, no other answer can be given than that there appears to be a distance between them, i.e., between the organs and what flows in. In the other case, if it is asked why it is said that they are in them, no other answer can be given than that there does not appear to be any distance between them. Consequently it is the appearance of distance that causes one kind of belief about what man thinks and perceives and another about what he sees and hears. This falls to the ground, however, when it is known that distance does not exist in the spiritual as it does in the natural. Think of the sun and moon, or of Rome and Constantinople: are they not in thought without distance between them, provided the thought is not united with experience acquired by sight or by hearing? Why then do you persuade yourself because distance does not appear in thought that good and truth, likewise evil and falsity, are there and do not flow in?

[3] To this I will add an experience common in the spiritual world. One spirit can infuse his thoughts and affections into another who is not aware that this is not an activity of his own thought and affection. This is called in that world thinking from and in another. I have seen it a thousand times and have also practiced it a hundred times myself, and yet there was an appearance of considerable distance. As soon, however, as they learned that it was another who introduced those thoughts and affections they were angry and turned themselves away, thus confirming nevertheless that there is no appearance of distance in the internal thought or sight unless it is made manifest as it is to the external sight or the eye; and consequently it is believed that there is influx.

[4] To this I will add my own daily experience. Evil spirits have often introduced into my thoughts evils and falsities which seemed to me as if they were in myself and originating from myself, or as if I myself thought them. But knowing them to be evils and falsities I endeavoured to find out who had introduced them, and when these spirits were detected they were driven away; and they were at a considerable distance from me. Hence it may be evident that all evil with its falsity flows in from hell and that all good with its truth flows in from the Lord, and that they both appear as if they were in man.


Arcana Coelestia

1966. VISIONS AND DREAMS, INCLUDING THOSE THAT ARE PROPHETICAL WHICH ARE DESCRIBED IN THE WORD

Few people know what visions really are or which visions are genuine. But as for several years now I have been almost constantly with those who are in the next life, as becomes quite clear from Volume One, and have seen the amazing things there, and so have learned from actual experience about visions and dreams, let the following be told concerning them.

Arcana Coelestia

AC 1967. Declared repeatedly are visions seen by certain people who have said that they have seen many things, which they have indeed seen, yet only in delusion. I have been informed about them and also shown how they originate. There are spirits who by means of delusions can cause shapes like those that constitute visions to appear to be real objects. For example, when something is seen in shadow, or in moonlight, or even in daylight provided that the object is where it is unlit, those spirits rivet the mind of the beholder constantly to the idea of some specific thing- whether a living creature, a monster, a forest, or some other thing. All the time the mind is riveted to that idea the delusion is increased, and grows to such an extent that that person is quite convinced and sees the shapes as being absolutely real objects, when in fact they are nothing other than illusions. Such things happen to those who are much inclined to delusions, who are not strong-minded, and who are therefore prone to believe anything. These are visionaries.

AC 1968. Enthusiastic spirits are similar, but their visions center round things that ought to be believed, of which they are so strongly convinced and convince others that they are prepared to swear that something false is true, or that an illusion is a reality. Much from experience could be related concerning the disposition of those spirits, but in the Lord's Divine mercy these will be dealt with separately as a specific subject. It is a disposition which they have acquired from persuasions and false assumptions when they lived in the world.

AC 1969. Evil spirits in the next life consist of hardly anything else than evil desires and delusions, having acquired no other life to themselves. Their delusions are such that they do not perceive them at all as being delusions but as being actual realities. Men's delusions cannot be compared to theirs, since even in this respect their state is superior to men's. Delusions such as these exist all the time with those in hell, where by means of delusions one pitiably torments another.

AC 1970. By genuine visions are meant visions or sights of those things which have real existence in the next life, and which are nothing else than real things that may be seen with the eyes of the spirit but not with those of the body. They are visible to man when his interior sight is opened by the Lord, that is, the sight his spirit possesses and into which he also enters when, separated from the body, he passes into the next life; for man is a spirit clothed with a body. Such were the visions of the prophets. When this sight is opened the things which have actual existence among spirits are seen in light brighter than midday light of the world; not only are representatives seen but also the spirits themselves. This is accompanied by a perception as to who those spirits are, and also what they are like, where they are, where they have come from, where they are going to, and what affection, conviction, and indeed faith exists with them, 1388, 1394. All of this is confirmed by living speech, altogether as if it were human speech, and free of all illusion.

AC 1971. The visions beheld by good spirits are representatives of things that exist in heaven, for that which occurs in heaven among angels is converted into representatives when it passes down into the world of spirits, from which and in which representatives one may see clearly what they mean. Such representatives among good spirits are never-ending and are accompanied by beauty and loveliness that are almost beyond description.

AC 1972. As for the visions, or rather sights, which appear before the eyes of the spirit but not before those of the body, they are more and more interior. Those which I have seen in the world of spirits I have seen in bright light; but those which I have seen in the heaven of angelic spirits I have seen less clearly, and those in the heaven of angels less clearly still; for rarely has the sight of my spirit been opened that far. Nevertheless by a certain perception, the nature of which defies description, I have been given to know what they were saying, quite often by means of intermediary spirits. Sometimes the things that are there have appeared in the shade of the light of heaven, a shade not at all like the shade belonging to the light of the world, for it is a light that grows feebler and fainter from its not being comprehended by the understanding and the sight alike.

True Christian Religion

TCR 461. Third Memorable Relation

I was once carried away in spirit to the southern quarter of the spiritual world, and into a certain paradise there; and I saw that this paradise excelled all that I had before surveyed. This was because a garden signifies intelligence, and because all those who are pre-eminent in intelligence are conveyed to the south. The garden of Eden, in which were Adam and his wife, has no other significance; so their expulsion therefrom involved expulsion from intelligence, and thus also from integrity of life. While I was walking in this southern paradise, I noticed certain persons sitting under a laurel eating figs. I turned to them and asked them for some figs, which they gave me; and lo, in my hand the figs became grapes.

As I wondered at this, an angelic spirit who stood near me said, "The figs became grapes in your hand because figs by correspondence signify the goods of charity and of faith therefrom in the natural or external man, while grapes signify the goods of charity and of faith therefrom in the spiritual or internal man; and this has happened to you because you love spiritual things; for in our world all things occur and come forth, and are also changed, in accordance with correspondences."

[2] Then suddenly there came upon me a desire to know how man can do good from God, and yet do it altogether as if of himself. I therefore asked those who were eating the figs how they understood the matter.

They said that they could understand it only in this way, that God effects this inwardly in man and through man when he is ignorant of it; because if man were conscious of it, and in that state were to do good, he would do only apparent good, which inwardly is evil. "For all that goes forth from man goes forth from his own [proprium], and this is evil from birth; and how can good from God and evil from man be conjoined, and thus conjointly go forth into act? What is man's own in matters pertaining to salvation constantly breathes forth a sense of merit, and so far as it does this, it detracts from the Lord His own merit; and this is the height of injustice and impiety. In a word, if the good which God works in man, were to inflow into man's willing and thence into his doing, the good would assuredly be defiled and also profaned, and this God never permits. Man can think, indeed, that the good he does is from God, and can say that it is essentially God's; but still that it is so we do not comprehend."

[3] Then I opened my mind and said, "You do not comprehend this because you think from appearance, and thought confirmed from appearance is fallacy. To you there is such appearance and consequent fallacy because you believe everything that a man thinks and wills and does and says therefrom, is in himself, and consequently from himself, when in fact there is no part of them in him except the state to receive what inflows. Man is not life in himself, but an organ receptive of life. The Lord is life in Himself, as He says in John:

As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself (5:26 besides elsewhere, as in John 11:25; 14:6, 19).

[4] "There are two things that constitute life, namely, love and wisdom, or what is the same thing, the good of love and the truth of wisdom. These flow in from God, and are received by man as if they were his; and because they are so felt by man they go forth from man as if they were his. Their being so felt by man is the Lord's gift, to the end that what flows in may affect man, and so be received and remain. But inasmuch as all evil likewise flows in, not from God but from hell, and is received with delight (because man is such an organ by birth), so good is received from God only in proportion as evil is removed by man as if of himself; and this is done by repentance coupled with faith in the Lord. [5] That love and wisdom, charity and faith, or, more generally speaking, the good of love and charity, and the truth of wisdom and faith, flow in, and that what flows in appears in man to be wholly his own, and thus goes forth from his own, all this can clearly be seen from the sense of sight, of hearing, of smell, of taste, and of touch. All things that are felt in the organs of those senses flow into those organs from without and are felt within them. It is the same in the organs of the internal senses, with the sole difference that spiritual things, which are not manifest, flow into the former. In a word, man is an organ receptive of life from God; consequently, so far as he refrains from evil, he is a recipient of good.

"The power to refrain from evil the Lord gives to every man, because He gives him the power to will and to understand; and whatever man does from his will in accord with his understanding, or, what is the same, from freedom of will in accord with reason of the understanding, is permanent. It is by means of this that the Lord brings man into a state of conjunction with Himself, and in that state reforms, regenerates, and saves him.

[6] "The life that flows into man is life that goes forth from the Lord, which life is also called the Spirit of God, and in the Word the Holy Spirit, and this life is said to enlighten and vivify man, and even to work in him. But his life is varied and modified according to the organization induced by means of his love. You may also know that all the good of love and charity, and all the truth of wisdom and faith flow in, and are not in man [originally]. This may be known from the fact that he who thinks that there is anything of the kind in man by creation must needs conclude at last that God has infused Himself into man, and thus that men are partly gods; and yet those who so think from faith become devils, and with us smell like corpses.

[7] "Furthermore, what is man's action but the mind acting? For what the mind wills and thinks it does and says by means of its organ the body; so when the mind is led by the Lord, action and speech are also led by Him; and these are by Him when man believes in Him. If this were not so, explain, if you can, why the Lord, in thousands of places in His Word, has commanded man to love his neighbor, to perform the good works of charity, to bear fruit like a tree, and to keep the commandments, and all this that he may be saved. And again, why He has said that man shall be judged according to his deeds or works, those who do good to heaven and life, and those who do evil to hell and death. How could the Lord have said such things, if all that goes forth from man must need be a matter of merit, and therefore evil? Be it known to you, then, that if the mind is charity, the action is charity also; but if the mind is faith alone, which is faith separate from spiritual charity, the action also is that faith."

[8] Hearing this, those sitting under the laurel said, "That you have spoken rightly we comprehend, and yet do not comprehend."

I replied, "You comprehend that I have spoken rightly from the general perception that man has from the influx of light from heaven when he hears any truth; but your failure to comprehend is from the self-perception that man has from the influx of light from the world. In wise men these two kinds of perception, internal and external, or spiritual and natural, make one. You also can make them one if you look to the Lord and put away evils."

Because they understood this, I plucked some twigs from a vine and handed them to them, saying, "Do you believe that this is of me, or of the Lord?"

They said that it was from me, but of the Lord. And lo, the twigs put forth grapes in their hands.

But as I withdrew I saw under a green olive tree around which a vine had entwined itself, a cedar table on which there was a book. I looked and lo, it was a book written by me, entitled Arcana Coelestia and I said that it was fully shown in that book that man is not life but an organ receptive of life; also that life cannot be created and when so created be in man, any more than light in the eye.

TCR 475. 475. IV. SO LONG AS MAN LIVES IN THE WORLD, HE IS KEPT MIDWAY BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL, AND IS THERE IN SPIRITUAL EQUILIBRIUM, WHICH IS FREEDOM OF CHOICE. In order to know what freedom of choice is and the nature of it, it is necessary to know its origin. Especially from a recognition of its origin it can be known, not only that there is such a thing as freedom of choice, but also what it is. Its origin is in the spiritual world, where man's mind is kept by the Lord. Man's mind is his spirit, which lives after death; and his spirit is constantly in company with its like in the spiritual world, and at the same time by means of the material body with which it is enveloped, it is with men in the natural world. Man does not know that in respect to his mind he is in the midst of spirits, for the reason that the spirits with whom he is in company in the spiritual world, think and speak spiritually, while his own spirit thinks and speaks naturally so long as he is in the material body; and the natural man cannot understand or perceive spiritual thought and speech, nor the reverse. This is why spirits cannot be seen. But when the spirit of man is in company with spirits in their world, he is also in spiritual thought and speech with them, because his mind is interiorly spiritual but exteriorly natural; therefore by means of his interiors he communicates with spirits, while by means of his exteriors he communicates with men. By such communication man has a perception of things, and thinks about them analytically. If it were not for such communication, man would have no more thought or other thought than a beast, and if all connection with spirits were taken away from him, he would instantly die.

[2] But to make it comprehensible how man can be kept midway between heaven and hell and thereby in spiritual equilibrium from which he has freedom of choice, it shall be briefly explained. The spiritual world consists of heaven and hell; heaven then is overhead, and hell is beneath the feet, not, however, in the center of the globe inhabited by men, but below the lands of the spiritual world, which are also of spiritual origin, and therefore not extended [spatially], but with an appearance of extension. [3] Between heaven and hell there is a great interspace, which to those who are there appears like a complete orb. Into this interspace, evil exhales from hell in all abundance; while from heaven, on the other hand, good flows into it, also in all abundance. It was of this interspace that Abraham said to the rich man in hell: Between us and you there is a great gulf fixed; so that they who would pass from hence to you cannot, neither can they who are there cross over to us (Luke 16:26). Every man, as to his spirit, is in the midst of this interspace, solely for this reason, that he may be in freedom of choice. [4] Because this interspace is so large and because it appears to those who are there like a vast orb, it is called the World of Spirits. Moreover, it is full of spirits, because every man after death first goes there, and is there prepared either for heaven or for hell. There he is among spirits, in company with them, as formerly he was among men in the world. There is no purgatory there; that is a fiction invented by the Roman Catholics. But that world has been treated of particularly in the work on Heaven and Hell (London, 1758, n. 421-535).

TCR 476. 476. Every man from infancy even to old age is changing his locality or situation in that world. When an infant he is kept in the eastern quarter towards the northern part; when a child, as he learns the first lessons of religion, he moves gradually from the north towards the south; when a youth, as he begins to exercise his own thoughts, he is borne southward; and afterwards when he judges for himself and becomes his own master, he is borne into the southern quarter towards the east, according to his growth in such things as have regard interiorly to God and love to the neighbor. But if he inclines to evil and imbibes it, he advances towards the west. For all in the spiritual world have their abodes according to the quarters; in the east are those who are in good from the Lord, because the sun, in the midst of which is the Lord, is in that quarter; in the north are those who are in ignorance; in the south, those who are in intelligence; and in the west, those who are in evil. Man himself is not kept as to his body in that interspace or middle region, but only as to his spirit; and as his spirit changes its state by advancing towards good or towards evil, so is it transferred to localities or situations in this quarter or in that, and comes into association with those who dwell there. But it must be understood that the Lord does not transfer man to this or that place, but man transfers himself in different ways. If he chooses good, he together with the Lord, or rather the Lord together with him, transfers his spirit towards the east. But if man chooses evil, he together with the devil, or rather the devil together with him, transfers his spirit towards the west. It must be noticed that where the term heaven is here used, the Lord also is meant, because the Lord is the all in all things of heaven; and where the term devil is used, hell also is meant, because all who are there are devils.

TCR 477. 477. Man is kept in this great interspace, and midway therein continually, for the sole purpose that he may have freedom of choice in spiritual things, for this is a spiritual equilibrium, because it is an equilibrium between heaven and hell, thus between good and evil. All who are in that great interspace are, as to their interiors, conjoined either with the angels of heaven or with the devils of hell; or at the present day either with the angels of Michael or with the angels of the dragon. After death every man betakes himself to his own in that interspace and associates himself with those who are in a love similar to his own, for love conjoins everyone there with his like, and causes him to breathe out his soul freely, and to continue in his previous state of life. But the externals that do not make one with his internals are then gradually put off, and when this has been done the good man is raised up to heaven, and the evil man betakes himself to hell, each to such as he is at one with as to his ruling love.

TCR 478. 478. This spiritual equilibrium, which is freedom of choice, may be illustrated by various forms of natural equilibrium. It is like the equilibrium of a man bound about his body or at his arms between two men of equal strength, one of whom draws the man between them to the right, and the other to the left, so that the man in the middle can freely turn this way or that as if unrestrained by any force; and if he turns toward the right he draws the man on his left forcibly toward him, even bringing him to the ground. It would be the same with any unresisting person, even if bound between three men on his right, and the same number on his left, of equal power; also if bound between camels or horses. [2] Spiritual equilibrium, which is freedom of choice, may be compared to a balance, in each scale of which equal weights are placed; but if a slight weight is then added to either scale, the tongue of the scale begins to vibrate. It is similar with a pole or large beam balanced on its support. Each and all things within man, as the heart, the lungs, the stomach, the liver, the pancreas, the spleen, the intestines, and the rest, are in such a state of equilibrium; and for this reason each is able to discharge its functions in perfect quiet. It is the same with all the muscles; if they were without such equilibrium all action and reaction would cease, and man would no longer act as a man. Since, then, all things of the body are in such equilibrium, so are all things of the brain, and consequently all things of the mind therein, which relate to the will and understanding. [3] There is a freedom also belonging to beasts, birds, fishes and insects; but these are impelled by their bodily senses, prompted by appetite and pleasure. Man would not be unlike these if his freedom to do were equal to his freedom to think. He, too, would then be impelled by his bodily senses, prompted by lust and pleasure. It is otherwise with one who heartily accepts the spiritual things of the church, and by means of them restrains his freedom of choice. Such a man is led by the Lord away from lusts and evil pleasures and his connate avidity for them, and acquires an affection for what is good, and turns away from evil. He is then transferred by the Lord nearer to the east, and at the same time to the south of the spiritual world, and is introduced into heavenly freedom, which is freedom indeed.

Spiritual Experiences

SE 2270. They especially observed what is the inspiration of those things that are written in the Word of the Lord, for now it appeared to them how [it took place], and what faculty flowed into those things which were written by me, yea, not only into the sense, but even into the single words and ideas of words, yea, it seemed to them as if certain held my hand, and wrote, deeming that they were those who wrote. This was also granted me to perceive by a spiritual idea, yea, as it were, to feel beforehand what was in the most single [singularissima] [idea] of every little letter which was written: hence it is, as in clear light, that the Word of the Lord is inspired as to every letter. 1748, June 10.

Apocalypse Revealed

AR 875. To the above I will add these Relations. Awaking one morning from sleep, I saw two angels descending out of heaven, one from the southern quarter of heaven and the other from the eastern quarter of heaven, both in chariots to which white horses were harnessed. The chariot in which the angel from the southern quarter of heaven was conveyed, shone like silver, and the chariot in which the angel from the eastern quarter of heaven was conveyed, shone like gold; and the reins which they held in their hands were refulgent as from the flamy light of the dawn. Thus these two angels were seen by me at a distance; but when they came nearer, they did not appear in a chariot, but in their angelic form which is human. He who came from the eastern quarter of heaven, was clad in a bright purple garment, and he who came from the southern quarter of heaven in a garment of hyacinthine blue. When they were below under the heavens, they ran to meet each other, as if they strove which should be first, and mutually embraced and kissed each other. I heard that these two angels, when they lived on earth, had been conjoined in interior friendship; but now one was in the eastern heaven and the other in the southern heaven. In the eastern heaven are they who are in love from the Lord; but in the southern heaven are they who are in wisdom from the Lord.

[2] When they had spoken some time about the magnificence of their heavens, this came up in their discourse, whether heaven in its essence is love, or whether it is wisdom. They immediately agreed that one is of the other, but discussed which was the original. The angel who was from the heaven of wisdom asked the other, what love is; to which he replied, "That love, originating from the Lord as a sun, is the vital heat of angels and men, thus their life: that the derivations of love are called affections; and that by these are produced perceptions and thus thoughts, whence it follows that wisdom in its origin is love; consequently that thought in its origin is the affection of that love; and it is evident from the derivations viewed in their order, that thought is nothing else but the form of affection; and that this is not known, because the thoughts are in the light, but the affections in heat, and that therefore one reflects upon the thoughts, but not on the affections, in the same manner as takes place with sound and with speech. That thought is nothing else but the form of affection, may also be illustrated by speech, which is nothing else but the form of sound; it is also similar, because sound corresponds to affection, and speech to thought, wherefore affection sounds, and thought speaks. This may also be made clear by this, that if you take away sound from speech, nothing of speech remains, and, in like manner, if you take away affection from thought, nothing of thought remains. Hence then it is plain, that love is the all of wisdom, consequently the essence of the heavens is love, and their existence is wisdom, or what is the same thing, the heavens are from the Divine love, and they exist from the Divine love by the Divine wisdom, wherefore, as was said above, the one is of the other."

[3] There was with me at that time a novitiate spirit, who on hearing this, asked, whether it is the same with charity and faith, since charity is of affection, and faith is of thought. The angel replied, "It is altogether the same; for faith is nothing else but the form of charity, just as speech is the form of sound; faith is also formed by charity as speech is formed by sound; the mode of its formation we also know in heaven, but there is no leisure to explain it here." "By faith, however," he added, "I mean spiritual faith, the spirit and life of which is derived solely from charity, for charity is spiritual, and by charity, faith; wherefore faith without charity is a merely natural faith, which is dead, which also conjoins itself with merely natural affection, which is nothing else but lust." The angels spake of these things spiritually, and spiritual speech embraces thousands of things which natural speech cannot express, and what is wonderful, which cannot even fall within the ideas of natural thought. Remember this, I pray, and when you come out of natural light into spiritual light, which is done after death, inquire what faith is and what charity is, and you will clearly see that faith is charity in form, and therefore that charity is the all of faith, consequently that it is the soul, life, and essence of faith, just as the affection is of thought, and as the sound is of speech; and if you desire it, you will see the formation of faith from charity like the formation of speech from sound, because they correspond. After discoursing together for some time on these and such like subjects, the angels departed, and as they retired each to his own heaven, their heads appeared encompassed with stars: and when they were some distance from me, they again seemed to be borne in chariots as before.

[4] After these two angels were gone out of my sight, I saw a certain garden on my right hand, in which were olive trees, vines, fig trees, laurels, and palm trees, planted in order, according to correspondence. I looked into the garden, and saw angels and spirits walking and conversing together among the trees; and then a certain angelic spirit observed me. They are called angelic spirits, who in the world of spirits are prepared for heaven, and afterwards become angels. That spirit came out of the garden towards me, and said, "Will you come with me into our paradise, and you shall hear and see wonderful things." And I went with him, and then he said to me, "Those whom you see (for there were many) are all in the affection of truth, and thence in the light of wisdom. Here also is a building which we call the TEMPLE OF WISDOM; but no one sees it who believes himself very wise, much less he who believes himself wise enough, and still less he who believes himself wise from himself; the reason is, because such persons are not in the reception of the light of heaven from the affection of genuine wisdom. Genuine wisdom consists in a man's seeing from the light of heaven, that the things which he knows, understands, and is wise in, are so little respectively to what he does not know, understand, and is wise in, as a drop to the ocean, consequently scarcely anything. Everyone who is in this paradisal garden, and acknowledges in himself from perception and sight that his own wisdom is so little comparatively, sees that temple of wisdom, for interior light enables him to see it, but not exterior light without it."

[5] And because I had often thought this, both from science, and then from perception, and lastly from seeing it from interior light, and had acknowledged that man had so little wisdom, behold, it was given me to see that temple. As to form it was wonderful. It was elevated above the ground, quadrangular, with walls of crystal, its roof of translucent jasper elegantly arched; the foundation consisted of precious stones of various kinds. The steps leading up to it were of polished alabaster. At the sides of the steps appeared figures of lions with their whelps. And I then asked whether it was allowed to enter; and it was said that it was allowed; therefore I ascended, and when I entered, I saw, as it were, cherubs flying beneath the roof, and presently vanishing out of sight; the floor upon which we walked was of cedar, and the whole temple, from the pellucidity of its roof and walls, seemed in the form of light.

[6] The angelic spirit entered with me, to whom I related what I heard from the two angels concerning love and wisdom, as also concerning charity and faith. And he then said, "Did they not speak of a third also?" I said, "What third?" He replied, "It is Use: love and wisdom without use are not anything: they are only ideal entities; nor do they become real before they are in use: for love, wisdom, and use, are three things which cannot be separated. If they are separated, neither is anything. Love is not anything without wisdom, but in wisdom it is formed for something. This something for which it is formed, is use. Therefore, when love through wisdom is in use, it is then something; yea, it then first exists. They are altogether as the end, the cause, and the effect. The end is not anything, unless through the cause it is in the effect. If one of the three is loosed, the whole is loosed, and becomes as nothing. It is similar with charity, faith, and works.

[7] Charity without faith is not anything; nor faith without charity; nor charity and faith without works; but in works they become something, of a quality according to the use of the works. It is similar with affection, thought, and operation; and it is similar with will, understanding, and action. That it is so may be seen clearly in this temple, because the light in which we are here is light that enlightens the interiors of the mind. That there is not given a complete and perfect thing unless it is a trine, geometry also teaches; for a line is not anything, unless it becomes an area; and an area is not anything, unless it becomes a solid; therefore the one must be produced into the other, that they may exist; and they co-exist in the third. As it is in this, so it is in each and every created thing; they are terminated in their third. Hence now it is, that three in the Word, spiritually understood, signifies complete and altogether. Since it is so, I could not but wonder, that some profess faith alone, some charity alone, some works alone; when yet the first without the second, and the first and second without the third, are not anything."

[8] But I then asked, "Cannot a man have charity and faith, and still not works? Cannot a man be in affection and thought about anything, and yet not in the performance of it?" The angelic spirit said to me, "He cannot, except only ideally, but not really. He must still be in the endeavor or the will to operate; and the will or the endeavor is in itself the act, because it is in the continual effort to act; which becomes an outward act when determination is present. On which account the endeavor and will, as an interior act, is accepted by every wise man, because it is by God, altogether as an exterior act, provided it does not fail when opportunity is given."

[9] After this I descended by the steps from the temple of wisdom, and walked in the garden, and saw some sitting under a certain laurel eating figs. I turned aside to them, and asked them for some figs; which they gave me: and, behold, the figs became grapes in my hand. When I wondered at this, the angelic spirit, who was still with me, said to me, "The figs have become grapes in your hand, because figs, from correspondence, signify the goods of charity and thence of faith in the natural or external man, but grapes the goods of charity and faith in the spiritual or internal man; and because you love spiritual things, therefore it so happened to you: for in our world all things come to pass and exist, and also are changed, according to correspondences." And then there came over me the desire of knowing how man can do good from God, and yet as of himself; therefore I asked them that were eating the figs how they comprehended it. They said that they "could not comprehend it otherwise than that God operates it within in man and through man, when he does not know it; since if man were conscious of it, and thus should do it as of himself, which is also to do it of himself, he would not do good, but evil. For all that proceeds from man, as from himself, proceeds from his proprium; and the proprium of man is evil from birth. How then can good from God and evil from man be conjoined, and so proceed conjointly into act? The proprium of man also, in the things of salvation, continually breathes forth merit; and as far as it does this, it takes away from the Lord His merit; which is the highest injustice and impiety. In a word, if the good which God operates in a man by the Holy Spirit should flow in into man's willing and thence his doing, that good would be altogether defiled and also profaned; which, however, God never permits. A man can indeed think that the good which he does is from God, and call it God's good through himself, and as if from himself; but still we do not comprehend this."

[10] But I then opened my mind, and said, "You do not comprehend, because you think from the appearance, and the thought from confirmed appearance is a fallacy. You are in the appearance and the fallacy from it, because you believe that all the things which a man wills and thinks, and thence does and speaks, are in him, and consequently from him; when yet nothing of them is in him except the state of receiving what flows in. Man is not life in himself, but is an organ receiving life. The Lord alone is life in Himself, as He also says in John:

As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself (John 5:26).

Besides other places (as John 11:25; 14:6, 19).

[11] There are two things which make life, love and wisdom; or what is the same, the good of love and the truth of wisdom. These flow in from God, and are received by man, and are felt in the man as in him; and because they are felt by him as in him, they also proceed as from him. It is given by the Lord, that they should be thus felt by the man, in order that what flows in may affect him, and so be received and remain. But because all evil also flows in, not from God, but from hell, and this is received with enjoyment, because man was born such an organ, therefore no more of good is received from God, than there is of evil removed by the man as of himself; which is done by repentance, and at the same time by faith in the Lord.

[12] That love and wisdom, charity and faith, or speaking more generally, the good of love and charity and the truth of wisdom and faith, flow in; and that the things which flow in appear in the man as in himself, and thence as from him, may be manifestly seen from the sight, the hearing, the smell, the taste, and the touch. All the things which are felt in the organs of those senses flow in from without, and are felt in them: in like manner in the organs of the internal senses, with the difference only that into the latter spiritual things flow in, which do not appear; but into the former natural things, which do appear. In a word, man is an organ recipient of life from God; consequently he is a recipient of good so far as he desists from evil. The Lord gives to every man to be able to desist from evil, because He gives him to will and understand as of himself: and whatever the man does from the will, as his own according to the understanding, as his own, or, what is the same, whatever he does from freedom which is of the will according to reason which is of the understanding, this remains. By this the Lord brings man into a state of conjunction with Himself, and in this reforms, regenerates, and saves him.

[13] The life which flows in is the life proceeding from the Lord, which is also called the Spirit of God, and in the Word the Holy Spirit; of which it is also said, that it enlightens and vivifies; yea, that it operates in man: but this life is varied and modified according to the organization induced upon the man by his love and attitude to it. You may also know that all the good of love and charity and all the truth of wisdom and faith flow in, and are not in the man, from the fact that he who thinks such a thing is in man from creation, cannot think otherwise, than that God infused Himself into a man, and thus that men would in part be Gods; and yet they who think this from faith become devils, and stink like carcasses.

[14] Besides, what is human action but the action of the mind? for that which the mind wills and thinks, it acts through its organ the body: and therefore when the mind is led by the Lord, the action is also led; and the mind and the action from it are led by the Lord, when it believes in Him. Unless it were so, say, if you can, why the Lord has commanded in the Word, in a thousand and a thousand places, that a man must love his neighbor, must work out the good of charity, and bear fruit like a tree, and do His precepts, and all this that he may be saved; also why He has said that man will be judged according to his deeds or works, he who has done goods to heaven and life, and he who has done evils to hell and death. How could the Lord speak such things, if all that proceeds from man were meritorious, and thence evil? You may know, therefore, that if the mind is charity, the action is also charity; but if the mind is faith alone, which is also faith separated from spiritual charity, the action is also that faith; and this faith is meritorious, because its charity is natural, and not spiritual. It is otherwise with the faith of charity, because charity does not wish to merit, and thence neither does its faith."

[15] On hearing this, they that sat under the laurel said, "We comprehend that you have spoken justly; but still we do not comprehend." To which I replied, "That I have spoken justly, you comprehend from the common perception which man has from the influx of light from heaven when he hears any truth; but you do not comprehend from your own perception, which man has from the influx of light from the world. These two perceptions, namely, the internal and the external, or the spiritual and the natural, make one with the wise. You also can make them one, if you look to the Lord and remove evils." Because they understood these things also, I took some shoots from the laurel under which we sat, and held them out, and said, "Do you believe that this is from me, or from the Lord?" And they said, that they believed it to be through me as from me; and, behold, the shoots blossomed in their hands. But when I departed, I saw a cedar table, upon which was a book, under a green olive-tree, the trunk of which was entwined with a vine. I looked, and behold, it was a book written by me, called The Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom, and also concerning The Divine Providence; and I said that it was fully shown in that book, that man is an organ recipient of life, and not life.

[16] After this I went home exhilarated from that garden, and the angelic spirit with me; who said to me on the way, "If you wish to see clearly what faith and charity are, and thus what faith separate from charity is, and faith conjoined to charity, I will also show it to the eye." I answered, "Show it." And he said, "Think of light and heat instead of faith and charity, and you will see clearly; for faith in its essence is truth, which is of wisdom, and charity in its essence is affection, which is of love; and the truth of wisdom in heaven is light, and the affection of love in heaven is heat; the light and heat in which the angels are is nothing else. From this you can see clearly, what faith separate from charity is, and what faith conjoined to charity. Faith separated from charity is like the light in winter, and faith conjoined to charity is like the light in the spring. Wintry light, which is light separated from heat, because it is conjoined to cold, strips the trees entirely of their leaves, hardens the earth and kills the grass, and likewise congeals the waters: but the light of spring, which is light conjoined to heat, quickens the trees, first into leaves, then into blossoms, and at length into fruits; it opens and softens the earth, that it may produce grass, herbs, flowers, and shrubs, and likewise dissolves the ice, that the waters may flow from the springs.

[17] It is altogether similar with faith and charity. Faith separate from charity deadens all things; and faith conjoined to charity vivifies all things. This vivifying and that deadening can be seen to the life in our spiritual world; because here faith is light, and charity is heat. For where there is faith conjoined to charity, there are paradisal gardens, flower beds, and grass plots in their pleasantness, according to the conjunction; but where there is faith separate from charity, there is not even grass there; and where it is green, it is from briers, thorns, and nettles. This the heat and light proceeding from the Lord as the sun effect in the angels and spirits, and thence outside of them." There were then not far from us some of the clergy, whom the angelic spirit called justifiers and sanctifiers of men by faith alone, and likewise arcanists. We said these same things to them, and demonstrated them so that they saw that it was so; and when we asked, "Is it not so?" They turned themselves away, and said, "We did not hear." But we cried out to them, saying, "Hear now, therefore." They then put both hands over their ears, and shouted, "We will not hear."


See also entry for:  Spiritual || Spiritual Psychology

See also a  related article on Vertical Community and Dualism in Science

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