A Compendium of the Theological Writings of
AND INTERACTION BETWEEN THE SOUL AND THE BODY
Former Hypotheses concerning the Interaction between the Soul and the Body
Respecting the intercourse between the soul and the body, or the operation of the one upon the other, and of one with the other, there are three opinions and teachings, which are hypotheses; the first is called physical influx, the second spiritual influx, and the third pre-established harmony. The first, which is called Physical Influx, is from appearances to the senses, and the fallacies arising out of them; because it appears as if the objects of sight which affect the eyes flow into thought, and produce it; in like manner, as if speech, which affects the ears, flows into the mind and there produces ideas. And so with the smell, the taste, and the touch. As the organs of these senses first receive the impressions flowing to them from the world, and according to the affections of them the mind appears to think and also to will, therefore ancient philosophers and schoolmen supposed influx to be derived from them into the soul, and so adopted the hypothesis of physical or natural influx. The second hypothesis, which is called Spiritual Influx (by some occasional influx), is from order and its laws. Since the soul is a spiritual substance, and is therefore purer, prior, and interior; while the body is material, and therefore grosser, posterior, and exterior; and it is according to order that the purer should flow into the grosser, the prior into the posterior, and the interior into the exterior, thus the spiritual into the material, and not the contrary; consequently it is according to order that the thinking mind should flow into the sight, according to the state induced by objects upon the eyes,—which state that mind also disposes at its pleasure. In like manner the perceptive mind into the hearing, according to the state induced on the ears by speech. The third hypothesis, which is called Pre-established Harmony, is from appearances and fallacies of reason, seeing that the mind in its very operation acts together and simultaneously with the body. But then every operation is first successive, and afterwards simultaneous. The successive operation is influx; and the simultaneous operation is harmony. As when the mind thinks, and afterwards speaks; or when it wills, and afterwards acts. It is therefore a fallacy of reason to establish the simultaneous and exclude the successive. Beyond these three opinions there cannot be a fourth respecting the intercourse between the soul and the body, since either the soul must operate upon the body, or the body upon the soul, or both continually together.
Since spiritual influx, as was said, is according to order and its laws, this hypothesis therefore is acknowledged and received by the wise in the learned world in preference to the other two. Because all that is according to order is truth, and truth manifests itself by its inherent light,—even in the shade of reason, where hypotheses are. But there are three things which involve this hypothesis in shade,—ignorance as to what the soul is; ignorance as to what is spiritual; and ignorance as to the nature of influx. These three must therefore be explained before reason will see the truth itself. For hypothetical truth is not truth itself, but a conjecture respecting the truth. (Influx, n. 1, 2)
The spiritual influx hitherto treated of by men of refined talent is from the soul into the body; and not any influx into the soul, and through this into the body; although it is known that all the good of love and all the truth of faith flows in from God. They flow in first into the soul; and through the soul into the rational mind; and through this into the things that constitute the body. If otherwise any one investigates the subject of spiritual influx, it is if one should stop up the vein of a fountain and yet seek perennial waters there; or should deduce the origin of a tree from the root, and not from the seed; or throw light upon derivations without the first principle. (ibid. n. 8)
There is one only Life which flows into and vivifies all Forms
I have been taught by very much experience that there is but one only life, which is that of the Lord; which flows in and makes man to live, nay, makes both the good and the evil to live. To this life forms which are substances correspond; which by continual Divine influx are vivified in such wise that to themselves they appear to live from themselves. (AC n. 3484)
By various degrees of influx into the heavens the Lord disposes, regulates, tempers; and moderates all things there and in the hells, and, through the heavens and the hells all things in the world. (AR n. 346)
Man is not life, but an organ recipient of life from God; and love together with wisdom is life; furthermore, God is love itself and wisdom itself, and thus life itself. Hence it follows that in so far as a man loves wisdom, or in so far as wisdom in the bosom of love is in him, he is an image of God, that is a receptacle of life from God; and on the contrary in so far as he is in an opposite love, and thence in insanity, he does not receive life from God, but from hell, which life is called death. Love itself and wisdom itself are not life, but are the esse of life; and the delights of love and the pleasures of wisdom, which are affections, constitute life,—for by these the esse of life exists. The influx of life from God carries with it those delights and pleasures; just as does the influx of light and heat, in the spring-time, into human minds, and also into birds and beasts of every kind, nay, into vegetables, which then germinate and become prolific. For the delights of love and pleasures of wisdom expand the mind (animus), and adapt it to reception, just as joy and gladness expand the face and adapt it to the influx of the exhilarations of the soul. (Influx, n. 13)
With regard to the influx from the spiritual world into man, the fact in general is this; a man can neither think nor will any thing actually from himself, but everything flows in,—good and truth from the Lord through heaven, thus through the angels who are with man; evil and falsity from hell, and so through the evil spirits that are with man,—and this into man's thought and will. (AC n. 5846)
Influx from the Lord is both Immediate and Mediate through the Heavens
Life flows into man from God through the soul; and through this into his mind, that is into his affections and thoughts; and from these into the senses, speech, and actions of the body; because these are in the successive order of life. For the mind is subordinate to the soul, and the body is subordinate to the mind. And the mind has two lives, one of the will and another of the understanding. The life of its wilt is the good of love, the derivations of which are called affections; and the life of its understanding is the truth of wisdom, the derivations of which are called thoughts; through both of these the mind lives. And the senses, speech, and actions are the life of. the body; that these are by the soul through the mind, follows from the order in which they are; and according to this they manifest themselves to a wise man without investigation. The human soul, because it is a higher spiritual substance, receives influx immediately from God; and the human mind, because it is a lower spiritual substance, receives influx from God mediately, through the spiritual world; while the body, because it is of the substances of nature, which are called material, receives influx from God mediately through the natural world. (Influx, n. 7)
It has been given me, by revelation, to know how the case is with regard to the influx of each life from the Lord; that is to say, the life of thought and the life of the will. Namely, that the Lord flows in in a twofold manner, that is mediately through heaven, and immediately from Himself; and that from Himself He flows in both into the rational things of man which are his interiors, and into the natural,which are his exteriors. (AC n. 6472)
The very celestial and the very spiritual, which flow from the Divine of the Lord into heaven, dwell principally in the interior rational; [See p. 551] for there the forms are more perfect, and adapted to reception. But yet the celestial and spiritual from the Lord's Divine flow also into the exterior rational, and even into the natural,—both mediately and immediately; mediately through the interior rational, and immediately from the Lord's Divine itself. What flows in immediately disposes; and what flows in mediately is disposed. So is it in the exterior rational; and so it is in the natural. (ibid. n. 5150)
The natural is not regenerated until it is conjoined to the rational. This conjunction is effected by means of immediate and mediate influx of the rational into the good and truth of the natural; that is to say, immediately by the good of the rational into the good of the natural, and through this into the truth of the natural; mediately through the truth of the rational into the truth of the natural, and thence into the good of the natural. . . . The rational mind,—that is the interior will part and intellectual part in man,—ought to represent itself in his natural mind, as this mind represents itself in the face and its expression; insomuch that just as the face is the expression of the natural mind, so the natural mind ought to be the expression of the rational mind. When there is this conjunction, as in those who are regenerated, then whatever a man wills and thinks interiorly, in his rational mind, presents itself to view in his natural mind, and this presents itself visibly in the face. Such a countenance have the angels, and such a countenance had the Most Ancients who were celestial men. (ibid. n. 3573)
As regards every good that constitutes heavenly life, and so eternal life, with man and with angel, the case is this: The inmost of good is the Lord Himself, even the good of love which is immediately from. Him. The good which next succeeds is the good of mutual love; after that the good of charity towards the neighbour; lastly the good of faith. This is the successive order of goods from the inmost It may be seen from this how it is with regard to immediate and mediate influx. In general, in the degree that a good succeeding in order, or an exterior good, has interior good within it, in that degree it is a good, for in that degree it is nearer to the Lord Himself, who, as was said, is the inmost good. But the successive disposition and ordination of interior goods in the exterior, varies in each and every subject according to reception; and reception varies according to the spiritual and moral life of each one in the world. For the life in the world remains with every one to eternity. The influx of the Lord is immediate also with every one, because without immediate influx the mediate is of no effect. Immediate influx is received according to the order in which the man or angel is; thus according to Divine truth which is from the Divine, for this is order. It is order itself therefore with man that he should live in the good which is from the Lord; that is that he should live from the Lord. This influx is continual, and is connected with each and all things of man's will, and as far as possible it directs them to order; for man's own will continually leads away. It is as with things voluntary and involuntary in man. His voluntary [activities] continually lead away from order; but the involuntary continually restore to order. Hence it is that the motion of the heart, which is involuntary, is entirely exempt from man's will; in like manner the action of the cerebellum; and that the motion of the heart and the powers of the cerebellum govern the voluntary [activities], that these may not rush beyond bounds, and extinguish the life of the body before its time. For this reason the active principles from each, that is to say, from the involuntary and from the voluntary things in the whole body, proceed in conjunction. These things are mentioned to illustrate in some measure the idea of immediate and mediate influx of the celestial things of love and the spiritual things of faith from the Lord. (ibid. n. 9683)
The Divine truth which proceeds immediately from the Lord is above all understanding of angels. But that which proceeds mediately is adapted to the angels in the heavens, and also to men; for it passes through heaven, and from thence puts on angelic quality, and human quality. But into this truth the Lord also flows immediately; and thus He leads angels and men both mediately and immediately. For each and all things are from the First Being; and order is so established that the First Being is present in derivatives both mediately and immediately, thus equally in the ultimate of order and in the first of order. For Divine truth itself is the one only substantial; derivatives are nothing else than successive forms thence resulting. It is therefore evident that the Divine also flows into each and all things immediately; for by Divine truth all things were created. For Divine truth is the one only essential, and therefore that from which all things are. The Divine truth is what is called the Word in John; "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word;... all things were made by Him; and without Hint was not any thing made that was made." (i. 1, 2). (ibid. n. 7004)
General and Particular Influx
There is a general influx from the Lord, through the spiritual world into the subjects of the natural world, and there is a particular influx. The general influx is into those things which are in order; the particular influx into those things which are not in order. Animals of every kind are in the order of their nature; therefore into them there is a general influx. That they are in the order of their nature is evident from the fact that they are born into all things proper to them, and have no need to be introduced into them by any instruction. But men are not in order, nor in any law of order. Into them therefore there is a particular influx; that is, there are angels and spirits with them through whom there is influx; and unless these were with men they would rush into every abomination, and plunge themselves in a moment into the profoundest hell. Through these spirits and angels man is under the protection and guidance of the Lord. The order of main into which he was created would be, that he should love his neighbour as himself, nay, more than himself; and thus the angels do. But man loves only himself and the world, and hates his neighbour,—except in so far as he is favourable to his command and possession of the world. Therefore, because man's life is entirely contrary to heavenly order, he is governed by the Lord through separate spirits and angels. (AC n. 5850)
The Influx into and through the Heavens is in Successive Order, from the First to the Ultimate of Nature
The truth which proceeds immediately from the Lord, inasmuch as it is from the infinite Divine Being Himself, can in nowise be received by any living substance which is finite; thus not by any angels. Therefore the Lord had created things successive, through which as mediums the Divine truth proceeding immediately might be communicated. But the first [medium] in succession from this is more full of the Divine than that as yet it can be received by any living substance which is finite; thus by any angel. The Lord therefore created a further successive [medium] through which the Divine truth immediately proceeding might in some measure be receptible. This successive [medium] is the truth Divine which is in heaven. The first two are above the heavens; and are as it were radiant belts of flame that encompass the sun, which is the Lord. Such is the successive order even to the heaven nearest to the Lord, which is the third heaven, where they are who are innocent and wise. From this it is continued successively even to the ultimate heaven; and from the ultimate heaven to the sensual and corporeal degree of man, which last receives the influx. It is certain from these facts that there are continual successions, from the First, that is from the Lord, to the last things that are in man, nay, to the last things that are in nature. The last things in man, as also in nature, are relatively inert, and therefore cold, and are relatively general, and therefore obscure. Hence also it is manifest that by these successions there is a continual connection of all things with the First Being. In accordance with these successions influx takes place; for the Divine truth which proceeds immediately from Divine good flows in successively; and on the way, or about each new successive [medium], it becomes more general, and therefore grosser and more obscure; and becomes less active, thus more inert and colder. From these considerations it is clear what is the Divine order of things successive, and therefore of influxes. But it should be well understood that the truth Divine which flows into the third heaven, nearest the Lord, also at the same time, without successive formation, flows down even into the ultimates of order; and there too, from the First, immediately governs and provides each and all things. The successive things are thereby preserved in their order and connection. That this is so may indeed in some measure be seen from a maxim not unknown to the learned in the world, that there is one only substance which is substance, and the rest are formations therefrom; and that this one only substance governs in the formations just as in their origin, not only as form, but also not as form. If this were not so, the thing formed could in nowise subsist and act. But these things are said for the intelligent. (AC n. 7270)
The Influx into Man is also in Successive Order, according to the Discrete Degrees of the Mind
There are three things in man which concur and unite,—the natural, the spiritual, and the celestial. His natural receives no life except from the spiritual, nor his spiritual except from the celestial, nor his celestial except from the Lord alone, who is life itself. But that an idea of this may be more fully comprehended; the natural is a receptacle that receives, or vessel into which is poured, the spiritual; and the spiritual is a receptacle that receives, or vessel into which is poured, the celestial; thus through the celestial life is received from the Lord. Such is the order of influx. (AC n. 880)
Order is that the celestial shall flow into the spiritual and adapt it to itself; that thus the spiritual shall flow into the rational, and adapt it to itself; and so the rational into the knowing and adapt it to itself. But, though there is a similar order while man is being instructed in his earliest childhood, yet it appears otherwise, viz., that he progresses from things known to things rational, from these to things spiritual, and so at length to things celestial. That it so appears is because the way must thus be opened to things celestial, which are the inmost. All instruction is but an opening of the way; and as the way is opened, or what is the same, as the vessels are opened, there flow in, as was said, in order, from the celestial-spiritual, things rational; within them are things celestial-spiritual, and within these, things celestial. These are continually going forth, and also preparing for themselves and forming the vessels which are opened. Which may indeed appear from the consideration, that the knowing and the rational faculties in themselves are dead; and though they appear to live, they have this appearance from the interior life that flows in. This may be manifest to any one from thought, and the faculty of judging. In these lie concealed all the secrets of art and of analytical science, which are so numerous that they can never as to one in myriads be explored; not only in adult men, but even in children, all their thought, and all their speech thence is most full of them,—although the man, even the most learned, is unaware of it; which could never be if the celestial and spiritual things that are within were not proceeding, flowing in, and producing all these things. (ibid. n. 1495)
The Influx is into the Will and Understanding, [See pp. 548, 549]and through these into the Body
It is known that all things, universally, relate to good and truth, and that there is no single entity in which there is not the relative to these two. Hence it is that there are two receptacles of life in man; one that is called the will, which is the receptacle of good, another that is called the understanding, which is the receptacle of truth. And as good is of love and truth is of wisdom, the will is the receptacle of love and the understanding is the receptacle of wisdom. That good is of love is because what a man loves he wills, and when he performs it he calls it a good; and that truth is of wisdom is because all wisdom is from truths,—nay, the good that a wise man meditates is truth, and this when he wills and does it becomes a good. He who does not rightly distinguish between these two receptacles of life, the will and the understanding, and does not form for himself a clear notion of them, will seek in vain to obtain a knowledge of spiritual influx. For there is an influx into the will, and there is an influx into the understanding; into the will of man there is an influx of the good of love, and into his understanding there is an influx of the truth of wisdom,— each immediately from Jehovah God, through the sun in the midst of which He is, and mediately through the angelic heaven. These two receptacles, the will and the understanding, are as distinct as heat and light; for as was said above, the will receives the heat of heaven, which in its essence is love, and the understanding receives the light of heaven, which in its essence is wisdom. There is an influx from the human mind into the speech, and into the actions. Influx into the speech is from the will through the understanding; and influx into the actions is from the understanding through the will. They who only take cognizance of the influx into the understanding, and not at the same time of that into the will, and who reason and form conclusions from it, are as those that are blind of one eye, who only see the objects that are on one side and not at the same time those that are on the other. (Influx, n. 7)
The soul flows into the human mind, and through this into the body; and carries with it the life that it continually receives from the Lord, and thus mediately transfers it to the body, where by the closest union it makes the body as it were to live. From this, and from a thousand attestations of experience, it is plain that the spiritual united to the material,—as it were a living power to a dead power,—enables man to speak rationally and act morally. It appears as if the tongue and lips speak from some life in themselves; and that the arms and hands act in like manner. But it is the thought, which in itself is spiritual, that speaks; and the will, which likewise is spiritual, that acts; and both through their organs, which in themselves are material, because taken from the natural world. That it so appears in the light of day, if only attention be given to this consideration:—Take away the thought from speech; does not the mouth instantly become mute? And take the will from action; do not the hands instantly cease? (ibid. n. 12)
Influx illustrated by the Sight of the Eye
"Thou God seest me" (Gen. xvi. 13). Looking from a higher [region] into a lower, or what is the same, from an interior into an exterior, is called influx; for it is effected by influx. It is as the interior sight in man. Unless this flowed continually into his external sight, or that of the eye, it could never take in and distinguish any object; for it is the interior sight which, by means of the eye, takes in the things that the eye sees; and not the eye, although it appears so. From these principles it may be seen, too, how much the man is in the fallacies of the senses who believes that the eye sees; when yet it is the sight of his spirit, which is the interior sight, that sees by means of the eye. Spirits who were with me have seen through my eyes the objects that are in the world, as well as I; and some of them who were still in the fallacies of the senses supposed that they saw through their own eyes. But it was shown them that it was not so; for when my eyes were shut they saw nothing in this atmospheric world. The case is similar with man. It is his spirit that sees, not the eye; but it is through the eye. The same may also appear from dreams, in which a man sometimes sees as in the light of day. But further: it is the same with this interior sight, or that of the spirit. This does not see of itself, but from a still more interior sight, or that of its rational mind; nay, neither does this see of itself, but there is a sight yet more interior, which is that of the internal man,—of which in n. 1940.[By "the internal man " in this instance,—as is explained in the paragraph, n. 1940, to which the author refers,—he means "that which is his inmost, and by which he is distinguished from brute animals, which have no such inmost; and is, as it were, the gate or entrance of the Lord into man, that is of the Lord's celestial and spiritual [influences]." See also pp. 24, 57] But even this does not see of itself; but it is the Lord through the internal man who alone sees, because He alone lives; and He grants to man that he may see, even so that it appears as if he saw from himself. Thus it is with influx. (AC n. 1954)
In true order Spiritual Influx would guide Man into all Intelligence and Wisdom
It is plain, not only from the things that exist in the heavens, but even from those that exist in inferior nature, that in the good of love which flows in from the Lord through the angels there is all truth which truth would manifest itself, of itself, if man had lived in love to the Lord and in love towards the neighbour. Some of those that exist in inferior nature, as they are visible to the eyes, may be adduced in illustration. Brute animals are impelled to action no otherwise than by the loves, and the affections of them, into which they were created, and afterwards are born; for every animal is carried whither its affection and love draws. And because it is so they are also in all the knowledges that in any wise pertain to that love. For from a love emulative of conjugial love they know how to copulate,—beasts in one way, and birds in another; birds know how to build their nests, how to lay their eggs, and to sit on them, how to hatch their young, and how to nourish them,—and this without any instruction, merely from a love emulative of conjugial love, and from love towards their offspring; which loves have all these knowledges connected with them. In like manner they know with what kinds of food to feed themselves, and how to obtain it. And what is more, bees know how to gather food from flowers of various kinds; and also to collect the wax of which they make their cells, wherein they first deposit their offspring, and then lay up food; they also know how to provide for themselves against the winter; not to mention very many other things. All these knowledges are included in their loves, and dwell therein, from their first origin. They are born into these knowledges, because they are in the order of their nature, into which they were created; and then they are moved to action by the general [See p. 566] influx from the spiritual world. If man were in the order into which he was created, that is in love towards the neighbour, and in love to the Lord,—for these loves are proper to man,—he above all animals would be born, not only into knowledges, but also into all spiritual truths and celestial goods, and thus into all wisdom and intelligence. For he is capable of thinking about the Lord, and of being conjoined to Him by love; and so of being elevated to what is Divine and eternal, which brute animals are incapable of. Thus man would then be governed by no other than the general influx from the Lord through the spiritual world. But because he is not born into order but in a state of opposition to his order, therefore he is born into ignorance of all things; and because this is so it is provided that he may afterwards be re-born, and thus come into so much of intelligence and wisdom as from freedom he receives of good, and by good of truth. (AC n. 6323)
The Influx into the World of Nature
There is a continual influx from the spiritual world into the natural. He who does not know that there is a spiritual world, and that it is distinct from the natural world,—as the prior and the posterior, or as the cause and the thing caused,—can know nothing of this influx. This is the reason why those who have written on the origin of vegetables and animals could not but deduce it from nature; or if from God, have inferred that from the beginning God indued nature with the power of producing such things,—thus not knowing that nature is indued with no power. For nature in itself is dead, and no more contributes to the production of these things than the instrument to the work of the artist, which must perpetually be moved that it may act. It is the spiritual principle, which derives its origin from the sun wherein the Lord is and proceeds to the ultimates of nature, that produces the forms of vegetables and animals, and exhibits the wonders that there are in both; and it clothes them with material substances from the earth that these forms may be fixed and enduring. As it is now known that there is a spiritual world; and that the spiritual is from the sun wherein the Lord is, and which is from the Lord; and that it moves nature to action, as the living actuates the dead; also that in that world there are things similar to those in the natural world; it can be seen that vegetables and animals must have existed from no other source than from the Lord through that world, and that through it they perpetually exist; and thus that there is a continual influx from the spiritual world into the natural. (DLW n. 340)
I heard two Presidents of the English Royal Society, Sir Hans Sloane and Martin Folkes, conversing together in the spiritual world on the existence of seeds and eggs, and the productions from them on earth. The former ascribed them to nature; and maintained that from creation nature is indued with force and power to produce such things, by means of the sun's heat. The other said that this power is continually from God the Creator in nature. To settle the dispute a beautiful bird appeared to Sir Hans Sloane; and he was requested to examine it, to see whether in any least respect it differed from a similar bird on earth. He held it in his hand, examined it, and said that there was no difference. Yet he knew that it was but an affection of some angel represented out of him as a bird, and that it would vanish or cease with its affection; which indeed it did. Sir Hans Sloane was convinced by this experience that nature contributes nothing at all to the production of vegetables and animals, but that only which flows in from the spiritual world into the natural. He said, if that bird in its minutest parts were filled with corresponding material substances from the earth, and so fixed, it would be a durable bird, like the birds on earth; and that it is the same with those things that are from hell. He said further, that if he had known what he now knew of the spiritual world, he would
have ascribed no more to nature than that it served the spiritual, which is from God, in fixing the things that continually flow into nature. (ibid. n. 344)
Origin of Noxious Animals, Plants, and Minerals
Evil uses were not created by the Lord, but all originated with hell. All goods that exist in act are called uses; and all evils that exist in act are also called uses,—but these are called evil uses, and the former good uses. Now as all goods come from the Lord, and all evils from hell, it follows that none other than good uses were created by the Lord, and that evil uses originated from hell. By the uses treated of in this section, in particular, all things are meant that appear on the earth, such as animals of all kinds and vegetables of all kinds; those of each that perform a use to man are from the Lord, and those that do injury to man are from hell. By uses from the Lord all things are likewise meant that perfect man's rational mind and cause him to receive what is spiritual from the Lord; and by evil uses all things are meant that destroy the rational, and render man unable to become spiritual. The things that do injury to man are called uses because they are used by the evil in doing evil; and because they serve to absorb malignities, and thus also as remedies. In each sense it is called use, just as we speak of love as a good love or an evil love; and that which is done by itself love calls use. (DLW n. 336)
By evil uses on the earth all noxious things are meant both in the animal and the vegetable kingdom, and also the noxious things in the mineral kingdom. It would be vain to enumerate all the noxious things in these kingdoms; for it would be but to bring together names, and to gather the names without an indication of the injury that each kind produces would not promote the use which • this work has for its end. It is sufficient for our knowledge to mention here a few of them. Such in the animal kingdom are poisonous serpents, scorpions, crocodiles, dragons, horned owls, screech owls, mice, locusts, frogs, spiders; also flies, drones, roaches, lice, mites,—in a word, those that consume grasses, leaves, fruits, seeds, food and drink, and do injury to beasts and men. In the vegetable kingdom they are all mischievous, poisonous, and malignant herbs, and similar leguminous plants and shrubs. In the mineral kingdom all poisonous earthy substances. From these few examples it may be seen what is meant by evil uses on earth; for evil uses are all things that are contrary to good uses.
Before it can be seen that the evil uses which exist on the earth are not from the Lord, but are all from hell, something respecting heaven and hell must be premised. Unless this is known evil uses, as well as good, may be attributed to the Lord; and they may be believed to exist together from creation, or be attributed to nature, and their origin to the sun of nature. A man cannot be delivered from these two errors, unless he knows that nothing whatever exists in the natural world which does not derive its cause and therefore its origin from the spiritual world; and that the good is from the Lord, and the evil from the devil, that is from hell. By the spiritual world both heaven and hell are meant. All those things that are good uses appear in heaven; and all those that are evil uses, enumerated just above, appear in hell. There are wild beasts there of every kind, such as serpents, scorpions, dragons, crocodiles, tigers, wolves, foxes, swine, horned owls, night owls, screech owls, bats, rats, mice, frogs, locusts, spiders, and noxious insects of many kinds; there also appear hemlock, and aconite, and every kind of poison, both in herbs as in earthy substances; in a word, all things that are hurtful and deadly to men. Such things appear in the hells to the life, precisely like those upon and in the earth. It is said that they appear there; but yet they are not there as on earth, for they are mere correspondences of the lusts that stream forth from evil loves, and which present themselves in such forms before others. Since there are such things in the hells they therefore gush forth also with abominable stenches, cadaverous, stercoraceous, urinous, putrid, with which the diabolical spirits there are delighted; just as certain animals are with things that have an offensive odor. From these facts it may be concluded that the similar things in the natural world did not derive their origin from the Lord, and were not created from the beginning, and that they did not originate from nature by her sun, but that they are from hell. That they are not from nature by her sun is very manifest, from the fact that the spiritual flows into the natural, and not the contrary. And that they are not from the Lord is evident from the fact that hell is not from Him, and therefore nothing in hell that corresponds to their evils. (ibid. n. 338, 339)
Influx from hell produces the things that are evil uses, in places where there are such things as correspond. The things that correspond to evil uses, that is to mischievous plants and noxious animals, are cadaverous, putrid, excrementitious, and stercoraceous, rancid and urinous matters. In places therefore where there are these, such plants and little animals spring forth as are mentioned above; and in the torrid zone the larger animals of similar character, such as serpents, basilisks, crocodiles, scorpions, mice, and others. Every one knows that marshes,stagnant pools, dung, and rotten soil are filled with such things; also that noxious insects like clouds fill the atmosphere; and noxious worms like armies, the earth, and consume the herbage even to the roots. I once observed in my garden, that for the space of an ell almost all the dust was turned into very small insects; for being stirred with a stick they rose up like a cloud. That cadaverous and putrid substances agree with these noxious and useless little animals, and that they are homogeneous, is evident from experience alone. This may also be plainly seen from the cause; which is that there are similar stenches and effluvia in the hells, where such little animals also appear.
Now, the question is whether such things spring from eggs carried thither, either through the air, or by rains, or by watercourses, or whether they spring from the damps and stenches themselves in such places. That such noxious animalcules and insects as are mentioned above are hatched from eggs carried there, or hidden everywhere in the earth even, from the creation, is opposed to all evidence; since worms spring forth in little seeds, in nuts, in wood, in stones, nay, from leaves; also lice and grubs which are accordant with them upon plants and in them. Then of flying insects, there are those which appear in the summer in houses, in the fields, and in the woods,—likewise arising from no oviform matter in such abundance; those that devour meadows and lawns, and in some hot countries fill and infest the air; besides those animalcules that invisibly swim and fly in filthy waters, sour wines, and pestilential air. These facts are favourable to those who say that also the odors, effluvia, and exhalations emitted from the plants, soils, and stagnant waters themselves, give origin to such things. That afterwards, when they have come forth, they are propagated by eggs or spawn, does not take away the fact of their immediate origin; since every animal along with its minute viscera receives also organs of generation and the means of propagation. The fact, not known before, that there are similar things also in the hells, is in agreement with these phenomena.
That the hells mentioned above not only have communication but also a conjunction with such things on earth, may be concluded from the fact that the hells are not remote from men, but are about them, nay, within those who are wicked; thus they are contiguous to the earth. For as to his affections and lusts and the thoughts therefrom, and as to his actions from the former and the latter, which are good or evil uses, man is in the midst either of the angels of heaven or of the spirits of hell; and as such things as are on earth are also in the heavens and the hells, it follows that the influx therefrom, when the conditions (temperies) are favourable, immediately produces such things. For all things that appear in the spiritual world, both in heaven and in hell, are the correspondences [respectively] of affections and lusts, for they spring forth there in accordance with them. When therefore affections and lusts, which in themselves are spiritual, meet with homogeneous or corresponding things on earth, there is present the spiritual that gives a soul, and the material that furnishes a body; there is also inherent in every thing spiritual, an endeavour to clothe itself with a body. That the hells are about men, and therefore contiguous to the earth, is because the spiritual world is not in space, but is where there is a corresponding affection. (ibid. n. 341-343)
How the Soul acts into and by means of the Body
The mind of man is his spirit, and the spirit is the man; for the mind means, all things of man's will and understanding; and these in principles are in the brains, and in derivatives in the body. With respect to their forms they are all things of the man. Because it is so, the mind, that is the will and understanding, actuates the body and all things belonging to it, at will. Does not the body do whatever the mind thinks and determines? The mind incites the ear to hear, and directs the eye to see; the mind moves the tongue and lips to speak; impels the hands and fingers to do whatever it pleases; and the feet to walk whither it wills. Is the body anything but obedience to its mind? Can it be such, unless the mind is in its derivatives in the body? Is it consonant with reason to think that the body acts in obedience, because the mind so wills? [The distinction the author here makes, if at first sight a little obscure, is yet very important. It is true that "the body is nothing but obedience to its mind;" and yet the body does not act in obedience. It is the mind, the living organic force, that acts in and by the body.] They would thus be two, one above and the other beneath; and one would command and the other obey. As this is not consistent with reason, it follows that a man's life in principles is in the brains, and in derivatives in the body, as was said above , also that such as the life is in the principles, such is it in the whole and in every part; and that by these principles the life is from every part in the whole, and from the whole in every part. All things of the mind refer to the will and understanding; and the will and understanding are receptacles of love and wisdom from the Lord; and these two constitute man's life. (DLW n. 387)
All Angels and Spirits were once Men
IT is entirely unknown in the Christian world that heaven and hell are from the human race; for it is believed that the angels were created from the beginning, and that this was the origin of heaven; and that the devil or satan was an angel of light, but because he became rebellious, was cast down with his crew, and that this was the origin of hell. Angels wonder exceedingly that there should be such a belief in the Christian world; and still more that they should know nothing at all about heaven, when yet that is the primary of doctrine in the church. And because such ignorance prevails, they rejoiced in heart that it had pleased the Lord now to reveal to mankind many things respecting heaven, and also respecting hell; and thereby as far as possible to dispel the darkness, which is daily increasing because the church has come to its end. They therefore wish me to assert from their mouths, that there is not a single angel in the universal heaven who was created such from the beginning; nor any devil in hell who was created an angel of light and cast down; but that all, both in heaven and in hell, are from the human race; in heaven those who in the world lived in heavenly love and faith, in hell those who lived in infernal love and faith; and that hell in its whole complex is what is called the devil and satan; the hell which is at the back, where they are who are called evil genii, is the devil; and the hell in front, where they are who are called evil spirits, is satan. (HH n. 311)
The Immensity of the Spiritual World
From the immense multitude of men who have passed into the spiritual world since the first creation, and are there assembled and from the continual increase that will be added to them from the human race hereafter, and this without end; it is obvious that that world is such and so vast that the natural world cannot be compared with it. How immense is the multitude of men already there it has sometimes, when my eyes have been opened, been granted me to see. There were so many,—and this only in a single place in one region,—that they could scarcely be numbered; there were some myriads. What must not the numbers be in all the rest? For all are connected into societies there; and the societies are very numerous, and each society in its own place forms three heavens; and there are three hells under them. There are therefore some there who are in elevated regions, some who are in intermediate regions, and some who are below these and there are some who are in the lowest parts, or in the hells. And they who are in the higher regions dwell together as men dwell in cities in which there are hundreds of thousands assembled. It is plain therefore that the natural world, the abode of men on earth, cannot be compared with that world, as regards the multitude of the human race. So that when a man passes from the natural world into the spiritual it is as from a village into a mighty city. (LJ n. 27)
In so large a kingdom, where all the souls of men from the beginning of creation flock together,—nearly a million coming weekly from this earth,—and each has his peculiar genius and nature different from every other, and where there is a communication of all the ideas of every one, and yet each and all things must be brought into order, and that continually. it cannot be but that there exist indefinite things which have never entered into the idea of man. But as scarcely any one has conceived other than a very obscure idea of heaven or hell, the things here related must appear strange and wonderful; especially from the fact that men believe spirits have no power of sensation; when yet they have a more exquisite sense than men. (AC n. 969)
Outward Aspect of the Spiritual World
In outward appearance the spiritual world is quite similar to the natural world. Countries, with mountains, hills, valleys, plains, fields, lakes, rivers, fountains, appear there, as in the natural world; thus all things of the mineral kingdom are there. And paradises, gardens, groves, and woods appear, in which there are trees and shrubs of every kind, with fruits and seeds; and plants, flowers, herbs and grasses; all things therefore of the vegetable kingdom. Animals, birds, and fishes of every kind appear also; and thus all things that belong to the animal kingdom. Man is there an angel and spirit. This is premised, that it may be known that the universe of the spiritual world is entirely similar to the universe of the natural world,—with the only difference that there things are not fixed and stationary, as in the natural world, because nothing there is natural, but all is spiritual.
It can be manifestly seen that the universe of that world reflects the image of man,—from the fact that the things above mentioned all spring forth and appear to the life about an angel, and about the angelic societies, just as if produced or created from them; and they remain about them, and do not pass away. That they are as if produced or created from them, is evident from the fact that when an angel goes away, or a society passes to another place, they no longer appear; and that when other angels come in their place, then the face of all things about them changes,—the paradises change, as to their trees and fruits; the gardens change, as to their flowers and seeds; the fields, as to their herbs and grasses; and the species of animals and birds are changed. The reason why such things appear, and are so changed, is, that they all spring forth in accordance with the affections and hence the thoughts of the angels; for they are correspondences, and as things that correspond make one with that to which they correspond, they are therefore a representative image of it. When viewed as to their forms the very image does not appear, but it is seen when they are regarded as to their uses. (DLW n. 321, 322)
The Book of Life
It has scarcely been known to any one hitherto that every man has two memories, one exterior, the other interior; and that the exterior memory is proper to his body; and the interior to his spirit.
So long as he lives in the body, a man can scarcely know that he has an interior memory, because the interior memory then acts almost as one with his exterior memory. For the ideas of thought,[See p. 558] which belong to the interior memory, flow into the things that are in the exterior memory, as into their vessels, and they are there conjoined. It is the same as when angels and spirits speak with man; their ideas, by which they converse with each other, then flow into and so conjoin themselves with the words of a man's language, that they do not know but that they themselves are speaking in the man's vernacular; when yet the ideas only are theirs, and the words into which they flow are the man's,—about which I have often conversed with spirits.
These two memories are entirely distinct from each other. To the exterior memory, which is proper to man while he lives in the world, pertain all the words of languages, and objects of outward sense; as also the knowledges that belong to the world. To the interior memory pertain the ideas of speech of spirits, which are of the interior sight; and all things rational, from the ideas of which springs thought itself. A man has no cognizance that these are distinct from each other, both because he does not reflect upon the subject, and because he is in things corporeal, and cannot so easily withdraw his mind from them.
Hence it is that, while they live in the body men cannot speak with each other except by languages divided into articulate sounds, that is into words, and cannot understand each other, unless they are acquainted with these languages. The reason is that it takes place from the exterior memory. But spirits converse with each other by a universal language distinguished into ideas, such as those of thought itself, and thus can converse with every spirit, of whatsoever language and nation he had been in the world; the reason is that it takes place from the interior memory. Every man, immediately after death, comes into this universal language, because he comes into this interior memory, which is proper to his spirit.
The interior memory vastly excels the exterior; it is as myriads to one, or as a thing that is luminous to one that is dark. For myriads of ideas of the interior memory flow into one of the exterior memory, and there form a certain indistinct general [impression]. All the faculties of spirits, and especially of angels, are therefore in a more perfect state, their sensations as well as their thoughts and perceptions. How great is the superiority of the inner memory to the outer, may be seen from examples:—When a man calls another to remembrance, friend or enemy, whose character he has known from the intercourse of many years, what he then thinks of him is presented as an indistinct [outline]; and this because he thinks from his exterior memory. But when the same man becomes a spirit and remembers him, then what he thinks of him is presented as to all the ideas that he ever conceived respecting him; and this because he thinks from his interior memory. It is the same with regard to every thing; a thing itself of which he knows many particulars presents itself in the exterior memory as a certain general [conception] , but in the interior memory it is presented as to all the least particulars respecting it of which he had ever formed an idea; and this in a wonderful form.
Whatever things a man hears and sees, and is affected by, these as respects ideas and ends are insinuated into his interior memory,—the man not being aware of it,—and there they remain; so that nothing whatever perishes, although the same things in the exterior memory are obliterated. Such therefore is the interior memory that the particulars, nay, the very least particulars, of what a man has at any time thought, said and done, or even that as a faint impression has appeared to him, from earliest infancy to latest old age, are with the utmost minuteness inscribed upon it. Man has the memory of all these things within him when he comes into the other life, and is successively brought into the recollection of them all. This is his BOOK OF LIFE, which is opened in the other life, and according to which he is judged. Man can scarcely believe this; but yet it is most true. All his ends, which to him were obscure, and all that he had thought as well as all that he had said and done from them, to the minutest point, are in that book, that is, in his interior memory; and whenever the Lord permits, they are laid open before the angels, as in the clear light of day. This has sometimes been shown me, and has been attested by so much experience that there remains not the least doubt of it.... A man leaves nothing at all behind him at death save only his bones and flesh, which of themselves were not animate while he lived in the world, but were animated by the life of his spirit, which was his purer substance annexed to the corporeal.
But with respect to his exterior memory the case is this: he has with him each and all things pertaining to it; but he is not then permitted to use this, but only the interior memory. There are many reasons. The first is that, as was said, from the interior memory in the other life a man is able to speak and converse with all throughout the universe. A second reason is, that this is the memory proper to the spirit, and is adequate to his state in which he then is. For outward things, that is to say matters of outward knowledge, things worldly and corporeal, are adapted to man and correspond to his state while he is in the world and the body; while interior things, that is things rational, spiritual, and celestial, are adapted and correspond to the spirit. (AC n. 2469-2476)
The Eternity of Heaven and Hell
The life of man cannot be changed after death. He then remains such as he had been in the world. For the whole spirit of a man is such as his love is; and infernal love cannot be changed into heavenly love, because they are opposite. This is meant by the words of Abraham to the rich man in hell: " Between us and you there is a great gulf; so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass from thence to us " (Luke xvi. 26). It is plain from this that they who enter into hell remain there to eternity; and that they who enter into heaven remain there to eternity. (HD n. 239)
After death a man puts off all that does not agree with his love; nay, he successively puts on the face, the tone of voice, the speech, the bearing, and the manner of his life's love. (C. L n. 36)
That after death a man remains to eternity such as he is as to his will or reigning love, has been confirmed by abundant experience. It has been given me to speak with some who lived two thousand years ago, whose lives are described in history and therefore known. They were found to be still like themselves, and precisely such as they were described,—such, as to the love from which and according to which their life was. There were others who lived seventeen centuries ago, who were also known from history; and there were others who lived four centuries ago, and some three, and so on, with whom also it was granted me to converse; and it was found that a similar affection still reigned with them,—with no other difference than that the delights of their love were turned into such things as were correspondent. It was said by the angels that the life of the reigning love is never changed with any one to eternity, since every one is his own love; to change that love in a spirit would therefore be to deprive him of his life, or annihilate him. They also stated the reason, which is, that after death a man can no longer be reformed, by instruction, as in the world; because the ultimate plane which consists of natural cognitions and affections is then quiescent, and as it is not spiritual cannot be opened; that the interiors which are of the internal or external mind rest upon that plane, as a house upon its foundation; and that it is on this account that a man remains to eternity such as the life of his love had been in the world. (HH n. 480)
They who are being elevated into heaven, and afterwards when they have been elevated, are perfected to eternity. But they who are being cast into hell, [The evil are spoken of as being cast into hell only according to the appearance. The author abundantly teaches that in reality the Lord casts no one into hell, but constantly withholds from hell; but that the evil of themselves plunge into hell, by following the bent of their evil loves (see p. 527). The apparent casting into hell is really a gradual process,—that of voluntarily choosing and living au evil life. The necessary restraint of evil by punishments, whether in this world or the other, is essentially mercy. (See also p. 597)] and afterwards when they have been cast in, suffer more grievous evils continually, and this until they dare not do evil to any one; and they afterwards remain in hell to eternity. They cannot be delivered therefrom, because it cannot be given them to will good to any one; but only, from fear of punishment, not to do evil to any one,—the lust always remaining. (AC n. 7541)
Why the Wicked cannot be saved after Death
The life of any one can by no means be changed after death; an evil life can in no wise be converted into a good life, or an infernal into an angelic life; because every spirit, from head to foot, is of the character of his love, and therefore of his life; and to convert this life into its opposite would be to destroy the spirit utterly. The angels declare that it would be easier to change a night owl into a dove, or a horned owl into a bird of paradise, than an infernal spirit into an angel of heaven. From these considerations it is evident that .no one can be received into heaven by immediate mercy. (HH n. 527)
The affection of a man's love is his life. If a man's affection is that of self and the world, then his whole life is nothing else; nor can he strive against it, for this would be to strive against his very life. Principles of truth effect nothing; if the affection of these loves has dominion it draws truth over to its own side, and thus falsifies it, and if it does not entirely favour rejects it. Hence it is that principles of the truth of faith have not the least efficacy with a man unless the Lord insinuates an affectior of spiritual love, that is of love towards the neighbour; and in so far as a man receives this affection he receives also the truths of faith. The affection of this love is what constitutes the new will. It is manifest from these considerations that a man never sets his heart to any truth if the will resists. It is on this account that the infernals cannot receive the truths of faith, and therefore cannot be amended,—because they are in the affection or lust of evil. (AC n. 7342)
Scriptural Explanation of the final State
"He that is unjust let him become unjust still; and he that is filthy let him become filthy still; and he that is just let him become just still; and he that is holy let him become holy still" (Rev. xxii. 11). This signifies in particular the state of every one after death and before his judgment, and in general before the last judgment; that from those who are in evils goods will be taken away, and from those who are in falsities truths will be taken away; and on the other hand that from those who are in goods evils will be taken away, and from those who are in truths falsities will be taken away. By the unjust he who is in evils is signified, and by the just he who is in goods; by the filthy or unclean he is signified who is in falsities, and by the holy he is signified who is in truths. From this it follows that he that is unjust let him become unjust still, signifies that he who is in evils will be still more in evils; and that he who is filthy let him become filthy still, signifies that he who is in falsities will be still more in falsities; and on the other hand that he that is just let him become just still, signifies that he who is in goods will be still more in goods; and that he that is holy let him become holy still, signifies that he who is in truths will be still more in truths. And the reason why it is signified that from those who are in evils goods will be taken away, and from those who are in falsities truths will be taken away; and that on the other hand from those who are in goods evils will be taken away, and from those who are in truths falsities will be taken away, is that in so far as goods are taken away from one who is in evils he is so much the more in evils, and in so far as truths are taken away from one who is in falsities, so much the more is he in falsities; and on the other hand in so far as evils are taken away from one who is in goods so much the more is he in goods, and in so far as falsities are taken away from one who is in truths so much the more is he in truths. Either this or the other takes place with every one after death; for thus the evil are prepared for hell and the good for heaven. For an evil man cannot carry goods and truths with him to hell; neither can a good man carry evils and falsities with him to heaven; for heaven and hell would thus be confounded. But it should be well understood that those who are interiorly evil, and interiorly good are meant. For they who are interiorly evil may be outwardly good; for they can act and speak like the good, as hypocrites do. And they who are interiorly good may sometimes be outwardly evil; for outwardly they may do evils, and speak falsities; but yet they repent, and desire to be instructed in truths. This is the same as the Lord says, "Whosoever hath, to him shall be given, that he may have more abundance, but whosoever hath not from him shall be taken away even that he hath" (Matt. xiii. 12). (AR n. 948)
The Universals of Hell and of Heaven
The universal [principles] of hell are three; but they are diametrically opposite to the universal [principles] of heaven. The universals of hell are these three loves; the love of ruling, from the love of self; the love of possessing the goods of others, from the love of the world; and scortatory love. The universals of heaven opposite to them are these three loves; the love of ruling, from the love of use; the love of possessing the goods of the world, from the love of performing uses by means of them; and love truly conjugial. (TCR n. 661)
The world of spirits is not heaven, nor is it hell; but it is a place or state intermediate between the two. For thither man first goes after death; and then after the required time, according to his life in the world, he is either elevated into heaven, or cast into hell.
The world of spirits is a place intermediate between heaven and hell, and is also the intermediate state of man after death. That it is an intermediate place, has been made manifest to me by the fact that the hells are beneath and the heavens above; and that it is an intermediate state, by the fact that so long as he is there a man is not yet in heaven, nor in hell. The state of heaven in man is the conjunction of good and truth within him; and the state of hell is the conjunction of evil and falsity within him. When good is conjoined to truth in a man-spirit [Man-spirit (homo spiritus) is an expression used occasionally by the author to designate the spirit of man newly entered into the spiritual world, while he is yet in externals, and in a state similar to that in which he was in the world.] he then enters into heaven; for as was said, that conjunction is heaven within him. And when evil is conjoined with falsity in a man-spirit he enters into hell; for that conjunction is hell within him. This conjunction is effected in the world of spirits, because man is then in an intermediate state. It is the same whether you say the conjunction of the understanding and the will, or the conjunction of truth and good. (HH n. 421, 422)
Almost every man at this day is in such a state that he knows truths, and from knowledge and also from understanding thinks of them; and he either does much of them, or little of them, or nothing of them, or acts contrary to them from the love of evil and thence a belief in what is false. In order therefore that he may be a subject either of heaven or hell, he is first after death brought into the world of spirits; and there a conjunction of good and truth is effected in those who are to be elevated into heaven; and a conjunction of evil and falsity in those who are to be cast into hell. For it is not permitted any one, in heaven or in hell, to have a divided mind, that is, to understand one thing and will another; but what he wills he must also understand, and what he understands he must also will. In heaven therefore, he who wills good must understand truth; and in hell he who wills evil must understand falsity. For this reason with the good falsities are removed in the world of spirits, and truths suitable and conformable to their good are given; and with the evil truths are there removed and falses are given suitable and conformable to their evil. It is plain from these facts what the world of spirits is.
There is a vast number in the world of spirits, because the first meeting of all is there; and all are there examined and prepared. There is no fixed term of duration for their sojourn there; some only enter that world, and are presently either taken up into heaven, or cast down into hell; some remain there only for weeks; some for years, but not more than thirty. The differences in the duration of their sojourn arise from the correspondence or want of correspondence of the interiors and exteriors in man. But it shall be told in what follows, how a man is brought from one state into another in that world and prepared.
As soon as men come into the world of spirits after their decease they are perfectly distinguished by the Lord; the evil are immediately bound to the infernal society in which as to their ruling love they were in the world; and the good are immediately bound to the heavenly society in which they were in the world, as to love, charity, and faith. But although they are thus distinguished, yet those who have been friends and acquaintances in the life of the body all meet and converse with each other in that world, when they desire,—especially wives and husbands, and also brothers and sisters. I have seen a father converse with six sons and recognize them; • and have seen many others with their relatives and friends; but as they were of different mind (animus) owing to their life in the world, after a short time they were separated. But those who pass into heaven, and who pass into hell, from the world of spirits, afterwards neither see nor know each other more, unless they are of similar character from a similar love. That they see each other in the world of spirits, and not in heaven and hell, is because those who are in the world of spirits are brought into states similar to those which they experienced in the life of the body, [passing] from one into another; but afterwards all are brought into a permanent state, similar to the state of their ruling love, in which one knows another only from the similitude of love for similitude conjoins, and dissimilitude separates. (HH n. 425-427)
The Resurrection and Last Judgment of every one is immediately after Death
I have conversed with some a few days after their decease; and as they were then recently come, they were in a degree of light there which to them differed little from the light of the world. And because the light so appeared to them they doubted whether the light came to them from any different source. They were therefore taken up into the first confine of heaven, where the light was brighter; and from there speaking with me, they said that they had never seen such light. And this took place when already the sun was set.... Some of them believed no otherwise than that men after death would be as phantoms; in which opinion they confirmed themselves by the apparitions of which they had heard. But they drew no other conclusion therefrom than that the ghost was some gross vital principle that is first exhaled from the life of the body, but falls back again into the dead body, and is thus extinguished. And some believed that they should first rise again at the time of the last judgment, when the world would perish; and that they should then rise with the body, which though fallen into dust would then be collected together; and thus that they were to rise again with flesh and bone. And since for many ages mankind have looked in vain for that last judgment or destruction of the world, they have lapsed into the error that they shall never rise again thinking nothing then of what they have learned from the Word, and from which too they have sometimes therefore said that when a man dies his soul is in the hand of God, among the happy or the unhappy according to the life that he had acquired to himself; nor of what the Lord said concerning the rich man and Lazarus. But they were instructed that the last judgment of every one is when he dies; and that le then appears to himself endowed with a body as in the world; and to enjoy every sense as in the world,—but purer and more exquisite, because things corporeal do not hinder, and the things that pertain to the light of the world do not overshadow those that are of the light of heaven; thus that they are in a body purified as it were; and that he could never carry about a body of flesh and bone there such as he had in the world, for this would be to be encompassed with earthly dust. With some I conversed on this subject on the same day that their bodies were entombed,—who through my eyes saw their own corpse, the bier, and the burial. And they said that they reject that body; that it had served them for their uses in the world in which they had been; but that now they live in a body that serves them for uses in the world in which they now are. They also desired that I would tell this to their relatives who were in mourning. But it was given me to reply that if I should tell them they would mock at it, because they believe that to be nothing which they themselves cannot see with their own eyes; and so they would reckon it among the visions which are illusions. (AC n. 4527)
The Process of Dying, Resurrection, etc
When the body is no longer capable of performing its functions in the natural world,—corresponding to the thoughts and affections of its spirit, which it has from the spiritual world,—then a man is said to die. This takes place when the respiratory motions of the lungs and the systolic motions of the heart cease. But yet the man does not die, but is only separated from the corporeal part which was of use to him in the world; for the man himself lives. It is said that the man himself lives, because a man is not man by virtue of the body, but by virtue of the spirit; for it is the spirit in man which thinks, and thought together with affection makes the man. From this it is plain that when a man dies he only passes from one world into the other. Hence it is that in the Word, in its internal sense, death signifies resurrection and the continuation of life.
The inmost communication of the spirit [with the body] is with the respiration and with the motion of the heart; its thought communicates with the respiration, and its affection, which is of love, with the heart. When therefore these two motions in the body cease there is immediately a separation. These two motions, the respiratory motion of the lungs and the systolic motion of the heart, are the very bonds which being broken the spirit is left to itself; and the body, being then without the life of its spirit, becomes cold and putrifies. That the inmost communication of man's spirit is with the respiration and with the heart, is because all the vital motions thereon depend, not only in general, but also in every part.
The spirit of a man remains in the body for a short time after the separation; but no longer than till the total cessation of the motion of the heart, which takes place sooner or later according to the nature of the disease of which a man dies. For with some the motion of the heart continues a long time, and with some not long. As soon as this motion ceases the man is resuscitated; but this is done by the Lord alone. By resuscitation is meant the withdrawal of man's spirit from the body, and its introduction into the spiritual world; which is commonly called the resurrection. The reason why man's spirit is not separated from the body until the motion of the heart has ceased is, that the heart corresponds to affection, which is of love, which is the very life of man; for the vital heat of every one is from love.[See p. 25] So long therefore as this motion [The word in the original here is conjunctio; but as suggested by Mr. Noble, in his translation of the work from which this extract is taken, it seems evident from the context that this has been written or printed, by mistake, for the very different word motus.] continues, there is a correspondence, and the life of the spirit therefore in the body.
It has not only been told me how the resuscitation is effected, but has also been shown me by living experience. I was subjected to this very experience in order that I might fully understand how it is effected.
I was brought into a state of insensibility as to the bodily senses, thus almost into the state of the dying; the interior life with the faculty of thought, however, remaining entire, so that I could perceive and retain in the memory the things which came to pass, and which take place with those who are resuscitated from the dead. I perceived that the respiration of the body was almost taken away, the interior respiration which is of the spirit remaining, connected with a slight and tacit respiration of the body. Then there was given, in the first place, a communication as to the pulsation of the heart with the celestial kingdom, since that kingdom corresponds to the heart in man. Angels from that kingdom were also seen,—some at a distance, and two were sitting near my head. All affection proper to myself was thereby taken away, but yet thought and perception remained. I was in this state for some hours. The spirits who were about me then withdrew, supposing that I was dead. An aromatic odor was also perceived, as of an embalmed body; for when celestial angels are present what is cadaverous is perceived as aromatic,—which when spirits perceive they cannot approach. Thus, too, evil spirits are kept away from the spirit of man when he is first introduced into eternal life. The angels who were sitting at my head were silent, communicating only their thoughts with mine; and when these are received the angels know that the spirit of the man is in the state in which it can be withdrawn from the body. The communication of their thoughts was effected by looking into my face; for thus communications of thoughts are effected in heaven. As thought and perception remained with me, in order that I might know and remember how resuscitation is effected, I perceived that these angels first examined what my thought was,—whether it was like that of those who die, which is usually about eternal life; and that they wished to keep my mind in that thought. I was afterwards told that a man's spirit is held in its last thought when the body is expiring, until he returns to the thoughts which come from his general or ruling affection in the world. It was given me, especially, to perceive and also to feel that there was an attraction, and as it were a pulling of the interiors of my mind, thus of my spirit, out of the body; and it was said that this is of the Lord, and that thereby the resurrection is effected.
Since the celestial angels are with the resuscitated they do not leave him, because they love every one. But if the spirit is such that he can no longer remain in the company of celestial angels he longs to depart from them; and when this is the case there come angels of the Lord's spiritual kingdom, through whom the enjoyment of light is given him; for before he saw nothing, but only thought. It was also shown me how this is effected. These angels appeared as it were to roll off the tunic of the left eye towards the septum of the nose, that the eye might be opened and be enabled to see. The spirit perceives no otherwise than that it is effected in this manner; but it is an appearance. When the tunic appears to have been rolled off a certain brightness is visible, but obscure; as when a man looks through the eyelashes on first awakening. This obscure brightness appeared to me of an azure colour, but it was told me afterwards that this takes place with variety. After this something is felt to be gently rolled from off the face; which being done spiritual thought is induced. This rolling from off the face is also an appearance; for it is represented thereby that from natural thought he comes into spiritual thought. The angels are extremely careful lest any idea should come from the resuscitated that does not savour of love. They then tell him that he is a spirit. After the enjoyment of light bas been given, the spiritual angels perform for the new spirit all the kindly services that he can ever desire in that state; and instruct him respecting the things that are in the other life,—yet only so far as he can comprehend them. But if he is not such as to be willing to be instructed, then the resuscitated spirit desires to separate from the companionship of these angels. But still the angels do not leave him; he in fact dissociates himself from them. For the angels love every one, and desire nothing more than to perform kindly services, to give them instruction, and take them into heaven; in this consists their highest delight. When a spirit thus dissociates himself he is received by good spirits, and all kindly-services are also rendered him while he is in company with them. But if his life in the world had been such that he cannot abide in the company of the good, then he also desires to withdraw from them; and thus he continues to do until he associates himself with such as are in entire agreement with his life in the world, with whom he finds his own life. And then, which is remarkable, he pursues a life similar to that which he led in the world. (HH n. 445-450)
Three Successive States of Man in the World of Spirits
There are three states through which man passes after death, before he comes either into heaven or into hell; the first state is that of his exteriors; the second state is that of his interiors; and the third is his state of preparation. These states man passes through in the world of spirits. But there are some who do not pass through these states, but are either taken up into heaven or cast into hell immediately after death.[See pp. 582, 597] They who are immediately taken up into heaven are those that have been regenerated, and thus prepared for heaven, in the world. Those who have been so regenerated and prepared that they have need only to reject natural impurities with the body, are immediately carried by the angels into heaven. I have seen them taken up soon after the hour of death. But they who interiorly have been wicked and outwardly as to appearance good, thus who have filled their malignity with deceit, and have used goodness as a means of deceiving, are immediately cast into hell. I have seen some such cast into hell directly after death. . . . Rut both these are few in comparison with those who are kept in the world of spirits, and there, according to Divine order, are prepared for heaven or for hell. (HH n. 491)
The First State of Man after Death
The first state of man after death is similar to his state in the world, because then in like manner he is in externals. He also has a similar face, similar speech, and a similar external mind (animus), and therefore a similar moral and civil life. Hence it is that he then knows no otherwise than that he is still in the world, unless he adverts to the things he meets with, and to what was said to him by the angels when he was raised up, that he is now a spirit. Thus one life is continued into the other, and death is only the transit.
Because the spirit of a man soon after his life in the world is such, he is therefore then recognized by his friends, and by those whom he had known in the world; for spirits have this perception, not from his face and speech only, but also from the sphere of his life as they approach. When any one thinks of another in the other life he also brings his face before him in thought, and at the same time many things that pertain to his life; and when he does this the other becomes present, as if he were sent for and called. This in the spiritual world arises from the fact that there thoughts are communicated; and that there are no spaces there, such as exist in the natural world. Hence it is that all, when they first come into the other life, are recognized by their friends, their relatives, and those with whom in any way they are acquainted; and that they converse together, and afterwards associate, according to their friendship in the world. I have frequently heard that those who have come from the world have rejoiced at seeing their friends again, and that their friends in turn have rejoiced that they had come to them. It is a common occurrence that consort meets consort, and they mutually congratulate each other. They remain together too, but for a longer or shorter time according to the delight of their life together in the world. But yet if love truly conjugial,—which is a conjunction of minds, from heavenly love,—has not joined them together, after remaining together some time they are separated. And if the minds of consorts have been in disagreement, and they inwardly loathed each other, they burst forth into open enmity, and sometimes fight; but yet they are not separated until they enter the second state,— of which in what presently follows.
As the life of spirits recently arrived is not unlike their life in the natural world, and as they know nothing about the state of their life after death, and nothing about heaven and hell, except what they have learned from the literal sense of the Word, and from preaching thence; therefore, after they have wondered that they are in a body, and in the possession of every sense that they had in the world, and that they see similar objects, they come into the desire, to know what heaven is, and what hell is, and where they are. They are therefore instructed by their friends respecting the state of eternal life; and are also led about to various places, and into various companies; and some into cities, and also into gardens and paradises; generally to magnificent scenes, since such things delight the externals in which they are. They are then brought by turns into their thoughts, which they had entertained in the life of the body, about the state of their souls after death, and about heaven, and about hell; and this until they feel indignant that they have been entirely ignorant, and that the church is ignorant, of such things. Almost everyone desires to know whether he will go to heaven; very many believe that they shall go to heaven, because they led a moral and civil life in the world; not considering that the evil and the good lead a similar life in externals, alike doing good to others, and alike frequenting places of public worship, hearing sermons and praying; not knowing at all that external acts and the externals of worship effect nothing, but the internals from which the externals proceed. Scarcely one out of some thousands knows what the internals [of life and worship] are, and that in them man has heaven and the church; and less do they understand that external acts are of the same quality as the intentions and thoughts and the love and faith in these from which the actions spring. And when they are instructed, they do not comprehend that thinking and willing effect anything, but only speaking and acting. There are very many such at this day who come from the Christian world into the other life.
Yet they are examined by good spirits, as to their quality, and this in various ways; for in this first state the evil as well as the good utter truths and do good deeds,—for the reason mentioned above, that they alike lived a moral life, in outward form, since they lived under governments and subject to laws, and since thereby they acquired a reputation for justice and sincerity, and secured favour, and so were exalted to honours and acquired wealth. But evil spirits are distinguished from the good especially by the fact that the evil attend eagerly to what is said about external things, and little to what is said about internal things, which are the truths and goods of the church and of heaven. These indeed they hear, but not with attention and joy. They are also distinguished by the fact that they frequently turn themselves towards certain quarters, and when left to themselves walk in the ways that lead in those directions. From their turning to such quarters and walking in such ways it becomes known what is the nature of the love that leads them.
The spirits who arrive from the world are in truth all attached to some society in heaven, or to some society in hell. But this is only as to their interiors, and the interiors of no one are manifested so long as they are in exteriors; for external things cover and conceal the internal, especially with those who are in interior evil. But afterwards, when they come into the second state, they manifestly appear; for then their interiors are opened, and the exteriors are laid asleep.
This first state of man after death continues with some for days, with some for months, and with some for a year; but rarely with anyone beyond a year; with a difference in each case according to the agreement or disagreement of the interiors with the exteriors. For the exteriors and interiors with every one must act in unity, and correspond. It is not allowable in the spiritual world for any one to think and will in one way, and speak and act in another. There every one must be the image of his own affection or his own love; and therefore such as he is in his interiors, he must be in his exteriors. For this reason the exteriors of a spirit are first uncovered and reduced to order, that they may serve as a plane corresponding to the interiors. (HH n. 493, 498)
The Second State of Man after Death
After the first state is passed through,—which is the state of the exteriors, treated of in the foregoing article,—the man-spirit is let into the state of his interiors, or into the state of his interior will and the thought therefrom, in which he had been
in the world, when being left to himself he thought freely and without restraint. Into this state he glides unconsciously, much as when, in the world, he withdraws the thought that is nearest to the speech, or from which the speech proceeds, towards his interior thought, and abides in that. Therefore when the man-spirit is in this state he is in his very self and in his very life; for to think freely from his own affection is the very life of man, and is himself. (HH n. 502)
All men without exception are let into this state after death, because it is the proper state of their spirit. The former state is such as the man was as to his spirit when in company, which is not his proper state. (ibid. n. 504)
When a spirit is in the state of his interiors it manifestly appears what the character of the man was, in himself, when in the world; for he then acts from his own. He who was interiorly in good in the world then acts rationally and wisely, more wisely indeed than in the world; because he is released from connection with the body, and therefore with terrestrial things, which caused obscurity and interposed as it were a cloud. But he who was in evil in the world then acts foolishly and insanely, in truth .more insanely than in the world; because he is in freedom, and under no restraints. For while he lived in the world he was sane in externals, because he thereby presented the appearance of a rational man. When therefore his externals are taken away from him, his insanities are revealed. A bad man who in externals puts on the appearance of a good man, may be compared to a vessel outwardly polished and elegant, and covered with a lid, within which is concealed every kind of filth; according to the Lord's saying:—"Ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which appear beautiful outwardly, but within are full of the bones of the dead, and of all uncleanliness" (Matt. xxiii. 27). (ibid. n. 505)
When spirits are in this second state they appear precisely as they were, in themselves, in the world; and whatever they have done and said in secret is also divulged. For then, as external considerations do not restrain them, they say such things and also endeavour to do such things openly; nor do they fear, as in the world, for their reputation. They are also then brought into the many states of their own evils; that they may appear to angels and good spirits as they are. Thus things hidden are laid open, and secret things are revealed, according to the Lord's words:—"There is nothing covered that shall not be uncovered, neither hid, that shall not be known. Whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the house tops" (Luke xii. 2, 3). And in another place I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall have spoken, they shall give account thereof in the clay of judgment" (Matt. xii. 36). (ibid. n. 507)
Because evil spirits when they are in this second state rush into evils of every kind, they are frequently and grievously punished. The punishments in the world of spirits are manifold; nor is there any respect of person, whether in the world a man were king or servant. Every evil carries its punishment with it; they are conjoined. Whoever therefore is in evil is also in the punishment of evil. But yet no one there suffers punishment on account of the evils that he had done in the world; but for the evils that he then does. It however amounts to the same, and is the same, whether it be said that men suffer punishment on account of their evils in the world, or that they suffer punishment on account of the evils that they do in the other life; since every one after death returns into his own life, and thus into similar evils. For the character of a man is such as it had been in the life of his body. They are punished because in this state the fear of punishment is the only means of subduing evils. Exhortation is no longer of any avail, nor instruction, nor fear of the law, and of public opinion and reputation; since the spirit now acts from his nature, which can neither be restrained nor broken except by punishments. But good spirits are never punished, although they have done evils in the world; for their evils do not return. And it is also given me to know that their evils were of a different kind or nature; for they were not of purpose against the truth, and from no other evil heart than what they received by inheritance from their parents,—into which, when they were in externals separate from internals, they were carried by a blind delight. (ibid. n. 509)
While an evil spirit is in the state of his interiors, he is turned by degrees towards his own society, and at length before this state is ended, directly to it; and when the state is ended the evil spirit of his own accord casts himself into the hell where they are who are like him. The act itself appears to the sight as one falling backwards, with the head down and feet uppermost. The reason why it so appears is that he is in inverted order; for he has loved infernal things and rejected heavenly things. Some evil spirits in this second state by turns enter the hells, and come out again; but they do not then appear to fall backwards, as when they are fully vastated. The society itself in which they had been, as to their spirit, while in the world, is also shown them when they are in the state of their exteriors; that they may know thereby that they have been in hell even in the life of the body,—but yet not in a similar state with those that are in hell itself, but in a state similar to those that are in the world of spirits; of whose state in comparison with that of those that are in hell more will be said in what follows. (ibid. n. 510)
The separation of evil spirits from good spirits is effected in this second state. For in the first state they are together; since while a spirit is in his exteriors he is as he had been in the world; thus, just as there, the evil is with the good, and the good with the evil. When he is brought into his interiors, and left to his own nature or will, it is otherwise. The separation of the good from the evil is effected in various ways; generally by leading them about to those societies with which they had had communication by good thoughts and affections in their first state; and so to those that they had induced, by external appearances, to believe that they were not evil. They are usually led about through a wide circuit, and are every where shown to good spirits as they are in themselves. At the sight of them good spirits turn away; and as they turn away, the evil spirits also who are carried about are turned away from them, with their face to the quarter where their infernal society is, into which they are about to enter. As to other methods of separation, which are many, I say nothing. (ibid. n. 511)
The Third State of Man after Death
The third state of man or of his spirit after death is a state of instruction. This state is for those who go to heaven, and become angels; but not for those that pass into hell, since these cannot be instructed. Therefore the second state of these is also their third, which ends in this; that they are turned entirely to their own love, and so to the infernal society which is in similar love. When this comes to pass they think and will from that love; and as the love is infernal they will nothing but what is evil, and think nothing but what is false. These are their delights, because they are of their love. And hence they reject every thing good and true, which they had before adopted because they served their love as means. But the good are brought from the second state into a third, which is the state of their preparation for heaven, by instruction. For no one can be prepared for heaven except by cognitions of good and truth, and therefore by instruction; since no one can know what spiritual good and truth are, and what the evil and the falsity are which are opposite to them, unless he be instructed.
The instruction is given by the angels of many societies; especially by those which are in the northern and southern quarters, for these angelic societies are in intelligence and wisdom from cognitions of good. and truth. The places of instruction are towards the north, and are various; being arranged and distinguished according to the genera and species of heavenly goods, so that each and everyone may be instructed there according to his genius and faculty of reception. These places extend to a great distance there, all around. The good spirits who are to be instructed are guided to them by the Lord, after they have passed through their second state in the world of spirits. But yet not all; for they who have been instructed in the world were there also prepared by the Lord for heaven, and are taken into heaven by another way; some immediately after death; some after a brief sojourn with good spirits,—where the grosser things of their thoughts and affections, which they derived from honours and riches in the world, are removed, and they are thus purified. Some are first vastated; which is effected in places beneath the soles of the feet which are called the lower earth, [See note, p. 601] where some suffer severely. These are they who have confirmed themselves in falsities, and yet have led good lives; for confirmed falsities inhere with great tenacity, and until they are dispersed truths cannot be seen, and therefore cannot be received. (HH n. 512, 513)
But all are not instructed in a similar manner, nor by similar societies of heaven. They who from infancy have been educated in heaven are instructed by angels of the interior heavens,—since they have not imbibed falsities from falsities of religion, nor defiled their spiritual life by grossness from honors and riches in the world. Those who have died in adult age are for the most part instructed by angels of the ultimate heaven, because these angels are more suited to them than the angels of the interior heavens; for they are in interior wisdom, which is not as yet received. But Mahometans are instructed by angels who had before been in the same religion, and were converted to Christianity. [That is, as the author sets forth in another section (HH n. 514), Mohametans who, having lived a good life on earth, had been instructed in the Christian religion and so prepared for, heaven, in the world of spirits.] The [gentile] nations also are instructed by their angels.
All instruction there is from doctrine derived from the Word; and not from the Word without doctrine. Christians are instructed from heavenly doctrine, which is in perfect agreement with the internal sense of the Word. All others, as the Mahomedans, and [gentile] nations, are instructed from doctrines suited to their apprehension; which differ from heavenly doctrines only in this, that spiritual life is taught through moral life, in agreement with the good dogmas of their religion, from which they derived their life in the world.
Instruction in the heavens differs from instruction on earth in this respect; that the knowledges are not committed to memory, but to the life. For the memory of spirits is in their life; inasmuch as they receive and imbibe all things that are in agreement with their life, and do not receive, still less imbibe, the things that are not in agreement; for spirits are affections, and are therefore in a human form similar to their affections. Because they are so, an affection for truth for the sake of the uses of life is continually inspired; for the Lord provides that every one may love the uses suited to his genius,—which love is also exalted by the hope of becoming an angel. And as all the uses of heaven have reference to the common use, which is for the Lord's kingdom,—which then is their country; and as all special and particular uses are excellent in proportion as they more nearly and more fully regard this common use; therefore all the special and particular uses, which are innumerable, are good and heavenly. With every one therefore an affection for truth is conjoined with an affection for use, insomuch that they act as one. Truth is thereby implanted in use, so that the truths which they learn are truths of use. Thus are angelic spirits instructed, and prepared for heaven. An affection for the truth suitable to the use is insinuated by various means, most of which are unknown in the world; chiefly by representatives of uses, which in the spiritual world are exhibited in a thousand ways, and with such delights and charms that they penetrate the spirit, from the interiors which are of his mind to the exteriors which are of his body, and thus affect the whole. Hence the spirit becomes as it were his own use. When therefore he enters his own society, into which he is initiated by instruction, he is in his own life while in his own use. From these considerations it may be seen that knowledges, which are external truths, do not enable any one to enter heaven, but the life itself, which is a life of use, inspired by knowledges.(ibid. n. 515-517)
After spirits by means of instruction have been prepared for heaven, in the places mentioned above,—which is effected in a short time, for the reason that they are in spiritual ideas, which embrace many things together,—they are then arrayed in angelic garments, which for the most part are white, as if of fine linen; and in this state are brought to a way that leads upwards to heaven, and are confided to the angel guards there; and afterwards they are received by other angels, and introduced into societies, and into many gratifications there. Every one is afterwards led by the Lord to his own society; which also is done by various ways, sometimes in a mysterious manner. The ways by which they are led no angel knows, but the Lord only. When they come to their own society their interiors are opened; and as these are conformable to the interiors of the angels who are in that society, therefore they are immediately acknowledged, and are received with joy. (ibid. n. 519)
Indiscriminate earthly Friendships hurtful after Death <
A friendship of love contracted with a man, regardless of his spiritual character, is detrimental after death. By a friendship of love interior friendship is meant; which is of such a nature that not his external man only but also his internal is loved,—and this without scrutiny as to his internal or spiritual character, that is, as to the affections of his mind, whether they are affections of love towards the neighbour and love to God, and thus are associable with angels of heaven, or of a love opposed to the neighbour and a love opposed to God, and therefore associable with devils. Such friendship is contracted, by many, from various causes and for various ends. This is distinct from that external friendship which is for the person only, and is for the sake of various bodily and sensual delights, and for various mutual intercourse. This friendship may be formed with any one, —even with the clown that jests at a prince's table. This is called simply friendship, and the former the friendship of love; because friendship is a natural conjunction, and friendship of love is a spiritual conjunction.
That a friendship of love is detrimental after death, may appear from the state of heaven, from the state of hell, and from the state relatively of man's spirit . . . Those who have contracted friendships of love with one another in the world cannot like others be separated according to order, and assigned to the society corresponding to their life; for inwardly, as to the spirit, they are bound together, and cannot be severed, because they are as branch ingrafted in branch. If therefore one as to his interiors is in heaven, and the other as to his interiors is in hell, they cleave scarcely otherwise than as a sheep tied to a wolf, or as a goose to a fox, or a dove to a hawk; and he whose interiors are in hell breathes his infernal influences into him whose interiors are in heaven. For among the things well known in heaven is also this, that evils may be inspired into the good, but not goods into the evil; for the reason that every one is in evils by birth. Hence in the good who are thus connected with the evil the interiors are closed, and both are thrust down into hell, where the good spirit suffers severely; but at length after an interval of time he is delivered, and then first is prepared for heaven.
It is entirely different with those who love the good in another, that is, who love the justice, judgment, sincerity, and benevolence from charity; especially who love faith and love to the Lord. These, since they love the things that are within a man apart from those that are without him, if they do not observe the same in his person after death immediately withdraw from the friendship, and are associated by the Lord with those who are in similar good. It may be said that no one can search into the interiors of the mind of those with whom he is in fellowship and correspondence. But this is not necessary; only let him beware of a friendship of love with every one; external friendship, for the sake of various uses, is not hurtful (TCR n. 446-449)
The Character of every one is perceived in the other Life from the Sphere that encompasses him .
The character of another is known in the other life at his. first approach, even though he does not speak. From which it may be seen that the interiors of man are in a certain unconscious activity; and that from this the character of a spirit is perceived. That this is so has been made evident from the fact that the sphere of this activity not only extends itself to a distance, but sometimes, when the Lord permits, is also made sensibly manifest in various ways.
I have also been informed how these spheres are acquired which become so sensible in the other life. That it may be clearly explained, take for example one who has conceived a high opinion of himself, and of his own excellence, in comparison with others. He acquires at length such a habit, and as it were nature, that wherever he goes, and whenever he sees and converses with others, he fixes his attention on himself. This at first he does perceptibly; but afterwards not perceptibly, so that he is not aware of it. But still this regard for himself prevails, as in every particular of his affection and thought, so in every particular of his bearing and of his speech. This men are able to see in others. Such is that which produces a sphere in the other life; which is perceived, but not oftener than the Lord permits. So is it with other affections. There are therefore as many spheres as there are affections and combinations of affections, which are innumerable. The sphere is as it were a man's image extended without him, and indeed an image of all that pertains to him. But what is presented to the sight or perception in the world of spirits is only a something general. Yet the nature of it as to its particulars is discerned in heaven. But its nature as to the least particulars no one knows but the Lord only. (AC n. 1504, 1505)
Conversation and Language of Spirits
Spirits converse with each other in the other life, just as men lo on earth; and they that are good, with all familiarity of friendship and love,—of which I have frequently been a witness; and this they do in their own language, by which they express more in a minute than man can do in an hour. For their speech is the universal of all languages, by means of ideas, the primitives of words. They converse on subjects so acutely and clearly, through so many series of well-connected and persuasive reasons, that if a man perceived he would be astonished. They join persuasion with affection, and so give life to their reasoning. At the same time they also enliven it sometimes by representations to the sight, and thus to the life. For example, if the conversation be about shame, whether it can exist without reverence. This cannot be discussed among men except by much reasoning, with arguments and examples; and will yet remain in doubt. But with spirits it is done in a moment, by states of the affection of shame and of reverence, varied in regular order; and thus by perceptible agreements and disagreements,—and perceptible at the same time in the representatives connected with the conversation,—from which they instantly perceive the conclusion, flowing of itself from the discords thus brought into harmony. So in all other matters. Souls come into this faculty immediately after death; and then good spirits like nothing better than to instruct the novitiate and ignorant. Spirits are themselves not aware that they talk with each other in language so surpassing, and. are furnished with so excellent a gift, unless it is granted them by the Lord to reflect upon it; for the language is natural to them, and then inherent. It is with them as with a man; when his mind is intent on the sense of the subject, not upon the words and language, he sometimes does not know without reflection what language he is using.
This then is the language of spirits. But the language of angelic spirits is yet more universal and more perfect; and the language of angels is more universal and more perfect still.For there are three heavens; the first is the abode of good spirits; the second of angelic spirits; and the third of angels. Perfections therefore ascend in a relation like that of things exterior to things interior; to make it known by comparison, almost as-hearing is to the sight, and as sight is to the thought. For what the hearing would derive from speech in an hour, could be presented to the sight in a moment; for example, a prospect of plains, palaces, and cities. And what the eye can see in many hours can be comprehended in a moment by the thought. Such is the ratio of the speech of spirits to that of angelic spirits; and of the speech of angelic spirits to that of angels. For angelic spirits distinctly comprehend more in one idea of speech and of thought, than spirits by a thousand; and so with the angels in respect to angelic spirits. How then must it be with the Lord, from whom is all the life of affection, of thought, and of language, and who alone is speech, and is the Word (AC n. 1641, 1642)
The Case of those who have only Natural Hereditary Good
There are some who enjoy natural good hereditarily; from which they have a delight in doing good to others, but are not imbued with principles from the Word or the doctrine of the. Church, or from their religion, from which they do good. They cannot therefore be gifted with any conscience; for conscience does not come of natural or hereditary good, but from doctrine of truth and good, and a life according to it. When such come into the other life they wonder that they are not received into heaven; saying, that they have led a good life. But they are told that a good life from what is natural or hereditary is not a good life; but only a life from those things which are of the doctrine of good and truth, and thence of the life. By these they have principles respecting truth and good impressed on them, and receive conscience; which is the plane into which heaven flows. That they may know that this is the case they are sent into various societies; and they then suffer themselves to be led astray into evils of every kind, merely by reasonings and persuasion thereby that evils are goods, and goods are evils. And wherever they are they are thus persuaded, and are driven as chaff before the wind. For they are without principles, and without a plane in which the angels may operate and withdraw them from evils. (AC n. 6208)
The Delights of every one are changed into the corresponding Delights after Death
All the delights that a man has are of his ruling love; for he feels nothing as delightful but what he loves. That therefore is most delightful which he loves above all things. Whether you say the ruling love, or that which is loved above all things, it is the same. These delights are various. In general they are as many as there are ruling loves, consequently as many as there are men, spirits, and angels; for the ruling love of one is not in every respect like that of another. Hence it is that no one has a face exactly like that of another; for the face of every one is an image of his mind (animus), and in the spiritual world it is an image of every one's ruling love. In particular, the delights of each one also are of infinite variety; nor is there a single delight of any onethat is in all respects similar to or the same as another; whether those delights that succeed one after another, or those that come together, one with another, there is not one that is the same as another. But yet these delights, with each one in particular, have reference to the one love which is his ruling love; for they compose it, and thus make one with it. In like manner all delights in general have reference to one universally ruling love; in heaven to love to the Lord, and in hell to the love of self. (HH n. 486)
Those who have loved Divine truths, and the Word, from an interior affection, or from an affection for truth itself, in the other life dwell in light, in elevated places which appear as mountains, and are there continually in the light of heaven.
They do not know what darkness is, like that of night in the world. And they also live in a vernal temperature. There are presented to their view as it were fields with standing corn, and also vineyards. In their houses every thing is refulgent, as if from precious stones; the view through their windows is as through pure crystals. These are the delights of their sight. But the same things are interiorly delightful, from their correspondence with Divine celestial things; for the truths from the. Word which they have loved correspond to standing corn, to vineyards, to precious stones, to windows, and crystals. Those who have applied the doctrinals of the church which are from the Word immediately to life, are in the inmost heaven, and more than all others are in the delight of wisdom. In every object they behold things Divine. They indeed see the objects, but the corresponding Divine things flow immediately into their minds, and fill them with a blessedness with which all their sensations are affected. To their eyes therefore all things as it were laugh, sport, and live. They who have loved the sciences, and have cultivated their rational mind by means of them, and thereby have acquired intelligence, and at the same time have acknowledged the Divine, their pleasure and rational delight in the sciences is turned in the other life into a spiritual delight, which is a delight in cognitions of good and of truth. They dwell in gardens where there appear beds of flowers, and grass plots beautifully arranged, with rows of trees round about, and porticoes and walks. The trees and flowers are varied every day. In general, the view of the whole gives delight to their minds; and in particular, the varieties continually renew this delight. And as these correspond to things Divine, and they have a knowledge of correspondences, they are always being replenished with new knowledges, and their spiritual-rational mind is perfected by them. They have these delights because gardens, beds of flowers, grass plots, and trees, correspond to sciences, to knowledges, and to intelligence from them. Those who have ascribed all things to the Divine, and have regarded nature relatively as dead, and only subservient to things spiritual, and have confirmed themselves in this, are in heavenly light; and all things that appear before their eyes derive from that light the property of being transparent; and in that transparency they behold innumerable variegations of the light, which their internal sight as it were immediately imbibes. From these they perceive interior delights. The objects that appear in their houses are as it were of diamond, in which there are similar variegations. I was told that the walls of their houses are as if of crystal, thus also transparent; and there appear in them as it were flowing forms representative of
heavenly things, and with perpetual variety. And this is because such transparency corresponds to an understanding enlightened by the Lord, free from the shades arising from the faith and love of natural things. Such, and infinite others, are the things of which it is said, by those who have been in heaven, that they have beheld what eye hath never seen, and,—from a perception of things Divine communicated to them from these things,—that they have heard what ear hath never heard. They that have not acted clandestinely, but have been willing that all that they thought so far as civil life permitted should be known,—because from the Divine they have thought nothing but what was sincere and just,—in heaven their faces are radiant with light; and from that light all their affections and thoughts appear in the countenance, as in a form. And as regards their speech and actions,they are as it were the likenesses of their affections. Hence they are loved more than others. When they speak, the face becomes somewhat obscured; but when they have done speaking, the same things that they have spoken appear together in the face, fully in view. All things that exist around them too, because they correspond to their interiors, have such an appearance that it is perceived clearly by others what they represent and signify. Spirits whose delight it has been to act clandestinely shun them from afar, and appear to themselves to creep from them like serpents. Those who have regarded adulteries as abominable, and have lived in the chaste love of marriage, are beyond all others in the order and form of heaven; and therefore are in all beauty, and continually in the flower of youth. The delights of the love are ineffable, and increase to eternity. For into that love all the delights and joys of heaven flow; because that love descends from the conjunction of the Lord with heaven and the church, and in general from the conjunction of good and truth,—which conjunction is heaven itself in general, and is heaven in particular with each individual angel. Their external delights are such as no human language can describe. But these are only a few of the things that have been told me respecting the correspondences of delights among those who are in heavenly love. (ibid. n. 489)
Unconscious Association of Angels and Spirits with Man
With every man there are good spirits and evil spirits; by good spirits man has conjunction with heaven, and by evil spirits with hell. These spirits are in the world of spirits, which is intermediate between heaven and hell. When these come to a man they enter into all his memory, and thence into all his thought; evil spirits into those things of the memory and thought that are evil, and good spirits into those things of the memory and thought that are good. Spirits do not know at all that they are with man, but believe when they are with him that all things that are of the man's memory and thought are their own; neither do they see the man, because the objects in our solar world do not fall within their vision. The Lord takes exceeding care that spirits may not know that they are with man; for if they knew they would speak with him, and then evil spirits would destroy him. For evil spirits, because they are conjoined with hell, desire nothing more than to destroy man; not only as to the soul, that is as to faith and love, but also as to the body. It is otherwise when they do not speak with man. Then they do not know that what they think and also what they say among themselves is from him,—for even among themselves they speak from man,—but believe that what they think and say is their own, and every one esteems and loves his own. Thus spirits are constrained to love and esteem man, although they are not aware of it. That there is such a conjunction of spirits with man has been made so known to me by the continual experience of many years, that there is nothing better known.
The reason why spirits who communicate with hell are also adjoined to man, is that man is born into evils of every kind, and therefore his first life is only from them. If then spirits of similar character to himself were not adjoined to a man he could not live, and could by no' means be withdrawn from his evils and be reformed. He is therefore kept in his own life by evil spirits, and is withheld from it by good spirits. By means of the two also he is in equilibrium; and because he is in equilibrium he is in his freedom. (HH n. 292, 293)
The spirits adjoined to man are such as he himself is as to affection or as to love. But the good spirits are adjoined to him by the Lord, while the evil spirits are invited by the man himself. The spirits with man, however, are changed according to the changes of his affections. Hence some spirits are with: him in infancy; others in childhood; others in youth and manhood and others in old age. In infancy spirits are present who are in innocence, thus who communicate with the heaven of innocence, which is the inmost or third heaven; in childhood spirits are present who are in the affection of knowing, thus who communicate with the ultimate or first heaven; in youth and manhood spirits are present who are in the affection of truth and good, and thence in intelligence, thus who communicate with the second or middle heaven; and in old age spirits are present who are in wisdom and innocence, thus who communicate with the inmost or third heaven. But this adjunction is effected by the
Lord with those who can be reformed and regenerated. It is different with those who cannot be reformed and regenerated. To them also good spirits are adjoined, that they may be withheld by them as much as possible from evil; but their immediate conjunction is with evil spirits who communicate with hell,—from whence they have spirits of such character as the men are themselves. If they are lovers of themselves, or lovers of gain, or lovers of revenge, or lovers of adultery, similar spirits are present, and as it were dwell in their evil affections. And in so far as the man cannot be kept from evil by good spirits, these evil spirits inflame him; and in so far as the affection reigns they cleave to him, and do not go away. Thus is a bad man conjoined to hell, and a good man conjoined to heaven. (ibid. n. 295)
So long as man remains unregenerate he is governed altogether differently from what he is when regenerated. While he is unregenerate evil spirits are with him, and so rule over him that the angels, although they are present, can scarcely do anything more than give him such a direction that he may not plunge into the very depths of evil, and incline him to a sort of good; to good indeed through his own peculiar desires; and to truth through the good, and the fallacies of the senses. He then, through the spirits that are with him, has communication with the world of spirits; but not so much with heaven, because the evil spirits rule, and the angels only turn him away. But when he is regenerated the angels rule, and inspire him with all good and truth, and with a horror and fear of what is evil and false. The angels indeed lead man, but they only-serve; for it is the Lord alone who governs man, by means of angels and spirit. (AC n. 50)
Only angels from the Lord know that they are with man; for they are adjoined to his soul or spirit, and not to his body. For the things which from the thoughts are determined into speech, and from the will into acts in the body, in a state of order flow into act by common influx, according to correspondences with the Greatest Man. The spirits that are with man have therefore nothing in common with these things; thus they do not speak with man's tongue, for this would be obsession; nor do they see through his eyes what is in the world; nor hear through his ears what is passing there. It is different with me; for the Lord has opened my interiors, that I may be able to see the things that are in the other life. Spirits therefore have known that I was a man in the body; and the faculty was given them of seeing through my eyes what is in the world, and of hearing those speak who were in company with me.
If evil spirits perceived that they were with man, and that they were spirits separate from him, and if they could flow into the things pertaining to his body, they would attempt in a thousand ways to destroy him; for they hate man with a deadly hatred. And because they have known that I was a man in the body, therefore they have been in a continual effort to destroy me; not only as to the body, but especially as to the soul. For to destroy man, or any spirit, is the very delight of life of all those who are in hell; but I have been continually protected by the Lord. From this it may appear how dangerous it is for a man to be in living association with spirits, unless he is in the good of faith. (ibid. n. 5862, 5863)
Why there are two Spirits and two Angels with every Man
The reason why there are two is, that there are two kinds of spirits in hell, and two kinds of angels in heaven; to which the two faculties in man, the will and the understanding, correspond. The first kind are simply called spirits; and they act upon the things of the' understanding. The other kind are called genii; and these act upon the things of the will. They are also most distinct from each other. For those that are simply called spirits pour in falsities; for they reason against the truth, and are in the delight of their life when they can make truth appear as falsity and falsity as truth. But those that are called genii pour in evils, and act upon a man's affections and concupiscences; and they scent in a moment what a man desires. If this be good they turn it most dexterously into evil, and are in the delight of their life when they can make good appear as evil and evil as good. . . . Those that are called genii have nothing whatever in common with those that are called spirits. The genii care nothing for what a man thinks, but only for what he loves; the spirits care nothing for what a man loves, but for what he thinks. The genii take delight in being silent; the spirits, in speaking. They are are also separated entirely from each other. The genii are at a great depth in the hells behind, and they are almost invisible to the spirits, and when they look in that direction appear as shades that flit about; but the spirits are in the hells at the sides and in front. Hence it is then that there are two spirits from hell.
There are two angels with every man because the angels also are of two kinds; one that act upon the things of man's will, another that act upon the things of his understanding. Those that act upon the things of man's will act upon his loves and ends, consequently upon his goods; and those that act upon the things of his understanding act upon his faith and principles, consequently upon his truths. They are also most distinct from
each other. Those who act upon the things of man's will are called celestial angels; and those who act upon the things of his understanding, spiritual angels. To the celestial the genii are opposed; to the spiritual, the spirits. These things it has, been given me to know by much experience; for I am continually in company and conversation with both. (AC n. 5977, 5978)
It has been given me to learn by experience the kind of wickedness with those who are called genii. Genii do not operate upon and flow into the thoughts, but into the affections. These they perceive and scent, as dogs the wild beasts in a forest. Where they perceive good affections in another they turn them in a moment into evil, leading and bending them through his delights in a wonderful manner; and this so clandestinely, and with such malignant art, that he knows nothing of it, —dexterously taking care least any thing should enter his thought, since thus they would be discovered. They have their seat in man beneath the occiput. In the world they were men who deceitfully captivated the minds of others; leading and persuading them by their affections or their lusts. But they are kept away by the Lord from every man of whom there is any hope of reformation; for they are of such a character that they are able not only to destroy the conscience, but also to excite in man his hereditary evils, which otherwise lie concealed. Therefore, lest man should be led into them, it is provided of the Lord that these hells should be entirely closed; and when any man who is such a genius comes, after death, into the other life, he is immediately cast into their hell. When viewed as to their deceit and subtlety they appear as vipers. (HH n. 579)
Such Spirits and Angels are subject Spirits of some Heavenly or Infernal Society
The spirits and genii with man are nothing else than subjects,. through whom he has communication with hell; and the celestial and spiritual angels are subjects, through whom he has communication with the heavens. (AC n. 5983)
A subject is one in whom are concentrated the thoughts and speech of many; and thus the many are presented as one. And because the subject thinks and says nothing at all from himself, but from the others, and the thoughts and speech of the others are made to appear to the life in his thought and speech, therefore those that flow in imagine that the subject is as nothing, and scarcely animate,—merely receptive of their thoughts and speech. But the subject on the other hand imagines that he thinks and speaks not from others, but from himself. Thus do fallacies play with both. It has often been given me to tell a subject that he thinks and says nothing from himself, but from others; and also that those others imagine a subject to be unable to think and say any thing from himself, and that therefore he appears to them as one in whom of himself there is nothing of life. He that was the subject was exceedingly indignant on hearing this. But that he might be convinced of its truth, it was given him to speak with the spirits who were flowing in; who then said they confessed that the subject thinks and says nothing at all from himself; and that he thus appears to them as a something scarcely animate. On one occasion it came to pass that he who declared a subject to be nothing himself became a subject, and then the others said of him that he was nothing; whereat he was very angry. But yet he was instructed by the experience as to how it is. (ibid. n. 5985)
The Angels associated with Man, or Guardian Angels
It is the office of the angels by whom the Lord leads and also protects man to inspire charity and faith; and to observe man's delights, to what direction they turn, and as far as they can consistently with man's freedom to moderate and bend them towards good. They are not suffered to act violently, and so to break man's lusts and principles, but gently. It is also their office to control the evil spirits who are from hell, which is effected by methods innumerable; of which these only may be mentioned: When the evil spirits infuse evils and falsities, the angels insinuate truths and goods; which, if not received, they are yet tempered by them. The infernal spirits continually attack, and the angels defend; such is the order. The angels especially regulate the affections; for these constitute the life of man, and also his freedom. The angels also observe if any hells are opened that were not opened before, from which there is an influx into man; which takes place when man enters himself into any new evil. These hells, so far as man suffers them, the angels close; and if any spirits attempt to emerge from them the angels drive them back. They also dissipate strange and new influx from which there are evil effects. The angels especially call forth the goods and truths that are in man, and oppose them to the evils and falsities which the evil spirits excite. Man is therefore in the midst, and [of himself ] apperceives neither the evil nor the good; and because he is in the midst he is in freedom to turn himself either to the one or to the other. By such means do the angels from the Lord lead and protect man,—and this every moment and moment of a moment; for if only for one moment. the angels should intermit, man would be plunged into evil from, which he could never afterwards be extricated. These things the angels do from love, which they receive from the Lord; for they perceive nothing more delightful and more happy than to remove evils from man, and lead him to heaven. That they have joy in these things may be seen from Luke xv. 7. That the Lord has such care for man, and this continually, from the first beginning to the end of his life, and afterwards to eternity,. scarcely any man believes. (AC n. 5992)
It is provided of the Lord that spirits flow into the things of man's thought and will; but the angels into his ends, and thus through his ends into the things which follow from the ends. The angels also flow in, through good spirits, into those things in man which are goods of life and truths of faith; by which as, much as possible they withdraw him from evils and falsities. The influx is silent, imperceptible to man, yet all the while secretly working and producing effects. The angels especially avert evil and insinuate good ends. But in so far as they cannot effect this they withdraw, and flow in more distantly and without being present; and then the evil spirits draw nearer. For the angels cannot be present in evil ends, that is in the. loves of self and of the world; but yet they are present from a distance. The Lord could, through the angels, lead man into good ends with omnipotent power; but this would be to deprive him of life, for his life is a life of loves entirely contrary to such ends. It is therefore an inviolable Divine law that man shall be in freedom, and that good and truth or charity and faith, shall be implanted in his state of freedom, by no means in a state of compulsion; for what is received in a state of compulsion does not remain, but is dissipated. For to force a man is not to insinuate anything into his will. It is in truth the will of another from which he would act; and therefore when he returns to his own will, that is to his freedom, it is extirpated. For this reason the Lord governs man through his freedom, and as far as possible withholds him from the freedom of thinking and willing evil; for if he were not withheld by the Lord man would cast himself continually into the deepest hell. It was said that, through the angels, the Lord could lead man into good ends with omnipotent power; for the evil spirits, if even these were myriads around a man, could be driven away in a moment, and that by a single angel. But man would then come into such torment and into such a hell as he could by no means endure; indeed he would be miserably deprived of life. For man's life is from lusts and fantasies contrary to good and truth; and if this life were not sustained by evil spirits and so amended, or at least guided, he would not survive for a moment. Nothing else in fact possesses him but the love of self and of gain, and the love of reputation for the sake of them; thus whatever possesses him is contrary to order. Unless therefore he were to be reduced to order moderately, and by degrees through the guidance of his freedom, he would instantly expire. (ibid. n. 5854)
Only Good Spirits and Angels are with Infants
Spirits clothe themselves with all things of man's memory, at their first approach Evil spirits cannot come near to infants, because they have as yet nothing in the memory that they can put on. Good spirits and angels are therefore with them. (AC n. 5857)
The Lord's Providential Guardianship of Man from Evil Spirits in Sleep
Evil spirits vehemently desire and burn to infest and assault man while he sleeps; but then especially he is watched over by the Lord; for love never sleeps. The spirits who thus infest are miserably punished. I have heard their punishments oftener than can be told.... They that chiefly beset man mduring the night, and endeavour then to pour themselves into his interior thoughts and affections, are sirens, who are interior magicians. But they are continually kept away by angels from the Lord, and are at length deterred by the most grievous punishments. They have even talked with others in the night just as if from me, as it were my speech; so like it that it could not be distinguished from mine, pouring forth filthy things, and persuading to falsities. I was once in a most sweet sleep, in which I had no sensation but of delightful rest. When I awoke certain good spirits began to chide me for having infested them, so atrociously, as they said, that they supposed themselves to be in hell; casting blame upon me. To whom I replied that I knew nothing whatever about the matter, but that I had slept most quietly, so that it was quite impossible I could have been troublesome to them. Being amazed at this they perceived at length that it had been done by the magical arts of sirens. The like was shown to me also afterwards, that I might know the nature of the siren crew. They are chiefly those of the female sex who in the life of the body sought, by interior wiles, to allure male companions to themselves, insinuating themselves by external [enticements], captivating their minds by whatever means, entering into the affections and delights of every one; but with an evil intent, especially to get command over them. . . . . It was given me to perceive their interiors, how filthy they are,—defiled with adulteries and hatreds. It was also given me to perceive how powerful their sphere is. (AC n. 1983)
I was awaked one night from sleep, and heard spirits about me, who wished to ensnare me in my sleep; and presently dozing, I had a sorrowful dream. But I awoke, and suddenly there were present chastising spirits,—which surprised me; and they miserably punished the spirits who were ensnaring me in my sleep. They clothed them as it were with bodies, which were visible, and bodily senses, and in this condition tortured them, by violent collisions of the parts forward and backward, attended with pains induced by resistance. The chastisers had a mind to kill them if they could; hence their very great violence. Those that were punished were for the most part sirens. The punishment continued for a long time, and extended to several troops around me; and what astonished me, all who were ensnaring me were discovered, although they endeavoured to conceal themselves. Being sirens they tried by many arts to elude punishment, but they could not. Now, they sought to withdraw themselves secretly into an interior nature; now, to persuade that they were others; now, to divert the punishment to others by translations of ideas; now they pretended that they were infants whom they were punishing; now good spirits; now angels; besides many other artifices; but ever in vain. I wondered that they were so grievously punished; but perceived that such a crime is enormous, from the necessity that man should sleep in safety; that if he did not, the human race would perish. Hence, the so great punishment is of necessity. I also perceived that the same takes place about other men, whom they insidiously endeavour to assail in sleep, although a man is not aware of it. For, one to whom it has not been granted to speak with spirits, and by internal sense to be with them, can hear no such thing, still less see it; and yet similar things are constantly arising about others. The Lord most especially watches over man while he sleeps. (ibid. n. 959)
The Danger of Conscious Interaction with Spirits
It is rarely permitted to speak with spirits at the present day, because it is perilous. For the spirits then know that they are with a man; which otherwise they do not know; and evil spirits are of such a character that they hold man in deadly hatred, and desire nothing more than to destroy him as to soul and body. This also comes to pass with those who have much indulged in fantasies,—so far that they have put away from themselves the enjoyments suitable to the natural man. Some indeed who lead a solitary life, occasionally hear spirits speaking with them, and without danger. But the spirits present with them are removed by the Lord at intervals, lest they should know that they are with the man; for most spirits do not know that there is another world than that in which they are. They therefore also do not know that there are men elsewhere; and for this reason it is not permitted man to speak, in turn, with them; for if he spoke with them they would know. They who think much on religious subjects, and are so intent upon them as inwardly to see them as it were within themselves, also begin to hear spirits speaking with them; for matters of religion whatever they are, when of himself a man dwells upon them, and does not vary them with the different affairs that are uses in the world, pass more within and there abide, and occupy the whole spirit of the man, and enter the spiritual world, and act upon the spirits who are there. But such persons are visionaries and enthusiasts; and whatever spirit they hear they believe to be the Holy Spirit, when yet they are enthusiastic spirits. Such spirits see falsities as truths; and because they see them they persuade themselves that they are truths, and likewise persuade those into whom they flow. (HH n. 249)
When Angels or Spirits speak with Man they speak in his own Language, from his Memory
When angels converse with a man they do not speak in their own language, but in the language of the man; and in other languages also that the man knows, but not in language unknown to him. The reason why it is so, is that when angels speak with a man they turn themselves to him, and conjoin themselves with him; and the conjunction of an angel with a man brings each into similar thought. And as man's thought is connected with his memory, and his speech flows from thence, therefore each is in the same language. Besides, when an angel or spirit comes to a man, and by turning to him is conjoined with him, he enters into all his memory, so completely that he is scarcely aware that he does not know of himself what the man knows, and therefore the languages also that he knows. I have conversed with the angels on this subject; and said that perhaps they supposed that they spoke with me in my mother tongue, because it is so perceived, when yet it was not they who spoke, but I and that this is evident, from the fact that angels cannot utter one word of human language. (HH n. 246)
The speech of an angel or a spirit with man is heard as sonorously as the speech of man with man; yet it is not heard by others who stand near, but only by himself. The reason is, that the speech of an angel or spirit flows first into man's thought, and by an internal way into his organ of hearing, and thus moves this from within; but the speech of man with man flows first into the air, and into his organ of hearing by an external way, and moves it from without. It is therefore evident that the speech of an angel or of a spirit with a man is heard within the man; and since it equally moves the organs of hearing, that it is also equally sonorous. That the speech of an angel or spirit flows down from within even into the ear, was manifest to me from the fact that it flows also into the tongue, and causes it slightly to vibrate, but not with any such motion as when the sound of speech is articulated by it into words, by the man himself. (HH n. 248)
That the speech of spirits with man is in his mother tongue is among the wonders that exist in the other life. This they speak as readily and skilfully as if they had been born in the same country, and had been brought up in the same language; and this, whether they are from Europe, or from Asia, or from any other part of the globe. It is the same with those who lived thousands of years before the language existed. Nay, the spirits do not know but that the language in which they are speaking with man is their own proper and native tongue. So it is with the other languages that the man is acquainted with. But beyond these they cannot pronounce a syllable of another language, unless it be immediately given them by the Lord. Infants speak in like manner also, who departed this life before they had learned any language. And the reason is that the language which is familiar to spirits is not a language of words, but the language of ideas of thought,—a language which is the universal of all languages; and when spirits are with man the ideas of their thought glide into the words which are with the man,—and this so correspondently, and fitly, that the spirits do not know but that the very words are their own, and that they are speaking in their own language, while yet they are speaking in the language of the man. I have sometimes conversed with spirits on these subjects. All souls, as soon as they enter into the other life, are gifted with the faculty of being able to understand the speech of all that dwell upon the whole earth, just as if it had been born in them; because they perceive whatever man thinks. Besides other faculties, which are still more excellent.. Hence it is that after the death of the body souls are able to talk and have intercourse with all, of whatever country and language.
The words with which they speak,—that is, which they excite. or call forth out of man's memory, and imagine to be their own,— are well chosen and clear, full of meaning, distinctly pronounced, and applicable to the subject. And what is surprising, they know how to choose expressions better and more readily than the man himself; nay, as has been shown me, they are acquainted with the various meanings of words, which they instantly apply, without any premeditation; for the reason, as has been said, that the ideas of their language cannot but flow into those' words that are suitable. It is almost as when a man is speaking, and thinks nothing about his words, but dwells only upon the sense of the words; then his thought falls rapidly and spontaneously into words, according to the sense of them. It is the internal sense that brings forth the words. In such internal sense, but yet more subtle and more excellent, consists the speech of spirits; by this man, however unaware of it, communicates with spirits. (AC n. 1637, 1638)
As soon as angels and spirits turn themselves away from a man they are in their own angelic or spiritual language, and know nothing whatever of the language of the man. The same has occurred with me. When I have been in company with the angels and in a similar state with them, I have then spoken with them also in their language, and knew nothing whatever of my own,—of which I had no recollection; but as soon as I was not in company with them I was in my own language.
It is not permitted any angel or spirit to speak with a man from his own memory, but from that of the man; for angels and spirits have memory as well as men. If a spirit were to speak with a man from his own memory, the man would not know but that the things he would then think were his, when yet they would belong to the spirit. It is as the recollection of a thing which yet the man never heard or saw. It has been given me to know that this is so from experience. Hence the opinion among some of the ancients, that after some thousands of years they would return into their former life, and into all its acts, and that they actually had so returned. They were led to this conclusion by the fact that there sometimes occurred to them, as it were, a recollection of things which yet they never saw or heard. This came to pass from the fact that spirits flowed from their own memory into the ideas of their thought. (HH n. 255, 256)
Visions and Dreams
It is known to few how visions take place, or what visions are genuine; and as I have been now for some years almost continually with those who are in the other life, and have there seen amazing things, so I have been instructed by actual experience respecting visions and dreams; concerning which I am permitted to relate the following particulars.
By genuine visions are meant visions or sights of the objects that really exist in the other life; which are nothing else than realities, that can be seen with the eyes of the spirit though not with the eyes of the body; and which appear to man when his interior sight is opened by the Lord,—that is, the sight which his spirit possesses, into which, he also comes when being separated from the body he passes into the other life. For man is a spirit clothed with a body. Such were the visions of the prophets. When this sight is opened, the things that actually exist among the spirits are seen in daylight clearer than the noonday light of the world; not representatives only but also spirits themselves, together with a perception as to who they are, and what they are, where they are, whence they come, whither they go, of what affection, of what persuasion, nay, of what faith they are; all confirmed by living converse, precisely as of men, and this without any deception.
The visions that appear to the eyes of good spirits are representatives of the things that exist in heaven; for what appears before the eyes of the angels in heaven when it descends into the world of spirits is changed into representatives, by which and in which what they signify can be clearly seen. Such representations are perpetual among good spirits; with a beauty and delightfulness scarcely utterable. (AC n. 1966, 1970, 1971)
As regards dreams, it is known that the Lord revealed the secrets of heaven to the prophets not only by visions, but also by dreams; that the dreams were equally representative and significative with the visions, and that they were for the most part of one kind; and that to others also as well as the prophets things to come were made known by dreams; as by the dream of Joseph, and the dreams of those who were with him in prison, and those also of Pharaoh, of Nebuchadnezzar, and others. From which it is evident that dreams of this kind, equally with visions, flow in from heaven; with the difference,. that dreams are experienced when the corporeal man is asleep, and visions when he is not asleep. How prophetic dreams, and such dreams as are in the Word flow in, nay, descend from heaven, has been shown me to the life; respecting which I may state from experience these particulars:
There are three kinds of dreams. The first kind come from the Lord, mediately through heaven; such were the prophetic dreams of which we read in the Word. The second kind come through angelic spirits,—especially those who are at the front, above, towards the right, where there are paradisiacal scenes.
From thence the men of the Most Ancient Church had their dreams, which were instructive. The third kind come through the spirits who are near man while he sleeps; which also are significative. But fantastic dreams have another origin. (AC n. 1975, 1976)
What is meant by being in the Spirit
Since by the spirit of man his mind is meant, therefore by being "in the spirit," which is sometimes spoken of in the Word, is meant a state of the mind separate from the body; and because in this state the prophets saw such things as exist in the spiritual world, it is called "the vision of God." Their state was then like that of the spirits and angels themselves in that world. In this state the spirit of man,—like his mind as respects the sight,—can be transported from place to place, the body remaining in its position. This is the state in which I have been now for twenty-six years; with the difference, that I have been in the spirit and at the same time in the body, and only sometimes out of the body. That Ezekiel, Zechariah, Daniel, and John when he wrote the Revelation, were in this state, is evident from the following passages:—Ezekiel xi. 1, 24; 12, 14; viii. 3, seq.; i. 10; xl.—xlviii.; Zech. i. 8, seq.; i. 18; ii. 1-5; 1 seq.; iv. i. seq.; v. 1-6; vi. 1, seq.; Daniel vii. 1, seq.; viii. 1, seq.; ix. 21; Rev. i 10; xvii. 3; xxi. 10; ix. 17. (TCR n. 157)
What it is to be taken out of the Body, and to be carried by the Spirit into another place
There are two kinds of visions out of the common course, into which I was introduced only that I might know the nature of them, and what is meant by that which we read of in the Word, that some were "taken out of the body," and some were "carried by the Spirit into another place."
As regards the first, namely, being taken out of the body, the case is this: The man is brought into a certain state which is intermediate between sleep and wakefulness. While he is in this state he cannot know but that he is quite awake; all the senses are as much awake as in the completest state of bodily vigilance, the sight as well as the hearing, and what is remarkable, the touch, which is then more exquisite than it can ever be in bodily wakefulness. In this state spirits and angels have been seen exactly to the life, and also heard, and what is amazing, touched; and almost nothing of the body then intervenes. This is the state described as being "taken out of the body," and of which it is said of those who are in it that, "whether in the body or out of the body, they cannot tell." [2 Cor. xii. 3] Into this state I have been introduced only three or four times; merely that I might know the nature of it, and that spirits and angels enjoy every sense,—even the touch, more powerful and more exquisite than the touch of the body.
With respect to the other, the being carried by the Spirit into another place, what this is and how it is was also shown me by living experience; but only twice or three times. I may merely relate an experience:—Walking through the streets of a city and through the country, and in conversation at the same time with spirits, I was not aware but that I was equally awake and in the enjoyment of my sight as at other times, walking thus without error; and all the while I was in a vision, seeing groves, rivers, palaces, houses, men, and many other objects. But after I had been walking thus for some hours, suddenly I was in bodily vision, and observed that I was in a different place. Greatly amazed at this, I apperceived that I had been in such a state as they were in of whom it is said, that they were "carried by the spirit to another place." [1 Kings xviii. 12; 2 Kings ii. 16; Ez. iii. 12, 14; Acts viii. 39] For while the state lasts there is no reflection respecting the way, and this although it were many miles; nor upon the time, though it were many hours or days; neither is there any sense of fatigue. Then, the man is led also through ways of which he himself is ignorant, until he comes to the place intended. This was done that I might know also that a man can be led of the Lord without his knowing whence or whither.
But these two kind of visions are uncommon, and were shown me only to the end that I might know the nature of them. But all those things which by the Lord's Divine mercy you may see related in the First Part of this work, prefixed and annexed to each chapter, are ordinary sights; they are not visions, but things seen in utmost wakefulness of the body, and this now for many years. (AC n. 1882, 1885)
The Difference between a State of Vision and direct Revelation from the Lord
What John saw [in the Revelation] he did not see with the eyes of the body, but with the eyes of the spirit; as may appear from the passages where he says that he was in the spirit, and in vision; ch. i. 10; ix. 17; xvii. 3; xxi. 10,—thus in every place where he says he saw. No one can enter into that state, and be kept in it, but by angels who are in near conjunction with the man, and who inspire their spiritual state into the interiors of his mind; for thus the man is elevated into the light of heaven; and in this light he sees the things that are in heaven, and not the things that are in the world. In a similar state at times were Ezekiel, Zechariah, Daniel, and the other prophets; but not when they spake the Word. Then they were not in the spirit but in the body, and heard the words that they wrote from Jehovah Himself, that is from the Lord. These two states of the prophets should be carefully distinguished. The prophets themselves indeed carefully distinguish them; for they say everywhere, when they wrote the Word from Jehovah, that Jehovah spake with them, and to them, and very often, Jehovah said, and saith Jehovah; but when they were in the other state, they say that they were in the spirit, or in vision,—as may appear from many passages. (AR n. 945)
Extension of Man's Thought into the Spiritual World
It has been plainly shown me that the thought of man, and also of spirits, and likewise of angels, diffuses itself around into many societies in the spiritual world; but the thought of one in a different manner from that of another. That I might know this for a certainty it was given me to discourse with some societies to which my thought penetrated; and thereby it was given me to know what flowed into the thought, from what society it flowed, also where it was, and of what quality, so that I could not be mistaken. According to the extension of the thoughts and affections into societies is the faculty of understanding and perceiving, with man, spirit, and angel. He who is in the good of charity and of faith has extension into societies of heaven,—ample according to the degree in which he is in them, and in which he is in genuine good; for these are concordant with heaven, and therefore spontaneously and widely flow in thither. There are constantly some societies into which affection for truth, and others into which affection for good penetrates. Affection for truth penetrates to societies of spiritual angels, and affection for good to societies of celestial angels. But on the other hand, the thought and affection of those who are in evil and falsity have extension into infernal societies; and this also according to the degree of evil and falsity in them. It is said that the thought and affection of man, spirit, and angel, diffuse themselves around into societies, and that hence come understanding and perception. But it should be known that this is said according to the appearance; for there is not an influx of thoughts and affections into societies, but from societies,—and this through the angels and spirits that are with man. For all influx is from the interior; thus with the good it is from heaven,—that is, through heaven from the Lord; and with the evil it is from hell. (AC n. 6600)
How Spirits can be enabled to see into this World
Spirits with their sight, that is with the sight of the spirit cannot see anything whatever in the world,—still less can the angels; for the light of the world, or of the sun, is as thick darkness to them. So man with his sight, that is with the sight of the body, can see nothing whatever in the other life; for to him the light of heaven, or the heavenly light of the Lord, is as thick darkness. And yet when it pleases the Lord, spirits and angels can see the objects that are in the world through the eyes of a man; but this the Lord vouchsafes with none but to whom He gives to speak with spirits and angels, and to be in company with them. It has been given them to see through my eyes the things that are in this world, and as distinctly as I; and also to hear men talking with me. It has happened several times that some, through me, have seen their friends which they had in the life of the body, as actually present as before, and were astonished. They have also seen their partners and children; and desired that I would tell them they were present and saw them, and that I would inform them of their state in the other life. But it was forbidden me to tell them, and to reveal that they were thus seen; for the reason indeed that they would have declared me insane, or would have thought these things to be mental hallucinations. For I knew that although with their mouth they might say, yet in heart they would not believe that there are spirits, and that the dead are raised again. When first my interior sight was opened, and through my eyes they saw the world and the things that are in the world, the spirits and angels were so astonished that they declared it to be the miracle of miracles, and were affected with a new joy, that thus communication was given of earth with heaven, and of heaven with earth. And this delight lasted for months; but afterwards the thing became familiar. Now they do not wonder. I have been informed that the spirits and angels with other men see nothing at all that is in the world, but only perceive the thoughts and affections of those with whom they are. From these facts it must appear that man was so created that while he is living among men on earth he might also at the same time live among angels in heaven, and vice versa; so that heaven and earth might be associated together and act as one, and men might know what is in heaven, and the angels what is in the world. And when men depart, they would thus pass from the Lord's kingdom on earth into the Lord's kingdom in the heavens not as into another, but as into the same in which they have been while they were living in the body. But because man has become so corporeal he has closed heaven against himself. (AC n. 1880)
How long Men remain in the World of Spirits
Some abide in the world of spirits only a month, or a year, and some from ten even to thirty years. Those who were permitted to make, as it were, heavens for themselves, remained there for some centuries. But at this day they do not remain beyond twenty years. (AR n. 866)
Purgatory a Fiction
As to purgatory, I am able to assert that it is purely a Babylonish fiction, for the sake of gain; and that there is nu such thing, and cannot be. Every man, after death, enters first into the world of spirits,—which is intermediate between heaven and hell,--and is there prepared either for heaven or for hell, each according to his life in the world. And no one is tormented in that world; but the wicked first come into torment when, after preparation, they go into hell. In that world there are innumerable societies, and enjoyments in them, similar to those on earth,—for the reason that those who are there are conjoined with men on earth, who also are intermediate between heaven and hell. Their externals are there gradually put off, and their internals thus discovered; and this until the reigning love, which is the life's love, and inmost and dominant over the externals, is revealed,—which being revealed, the man appears as he is; and according to the quality of that love he is sent from the world of spirits to his own place; if good, into heaven, if evil, into hell. That it is so has been given me certainly to know; for it has been granted me by the Lord to be with those who are in that world, and to see all things, and so from very experience to relate what I have seen, and this now for twenty years. I can therefore assert that purgatory is a fiction; which may be called diabolical, because for the sake of gain, and for the sake of power over souls, even of the deceased, after death. (AR n. 784)