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Earths in the Universe, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1758], tr. by John Whitehead [1892] at

Earths in the Universe


Since, from the Divine mercy of the Lord, the interiors, which are of my spirit, have been opened to me, and thereby it has been granted me to speak with spirits and angels, not only with those who are near our earth, but also with those who are near other earths; because I had a desire to know whether there are other earths, and what their nature is, and the quality of their inhabitants, therefore it has been granted me by the Lord to speak and converse with spirits and angels who are from other earths, with some for a day, with some for a week, and with some for months; and to be instructed by them concerning the earths, from which and near which they were; and concerning the lives, customs, and worship of the inhabitants thereof, and of various other things worthy to be related: and because in this manner it has been granted me to know these things, it is permitted to describe them from what has been heard and seen. It is to be known that all spirits and angels are from the human race; 1-1 and that they are near their own earths; 1-2 and that they know what is there; and that by them man may be instructed, if his interiors are so far opened that he can speak and converse with them; for man in his essence is a spirit, 1-3 and he is together with spirits as to his interiors; 1-4 wherefore he whose interiors are opened by the Lord, may speak with them as man with man; 1-5 which has been granted me now for twelve years daily. FROM THE ARCANA COELESTIA; WHERE THESE AND THE FOLLOWING NOTES ARE EXPLAINED AND SHOWN.


That there are many earths, and men upon them, and spirits and angels thence, is well known in the other life, for it is there granted to every one who desires it from a love of truth, and thence of use, to speak with the spirits of other earths, and thereby to be confirmed concerning a plurality of worlds, and to be informed that the human race is not from one earth only, but from innumerable earths; and moreover to be informed what is their genius, manner of life, and their Divine worship.


I have occasionally spoken on this subject with the spirits of our earth, and it was said that any man of keen understanding may conclude from many things that he knows that there are many earths, and that there are men there; for it may be concluded from reason that such great masses as the planets are, some of which exceed this earth in magnitude, are not empty n, asses, and created only to be conveyed in their revolutions round the sun, and to shine with their scanty light for one earth, but that their use must needs be more excellent than that. He who believes, as every one ought to believe, that the Divine created the universe for no other end than that the human race may exist, and thence heaven, for the human race is the seminary of heaven, must needs believe also, that wherever there is an earth, there are men. That the planets which are visible to our eyes, as being within the boundaries of this solar system, are earths, may be manifestly known from this, that they are bodies of earthy matter, because they reflect the light of the sun, and when seen through optical glasses, they appear, not as stars glittering by reason of their flame, but as earths variegated from darker portions. The same may further appear from this, that they, in like manner as our earth, are conveyed by a progressive motion round the sun, in the way of the zodiac, whence they have their years, and seasons of the year, as spring, summer, autumn, and winter; and in like manner, as our earth, revolve about their own axis, whence they have their days, and times of the day, as morning, noon, evening and night. Moreover some of them have moons, which are called satellites, and which revolve round their globes at stated times, as the moon does round our earth. Also the planet Saturn has besides a large luminous belt, because it is very far distant from the sun, which belt supplies that earth with much light, although reflected. Who that knows these things and from reason thinks about them can say that these are empty bodies?


Moreover, when I have spoken with spirits, I have said that men may believe that in the universe there are more earths than one, from this, that the starry heaven is so immense, and the stars therein are so innumerable, each of which in its place, or in its world, is a sun, and like our sun, in various magnitude. Whoever duly considers, concludes that so immense a whole must needs be a means to an end, which is the ultimate of creation, which end is the kingdom of heaven, wherein the Divine may dwell with angels and men; for the visible universe, or the heaven resplendent with stars so innumerable, which are so many suns, is only a means for the existence of earths, and of men upon them, of whom may be formed a heavenly kingdom. From these things a rational man must needs be led to conceive, that so immense a means, adapted to so great an end, was not constituted for a race of men and for a heaven thence derived from one earth only; for what would this be to the Divine, which is infinite, and to which thousands, yea, ten thousands of earths, all full of inhabitants, would be small and scarce anything.


Moreover, the angelic heaven is so immense, that it corresponds with all the particulars with man, myriads corresponding to every member, organ, and viscus, and to every affection of each; and it has been given to know, that this heaven, as to all its correspondences, can by no means exist, except from the inhabitants of very many earths. 5-1


There are spirits whose sole study is to acquire to themselves knowledges, because they are delighted only with knowledges. Therefore these spirits are permitted to wander about, and even to pass out of this solar system into others, and to procure for themselves knowledges. They have declared that there are earths inhabited by men, not only in this solar system, but also out of it in the starry heaven, to an immense number. These spirits are from the planet Mercury.


As to what in general concerns the Divine worship of the inhabitants of other earths, those of them who are not idolaters, all acknowledge the Lord as the only God; for they adore the Divine not as invisible, but as visible, also for this reason, because when the Divine appears to them, He appears in the human form, as He also formerly appeared to Abraham and others on this earth; 7-1 and they who adore the Divine under a human form, are all accepted by the Lord. 7-2 They say also, that no one can rightly worship God, much less be joined to Him, unless He comprehends Him by some idea, and that God cannot be comprehended except in the human form; and if He be not so comprehended, the interior sight, which is of the thought, concerning God, is dissipated, as the sight of the eye when looking upon the boundless universe; and that in this case the thought cannot but sink into nature, and worship nature as God.


Then they were told that the Lord on our earth assumed the Human, they mused awhile, and presently said, that it was done for the salvation of the human race.


THE EARTH OR PLANET MERCURY, ITS SPIRITS AND INHABITANTS. That the whole heaven resembles one man, which is therefore called the Greatest Man, and that each and all things with man, both his exteriors and interiors, correspond to that man or heaven, is an arcanum not yet known in the world; but that it is so, has been abundantly shown. 9-1 To constitute that Greatest Man, there is need of spirits from many earths, those who come from our earth into heaven not being sufficient for this purpose, being respectively few; and it is provided by the Lord, that whenever there is a deficiency in any place as to the quality or quantity of correspondence, Immediately those are summoned from another earth who can fill up the deficiency, that the proportion may be preserved, and thus heaven be kept in due consistence.


It was also disclosed to me from heaven, in what relation to the Greatest Man the spirits from the planet Mercury stand, namely, that they have relation to the memory, but to the memory of things abstracted from terrestrial and merely material objects. Since how ever it has been granted to speak with them, and this during many weeks, and to learn their nature and quality, and to explore how the inhabitants of that earth are particularly circumstanced, I will adduce the experiences themselves.


Some spirits came to me, and it was declared from heaven, that they were from the earth which is nearest to the sun, and which in our earth is called by the name of the planet Mercury. Immediately on their coming, they sought from my memory what I knew. Spirits can do this most dexterously, for when they come to man, they see in his memory all things contained therein. 11-1 During their search for various things, and amongst others, for the cities and places where I had been, I observed that they did not wish to know anything of temples, palaces, houses, or streets, but only of those things which I knew were transacted in those places, also of whatever related to the government therein, and to the genius and manners of the inhabitants, and similar things: for such things cohere with places in man's memory; wherefore when the places are recalled, those things also are brought up. I wondered that they were of such a nature; wherefore I asked them, why they disregarded the magnificence of the places, and only attended to the things and deeds done there. They said they had no delight in looking at things material, corporeal, and terrestrial, but only at things real. Hence it was confirmed, that the spirits of that earth, in the Greatest Man, have relation to the memory of things abstracted from what is material and terrestrial.


It was told me, that such is the life of the inhabitants of that earth, namely, that they have no concern about things terrestrial and corporeal, but only about the statutes, laws, and forms of government, of the nations therein; also about the things of heaven, which are innumerable, And I was further informed, that many of the men of that earth speak with spirits, and that thence they have the knowledges of spiritual things, and of the states of life after death; and thence also their contempt of things corporeal and terrestrial. For they who know of a certainty, and believe in the life after death, are concerned about heavenly things, as being eternal and happy, but not about worldly things, only so far as the necessities of life require. Because the inhabitants of Mercury are such, therefore also the spirits who are from thence are of a like nature. 12-1


With what eagerness they inquire into and imbibe the knowledges of things, such as appertain to the memory elevated above the sensual things of the body, was made manifest to me from this, that when they looked into those things which I knew respecting heavenly things, they passed hastily through them all, and continually saying that this and that were so and so. For when spirits come to man, they enter into all his memory, and excite thence whatever suits themselves: yea, what I have often observed, they read the things contained therein, as out of a book. 13-1 These spirits did this with greater dexterity and expedition, because they did not stop at such things as are heavy and sluggish, and which confine and consequently retard the internal sight, as all terrestrial and corporeal things do, when regarded as ends, that is, when alone loved: but they looked into things themselves; for such things, which are not clogged with things terrestrial, carry the mind upwards, thus into a broad field; whereas mere material things carry the mind downwards, and at the same time limit and shut it up. Their eagerness to acquire knowledges, and to enrich the memory, was manifest also from the following experience. Once while I was writing something concerning things to come, and they were at a distance, so that they could not look into those things from my memory, because I was not willing to read them in their presence, they were very indignant, and contrary to their usual behavior, they were desirous to inveigh against me, saying that I was one of the worst of men, and the like; and that they might give proof of their resentment, they caused a kind of contraction attended with pain on the right side of my head even to the ear. But these things did not hurt me. Nevertheless, in consequence of having done evil, they removed themselves to a yet greater distance, but presently they stood still again, desirous to know what I had written; such is their eager thirst after knowledges.


The spirits of Mercury, above all other spirits, possess the knowledges of things, as well respecting this solar system, as respecting the earths which are in the starry heavens; and what they have once acquired to themselves, that they retain, and also recollect as often as anything similar occurs. Hence also it may appear manifest, that spirits have memory, and that it is much more perfect than the memory of men; and further, that what they hear, see, and apperceive, they retain, and especially such things as delight them, as these spirits are delighted with the knowledges of things. For whatever things cause delight, and affect the love, these flow in as it were spontaneously, and remain; other things do not enter, but only touch the surface and pass by.


When the spirits of Mercury come to other societies, they explore and collect from them what they know, and then they depart; for such communication is granted amongst spirits and especially amongst angels, that when they are in a society, if they are accepted and loved, all things which they know are communicated. 15-1


In consequence of their knowledges, the spirits of Mercury are more proud than others; wherefore they were told, that although they knew innumerable things, yet there are infinite things which they do not know; and that if their knowledges should increase to eternity, the notice even of all general things would still be unattainable. They were told likewise of their pride and elation of mind, and that this is unseemly; but they replied, that it is not pride, but only a glorying by reason of the faculty of their memory; thus they were able to excuse their faults.


They are averse to vocal speech, because it is material; wherefore when I conversed with them without intermediate spirits, I could only do it by a species of active thought. Their memory, as consisting of things not of images purely material, supplies objects that are nearer to the thought; for the thought, which is above the imagination, requires for its objects things abstracted from material. But notwithstanding this, the spirits of Mercury are little distinguished for their judgment, having no delight in the exercise of that faculty, and the deducing of conclusions from knowledges; for bare knowledges alone are delightful to them.


They were asked whether they wished to make any use of their knowledges; for it is not enough to be delighted with knowledges, because knowledges have respect to uses, and uses ought to be the ends of knowledges; from knowledges alone no use results to them, but to others with whom they are disposed to communicate their knowledges; and that it is very inexpedient for any one who wishes to be wise, to rest satisfied with mere knowledges, these being only administering causes, intended to be subservient to the investigation of things appertaining to life: but they replied, that they were delighted with knowledges, and that knowledges to them are uses.


Some of them are also unwilling to appear as men, like the spirits of other earths, and would rather appear as crystalline globes. The reason why they are desirous to appear so, although they do not so appear, is because the knowledges of things immaterial are represented in the other life by crystals.


The spirits of Mercury differ altogether from the spirits of our earth, for the spirits of our earth do not care so much about realities, but about worldly, corporeal, and terrestrial things, which are material; wherefore the spirits of Mercury cannot be together with the spirits of our earth, therefore wheresoever they happen to meet them, they flee away; for the spiritual spheres, which are exhaled from each, are almost contrary. The spirits of Mercury have a common saying, that they do not wish to look at a sheath, but at things stripped of their sheath, that is, at interior things.


There appeared a whitish flame, burning briskly, and this for nearly an hour. That Same signified the approach of spirits of Mercury, who for penetration, thought, and speech, were more prompt than the former spirits. When they were come, they instantly ran through the things contained in my memory, but I could not perceive what they observed by reason of their promptitude. I heard them afterwards saying that such is the case; in respect to what I had seen in the heavens and in the world of spirits, they said that they knew those things before. I perceived that a multitude of spirits consociated with them was behind, a little to the left in the plane of the occiput.


At another time I saw a multitude of such spirits, but at some distance from me, in front a little to the right, and thence they discoursed with me, but through intermediate spirits; for their speech was as quick as thought, which does not fall into human speech, but by means of other spirits. And what surprised me, they spoke in a volume*, and yet readily and rapidly. Their speech was perceived as undulatory, because of many together, and what is remarkable, it was conveyed towards my left eye, although they were to the right. The reason was, because the left eye corresponds to the knowledges of things abstracted from what is material, consequently to such things as appertain to intelligence: whereas the right eye corresponds to such things as appertain to wisdom. 22-1 They likewise perceived and judged of what they heard with the same promptitude with which they discoursed, saying of such a thing that it was so, and of such a thing that it was not so; their judgment was as it were instantaneous.


There was a spirit from another earth, who could speak dexterously with them, because he spoke promptly and quickly, but who affected elegance in his discourse. They instantly decided on whatever he spoke, saying of this, that it was too elegant; of that, that it was too polished: so that the sole thing they attended to was, whether they could hear anything from him which they had never known before, rejecting thus the things which caused obscurity, which are especially affectations of elegance of discourse and erudition; for these bide real things, and instead thereof present expressions, which are only material forms of things; for the speaker keeps the attention fixed herein, and is desirous that his expressions should be regarded more than the meaning of them, whereby the ears are more affected than the mind.


The spirits of the earth Mercury do not abide long in one place, or within companies of the spirits of one world, but wander through the universe. The reason is, because they have relation to the memory of things, which memory must be continually enriched. Hence it is granted them to wander about, and to acquire to themselves knowledges in every place. During their sojourning in this manner, if they meet with spirits who love material things, that is, things corporeal and terrestrial, they avoid them, and betake themselves where they do not hear such things. Hence it may appear, that their mind is elevated above things of sense, and thus that they are in interior light. This was also given me actually to perceive, whilst they were near me, and discoursed with me: I observed at such times, that I was withdrawn from things of sense, insomuch that the light of my eyes began to grow dull and obscure.


The spirits of that earth go in companies and phalanxes, and when assembled together, they form as it were a globe. Thus they are joined together by the Lord, that they may act in unity, and that the knowledges of each may be communicated with all, and the knowledges of all with each, as is the case in heaven. 25-1 That they wander through the universe to acquire the knowledges of things, appeared to me also from this, that once, when they appeared very far from me, they discoursed with me thence, and said, that they were then gathered together, and journeying out of the sphere of this world into the starry heaven, where they knew such spirits existed as had no concern about terrestrial and corporeal things, but only about things elevated above them, with whom they wished to be. It was said, that they themselves do not know whither they are going, but that they are led from the Divine auspices to those places where they may be instructed concerning such things as they do not yet know, and which agree with the knowledges that they have already. It was also said, that they do not know how to find the companions with whom they are joined together, and that this also is done from the Divine auspices.


Because of their thus journeying through the universe, and thereby being enabled to know more than others respecting the worlds and earths out of the sphere of our solar system, I have also spoken with them on this subject. They said that in the universe there are very many earths inhabited by men; and that they wonder how any should suppose, whom they called men of little judgment, that the heaven of the omnipotent God consisted only of spirits and angels who come from one earth, when these comparatively are so few that in respect to the omnipotence of God they are scarce anything, even if there should he myriads of worlds, and myriads of earths. They said, moreover, that they knew there were earths existing in the universe to the number of some hundred thousands and upwards; and yet what is this to the Divine, which is infinite?


The spirits of Mercury, who were with me whilst I was writing and explaining the Word as to its internal sense, and who perceived what I wrote: said that the things which I wrote were in a manner gross, and that almost all the expressions appeared as material; but it was given to reply, that to the men of our earth what was written seemed subtle and elevated, and many things incomprehensible. I added, that many on this earth do not know that it is the internal man which acts into the external, and causes the external to live; and that they persuade themselves from the fallacies of the senses that the body has life, and that in consequence thereof, such as are evil and unbelieving entertain doubt respecting the life after death; also, that the part of man which is to live after death is not by them called spirit, but soul; and that they dispute what soul is, and where is its abode, and believe that the material body, although dispersed to all the winds, is to be joined again to it, in order that man may live as man; with many other things of a like nature. The spirits of Mercury, on hearing these things, asked, whether such men could become angels; and it was given to answer, that those become angels who have lived in the good of faith and charity, and that then they are no longer in external and material things, but in internal and spiritual; and then they come into that state, that they are in a light superior to that in which the spirits from mercury are. That they might know that it was so, an angel was allowed to discourse with them, who had come into heaven from our earth, who had been such when he lived in the world, concerning whom more will be said presently.


Afterwards there was sent me by the spirits of Mercury a long piece of paper, of an irregular shape, consisting of several pieces pasted together, which appeared as if printed with types, as on this earth. I asked whether they had the art of printing amongst them; but they said they had not, nevertheless they knew that on our earth we had such printed papers. They did not wish to say more; but I perceived that they thought that knowledges in our earth were upon paper, and not so much in man, thus insinuating that the papers knew what man did not. But they were instructed how this really is. After some time they returned, and sent me another paper, which appeared also printed like the former, but not so pasted together and irregular, but neat and handsome. They said, that they were further informed, that in our earth there are such papers, and books made of them.


From what has now been said, it appears manifest, that spirits retain in the memory what they see and hear in the other life, and that they are capable of being instructed alike as when they were men in the world, consequently of being instructed in the things of faith, and thereby of being perfected. The more interior spirits and angels are, in the same proportion they receive instruction more readily, and in a greater fullness, and retain it more perfectly: and inasmuch as this faculty abides forever, it is evident that they are continually increasing in wisdom. With the spirits of Mercury there is a constant growth in the science of things, but not in wisdom thence derived, because they love knowledges, which are means, but not uses which are ends.


The genius of the spirits who are from the planet Mercury, may still further appear from the following account. It is to be known, that all spirits and angels whatsoever, were once men for the human race is the seminary of heaven; also that the spirits are altogether such, as to affections and inclinations, as they were during their life in the world whilst men; for every one's life follows him. 30-1 This being the case, the genius of the men of every earth may be known from the genius of the spirits who are thence.


Inasmuch as the spirits of Mercury in the Greatest Man have relation to the memory of things abstracted from what is material, therefore when any one discourses with them concerning things terrestrial, corporeal, and merely worldly, they are altogether unwilling to hear him; and if they are forced to hear, they transmute the things spoken of into other things, and for the most part into things contrary, that they may avoid them.


That I might know for certain, that such is their genius, it was allowed to represent to them meadows, fallow lands, gardens, woods, and rivers; to represent such things is imaginatively to exhibit them before another, in which case, in another world, they appear to the life; but they instantly transmuted them, obscuring the meadows and fallow fields, and by representations filling them with snakes. The rivers they made black, so that the water no longer appeared limpid. When I asked them why they did so, they said that they did not wish to think of such things, but of things real, which are the knowledges of things abstracted from what is terrestrial, especially of such things as exist in the heavens.


Afterwards I represented to them birds of different sizes, both large and small, such as exist on our earth; for in the other life such things may be represented to the life. When they saw the birds represented, they at first wished to change them, but afterwards they were delighted with them and were satisfied. The reason was, because birds signify the knowledges of things, and the perception of this then flowed in also. 33-1 Thus they desisted from transmuting them, and thereby from averting the ideas of their memory. Afterwards it was allowed to represent before them a most pleasant garden full of lamps and lights; then they paused, and their attention was fixed, for the reason that lamps with lights signify truths which shine from good. 33-2 Hence it was made manifest that their attention might be fixed in viewing things material, if only the signification of those things in the spiritual sense was insinuated at the same time; for the things of the spiritual sense are not so abstracted from things material, since these are representatives of them.


Moreover I spoke with them concerning sheep and lambs, but they were not willing to hear of such things, because they were perceived by them as things terrestrial. The reason was, because they did not understand what innocence is, which lambs signify, as was perceivable from this, that when I told them that lambs, represented in heaven, signify innocence,  34-1 they immediately said that they did not know what innocence was, but only knew it as to the name; and this was because they are affected only with knowledges, and not with uses, which are the ends of knowledges, consequently they cannot know from internal perception what innocence is.


Some of the spirits of the earth Mercury came to me, being sent by others, to bear what I was employed about. One of the spirits of our earth said to them, that they might tell those who sent them not to speak anything but what was true, and not, according to their usual practice, suggest things opposite to those who questioned them; for if any of the spirits of our earth were to do so, he would he punished. But immediately the company which was at a distance, from which those spirits were sent, made answer, that if they were to be punished on that account, they must all he punished, since by reason of acquired habit they could not do otherwise. They said that when they speak with the men of their own earth, they also do so, but this not with any intention of deceiving, but to inspire the desire of knowing; for when they suggest things opposite, and conceal things in a certain manner, then the desire of knowing is excited, and thereby from the endeavor to search out those things, the memory is perfected. I also spoke with them at another time on the same subject, and because I knew that they spoke with the men of their earth, I asked them in what manner they instruct their inhabitants. They said that they do not instruct them how the matter is, but still they insinuate some perception thereof, that thus a desire of examining and knowing may be cherished and grow; which desire would perish, in case they answered everything. They added, that they suggest things opposite also, for this reason, that the truth afterwards may better appear; for all truth is made manifest by relation to its opposites.


It is their custom not to declare to another what they know, but still they desire to learn from all others what is known to them. But with their own society they communicate all things, insomuch that what one knows all know, and what all know each one there knows. 36-1


Because the spirits of Mercury abound in knowledges, they are in a certain kind of pride; hence they imagine that they know so much, that it is almost impossible to know more. Rut it was told them by the spirits of our earth, that they do not know many, but few things, and that the things which they do not know are respectively infinite, and that those things which they do not know, compared to the things they know, are like the waters of the largest ocean compared with the waters of a very small fountain; and further, that the first step to wisdom is to know, acknowledge, and perceive that what is known is little and scarce anything in comparison with what is unknown. To convince them that this is the case, it was granted, that a certain angelic spirit should speak with them, and should tell them in general what they knew, and what they did not know, and that there were infinite things which they did not know, also that to eternity they could not even know the general things. He spoke by angelic ideas much more readily than they did, and because he discovered to them what they knew, and what they did not know, they were struck with amazement. Afterwards I saw another angel speaking with them, who appeared in some altitude to the right. He was from our earth, and enumerated very many things which they did not know. Afterwards he spoke with them by changes of state, which they said they did not understand. Then he told them that every change of state contains infinite things, as did also every smallest part of such change. When they heard these things, inasmuch as they had been in pride on account of their knowledges, they began to humble themselves. Their humiliation was represented by the sinking downwards of their volume; for that company then appeared as a volume, in front at a distance towards the left, in the plane of the region below the navel, but the volume appeared as it were hollowed in the middle, and elevated on the sides; a reciprocal moving was also observed therein. They were likewise told what that signified, that is, what they thought in their humiliation, and that they who appeared elevated on the sides were not as yet in any humiliation. And I saw that the volume was separated, and that they who were not in humiliation were remanded back towards their orb, the rest remaining where they were.


Spirits of Mercury came to a certain spirit from our earth, who during his abode in the world had been most distinguished for his learning (it was Christian Wolf), desiring to receive information from him on various subjects. But when they perceived that what he said was not elevated above the sensual things of the natural man, because in speaking his thoughts were intent on honor, and be was desirous, as in the world (for in the other life every one is like his former sea, to connect various things into series, and from those series again and continually to form other conclusions, and thus from such conclusions to link together still more, which they did not see or acknowledge to be true, and which therefore they declared to be chains which neither cohered in themselves, nor with the conclusions, calling them the obscurity of authority; they then desisted from asking him further questions, inquiring only, how this is called, and how that; and because he answered these inquiries also by material ideas, and by no spiritual ones, they retired from him. For every one, in the other life, speaks spiritually, or by spiritual ideas, so far as he had believed in God, and materially, so far as he had not believed. An occasion here offering itself, it is permitted to mention how it is in the other life with the learned who acquire intelligence from their own meditation, kindled with the love of knowing truths, for the sake of truths, thus for the sake of uses abstracted from worldly considerations, and how with those who acquire intelligence from others, without any meditation of their own, as they are wont to do who desire to know truths solely for the sake of a reputation for learning, and thereby for honor or gain in the world; thus who desire to know truth, not for the sake of uses abstracted from worldly considerations: concerning such, it is allowed to relate the following experience. A certain sound was perceived penetrating from beneath, near the left side even to the left ear. I observed that they were spirits, who there attempted to force a way; but of what sort they were I could not know. However, when they had forced a way, they spoke with me, saying that they were logicians and metaphysicians, and that they had immersed their thoughts in such things, with no other end than to be accounted learned, and thus to be advanced to honor and wealth, lamenting that they now led a miserable life in consequence of having acquired those sciences with no other end, and thus not having cultivated thereby their rational; their speech was slow, and of a low tone. In the meantime there were two discoursing with each other above my head, and on inquiring who they were, it was said that one of them was most renowned in the learned world, and it was given me to believe that it was Aristotle. Who the other was, was not stated. The former was then let into the state in which he was during his life in the world; for every one may easily be let into the state of his life which he had in the world, because be has with him every state of his former life. But, what surprised me, he applied himself to the right ear, and there spoke, but in a hoarse tone of voice, yet sanely. From the purport of his speech I perceived, that he was altogether of a different genius from those schoolmen who first ascended, in that he evolved from his own thought the things he had written, and thence he produced his philosophy; so that the terms which he invented, and which he imposed on subjects of thought, were forms of expression by which he described interior things; also that he was excited to such things by a delight of the affection, and by a desire of knowing the things of the thought and understanding, and that he followed obediently whatever his spirit had dictated. Therefore he applied himself to the right ear, contrary to the custom of his followers, who are called schoolmen, and who do not go from thought to terms, but from terms to thoughts, thus in a contrary way; and many of them do not even proceed to thoughts, but stick solely in terms, which if they apply, it is to confirm whatever they desire, and to impose on falsities an appearance of truth according to their cupidity of persuading. Hence philosophical things are rather means of becoming insane than means of becoming wise; and hence they have darkness instead of light. Afterwards I spoke with him concerning the science of analysis, observing that a child, in half an hour, speaks more philosophically, analytically, and logically, than he could describe by a volume, inasmuch as all things of the thought, and thence of human speech are analytical, the laws whereof are from the spiritual world; and he who desires to think artificially from terms, is not unlike a dancer, who would learn to dance by the science of the moving fibers and muscles, in which science, if he should fix his mind whilst he is dancing, it would be almost impossible for him to move a foot; and yet without that science, he moves all the moving fibers throughout the whole body, and in subordination thereto be moves the lungs, the diaphragm, the sides, the arms, the neck, and other organs of the body, to describe all which volumes would not suffice; and it is similar with those who are desirous to think from terms. He approved of these things, saying, that to learn to think in that way, is proceeding in an inverted order, adding if any one will be so foolish, let him so proceed; but let him think continually concerning use, and from what is interior. He next showed me, what idea he had conceived of the Supreme Deity, namely, that he had represented Him to himself as having a human face, and encompassed about the head with a radiant circle; and that now be knew that the Lord is Himself that Man, and that the radiant circle is the Divine from Him, which not only flows into heaven, but also into the universe, disposing and ruling all things therein. He added, Whosoever disposes and rules heaven, also disposes and rules the universe, because the one cannot be separated from the other. He also said that he believed in one God only, whose attributes and qualities were distinguished by a variety of names, and that these names were by others worshiped as gods. There appeared to me a woman, who stretched out her hand, desiring to stroke my cheek, and when I wondered at this, he said that when he was in the world such a woman had often appeared to him, as it were stroking his cheek, and that her hand was beautiful. The angelic spirits said that such women sometimes appeared to the ancients, and were by them called Pallases, and that she appeared to him from the spirits, who, during their abode on earth, in ancient times, were delighted with ideas, and indulged in thoughts, but without philosophy: and because such spirits were with him, and were delighted with him, because he thought from the interior, therefore they representatively exhibited such a woman. Lastly, he informed me what idea he had conceived of the soul or spirit of man, which he called pneuma, namely, that it was an invisible vital principle, like somewhat of ether; and he said that he knew that his spirit would live after death, inasmuch as it was his interior essence, which cannot die, because it is capable of thinking; and that moreover he was not able to think clearly concerning it, but only obscurely, because he had not formed any thought about it from any other source than from himself, and a little also from the ancients. Moreover Aristotle is among sound spirits in the other life, and many of his followers are among the foolish.


I once saw that spirits of our earth were with spirits of the earth Mercury, and I heard them discoursing together, and the spirits of our earth, amongst other things, asked them in whom they believed. They replied that they believed in God; but when they inquired further concerning the God in whom they believed, they were unwilling to say, it being customary with them not to answer questions directly. Then the spirits from the earth Mercury, in their turn, asked the spirits from our earth in whom they believed, They said that they believed in the Lord God. The spirits of Mercury then said that they perceived that they believed in no God, and that they had contracted a habit of professing with the mouth that they believe, when yet they do not believe, The spirits of Mercury have exquisite perception, in consequence of their continually exploring, by means of perception, what others know. The spirits of our earth were of the number of those who in the world had made profession of faith agreeable to the doctrine of the church, but still had not lived the life of faith; and they who do not live the life of faith, in the other life have not faith, because it is not in the man. 39-1 On hearing this they were silent, inasmuch as, by apperception then given them, they acknowledged that it was so.


There were certain spirits who knew from heaven, that on a time a promise was made to the spirits of the earth Mercury, that they should see the Lord; wherefore they were asked by the spirits about me whether they recollected that promise. They said that they did recollect it; but that they did not know whether it had been promised in such a way as to be beyond doubt. Whilst they were thus discoursing together, the sun of heaven then appeared to them. The sun of heaven, which is the Lord, is seen only by those who are in the inmost or third heaven; others see the light thence derived. On seeing the sun, they said that this was not the Lord God, because they did not see a face. Meanwhile the spirits discoursed with each other, but I did not hear what they said. But suddenly, the sun again appeared, and in the midst of it the Lord, encompassed with a solar circle: on seeing this the spirits of Mercury humbled themselves profoundly and subsided. Then also the Lord, from that sun, appeared to the spirits of this earth, who, when they were men, saw Him in the world; and they all, one after another, and thus many in order, confessed that it was the Lord Himself. This confession they made before all the company. Then also the Lord, out of the sun, appeared to the spirits of the planet Jupiter, who declared aloud that it was He Himself whom they had seen on their earth when the God of the universe appeared to them. 40-1


Certain of them, after the Lord appeared, were led away towards the front to the right, and as they advanced, they said that they saw a light much clearer and purer than they had ever seen before, and that it was impossible any light could exceed it; and it was then evening here. There were many who said this. 41-1


It is to be known that the sun of the world does not appear to any spirit, nor anything of light thence. The light of that sun is as dense as thick darkness to spirits and angels. That sun remains only in the perception with spirits from having seen it during their abode in the world, and is presented to them in idea as somewhat darkish, and this behind at a considerable distance, in an altitude a little above the plane of the head. The planets which are within the system of that sun appear according to a determinate situation in respect to the sun; Mercury behind, a little towards the right; the planet Venus to the left, a little backwards; the planet Mars to the left in front; the planet Jupiter in like manner to the left in front, but at a greater distance; the planet Saturn directly in front, at a considerable distance; the Moon to the left, at a considerable height: the satellites also to the left in respect to their planet. Such is the situation of those planets in the ideas of spirits and angels; spirits also appear near their planets, but out of them. As to what particularly concerns the spirits of Mercury, they do not appear in any certain quarter, or at any certain distance, but sometimes in front, sometimes to the left, sometimes a little to the back; the reason is, because they are allowed to wander through the universe to procure for themselves knowledges.


Once the spirits of Mercury appeared to the left in a globe, and afterwards in a volume extending itself lengthways. I wondered whither they were desirous of going, whether to this earth or elsewhere; and presently I observed that they inclined to the right, and as they rolled along, approached to the earth or planet Venus towards the quarter in front. But when they came thither they said they were unwilling to be there, because the inhabitants were evil; wherefore they turned about to the back part of that earth, and then said that they would willingly stay there, because the inhabitants were good. When this took place, I felt a remarkable change in the brain, and a powerful operation thence proceeding. Hence I was led to conclude that the spirits of Venus, who were on that part of the planet, were in concord with the spirits of Mercury, and that they had relation to the memory of things material which was in concord with the memory of things immaterial, to which latter memory the spirits of Mercury have relation: hence a more powerful operation was felt from them when they were there.


I was desirous to know what kind of face and body the men in the earth Mercury had, whether they were like the men on our earth. There was then presented before my eyes a woman exactly resembling the women in that earth. She had a beautiful face, but it was smaller than that of a woman of our earth; her body also was more slender, but her height was equal; she wore on her head a linen cap, which was put on without art, but yet in a manner becoming. A man also was presented to view, who was more slender in body than the men of our earth are. He was clad in a garment of dark blue color, closely fitted to his body, without any foldings or protuberances. It was said that such was the form of body and such the dress of the men of that earth. Afterwards there was presented to view a species of their oxen and cows, which indeed did not differ much from those on our earth, but were smaller, and in some degree approached to species of hinds and deer.


They were also asked about the sun of the world, how it appears from their earth. They said that it appears large, and larger there than when seen from other earths, and they said they knew this from the ideas of other spirits concerning the sun. They said further that they enjoy a middle temperature, neither too hot nor too cold. It was then granted me to tell them, that it was so provided of the Lord in regard to them that they should not be exposed to too much heat by reason of their greater nearness to the sun, inasmuch as heat does not arise from the sun's nearness, but from the altitude and density of the atmosphere, as appears from the cold on high mountains even in hot climates; also that heat is varied according to the direct or oblique incidence of the sun's rays, as is plain from the seasons of winter and summer in every region. These are the things which it was given me to know concerning the spirits and inhabitants of the earth Mercury.


THE EARTH OR PLANET JUPITER, ITS SPIRITS AND INHABITANTS. It was granted me to enjoy longer interaction with the spirits and angels of the planet Jupiter, than with the spirits and angels from the rest of the planets; wherefore I am at liberty to relate more concerning the state of their life, and of the inhabitants of that planet. That those spirits were from that planet was evident from many things, and it was also declared from heaven.


The earth itself or planet Jupiter does not indeed appear to spirits and angels: for to the inhabitants of the spiritual world no earth is visible, but only the spirits and angels who come thence. They who are from the planet Jupiter appear in front to the left, at a considerable distance, and this constantly, see above (n. 42) there also is the planet. The spirits of every earth are near their earth, because they are from its inhabitants, for every man after death becomes a spirit, and because they are thus of a similar genius, and can be with the inhabitants, and serve them.


They related that in the region of the earth where they had lived while in the world, the multitude of men therein was as great as the earth could support; that the earth was fertile, and it abounded in all things; and that there they did not desire more than the necessaries of life; that they accounted nothing useful but so far as it was necessary; and that hence the multitude of men was so great. They said that the education of their children was their greatest concern, and that they loved them most tenderly.


They further related that they are there distinguished into nations, families, and houses, and that they all live apart with their own kindred; and that hence their interaction is confined to relatives; likewise, that no one ever covets the goods of another; and that it never enters into their minds to desire the possessions of another, still less to obtain them fraudulently, and least of all to break in and plunder. This they consider as a crime against human nature, and regard it as horrible. When I would have told them that on this earth there are wars, depredations, and murders, they then turned away, and were unwilling to hear. It was declared to me by the angels that the most ancient people on this earth lived in like manner, namely, that they were distinguished into nations, families, and houses that all at that time were content with their own possessions that it was a thing altogether unknown for one person to enrich himself from the goods of another, and to have dominion from self-love; and that on this account the ancient times, and especially the most ancient, were more acceptable to the Lord than succeeding times: and such being the state of the world, innocence also then reigned, and with it wisdom; every one then did what was good from good, and what was just from justice. To do what is good and just with a view to their own honor, or gain, was unknown. At the same time they spoke nothing but what was true, and this not so much from truth as from good, that is, not from the understanding separate from the will, but from the will conjoined with the understanding. Such were the ancient times; wherefore angels could then converse with men, and convey their minds, almost separate from things corporeal, into heaven, yea, lead them about, and show them the magnificent and blessed things there, and likewise communicate to them their happinesses and delights. These times were known also to the ancient writers, and were by them called the golden and also Saturnian ages. The reason that those times were such, was owing to this, that men were then distinguished into nations, nations into families, and families into houses, and every house lived apart by itself; and it then never entered into any one's mind to invade another's inheritance, and thence acquire to himself opulence and dominion. Self-love and the love of the world were then far removed; every one rejoiced in his own, and not less in his neighbor's good. But in succeeding times this scene was changed, and totally reversed, when the lust of dominion and of large possessions invaded the mind. Then mankind, for the sake of self-defense, collected themselves into kingdoms and empires; and because the laws of charity and of conscience, which were inscribed on the hearts, ceased, it became necessary to enact laws in order to restrain violence, in which honors and gains were rewards, and privation of them punishments. When the state of the world was thus changed, heaven removed itself from man, and this more and more even to this age, when it is no longer known whether there is a heaven and a hell, yea, by some it is denied. These things are said, that it may be illustrated by the parallel, what is the state of the inhabitants of the earth Jupiter, and whence they have their probity, and also their wisdom, concerning which more will be said hereafter.


By long conversation with the spirits of the earth Jupiter, it was made manifest to me that they were more upright than the spirits of most other earths. The manner of their approach to me, their abode with me, and their influx at that time, was inexpressibly gentle and sweet. In the other life the quality of every spirit manifests itself by an influx, which is the communication of his affection; uprightness by gentleness and sweetness; by gentleness, in that he fears to do hurt, and by sweetness, because he loves to do good. I could clearly distinguish a difference between the gentleness and the sweetness of the influx proceeding from the spirits of Jupiter and of that which proceeds from the good spirits of our earth. When any slight disagreement exists among them, they said that there appears a sort of slender bright irradiation, like that of lightning, or like the little swath encompassing glittering and wandering stars; but all disagreements among them are soon adjusted. Glittering stars, which are at the same time wandering, signify what is false; but glittering and fixed stars signify what is true; thus the former signify disagreement. 50-1


1-1 There are no spirits and angels who are not from the human race (n. 1880).

1-2 The spirits of every earth are near to their own earth, because they are from the inhabitants of that earth, and of a similar genius; and they are serviceable to those inhabitants (n. 9968).

1-3 The soul, which lives after death, is the spirit of man, which is the real man in him, and also appears in the other life in a perfect human form (n. 322, 1880 1881, 3633, 4622, 4735, 6054, 6605, 6626, 7021, 10,594).

1-4 Man, even when he is in the world, as to his interiors, thus as to his spirit or soul, is in the midst of spirits and angels, of a quality such as he is himself (n. 2379, 3645, 4067, 4073, 4077).

1-5 Man can speak with spirits and angels, and the ancients on our earth frequently spoke with them (n. 67-69, 784, 1634, 1636, 7802). But at this day it is dangerous to speak with them, unless man is in true faith, and led by the Lord (n. 784, 9438, 10, 751).

5-1 Heaven corresponds to the Lord, and man as to each and all things corresponds to heaven, and hence heaven, before the Lord, is a man in a large effigy, and may be called the Greatest Man (n. 2996, 2998, 3624-3649, 3636-3643, 3741-3745, 4625) Concerning the correspondence of man, and of all things pertaining to him, with the Greatest Man, which is heaven, in general, from experience (n. 3021, 3624-3649, 3741-3751, 3883-3896, 4039-4051, 4215-4228, 4318-4331, 4403-4421, 4527-4533, 4622-4633, 4652-4660, 4791-4805, 4931-4953, 5050-5061, 5171-5189, 5377-5396, 5552-5573, 5711-5727, 10,030).

7-1 The inhabitants of all the earths adore the Divine under a human form, consequently the Lord (n. 8541-8547, 10, 159, 10, 736-10, 738). And they rejoice when they hear that God actually became Man (n. 9361). It is impossible to think of God except in a human form (n. 8705, 9359, 9972). Man can worship and love what he has some idea of, but not what he has no idea of (n. 4733, 5110, 5633, 7211, 9267, 10067).

7-2 The Lord receives all who are in good and who adore the Divine under a human form (n. 9359, 7173).

9-1 Heaven corresponds to the Lord, and man as to each and all things corresponds to heaven, and hence heaven, before the Lord, is a man in a large effigy, and may be called the Greatest Man (n. 2996, 2998, 3624-3649, 3636-3643, 3741-3745, 4625) Concerning the correspondence of man, and of all things pertaining to him, with the Greatest Man, which is heaven, in general, from experience (n. 3021, 3624-3649, 3741-3751, 3883-3896, 4039-4051, 4215-4228, 4318-4331, 4403-4421, 4527-4533, 4622-4633, 4652-4660, 4791-4805, 4931-4953, 5050-5061, 5171-5189, 5377-5396, 5552-5573, 5711-5727, 10030).

11-1 Spirits enter into all the things of man's memory but not from their own memory into man's (n. 2488, 5863, 6192, 6193, 6198, 6199, 6214). Angels enter into the affections and ends, from which and for the sake of which man thinks, wills, and acts in such and such a manner and not otherwise (n. 1317, 1645, 5844).

12-1 Spirits enter into all the things of man's memory but not from their own memory into man's (n. 2488, 5863, 6192, 6193, 6198, 6199, 6214). Angels enter into the affections and ends, from which and for the sake of which man thinks, wills, and acts in such and such a manner and not otherwise (n. 1317, 1645, 5844).

13-1 That the spirits who are with man, are in possession of all things appertaining to his memory (n.5853, 5857, 5859, 5860).

15-1 That in the heavens there is given a communication of all goods, inasmuch as it is the property of heavenly love to communicate all its possessions with others; and that hence the angels derive wisdom and happiness (n. 549, 550, 1390, 1391, 1399, 10,130, 10,723).

22-1 The eye corresponds to the understanding, because the understanding is the internal sight, and the sight of things immaterial (n. 2701, 4410, 4526, 9051, 10,569). The sight of the left eye corresponds to truths, consequently to intelligence; and the sight of the right eye corresponds to the goods of truth, consequently to wisdom (n. 4410). * A more accurate translation would be "in a rolling fashion."

25-1 That in the heavens there is given a communication of all goods, inasmuch as it is the property of heavenly love to communicate all its possessions with others; and that hence the angels derive wisdom and happiness (n. 549, 550, 1390, 1391, 1399, 10,130, 10,723).

30-1 Every one's life remains with him and follows him after death (n. 4227, 7440). The externals of life are kept closed after death, and the internals opened (n. 4314, 5128, 6495). Then all and each of the things of thought are made manifest (n. 4633, 5128).

33-1 Birds signify things rational, intellectual, thoughts, ideas, and knowledges (n. 40, 745, 776, 778, 866, 988, 993, 5149, 7441). And this with variety according to the genera and species of birds (n. 3219).

33-2 Lamps with lights signify truths shining from good (n. 4638, 9548, 9783).

34-1 Lambs in heaven, and in the Word, signify innocence (n. 3994, 7840, 10,132).

36-1 That in the heavens there is given a communication of all goods, inasmuch as it is the property of heavenly love to communicate all its possessions with others; and that hence the angels derive wisdom and happiness (n. 549, 550, 1390, 1391, 1399, 10,130, 10,723).

39-1 They who make profession of faith from doctrine and do not live the life of faith, have no faith (n. 3865, 7766, 7778, 7790, 7950, 8094). And their interiors are contrary to the truths of faith, although in the world they do not know this (n. 7790, 7950).

40-1 The Lord is the sun of heaven, from whom is all light there (n. 1053, 3636, 4060). And the Lord thus appears to those who are in His celestial kingdom, where love to Him reigns (n. 1521, 1529-1531, 1837, 4696). He appears at a middle distance above the plane of the right eye (n. 4321, 7078). Therefore by "sun" in the word is signified the Lord as to Divine love (n. 2495, 4060, 7083). The sun of this world does not appear to spirits and angels, but in the place thereof there appears somewhat as it were darkish, not in front, but behind and opposite to the sun of heaven, or to the Lord (n. 9755).

41-1 There is in the heavens great light, which exceeds, by many degrees, the noonday light of this world (n. 1117, 1521, 1533, 1619-1632. 4527, 5400, 8644). All light in the heavens is from the Lord as a sun there (n. 1053, 1521, 3195, 3341, 3636, 3643, 4415, 9548. 9684, 10,809). The Divine truth proceeding from the Divine good of the Divine love of the Lord appears in the heavens as light, and furnishes all the light that is there (n. 3195, 3222, 5400, 8644, 9399, 9548, 9684). The light of heaven illumines both the sight and the understanding of the angels (n. 2776, 3138). When heaven is said to be in light and heat, it signifies being in wisdom and in love (n. 3643, 9399, 9401).

50-1 Stars in the word signify the knowledges of good and truth, consequently truths (n. 2495, 2849, 4697). And in the other life truths are represented by fixed stars, but falsities by wandering stars (n. 1128).

Next: 51-100