Sacred Texts  Swedenborg  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

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


CONCERNING THE INHABITANTS OF THE EARTH MARS Spirits appeared in front to the left, who were said to be from the earth Mars, and who declared themselves to be holy; not that they were holy [in themselves], but the Lord, who is the Only Good, is their holiness.


As to the life of the inhabitants of that earth, I heard that they live in societies, but not under governments, the societies being such that they perceive immediately from the face, eyes, and speech, thus externally, whether they are among true associates, whom they thus recognize, and to whom they adjoin themselves, so as out of many to make one. In this manner they know how to choose such companions for themselves as are congenial in temper and thought, in which they are very rarely deceived; they become friends forthwith; yet they feel no aversion to others, as no such feeling as aversion or hatred exists among them, but conjunction according to states of mind, and by means of external things.


So far as external mediums are concerned, knowledge [of each other] is acquired from the face, especially the province about the eyes; and also from their speech, which is distinguished from that of others by not being sonorous like the speech of the inhabitants of our earth, but by being a kind of tacit speech, formed by means of a more subtle atmosphere, which is directed towards the mouth, and enters there, and thus [passes] through the Eustachian tube. This tube, it appears, is their organ of hearing. One of them spoke with me in this kind of speech, that I might know something of its nature. It entered through the lips, the fibers of which are disposed to a diverse receptivity, and thus penetrated through the Fallopian tube, and thus upwards. It was perspicuously perceived, and is much fuller and more perfect than a language addressed to the ear, inasmuch as it conveys at once a greater variety of ideas.


(Their consociations [or social gatherings] are delightful, from the interest taken in the things transpiring in their societies and those also which occur in heaven. They moreover worship our Lord alone, because He is the Very Good.)


(They are also in an angelic or exceedingly great body, constituting [or representing] that which is called thought; and they bear an exceedingly strong resemblance to the Most Ancient Church, which is described under the person of Adam, while abiding in its state of beatitude.)


Their societies are various, which is evident from the fact that every member can be associated with his like, and thus through that earth is constituted, as it were, a common angelic society of heavenly interiors, with variety, and yet with discrimination, as they perceive the interiors of their associates by means of their exteriors; consequently not in the mode common to spirits and angels, to wit, through a sphere of ideas, for as they form a judgment according to their perception, so do souls and spirits from externals,


(Their faces were seen by me, though they were themselves unwilling to show them, but eventually the manifestation was made. The face, below the nose, is black, not bearded, and yet black; the upper part is yellowish, not unlike the hue of the men of our earth who are not wholly white. This blackness, which extends towards the region of the ears, is in the place of a beard, thus from a similar cause in nature, and of equivalent representative import, as far as that part is concerned.)


(They subsist upon different kinds of pulse, as also upon a certain round fruit which springs up immediately from the ground, not to mention the fruits of trees.)


(They wear clothing also, but from what material they form their garments, whether from wool, or from cotton, or from leaves, or from the fibers of bark agglutinated by a certain species of gum, which they affirm, they do not care to be explicit, saying it is a matter of no consequence.)


(Those among them who begin to cherish sinister thought thereby dissociate themselves from the rest, who are unable to remain in their society; consequently they are left to abide alone in rocky caverns, uncared for by their former companions. There are, however, certain societies which endeavor by various persuasives to work upon such persons and compel them [to return to a better state of mind], but still it is a species of dissociation; and so long as they do not become satisfied as to their conversion, or whether having once lapsed they will so remain, they do not openly speak of their condition. The sole reason of this is because they have not a confirmed hope of their repentance, of which they have no assurance from their actual conduct.)


(((One of the inhabitants was represented to me as if with his face in heaven, and his body on the earth. They constitute or represent, therefore, that in man which is called thought.)))


(They spoke of fires, saying that they know how to make fluid fires. -1749, March 19.)


(One of the spirits of Mars who was with me, and who was a subject of others, drew back the superior frontal part of my head towards the back part, signifying thus the character of their thought, that it was not so much of the cerebrum as of the [cerebellum or] will, implying, however, that they act not from their own will, but from the fear of the Lord. Accordingly this drawing back of the head, and indeed of the whole body, took place. - 1748, September 25.)

Next: 1551-1600