Spiritual Diary, by Emanuel Swedenborg, , tr. by Bush, Smithson and Buss [1883-9] at sacred-texts.com
WHAT SORT OF SPEAKING WITH SPIRITS IS ALSO GIVEN. I also spoke with spirits by ideas alone, without words, and they understood as well as with words, by [my] merely representing from internal sight, as was the case when [I told them] what I ate: I represented merely from the internal sight what I ate, without words, and they clearly [bene] comprehended; and if also at the same time [were represented] these things, viz. whatever a man has on his table, or whatever is worn on the same occasion, or whatsoever it might be which was displayed to the sight, they were immediately understood and seen by the spirits by the discourse [loquela] of ideas without words. Some better understand and perceive [this discourse] than that which is carried on by words, for they are in the like. Sometimes [the discourse is not carried on] save by subtle thoughts, and these are better perceived than if [one] spoke in words. Some do not love to speak, but they are so shrewd that they immediately perceive the sense, together with the affection, and indeed in an instant, for it is not memory which operates with them, but it is the natural disposition, which they are unwilling to acknowledge, but suppose that they have such (a memory) as in the life of the body, but because they put on the memory of man they so imagine from a fallacy of sense. - 1748, June 8.2252.
THAT SOULS, EVEN RECENTLY AFTER DEPARTURE FROM LIFE, AND SPIRITS, ARE ENDOWED WITH MORE EXCELLENT GIFTS THAN WHAT THEY POSSESSED IN THE LIFE OF THE BODY. [Multa dote polleant, prae vita sua in corpore.] ((((Concerning the faculties with which souls are gifted after death superior [prae] to what they enjoyed in the life of the body, see elsewhere. Besides, those who come into the other life possess in a greater or less degree, according to societies, the activity of their former life; but still, they are much more prompt and more sensible, and sagacious, and quicker to understand and perceive, than when they lived in their body, by reason that in the other life they are without such impediments and stays [remoris] as [belonged to them] in the life of the body. In the life of the body the objects of the sense are active [agunt], the memory of sensuals and materials, anxieties as to the future various cupidities excited by objects, are active: there are cares for many things, all of which are removed in the other life. Wherefore when these are removed, they cannot but be in a more perfect state of understanding and perceiving than when they were men. Sufficient observation of this from experience has been granted me.2253.
But still remains the same activity of life and thought, when souls and spirits, as belonged to them in the life of the body. They are entirely similar to themselves, with no difference scarcely, only that their faculties are more perfect, because much freer, from causes now stated. This also I observed today. - 1748, Sept. 8.))))2254.
THAT THE WORLD OF SPIRITS IS LIKE WHAT MEN ARE IN THEIR THOUGHTS. Man cannot be known in the world as to what is his quality inwardly, because in his exteriors, face, gesture, and speech, he feigns sincerity, probity, piety, from various reasons, on account of the law, decorum, his own gain, cupidity of honor, so that it rarely appears what is his quality inwardly in his thoughts, even to friends, yea, occasionally to his warmest friends [amicissimis]. He cultivates friendships for the sake of gain, although he might hate [odio persequeretur] [such friends] and the like.2255.
But when the body is deposited, or these externals thrown off [as], when he becomes a spirit, then does it fully appear what is his quality inwardly, or in his thoughts; with what cupidity endued, with what insanity, for there they cannot simulate; this is forbidden. If he should simulate, it is straightway perceived, and he is cast out of company. Wherefore since only insanities rule man in his thoughts, he is of such quality when he comes into the world of spirits, so that the world of spirits consists of mere insanities, one of whom pursues the other with hatred, and would destroy him in a moment; hatreds and discords rule to such an extent, that hence they receive their chief delights. From this anyone could perceive that, since there are so many myriads of such spirits, if the Lord did not rule the universe, there would be a most wretched state with all who depart this life, consequently with the human race, which is ruled by the Lord through spirits. These things are said and written in the presence of spirits who are silent. - 1748, June 8.2256.
CONCERNING A CERTAIN DISCOURSE WITH THE JEWS. When they departed some distance off, towards the city Jerusalem, some of the principal men [primores] of the Jews, lamenting that they departed, for they desire that they should be present, and speak, and make plots [machinari], at last, as is customary with that nation, plotted that they would say something to me which yet was a fiction; and they said that they have found a certain Jew, who speaks similarly with them, and that he says to them (they spoke by undulating, as it were, from afar), whether have I known their Messiah, who should lead them into Palestine with greater miracles than Moses. But it was given to reply to them, whether should he live to eternity, as is predicted by the Lord concerning Messiah. Thereupon they were ignorant what to say, and they consulted a long time, not knowing what they should answer, because [Messiah was] a man. Their consultations how they should reply, I did not hear, but [there was] a murmur amongst them for some time. At last they replied that he would live to eternity, thinking that the Lord would preserve his life to eternity.2257.
But then it was again given to rejoin to them, whether should the rest of the Jews also live to eternity, for were they to die after a few years like the rest, what profit would their Messiah be to them? For that is nothing which is not eternal; everything else, because temporal and momentary, is nothing which expires and becomes naught. They answered that they would die, but that still the Messiah would raise them up in the other life, because He should teach and persuade them that there is another life. Now again it was given to reply to them, whether, as Esaias and other prophets say, the Messiah should be so humble and despised [sit] on the foal of an ass, or whether [He should be] magnificent; whether or no He should be cut off as the prophet says, and other things beside, which the prophets say. At last, when they knew not what further to frame, they said that it would be to Him as the prophets say. They say that they cannot answer otherwise, for they have from the prophets that He shall come. - 1748, June 9.2258.
CONCERNING CERTAIN WHO WERE RAISED UP INTO HEAVEN. Certain who were in faith were raised up into heaven, and others who were not in faith were indignant that others should be raised up, and not they. Wherefore they also were brought into the company of the celestials, but they said that they were straitened [for breath] [angustarentur] and instead of heavenly joy only experienced straitness. Wherefore, also, were they expelled thence by themselves, for they could not be in the society of the celestials and their joy, though the former ones had said that they were in full joy. - 1748, June 9.2259.
THAT THE REPRESENTATIVE CHURCH IS THE BODY OF THE CHURCH. The Church, like man, has a soul and a body; it is the same with heaven. The representative Church, which consisted only in externals, resembled its body, wherefore also it must needs die, that an interior Church may come forth; and this likewise, that a more interior [Church may come forth]. It was with the Church successively in time as with heaven at the same time. The Lord, who is alone Man, Heaven, and Church, ought therefore to fulfill all the Law, even the external one, because all things were a representation of Him, and look to Him: I spoke of these things with the celestials, and it was confirmed by them. They also, while I write these things, flow into my hand, as [they did] into my thought, for [my] thought is as it were abstracted. - 1748, June 10.2260.
CONCERNING THE JEWS. I heard someone speaking of the Jews, that it is such a nation as to be wholly different from other nations, and that it is innate [insitum] in that people [e. i.] to attempt to destroy and pervert whatever belongs to society, even in small as in great things, for wherever the occasion is furnished they intermix themselves, and have not a greater delight in anything else than in destroying the laws of order, that is, the laws of society. The reason is [that they] have taken up hatred against love and order itself which is the Lord; and that their heads are such. These things also I do know, having been instructed by much experience, in fact, that of two years. - 1748, June 9.2261.
Such a nation is not given under the sun; the idolaters of every region are much better: Mohammed wondered that such a nation could have existed and subsisted. This it may be proper to recall from a former experience.2262.
THE MOST UNIVERSAL SENSE, THE UNIVERSAL [SENSE], GENUS, SPECIES, THE PARTICULAR, THE INDIVIDUAL, THE MOST SINGLE [singularissimum]. In the sense of the Lord's Word are everywhere given universal and singular senses, which may be apparent from this example [the word] Gentiles [gentes]; when it stands for those who are to be brought into the Lord's kingdom, therefore in a good sense [it means] in the most universal sense, all in the universe, in the heavens and earths [terres], as well [those] who are [now], as those who have been, and those who are to come, in all worlds, in the universe; in the universal sense [it stands] for those [who are], have been, and are to come, in one world, as in ours, in every kingdom. The genera are more numerous; they are like kingdoms [or] doctrines, thus [those] in every world. Next are given species of these. In every kingdom, or every genus, are species, consequently they are very numerous. Particulars are still more numerous [belonging] to every species. Individuals [individua] belong to every man, as to his intellectuals and voluntary things; the most single [singularissima] belong to every idea and little affection [affectiunculae] of an idea. - 1748, June 9. These things [are written] in presence of spirits who hear [them].2263.
THAT THE PHILOSOPHY OF MEN IS ONLY A VOCABULARY. I spoke with spirits concerning the philosophy of the world, wherein they place wisdom, [to the effect] that it is but a vocabulary; for it is there treated as of qualities, accidents, forces [viribus] substances, and the like, as also of spirits, and other such matters, and they care for nothing else than to know what these words signify, as [for instance], what [is signified] by accidents, substances, and many other [words], and they dispute concerning the signification of words, as if there was anything real therein, when yet they are only words. In like manner when any signification is found out [invenitur] whether or no they signify it, so that they may be comprehended by one word, therefore by one idea. But those who do this possess many truths, because they were able to see it from experience in themselves and the world but because they dispute about these things, everything becomes confused and dust, and they inhere therein, consequently in material and corporeal things, so that hence [results] nothing but darkening [obfuscatio] the true light [lumen].2264.
Wherefore since they wish to enter by such things, into spiritual and celestial things, they precipitate themselves into mere shades, as when dust wishes [velit] [to enter] the clear light. Thus the light [lux] is darkened, as it were, by shower [nimbus] cloud, darkness [tenebris] fog, wherein they then place light and wisdom. Wherefore their wisdom is mere obscuration [obtenebratio] of the light [lumen]; thus they blind themselves, and no mortals are less wise than those who proceed thus, and who wish from such philosophy, which is such dust, to enter into spiritual things, as, for example, that spirit is a substance to which [quibus for cui, I think] modes are not to be ascribed; when the dispute is concerning substance and modes, what they are, what thence [arises] but mere fogs, thus errors, consequently negations. - 1748 June 9.2265.
CONCERNING THE WISDOM OF SPIRITS, ESPECIALLY OF ANGELS, AND CONCERNING THE INSPIRATION OF THE LORD'S WORD. Besides the gifts with which souls are endowed after death, of which [I have treated] here and there, they are also able to know when the Lord grants, what is in a idea; for they perceive the varieties which inflow, and hence see as in clearer light, what [there is] of the false, and what of the true, as well as what evil and what good.2266.
In like manner how it is with the societies of spirits, which operate into their ideas and communicate theirs therewith, thus of what quality are the societies of spirits in that state; this was also given me to know, though obscurely. When the cogitations [cogitata] of many societies flowed into one idea, or notion [cognitio] of a thing, then was it given to know of what quality was the difference of opinions generically [in genera], thus of what quality was the world of spirits who were then around me. The angels can perceive this more clearly: hence may be apparent in what wisdom they can be who have faith in the Lord, and that in the other life they know, even spirits of lesser genius, more than man can know [scire et nosse] if he should live a thousand years. - 1748 June 10.2267.
Certain were then raised up into heaven that they might see or know how those things were, and thence they told me that they thus saw what a multitude might be of this or that opinion, thus could be within some if it were in order [sic in aliquibus, ordine]: so that they could know plainly enough how many societies then present differed, and how many agreed, and had they been in the heaven of angels could almost have numbered the societies which were nearest, but not [tell] how there was influx into the more remote [non vero quomodo remotius in eos influit]. Hence anyone may conclude that the Lord knows the most single [singularissima] things in the universal heaven, as well as in the human race, which is ruled by spirits for that spirits and angels can know such things is the gift of the Lord, which is diminished and increased at His good pleasure, as well that the Lord disposes each and all things. This I now also perceived by an angelic idea.2268.
In a word, every idea, and every little perception [perceptiuncula], and least of affection, is in its own order, or have their own order, from the common principle which inflows. This cannot but be incredible to everyone; but still it is the truth; for otherwise man, spirit, and angel could not have even the least idea, which was shown me by manifest experience, and confirmed by those who were raised up into the sphere of that light.2269.
When they were raised up into such a sphere, it is above the head, quite high, but a little to the front. - 1748, June 10.2270.
They especially observed what is the inspiration of those things that are written in the Word of the Lord, for now it appeared to them how [it took place], and what faculty flowed into those things which were written by me, yea, not only into the sense, but even into the single words and ideas of words, yea, it seemed to them as if certain held my hand, and wrote, deeming that they were those who wrote. This was also granted me to perceive by a spiritual idea, yea, as it were, to feel beforehand what was in the most single [singularissima] [idea] of every little letter which was written: hence it is, as in clear light, that the Word of the Lord is inspired as to every letter. - 1748, June 10.2271.
CONCERNING WHAT IS TO COME. Angels do not know what is to come; the Lord alone knows, and he to whom He thinks worthy to reveal it. I first perceived something to be, as it were, execrated when certain desired to know what was to come, for thence some think to know whether [a thing] is true or not, as is the case with men on earth; but in the last times miracles do not occur, nor are things to come predicted, for many reasons: one only it is permitted to adduce, [namely] [that] the angels, in order that they may be in felicity, must not know in the least what is future, for the Lord looks out for them, what they think, every least moment. So the Lord has said that they were not anxious about the future. Moreover, the knowledge of the future, after which spirits long very much, would involve very many things that would disturb them, and order; wherefore also it is wholly opposed to the government [regimen] of spirits and angels, who must take nothing to themselves [ipsi for ipsis, I think] of their own, but what is permitted them. - 1748, June 10.2272.
CONCERNING THE ACTION OF SPIRITS IN [INTO] THE PROPHETS IN FORMER TIMES. It is known from the Word of the Lord that the prophets in former times [used many postures], had various gestures, and that if they had lived today and performed such things they would be regarded as obsessed: take, for instance [sicut], that Saul laid down naked, and many such things; from which it may be concluded that they were wholly obsessed by spirits, who occupied their body, and all the senses and functions of the body, so that they thought that they were wholly his body.2273.
How it was with the prophets of that time was shown me to the living experience for during a whole night, in which I waked at intervals [vicibus] until morning, I was obsessed by spirits, who so occupied my body, and all that belonged to my body, that I hardly knew, but in a very obscure manner, that it was my body: nevertheless I was still myself [eram mihi], I could think apart from [my body], but as if excluded from the body, and having the thinnest part of [my] body, since spirits occupied the whole [thereof].2274.
When the spirits came, then appeared to me little clouds aggregrated in various forms, part ending in sharp points [desinentibus acuminatim], part otherwise, with variety: the clouds thus aggregrated were black, and it was then indicated to me by persuasion that they were such spirits: I thought that they were insane spirits, who were permitted to obsess me, for such were signified by the clumps of cloud, aggregated together variously.2275.
In the morning there was seen by me a chariot with two horses, wherein was a man, who was carried; then a horse whereon one sat, who was thrown off [rejectus] by the horse backwards, and there lay. Then the horse, as it were, kicked up his heels [recalcitrans] and another then sat on the horse: the horses were generous [gemerosi], as they are called.2276.
I do not yet know what is signified by the chariot with the pair of horses, and by the horseman who was thrown off backwards, and by another sitting [on that horse], unless it relates to those things concerning which I am now instructed, that in former times when there were such prophets, or those with [in] whom in former times spirits acted and spoke, that [such] were those who were thrown off backwards by horses, concerning whom [it is also treated] in Jacob's prophecy, and perhaps elsewhere, and by another sitting [on that horse], was signified the state of that time, when spirits act into man: I saw the chariot and horses in wakefulness; wherefore the throwing off [of the rider] by the horse, and his kicking up the heels [recalcitratio], signifies also the mode of acting in prophets [propheticum modum agendi] [that there were some] who were thrown off [rejiceretur for rejicerentur, I think] backwards, and [they] succeeded who could sit upon horses, and not be thrown off. The horses, before the chariot, in like manner, were generous horses; but the chariot, not so noble, signified intellectual faith.2277.
By that living experience, of some hours' [duration], I was afterwards instructed by a living voice, as I admit, with persuasion, that in a similar manner were the prophets of old [veteres] obsessed, to wit, that when spirits occupied them they occupied the whole of their body, and then that there was nothing of man left, as it were, but that the spirits possessed each and all of his [parts], and hence directed themselves so insanely; the Lord nevertheless directing that they might not bring mischief on anyone. Thus those who were obsessed had nothing of themselves left [ita nihil eorum, qui obsessi erant, relquum sibi habuerunt]. Whether it had been the same with the prophets who wrote, and who knew nothing of those things which they spoke, or how much they had known whether [it was] only words which they had not understood, I do not yet know.2278.
They who were obsessed in the time of the Lord by devils [demonibus] were not differently circumstanced, besides which, these could bring harm upon man; but it was not so with the prophets.2279.
From these things it could also be plain to me that such obsessions of spirits at this day could not act similarly in a man who is in faith, to wit, that he himself does not carry on insanely [non insanum gerere], and is not such as the prophets of old who had no power over themselves [qui impotes sue erant], but that yet he could be similarly possessed by spirits, and notwithstanding be his own master [sui juris], that is to say, of his intellect and his will; for those who are in faith in the Lord cannot be possessed by spirits as to their faculty [ejus for eorum, I think] of thought and action. - 1748, June 11.2280.
During the time that I was in such a state [tempore quo talis eram], I could hear spirits speaking, but yet they were as if separated, for they said that I was absent, being ignorant whether I was there together [with them], and that thus I departed from them. - 1748, June 11.2281.
Spirits who possessed the body afterwards also spoke with me, saying that they did not at all know other than that they were the body as well as the life in the body. They said still further [loquebantur usque alia] that they knew themselves to be spirits, and many things [besides], but this [they learned] from me; because they thus possessed what was mine [mea].2282.
From these things it may be evident that exteriors or external men are exercised with such a prophetic spirit as was Saul and many others who prophesied, concerning whom [it is treated] here and there in the Word; and that thus they were wholly ignorant who they were (when) thus possessed by spirits. But verily, interior men who are in faith cannot be in such a state [tales], who, if they are possessed by a similar spirit, and only a similar one, are still left to themselves, as much in respect to their thoughts as their acts. Wherefore, also, is it predicted that the prophecies should cease, to wit, through the Lord, who should renew the interior man.2283.
Moreover, other prophetic influxes are also given, different from these [quam tales], to wit, [such] that they are wholly their own masters as to their thought, quite as in other respects only that spirits speak with them; and when they are ordered [iis imperatur] to do similar things and to gesticulate, like as the true prophets were commanded, [as] that they should construct walls [and] besiege [them], and the like, of which also the Word [treats] here and there; these influxes take place by internal persuasion, to wit, that it is so commanded by the Lord; and when there is such a persuasion they can by no means resist [it], because the persuasion is that it is so commanded by the Lord, and thus man acts as from himself. This also I was taught several times, through living experience, and know for certain that such is the case. - [This is] written in the presence of spirits. - 1748, June 10.2284.
THAT EVIL SPIRITS ESPECIALLY HOLD INFANTS IN HATRED. It is also given me to know by much experience that evil spirits especially hold infants in hatred; for often when I saw infants, they desired to harm them in various ways [vario modo], yea, to kill them, which was given me to know from their phantasies. Even the infantile, which they enjoy, do (these spirits) hold in hatred; in a word, [they hate] whatever is infantile, by reason that infants are innocences; thus they greatly pursue and hold in hatred the innocent. I inquired whether they also wished to do thus to their own infants. They said no; but [to those] of others, and that they cannot moderate such hatred in themselves. The reason is, because they hold in hatred the Lord, who alone is Innocence. - 1748, June 10.2285.
THAT PARTICULARS CAN BY NO MEANS BE FETCHED [auferri] INTO THE HEAVENS, NOR BE UNDERSTOOD BY THEM. Particulars are the words of every tongue, are the names of men, cities, and the like, which are in the Word of the Lord. These can by no means be fetched into the heavens, for they are the most finite things, therefore not at all suited to their ideas; wherefore only the significations of things [are thus suited]. The speech of angels is not one of words, names, and the like, which are particulars; yea, it is unintelligible to spirits, because it only contains things which the speech of words involves. Nor could angels understand me when speaking, save through mediate spirits, by whom the ideas of particulars were translated [transferrentur] into universal [ideas] and significations of things. Nor do angels have such a memory, to wit.2286.
As the memory of corporeal and merely material ideas, which never agree [congruent] with their disposition, such things are far beneath or without them ((((from which it must be plain enough that by words and names, in the Word of the Lord, are not understood particulars by which the sense of the letter [is bounded], but interiors which are angelic, consequently spiritual and celestial things, therefore Divine things. Wherefore if anyone understands persons by Moses, Aaron, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, least would he be understood by one of the angels; for when angels enter heaven, entire oblivion of such things occurs with them, for they are endued with spiritual and celestial ideas, thus with universal [ideas] and significant things. - 1748, June 10.))))2287.
THAT SOULS ARE GREATLY ASTONISHED THAT THEY ARE SPIRITS. ((A certain spirit now spoke with me, for he is quite high above the head towards the front, when he heard that I was speaking of spirit. He said what is a spirit, supposing himself to be a man, therefore wishes to know what a spirit is; and I told him that since there is a spirit in man, or since there is a spirit of man which thinks, and since the body only serves the spirit for living on earth, and is without it, and since bone and flesh can by no means think that it is therefore necessary that the spirit should be in the body, and when the body deceased it lives, thinks, and speaks. I inquired whether he had ever heard what the soul is he said what is the soul? I know not what the soul is and when it was given to say,2288.
that he is now a spirit which he could know hence, because he is so high above the head, [and] that he does not stand upon the earth [telluri] that he could now perceive this, then being terrified he fled, crying out that he is a spirit, that he is a spirit because as he said, he never knew it before, or because he has not understood what is the soul, nor that he is a soul. This occurred very often, [namely,] that they were greatly astonished at being souls or spirits, since they had never before believed it because they had not understood what is the spirit and what the soul; so that they then complain very much [as to] whither they repair, not knowing where to dwell, and stay, and the like that [concerned them] in the world. Then was it given to say to them that the Lord looks out [consulit] for them, and they have no need of houses nor garments, nor food. - 1748, June 10.2289.
CONCERNING A REPRESENTATION OF THE PASSAGE OF JORDAN When I was reading Joshua, chap. 3 concerning the passage of Jordan, many were exceedingly desirous [ardor occupabat plures] to represent to themselves the passage of Jordan, because the land of Canaan signifies heaven, so that they might come into heaven. This also was granted them, and continued for an entire hour. It was represented that they were passing over [passed over the] Jordan with their families and whatever was theirs, as also that the ark preceded and stood in the midst of Jordan until they had passed over; all this was represented very beautifully before their eyes, and the thought [mens] was then inserted in them to think this a reality [quod non aliter autumarent], when I perceived with what diligence and earnestness they passed over, as well as that presently when they had crossed over, they heartily rejoiced. They kept up this for an entire hour or two; and meanwhile other spirits, who supposed this [mere] phantasies, desired to disturb them by various machinations, but in vain: they were constantly secure and passed over, as they now say.2290.
Meanwhile it was given me to think that the Lord grants such things to them for the sake of reformation, to wit, that certain long for such things and desire them out of innocence, just like infants, and that then they are endued with a state of innocence, together with thoughts about the heaven, signified by the land to which they were passing over. This also I perceived. Thus through delights was insinuated not only the knowledge of what [was meant] by the Jordan, the ark, [and] the land of Canaan, but at the same time under such infantile joy that was innocent he implanted similar things in them. Wherefore they who divided and did not refrain could never effect aught - in whom it is also insinuated that such infantile sports are of use, because they have in themselves the true end, or the Lord, who is Innocence itself [Ipse Innocens] and moreover, that the phantasies of no man and spirit, if considered, were like [theirs], which are so evil as not to bear comparison therewith. - 1748, June 11.2291.
THAT THERE IS CONTINUALLY [continuatio for continuo, I think] [GIVEN] BY THE LORD A PREPARATION [TO RECEIVE] LIFE, AND NEVER LIFE [ITSELF]. I was in discourse with the angels concerning this, whether they receive aught of life, or whether each and all that the Lord operates in men, souls, spirits, and angels are only preparations (for receiving life); that they could never receive life as their own is a truth and confirmed; that they are only organs or organic substances of life, or vessels of life, this also life, not to possess it, this also is a truth. By a spiritual idea the preparation was thus represented, as it were, by kinds [species] of receptions [recipiendi] destitute of life, and that they are only such kinds of receptions these representations cannot fall into human idea while [man] is in the body.2292.
That, should they be prepared to eternity, they could never possess life as their own, is evident from other facts as well as from this; that there are so many evils in the natural mind, that [there is] nothing [there] but evil augmented by parents, by the first man, and through themselves during the whole course of their life; when yet, in order that they may be in heaven, there must be correspondence, which can never be given save in most general things. As, for example, if but one idea be assumed wherein are indefinite things, and all the indefinites are evils made up by associated evils on every side, because [the idea] is an image of the man, therefore [made up] of evils from the first parent, and of acquired evils; since, therefore, a single idea is of such a quality, and the indefinite things of the idea are such as pertain but to one kind of cupidity, and the kinds of cupidity [are] also innumerable in genus, species, and particular, how then can man ever be reformed so that there may be correspondence, except only in a few things, by which few the Lord leads them to heaven and keeps them in the heavens. - 1748, June 11.2293.
THAT SOUL, SPIRITS, AND ANGELS LEARN TRUTHS, AS MUCH IN A PLEASANT AS A SORROWFUL STATE, BUT WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE. Spirits greatly complained when they heard certain truths, as that they were nothing, that they were only vessels and organs of life, that they can do nothing of themselves, and the like; which were very distasteful and offensive to spirits, especially to those who were stirred with self-love. But others learn truths in a pleasant state. Wherefore they complained that they should learn in so hard and grievous a state, for these truths were exceedingly distasteful to them. Then came the thought to angels and spirits why they are taught in a grievous state; but the reply was made them that the state in which they are when they learn has this property, that it returns or is recalled with the truths. Wherefore when a similar truth returns or is recalled, especially when it becomes familiar, and is, as it were, appropriated, then that sadness also returns which is gladdened by the Lord and becomes pleasant; thus its sense is exalted. In like manner everything has relation to its dissimilars, yea, its opposites, as may be apparent from many things in nature; from taste, order, every object of sight, from a thousand other things, from the harmonies of music. - l748, June 11.2294.
Which also is the reason that the states of spirits are varied, so that thereto may be compared the vicissitudes of the year, as also of the day, to wit, morning, noon, evening, and night, also morning, or spring, summer, autumn, winter, also spring. But with indefinite difference; with the angels [the changes] are like its noon, evening, and night, only as in springtime, and they have spring, and so forth. - 1748, June 11. Wherefore I observed that what constituted the felicity and gladness of some spirits was to the angels cheerless and unhappy; because all things are relative.2295.
THAT IDEAS ARE PERCEIVED WITH ALL VARIETY. Something was said by me, which certain spirits afterwards said was not so good as they imagined; but it was given me to reply that it can never happen that one perceives similarly the idea of another; everyone [perceives] according to his disposition, so that the same idea or sense of ideas is never received by one like as by another, as also that everyone receives according to his disposition, and some cannot, because of such quality, [perceive] what there was cheerful and good in the idea; thus they conclude from their own [ideas], for in a single idea are indefinite things; therefore they perceive [each] according to the quality of him who receives. Such is the case with regard to generals as well as singulars, interiors as well as more interior things. This was forthwith shown me. [There were] certain spirits among them who desire to punish, and when they began, I represented plumes in their hands, then palms; they immediately said that we hold in our hands only rods, that is, without leaves, which was done that I might know how ideas are received according to different dispositions. - 1748, June 11.2296.
THAT PERMISSION, LEAVE [venia], GOOD PLEASURE, AND THE WILL OF THE LORD ARE IN ALL THINGS WHICH HAPPEN, BUT HAVE A RELATION [APPLICATE] TO SUBJECTS. It was given to make a distinction amongst permissions, which are divided also into genera, and these into species as also (to distinguish) amongst leaves [venias] which belong to good spirits, and amongst leaves [venias] which belong to angels, and [to divide] all into genera and species. Inasmuch now, as the will of the Lord reigns in each and all things, for He rules all things, therefore good pleasures, leaves, and permissions, are circumstanced according to subjects, like as when many think, speak, or do the same thing; one acts from permission, another from leave, a third from good pleasure, for each and all things are from an end. - I 748, June 11.2297.
CONCERNING THE INDEFINITE [indefinitate] OF ALL THINGS. Inasmuch as it has been said several times that there is nothing given in the nature of things which is not a certain very general principle, and contains in itself indefinite things, not even the idea of a single word; still more: one made up of many ideas, a spirit, was indignant that he therefore comprehended nothing because [there prevailed] the indefinite in everything, as [for instance] now, in fear. But it was given to reply to him that not only is there the indefinite, but an indefinite of indefinites, of indefinities and still of indefinities so that every natural indefinite is multiplied by indefinities multiplied so many times together and then at the same time he was somewhat stirred by a spiritual idea to say that then he was nothing, therefore knew nothing, which is confirmed by the angels. - 1748, June 11.2298.
Afterwards it was said by those then with me that if it had not been for the microscope, by which things could be viewed that were too minute for the eye to see, that they would have supposed, for instance, the greater parts of the body, because they could not see their interiors to be a one; still less [would have supposed] it to consist of indefinites. The microscope revealed that those things they previously supposed to have been a unit contain innumerable things; for instance, that a little worm, scarce visible to the minutest ray of sight, possessed organs of sense, viscera, as many as a large animal, cerebrum, spinal marrows, pulmonary pipes, organs of generation; so that there is not a single thing, not any member whatever, but could yet be detected by the microscope as to whether or no it consisted of follicles, pipes, vessels, fibers, and whether or no a vital fluid was therein, and so forth. Thus it must be evident how much is latent only in those things that are merely corporeal and natural. What therefore may not be latent in fewer things; for whatever vital principle arises hence happens by mediate organic substances. - 1748, June 11.2299.
CONCERNING THOSE WHO WISH TO ENTER INTO DIVINE MYSTERIES BY NATURAL PHILOSOPHY, OR THE THINGS OF PHYSICS. When the discourse was concerning spirituals, that which was perceived by me with a spiritual idea was perceived by a certain one materially; as it were, small white lines, which was a sign that spirituals are conceived of materially, which yet are not material things, because they are the powers of substances. When, therefore, they [who depend] on physics or philosophy desire hence to enter into those things that are spiritual and belong to faith, then their material ideas remain which are thus represented in the other life. Such persons are very greatly afflicted in the other life when they hear the truths of faith, yea, even to [that pitch] of anxiety, that they suppose they can scarcely be cured. This was given me to know today by experience, from a certain spirit who was so long afflicted that they despaired of his [cerum for ejus, I think] being cured. But no disease or irremediable evil is given, because the power of the Lord is infinite.2300.
Such spirits have also this peculiarity, that they very widely diffuse their phantasies concerning spirituals, and, as it were, close up the ideas of others, so that others can scarcely perceive spirituals otherwise. Therefore, unless they are reduced to another state, they can by no means be present so long in the societies of spirits; whether [they can be among the societies] of the celestials, I cannot yet know, only that then thoughts concerning the causes of things, and the like, must be removed. - 1748, June 11.