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

Spiritual Diary


As only, for example, that proneness to irritability [iracundia] is turned into zeal; wherein is the natural principle of active life increased from the spiritual active life for the glory of the Lord.


(THAT ANGELS KNOW FROM AN IDEA OF MAN, EVEN HIS LEAST, WHAT SORT OF SPIRITS ARE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD.) Man's ideas, as already said, contain in themselves, have in themselves, near and remote from themselves, indefinite things all of which are wont to be excited, as may be known to anyone. When I exercised thought, or had an idea of a single thing, then those things which were in or near the idea were excited by spirits and indeed variously. They excited whatever accorded with themselves and their nature; the evil, evils according to their disposition; the good, goods. Hence the angels could immediately recognize the Lord granting and doing it, of what sort of genus and species were the spirits present, also where they were, and from what region, besides other things which I do not know.


Hence also it must be evident of what quality are human ideas, and that they are excited by spirits according to the state of man. - 1748, June 18.


CONCERNING BALAAM, WHY HE PRONOUNCED A BLESSING. It may happen [to appear] wonderful to anyone that Balaam could curse the people; but that Jehovah did not hearken to him, yea, also that he had to bless them, as is also read Joshua 24:9, 10, as if the cursing of the people [ejus] pronounced by him [he would have cursed them if thereby he] could have effected anything. But I am able to know, to some extent, from the state of the world of spirits, to wit, that very many of them seek a pretext for punishing; and as soon as they find aught of evil, that is of any moment, desire the soul to be delivered to them, as I know from many experiences. They anxiously search for whatever evil they can find, and when they find evil, claim the right over it; moreover, the soul is relinquished to them to be punished, for when the evil is great, then it is in the evil to be punished; wherefore the Lord, on account of justice, permits the evil and false to be punished, but only for the sake of its reformation or good. Since, therefore, there were such things in the people of Israel as were nefarious, idolatrous, and filthy, the Lord was unwilling that these should be detected by Balaam, and so be arraigned, for it was true that they were such; they would then have been condemned, which the Lord forbade, as continually is His custom, when souls recently [from the body] come [into the spiritual world] and are [there] arraigned. That Balaam could speak with spirits, and that he was led by them, is manifest enough from his confession. - 1748, June 18.


THAT SOULS AND SPIRITS ALSO TAKE WITH THEM INTO THE OTHER LIFE CORPOREAL THINGS. I think you may see, touch, odor or smell hearing, sight, as also appetite already treated of. Souls wonder greatly that they are wholly as they were in the life of the body, so that they can make no distinction between their life in the body and after their death of the body, and suppose themselves to be [still] in the body. It was granted to tell them that the life of the body does not belong to the body, [but] only appears to belong to the body; but life which is felt in the body belonging to the spirit wherefore spirits take that life [eam] with them, because they have become accustomed to corporeals while they have lived in the body. That life belongs to the spirit, and that the spirit possesses the body as a sort of covering or instrument for living on the earth, may be evident from this, that when they are in want, as also when in sleep, they have no sense of a body wherefore the sense of the body does not belong to the body, but to the spirit; nevertheless, it is formed in the body according to the form of its organs, and hence [according to] perception, to which, because spirits are accustomed, the senses therefore remain to it. - 1748, June 18.


CONCERNING THE LITERAL SENSE OF THE WORD. Whenever I read in the Word of the Lord, certain spirits were solicitous about the words [verbis], or words [vocibus]; to whom it was given to say that the names there, as those of cities, countries, men, can never pass into heaven to the angels, because they are finite corporeal, and material, so that they are ignorant what these names mean neither can the other words [voces reliquioe] [reach them], nor can the literal sense or that of the letter, because it also is corporeal, mundane, and material, but that the interior and more interior sense may. The sense of the letter only comes to the nearest spirits, therefore, if [no sense of the Word] comes into heaven to the angels there cannot be any life in the sense of the Word of the Lord. That angels do not understand the sense of the letter of the Word may hence also be manifest, in that their speech is ineffable because of such things as belong to interior and more interior things, hence to the essence of things which is life. - 1748, June 18.


CONCERNING THE SITUATION OF SPIRITS WITH RESPECT TO THE BODY. See what was before said: that spirits obtain situations in relation to the human body according to the quality of each, and also that they change situations, but not otherwise than is usual, when the heterogeneous things of the body ascend to the head and infest it, or [go] to other regions or parts of the body where is not their [proper] genuine situation, from which, nevertheless they are cast out in the healthy body.


Not only was such a situation observed constantly around my own body, but if there were many like me, the same spirits also appeared with them in a like situation, not any more remote or any nearer; so that the same spirits [were similarly situated] in the body like those who were without the body, no matter how distant one might be.


Spirits who were unwilling to believe this, wishing, as is their custom, to conjecture the reason [thereof], doubted considerably whether matters were so, although from their situation the same spirits could have observed and known the same, and not been able to deny it; but because the reason was hidden from them, and because the thing was previously unknown and was an appearance, it was granted to tell them that sensual and visible experience should be believed. Like as in the life of the body, innumerable things are therein [ibi] of whose cause we are ignorant, but when they have the experience of the senses and ocular experience, they do not any longer doubt, but believe. That there are innumerable such things,


may be manifest from the innumerable things that exist in the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms and the atmospheres, as that in the human body the fluids do not seek attitudes and situations according to their weights, that upwards is where the circumference is; for instance, in the globe of the world and bodies that are whirled around, that plants grow from a seed, that the flowers which are colored, and thence beautiful, that odors, taste, sight, and hearing, knowledge, and innumerable other things, were they not believed in when experience shows that it is true, then nothing could be believed. It has now become familiar to them, wherefore many believe. - 1748, June 18.


CONCERNING SOCIETIES, THAT THEREIN ARE ALSO SUCH AS CONTRADICT OR DISSENT FROM THEM. In societies that are not yet reduced to order, or which still labor under many [defects] vices, there are spirits who do not concur therewith, but dissent, and indeed not always openly, but by thinking [otherwise]. I have observed such in some societies by whom those who are in the society are infested and when the occasion is given, endeavor to eject them, and expose them by various jests [ludicris] and [discriminations] discussions as it were; yea, also do much arraign them, and say what contradicts and does not concur with them. The reason is, in order that those in the society may be compelled not to diffuse [scatter] themselves more widely, and this may be held in a sort of equilibrium as it were; that is, in an equality as regards thought speech, and action, and bonds, as it were, are placed upon them; and I have observed when they complained of those [in the society] and described them, that they did not strive with them by means of truths on all occasions that sometimes they only dissent from then. Sometimes [they strive] by truths according to the quality of the society.


I have continually observed in my experience [penes] the contradictory things of spirits, for without contradictories [contrarieties] is given no limited sphere. - 1748, June 18. Without suitable contrarieties there is no wit [sal], for this takes place for the sake of reformation, that they may not wander beyond limits [ne extravagentur].


CONCERNING THE DRAGON. See above [prius] concerning the Dragon. I have observed that he is of such a nature, that when he is in fear he is then also thinking of what is to befall him; when he is in that state he repents, is full of grief [dolet], and wishes to return to himself [resipiscere], groans, yea, is in such misery as we read the Jews [were plunged] when in captivity and affliction on account of enemies. But presently when he emerges (from this state), he returns to himself and is like himself and contrives and devises nothing but evil against all that belongs to faith. From him as their father, and from his seed do those who are such derive [habent] [their disposition] especially the Jews, because he is their father. - 1748, June 20.


He can feign, namely, speak one thing and think another when he speaks familiarly, then treachery is inwardly in his thought which is to feign, as has been often enough observed, said and shown. It is not permitted other spirits to feign. - 1748, June 20.


CONCERNING MAN'S LIBERTY. One law of order in the government of the universe by the Lord is, that to everyone is left liberty; for without liberty there is no life, nor any worship, and without liberty there is no reformation. In the other life there is also liberty, but it is apparent [not real]; it is granted to everyone to will: this they think to be their own, and cannot distinguish in the other life from liberty. This they have told me several times but there is a difference. - 1748, June 20.


CONCERNING SPIRITS, THAT THEY ARE IN PLACE [LOCALITY]. ((I spoke with spirits around me, [to the effect] that certain spirits have all opinion that they cannot be in place because they are spirits, and because they perceive spirit as a thought only, they have no idea of any substance that is a subject of thought. It was said that thought, which is internal sight cannot be without a subject any less than sight, which is not given without an [the] eye. It was further said, that thought cannot be included in place, as neither sight, because it wanders [extravagatur] to the bounds of the universe, and human thought to those things that belong to faith; wherefore thought cannot be included in place. Therefore, those who suppose spirit to be merely thought without a substance for a subject, are mistaken, and entirely ignorant what spirit is.


Since a spirit is a substance, and indeed a subtle organism, that is, the subject of thought, a spirit therefore also speaks; as has been the case with me now for some years, sometimes almost continually in the daytime, just as in human society, with a living and clear voice, which, though audible to me, was not so to my neighbors or others near me. Spirits have other things which are in the body, concerning which [I have treated] elsewhere. It is added that it is the spirit in the human body which thinks, which wills, which desires, which sees, etc.; wherefore, by no one who wishes to understand, can it be denied that the spirit, because in the body, is a substance, and in a place. It is not outside of a man, but in the body of man; although thought [proceeding] from the spirit diffuses itself outside thereof, yea, produces its effect at a distance, like speech, light, sight. Wherefore thought [ea] cannot be said to be in place, but from the spirit which is in place. - 1748, June 20.


That they suppose nothing can be predicated of spirit, for instance, place, extension, and the like, is for the reason that they suppose there is nothing which they do not see or apprehend by the senses, because at this day men are corporeal, and desire to be wise only from the body. - 1748, June 20.


Certain spirits who had no preconceived opinion of matter, place, extension, parts without parts, and what substance is, these perceived immediately that it was absurd to say that spirits were not subjects that are substances; but those who were learned, who were also around me, and had a preconceived opinion about these things, could not perceive it so well, inhering indeed in their significations and definitions of such words)); yea, when it was permitted by means of a spiritual idea, to separate thought from an organic substance which was material and subtle, they were indignant, and supposed they should thus vanish into nothing; they wish to add that such things are jests [ludicra] which those called learned fashion for themselves in definitions of certain words so that they close to themselves the way for understanding interiors, remaining therefore in ultimates, sensuals, and corporeals. - 1748, June 20.


In a word, he who inheres in words, inheres, in material and corporeal things and so closes the way to interiors. To those who regard words as nothing, and perceive no material principle therein, as they who have not inhered in philosophical definitions of words, the way is more open and can be more quickly opened. The former must first shake off the material things which close the ideas. - 1748, June 20.


THAT THE COGITATIONS OF SPIRITS, WHICH ARE ONLY PERSUASIONS, ARE NOT PERCEIVED IN THE SAME MANNER AS [THOSE THOUGHTS] WHICH WERE CUPIDITIES. There are two things which rule minds, [viz.] persuasions and affections. When only persuasions were in the thought of spirits they were not perceived by me; but when cupidities and affections [are] [therein], they easily manifest themselves, for they affect; wherefore they, as it were, spoke with me on several occasions by mere cupidities and their variations therefore, wholly in a tacit manner, without any voice.


THAT WHATEVER EVIL HAPPENS, EVEN THE LEAST, COMES FROM EVIL SPIRITS. Evil spirits have sometimes said that they could not have been the cause that any evil had happened, because it was as it were accidental, and they were ignorant what they were, therefore did not wish to acknowledge that it proceeded from them; but it was replied that still it proceeds from them, although it is as if accidental, and as if they do not do it from their will, because the common evil which flows from them, has as it were, continually with itself such consequences. This was also shown today, by this: I was kept by certain ones in a sort of ignorance or obscurity and for quite a long time; then certain badly written and erroneous things crept in, not that they willed it, but because they kept me in [that] obscurity, and were of such a character as wished to rule from themselves those things that were written; hence the obscurity, wherefore, the single slips and errors, even the least proceeded from them, for it is entirely different when I enjoy the light of the Lord. It happened similarly in the rest [other things]. - 1748, June 92.


Those who induce obscure things are such a sort, as in their life were (in an obscure state) [obscuri] in spiritual and celestial things, still supposing that they were in the light.


CONCERNING THOSE WHO ARE VERY HIGH, AND CONCERNING HYPOCRITES. There are some who are very high above the head, nearly above the crown, a little to the front, who spoke with me and said that during life they had been most humble; I heard further, that they who during life humble themselves greatly, with the end to be greatest or highest [summi] in heaven, and also (humble) themselves before men in like manner, with the same end and still during their life are quite different, thus in their interiors seek after the world and love themselves above others, therefore are hypocrites; these in the other life elevate themselves very high in heaven. I knew one of them who was treacherous above others, wishing to perform treachery under the persons of the pious.


And those, moreover, do also elevate themselves on high, who in the life of the body had a lofty mind [animus] and humbled themselves for the sake of honor for themselves, glory and the world, and had shown themselves humble in external countenance, and yet sought after the biggest [summus] honors with honor and self-love for their end; although with the mouth they confessed humility, yet in the heart they had loftiness; who also are hypocrites.


THAT SOCIETIES HAVE THEIR SPIRITS WITH MEN. Societies of spirits sent spirits to me, or selected for themselves spirits to be near me, whom I have already denominated subjects; for through them they know what is thought and what speaks, wherefore, they sent to me their spirits several times for the sake of communication, otherwise the communication would be taken away. This is as it were innate in spirits, for they all know that it is so. It was also given to learn it from evil spirits, who have their emissaries like centers of communication round about, like spiders in their webs; hence they form communications for themselves.


Hence it is given to infer, that there is no man with whom there are not such spirits, for without them, there would be no communication with the world of spirits.


As respects the brute animals it is different, for they live according to the order of their nature and have no need of any spirit to be with them.


It was also given me to know how it is when there are societies. There was a sort of common acting principle which cannot be expressed. But such cannot exist with everyone, for it is miraculous. Man who is not in order, but contrary to order, cannot be without spirits adjoined to himself and through them, by communications with such societies as agree with his life; for in the other life it is also shown what sort of societies had been adjoined to man, which were similar to him.


CONCERNING THOSE WHO INHERE IN THE WORDS ONLY OF THE LORD'S WORD, AND ARE LITTLE SOLICITOUS ABOUT THE SENSE. It was shown me that I was under a certain arched place; it was arched, or roofed [laqueare], as is the custom in Holland, or elsewhere, on the underside of their bridges [and was composed] of bricks [lateritis lapidibus] visibly distinct of an obscure color; and there at certain times appears to them as if this brickwork [lateritium] was interrupted, and there was something there full of bubbles [ballatum], or bubbling like an obscure cloud which bubbled up with great bubbles. Then in the midst of the roof was something opened as it were but of an obscure color, so that heaven was not visible, and therefore no day. Above the head, at the back part of the head, appeared at the back part something attenuated, as if it were luminous, which insinuated itself. Such are their habitations [domicilia] who study the Lord's Word, with no other end than to understand the critical observations and the words. Amidst such a society I was sent, when it was granted me to see these things, and I was told that such roofs [laquearia] bubblings of clouds, and luminous principle (at the back part) [aversa parte], appear to them. - 1748, June 22.


Wherefore in these things as in the rest, the law is universal, that each and all things are circumstanced according to the end, and that there are genera and species of ends; therefore (that ends) [are] indefinite.


THAT THOSE WHO ARE AFAR OFF HEAR AND PERCEIVE MORE EXQUISITELY WHATEVER IS THOUGHT, AND WHATEVER I SPEAK, THAN THOSE WHO WERE NEARER. I spoke with those who were afar off and, indeed, very high above the head, therefore farther off than the rest. They said that they perceived my thoughts and sayings better than those who were nearer, or better than when they [themselves] are nearer. I was also persuaded [of the fact] because they are circumstanced like what is nearer to any loud sound which [qui I think should be quoe] take up more of the sound by which the sense of the words is carried off. But those who are afar off only attend to the thing, and the sound does not thus carry away [the sense]. They said they perceived the more minute things, and indeed with the intellect. - 1748, June 22.


CONCERNING INTELLECTUAL FAITH, AND THE PERSUASION OF THOSE THINGS THAT BELONG TO FAITH. I have been discoursing with souls, who supposed they had learned, acknowledged, and taught the true doctrine of faith, and [to the effect] that many persuade themselves they have faith, when they do not have it. Knowledge only is given which is a matter of the memory, and during the life of the body, [and] especially in the other life, they are confirmed by many things, that it is the case that the Lord rules the universe, and the single things of the universe, that they are nothing, that they can do and contribute nothing to faith and regeneration; that in them is nothing but what is filthy, loathsome, and obscure, and mists. When such things are confirmed from various persuasions as well as experiences, then are they distressed; they resist, they grieve, fall into perplexities and pains, and in themselves contradict and are unwilling to admit confirmations, - even those who were strenuous defenders of the faith, with whom I spoke in the other life, which same thing they also confessed and wondered at. Hence it was given to know that they could not have had faith, except only orally, and had defended it with the lips, when yet they had not believed it: wherefore, they were no farther persuaded.


Moreover, in order that the soul may be able to be in the society of angels, it must be entirely persuaded of these things, and, indeed, so as not only to admit confirmations easily (not to be distressed, as above said) but also to desire to confirm it; therefore [proceeding] as it were with the current [secundo fluvio]. Then light is given them by the Lord, not only to understand that it is so, but also to perceive confirmations, and to add many things which confirm: thus they have knowledge of faith more than others. It is different with those who are not of such a character: in each confirming fact, although they have orally professed [faith], in the life of the body, occurs a struggle. Thus, [the soul] strives against the current, hence against knowledges, which, therefore, cannot be given to him, for they are, as it were, contrary to him; hence there is obscurity with them. - 1748, June 22.


Wherefore they call faith only knowledges, when yet faith is not given, unless in the knowledges is persuasion, and in the persuasions the desire of confirming things, and hence love, [and] so saving faith, because the Lord is in Faith, and is Faith, and gives Faith. - 1748, June 22.


CONCERNING THE SENSE OF TOUCHES WITH SPIRITS. Certain greatly wondered that spirits had the sense of touch, and, indeed, an exquisite one, then yet they were spirits, and it was contrary to all their opinion in the life of the body that spirits can have touch. It was given to tell them that this should by no means be wonderful, since man during life does not have the sense of touch, and the other senses, from the body, but from the spirit that is in the body, from which the body has its life. Without the life of the spirit, cannot be given the life of touch in the body, like as there is no sight of the eye apart from the sight of the spirit. Whatever appears vital in the body, does not belong to the body, but to its spirit. Wherefore, after the death of the body, a similar principle remains; for the spirit supposes itself to be certainly in the body, which opinion at last ceases. This is the reason of the corporeal touches, which only exist with them who come recently from the life of the body into the other life. Subtler senses succeed, all of which must still be referred to the sense of touch, in order that they may be senses.


CONCERNING THE STATE OF THE WORLD OF SPIRITS BEFORE THE ADVENT OF THE LORD. I spoke with those in heaven, concerning the state of spirits, or of the world of spirits, before the Lord's advent into the world; that it had been of such a quality as was their the faith of men on earth, especially among the Jews, who were in knowledges, to wit, that many had been ignorant that there is a life after death. Very many openly denied it. The Pharisees who defended it were not such as were persuaded of the resurrection of the body, as appears from the Lord's Word. Such were the spirits in the world of spirits before the advent of the Lord. I saw this firstly. Another point was, that they were wholly ignorant that Messiah was to come, in order to save them to eternity, in a kingdom that would last to eternity, but only that he would make them lords in the world, and thus they were ignorant the Lord would come, on account of the salvation of souls.


It was entirely different with those in the most Ancient Church, and in the Ancient Church after the flood, which perished in the time of Abraham.


That spirits, when they had been such, could not have been easily instructed in the other life, is apparent from this: that if man has no true knowledges of faith in the life of the body, there cannot be given knowledge in the other life to such spirits; for the knowledges which they had in the life of the body also remain after death, and are easily revived, as is manifest to me from very many conversations with souls after death; for when they were told that of such a sort had been their confession of faith in life, they then immediately acknowledge and know that it had been such. It is the same with other knowledges, which when recalled to them, they know and acknowledge, just as if they were still in the life of the body. Hence it may be concluded what a true knowledge of faith may effect after death, and what no knowledge of faith [effects]. - 1748, June 22.


Hence it may be evident that unless the Lord had then come into the world, all would have perished, and the communication of heaven with men would have been broken. Hence the human race could not but perish, because there was no mediate cause, through the spiritual world, by which they might be instructed in the work of regeneration, for angels cannot inflow into man's thought, manifestly, save through subordinate or mediate spirits; for such is the thought and speech of angels, as to be incomprehensible to man, and within his thought: therefore nothing could be predicated of it [proinde non in ullius predicationem], therefore it could not publish anything. 1748, June 22.


CONCERNING THOSE WHO ONLY STUDY THE SENSE OF THE LETTER OF THE LORD'S WORD, AND HENCE MAKE COLLECTIONS. There were with me certain of those who collected those things that belonged only to the sense of the letter in the Lord's Word. When I collected those things which were in the Lord's Word, and then at the same time attended to the interior sense, they only [studied] the sense of the letter, and I must acknowledge that there was such obscurity and such repugnance, as it were, and labor, as is usual when anyone walks [vadit] in deep sand, needs raise his feet at every step. They drew back, when I wished to elevate my mind, so that it was very irksome both to them and to me; for it was a labor which fatigued both parties. Hence it is given to conclude how they will be who inhere only in letters, and study them, when they should give ear to the interiors of the Word, [and] that there is a continual repugnance and continual labor, besides which they delight in letters, as in the strewn sand, and desire to walk there, and do not want to be elevated towards interiors. Hence also it must be evident what sort of difficulty they have in the other life, to be elevated towards interiors and heaven: for in the other life letters and the literal sense of the Word is nothing, but they are destroyed like the body of the soul, before they can be elevated towards heaven. - 1748, June 23.


CONCERNING MANIFEST OPERATIONS OF SPIRITS. It has been observed here and there, as to which (see, elsewhere, that spirits have produced on my body effects entirely perceptible to sense [sensibilem prorsus], as regards every sense, just as external objects [do]: for instance, they have scattered disagreeable and sweet odors often enough and I have spoken of these things [namely] that they have maltreated my body [so as to cause] very grievous pain, and this on several occasions; have most manifestly induced cold and heat, and cold more frequently have, as it were, driven along blasts of wind: I have felt the wind plainly, yea, so as to cause the flame of the candle to flicker. Wherefore, it should not be doubted that they are organic substances, and not merely thought, as some [are wont] to conceive them abstractly from subject substances, and almost persuade others to conceive, by descriptions of spirits, from whom they abstract everything that can yet be predicated: these abstractions being made, man can no longer have any idea of them. Wherefore, they doubt and hesitate, and are ignorant that spirits in the body, or spirits separated from the body, are real substances, and such substances in man as are conjoined to the material [parts] of his body; for from these, whilst man lives, he cannot be separated. But of what sort is the conjunction, can also be related. - 1748, June 23.


WHY SPIRITS DO NOT MANIFEST THEMSELVES BEFORE MEN, AND INSTRUCT MEN CONCERNING THE EXISTENCE AND QUALITY OF SPIRITS. There are very many causes which are in the Lord's secret and sanctuary, why such things do not exist. It is permitted to relate only that they cannot be manifested to a man who is not in the knowledges of true faith, because the Lord can thus be present, and take care that spirits, inasmuch as they fly around in troops and squadrons, and desire nothing else than to pervert man, yea, kill him, may not bring harm to man, as regards his body and soul; for when it is allowed them to manifest themselves, then they also operate to the manifest sense, upon the ideas and will of man. It is different with those who are in the knowledges of true faith. The Lord then takes care that such things may not be brought on man. Moreover, to raise spirits and souls of the dead before the eyes of man, and thus urge him to believe, this also is contrary to the Lord's wisdom, who does not break man but bends him. These things in the presence of spirits and angels. - 1748, June 23.


CONCERNING THE INTELLIGENCE AND WISDOM OF THE ANGELS. The intelligence and wisdom of the angels is incredible to man, because such is not given in the human race. It consists in the faculty of knowing, and perceiving or understanding, and being wise with indefinite things, which never reach nor can come to the knowledges of man; and should they come, men could not receive and believe them. The faculty is of such a sort that when any truth has never been heard of by them before, they immediately know not only what is its quality but also its genera and species of genera, which can be perceived, and if it pleases the Lord, be displayed without premeditation [extempore], in their order and their series; as also I have heard once, and it was given me to know several times, as, for example, if there are any of the more secret things in the internal [and] external members of the human body, they immediately perceive whether and how they agree, and this [they knew] from the Grand Man. Yea, I have heard the differences enumerated by him, concerning which he has never before thought, but it is given him without premeditation [extempore], because he is in the light of truth, likewise in spiritual and celestial things, and everything else that belongs to faith; in a word, their faculty of understanding and being wise; therefore their understanding and wisdom is such that if men knew it they would be amazed: for the greatest endowment of man is scarcely their least, and one thing of man's becomes indefinite with the angels. - 1748, June 23.


Of what quality is their faculty of understanding and being wise, may also be concluded from other things, as from this that if they only view or penetrate with the sight into an evil spirit, he is then tortured as though he were in the deepest hell; for the force of wisdom so penetrates that there is nothing of the spirits that does not seem to him, as it were, dissolved: so once upon a time a certain evil spirit who was only slightly inspected by angels, began to lament and supplicate, as if in the anguish of death. He appeared to me to be twined into coils of snakes. [This followed] from the glance only [of those angels] and hence the penetrating force thereof.


Hence it may also be evident that if a spirit only speaks or thinks, they can know from any of his ideas of what quality he is, and innumerable things which a spirit can never believe that they know. [Sciat for sciant, I think.]


Then it also [follows] hence, that if a man only runs over a volume with his eyes, and does not read what he has written, but slightly, they immediately know what it contains, and of what sort were his ideas about each thing; therefore if he should read even a single line, though written many years before, they know innumerable things, [as] of what quality his ideas have been, whence [they came] which precede [and] which follow; and this at a glance of the eye. - 1748, June 23.


THAT EVIL SPIRITS ARE ENTIRELY LIKE BRUTES THAT HAVE A FACULTY OF REASONING, THUS ARE, AS IT WERE, RATIONAL BRUTES. I have sometimes said to evil spirits, and thus have also thought, they then perceiving my thoughts, that they are only brutes, and indeed rational in this sense, that they enjoy a reasoning faculty, but cannot exercise it for good; wherefore it is necessary that they be without a corporeal memory, such as they possessed in the life of the body, or that they be held in that state; for of themselves they rush into the worst things, and are viler than brute animals, because they rush contrary to order, and to pervert order in themselves, and in the common [sphere].


But good spirits, and still more the angels, are wholly different, for every exercise of thinking and acting is given them by the Lord, so that they are not thus held in bonds, but are led to all good, and indeed in such a manner that they suppose that it is they who lead themselves. Yet they are well aware that they by no means do so, but that the Lord Alone leads them, and gives them rationality and reason, therefore intelligence and wisdom. - 1748 June 24.


CONCERNING THE STATE OF FEAR. All evil spirits whoever they are, can be reduced to humiliation, self-annihilation, supplication, self-acknowledgment that they are filthy, and to everything that belongs to true faith, by means of fear; and the more anyone loves himself and the world, the more [easily can he be reduced] to acknowledgment and confession; because he fears for himself, and the loss of those things which he so greatly loves. But that state is not the state of his reformation, for as soon as they relapse they are like what they were before. Wherefore other states will transpire [erunt] which are numerous [plures], in order that man, when without fear and pain, or melancholy, may acknowledge those things that belong to true faith. Wherefore the Lord rarely admits fears and their species. - 1748, June 24.

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