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

Spiritual Diary


THAT ALL THINGS ARE JUDGED ACCORDING TO ENDS IN THE OTHER LIFE. It is known that the end is the all in all of the thoughts of man. All that he thinks are mediate ends in various order looking to the ruling end or the love thereof hence [make up] his whole disposition. I spoke concerning these things with the spirits, and that they might be shown it was given to say, that if anyone should convert the whole world to Christianity, and the end be self-glory, self-love, and the like, then he obtains no reward therefore in the other life, because the end was not the glory of the Lord, or the salvation of the human race; and on the contrary, if anyone should persecute and overthrow Christianity, and nevertheless from an innocent end, because thus he supposed it good, that then he is rewarded. Souls and spirits are unwilling to admit this, because it is common [familiare] with them if anyone has bestowed anything for the doctrine of faith in the life of the body that he wishes to be rewarded therefore, no matter what the end is.


Wherefore it was granted to confirm that devils never intend anything else than to destroy what belongs to faith, and the Lord bends all things to good, [and] because good [arises] from this source [inde] they cannot be rewarded; also that devils tempt man grievously in spiritual temptations. Nevertheless man is hence regenerated; these therefore cannot receive reward; so those who from an evil end do good [the reward] does not belong to them: and it was further given to say that if they should do [good] from a good end, they are not rewarded therefore from merit, but from mercy, because the Lord operates it through them, and has disposed them so as they can be such, thus from mercy, on account of his glory. - 1748, June 30.


THAT ALL MEN INCLINE TO EVERY EVIL, BUT BY ACTUALITY ARE BORNE TO ONE EVIL RATHER THAN TO ANOTHER. It has already been said, that man is born into every evil, thus inclines to every evil by acquisition of evils from parents in succession from the first [man], so that there is nothing in him but evil; but by acquisition he inclines to one [evil] more than to another. This was represented to me when spirits told me that I felt just like they did, if I was held in a similar state, which I admitted, but perceived that actuality must needs be present during life in sins, so that [one] is borne to one evil more than to another, although the inclination to the same evil lies concealed in the hereditary root, so that if I had acquired a similar [evil] through actuality I would also be like [them] that I was inclined to some evils more than to others. - 1748, June 30.


Which may also be confirmed from infants, boys and girls, who die, who cannot be held in such evils as adults, who have acquired actuality to themselves, although their inclination is to every evil. In like manner [it may be confirmed] from this, that there are indefinite diversities of evils, and [evils are] distinguished into genera and species and individuals, so that one does not incline to a similar evil with another. - 1748, June 30.


THAT INTERIORS OR [THE THINGS] OF THE NATURAL MIND DISAGREE WITH EXTERIORS AND CORPOREALS. There was a certain spirit who spoke with me, to whom it was given to say, that I could be, or seem to be, as regards the body, like to him, but not so as respects interiors; whereat he marveled how there can be exteriors apart from interiors, because he did not suppose interiors are given; for those who are corporeal, do not indeed think that far, as that beside corporeals and their sensuals interiors are given. To convince him, it was given to tell him that he may know men in the world are different in the body or externals from what they are in thought.


For they are accustomed to feign in the body, other actions, other words, and put forward other countenances than agree with their thought [quam qualiter cogitant]. Wherefore it is clear that interiors are given which can disagree with exteriors or corporeals; when the spirit heard that, he acknowledged that it is so, but I think he had never exercised reflection about such things. There are very many such things if man reflects and acknowledges for truth, that there is an interior man which is different from the exterior; from which he may know such things; but because he studies the body only he cares [curant for curat, I think] nothing for such things. - 1748, June 30.


WHATSOEVER IS ACQUIRED BY ACTUALITY CANNOT BE ERADICATED, BUT MAN MAY BECOME BETTER THROUGH THE LORD. Whatsoever evil is acquired or contracted [through] actuality by man, appears sometimes as if it can be eradicated, to wit, that man may become better, but the case is different; what is once acquired remains, and that man seems to grow better, and thus as it were to forget evil, so that the man is no longer prone to evil, this does not come from man, nor [is it true] that evil is obliterated, but the Lord covers over evil, or gives the faculty of good, whereby evil is as it were covered over, so that the man seems to himself [to be] better; for everything belonging to the good man, everything of the reformed man, and everything of the regenerated man is of the Lord. - 1748, June 30.


As respects the vices of the body which [do not arise] from the mind [animo] and mind [mente] the case is different, so that if he takes up a distaste for wine or intoxicating drink from any cause in the body, or any such thing [results] from disease, there are also such things with the brutes; but the discourse is concerning moral and spiritual evils. The evils of the body are almost circumstanced like one who is not able to walk, and hence does not desire to, because his foot is broken or wounded and the like.


THAT MAN CAN NEVER BE JUDGED FROM EXTERNAL HABITS [habitu] AS TO WHAT HIS LIFE WILL BE AFTER DEATH. Manifest examples of those whom I have known in the life of the body were shown [to prove] that they of whom men judged harshly are good in the other life, and they of whom men judged well in the life of the body are evil, because men do not know how to judge but from externals; nor do they know whether [persons] act from ignorance, and what was their end; for the end is known to the Lord alone. - -1748, June 30.


THAT THERE IS NO LIFE IN EVIL. I spoke with spirits who supposed that they had life more than [prae] others because they were able to do evil - which thing they thought several times before; but I have told them nearly as often that they are nothing, as also perhaps, that there is no life [in evil] comparing it with inanimate [substances] which injure by [their] weight when let go and [as] at present [is the case] with brutes, which also can inflict evil. When again they supposed evil had life, it was granted to say to them, whether they believe that there is sight [lux] in darkness, they said No. Then it was given to say, the light in spirituals represents life, and the darkness, death; and that life is truth and goodness, and death is evil. Since this is so, can they say that life is in death. When they heard and perceived these things by a spiritual idea they were speechless, and could say nothing, because it is the truth. - 1748, June 30.


CONCERNING BEAUTY AND PLEASANTNESS. I spoke with spirits concerning beauty and pleasantness, that beauty is a form in which and therefore from which [arises] pleasantness, and that pleasantnesses hence [derived] reduced in like manner into form, are beauty, and in like manner in these, therefore from them [arise] pleasantnesses in an interior degree; these amenities again reduced into form beget new beauty, from their variety, because it is therein, [arises] again a new amenity, which is the inmost, therefore felicity. Thus all felicities are in order and flow in beauty, and thus in succession, from the highest through inmost more interior and interior things to exteriors where they are natural and corporeal. - 1748, June 30.


CONCERNING THE MORE INTERIOR AND INMOST THINGS OF THE WORD. As respects the more interior and inmost things of the Word of the Lord, these cannot be displayed before human eyes, like as interiors may, because they are ineffable, and such as no understanding may comprehend, and if they were told, could scarcely have appeared so connected as those things that are in the interior sense, because [their] nexus is also incomprehensible and ineffable; not otherwise than is the case with the interiors of the human body, which, displayed to unskillful eyes, by no means appear to be connected that they may constitute a man, when yet if even one were deficient, man could not live in the body; wherefore there is such a nexus amongst them as cannot, however, be comprehended save by the skillful, so that one respects another in a series and order which is supremely harmonious, although it does not appear so. But the interiors of the Word are the things which may be comprehended, because they can be seen from and in naturals when the Lord illuminates the understanding. These things from the angels. - 1748, June 30.


Certain of the families of spirits thought about those things which are now written respecting incomprehensible and ineffable things, as that it cannot be seen save from externals and effects, that from such arise those which cohere in most beautiful connection and follow in order. For example [it may appear] from those things which are the externals of man, and from [his] actions that the fibers are thus disposed in most beautiful order, from so many of which an action is composed and can exist of such a sort; wherefore it was given to reply to them, that they may by no means reason concerning it whether it is so or not, unless they should see these things and be therein, yea, think therefrom: like as man cannot see how so innumerable muscles and fibers are connected, as present an action composed from a thousand things, nor can he know how a man can live in the body unless he has first inspected and become acquainted with the muscles, viscera, and many things of the interiors of the body. The case is not different as regards the wishing to reason from externals whether [more interior and inmost things] are so, when he has never seen internals, or known that there are internals, still less what their quality is. - 1748, June 30.


AN EXPERIENCE [SHOWING] THAT MEN, SPIRITS, AND ANGELS EFFECT NOTHING FROM THEMSELVES, BUT THAT THEY THINK THEY ACT [facere] FROM THEMSELVES. In order that I might know that I effected nothing from myself it was shown by experience, that in whatever I did there was at the same time insinuated in me a faculty of choice. This faculty was insinuated, and hence [came] the reflection that spirits supposed I could have done something else; for they were not willing [for me to do a certain thing]. (It was about breaking an almond kernel and leaping.) It was granted to say that I could not [act] otherwise, though from the faculty of choice, it seemed that I could have [done] otherwise. I discoursed concerning this with spirits, who still supposed that I could have [done] otherwise; but it was also shown them that they could not have spoken otherwise, and that was it easy to say otherwise; but it was given to say that I could not. I perceived that they were led: thus, from one experience after another, it is still confirmed that man cannot make the least little motion of the body, from himself; neither, likewise, can spirits.


When spirits, therefore, said, that so they are nothing, it was replied that it is true, and that it is enough for them that they seem to themselves to be able to think, speak, and act, as from themselves, and that whatever they will the most is theirs. Some, therefore, were content.


Such is the equilibrium of all in the universal heaven that one is moved by another, thinks from another, as if in a chain; so that not the least thing can [occur from itself]: thus the universe is ruled by the Lord, and, indeed, with no trouble. - 1748, June 30.


Certain were indignant that thus they were nothing, and so could not of themselves lead themselves, which is common [familiare] with nearly all spirits, besides the best. [A certain one] said that he was not willing it should be shown so plainly that he was so led [diceretur for dueretur, I think], and thus was nothing, and that it is enough if he knows this, and can say if it is so; but it was granted me to respond that it is not enough, but it is necessary to believe it: knowing is not believing: there must be persuasion of truth, otherwise there is no faith of truth; adding that if he is not persuaded, or in true faith, that he is in darkness, because in falsity. And yet the opinion concerning him was that he knew more than others; wherefore, according to a representation as before, the exterior part of his head seemed to me to be taken away to higher [superiores] spirits, in order that they might inspect what sort of darkness is in such as possess only a faith of the memory, and are not persuaded by interior faith concerning the truth. Those who inspected related to me that the darkness was great, as it were a something dark [tenebricosum], made up of hairs of various colors. Hence it was manifest what sort of darkness is sometimes with those who have only scientific faith, and not a true [one]. - 1748, June 30.


The representation of the abstraction of the outer part of the head arises only from this - that from them is taken away association [societas] in externals, with spirits that correspond in their manner when being removed. Such a raising up of the head, or of the outer part of the head, appears; then his interiors become manifest; hence is he explored of what quality are his next interior things, or naturals; but this [occurs] very rarely, for such exploration is not permitted save for certain reasons, that they may be instructed concerning such things as serve them for use; also for the reason that they may not hurt such a spirit, because at such time he is not hurt. - 1748, June 30.


Such outer raising up of the head, or removal of societies of spirits in externals, is not granted amongst [cum] men, because it is dangerous [discrimen] to the life of man's [ejus] body. I told them that they could do so in my case; but such was the reply.


THAT MAN, HIS NATURAL IDEAS [AND] HIS SPIRITUAL THINGS, SHOULD BE COMPARED TO VESSELS WHICH SUBMIT [THEMSELVES]. By means of a spiritual idea I have perceived plainly enough that nothing else is required of [apud] man than to be a submissive vessel; that is, that all and each of his be, as it were, submissive, and so apply themselves, consequently be applied to those things which are infused by the Lord through angels and spirits, thus that they do not resist nor reject [respuant] what is infused. In order that man may not resist, but subsist, it is needful that he be in faith, and in the truth of faith, that he be nothing, and not do anything from himself, but suffer himself to be employed [agi]; he thus acts as from himself with ineffable felicity. Man and each of his ideas ought to be in those things that belong to faith, and, indeed, in all the things of faith, in love of the neighbor and mercy, in innocence, in order that he may be such a vessel, and may enjoy felicity, or perceive the effect of those things which are infused by the Lord through the heavens. - 1748, July 1. - This was confirmed by angels, who say that they are in such a state when it so pleases the Lord.


I also spoke with angels through the proximate spirits concerning those who said that they are thus willing, because then they can enjoy felicity; to whom it was granted to say that they cannot be such vessels unless they are in truth (truths are each and all things that belong to faith); thus, the most remote from fallacies, and hence from falsities, and from other things [aliunde]; for truth cannot dwell in a vessel of falsities, but wholly in its own vessel, to wit, in truth; which was perceived so clearly by a spiritual idea that they could say nothing at all contrary [thereto]. - 1748, July 1. - It was also granted to spirits around me also to perceive that that was true; wherefore they unanimously confessed that they plainly perceive that it is so, and that truth can never be but in its own vessel, and that then the vessel is the Lord's. - 1748, July 1.


CONCERNING THE LORD'S WORD THAT THE SINGLE THINGS THEREIN ARE VESSELS WHEREIN LIFE IS INFUSED BY THE LORD. When I read 1 Sam. 9:1 to the end, and 5:25, 26, I perceived by a spiritual idea how it is with interiors; the spiritual things therein are expressed as high: for instance, that Saul was invited to the high place; that he was placed before the chief men who were bidden; that he went up on the top of the house with Samuel, and there spoke with him; that he arose with the dawn [aurora]. Only those things are there mentioned [memorantur] which are high, which also are significant; for instance the high place; the top of the house; morning; and many things, which being connected in the interior sense constitute [faciunt] the idea of a king; of [one] representing the head; but the nexus is received from the Lord by angels, because with these are adjoined things that are not expressed, but still are contained in the ideas of the same words; for every word is, as it were, a vessel, and therein are infinite things, which cannot be presented save in the interior sense, as they are connected of ideas of words, which are not patent to the mind of man, but only, as it were, the sense of the letter, wherein is scarcely anything; thus they resemble, as before said, a kind of man, as to his interiors, for the interiors of the body are all correspondences, and so representatives of the interiors of heaven. - 1748, July l.


CONCERNING THE FAITH WHICH IS REPORTED [praedicatur] TO BE GIVEN WITHOUT WORKS; AND THAT FAITH WITHOUT WORKS SAVES. Certain have a persuasion that faith alone saves without works, and, indeed, is enhanced in value, when yet it is most clearly apparent from the Lord's Word that the tree is known from its fruit, as well as that love towards the neighbor is the principal thing in the law, besides other things, which evidently prove that faith is not to be separated from works, and that there is no life in faith, if there are no works of charity, which live from charity; hence, from faith.


I discoursed concerning these things with the angels, and it was proven to me by comparison with the body of man that faith and works are circumstanced like the soul and body; works without faith are like a body without a soul, therefore like a corpse; and that faith without works is like a soul endowed with no body. Faith is given with much variety; [there is] a faith merely oral; a scientific faith; intellectual faith; faith with persuasion; faith with persuasion from love towards the neighbor. Hence it may appear what quality of life can be in oral faith, and scientific faith, and intellectual faith, for love is what forms the disposition of man, and gives him the faculty to be able to be an applied vessel. Hence it may appear how thus the disposition is formed by faith, without persuasion; and by faith, with persuasion; and by persuasion, without love towards the neighbor; and by persuasion, wherein is love towards the neighbor; and so faith with the works of charity. - 1748, July 1. - [Marginal note.] - These things in general were confirmed this day from heaven. The Lord, as it were, being seen. - 1748, October 19 or 20.


THAT ALL THINGS IN UNIVERSAL NATURE ARE REPRESENTATIONS OF THE LORD'S KINGDOM. I spoke with spirits concerning worms that become butterflies; that they are representations of heavenly life, to wit, that they should be little worms, lowly, creeping on the ground, eating herbs, thus the vilest things; and that meantime they are prepared for a certain representative heaven suitable to them; to wit, that thus through the chrysalis state [per nymphus] they are turned into winged and beautiful insects [animalcula], and then are elevated from the ground into the air, their heaven, [and] fly, and apply themselves to their roses, [and] eat the must [mustum] thereof; celebrate [ludant] their nuptials; lay eggs; and so enjoy their felicity: that these are representations of the reformation and regeneration of humble men was sufficiently manifest; and that these things were continued to their posterity, [and] that they represent the eternal with man. Then the discourse was concerning other things, as well in the animal as in the vegetable kingdom, in general; that nothing is ever given in those kingdoms that does not represent the Lord's kingdom with indefinite variety. This was confirmed by the angels. - 1748, July 1. - Further, that otherwise not anything can exist and subsist in those kingdoms; hence, each and all that are in nature flow so as to be remote images of the Lord's kingdom.


When certain said that so many revelations would confound the mind, it was given to reply that if they were innumerable, they would not confound, but illuminate, otherwise than this is the case with those who desire to deduce spiritual things from collections. These so confound themselves with many things that everything appears to them as confused, so that they still believe nothing; but those who are in faith, and see such things from spiritual and celestial truths, the Lord leading them, - these are never confounded, but are illuminated; for they are confirmed by each and all things. These things have I also seen by a spiritual idea, so that I perceived the truth thereof.


CONCERNING THE INSCRUTABILITY OF INMOST AND MORE INTERIOR THINGS. Inasmuch as there is nothing in the universe but what is a representation of the Lord's kingdom, we can therefore be instructed by those things that are before the eyes concerning this, also, that more interior and inmost things are inscrutable, to wit, merely from the formation of the human body in the womb, from the progress of the formation, and of those things that are then in a delicate little body, to wit, that only some of the members flourish, and many are without any function, as [for instance] the lungs, stomach, intestines, kidneys, and many other things; then, also, the muscles and organs of sensation; and yet such is the formation, that they respect subsequents, so that meanwhile they grow to their uses; thus, through many months each and all things respect the uses that follow, and then other things succeed, which minister, meantime fitted to their functions, as [for instance] the oval foramen, etc. This is a representation of inmost and more interior things, or of the Lord by inmost and more interior things, wherefore they are inscrutable, to wit: [as to] what use these shall contribute in the successive series of time and space. They, nevertheless, contain in themselves the series of subsequents till the last time; so on, in the subsequent age, there is respect perpetually to what follows. - 1748, July l.


But interiors are represented by those things which are in the body, as you may see above [prius], which respect the external form of the body, or use in externals, its faculty of feeling and acting, which things are also inscrutable; nor ever can be deduced from the externals of the body, still less comprehended, because man scarcely sees any resemblance, yet nevertheless, interiors do so conspire to form externals, that scarcely anything interior can be wanting, but that something is impaired.


If I should say that one least little fiber that is most subtle, and not ever patent to the eyes, knows, as it were, the state of the universal body, it appears incredible to anyone, but still it is true; otherwise, the most singular things [singularissima] could not conspire to the preservation of the common state. 1748, July 1. - (In my opinion [pro me] intellect is the cause [thereof]; otherwise, there could not be so accurately propagated from the least little organ of life, which [organ] is of the seed, a body in ovo, from the ovum in the womb, and so forth; wherefore, it follows that such a [principle] is in the most singular least things in the human body, which contains a series of subsequents so wonderful in principles.) These things [are] written before spirits and angels, and they do not say anything. - 1748, July l.


THAT TRUTHS WHATEVER THEY ARE, WHICH ARE NOT SENSUAL AND OCULAR, ARE IMMEDIATELY REJECTED BY THE LEARNED. It is plain enough to me that no truth, not even a natural one, can ever come forth into light but is straightway rejected, and as far as possible [quam maxime] by the learned of the world, and in place thereof are willingly received falses, and still more [are rejected] spiritual and celestial truths; which it was given to know from much experience, for the spirits who are around man are of such a sort that as soon as any truth comes forth, although they do not know that it is a truth, still feel aversion, and immediately resist it, and this from their natural disposition, which is contrary to truth.


For such are evil spirits, that whatever good and true there is they immediately from an innate principle resist [and] reject, - reject amongst falsities, and willingly accept falses, because these are exceedingly satisfactory to their [arrident iis], inasmuch as they agree, and are conformable. - 1748, July 1. - It is given to compare their aversion with smells, for their disposition forms a sphere contrary to truths; wherefore, immediately when a truth approaches that sphere, there is, as it were, something injurious [iniquum] that strikes the smell; which they also now hear, and cannot but acknowledge, inasmuch as it is sometimes told them that they form such a sphere, because it [was] made sensible to me: thus these things are told from pure experience. - 1748, July l.


It may be proper to add that the learned in the literary world, because they desire from philosophies to enter into arcana, even the naturals concerning the soul, and still more [those] who [wish to enter] into the arcana of faith, have blinded themselves to such an extent that they see nothing thereafter, and do not believe; so that he who has never thought anything about these matters, and still enjoys good [pollet] natural light [lumine], is very many times more learned. - 1748, July l.


CONCERNING THE PROVIDENCE OF THE LORD, THAT IT IS NOT ONLY INSCRUTABLE, BUT ALSO SEES WHAT IS TO COME TO ETERNITY, AND THEREFORE THE SERIES OF ALL INTERMEDIATES AT ONCE, FROM THE REPRESENTATION OF THOSE THINGS THAT ARE IN NATURE. It has been previously shown that the things are inscrutable which belong to the Lord in inmost and more interior things, and that these are represented in man, who when he is conceived is formed in the ovum, in the womb after that when he is born, [and] grows up, that each and all of these are contained in the seed, with all these wonderful changes which man undergoes when first conceived, and so in succession, all of which constitute most wonderful series of consequents, with their changes continually recurring inwardly; and, nevertheless, all these things are contained, to wit, the series of contingents, in the first inconspicuous seed, so that nothing is ever lacking in all the series. Since, therefore, there is such a visible [conspicua] and known series in those things which are within nature, and such a providence or series of successives,


It clearly follows that therein is represented not only that these things are inscrutable, which [are] from the Lord, in inmost and mere interior things, but that He views each and all things from the beginning to the end that are to come in their interrupted series till the end; for every such thing is, as it were, an image of the providence and previdence of the Lord, [leaving out] [praeter] what [comes] from the disposition of every parent to all posterity. Thus nature, if we scrutinize her aright, can teach us that it is so if we view things from truth, - therefore from visible things; but then we should by no means proceed from such to truths, and so explore them, but from truths revealed by the Lord; see such things as confirmations; thus man is illuminated; if he proceeds according to inverted order, he is then obscured and confounded; he doubts and denies. - 1748, July


THAT EVIL SPIRITS ARE WORSE THAN BRUTES. I spoke with certain ones around me in the other life, who reflected upon the state of spirits, especially of the evil; and it was perceived very manifestly by a spiritual idea that evil spirits are like brute animals, resembling wasps and bees, which, when [they act] from their natural disposition, conceive [cogitent], and do nothing but evil, and that they are worse than brutes in this, that they act from a faculty of reasoning which they abuse, to think and do evil; therefore [act] worse than brutes, and that from that faculty they act against spirituals and celestials, or those things which belong to faith, which brute animals, because destitute of such a faculty, cannot [do]. - 1748, July 2.


THAT THE ACTUAL AND PROPER EVILS OF MAN ARE WHAT TORMENT HIM IN THE OTHER LIFE. Every man is born into all evil, so that he inclines to every evil, from the evil of inheritance successively acquired from parents, even from the first; but this evil also condemns everyone to hell and to eternity; but out of the Lord's mercy they are liberated from hell, because it is not their proper evil, as is the case with infants, and those who have not come to the age of youth. But [there are those] who afterwards, when also the faculty of thinking and judging is matured, do evil. These draw evil from that ocean of evils which is connate with them, and make it their own, and acquire it by exercise; thus, form their natural disposition, according to evils acquired from hereditary things, and at the same time their proper evils added [thereto]. These are the evils which in the other life torment them. - 1748, July 2.


THAT THE INMOST AND MORE INTERIOR THINGS OF MAN CANNOT BE HURT, BUT ONLY HIS INTERIORS. The Lord has preserved from the first man, thus far, the more interior things of man, so that they may not be perverted, because the inmost things are such that [the more interior things] cannot be perverted; thus [it arises] through inmost. But his interiors are perverted. This may be conceived, by spiritual idea, from forms, by those who can conceive, of what quality are more interior and inmost forms. They are such as to be applicable to whatever can be given or is possible in the world; they may be twisted [terqueri] to all things, but yet conspire from single points, as centers to a state of integrity; for they can be, as it were, very easily applied to those things that are evil and distorted in interiors, from the faculty of resuming their integral state, which the Lord preserves and perpetually renews.


They are not hurt: It is otherwise with forms of interiors: these are distorted from hereditary evil, so that their state is evil, whereto conspire each and all things; and what is distorted from this origin [nativitate], this can by no means be restored, but only reduced to naught, so that it is lulled, as it were, by sleep, or, as it were, by death, and so seems, as it were, to apply itself, when yet there is not application [thereof], because [it is applied] to evil, which is its state. It conspires from single points and centers; therefore, it is merely its mortification and lulling to sleep, so that the more interior things, which are the Lord's, may be able to operate. - 1748, July 2.


Hence it also follows that man can do nothing but evil, and not the least, not anything at all of good, because whatever is in him conspires to evil, and that all good is of the Lord alone.


Besides, the evils of man are also tempered with good, so that a sort of rainbow is represented; for whatever belongs to man is evil, else man would no longer live to himself.


THAT TRUE FAITH IS ACTION. I spoke concerning faith with certain ones in the other life, who supposed that faith without works saves or is saving; for when they say only this, many of those who do not understand separate faith in the thought and in the understanding from faith in the act, and so do not care how they live, supposing therefore that they are to be saved, although the Lord has said that the tree may be known by the fruit; then it was given to say that action is faith itself, and [to address it] to the apprehension and understanding of the spirits who are present: I perceived this plainly, to wit, that faith in action is true faith, therefore [is] action, because inseparable [therefrom] and action lives from faith, which is in the action, that is, in the works of charity; wherefore they are inseparable. - 1748, July 2.


CONCERNING A CERTAIN KIND OF SERPENT. [De genere serpentis cujusdam.] There are genera and species of those who are serpents, or who in the life of the body were crafty, and in the other life are called serpents. That they are called serpents comes from this, that before the eyes of angels they appear like serpents; for when the angels inspect them, they are, as it were, turned into serpents before the eyes of spirits, which was plainly shown me previously, so that I supposed them to be wholly turned into knots of serpent forms; then do they not only appear so to spirits, but also to themselves, for the angels see their interiors, and then [their] frauds, wiles, appear before the eyes of spirits like reptiles, to whom they are such, because in serpents is poison, by which in nature is represented wiles [cunning].


It happens similarly with animals of another genus, which appear to spirits, and are represented by them in human sleep, for there are cupidities and affections which are thus represented in the world of spirits, when angels speak together about the like, for the speech [loquelae] of angels falls thus into representative forms in the world of spirits, but according to the natural dispositions [or forms] of those spirits who are beneath them, or into whom they fall, who suppose they do so of themselves; so in other things. - [On margin, "Obs." twice.]


A certain spirit, or a certain society of spirits, was with me for some days, if not a week or two [sic non unam alteramve septimanam], whose speech was not so virile [manly] but mingled therewith, as it were womanly and at the same infantile speech. At first I supposed from the speech that they were good spirits; but when I apprehended their cunning, I knew that they were exceedingly crafty, for they studied whatever cunning they could to devise it, and immediately effect in [by] act.


But there was a certain kind of cunning in others, not so observable previously, to wit, that they could insinuate themselves into every society; because during life, by means of external appearance and dissimulation, they had as it were accommodated themselves to each and all of those things which others willed and intended: they could observe single things [everything], so that scarcely anything could be snatched from their eyes, and they purpose to turn whatever they observed to their own good or advantage without any conscience towards those with whom they are. In a word, nothing at all was thought and done which they did not catch at, and hence wished to act [do] in their own behalf, so that their cunning was active, with a continual observing how they could make it conduce to their own gain or advantage, only studying their own good, not that of others.


But this genus of cunning has many species; wherefore it is not so easy to describe it, that in external appearance they are, as it were, upright, and so insinuate themselves in every society, yea, are beloved because they can insinuate themselves in the passions of everyone, and hence enjoy another's good.


When these were inspected by angels, it then appeared of what quality they were and by whom serpents are represented: there appeared a serpent creeping upwards to the right thigh, or the leg below the knee [crus]: thus they were not turned into serpents, but they appeared to remain the likeness of a man; wherefore they are not changed into serpents, for the reason that they are inspected by exterior angels among the interior [angels]: it is otherwise if [they are inspected] by interior angels; they then would appear as continued serpents in their form, by which their class of cunning is represented. Now, because their appearance is, as it were, that of a man or upright person in externals, and they are beloved, and do not wholly destroy man, because they have not such audacity, therefore there appeared [something] human, as also an infantile principle in their speech.


While thinking concerning their departure [exit] [exitu] of what quality they become at last, it was shown me by (((((a vision that they are at last expelled from the societies of spirits, because they are at length discovered as to their character, and they then sit solitary only in the society of the solitary, which society was represented to me by a vision. [There were seen] as it were certain with a broad face, whose body did not appear, whose size and bigness was such as equaled about four or five faces of others, with a wide whitish hat of rushes [cum lato pileo canneo albescente] upon the head; thus they sat fixed in their place, nor any longer [associated] with others. Such also becomes their state as was represented; and so also will appear to themselves, and so no longer [be] in any active life.)))))


It is also to be observed that when such and others have been in the societies of spirits, and have been detected and ejected thence, some mark always adheres [to them] as is read of Cain, which appears to spirits to whom they come, and whom they wish likewise to mislead; which mark is at length so enlarged that they are not tolerated in any society, thus are finally left to themselves, and so their solitude at last becomes apparent to them, and is also of such a nature as is represented. - 1748, July 3.


((((They are of the class of such as [living] in palaces [aulis] never exert themselves for the good of society, but only feign [and] aim at their own good, an so are unfitted for employment in society, yea are useless, because they especially love ease [otium]; they can only live sumptuously, with magnificent garments, and grow rich, caring for nothing else. Such accustom [habituate] themselves to the like craft, and insinuate themselves more than others, yea are also praised. Especially do they get intimates for themselves by various [sorts of] flattery, and feigning [of good] offices, with those who dispose the goods of their master [domini], so that hence they may grow rich, and thus in a stealthy manner their master being unconscious [thereof], may enjoy his good; therefore praise those from whom they derive any gain; so also make friends to themselves of cooks, and treasurers, [and] especially of housekeepers [administratices] and maids, and the like, so that all things will conduce to their emolument. - 1748, July 3.

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