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

Spiritual Diary


CONCERNING THOSE WHO TAKE NOTICE OF FILTH. I spoke with spirits concerning those who, wherever they are, reflect upon filth, of whom [I have spoken] before; and it was given to tell them, that they are like wasps, who when they fly, still discover, by smell alone, it is not known [that they do so] by sight, where ordure is; they are borne [carried along] according to the odor, for the odor is agreeable to them; wherefore, they are carried away by pleasantness, and there live: thus that those spirits are carried away, as it were, by smell, or something represented by smell, so as to have observed such things; which otherwise would have been wholly unobserved. - 1748, August 23.


THAT EVIL SPIRITS CANNOT OPERATE ANYTHING WITH THOSE WHO ARE PERSUADED. It was insinuated, in my interior thought, that spirits can operate nothing with those who are persuaded, as with the Quakers and others; for persuasion has this property, that it forms a sphere, so that they cannot enter therein. This was perceived by me in spiritual idea. - 1748, August 23.


CONCERNING REPRESENTATIONS [DERIVED] IN THE WORLD, WHICH REMAIN AFTER THE LIFE OF THE BODY. Like as the phantasies taken up by spirits in the world while they lived, still remain and return in the other life, so also imaginations taken [gotten] from sight, for instance, beautiful spots of verdure [vireta], gardens, palaces, and the like, wherewith they were delighted in life; souls are introduced into the like after death, and are varied according to each one's disposition, till they come into better [ones]. This was evident to me from experience, and occasionally from those with whom I spoke, who have attained a pleasant life in the like. - 1748, August 23.


THAT SPIRITUAL MINDS ARE MEN. [THAT MEN ARE SPIRITUAL MINDS.] The body does not constitute the man, but his mind [does]: to wit the understanding of the true, and the will of the good, which belong to the Lord alone: so far therefore as they are [these] from the Lord, so far they are men. A certain spirit, when he heard these things, wished to say, that still they have the reasoning faculty, and that hence evil spirits are also men and not brutes: but it was replied to them in thought, that that faculty is the life of the Lord, which is infused into them, for unless they are endowed with this faculty, they cannot think, thus would perish like brutes: but that the thinking falses and doing evils does not belong to [that] faculty, but to themselves - like as when light penetrates an irregular [inordinatum] body. - 1748, August 23.


CONCERNING TRULLDOM. A certain one, who said that he had also injured others by arts of sorcery or trulldom, during the life of the body, so that he inflicted on others, evil, pains and the like, and in the other life practices the like, was told that the punishment of such things is one of retaliation: wherefore evil spirits have dragged him away to themselves, and tormented him with similar [pains], which was given me to know by his outcry and lamentation; he said with a bitter voice that he has sinned. - 1748, August 24.


CONCERNING SPIRITS WHO IN LIFE APPEAR GOOD, IN THE EYES OF MEN [BUT] INWARDLY ARE EVIL. There was a spirit known to me in life, who in outward form or in the sight of men appeared modest, courteous, sincere, so that no one, who was unacquainted with his intentions, would know other than that he was the best Christian. He was undiscovered [latuit] by me for a long time, nor was any evil perceived in [his] externals. But he was detected, with other similar [ones] by [his] hatred against infants, for wherever I saw infants, I perceived a murderous and cruel [principle proceeding] from certain spirits, so that they wished to kill them: wherefore he was detected, examined, and discovered to have inwardly carried hatred against acquaintances, friends, [and] benefactors, though in external countenance he had feigned very different [things]. Thus no man's character is ever known from the face, but that is well known in the other life. - 1748, August 24.


No one knows the interiors of anyone, but the Lord alone: thus of this one, of what quality is his hatred, whether that of vengeance, of envy, or of another kind: for there are genera and species of hatreds and indefinite varieties [thereof]: from which [may be known] how much there is of the actual [principle of man], thus his proprium, and very many other things.


(THAT MAN SEEKS AFTER THE UNIVERSAL WORLD AND THE UNIVERSE, ONLY THAT HE MAY BE CLOTHED, HAVE TO EAT, POSSESS HABITATION, AND BE KEPT WARM. It was said in the presence of spirits, that these are the four things for which man desires to subjugate and possess the universal world; it was also represented in spiritual idea for when he has these things in the world, what more need a man seek. It was said that self-love or ambition also respects societies and eminence in the world, which also is gratified [responsum est]. - 1748, August 24.)


THAT ACQUAINTANCES IN THE LIFE OF THE BODY MEET WITH EACH OTHER IN THE OTHER LIFE. This I know, that acquaintances, whether associates or friends, or those whom they worship, meet with each other in the other life: wherefore let men beware of hatreds, vengeance, envy, falsities, adorations and the like, for such things sometimes miserably afflict them in the other life: for they come together: thus they who worship men as their protector, such as Moses, Abraham, Jacob, and others, also Mahommedans [who worship] their Mahommed, and so forth, are led to them, and speak with them. Thus also [do] friends [talk] together, and then the interiors of friendship are thoroughly discovered: wherefore let them be on their guard. - 1748, August 24.


THAT THERE ARE THREE REIGNING LOVES, LOVE OF SELF, LOVE OF THE WORLD, LOVE OF THE EARTH [telluris]. I spoke with spirits [to this effect] that there are three dominant loves, from which all other loves spring as from their fountains [puteis]: and thus, from which all cupidities, evils and falses [arise] to wit: love of self love of the world, and finally love of the earth, which is love of money for no end, but for money's sake, which is the basest. - 1748, August 24.


THAT I WAS REMITTED FOR NEARLY THE SPACE OF AN HOUR [intra horulae spatium] INTO ALMOST MY ORIGINAL STATE. When I passed along the street, I was remitted into almost my former state: so as not to speak or think amongst spirits: yet there remained the state, [whereby] I could be present with good spirits, but not with evil, and I observed how man is thus bended by the Lord, from cupidities, through persuasion [arising] from uses: thus [he is brought] into cupidities by the evil, and from cupidities through the good, which it was even me to apperceive [for it] was very easy in that state [to perceive it]. Evil spirits could not inflow, without [them all] being immediately bended. - 1748, August 24.


Evil spirits said, when they were thus as it were separated from me, that thus they could [do] nothing, supposing that then they were cast out.


THAT [THERE IS] A LAW [jus] OF RETALIATION IN THE OTHER LIFE, AND THAT VICE CONTAINS THIS IN ITSELF. It was often granted to tell this to spirits on whom evil is inflicted, that they are the cause of evil, and that vice or evil contains this in itself or that in evil there is such [a principle] that it is reflected back [retorqueatur] on him, in a wonderful manner: which also is the law [jus] of retaliation: for such as is the character of the evil, and such as is the character of him who permits evil, such is the evil that is reflected [back] [retroquetur] upon him, or returns to him. How this is, although it occurs in infinite modes, take this single example. Certain ones wished to trouble me in sleep, and to take away all my sleep: wherefore there were others who troubled them all night, and I slept. Thus they were the cause of this evil [which befell them], and it was reflected back on them, as the evil of retaliation. It is different with others, according to the evil and him on whom the evil is inflicted. - 1748, August 25.


THAT SPIRITS ARE DISCOVERED [inventi] AND AFFECTED BY MEANS OF MY INTUITIONS. This was a common [general] [principle] at all times: that spirits are discovered, and when excited to speak, direct, retort, and anything else, that it happened through intuitions, and that the intuitions were wonderfully directed towards them, and that they were discovered one after another: sometimes as if by rays, were separated by the intuitions, and were affected with much variety. As then the case stands thus, therefore the differences of intuitions and their directions cannot be described here on account of the multitude of differences. - 1748, August 25.


On the other hand [vicissim] spirits also by means of intuitions in me, take forth from my memory that which is a common [general] intuition: though they are ignorant, whence [it comes], and in whose sphere they are: wherefore it is not proper [propria] to them. When it is their proper [sphere] then I was affected in various and diverse manners, by an attraction as it were of the cerebrum, on the interior, its membrane, bones of the head, skin, with diversity, besides other things, for I have observed, when they remitted, that immediately was remitted the painful attraction.


Then it was also observed yesterday, that I was remitted into almost my former state, nearly an hour, to wit, because the sphere of the general intuition did not affect evil spirits.


CONCERNING THE BODIES OF SPIRITS. I spoke with new spirits: also concerning [their] bodies: they supposed, like others, that they are clothed with a similar human body, for to this their imagination and interior man leads them, to wit, to the ultimate of order, which is the body: But it was given to reply to them that I do not know of what quality their body is, but that they are forms highly finished for every use, so that they can be called spiritual and celestial forms. It was representatively confirmed by little worms, which when formed anew, and made winged, then obtain another form of body, adapted to every use to which they are born in their other life. - 1748, August 25.


HOW MAN IS ALSO LED TO GOOD ENDS, EVEN BY THE EVIL. It was observed, today, that evil spirits who ruled the thoughts, infused ends or uses, with [in] them, on account of evil, but [that it is turned] by the Lord to a good end, so that there scarce appeared the intention of evils [the evil]; for they only desire this, to wit, this or that use, from an evil end; but the use was determined by the Lord to a good end, so that there was scarcely perceived the intention or end of evils [the evil]. Thus man is directed by the Lord, through evil spirits, to good. - 1748, August 25.


CONCERNING PROBITY [ARISING] FROM FEAR. There was a certain one (Abram), who when he was in fear, fled to me, to my back, and there hid himself and was quite upright [probus]. I then spoke with him concerning probity, that [his] probity is of fear; further, that when they fear the loss of their life and their honors, they fall into a sort of probity, which is of fear, and when he was of such a nature [in such a state], he supposed that he also was upright, but I do not perceive that he wills the good. True probity and goodness is of the Lord, which is manifested by wishing well to all. They can be held [kept] in the probity of fear, yea, that probity can be increased even to the adoring of the Lord; but as soon as they are beyond [the influence of] fear, they return to malice: which was written in his presence, and confirmed; for true probity or goodness must be in no state of fear. - 1748, August 24.


THAT GENERAL [communes] GYRES ARE NEVER REPEATED [sint nusquam redeuntes.] One who has been in the other life from three to four thousand years, said that he knows that there are gyres, or revolutions of things, and returns [reditus], for everything that exists has it gyre, so that it may go over [through] it again [ut redeat]. This was insinuated in me, for the reason that none who are in that gyre, should be broken: but the changes then impressed [incussae] will be moderated, until they are by degrees born into other states, so that they may not injure; for quick falls, from one state into another, is to be broken; hence [are] gyres. But that ancient one (Abram) said that there are general gyres, which are varied, and succeed, which never return, as he knows from experience; wherefore it was insinuated into my thought, that the varieties are perpetual and eternal, so that they cannot thus return; and general gyres inflow into less general [ones], and these into particular [ones]; whence each has its varieties, according to its nature. There are gyres of states. - 1748, August 24.


THAT IN PLACE OF THOSE WHO ARE WORSHIPPED, OTHERS CAN BE TAKEN [adscisci]. When Abram was in [that] state of humiliation, and, as it were, of flight [arising] from fear, he supposed that the gyre would return after some time; but it was granted to tell him, that other similar [spirits] can be admitted [adscisci] in his place (as happened for several days), who were entirely similar to him, so that they could not be distinguished from him, and he does not know other than that it was Abram. This easily happens in the world of spirits: and that he could have been reduced to [such] a state as to no longer hear or have a perception of those who worship him; which was also shown; for others succeeded in his place, and acted his person so well, that he was, as it were, not Abram. This was also granted me to perceive. These things are heard by Abram; he is now about the left foot. - 1748, August 24.


CONCERNING THE HORRIBLE CONTRIVANCES [COUNSEL], AND MACHINATIONS OF CERTAIN INTERIOR SPIRITS. It was heard and perceived by others that they took counsel to kill me, or to wholly destroy my interiors to kill me, by means of those who had knives, and to destroy [my interiors] by inspiring cruelty into the ideas which were called up. Such was the counsel of [those] interior spirits [who are] deceitful from premeditation; who are in front before the forehead, on high, a little to the right. This was heard and perceived by others, but not by me; and they took Abram to be for their object; concerning this, he said that he had not previously attempted so abominable a thing. The contrivance [plot] was first detected by this: that they slaughtered cruelly with a knife, a certain innocent [child] by representation; from which it was apparent that Abram was of [their counsels]; wherefore, those robbers or cut-throats [cultrarii] were let loose [immissi] upon him, and treated him miserably; so that he might not accustom himself to such [practices]. This was the cause of his flight, for he was miserably treated by them; afterwards, the plot [consilium] was disclosed; for it was perceived by other spirits; and the knives appeared with the robbers, who were admitted [adsciti]; and afterwards, with those who contrived this deceitful plot; from which they then said they cannot be liberated; although they, at first, supposed they could effect all things, and that no harm could be brought on them; for they thus confide in their [propriae] own art, prudence, and deceit. 2921. [b.] It was also previously said to them, that such is their power, that if there should be all, or myriads [together], they would flee before a single fly, as if it alone could kill all [of them]. This was perceived in spiritual idea, and thus confirmed even with them, I could perceive. - 1748, August 24. 2922. [b.] THAT NO ONE [ACTS] BUT FOR USE, EVEN EVIL SPIRITS, YEA, TO PERFORM USE TO ENEMIES, WHOM THEY HATE. I said to a certain spirit, who hates all whom he calls enemies, to wit, infidels, I said, since I knew that he purposed evil, and inflicted harm, that he must needs perform a use; and that such is the law of order, that even the evil must perform a use to enemies, to wit, as was perceived in spiritual idea, that by persecutions and punishments, goods may hence be derived, and his enemies become better; whereat he was very indignant, when he heard that he was of such a use even to [his] enemies. - 1748, August 24.


THAT ALL EVILS, EVEN SUCH AS APPEAR TO MAN AS ACCIDENTS [PROCEED] FROM EVIL SPIRITS. I stumbled my foot, so as nearly to fall down, or get hurt. I spoke with spirits, and said that they are the cause [thereof], and that the case is similar [to what happens] when unclean spirits notice filth not seen by me, and that [such things] are their objects, although I do not see them; thus it is also with falls and other misfortunes, which seem misfortunes, or accidents. - 1748, August 24.


THAT EVIL SPIRITS REGARD MAN AS A VILE SLAVE, EXCEPT SUCH AS SUPPOSE THEMSELVES TO BE THE MAN. I cannot relate, in what manner, and how many times they have attempted to rule me, and make me their slave, for all evil spirits have aimed at this; but that they esteem the man with whom they are their slave, is because they suppose they are the man, however many there are. Wherefore, they cannot hate themselves, nor know at that time that the man is also a spirit, and has a body adjoined to his spirit. They live in such ignorance in order that they may not injure anyone, and precipitate them into a violent death [necem]. But with me it is different; for they have perceived that they have been separated; wherefore, they have attempted many times [to kill me] but in vain. Now when the like were present, it was given to cause that they should think themselves to be me; which easily is brought about; for they are easily imbued with the like representations; then when they were in that opinion, it was given to say, whether they are slaves, or I am a slave, or whether or no I am master. They said that it is so, because they supposed it to be themselves; afterwards they were indignant. - 1748, August 24.


WITH MAN THERE ARE ASSOCIATED SPIRITS AND GENII, THAT ACCORD WITH HIS NATURE. Every man has around him spirits of such a quality as he is, to wit, such a genus, and such a species of spirits. This was also shown me. - 1748, August 24.


PERSUASIONS PUT ON THE NATURE OF MAN, AND SUCH SPIRITS ARE ALSO ASSOCIATED WITH HIM. That persuasions, but not knowledge [scientia], or what is not enrooted, put on nature, is also evident. [See] elsewhere, what is effected by persuasions. - 1748, August 24.


THAT SPIRITS, ALTHOUGH NOT INSTRUCTED DURING LIFE, APPROPRIATED TO THEMSELVES ALL THE SCIENCE OF MAN, AS IF THEY [HAD BEEN] INSTRUCTED. ((I will merely mention) for example [that] when sometimes I have made arithmetical calculations in [ex] the head, as it is said, then spirits could [do] it of themselves, as was made known by experience. In like manner as respects the other sciences, whatever they are, man is only expert by practice [callet] [but] a spirit possesses them as his own, although he may have heard nothing thereof in life.


Several times there appeared to them something evoked from [my] memory, so that [they could not] have heard [of it] before: yet the spirits with me, who supposed themselves to be me, as some, several times acknowledged, called [these things] forth, and spoke [them] as their own, to others, who have not yet been in their society. - 1748, August 24).


 2930-1 CONCERNING THOSE THINGS, WHICH THEY BELIEVE CONCERNING SPIRITUALS, CELESTIALS, AND THE SOUL, AND ITS LIFE AFTER DEATH, BECAUSE THEY DO NOT KNOW AND UNDERSTAND ITS QUALITY [quale est]. There are very many such in the world, who reject spiritual things, because they do not apprehend them by the senses, thus suppose them to be dispersed like cloud or smoke when the body is dead. Such have been with me the whole night, and are above the head, in front, quite high, where there were some, as it were stationary, who kept me wakeful through the whole night, and so punished [me] because I have spoken and written so many things concerning spiritual things, when yet these things cannot [belong] to such things as pertain to the sense of the body to receive. These stationary [spirits] kept me in a middle state, nearer [potius] wakefulness than sleep, thus harassed me, during many hours of the night. Their phantasy was so simple and foolish [fatua] that I could not describe it. Such was their sphere: moreover that I might not be able to be liberated by the Lord, it was [from] their sphere, yet a foolish [one].


I could not come into any spiritual thought. By that foolish sphere was represented their spiritual [principle] as to its quality in their mind. Afterwards I fell asleep [veni in somnum], and when I awaked, their spiritual [principle] was also represented by them as a leafy cloud [foliosa nubes] also foolish, wherein there could have been nothing spiritual and intellectual. This [proceeded] from their apprehension that a cloud could feel and perceive nothing, so that [their spiritual principle] is a mere natural [principle] as with beasts: in a word, such [principle of theirs] was not a spiritual. Wherefore it was given to represent to them, that this is true that we think spiritually, that there are spirits, endowed with such understanding, and yet they are represented as clouds. How could they perceive it from that representation; when such is the truth, and yet this is the representation. These natural spirits are so amazed [perculsi] and so affected as cannot be described, seeking that I should desist from a representation: of such a sort, to wit, that they are reduced to a sort of uneasiness and annihilation [nothingness]: which was their punishment. I perceived how grievous it was to them, from their thus complaining. - 1748, August 26.


It was also granted to tell them, by tacit speech, that there is never anything which man knows, for instance, how the muscles operate actions: when yet therein [ibi], as about everything else that pertains only to the body, there are indefinite things which we do not know; and that in the body alone are the most recondite things, pertaining to all the sciences, and yet they do not know their least, and nevertheless suppose unless they know, and so apprehend, or as they say, understand by the senses, how there are spiritual things, which [are] within that sphere, and where [there are] indefinites still, whereof we know nothing at all, [that there is no such spiritual principle]. What then could exist thence, but denial of all things, and thus a sort of cloudy principle [nebulosum] wherein was nothing into which they are as it were transformed, because they agreed with their ideas or phantasies. - 1748, August 26.


They were then in a state, that they did not know other than that they were living in the body: but when it was shown them that they were now living in another life, so that they might be persuaded that they live as spirits, they then said, if this be so that they are deceived to such a degree, as can never be told: for from such phantasy they can never believe that they should ever live after the death of the body.


They have now also acknowledged that they can never perceive anything at all of [in] what I write concerning spiritual things, that they apprehend effects only: that they apprehend effects by the senses of the body - other things are nothing. Their foolish state was even of such a quality: but still they could speak like others and understand like others.


THAT ANGELS DESIRE OTHERS TO BE HAPPIER THAN THEMSELVES, THEREFORE LOVE THEM MORE THAN THEMSELVES. It was asked [dicebatur] by certain ones, whether Jews (the discourse was concerning Jews) had privileges above others: it was granted me to reply, that there is no thought with angels concerning privilege, but each one wishes others to be happier than himself, wherein consists felicity. When he could not understand this: what can be bestowed [quod dabile], it was insinuated, that there is something to be bestowed between husband and wife, parents and children, between friends, occasionally in civil life, also from civility alone. Hence may be seen what is capable of being bestowed: hence may be concluded that such ought love to be, in order that there may be heavenly felicity. - 1748, August 26.


THAT THE DECEITFUL SEND SUBJECTS, WHEREBY THEY PERFORM THEIR DECEITS, SO THAT THEY MAY BE HID, AND THE SUBJECTS SUBSTITUTED. This also happened now, that certain who were known to hold me in low esteem, were sent forth to me by the deceitful, whereby they performed their deceits, to wit, that they might disparage, and so obscure, all the good and true things which I have written. This also happened, to wit, that those things which were of much worth seemed to me so trivial, as to be esteemed as nothing at all, and almost rejected. When it was given to observe that there were such spirits with me, and at the same it was also granted to observe that others [who were] deceitful [spirits) used them as subjects: the deceitful did not despise me, but substituted these [subjects] so as to obscure [my writings], that they might seem worthless, whereof, because it was detected, I spoke with them, and they confessed: thus of what quality are the deceitful can hence be apparent.


When I spoke with them, it was confirmed, that the like occurs in general life, while they live in the body, therefore that the like exists in the other life, but with greater shrewdness and adaptation to the states which differ in the other life. Wherefore when the states of spirits are known in the other life, the quality in the life of the body can be known, for similar things occur, with the difference of other states and life. - 1748, August 26.


THAT THE SPEECH OF SPIRITS IS A SPEECH OF THOUGHTS, THUS A SPEECH OF INTERIORS. I have spoken with spirits now and at other times, that the especial difference between the life in the body, and the life after death, is that in the life of the body a man can think something [to say] and feel or think otherwise, as is evident from their speech [talk] from letters [epistolis] from various writings, and praises variously ornate, when yet the thought wholly disagrees: sometimes the contrary may be known, and yet they affirm. But in the other life no such thing is granted: there the thoughts speak, consequently the interior man: for instance, my thought has spoken during the whole time now of over three years: if even one word should be said which disagrees with the thought, it is forthwith perceived, especially by interior spirits, who have a speech still interior, to wit [one] of intentions. Wherefore some were very indignant, who in the life of the body did not wish their thoughts to be divulged; hence it flows that hatreds, envy, and the like are disclosed on the spot. Wherefore it can be known, of what nature their society can be, were they so in the world, who in heart are enemies, but in face are friends. - 1748, August 27.


CONCERNING PERSUASIONS WITH [apud] MAN: THAT SPIRITS CANNOT ASSAIL THEM. Take [this] for an example - when I was persuaded that the holy spirit was the third person, and that from eternity there were holy spirits when I was in that persuasion, then if I said the least word [verbulum] against certain spirits, they were infested to such an extent, that they astonished me to that degree, that I scarcely dared to think concerning the holy spirit: for then there were many who supposed themselves to be the holy spirit: but afterwards, I became persuaded that the Lord alone is holy, and that all, both angels and spirits, are in themselves profane, and are called holy from those true and good things which are of the Lord: then I am no longer infested, although the same [spirits] I think, are present, for now they the persuasion is of such a nature, as to be familiar as it were do not in the least infest me, because I am in persuasion, and to the disposition. Hence, as from example may be evident, what is persuasion, of what quality, that it puts on nature, and that spirits can effect nothing against persuasion, yea that with [apud] man, they are as it were, in the like persuasion, for they put on his persuasions, which are of the memory, because [proceeding] from intellectuals. - 1748, August 26.


THAT CERTAIN SPIRITS DO NOT IMMEDIATELY PUT ON THE MEMORY OF MAN: THAT SOME PUT ON ALL OF IT. I have several times observed, that spirits arrived, who, as I know, allowed themselves to be informed concerning those things that are in [apud] me, and that other spirits instructed them: so that some are strangers, some natives; from whence is the cause, that some do not immediately put on the memory of man: it now occurs to me, that they are those who have not been admitted into the society of those who are natives: as soon as they come into their society, they put on similar things with them: for such is the communication of each one with many, so that they may not know different. Besides which, there are more remote spirits, of whom I shall treat elsewhere, should the Lord think worthy. - 1748, August 26.


A DISCOURSE WITH CERTAIN SPIRITS CONCERNING THE HOLY SPIRIT. Certain spirits far from me, in front, nearly opposite the right temple, were indignant at its being said that no holy spirit is given save holiness which [proceeds] from the Lord, and appears amongst angels and good spirits: he said that he wished to show that the holy spirit is given: but when it was granted to say to him, whence was the holiness of Aaron, the altar, victim, tabernacle, Aaron's garments, such that [if] they were but touched [by any] they became holy: whether holy can be predicated of these. To this there was no answer, further that spirits and angels have been men, in whom there was nothing but sin, whence came their holiness. To this also he could not reply: further that enthusiasts and Quakers say that they are led by the holy spirit, and are so persuaded: whether therefore do holy spirits persuade them of such things. I now perceive, that he wishes to say, that the holy spirit spoke through apostles and prophets.


But it was given to reply: when a spirit speaks, and knows not what he says, and does not speak from himself, whence is his sanctity [sanctum], whether holy can hence predicate itself: from whom is the sanctity [sanctum] that he brings forth [producit] whether from himself or from the Lord - he says, that it is from the interior heaven, but yet angels confess that they are anything else than holy - further [there are] spirits, who are of the Lord: whence proceed those who boast that they are holy, when they who proceed from the Lord never call themselves holy. It was given to add, that also the spirits who spoke in the Word of the Old Testament, occasionally called themselves Jehovah: further also, that the Lord spoke concerning the Holy Spirit, as concerning many other things, according to the appearances of men, who knew nothing of interior spirits: if he had spoken differently, never would anyone have believed; just as the same do not know at all at this day, what the interior man is. - 1748, August 26. They inquired, whether any angel or spirit was from eternity. It was given to reply, that there was no one [from eternity]: but that the Lord is from eternity. So they said that they could not contradict inasmuch as angels and spirits have all been men, therefore created.


THAT INTERIOR SPIRITS HAVE A SUBTLE PERCEPTION, WHICH IS COMMUNICATED TO ME. It is granted to observe that spirits are aware whom they can use as objects, when they plot anything, whom they forthwith sent to me, that they might be their stationary [agents]: further I have now also observed, that they have perceived, who was with me, whom they wished cunningly to separate from me [one], nevertheless, when I have not noticed [observed] spirits [can] also when permitted take many things forth from my memory, while I know nothing thereof; thus while I am awake and while asleep as it were read things which are in my memory consequently many things unobserved by me - from which it may be inferred, that they when permitted can likewise [take forth] from other memories, and these not know it. - 1748, August 26.


WHEN EVIL SPIRITS AND OTHERS ARE HELD IN BONDS, THAT THEY SUPPOSE THEY ARE UPRIGHT FROM THEMSELVES. It is granted to know from much experience, that evil spirits are held in a spiritual bond, that is, in a sphere of probity, by the Lord, and when they are held in that sphere, then it does not appear to them, that they are thus detained from evil, and though it was granted me to perceive that they are so held, yet they did not perceive other than that they are free, and not at all in any bond: wherefore because free, and so not coerced, they suppose they are upright of themselves, and yet the sphere of probity and goodness comes from the Lord, whereof they are ignorant in that state: therefore attribute good to themselves. But they immediately perceive that [it is] not from themselves, as soon as this spiritual bond as it were, is relaxed, that is, the virtue of the sphere of goodness diminished: then so far as remitted, so far they rush into evil, and can by no means restrain themselves, as is attested by much experience. The angels are likewise held in the sphere of goodness of the Lord. - 1748, August 26.


THAT EVIL IS NOT IMPUTED TO HIM WHO IS IN FAITH IN THE LORD, NOR THE GOOD ATTRIBUTED TO HIM WHICH HE DOES. I spoke concerning these things with spirits, and it was also confirmed by previous various experience, and now by [this] one, and demonstrated before the eyes that the matter is so. For certain said, that they wished to reduce me to be nothing. Wherefore it was replied to them, that they themselves acknowledge that there is a nothing: Wherefore I have spoken somewhat concerning this the being nothing, and often previously: and it was shown to demonstration, that when evil is done [by anyone] he is not then in evil along with them, because [he has been] excited by them to commit evil, yea to such extent, as sometimes occurred, that they have compelled me like [as also] others, to speak, feel, and do it for the purpose of criminating him, out of his own [art]. This often happened. Therefore, when spirits can compel anyone to think, say or do evil, then do they not only attribute evil to him.


but also on that account wish to chastise, punish and torment [him]. Wherefore since it is the truth, that he only seems to be [guilty], because thus moved [actus] by others, and when he is in the truth, then [evil] is not imputed to him: but he cannot be in that truth unless he is in faith in the Lord, for the Lord holds him, in another thought, and permits evil spirits to act so, on good. Wherefore they who are not in the Lord, cannot say this, because they have no liberator, They cannot liberate themselves. Thus evil is not imputed.


Also that good is not attributed to him, this also is a truth of faith: for it is the Lord, who alone operates good, wherefore it cannot be attributed to him. For they who claim good to themselves wish to be saved from their proper [proprus] merits, though [since] they can do nothing of themselves. As respects reward, which is promised to him who does good, this comes from pure mercy towards those whom the Lord leads: for no one can merit any good from himself, but the Lord gives to him from himself, because from his mercy and for his own sake, because he is Mercy itself. - 1748, August 27: these things [are written] in their presence, who have been of the doctrine of this faith, but not in interior persuasion: wherefore they could not deny because they could not form doctrine: but if they had dared from interior persuasion, they would then have persuaded concerning truth from doctrine alone, or scientific faith. Nevertheless I presume those who were present have been a part of them of intellectual faith.


CONCERNING FOUR DEGREES OF FAITH. I have now also spoken concerning these: the four degrees of faith, that there are four: to wit, scientific faith, which consist in my knowing only scientifically [as a matter of knowledge] the things which belong to faith, and holding them in [my] memory, and from memory relating and preaching them to others or for the sake of honor, knowing, being learned, meriting somewhat in society. Thus it is an affair of the memory. He calls it faith, but does not believe, not even the least. Such are evil pastors and preachers. Another degree is faith in the understanding [intellectu] or intellectual faith, to wit: when I am intellectually persuaded, either from the connection of things, or confirmation of many things, natural or spiritual so that I am intellectually persuaded - but still it is kept back in the memory, because it does not come forth in life, in such a way that the life is according to these things, save when honor for self-reputation and the like excite it. Wherefore it is only a shell [crusta], which has little or no connection with the nucleus or affection. The third degree is the first persuasion, to wit: when [one] is persuaded by the Lord, that it is so: then as often as he is admonished a thing is so, so often does he attempt to act differently: thus conscience dictates - he acts according to faith. The fourth degree is persuasion: when he cannot act different from what he believes: for he then perceives himself to be led by the Lord. Wherefore this persuasion is conjoined with perception, whereof [I have treated] previously. - 1748, August 27.


THAT TO KNOW THE NATURE OF HARMONY AND THE LIKE, THUS THE NATURE OF FELICITY IN HEAVEN, DOES NOT CONTRIBUTE TO FELICITY. It was given me to perceive, with others in spiritual idea, that to know the nature of harmony, and hence of felicity in heaven, does not contribute to felicity; but when knowledge is present, it rather takes away [felicity]. For he, who never knows anything, is still in harmony, and hence in felicity; for the Lord acts without the angel knowing it. But when he knows, and wishes at the same time to be therein from knowledge [scientia], as if then instructed, he then [acts] from himself and so disturbs the harmony in himself and in those who are in society. This is evident from many things, because his idea is then of such a nature that he reflects upon knowing [in scire], and upon himself and so averts himself from [his] companions; consequently, from the Lord; wherefore, they who do not know, and there are [such] still, are much better.


It may also be illustrated by every point [memento] of thought and speech. Man thinks and speaks analytically, or according to all the most recondite [arcanissima] things of analytic philosophy, and yet does not know it, that thus he speaks and acts. But when he aims to know how the matter is, and so thinks [speaks and acts] according to knowledge [scientia], he then averts himself from most recondite things, which lead him, and circumscribes [finit] himself: and so far as these things are present and rule, so far does he become insane and stupid. So far as he [is conducted] by a most recondite leading [ductu], and not by himself so far is he in the faculty of understanding, and in a state of being affected according to these things. - l748, August 27. This was still further confirmed by the muscles. When man acts from will, if he knows what muscles and what fibers act, and directs his mind to muscle and fiber, so that he wishes so to command it, when he intends [an act], then the muscle cannot act; if he remits [his efforts] it acts.


CONCERNING THE FALL OF MAN. It was granted me, and others, spirits, and angels who [were] with [penes] me, to perceive in spiritual idea, how the fall of man [occurred], to wit, that the most ancient church was in faith, and thus in company with spirits and angels, and so united, as to be, as it were, in heaven. Like those best [ones] in another earth [tellure], of whom [I have spoken]; but that they withdrew [desciverint], and so the interiors and intuitions have receded from man, until at this day they are only in externals. - l748, August 27.


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